Law schools seek students who have followed a rigorous program, preferably in the liberal arts, which develop skills of careful reading, precise writing, and incisive and logical reasoning. Law schools do not require any specific major; therefore, majors should be chosen in accordance with their rigor and the student’s interest. Electives should be chosen to complete the student’s writing, mathematical or logical, and communicative skills and to provide substantive knowledge in wide areas of human endeavor.
Students should seriously consider the pre-law minor and use the course list to select courses. Courses in constitutional law, environmental law, American politics, and political philosophy help prepare students for law school by engaging them with programs and methods they will encounter in and beyond law school. Courses in oral communication and additional English writing courses, and minors if time permits, are strong additions to any transcript. In addition to coursework, students should seriously consider experiences that broaden their appeal, such as study abroad and internships.
Students seeking entrance to law school must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) as part of the application process. This is a challenging exam that requires preparation. Students typically take the exam for official score the fall semester of their senior year for admission into the following fall law school class. The pre-law advisor in the Department of Political Science maintains LSAT preparation books and helps to prepare students for the LSAT by informing students of mock LSAT exams offered on campus and in the area. LSAT scores are major factors considered by law schools in the admissions process. The mock LSAT affords students the opportunity to experience the LSAT process prior to taking the actual examination.
3+3 Accelerated Law Program
Dominican University’s 3+3 Accelerated BA/JD Program allows qualified students to apply to John Marshall Law School in their junior year. Students admitted under the program fulfill their senior year of undergraduate credits through the successful completion of their first-year law school courses, allowing them to graduate with both a bachelor’s and a law degree in just six years, saving a year of tuition and related costs.
To qualify, students must:
- Complete ALL Dominican Core courses by the end of their junior year
- Complete ALL of their major courses, excepting any first-year JMLS courses that qualify for their major
- Complete 94 DU credit hours (the 30 hours earned at JMLS will then complete their DU degree)
- Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) before applying to JMLS in their junior year (acceptable entrance score varies yearly, but median has hovered around 153)
- Complete an application to JMLS in their junior year (personal statement, LSAT scores, letters, etc.)
Interested students will need to work closely with an advisor to develop a three-year schedule that meets all requirements. Serious commitment will definitely be necessary; summer courses may be. Dominican students are not guaranteed admission to John Marshall Law School, but they do have an advantage if their applications are competitive.
For John Marshall Law School admissions information, visit jmls.edu/admission/jd/.
David M. Dolence, PhD
Department of Political Science, Pre-Law Advisor
Office: Fine Arts 311
The courses required for the pre-law minor are selected to create a rigorous and challenging foundation in legal philosophy, skills, and ideas. All these courses will help to prepare the student not just for entrance into law school, but success once there. Internships are encouraged for students wishing to attend law school, but hours may not be applied to the minor.
The pre-law advisor keeps students informed of opportunities to visit area law schools as well as summer preparation programs. In addition, students may attend the Law Forum sponsored by the Law School Admission Council, where students can gather information from law schools throughout the country and meet with representatives from those schools. In addition, the pre-law advisor has admissions information on all law schools in the country.
For additional information, contact the pre-law advisor in the political science department or the Office of Academic Advising.