Eckerd College offers pre-law students an ideal environment to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for admission to law school and to perform well in the legal profession.
Eckerd offers a variety of pre-law tracks to allow students to tailor a pre-law major to meet their own professional ambitions. Students in Eckerd’s pre-law program have entered some of the nation’s finest law schools and pursued careers in a variety of law-related fields.
Eckerd College’s location in a major metropolitan area permits access to area courts and other legal organizations for both study and employment purposes.
Law schools do not require a prescribed undergraduate major for admission. Instead, they recommend that undergraduates take a wide range of courses involving rigorous intellectual training which will sharpen their communication and cognitive skills. Undergraduate students planning on attending law school are best advised to select a major which will strengthen their abilities to think analytically, to read and write well, and to deal with human problems in a realistic context. Eckerd offers an ideal setting for acquiring the skills and background necessary to secure admission and to do well in any law school in the nation.
Like most of the better pre-law programs, Eckerd’s program allows students to major in virtually any field of study while taking a number of courses which will help prepare them for the rigors of law school. In recent years, pre-law students at Eckerd have majored in such diverse fields as environmental studies, history, political science, literature, philosophy and business. Students are encouraged to adopt a major which will serve their career goals, often combining a traditional liberal arts discipline with courses oriented towards future legal study and work.
The flexibility in Eckerd’s pre-law program allows students to match their interests in the law with other topics. For instance, a student interested in environmental law might major in marine science or environmental studies at the college while taking courses to prepare for law school. Similarly, a student interested in pursuing a career in politics could pursue his or her pre-law program through a major in political science. Similar combinations are possible for students interested in eventually going into criminal law, business (corporate) law, or the teaching of law.
All pre-law students meet with the pre-law adviser Students plan their curriculum to include a mixture of courses in the student’s major plus an array of pre-law courses suitable to the particular student’s academic needs and career plans. Pre-law students ordinarily take the Law School Admission Test in the summer between their junior and senior years, at which time they also register for the Law School Data Assembly Service.
Recommended Pre-Law Courses
There is a wide range of courses at Eckerd which fulfill the needs of pre-law students. These courses are intended to sharpen students’ verbal skills through emphasis on improving their reading and writing abilities. Several of the courses will introduce students to the case method of study employed by most law schools as well as some substantive law.
- Communication Arts and Persuasion
- Business Law
- The Constitution and Government Power
- The Constitution and Individual Rights
- Crime, Justice & Ethics
- Group Dynamics
- Introduction to Logic
- Judicial Process
- International Environmental Law
- Introduction to American National Government
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Conflict Studies
- Comparative Judicial Politics
- Ethics Tradition and Critique
- The Managerial Enterprise
- The Supreme Court in American Politics
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Civil Rights Movement
In addition to this list of courses focusing on law-related topics and skills, students planning on attending law school are strongly encouraged to take elective courses in the humanities and social sciences, including – literature, philosophy, history, sociology, economics, psychology, anthropology and political science. Pre-law students often take courses in the natural sciences and mathematics to strengthen their analytical reasoning. Pre-law students interested in going into international law or immigration law are encouraged to take extensive course work in at least one of the foreign languages offered at the college.
Eckerd College has a full-time faculty member in the political science department who serves as pre-law adviser and is available to help pre-law students from all disciplines select courses, arrange to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and to otherwise prepare for law school Advisement also extends to those students who wish to pursue postgraduate study in order to enter the newly emerging paralegal profession in this country.
– The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, 1991-92
– A. E. Johnson Jr., Ph.D. Associate Dean, School of Law University of Kansas
Most pre-law students at Eckerd pursue graduate work soon after graduating. While most continue their education towards the JD degree at an accredited law school, others have gone on to graduate work in their major discipline. The pre-law training, in conjunction with a traditional academic discipline, has prepared Eckerd graduates well for a wide range of career opportunities In recent years, 7 percent of Eckerd’s graduates have gone on to law school. At any one time, there are about 45 pre-law students enrolled at the college. Eckerd graduates have continued to perform well on the Law School Admission Test, reflecting the excellent training available to them at the college. Recent graduates from Eckerd have attended a wide range of law schools including:
- Florida Florida State
- George Mason
- Lewis & Clark
- North Carolina
Since pre-law students take courses in a variety of majors, they have contact with an unusually wide range of Eckerd faculty. Two faculty most closely connected with the pre-law program include Anthony Brunello and Robert Wigton.
Associate Professor of Political Science, Ph.D., University of Oregon, teaches courses dealing with comparative judicial politics He also teaches a variety of other courses dealing with political philosophy and Environmental Policy which are often of interest to pre-law students Before coming to Eckerd he taught at the University of New Mexico.
Associate Professor of Political Science and Pre-Law Adviser, J.D., Ph.D., State University of New York, serves as the coordinator of the pre-law program at Eckerd He teaches courses on American national government, including several of those recommended for pre-law students His fields of interest include American Constitutional Law and Judicial Process Professor Wigton is admitted to the Florida and New York State Bar.