The Pre-Law minor provides an excellent foundation for students who plan to attend law school. It is designed to introduce students to the study of law and the judicial process and at the same time to provide an orientation to the law which is more general than that of most law schools. This minor is highly recommended for students who want to enter law school, to prepare for paralegal careers, or to seek careers in criminology. Students who elect this minor may anticipate legal careers in (1) government and large businesses, (2) law firms, (3) individual or partnership practice of civil law, (4) trial practice, including criminal law, and (5) teaching. The minor is designed to introduce students to the study of law and judicial process and also provides a general orientation for law school.
Since very few law schools provide information about the political, economic, societal, and psychological environment in which the law exists, this background must generally be acquired prior to or after law school. The Pre-Law minor and the liberal arts education are intended to give students the analytical skills and substantive background in those courses which will most likely contribute to the student’s development.
Upon admission, each student works with a pre-law advisor, who helps the student develop a strategy for selecting courses, identifying an appropriate departmental major (degree program), and navigating the law school application process.
Like most of the better pre-law programs, SMWC’s program allows students to major in virtually any field of study while taking a number of courses which will help prepare them for the rigors of law school. While some majors–history, philosophy, political science–are traditionally considered preparation for legal studies, students are admitted to law school from virtually every academic discipline. In recent years, pre-law students have majored in diverse fields. Students are encouraged to adopt a major which will serve their career goals, often combining a traditional liberal arts discipline with courses oriented towards future legal study and work.