A Profile of the Pre-Law Program
Develop valuable skills for law school
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963
A liberal arts education is simply the best preparation for law school. For a liberal arts education teaches you how to think, not what to think. Though you might, of course, seek a pre-professional program in law at a large university, Wittenberg, with its core general education curriculum and demanding writing requirement, ensures that you will cultivate the very skills you’ll need as a lawyer (not to mention as a law-school applicant): critical analysis, logical thinking and the ability to write and speak with precision. Lawyers spend most of their time engaged in problem-solving. They have to be able to interpret dense and difficult legal materials, figure out which materials are relevant to their work, and then make a case for their relevance.
Wittenberg students who are interested in law do not follow a formal pre-law curriculum, but instead may major in any discipline which inspires their passion. Thus, our graduates not only develop essential lawyerly skills, but at the same time acquire profound knowledge of another field. After all, if you’re thinking of studying environmental law, wouldn’t a science major be useful to you? Or perhaps you’re interested in public interest law—you might study sociology, focusing on human rights. If you find international law compelling, majoring in political science or East Asian studies might be just the thing for you. Perhaps you’re interested in corporate litigation—wouldn’t it be useful to have a background in management?
Although you may select a major in any subject, we recommend that all pre-law students take elective courses in English, philosophy, political science, economics, history and mathematics. We encourage you to take one of the law-related courses in our curriculum as early as possible to test your genuine interest in the field. The Logic and Critical Reasoning course offered in the philosophy department provides a solid foundation for beginning LSAT preparation. The following is a sampling of law-related courses in our curriculum:
- 100: Censorship & Free Speech
- 280: Reasoning and Communication
- 351: Media Law
- 315: Economics of Labor
- 320: History of Economic Thought
- 340: Public Finance
- 350: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
- 360: Industrial Organization
- 365: Law and Economics
- 202: Writing History: Law in America
- 225: Church and State
- 331: American Constitutional History
- 332: American Constitutional History II
- 390: Impeachments and Contested Elections
- 340: Marketing Management
- 370: Legal Environment of Business
- 426: Federal Taxation
- 470: Business Associations
- 110: Logic and Critical Reasoning
- 227: Criminal Law and Politics
- 320: Public Administration
- 321: Public Policy
- 322: American Constitutional Law
- 160: Proseminar: Social Psychology
- 177: Religious Perspectives on Contemporary Moral Issues
- 378: Bioethics
- 370: Criminology
School of Community Education
- 300: Issues: Employment Law for Managers
- 320: Legal Environment of Healthcare
Wittenberg professors serve as academic advisors and will help you choose the best major and courses to meet your academic and career goals. We recommend that you meet with Wittenberg’s pre-law advisor to learn more about the academic courses and co-curricular experiences that will best prepare you for law school and your career as a lawyer.
We encourage students to complete an internship as a way to explore various areas of law, be exposed to typical legal tasks, and gain valuable experience for law school applications and resumes. You may complete an internship at a local site during the academic year or arrange for a summer internship in your hometown.
Past internship sites have included:
- Clark County Prosecutor’s Office
- Columbus Prosecutor’s Office
- Common Pleas Court
- Springfield Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
- Springfield Police Department
- Clark County Juvenile Court
- Montgomery County Juvenile Court
- Various local law firms
Every academic department at Wittenberg offers opportunities for students to complete research through coursework, independent study or an honors thesis. For pre-law students, these projects help you hone the research, reading comprehension, writing, reasoning and organizational skills that are crucial to a successful law school application and legal career. A research project is also an excellent opportunity to explore your interests in a particular area of law.
Many Wittenberg students incorporate an international experience—for a semester, year or summer—into their academic program. Pre-law students can benefit from exploring other cultures, learning about international affairs and foreign policy, and studying international business.
Students interested in law also may apply to the Washington Semester Program, which involves classes, field trips and internships in Washington, D.C. Past internship sites include the White House, Capitol Hill, Fox News, CNN, the FBI, the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, and various political parties and interest groups.
In recent years, our graduates have attended the following law schools, among others:
- American University
- Case Western Reserve University
- Harvard University
- Indiana University—Bloomington
- Lewis & Clark
- Ohio Northern University
- Ohio State University
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Miami, Florida
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Virginia
Mock Trial Association: This award-winning, student-run group is an excellent venue for exploring the law and legal careers, becoming familiar with legal jargon and the courtroom, and cultivating analytical skills.
Pre-law Association: This organization provides information about the law school application process and workshops on writing your personal statement. Other activities include visits to the Law School Forum in Chicago, luncheons and lectures with law school representatives, film and speaker series, and community service projects.