The prelaw program at Gettysburg College has two distinct aspects.
The first is academic advising in regard to how each major on campus can be helpful, how an integrated approach maximizes the potential of the Gettysburg Curriculum, and which courses provide the knowledge expected at law school, including:
- American Government
- Introduction to Economics
- Logic and/or Critical Thinking
This aspect also includes advice on all things law-school related, from whether or not to go to law school, whether to take time off before going, to how to succeed at the LSAT and how to write a personal statement and resume so the two weave together a better story than either tell independently, all provided by a former attorney now on faculty. When it comes to the application process, in particular when we offer on-campus LSAT prep courses and obtaining an internship or externship, Prelaw coordinates with the Center for Career Development.
The second aspect is advice on the creation of law-related independent majors, which is run through the Interdisciplinary Studies. Some examples have been an examination of evil in the criminal justice system, combining classes from Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy, as well as several of the LAW courses offered in IDS; A comparison of Gettysburg police and campus safety with the equivalent bodies in a college town in Australia; A comparison of criminal justice systems seen through the focus of serial killers, which involves overseas programs in Denmark and Beijing. In short, with the college's own offerings, combined with many and varied overseas programs, students are able to study the law as an academic pursuit in almost any fashion imaginable.
It should be noted that while there is a considerable amount of overlap - including the same advisor - many of the law-related independent majors go on to grad school, jobs in policing or the penal systems, rather than directly to law school.
Students are encouraged to contact the College prelaw advisor, Thomas F. Jurney, JD, in 407 Weidensall.
Some of the LAW courses available through IDS, as well as a small sampling of law-related courses, are listed below:
LAW 250 Criminal Justice
LAW 251 Law in Film
LAW 260 American Trial; Reality and Media Mirror
LAW 359 Down by Law
AFS 267 Race, Gender and the Law
BUS-363 Business Law
HIST 334 Law and Society in United States History
HIST-424 Race on Trial
IDS-224 Justice & the Contested Corporation
MGT 438 The Bandits of Wall Street
OMS-417 Law and Organizations: Property, Liberty, and Society
PHIL-338 Philosophy of Law
POL-225 American Constitutional Law
POL-322 Civil Rights & Liberties
SOC-212 Deviance, Diversity & Difference