Legal studies are an area of perennial interest for capable and highly motivated students. The Pre-Law Minor should be of interest to any student whose plans include the pursuit of a career in the legal profession, who wishes to build the analytical, writing, and communication skills of a legal professional, or who simply desires the experience of an interdisciplinary, academically rigorous minor with other highly motivated students.
Those wishing to join the Minor in Pre-Law must have a minimum 3.0 GPA from their most recent institution. (This can be one's cumulative GPA at time of graduation from high school for entering freshmen.) In order to become a Pre-Law Student, one must provide all of the following by the appropriate deadline. An unofficial transcript from the institution most recently attended (Incoming freshman should submit a high school transcript.)
For students wishing to begin their pre-law studies in the fall semester, all of the above should be submitted in electronic format to the -program co-directors no later than July 1. For students wishing to begin in the winter semester, the deadline is November 1. Students will be informed of the co-directors' decision regarding their application to the pre-law program as those decisions are made.
The Marygrove College Pre-Law Program is designed to produce students capable of becoming practicing legal professionals. That said, this program is not only for those who wish to become lawyers. Students whose career paths include criminal justice, business, human resources management, government or advocacy all stand to benefit from minoring in pre-law. Any student whose future career aspirations involve occupations that involve close contact with the law should find the minor in pre-law to be excellent preparation for their professional lives.
Though potential career paths will vary according to the student's major, the following are examples of careers that include a legal component for which the minor in pre-law would be good preparation.
SPECIAL ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM
Service Learning Requirement
All pre-law students must participate in at least one College-sponsored service learning experience prior to graduation from Marygrove College. The experience may be of any kind, without restriction, so long as the co-directors of the pre-law minor program approve and certify that the requirement has been met.
Pre-Law Student Association
The American Bar Association strongly advises that interpersonal, networking, and team-building skills be part of preparation for law school. For this reason, all pre-law students will automatically be members of the Marygrove Pre-Law Student Association and must attend its meetings. These will be held at least twice per term, but not during the summer. This will facilitate mutual support during time as pre-law students at Marygrove College, as well as in preparing for the LSAT. Importantly, it will help them develop the interpersonal and team-building skills that will be necessary for success in law school and in professional life.
All pre-law students must take the official LSAC practice version of the LSAT by the end of their junior year. Actual test-taking conditions will be simulated. The results are evaluated by the program co-directors. Areas of strength and weakness are identified, and LSAT coaching sessions aimed at helping students learn how to leverage their strengths and to improve in weaker areas are offered. In some cases, students planning to go to law school may be required to attend such sessions.
Advising and Placement
Prior to graduation, all pre-law students must register to take the LSAT, preferably during the winter months so that the co-directors and other program faculty can begin assisting students with post-graduation advising and placement activities upon students' receipt of their scores.
Academic Performance Standard
All Pre-Law students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, both cumulatively and in the minor. Students whose overall GPA or GPA within the minor drops below 3.0 have one term to take corrective action. Any student whose GPA drops below 3.0 for two consecutive terms shall be dropped from the program.
All pre-law students must pass ENG 312 and their senior seminar with a grade of “B” or better. This requirement comports with the ABA's recommendation that students preparing for legal study should have a demonstrated competence in planning, managing, and executing large-scale research projects, and in presenting the results of those projects in both oral and written forms.