Dickinson has a long history of sending its graduates to some of the most prestigious law schools in the nation. Law school admissions committees agree that the most appropriate and beneficial preparation for law school is a traditional liberal arts education combined with relevant extracurricular experiences. Coordinated by the Career Center, pre-law advising at Dickinson incorporates these elements in a comprehensive approach to pre-legal studies.
Law schools do not have a preferred undergraduate major, so the courses listed below are a compilation of classes designed to introduce students to the skills and issues related to the study of law. Students may wish to use some of these courses as distribution requirements or as electives to strengthen their preparation for law school.
ECON 100, Contemporary Economics or
ECON 111, Introduction to Microeconomics
HIST 117 & 118, American History
Law and Policy:
LAWP 248, The Judiciary
LAWP 255, Philosophy of Law
PHIL 102, Moral Reasoning
PHIL 103, Logic
POSC 120, American Government
POSC 220 & 221, Constitutional Law I, II
POSC 246, The Legislative Process
Students should take several writing intensive courses to refine their writing, research, and argument-formation skills.
ENGL 212, Writing: Special Topics
ENGL 220, Critical Approaches and Literary Methods
Any of the literature courses offered by the department
Joint Baccalaureate and Law Degree Program
Students attending Dickinson have the opportunity to earn both a baccalaureate degree and a law degree through a joint Dickinson College/Penn State Dickinson School of Law program. This arrangement, also known as the 3+3 Program, allows a student to begin law school during his/her senior year of college. To qualify for this program, a student must complete all Dickinson College degree requirements within three years (save for the final year’s electives), attain a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, and achieve a score on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) within the top 30% of the national test-takers. After one year of successful study at the School of Law, the 3-3 student will earn his or her baccalaureate degree from Dickinson College. After two additional years of study at the School of Law, the student will complete the law program and earn his or her JD degree.
In addition to the recommended courses and the Dickinson School of Law agreement, the Pre-Law advising and preparation includes individual advising appointments and workshops. Located in the Career Center, the Pre-law advisor handles the advising for any student interested in the study of law. The Pre-law advisor helps students with their decision to go to law school, provides guidance in their school selection, and assists students in the completion of their applications. The law related workshops that are sponsored by the Career Center provide information on the law school application process and undergraduate pre-law preparation.
The best preparation for the LSAT is taking timed practice tests. For students who wish to take a preparation class, Kaplan offers LSAT Prep Courses at Dickinson each semester. Dickinson students receive a discount off the publishing price of the course. The classes focuses on test-taking strategies, question analysis, and logic reviews. more information about the course and how to register can be found on the Career Center's website under "Students", "Entrance Exams," and finally "Graduate and Professional School Exam Prep Courses"
American Mock Trial Association
The mock trial team competes at a regional and national level. This opportunity provides both an invaluable introduction to the litigation process and a practical venue for students to express their interest in law.