Advisors: Mike Dana, Melissa Donegan, Matthew Harrigan, Diana Morlang, Lawrence Nelson, Terri Peretti 

Santa Clara University provides a wide range of opportunities for undergraduates to build a strong pre-law foundation. Early in their undergraduate program, pre-law students should consult not only with their major advisor but also with one of the designated pre-law advisors to help determine whether or not a career in law matches their particular interests and strengths. Consultation with a pre-law advisor familiarizes the student with the rigors of law school, the practice of law, the burden of law school debt, and the means to best secure employment as an attorney. Advisors will help formulate a program to prepare students for the complexity of the application process, including preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). There is no specific major or curriculum required to qualify for law school admission. Successful law school applicants come from a diversity of majors such as anthropology, philosophy, communication, political science, physics, English, history, biology, and economics. However, to successfully prepare for the LSAT, students are advised to select courses that deepen reading comprehension and promote logical reasoning. Law school admissions officers generally recommend undergraduate preparation by selecting courses that demand discipline, analytical ability, research skills, close reading of texts, creativity, verbal skills, and precision in written and oral work. The departments of philosophy and political science offer a pre-law emphasis within the major (in philosophy, it is also available within the minor). Elective courses also provide valuable training and breadth of academic and analytical experience. Some elective courses strengthen specific abilities, while others provide perspective on legal issues and topics. Possible electives include, but are not limited to, the following:

Business Courses

BUSN 85. Business Law

Communication Courses

COMM 20. Public Speaking

COMM 170A. Communication Law

Economics Courses

ECON 126. Economics and Law

English Courses

ENGL 100. Writing in the Public Interest

ENGL 115. Argumentation

Environmental Studies Courses

ENVS 120. Introduction to Environmental Law and Regulation in the United States

ENVS 122. Environmental Politics and Policy

ENVS 124. Water Law and Policy

Ethnic Studies Course

Ethnic Studies. 127 Race and Mass Incarceration

Experiential Learning for Social Justice Courses

ELSJ 50. Law and Social Justice

Philosophy Courses

PHIL 17. Informal Logic

PHIL 30. Ethics and the Law

PHIL 43. Religion and American Law

PHIL 44. Free Speech, Hate Speech, and Civil Discourse

PHIL 45. Civility and Democracy

PHIL 108. Special Topics in Applied Ethics: The Moral and Legal Status of Prenatal Humans

PHIL 117. Bioethics and the Law

PHIL 118. Ethics and Constitutional Law

PHIL 119. Ethics and Criminal Law

PHIL 123. Philosophy of Law

Political Science Courses

POLI 45. Criminal Justice System

POLI 125. International Law

POLI 159. The Constitution and Liberty

POLI 160. The Constitution and Equality

POLI 161. Law and Politics in the United States

POLI 171/WGST. 118 Women and Law

Psychology Courses

PSYC 155. Psychology and Law

Sociology Courses

SOCI 159. Sociology of Crime

SOCI 160. Sociology of Law

SOCI 161. Sociology of Criminal Justice Systems

SOCI 162. Gender and Justice

SOCI 176. Elder Law

Theatre Courses

THTR 8. Acting for Nonmajors

THTR 21. Voice I: Voice, Speech, and Presentation Skills

Gender Studies Courses

Women’s and Gender Studies 118. Gender and the Law in the U.S.

Women’s and Gender Studies 189. Sex, Law, and Social Justice