St. Andrews’ Pre-Law Curriculum is designed to help you develop the fundamental skills lawyers need and law schools look for.
In addition to the in-depth work you’ll do in your chosen major, the Pre-Law Curriculum will foster your powers of critical reasoning, articulation, and argumentation. It will give you practice in knowing how to do background research, present your ideas persuasively, and think on your feet. It will also give you the basic grounding in the historical, economic, political and philosophical topics lawyers need to “make the case.”
The Pre-Law Curriculum is a set of courses from which you and your adviser will select at least 6 to include in your schedule. This course of study was designed in consultation with practicing lawyers and admissions counselors from prestigious law schools to reflect the sort of undergraduate background law schools look for in prospective students.
St. Andrews your Pre-Law work will be done in conjunction with our unique SAGE program, a set of interactive educational experiences giving all of our students practice in collaborative learning. Law, in large part, is interactive. That means your success in law will depend not only on your intellectual skills independently exercised but on your ability to collaborate, consult, and cooperate – in short to interact with others toward common purposes. SAGE reflects our philosophy of education at St. Andrews: we believe that interactive skills lead to richer learning experiences. SAGE will help you connect with other people, to understand problems from their perspective, to defend your position and to work cooperatively – some of the very skills successful lawyers most need to develop.
There’s another edge you’ll have with a St. Andrews Pre-Law background. You can work with your Pre-Law adviser and your major adviser to design a course of study reflecting your particular interests in law. Perhaps it’s sports law you’re interested in, or environmental law, or communications law, or business law. We’ll help you develop a background in Pre-Law appropriate to your personal interests.
St. Andrews graduates and others practicing law form an informal network ready to provide you with off-campus advice and hands-on experience. They are eager to take you under their wing for an internship experience that will give you a taste of the professional life lawyers lead. This might be in any aspect of the law, from general criminal and civil practice. It might be in tax accounting at the a State Attorney’s Office, in the Office of Staff Judge Advocate, the U.S. Army; a Law Enforcement Department; a county Juvenile Court, or a county Clerk of Court, to name a few. Our students have also enjoyed successful internships at corporations such as IBM and Rockwell International and at institutions such as the National Archives, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Zoological Park Conservation and Research Center.