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Undergraduate Catalog 2013

Pre-Law

Pre-Law

Law schools do not prescribe a particular pre-law curriculum, nor do they require specific undergraduate courses. Students are advised to select a major according to individual interest. Because the law touches nearly every phase of human activity, most liberal arts majors can be of value to a lawyer. Of primary importance to a lawyer is the ability to express thoughts clearly and cogently. Courses in composition, communication arts and literature develop these skills. Political science, economics, history, government and sociology courses are of value because of their close relation to law and their influence on its development. Ethics, because of its relationship to legal principles, and philosophy, because of the influence of philosophic reasoning on legal reasoning and jurisprudence, are also of interest. Some knowledge of the principles of accounting and of the sciences is recommended and will prove of practical value to the lawyer in general practice in the modern world. UMBC’s political science department offers especially strong preparation for students interested in law school, including courses in American constitutional and administrative law taught by the case method. The department also offers a Legal Internship Program that places students in legal positions in the Baltimore area. The department operates the Pre-law Resource Office, which is open to all UMBC students. Other parts of the university curriculum offer courses in private law and the history of law. For additional information, students should consult the Pre-law Handbook, published by the Law School Admissions Council and the Association of American Law Schools, available in the Pre-law Resource Office in the Public Policy Building, room 357.

Experience

The program offers students the opportunity to take an internship with courts, law enforcement agencies, private law firms, and other legal institutions. These internships, which are taken for credit full-time in the Winter session and half-time in the spring, provide a realistic view of legal professions and often lead to summer jobs and law school recommendations.

Academics

The department offers a minor in legal policy to undergraduates of all majors. The minor permits students to focus on the political and cultural contexts, procedures and outcomes of the American judicial system. It consists of three core courses and four electives for a total of 21 credits. For those not interested in the minor, there are several courses that are particularly appropriate for pre-law students. Some of them are:

  • POLI 220 The U.S. Constitution
  • POLI 230 Introduction to Constitutional Law
  • POLI 233 Law and Legal System
  • POLI 334 Judicial Process
  • POLI 338 Women and Law
  • POLI 352 Administrative Law
  • POLI 435 Legal Reasoning
  • POLI 438 Legal Internship

Support


Dr. Jeffrey Davis, davisj@umbc.edu
PUP 316
phone: 410-455-2181
on-campus: 5-2181

Dr. George LaNoue, glanoue@umbc.edu
PUP 413
phone: 410-455-2180
on-campus: 5-2180