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Captshady
01-19-2009, 09:02 PM
My characters are following a pre-Law degree curriculum, or a political science degree. Could someone give me a subject or course name for someone in their 3rd year? I understand that they could potentially be taking Intro To Accounting, or a Business Speech class, but I was hoping to use one relevant to the major, to emphasize their plans.

ideagirl
01-19-2009, 09:21 PM
My characters are following a pre-Law degree curriculum, or a political science degree. Could someone give me a subject or course name for someone in their 3rd year? I understand that they could potentially be taking Intro To Accounting, or a Business Speech class, but I was hoping to use one relevant to the major, to emphasize their plans.

Pre-law? No such thing. In the US there is no pre-law major, and in every other country on earth (that I'm aware of) law is an undergraduate degree, so again, there's no pre-law there--just law.

In the US, you can attend law school with absolutely any undergraduate major. In my law school class there were a lot of English, Philosophy and Poli Sci majors; a fair number of history and foreign language/area studies majors; lots of science and engineering majors (most of them wanted to practice patent law); some anthropology and psychology majors; and even several fine-arts majors.

So just pick whatever majors your characters would be likely to have chosen, and give them appropriate junior-year classes for that major.

And if your MS is not set in the US, then they're studying law, not pre-law. Go to the website of a UK or Canadian law school (or whatever country they're in) and see what the curriculum is.

Mike Martyn
01-20-2009, 12:47 AM
Pre-law? No such thing. In the US there is no pre-law major, and in every other country on earth (that I'm aware of) law is an undergraduate degree, so again, there's no pre-law there--just law.

In the US, you can attend law school with absolutely any undergraduate major. In my law school class there were a lot of English, Philosophy and Poli Sci majors; a fair number of history and foreign language/area studies majors; lots of science and engineering majors (most of them wanted to practice patent law); some anthropology and psychology majors; and even several fine-arts majors.

So just pick whatever majors your characters would be likely to have chosen, and give them appropriate junior-year classes for that major.

And if your MS is not set in the US, then they're studying law, not pre-law. Go to the website of a UK or Canadian law school (or whatever country they're in) and see what the curriculum is.


All the above applies to Canada. My undergraduate degree was in engineering. For one of my children, it was poli sci. There is no such thing as "pre-law".

Captshady
01-20-2009, 01:14 AM
Okay, they're studying Political Science.

Kazel
01-22-2009, 06:21 AM
Most colleges now have their required curriculum and general course catalogs posted online. UC Berkeley's Poli Sci major requirements (http://www.polisci.berkeley.edu/ugrad/requirements-prior-to-fall2008.htm) and Berkeley's General Course Catalog (http://catalog.berkeley.edu/)

Also, pre-law may be like pre-med, where its not necessarily the actual major of the person, but its a "track" that they are on. People who say they are pre-med likely mean that they are taking the classes required for med school applications, and pursuing activities and internships that will look good on med school applications. You may want to check out the application requirements for law school to see what you characters would be doing in the way of pre law. The requirements are likely relatively easy to find online.

IceCreamEmpress
01-22-2009, 07:14 AM
In the US, a classic course for a Political Science major who hopes to go to law school is a course on US Constitutional Law.

ideagirl
01-23-2009, 12:50 AM
Also, pre-law may be like pre-med, where its not necessarily the actual major of the person, but its a "track" that they are on. People who say they are pre-med likely mean that they are taking the classes required for med school applications, and pursuing activities and internships that will look good on med school applications. You may want to check out the application requirements for law school to see what you characters would be doing in the way of pre law. The requirements are likely relatively easy to find online.

Once again, there is no such thing as a "pre-law" track, and in the US there are no law school requirements that you have taken certain courses. All you need is a Bachelors degree, IN ANY SUBJECT, with any courses; there simply are no specific educational requirements beyond the need to have a Bachelors degree. A poli sci major who intended to go to law school may well take a course or two about the US Constitution, but there's no requirement that they do so.

As for other countries, law is typically an undergraduate degree so the admission requirements relate to your high school experience.

You're right that academic requirements for all subjects are generally online these days, at the schools' websites. So that would be the right place to look when one has this kind of question.

IceCreamEmpress
01-23-2009, 08:41 PM
A poli sci major who intended to go to law school may well take a course or two about the US Constitution, but there's no requirement that they do so.

Yes.

However, all the now-lawyers I went to college with took a very popular course on the Constitution. So it would be very realistic for Captshady's characters to choose that kind of course, even though it is not required in any way.

