Pre-Law Program

Students interested in a career in law may pursue a bachelor's degree in any major currently offered at Lourdes.

Pre-Law students have traditionally majored in areas such as History, English, and Business, but many currently major in Science, Education, and Nursing. Similarly, there are no required courses for Lourdes students who are planning to attend law school. It is the overall performance in the major along with a high grade point average and an excellent score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) that play the most important part in winning entrance into law school.

However, students should keep the following general rules in mind when choosing courses. Law schools frequently recommend the following:

  • Solid training in the major with many upper-level courses
  • Upper-level courses in areas other than the major
  • Writing-intensive courses (not necessarily English)

Basic Skills to Develop in the Pre-Law Program

Pre-Law students should work closely with their advisors to ensure that their General Education, major and minor field, and elective courses enhance the following skills:

  • Analysis and Problem Solving Skills: Ability to research and critically analyze numerous written sources in substantial length and detail
  • Critical Reading Abilities: Ability to read, understand, and critically analyze complex material of substantial length
  • Writing Skills: Ability to complete substantial library research projects that organize, analyze, and present large amounts of material (basic computer skills are an asset in this regard)
  • Oral Communication and Listening Skills: Ability to debate and make oral presentations to the public
  • General Research Skills: Ability to recall and present substantial amounts of information in written or oral presentations
  • Task Organization and Management Skills: Ability to memorize, recall, and apply complex material from numerous sources and at substantial length
  • Values of Service and Justice: Course work or extracurricular activities that offer opportunities for assisting others or for working toward a common cause

Knowledge to Develop in the Pre-Law Program

While every major and bachelor’s degree currently offered at Lourdes is acceptable in the Pre-Law Program, there are certain generic types of knowledge that the student should acquire before attending law school. These types of knowledge include:

  • A broad understanding of history especially American political, economic, and cultural history
  • A fundamental understanding of political thought and theory especially related to the American political and legal system
  • A basic understanding of logic, ethics, and social justice theory
  • A solid grounding in economics especially microeconomic theory
  • Basic mathematical and financial skills
  • A basic understanding of human behavior and social interactions
  • An understanding of the diverse cultures in the United States and the world today

Suggestions for Basic Skills and Knowledge-Based Courses

With these basic skills and generic types of knowledge in mind, students may choose from among the following suggested (although not required) courses to fulfill General Education, major and minor field, or elective requirements (courses with prerequisites are marked by an asterisk):

  • Research and Writing: HST 430, Historiography; SOC 321, Basic Concepts in Social Research; * any upper-level research and/or writing course in the major
  • Oral Communication: BUS 325, Business Communications*
  • History: Upper-level American history courses especially from the following sequence: HST 305, Colonial and Revolutionary America; HST 306: The New Nation; HST 408: Civil War and Reconstruction; HST 412: History of the United States in the 20th Century
  • Political Thought and Theory: PLS 310: The Constitution and the Supreme Court; SOC 208, Constitutional Law in Criminal Justice
  • Logic, Ethics, and Social Justice Theory: PHIL 102, Introduction to Critical Thinking; PHIL/BUS 430, Business Ethics; any upper-level course related to these topics in Philosophy, Religious Studies, or Sociology
  • Microeconomic Theory: BUS 255, Microeconomics*
  • Mathematical and Financial Skills: MTH 110, Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics I*; MTH 111; Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics II*; BUS 201, Accounting I*; BUS 202, Accounting II*
  • Basic Behavior and Social Interactions: Upper-level Psychology* or Sociology* courses
  • Diverse Cultures: GEO 250, World Cultural Geography; SOC 207, Cultural Anthropology; SOC 304, Multicultural Diversity

Preparation for Law School Application

Pre-Law students who have reached junior status should contact the Chair of the Department of History (who will act as the Upper-Class Pre-Law Advisor) in order to determine a plan for applying to law school. The plan will cover:

  • Final review of undergraduate courses
  • Evaluation of potential law schools
  • Preparation for the LSAT
  • Application process (including writing the personal statement and obtaining letters of recommendation)

Students should remain in contact with the Upper-Class Pre-Law Advisor throughout every stage of the application process.


Robert Detwiler

Robert Detwiler, Ph.D.
Director of Academic Advising
Director of Prior Learning

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