Pre-Law at Western Oregon University
The minimum requirement for admission to a recognized law school is a bachelor’s degree. Most law schools value intellectual maturity and a broad educational background, such as is provided by majors in the social sciences, natural sciences or humanities, rather than narrow specialization. Well-developed research, analysis, oral and written communication skills are considered desirable.
For more information about law schools admissions or pre-law activities at Western Oregon University, contact the pre-law advisor, Dr. Mark Henkels, at email@example.com.
Students interested in going to law school should consider four things:
- Law schools do not have formal preferences for specific majors or minors. Law schools choose applicants who demonstrate strong abilities in reading, writing, and critical thinking. Majors such as political science, history, philosophy, and English are the most common background for law students, but Western students in many fields have gone to law school, in recent years, including Earth sciences, psychology, communications, and business.
- Whatever your major or minor, your grades matter. Admission to law schools is highly competitive. Applicants are usually expected to achieve an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 and perform well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), although strength in one of these areas may compensate for weakness in the other.
The higher your GPA and the higher your LSAT scores, the more schools that will admit you and the larger the possibilities for scholarship aid.
The LSAT should be taken late in your junior year or early in the senior year.
- The Western Oregon University pre-law club is affiliated with the national pre-law honorary society, Phi Alpha Delta. Membership in Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) provides access to a wide range of pre-law materials and services. PAD is honorary fraternity that features chapters on many law school campuses and affiliation can continue even after law school. You can find out more about the national organization through their website at www.pad.org.
The pre-law club is open to all students regardless of whether they join PAD. Activities include trips to law schools, various forms of LSAT preparations, guest speakers and forums, and social activities.
- While any major or minor is fine for law school, Western Oregon University offers a legal studies minor designed in response to information received from Western students who have gone on to law school and research into a broad range of pre-law materials.
One key aspect of the minor is that it features at least two courses taught by lawyers working in the field. Coursework is also designed to promote a greater understanding and comfort with the expectations and content of law school curriculum. But remember that law school has a depth of expectation beyond any undergraduate coursework.
Legal Studies minor (27-29 credits)
PS 201 American Government (3)
PS 202 State and Local Government (3)
BA 230 Business Law (3)
PS 479 Constitutional Law (3)
PS 480 Administrative Law (3)
PS 484 American Jurisprudence (3)
PS 485 Legal Research and Writing (3)
Choose two: (6-8)
ANTH 475 Anthropological Approaches to Law (4)
BA 211 Financial Accounting (4)
Com 321 Influencing Through Argumentation (3)
Com 326 Communication and Controversy (3)
Com 327 Communication in the Legal Field (3)
CJ 213 Survey Juvenile/Criminal Justice System (4)
CJ 452 Criminal Procedure (4)
HST 414 English History (4)
HST 415 English History (4)
HST 493 British Constitutional History (4)
PHL 103 Introduction to Logic (3)
PHL 335 Social and Political Philosophy (3)
PHL 380 Philosophy of Law(3)
PS 409 Administrative Internship (3-6)
PS 410 Legislative/Political Internship (3-6)
Contact: Dr. Mark Henkels, 503-838-8544