That was what I meant by "classic"--when a friend of mine took the course, other friends asked him if he was going to change his mind and go to law school instead of grad school. He is now a professor of US history, but at my school that course was so associated in people's minds with future attorneys that that was their first reaction.

Sorry for having not been clear about this in my earlier post!

Captshady
01-23-2009, 08:46 PM
I've now got the impression that if you ask anyone what they're majoring in, and get the answer "pre-law or pre-med," they're being a bit pretentious LOL. Like 'oh, I don't want to tell you biology or political science, because then you wouldn't know that I intend to be a doctor or lawyer.'

Teriann
01-23-2009, 09:05 PM
I believe some universities have a prelaw type major. A friend went to UC Santa Barbara, and she took a lot of criminal law and criminal procedure as an undergraduate. I think the standard undergraduate class, though, would be constitutional law, or an American Studies type of class which examines the constitution and structure of government.

Sacramento State also has a department called Criminal Justice. They send some folks to law school but most become police officers and investigators.

reenkam
01-23-2009, 10:46 PM
I went to my school's course list and found these:

Comparative Politics
American Foreign Policy
Urban Politics in the US
Policy Making in American Politics
International Security
International Political Economy
International Law and Institutions
Modern Political Thought
Contemporary Political Thought
Political Geography
Politics, Society, and Social Science
Contemporary American Politics
Political Economy of East Asia
Comparative South Asian Politics
Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
Religion and US Public Policy

There are some others. Those are all Poli Sci classes.

Also, at my school, you can take classes at the Law school like

Constitutional Law
Criminal Law
Intro IP Law and Policy (I don't know what IP means)
Property
Law and Economics
Globalization and Law
Legal Responses to Inequality

and lots more. those are all 500 level classes meaning (I think) that undergraduates can take them (I'm an English major and that's true for the English department, so I'm assuming...)

We don't have an actual pre-law major here, but you can go to career services or something and they have pre-law advisors. I checked that site and they recommend taking Legal Studies classes like:

INTRO TO LAW & LEG PROC
LAW OF CORP MGMT & FNCE
REAL ESTATE LAW
LAW OF MKTG & ANTITRUST
NEGOTIATION/CONFLICT RES

(sorry about the caps and shorthand, I got tired of typing the names so I copy/pasted it)

I hope this helped you somewhat!

WriteKnight
01-24-2009, 12:36 AM
IP law is 'Intellectual Properties" - Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents - that sort of thing. VERY important for us writerly types...

Again, there is no 'official' pre-law track - but it's fine if you want to establish that your MC's school offered courses that were commonly taken by those interested in a law or criminal justice career.

Zelenka
01-24-2009, 07:54 AM
I did a pre-law course before I started my law degree, but it was designed for mature students who hadn't been to school in a few years. We studied Law, Politics and English, out of a choice of about a dozen subjects, because we were told this was the combination the law schools preferred. In politics we studied things like Local Government and Administration, The Electoral System of the UK and Scottish Parliament, Prime-ministerial roles in government / Constitutional Studies, and trade unionism. In Law, we did introductions to Criminal Law, Contract Law, Legal Ethics (Euthanasia in particular) and Moveable Property Law (ie the law for property not including land or houses).

Richard White
01-24-2009, 07:46 PM
When I was in school, I worked with the Criminal Justice Department to create a Pre-Law Minor for myself to get ready for Law School. Give me some time to look up my transcript and I'll post what classes I had.

My "individualized" minor was 30 hours vs. the normal 20, but it was specifically oriented toward "law" vice the usual CJAD mixture of law, corrections, police procedural and other stuff.

semilargeintestine
01-25-2009, 01:04 AM
I've now got the impression that if you ask anyone what they're majoring in, and get the answer "pre-law or pre-med," they're being a bit pretentious LOL. Like 'oh, I don't want to tell you biology or political science, because then you wouldn't know that I intend to be a doctor or lawyer.'

You hit the nail on the head. There is no pre-med or pre-law. Certain schools will have them listed along a degree in biology or political science, but this is usually to show students that the specific major has the prerequisites built into the curriculum, so no additional courses are necessary (this doesn't apply to law school, since there are no prerequisites; however, podiatry school, PA school, med school, dental school, optometry school, veterinary school, etc. all have a specific course list that are necessary before matriculation).

When people say they are pre-law or pre-med, they want you to say, "Wow, a future doctor/lawyer! You must be really smart!" Usually, I just nod and smile, but if I'm in a bad mood, I will call them out on it and make them feel stupid.