Suggested Courses

The following lists of courses are based on recommendations from a faculty survey and the Pre-Law Advising Committee. The courses are grouped into two areas: 1) pre-law skills and 2) law-related courses. Please bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. These are only some of the courses relevant to skills needed for pre-law.

While acceptance to law school is not contingent on any particular major, the American Bar Association recommends that students obtain skills in seven areas:

  1. analytic and problem-solving skills
  2. critical reading abilities
  3. writing skills
  4. oral communication and listening abilities
  5. general research skills
  6. task organization and management skills
  7. the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice

Note:

  • Lynchburg College does not offer a pre-law major or minor.
  • Students from any Lynchburg College major may apply to law school.
  • Students must complete at least one of the existing majors at Lynchburg College for graduation.
  • All courses at Lynchburg College will provide one or more of the requisite skills for pre-law preparation.

Pre-law Skills

  • Analytic Reasoning/Problem-Solving
  • Critical Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral Communication
  • Research
  • Task Organization/Management
  • Ethics/Service to others

Suggested Courses

Courses that fulfill General Education requirements are indicated by (General Education) following their titles.

COMM 101 Argumentation and Practical Reasoning (General Education)
This course in oral argumentation emphasizes student ability to support and refute claims, master linear organization, and deliver arguments confidently and effectively. In creating and delivering arguments across topics and disciplines, students are introduced to such basics of critical thinking as inductive and deductive reasoning, recognition of fallacies, and argument analysis.

COMM 128 Public Speaking
This course provides guidance and practice in the delivery of speeches for both formal and informal occasions.

COMM 230 Persuasion
This course examines theory and practice in understanding persuasion as a means of advocacy and social influence and how it applies to the area of politics, advertising, public speaking, and other communication settings.

COMM 232 Argumentation and Debate
This performance course examines the substantive structure and strategic bases of argumentation and debate. Students participate in formal debates, including a mock court case.

CS 131 Fundamentals of Programming in Basic
An Introduction to Visual Basic Programming. Students learn fundamentals of programming, including use of variables, arrays, various control structures, subroutines, and file I/O.

ECON 201 Principles of Economics-Micro (General Education)
This study of basic economic principles and the structure and functioning of a modern economy serves as an introductory-level course to microeconomics.

ECON 202 Principles of Economics-Macro (General Education)
This study of basic economic principles and the structure and functioning of a private enterprise economy serves as an introduction to macroeconomics and is a prerequisite for all economics courses numbered 301 and above.

ENGL 203 Expository Writing Prerequisite: ENGL 111/112 or equivalent.
This course continues the development of the writer's abilities to generate, edit, and refine written compositions through the study of professional and student expository prose. Particular attention is given to the improvement of composing methods and to the expansion of the writer's range.

ENGL 346 Creative Non-Fiction Writing Prerequisite: ENGL 205 or consent of instructor.
Application of the "tools of the fiction writer" (i.e. structure, characterization, sensory detail) to the writing of non-fiction commonly known as "immersion journalism." Major emphasis is placed on student writing and the study of models from contemporary writers in the genre.

FREN 221-222: Advanced Language Practice Prerequisite: FREN 202 or equivalent.
SPAN 221-222: Advanced Language Practice
Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or equivalent.
This course sequence provides intensive practice in oral and written language to develop fluency and correctness of expression. Special emphasis is on vocabulary building, development of style, and cultural awareness.

FREN 241-242: Conversation and Composition Prerequisite: FREN 202 or equivalent.
This course sequence provides intensive practice in oral and written French to develop fluency and correctness of expression. Special emphasis is on vocabulary building and development of style. The course will use a political and historical approach to French cultural topics and include an introduction to French literature and literary criticism.

HIST 200 Introduction to Historical Study and Writing Prerequisite: HIST 101-102 or equivalent.
An introduction to historical methods and writing, this course exposes students to ways in which historians think and assists students in developing research topics, conducting original research, and presenting the results in the form of papers and reports. Normally taken in the sophomore year, it is required of all history majors and is open to any student interested in the historical perspective.

MATH 102 Precalculus Prerequisite: At least two years of high school algebra.
This course includes the study of a variety of functions and their graphs and transformations, including linear, quadratic, radical, rational, polynomial, logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric functions. The study of trigonometry will include both the right triangle and the unit circle approach. The course is intended to strengthen the algebra and trigonometry skills required for the study of Calculus.

