Feb 27, 2024  
2023-2024 University Bulletin 
2023-2024 University Bulletin

Pre-Law Minor

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The courses required for the pre-law minor are selected to create a rigorous and challenging foundation in legal philosophy, skills, and ideas. All these courses will help to prepare the student not just for entrance into law school, but also for success once there. There are two general categories of courses, Legal Thinking and Legal Ideas and Skills. Internships are encouraged for students wishing to attend law school, but hours may not be applied to the minor.

Minor Requirements:

Students must complete the required seven courses (21 credit hours) in all six of the following areas:

Legal Thinking

The following courses are selected to help the student enter the world of legal thinking through an understanding of legal processes and how one may approach legal questions.

Introduction to Law

Constitutional law courses are required at all law schools and students entering into an accelerated program will take a constitutional law class in the second semester of their first year. These courses provide the introduction and upper-level challenge necessary for success in law school. Complete two of the following four courses:

Philosophical Thinking

The philosophical foundation of law is addressed in all law schools and an approach to problems that demand abstract thinking and logical reasoning is essential to success in law school. These challenging courses help students learn “how to think” and approach problems in a rigorous intellectual way.

Complete one of the following courses:

Legal Approaches

The field of law has gained immensely from its study from more than just a purely legal perspective. These include advanced psychological studies of individual behavior and the application of law in business. Of particular importance is the field of criminology. These courses are selected to expose students to these important perspectives in preparation for the diversity of opportunities available following law school.

Two courses, as indicated below:

Legal Ideas and Skills

Legal ideas and skills courses are selected to help the student develop skills and knowledge through improved writing, reading, and understanding of areas of knowledge that may aid in their pursuit of a legal career.

Writing Skills

Writing skills are essential for success in law school and as a lawyer. Of the 12 books John Marshall Law School advises incoming students to read, four of them are on grammar and writing. Because of this fact, students, with prior approval, may opt for two courses from this section for 6 credit hours (the second writing course can be used in place of a course from one of the other requirements).

Complete at least one of the following courses (permission to use two writing courses in the minor can be requested of the minor director): 

Legal Ideas and Additional Skills

All of these courses are selected to challenge students and expose them to different perspectives on thinking and law that they may encounter in the future as they pursue a more specific law degree and practice. Of particular note is the availability of oral communication courses at Dominican. Oral communication is an important component of law school courses and the practice of law. Students who identify room for improvement in this area should take advantage of these courses and consult the communication arts and sciences department about the increased value of a minor in the field.

Complete one of the following courses:

Additional Information

  • Four of the courses must be from outside the student’s major department.
  • Only the stated number of courses will count toward the minor from each section, except the English writing courses, where a student may request credit for two courses. The extra English writing course may replace any other required course in the program.
  • Internships are encouraged for students wishing to attend law school, but hours may not be applied to the minor.
  • At least four courses credited to the minor must be taken at Dominican University.

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