The Department of Political Science offers strong preparation for students interested in law school or employment in law-related areas which do not require law school (e.g., regulatory agencies, judicial administrations, etc.). Courses on legal subjects may also be useful to Political Science students who have other goals and to students in history, economics, American studies, African-American studies and other majors. The curriculum offers a rich variety of courses designed to help students understand the case method approach of legal interpretation, the politics and procedures of the judicial system, and the relationship of the courts in the creation of public policy. These courses are a good test of whether law school and a legal career are the right choice for the student, and they provide the basis for success if that choice is taken. While there are essential skills and information that pre-law students can gain from the study of Economics, English, History and Sociology in particular, Political Science studies political institutions that make, interpret, and enforce the law.
The department offers students the opportunity to take an internship with courts, law enforcement agencies, offices of state’s and district attorneys, private law firms, and other legal institutions. These internships, which are taken for credit full-time in the Winter session and half-time in the spring, provide a realistic view of legal professions and often lead to summer jobs and law school recommendations.
The department offers a minor in Law and Justice to undergraduates of all majors. The minor permits students to focus on the political and cultural contexts, procedures and outcomes of the American judicial system. It consists of three core courses and four electives for a total of 21 credits. For those not interested in the minor, there are several courses that are particularly appropriate for pre-law students. Including but not limited to:
POLI 220 The U.S. Constitution
POLI 230 Introduction to Constitutional Law
POLI 233 Law and Legal System
POLI 334 Judicial Process
POLI 338 Women and Law
POLI 352 Administrative Law
POLI 435 Legal Reasoning
POLI 438 Legal Internship
There are many other courses that are recommended for pre-law students. Any class with a middle number of “3” is considered a Law and Politics course i.e. Poli 230 or Poli 437
Please check the catalog and the semester class schedules for complete details.
Advising and Support
The department has faculty pre-law advisors, each with a different training and perspective and all dedicated to helping students find the right career focus and to succeed under rigorous competition. The following are the faculty advisors:
Dr. Jeffrey Davis
UMBC’s Pre-Law Academic Advisor is also available to advise current students from all majors and alumni interested in law school, the law school admission process, and legal and law-related careers. For more information, please visit the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Pre-Law Advising website or contact:
Pre-Law Academic Advisor