The Legal Studies Program of SUU is part of the Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice but works with students from all majors who have an interest in a future career in law as an attorney or paralegal. On the other hand, “prelaw” is an academic path that indicates a student has a desire to attend law school and then become an attorney. Law schools that are accredited by the American Bar Association admit students from all walks of life with a variety of degrees in many, different majors. Thus, there is no particular “prelaw” major that future lawyers must follow. However, whatever major selected should be in an area of study that interests and challenges the student. In fact, the American Bar Association encourages students take “a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors” as an “excellent preparation for legal education. A sound legal education will build upon and further refine the skills, values, and knowledge that [students] already possess.”
Students wishing to become paralegals working in a law firm or other legal environment are encouraged to obtain the AAS degree in Paralegal Studies offered through the Legal Studies Program. Students who seek to become attorneys may pursue any Bachelor’s degree. However, SUU does offer law-related curriculum although one is not required to attend law school. In this regard, SUU offers a “prelaw” track in its Political Science major and a Legal Studies minor that may be sought by students of any major. In addition, some students may wish to obtain an AAS degree in Paralegal Studies before, or while, working toward their Bachelor’s. Even if the Paralegal Studies degree is not sought, “prelaw” students may still wish to take several of its law-related courses, especially Introduction to Law and Legal Research and Writing. Note: other disciplines offer law-related courses from Constitutional Law in Political Science to Criminal Law in Criminal Justice and Deductive Logic in Philosophy to Business Law in Accounting.
The Legal Studies Program also includes Legal Scholars Program and Legal Studies Student Association (LSSA). Legal Scholars and LSSA work together to offer many activities and events for prelaw and paralegal students including field trips and law school admissions workshops. Christine Taylor, the university’s prelaw advisor, serves as the director of the Legal Studies & Legal Scholars Programs. She also provides enhanced advising regarding law school admissions and law office employment. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.