Carroll College, Helena Montana
Carroll Pre-law Students

Pre-Law

Pre-law at Carroll College

Q: So what is Pre-Law at Carroll?

A: At Carroll College, our mission is to provide excellent pre-law advising.  This program is centered in the Department of Political Science.  There, faculty with experience directing students to law school and a consistent record of placing students in law schools will advise students interested in law.

Q: Do I have to study Political Science to go to law school?

A: No. A common misconception is that pre-law candidates must study political science.  This is not true.  Instead, law schools are looking for strong students who have demonstrated an ability to read, write, and think critically: for example, national statistics show that biology, history, and English majors gain acceptance into at least one law school at rates comparable to—or exceeding—that of political science students.  The Political Science department at Carroll will advise students of any major how to apply to and prepare for law school.

Q: Should I consider a pre-law major?

A: No.  Carroll College does not offer a "pre-law" major, partly because law schools will not admit students who major in pre-law.  Indeed, you ought to be very skeptical of any four-year institution that offers such a major.  The pre-law major exists at a two-year institutions, but it typically prepares students for law enforcement careers, rather than law school.  

Q: Do I need to consider completing a minor or a second major?

A: Not necessarily.  While law schools seek candidates with broad interests and training, a second major or a minor is not required.

Q: Are there any specific courses I ought to take to prepare for law school?

A: Not necessarily.  Although certain courses might be very helpful to law school students, law schools generally have no prerequisites.  Instead, they look for students who have done well in difficult courses and have demonstrated that they possess the thinking and communication skills that a career in law requires.  Nonetheless, the Department recommends several courses for students who wish to gain a firmer grounding in law before attending law school.  These courses are:

PO 104: American National Government
PO 201: Introduction to the Legal Process
PO 210: Introduction to Constitutional Law
PO 216: American Political Thought

For those wishing to gain practical experience in the field of law, the Department of Political Science also offers:

PO 380: Moot Court
PO 417: Legal Internship

For those interested in preparing for the LSAT and the law school application process, consider the following courses:

PHIL 113: Formal Logic
PO 201: Introduction to the Legal Process
ENWR 305: Technical Writing

Q: When should I begin the law school application process?

A: During your junior year.  For the first two years of your college education, pursue your academic interests and do well in your courses.  You will have plenty of time to weigh the merits of attending law school.

Q: Should I take a preparation course for the LSAT?

A: Yes, probably. Your LSAT score can determine decisively where you attend law school.  While it is possible to achieve a high LSAT score with independent study, we recommend students take one of these courses.

Q: I have decided: I am definitely going to law school.  Why should I choose Carroll?

A: There are at least three reasons:

      1. First-Rate Advising: Carroll College’s pre-law center offers personalized advising to students interested in legal careers.  We have an excellent record of helping students gain admission to regional law schools and have placed exceptional students in nationally recognized, highly selective programs.

      2. Excellent Courses: in addition to the demanding and rewarding courses of your chosen major, the Department of Political Science offers courses that provide a foundation in law (PO 104, PO 201, PO 210, PO 216), simulate the educational experience of law school (PO 210, PO 380), and prepare students for the LSAT (PO 201, PHIL 113, ENWR 305).

      3. Practical Experience: Pre-law at Carroll affords students the opportunity to gain experience in the legal profession before they ever go to law school.  Carroll's legal internship program (PO 417) allows students to assist lawyers in the capitol region while receiving academic credit and Moot Court (PO 380) gives students a chance to practice giving oral arguments before a judge. Each fall, Carroll's top Moot Court teams travels to Los Angeles, CA to compete against other colleges and universities.

Request more information about this major

Questions?

Contact
William Parsons, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science
Pre-law Advisor
wparsons@carroll.edu
(406) 447-5403

Related Programs

Any student with a strong academic record and demonstrated ability to read, write, and think critically can go to law school, regardless of major.

FACT:

Of all the skills required in law school, good writing skills are the most important.  The Law School Admissions Council suggests that “Fundamental writing skills…must be acquired and refined before you enter law school” (2009).  The Department of Political Science at Carroll College lists the cultivation of strong writing skills as one of its primary educational goals.

Recent graduates are currently attending Law School at:

  • Creighton University School of Law
  • University of Idaho School of Law
  • University of Montana
  • Tulane University
  • Baylor University
  • University of Wyoming
  • Willamette University

Recommended Courses

  • PO 104: American National Government
  • PO 201: Intro to the Legal Process
  • PO 210: Intro to Constitutional Law
  • PO 216: American Political Thought
  • ENWR 305: Technical Writing