MATH 222 Introductory Statistics
This is an introductory statistics course without a calculus prerequisite. Topics include probability, samples, distributions, sampling theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, two-sample tests, Chi-square and contingency tables, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, and decision theory.

MATH 231 The Mathematics of Computer Science
This course introduces the theoretical and mathematical foundations of computer science. Topics include sets, summations, and limits, number systems, mathematical induction, logic and Boolean algebra, probability and statistics, automata and grammars, combinations, and graph theory.

PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy (General Education)
This course examines traditional philosophy problems with readings from major works in the history of Western philosophy. The basic principle of logic and major approaches to ethical decision making are important parts of the course.

PHIL 101 Introduction to Ethics (General Education)
This course introduces the moral philosophy and its application to the problems of present-day living.

PHIL 201 Introduction to Logic
This beginning course focuses on aspects of valid and invalid reasoning. Topics include definition, fallacious argumentation, the various uses to which language may be put, and elementary deduction.

PHIL 216 Modern European Philosophy Prerequisite: PHIL 100 or PHIL 101 or consent of instructor.
This study of seventeenth and eighteenth century European philosophers include Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.

PHIL 217 Classic American Philosophers Prerequisite: PHIL 100 or PHIL 101 or consent of instructor.
This course is an analysis of the philosophy writings of major American philosophers from the Pragmatic and Idealistic schools including Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.

PHIL 313 Symbolic Logic Prerequisite: PHIL 100 or PHIL 101 or consent of instructor.
This beginning course in symbolic formal logic introduces students to the formalization of arguments and the formal nature of deduction.

POLI 111-112 The Quest for Justice I, II (General Education)
A sequence of readings and discussions develop the student's grasp of the basic issues that underlie the political dynamism of Western society. Special emphasis is given to the moral and philosophical dimensions of these issues and their relationship to current political questions and the concerns of other academic disciplines. Reading, class discussions, and written assignments are drawn from classic works in politics, economics, philosophy, and literature.

RELG 201 Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (General Education)
This course is an introduction to literary and historical study of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, a collection of religious literature central in the canons of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Law-related Courses

ACCT 323 Business Law for Accountants
This course is a study of the accountant's legal responsibility including contracts, uniform commercial code, secured transactions, securities, suretyship, and bankruptcy. style="mso-spacerun: yes">

BUAD 322 Legal Environment of Business Prerequisite: General Education PHIL.
This course examines legal principles, the role of law in society, and the legal environment in which business operates.

ENVS 350 Environmental Law and Policy (2 credits) Prerequisites: ENVS 101-102 with labs or BIOL 111-112 with labs, or permission of instructor.
This course is a study of national and local laws and their application to the policies formulated by governments.

HIST 339 Atlantic World in the Seventeenth Century Prerequisite: HIST 101-102 or consent of instructor.*
This course is a study of England and her American colonies in the century that saw the genesis of the British Empire as well as the Civil Wars and the Revolution of 1688.

HIST 340 Atlantic World in the Eighteenth Century Prerequisite: HIST 101-102 or consent of instructor. *
This study of Great Britain and America in the age of enlightenment and revolution emphasizes the institutions that first bound the British Empire together but eventually tore it apart.

*Both HIST 339 and 340 offer detailed study of the legal systems of Great Britain and colonial and federal America.

