Concentration in pre-law to be offered

UND undergraduate students will now be able to get a major with a concentration in pre-law offered by the philosophy and religion department. The curriculum focuses on traditional philosophy while helping students be more prepared for law school with courses specializing in concepts related to law.

A statement released by the department of philosophy and religion said students majoring in pre-law would develop analytical thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, critical reading, advanced writing abilities, oral communication, listening skills and research skills.

“There is a lot of excitement,” philosophy and religion professor Jack Weinstein said. “There is one student who is walking around telling everyone she will be the first pre-law major to graduate. There has been a good buzz, and I think we are going to see enrollment increase significantly in the major within the next few semesters.”

Within the philosophy and religion department, students can choose between three different concentrations to focus their studies on: religion, philosophy and, now, pre-law.

“We think that the new Pre-Law concentration at UND will not only be a beacon for students who have an interest in pursuing law, but will also help many other students who are interested in philosophy and religion come to realize that majoring in these fields can open up a plethora of options, post graduation,” philosophy and religion professor Rebecca Rozelle-Stone said.

Weinstein and assistant professor Lucian Stone, along with other philosophy professors at UND have worked toward developing the new curriculum throughout the past year.  The curriculum will require students to take 18 credits in courses like philosophy, logic, law and ethics. Students will also be required to take three additional credits in ethics, nine credits in social-political philosophy, six elective credits.

Rozelle-Stone said these courses will be more pertinent for pre-law students’ interests and the skill sets needed to be successful in the LSAT.  Rozelle-Stone also said statistics show students who major in philosophy have higher LSAT scores than students in other majors and also tend to have higher acceptance rates into law school than economics, political science, history, psychology, accounting and business management majors.

“Philosophy is a good track for employment,” Weinstein said.

Students can begin to enroll in the pre-law major now. Eight courses for the pre-law concentration are already scheduled for the Fall 2014 semester.

A reception was held March 24 for students interested in learning more about pre-law.  Students were able to meet with faculty and learn more about pre-law.

“Simply put, many employers are looking for graduates who can think, be creative, write well, speak coherently and analyze problems logically,” Rozelle-Stone said. “We teach all this through the classes offered in our department.”

Ashley Marquis is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].