Calvin's pre-law program is a robust, co-curricular program providing resources that will help you determine whether law is the right path for you, introduce you to a wide variety of law-related careers and legal practice areas, and equip you for law school and a fulfilling career in the legal profession.
When you choose a pre-law specialization at Calvin, our experienced faculty and special events provide you with advice, preparation, resources and course recommendations to help you evaluate law as a future career, to prepare you for law school, and to equip you for the future.
Our regularly scheduled events include a yearly Luncheon Series focused on legal careers and practice areas, a yearly Workshop Series concentrated on the law school application process, and a biennial Pre-Law Day featuring panel discussions by legal professionals and law school admissions staff which alternates with a biennial Pre-Law Chicago trip that includes visits to law firms and the LSAC law school forum.
Joining the Pre-Law Program and declaring your pre-law specialization
To join the pre-law program, contact the Academic Office and request to declare a pre-law specialization on your academic record. This will also add Pre-Law Advisor Prof. Mark Hessler as an additional faculty advisor on your behalf.
Second, send an email to Mark Hessler to be added to the email list of Pre-Law Program participants so that you receive special additional information about events and programs.
How Calvin's pre-law program works
Calvin's pre-law program works differently than a major or minor program. Pre-law at Calvin is not a major; it's a specialization that you choose to pursue in conjunction with a major in another field. There are no required pre-law courses; instead, students select a major field of study in an area of interest to them as they prepare to attend law school after earning their four-year degree. The courses and experiences that comprise the pre-law specialization emphasize analytic and problem-solving skills, oral communication, political theory, history, ethics and justice.
As the chart below shows, law schools accept undergraduate degrees in a wide variety fields and interests, with specific training in the field of law taking place in law school rather than college. Law school graduates become eligible to practice law by satisfying the licensing requirements of the jurisdiction(s) in which they intend to practice. See the frequently-asked questions for advice about selecting a major that fits your interest in law.
Read what the American Bar Association has to say about choosing a major here.
Pre-law program postings and material
Find printed information about Calvin's pre-law program events, summer programs, the pre-law-library, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and other items related to pre-law on the pre-law program bulletin board (located on the top floor of Hiemenga Hall).
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