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Pre-Law

With its focus on analytical rigor, critical reasoning and strong communication skills, a Notre Dame education provides excellent preparation for law school.

Students interested in law school can select from a wide variety of majors—including business, economics, communication arts, English, history, international studies, philosophy and political science. Successful law school applicants should have a broad understanding of the factors that have influenced the development of American society. They should be familiar with the fundamentals of political thought and the contemporary American political system. They should also acquire mathematical and financial skills, including an ability to analyze financial data.

Finally, they should possess an understanding of human behavior and social interaction, as well as an understanding of diverse cultures within and beyond the United States, of international institutions and issues, of world events and of the increasing interdependence of the communities within our world.

 Program benefits

For students with a particular interest in law and politics, the political science department offers an intensive law school preparatory curriculum through its Law and Civic Engagement program. The Political Science/Law and Civic Engagement major introduces students to the principal fields of inquiry and intersection within legal systems and political institutions. The program explores the special relationships of women to law and government— aslawmakers, leaders and policymakers.

Course requirements

  • HIS-101 Dynamics of History
  • HIS-401 History and the Historical Narrative
  • HIS-410 Law and Society
  • POL-102 Introduction to American Politics
  • POL-312 Legal Reasoning
  • POL-317 Civic Participation and Leadership
  • POL-361 Methods in Political Science Research
  • POL-412 Constitutional Law
  • POL-440 Global Issues
  • One course in Civil Liberties/Civil Rights
  • Internship/study abroad (typical sites include state and federal courts, the Maryland State Legislature, state agencies, local government bodies, law firms and advocacy groups)
  • Four additional courses at the 300/400 level

 Minor in Law and Civic Engagement

The political science department also offers a minor in Law and Civic Engagement.  When coupled with the student’s major, the Law and Civic Engagement minor prepares students to assume positions of leadership in their communities. For those interested in attending law school, the minor provides a focused set of courses aimed at providing relevant skills and knowledge.

Minor requirements

  • HIS-410 Law and Society
  • POL-102 Introduction to American Politics
  • POL-312 Legal Reasoning
  • POL-317 Civic Participation and Leadership
  • POL-412 Constitutional Law
  • One internship