Ready yourself to lead in the field of law

About Pre-Law at Keuka College

Through exposure to political science, psychology, sociology, and criminal justice, our pre-law minor provides the necessary foundation to pursue law school, and law-related careers. This hands-on minor prepares you with writing, critical thinking and reasoning skills, through classes that range from American government to predatory crime and violence.

Paired with the recommended major in political science and history, you’ll have the opportunity to personalize your study of the law through Field Period™ experiences with law offices, district attorneys, public defenders, and organizations in the criminal justice system.

Pre-Law Program Highlights

Exploration & Experience

Personalize your exploration of the legal field through our  annual required Field Period™ program, a 140-hour, real-world experience of your choose. Work in law firms, courthouses, legal agencies and more. You can explore the field of law as a potential career before you graduate!

Leadership Development

Through mentoring, classwork and personal development, your Keuka College education will help you develop the critical thinking, analytic, and writing skills needed to succeed in law school.

Career Preparation

Law schools want strong students, so your Keuka College pre-law minor will help you build skills and a strong knowledge base in political science, history, and law to build a successful career.

Explore Pre-Law

Program Overview

If you’re looking to pursue a future in law, Keuka College offers a pre-law minor to help get you there. You’ll gain an understanding of liberal-arts based theories in history, political and behavioral sciences, as well as practical applications in criminal justice, sociology, and psychology.

With classes that cover a range of topics from constitutional law and American government, to white collar and corporate crime, studying pre-law program gives you a solid foundation needed to enter law school and pursue law-related careers. You’ll learn writing, critical thinking and reasoning, and even non-fiction storytelling, and will amass a toolkit of transferable skills that will set you apart. Whether inside an application pool at a top law school, or making your case at a courthouse, you’ll be prepared for professional success.  

In addition to working with your advisor to personalize your study and ensure ample preparation for the LSAT exam, you’ll conduct a Field Period™ each year and gain 140 hours of hands-on experience inside law offices or legal agencies, with state or county attorneys or public defenders, and para-legal branches of the criminal justice system. Paired with the recommended major in political science and history, you’ll be well prepared in your pursuit of a career in the legal field.

Program Requirements

Faculty

Our seasoned faculty include professors with experience in the fields of national and international history, constitutional law, and sociology, as well as the globalization of the U.S. Supreme Court, public and foreign policy. One faculty advisor for pre-law students holds degrees in political science from Romania and Hungary, and focuses her studies on the new challenges posed by globalization for national institutions such as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Faculty in the Division of Basic and Applied Social Sciences

Digital Learning

There are many ways to apply your digital knowledge to the law and social sciences, and learn to analyze social data to understand how information circulates through interpersonal and public networks. By using computational tools, you can aid in historic fact-finding, identify patterns within population groups, or even track and perhaps predict criminal movements using GPS data gleaned from cell towers.

You can analyze data and incorporate your advanced critical thinking skills to identify and resolve problems encountered within the field of law. Or, develop technology that helps lawyers examine common themes in jurisdiction, and legal precedence.

Global Education

For more than 30 years, Keuka College students, alumni and friends of the College have enjoyed traveling for Field Period™ with faculty from the political science and history program. Having a Ph.D. historian or political scientist lead a group learning process opens doors to the significance of culture, architecture, political events, and history itself.

In recent years, a handful of Keuka College professors from across multiple academic disciplines have begun coordinating the annual group Field Period™ trips for students. Students and professors have traveled to Eastern European cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Italy, England, Ireland, France, Hungary, and Romania.

Pre-law students can also gain exposure right away to the legal environment, including sites at law offices or legal agencies, at state or county attorneys and public defenders offices, and para-legal branches of the criminal justice system.

Extracurriculars

There are several opportunities to gain real-world experience in the pre-law minor. You can join the Political Science, History, and Pre-Law Club and participate in several annual activities including voter registration drives, visits to law schools, and trips to statehouses serving as local, state and national seats of government.

CLEO Scholars Program

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity Scholars program (CLEO) assists minority and low-income students in their quest to attend law school. Upon acceptance, you can attend workshops on LSAT preparation, and network with practicing attorneys and legal specialists at no cost to the students.

Fordham Law Summer Institute

For nearly 10 years, the Fordham Law Summer Institute in New York City has provided foreign-trained lawyers and students with an introduction to the U.S. legal system and various topics of U.S. law deemed most important in today’s global economy. I eligible, you’ll be exposed to social events and other opportunities that enable you to build your professional network.

Pi Gamma Mu

Pi Gamma Mu is the International Honor Society in Social Science. Each year Social Sciences Faculty members nominate junior and senior students for membership in recognition of their scholastic success in social science courses and overall.

Award Opportunities

Judge Frederick D. Dugan Award

Judge Frederick D. Dugan, a Penn Yan native, served in both Yates County and Supreme Court venues during his time as a Judge. His wife, Marcia, established this scholarship in honor of her husband to support local students majoring in political science who show promise for success in law school. This scholarship is given to candidates, preferably from Yates County, who show strong potential based on GPA and Field Period™ experiences as future legal leaders. The recipient is expected to follow in Judge Dugan’s footsteps both in law school and future career.  

Preparing for Law School

What are the recommended pre-law courses available at Keuka College?

There is no defined set of courses required for law school admission, but the courses listed for the pre-law minor will help familiarize you with the legal process and concepts. In addition, consider the following courses because they will build skills that will prepare you for the logic-based questions found on the LSAT.

ECO 210: Principles of Microeconomics

PHL 115: Ethics

What are the most important elements of a successful law school application?

Law school admissions committees look at the entire applicant package, but the single two most important factors are your LSAT score and GPA. Pre-law advisors therefore typically recommend that rather than major in an “expected” pre-law subject, you choose the major in which you are most likely to excel. You should also plan on beginning to prepare for the LSAT, which is usually taken the fall of your senior year, at least six months in advance with numerous opportunities to take practice exams.

Are there additional resources available to students interested in pre-law?

Yes. The following resources are available to all students, including those without the pre-law minor:

Free LSAT (Law School Admission Test) prep materials.

Access to law school admissions prep seminars.

Visits from law school recruiters.

Group trips to visit local law schools and admissions fairs.

General support and strategies for the application process.

Preparing for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test):

The LSAT is required by most law schools for student seeking admission and is offered four times each year. Keuka College students in the pre-law track usually take the LSAT in June following their junior year or in the fall of their senior year.

Because the top law schools seek applicants with high scores (approximately 170 out of 180), you’ll be challenged and supported through an intensive six-month preparation including formal study groups, sample LSAT exams and personal guidance from our Pre-Law professors.

Alumni Success

Our preparation program works. To date, every single Keuka College student who desires to attend law school has been accepted, giving us a 100 percent success rate. Our students have been accepted to law schools across the nation, including: Ohio Northern Law School, Syracuse University Law School, University of Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo Law School), Duquesne University

Mitchell Hamline School of Law (St. Paul, Minnesota), Stetson University College of Law (Gulfport, Florida), University of Pennsylvania Law School (Penn Law). and Tulane Law School.

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