Pre-Law at Augustana
About the program
- The strong liberal arts curriculum provided by Augustana, featuring breadth and depth of study, is the best preparation for law school and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). While students preparing to become lawyers may choose any academic major, their liberal arts base is the key to developing the ability to think critically, to read and comprehend complex materials, to communicate effectively, and to research and defend a position or argument.
Political science professor David Dehnel, left, poses with officers of the Pre-Law Club and guest speaker Judge Thomas Lytton (center) after the Constitution Day lecture 2009. The students are, from left, Scott Schweickert, Jessica Spitzer and Karalyn Jevaney. Judge Lytton discussed the legacy of Chief Justice John Marshall, the longest serving chief justice in United States history.
- Pre-Law Advising is headed by Professor Dehnel of the Political Science Department. The Department also sponsors the Pre-Law Club and offers extensive coursework in law and politics. Dr. Dehnel works one-on-one to adapt the Pre-Law program to each student's interests.
Outside the classroom
- Students interested in law school often participate in the pre-law club. Activities include LSAT practice, speakers and law school visits. Other activities sponsored by the political science department that may interest pre-law students include Model United Nations, Model Illinois Government, and the Politics Club.
- Students who wish to further develop their skills in speaking and argumentation may participate in Augustana's nationally recognized debate program. In all, Augustana offers more than 150 co- and extra-curricular organizations.
- Beyond the rigorous academic program and liberal arts background, Augustana's community and learning environment are ideal for pre-law students for important social reasons: students here find encouragement and many opportunities to develop their citizenship and leadership qualities. In the competitive law school admission process, these characteristics combined with strong mentoring and high scholastic ability make our graduates stand apart.
What students say
Kathryn Abbott '08, political science, philosophy and public administration majors; law student at Notre Dame:
" Law school can be intimidating, but my experience at Augustana taught me to not be afraid to offer an original thought and think outside the box. Based on what I've seen of the legal world, I expect I will continue to use the important lessons and skills I learned as a political science major at Augustana throughout my legal career."
Becca Richardson '07, political science and history majors; law student at Georgetown University:
"The breadth and depth of classes offered at Augustana gave me a diverse background of knowledge that has been invaluable to my legal studies. In class, I was encouraged to ask not just what happened but to explain why, developing critical thinking skills crucial for law school. Most importantly, my close relationship with the faculty gave me the confidence I needed to put my skills to use both at Augustana and at Georgetown."