Gain the foundational knowledge and skills needed to succeed in law school and beyond with our interdisciplinary Pre-Law minor. Explore legal theory, critical thinking and problem-solving while building a strong foundation for a career in law.
The Pre-Law minor provides a background for the study of law through challenging coursework that reinforces and extends the liberal arts foundation gained through the Kent Core. It prepares students for advanced analytical and writing dexterity, and introduces them to the social and governmental structures that underlie the law.
No specific course of study is required for admission to law school. Most law schools require a bachelor’s degree for admission. The bachelor’s degree may be from any discipline or college. Kent State University also has a number of 3+3 agreements with law schools in Ohio. Interested students should consult with the Pre-Law Center.
Law schools and alternative legal employment emphasize the value of reading comprehension, analytical skills, oral advocacy and a good command of written English. While these skills can be obtained in various ways, a general liberal arts background is recommended. Courses in English literature, American history and government are considered essential. Many pre-law students choose a major in political science, history, sociology, psychology, economics or English. A Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree is suitable if carefully planned.
Students considering law as a career should seek individual advising from the Pre-Law Center or in their major department. A list of pre-law advisors is available in the college office. Consultation with a pre-law advisor is urged, regardless of the student's major, minor or college. The Pre-Law Center can also supply information on LSAT registration, pre-law planning guides, information on law school admissions and financial aid information. The center sponsors an inter-collegiate competitive Moot Court team; a Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity; a pre-law club; and a Pre-Law Service, Citizenship and Justice living learning community, as well as law-related scholarships and legal internships.
Admission to a minor is open to students declared in a bachelor’s degree, the A.A.B. or A.A.S. degree or the A.T.S. degree (not Individualized Program major). Students declared only in the A.A. or A.S. degree or the A.T.S. degree in Individualized Program may not declare a minor. Students may not pursue a minor and a major in the same discipline.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Develop reading comprehension, analytical (critical thinking), oral advocacy and writing skills.
- Formulate legal and public policy arguments and apply them to legal practice and alternative non-legal workspaces.
- Organize, compare and apply legal and non-legal strategies that aid in negotiation and reaching settlements or desirable outcomes in contested adversarial disputes in legal and non-legal employment settings.
- Evaluate the operation of the judicial process and the American legal profession within the American political system and global context.
- Interpret the nature of law and politics in the context of adversarial justice.
Course List Code Title Credit Hours Minor Requirements PHIL 11009 CRITICAL THINKING (KADL) 3 or PHIL 21002 INTRODUCTION TO FORMAL LOGIC (KMCR) PLST 28001 LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING 3 POL 10200 INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN LEGAL PROFESSION 3 POL 30130 THE JUDICIAL PROCESS 3 Social Science Electives, choose from the following: 6COMM 45007 FREEDOM OF SPEECHCRIM 12000 INTRODUCTION TO JUSTICE STUDIESCRIM 26704 ISSUES IN LAW AND SOCIETY (KSS)CRIM 33200 CRIMINAL LAWCRIM 34200 CRIMINAL PROCEDURES AND EVIDENCECRIM 46200 ADVANCED CRIMINAL AND LEGAL ISSUESFIN 26074 LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESSFIN 36072 LAW OF COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONSFIN 46072 BUSINESS FINANCIAL DISTRESS AND BANKRUPTCYMDJ 20001 MEDIA, POWER AND CULTURE (DIVD) (KSS)MDJ 40006 LAW OF MEDIA AND JOURNALISMPOL 30100 AMERICAN POLITICAL THEORYPOL 40182 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONSPOL 40183 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES (DIVD)PSYC 30111 FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGYSOC 32762 DEVIANT BEHAVIOR Humanities Elective, choose from the following: 3ENG 30064 ARGUMENTATIVE PROSE WRITINGHIST 31082 HISTORY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS AND BLACK POWER MOVEMENTS IN THE UNITED STATESHIST 41071 IDEAS IN ACTION: U.S. INTELLECTUAL HISTORY (DIVD)PHIL 31035 PHILOSOPHY AND JUSTICE (DIVD)PHIL 41025 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW Legal Practice Skills Elective, choose from the following: 3COMM 35464 ARGUMENTATION AND PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATIONCOMM 45807 HIGH IMPACT PROFESSIONAL SPEAKINGPACS 11001 INTRODUCTION TO CONFLICT MANAGEMENT (DIVD) (KSS)PACS 44040 NEGOTIATIONPACS 48080 MEDIATION: THEORY AND TRAININGPLST 28004 CIVIL PROCEDUREPLST 38005 TORT LAWPLST 48002 CONTRACT LAW Minimum Total Credit Hours: 24
Graduation Requirements Summary - Minors Minimum Minor GPA Minimum Overall GPA 2.000 2.000
- Maximum three courses applied toward a student's major may also be applied toward the Pre-Law minor.
