Pre-professional students are advised to take a broad, general education program to gain background in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

Pre-professional programs require appropriate major and completion of other recommended courses. Pre-professional students are advised to take a broad, general education program to gain background in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Most professional schools do not require a specific undergraduate major, although many applicants elect a history, political science or economics major because of the entrance requirements of law schools.

Law School Admission

Pre-law students are advised to take a broad, general education program that includes study of the humanities, social science and natural sciences. Law schools require no particular major, although extensive work in history, political science or economics is strongly recommended. Competence in the skills of accounting, statistics, oral communication and writing will greatly aid students in both their Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and study in law school.

Admission to most law schools is based primarily on demonstrated ability determined by the college grade point average plus placement on the LSAT. Inasmuch as most law schools have many more applicants for admission than they can accept, few students with the minimum grade point average and minimum LSAT scores are accepted. An above-average academic record in undergraduate schools is expected of the pre-law student.

Students interested in a law career are encouraged to consult with the History Department chair or Political Science Program Coordinator as soon as possible after entering Davis & Elkins College.

Pre-Law Minor

The pre-law minor provides a multidisciplinary approach to enhance the education of students who anticipate entering fields related to legal studies, policy making, criminal justice and politics.  The required courses are designed to prepare students for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and success in law school. The minor is open to all majors across campus.

The minor aims to:

  • Increase student’s critical thinking skills.
  • Increase student’s understanding of law and its multiple functions.
  • Develop student’s oral and written communication skills.

The requirements for a pre-law minor consists of 18 credit hours, with specific requirements outlined below.

Pre-Law Minor Requirments

CRIM 209: Criminal Procedure – 3 semester hours

Constitutional aspects of criminal proceedings to include: pre-trial investigations, arrests, search and seizures, pre-trial processes, use of confessions, trial rights, sentencing, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and appeals.

POLS 300: Civil Liberties – 3 semester hours

This course introduces students to the field of Constitutional Law through an inquiry into the philosophical grounds, and legal interpretation, of the Bill of Rights. Emphasis will be given to the First Amendment.

CRIM 4xx: Pre-Law Seminar – 3 semester hours

The Pre-Law seminar will help students find ways to gain exposure to the law and the legal profession.  The seminar will assist in the law school application process, selection of law schools and in the preparation of students for the Law School Admission Test.  The goal of the Pre-Law Seminar Course is to make Law Minor students competitive law school candidates and to facilitate their acceptance to the law school of their choice. Instructor permission required for enrollment. Prerequisite: Law Minor with a Junior or Senior Standing.

Critical Thinking

Choose One:

COMM 121: Argumentation – 3 semester hours

The course teaches students effective and ethical techniques of persuasion through argumentation. The course introduces: various definitions of argument, models of argument, spheres of argument, the study of controversy, and principles of debating.

PHIL 140: Critical Thinking – 3 semester hours

Critical Thinking is essentially applied logic. It concerns the evaluations of arguments, including political, ethical, religious, legal and scientific arguments. Not offered every year.

MATH 104: Logic – 3 semester hours

An introduction to the problems, principles, and techniques of sound reasoning. Deals with deductive logic (including symbolic), inductive logic, and informal logic. Not offered every year.

The Practice of Law

Choose One:

BUSI 220: Business Law I – 3 semester hours

A study of the laws of contracts, sales, corporations, property, conveyances, torts, and business crimes as they relate to the Uniform Commercial Code

CRIM 207: Criminal Law – 3 semester hours

This course discusses criminal law and the use of law in the criminal justice system. Crimes against persons and property will be addressed as well as the defenses and excuses used in criminal cases.

ENVS 320: Environmental Law – 3 semester hours

A study of the major environmental federal and state laws. Consideration will be given to the historical perspective, development, and significance of environmental legislation and the actions of courts.

OREC 333: Risk Management and Liability – 3 semester hours

There are a great number of inherent dangers associated with many outdoor recreation pursuits, and professionals in the field must be aware of how to identify and minimize risks and be prepared and protected from litigious action should an accident occur. This course examines the legal process, rights and responsibilities, negligence, intentional torts, personnel risks, and other aspects of legal liability in recreation management.

Theoretical Connections

Choose One:

HIST 290: Historiography and Methods – 3 semester hours

This course provides History majors with an introduction to both past and present schools of historical thought, exposure to and experience working with historical research materials, experience participating in seminar discussion, and the opportunity to write critically and comparatively within the discipline. This course is required of all History majors.

COMM 323: Rhetorical Theory – 3 semester hours

The course provides an intensive study of rhetorical production and scholarly criticism. Although the course provides a historical overview of rhetorical theory stretching back into antiquity, particular emphasis is placed upon learning rhetorical developments in speech communication from the early 20th century to the present.

ENGL 414: Literary Criticism – 3 semester hours

A study and application of the major modern approaches to literature, including psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, feminism, and cultural criticism.

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