Jul 17, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pre-Law Studies

Oakland University does not offer a major or concentration in pre-law studies. Consequently, students planning to attend law school after graduation must select a major in addition to the pre-professional studies designation, pre-law studies. Students should choose a major in which they have both interest and aptitude; the particular major is less important for admission to law school than the overall success in courses chosen. Success is generally measured by the cumulative grade point average and the score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Rather than mastery of any particular subject matter, law schools require that incoming students possess certain basic skills. These skills include critical reasoning and the ability to write and speak in a coherent and precise manner. Students are advised to select rigorous course work aimed at developing strong reading, writing and reasoning skills; and to plan undergraduate course work with an eye toward long-term plans within the legal profession. Because there is no set of specific courses  necessary for admission to, or success in, American law schools, there is no formal pre-law curriculum at Oakland University. Students are directed to consider courses in three categories as described below and to choose courses that they believe will help them to develop skills or acquire knowledge that may be beneficial during or after law school. None of these courses are required or necessarily recommended for all prelaw students.

1. Development of fundamental abilities of reasoning and written communication

Although most introductory courses in all of the liberal arts disciplines serve this purpose, particularly relevant courses are

Additional information

Students are cautioned against overemphasizing law-related courses in their undergraduate training. Law schools virtually never give credit for these courses, either for placement or graduation, and are inclined to believe an education featuring these courses to be too narrow in scope. Undergraduate education is a distinct and vital part of one’s professional training and should never be regarded simply as a way station before beginning one’s “real” work. It must be emphasized that none of the courses listed here are required of, or restricted to, pre-law students.

Students interested in a career in law should view the pre-law website on the OU website (oakland.edu/prelaw) before meeting with an academic adviser to discuss any unanswered questions. Advising is available through either the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office or Diane Hartmus in the Department of Political Science.