- Minimum 6 credit hours in the minor must be upper-division coursework (30000 and 40000 level).
- Minimum 6 credit hours in the minor must be outside of the course requirements for any major or other minor the student is pursuing.
- Minimum 50 percent of the total credit hours for the minor must be taken at Kent State (in residence).
- It is recommended that students pursuing the Pre-Law minor give strong consideration to the following courses in fulfillment of the Kent Core:
- In the humanities and fine arts category: AFS 23001, AFS 23002, COMM 15000, COMM 26000, HIST 12070, HIST 12071
- In the social sciences category: ECON 22061, POL 10100
- Students are strongly encouraged to consider prerequisites of advanced courses in the Pre-Law minor as they select their Kent Core courses.
- In person
- Kent Campus
- Stark Campus
More About This Program
Kent State’s Political Science Pre-Law Program includes a pre-law minor and:
- Educates students about the law’s role in the civic community, law school, legal practice, and legal (and alternative law-related) careers.
- Trains students to develop the skills crucial to an attorney’s professional life, including reading comprehension of complex legal documents; problem-solving; effective and articulate oral and written communication; logical reasoning and critical analysis; and ethical public service.
- Provides pre-law advice about to how prepare a successful application to law school and thrive in a rigorous graduate law school environment.
- Positions students to compete successfully in obtaining legal and alternative professional careers.
- Through a Pre-Law Service, Citizenship & Justice Living Leaning Community, emphasizes the importance of creating a professional identity that values proactive engagement in providing public service and community outreach in public affairs
- Saves time and costs by participating in a "3 plus 3 Bachelors/Law Accelerated Degree" partnership with Cleveland Marshall's College of Law, a program that permits students to take undergraduate and law school courses simultaneously.
Students receive individual guidance and counseling on:
- Political science and inter-disciplinary undergraduate coursework
- Law school admissions process
- LSAT preparation
- Extracurricular and community service opportunities, including internships and membership on the Kent State's Mock Trial team, the Pre-Law Club, and Phi Alpha Delta (a chapter in a legal fraternity)
- Legal and alternative professional careers
…with an eye toward building a professional identity that understands the paramount significance of creating meaningful and enduring contributions to civic affairs through responsible and ethical public service.
In recent years, Kent State students have been accepted into:
- Top law schools including Cornell Law School, Emory University School of Law, Penn State University Dickinson Law School, Notre Dame Law School, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, Harvard, Columbia, New York University, University of Chicago, Pennsylvania, and California-Berkeley.
- Kent State remains an important feeder school for Ohio law schools
Dr. Christopher P. Banks, J.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pre-Law Advisor advises students on:
- Planning for law school
- The LSAT
- Researching law schools
- Questions about law school admissions
- Personal Statement/Resume Reviews
- Exploring legal careers/majors
Students interested in pre-law should review Kent State's Political Science Pre-Law Advising Guide, which includes detailed information for pre-law students on:
Note that advisors in the College of Arts & Sciences may provide general guidance to students about pre-professional study; but college advisors do not focus or specialize on any specific program or degree. Students with questions about university or college requirements, graduation planning, or non-major/minor related questions should make an appointment with the advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences. You can do so in person at 105 Bowman Hall or schedule an appointment online.
Email Professor Christopher Banks in political science and request to be added to the Pre-Law listserv to receive newsletters and emails regarding pre-law programming.
Scheduling an Appointment
You may schedule an appointment with a Professor Banks in political science about pre-law advice; or, for general advisement about Kent State degree programs, using KSU Advising.