International Relations and Foreign Policy

  • INTL 101 Global Politics in the New Millennium
    This course is an introduction to the study of interstate relations in the post-Cold War era. Emphasis is on global policy making with respect to issues of global concern. Special attention is paid to global environmental issues, human rights, globalization of the international economy, and promotion of global peace and security.
  • INTL 213 World Regional Geography
    This course is a study of the earth in terms of the cultural, environmental, historic, economic, and organizational qualities of its human inhabitants.
  • POLI 265 Growling Tigers, Fiery Dragons: The Asia Pacific Prerequisite: One of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    This course offers a survey of the political traditions and contemporary political practice of major East Asian societies including those of China, Japan, and Korea. The primary focus is a comparison of contemporary political development, government institutions, domestic issues, and foreign policies within and among the countries of the region.
  • POLI 270 International Relations Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    This course analyzes the politics among nation-states with particular attention to the political, military, technological, and economic forces at work shaping the post-Cold War world. Students also explore theories of international conflict and cooperation.
  • POLI 275 Latin American Politics Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    An analysis of the political systems of Latin America, this course examines political development from the colonial period to the present as well as the principal actors of the Catholic Church, the military, labor, and political parties. Study of links between politics and economic underdevelopment and the influence of the United States in the region are included. The history and future of democracy in the region are considered.
  • POLI 301 Politics of Developing Nations Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    This course provides an examination of developing nations with a view toward understanding problems inherent in social, economic, and political change including the creation of nationalist sentiments, calls for democracy, improving the conditions of life, and promoting security and stability.
  • POLI 306 Comparative Foreign Policy Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    This course investigates the development, determinants, and direction of the foreign policies of key nation-states in contemporary international relations including Russia, Germany, China, India, Japan, and the United States. The course includes simulation exercises and is used to help prepare students for participation in model United Nations activities.
  • POLI 372 United States Foreign Policy Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    This course examines the distinctive heritage of the United States in foreign affairs, the strengths and weaknesses of American foreign policy-making processes, and the means at the disposal of policymakers to carry out foreign policy in contemporary world affairs.
  • POLI 375 U.S. - Latin American Relations Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or POLI 112, or consent of instructor.
    An examination of relations between the countries of Latin America and the United States, this course considers the historical influence of the United States on Latin American countries' political, social, and economic development and how these relations have changed from Latin American independence to present-day. It includes analyses of current topics such as immigration, NAFTA, and the growing Hispanic influence within United States society and politics.

JOUR 405 Media Law
This course examines media law and First Amendment responsibilities and privileges. Content includes libel, privacy, free press/fair trial, advertising and broadcast regulations, and prior restraint.

MST 301 Issues in Museum Studies
This course examines the ethical and legal issues of governance, administration and collections management facing museums. The course focuses on an understanding of issues facing all types of museums, including art, material culture, natural history, anthropology, historical sites, etc. Among the topical issues to be examined are copyright and fair use, Native American repatriation, and Holocaust-era assets. This is an LCSR course, and the Daura Gallery will be used as a teaching resource.

PHIL 315 The Philosophy of Law Prerequisite: PHIL 100, 101 or consent of instructor.
This course is an examination of various theories of what a legal system is. Attention is given to a number of related issues including the morality in the formation of a legal system, legal justice, the proper limits of state authority over an individual citizen's autonomy, and theories of punishment.

POLI 325-326 Constitutional Law in the United States Prerequisite: one of the following courses: INTL 101, POLI 111, or 112, or consent of instructor.
This course sequence is a survey of constitutional interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court using the case method. The structure and powers of the American governmental system will be treated during the first semester. The second semester is devoted to the study of individual rights.

PSYC 302 Social Psychology Prerequisites: PSYC 103-104 or consent of instructor.
This course is intended to survey topics and research in Social Psychology. In this course, we will examine how individuals think, feel, and behave in the presence of others and how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are impacted by others. Specific topics include person perception, self-perception, attitudes, group processes, relationships, helping, and aggression, as well as lie detection and minority influence and other topics that are relevant to law. The course may also include jury selection and size, death qualification, confessions, and eyewitness testimony. A major focus of this class will be critically evaluating primary and secondary research sources.

CRIM 241 Criminology
The course is a sociological analysis of the nature and extent of criminal behavior in the United States and around the world. It reviews the past and current theories that attempt to explain the causes of criminal behavior. In addition, society's response to crime, the criminal justice system, and its various components are examined.

CRIM 243 Juvenile Delinquency
The course examines the nature and extent of juvenile delinquency in the United States and other modern societies. It explores how juvenile delinquency differs from adult criminal behavior in its legal status, causes, and the ways society reacts to it. The juvenile justice system and its various components are examined.

CRIM 244 Criminal Justice Process
This course presents a sociological analysis of the various practices and institutions that modern societies have created to deal with criminal behavior. The practices examined include probation, other community-based techniques, jail, prison, parole, and capital punishment. The consequences and effetiveness of each are analyzed.

SPMG 353 Sports Law Prerequisites: MGMT 260, SPMG 260.
This course introduces legal principle application to a variety of sport settings. Issues related to risk management, individual rights of athletes and employees, and gender are explored. Specialized study for pre-law includes tort law, contract law, constitutional law, tax law, various federal mandates (Title IX, ADA, Sherman Antitrust, Taft-Hartley, Civil Rights '64, Lanham Act, Equal Pay Act, et al)