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 Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development, 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 111, Introduction to Microeconomics
HIST 117 & 118, American History
Law and Policy:
LAWP 248, The Judiciary
LAWP 255, Philosophy of Law
PHIL 102, Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 103, Logic
POSC 120, American Government
POSC 220 & 221, Constitutional Law I, II
POSC 246, The Legislative Process
Students should take several courses coded as Writing in the Discipline (WID) to refine their writing, research, and argument-formation skills.
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 cumulative grade point average at or above Dickinson Law's most recently reported median (currently a 3.34), and achieve a score on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) that is greater than or equal to Dickinson Law's most recently reported median (currently a 159). After one year of successful study at Dickinson Law, the 3-3 student will earn their baccalaureate degree from Dickinson College. After two additional years of study at Dickinson Law, the student will complete the law program and earn their 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 Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development, 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 Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development 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. There are several offered throughout the year in a variety of locations. More information about LSAT prep courses can be found on the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development's web site under "Students", "Entrance Exams," and finally "Preparing for Grad Exams".
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.