Admission to law school requires academic success at the undergraduate level.  Students should pursue a major in a field that they are interested in, or better yet, passionate about, because this will naturally lead to greater motivation and higher grades.  There is not a specific major that one must have in order to be viewed favorably by law school admissions committees.  What admissions committees are looking for is academic excellence in a rigorous course of study.  The academic discipline into which that rigorous course of study falls is not important. 

Your choice of a major and courses is not irrelevant, however.  A specific major may position you to focus in a particular area of the law you are interested in.  For instance, if you want to be a patent lawyer, select a major in the sciences.  Studying environmental science can provide a good background for environmental law.  Being fluent in two or more languages will be useful for international law.  Courses in economics, accounting, and business are useful in areas of corporate or tax law.  Courses in political science and history are useful in the area of administrative and constitutional law.  Constitutional Law (POL 336) is particularly useful because it uses a law school casebook and is taught like a law school class.  This course will give you a very good sense of the pedagogy typically used in law schools while also preparing you for Constitutional Law, which almost all law schools require students to take in their first year of law school.

The choice of a major may also help you to prepare for the academic rigors of law school.  English and philosophy courses tend to develop your reading and writing skills.  Courses in political science provide information on legal systems and hone your research skills.  To study philosophy, literature, fine arts, foreign languages, religious studies, and other cultures imparts familiarity with traditions of universal thought and trends which have influenced, or tend to influence, legal developments nationally and internationally. The examination of human behavior in sociology and psychology will aid a law student in understanding the types and effects of human behavior with which law is involved. And the systematic ordering of abstractions and ideas acquired by studying logic and the sciences contributes a good deal to a prelaw student's capacity to analyze, understand, and rationally organize his or her thoughts.

Regardless of major, Stonehill’s general education program, which is based in the liberal arts, will help to develop the skills necessary to do well in law school.  Beyond required courses, the pre-law advisor will work with students to find courses that fit into their individualized academic plan.  Sprinkled across the college’s curriculum are courses that focus directly on the law. 

Courses That Focus on Law

  • BUS 352 Legal Environment of Business
  • BUS 452 Sports and Law
  • CRM 303 Procedural Criminal Law
  • CRM 305 Substantive Criminal Law
  • CRM 307 Mechanics of the Courtroom
  • CRM 309 The Jury System
  • CRM 312 Youth and Law
  • CRM 318 Federal Criminal Process
  • ENV 275 Environmental Law
  • HCA 323 Healthcare Law
  • HCA 335 Healthcare Employment Law
  • JRN 313 Journalism Ethics and Law
  • POL 201 College Mock Trial
  • POL 233 Law, Politics, & Society
  • POL 336 Constitutional Law & Politics
  • POL 341 Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
  • POL 346 Immigration & the American Ideal
  • POL 353 International Law & Organizations

Overall, you may ask yourself how you can compile an academic record that will impress law school admission committees.  The simple answer is: Get good grades!  Law schools demand a high GPA, but they also expect a willingness to go beyond basic graduation requirements to demonstrate intellectual curiosity.  You should take advantage of the myriad scholarly opportunities Stonehill offers in order to develop and showcase your skills of critical reading, analysis, writing, presenting, and persuading through reasoned argumentation.

Pre-Law at Stonehill Contact Information

Robert R. Rodgers

Assistant Professor of Political Science & Intl. Studies, Political Science & International Studies Department Chair, Pre-Law Advisor
Political Science & Intl Relat