Political Science Department
Political Science Department
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
The field of law and legal studies has always been a popular one. Lawyers deal with major courtroom cases and minor traffic disputes, with complex corporate mergers and straightforward real estate deals. They work for giant industries, small businesses, governmental agencies, international organizations, private trade associations and public interest groups. This diversity within the legal field attracts many people. Moreover, lawyers play a vital role in contemporary society. The Pre-Law program at Missouri State is designed to assist students in competing for places in any of the nation’s law schools.
To be admitted to law school, a student must complete a B.A. or B.S. degree with a satisfactory GPA and then test well on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Law schools base their admissions to a large extent on these two factors. At the undergraduate level, there is no single prescribed pre-law course of study. The Pre-Law student completes the general education requirements and those of his or her chosen major and minor. Missouri State offers all the traditional majors suggested by law schools. Students initially take introductory courses in several fields in order to determine the areas in which they desire to major and minor. A minor in Public Law also is available in the Department of Political Science.
As freshmen at Missouri State, Pre-Law students declare "pre-professional (pre-law)" status at the Advisement Center. They are given names of faculty members in different fields who are prepared to assist and advise them with course selection and who are members of the University Pre-Law Committee. There are some specific courses that all Pre-Law students are urged to take due to their relevance for the LSAT. These can be worked into the major/minor programs of Pre-Law students. Included among these are PHI 105: Critical Thinking, PHI 206: Elements of Symbolic Logic, ENG 321: Technical Writing, RIL 231: Legal Environment of Business, PLS 515: Constitutional Law and Politics, HST 565: English Constitution, Courts and Common Law. A complete listing can be found in the Missouri State Pre-Law Primer, which is available in the Missouri State bookstore or on the departmental website (student resources). Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course descriptions.
Pre-Law students draw on courses, facilities and services from throughout the university, but especially from those in the Colleges of Humanities and Public Affairs, Arts and Letters and Business Administration. Many faculty members have expertise in legal or law related subjects, and students have opportunities to enroll in classes dealing with these subjects in political science, history, economics, sociology, philosophy and business administration, among other fields.
As a Pre-Law student, your goal should be to get the most from your time as an undergraduate. A broadly based undergraduate program that includes training in analytical reasoning and writing will serve you well. Law schools want students who can think, read and write and who have some understanding of the forces that have shaped human experience. Students can acquire these attributes in any number of college courses at Missouri State whether in the humanities, the social sciences or the natural sciences. The Missouri State Advisement Center, the University Pre-law advisor and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Club exist to aid, direct and inform students who desire admission to law school.
Missouri State graduates have been accepted into law schools across the country. Recent graduates have attended Cornell University, Washington University, Northwestern University, University of Missouri, University of Arkansas, Baylor University, etc. Every year, representatives from different law schools come to Missouri State to talk with interested students, and the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Club sponsors numerous events to inform and encourage Pre-Law students.