Students interested in attending law school may elect a pre-law concentration. While this concentration is not mandatory for students preparing for a legal career, it does provide a unique preparation for law school. Enrolling in the Pre-Law Concentration ensures that interested students will receive appropriate advising as they prepare for a career in the legal profession. Students majoring in any field at Saint Francis University can enroll in the Pre-Law Concentration.
The Pre-Law concentration is available as a concentration to students majoring in Political Science, Public Administration/Government Service, History, and other subject areas.
All pre-law students will be expected to participate in extracurricular activities designated by the program advisor. To facilitate entry into the legal profession, students are encouraged to participate in the Pre-Law Club. The Club sponsors debates, films, guest speakers, Constitution Day and Law Day programming, and moot court exercises. At moot court, some students serve as attorneys arguing a hypothetical case before the "United States Supreme Court of Loretto" and others don judicial robes and serve as Justices. SFU pre-law students have also participated in moot court competitions sponsored by law schools. The Club also travels to law schools, law school admissions fairs, the National Constitution Center, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The SFU Center for the Study of Government and Law provides "mini grants" to help defray student expenses associated with LSAT preparations. Junior and senior students can also apply for an award from the Richard-Dorsey Muller Endowment. Successful applicants receive a stipend to assist with law school preparation and application expenses.
Law-related internships are available to interested students as well. Saint Francis University, in collaboration with Duquesne University School of Law, offers a highly competitive early admission program for pre-law students. This partnership provides special academic opportunities for qualified students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a law degree in just six years rather than seven.
Dr. Joseph Melusky, professor of political science, director of the SFU Center for the Study of Government and Law, and a member of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors, serves as pre-law advisor and faculty moderator for the Pre-Law Club.
Pre-Law Early Admission Program with Duquesne University School of Law
Saint Francis University, in collaboration with Duquesne University School of Law, offers a highly competitive early admission program for pre-law students. This partnership provides special academic opportunities for qualified students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six years rather than seven. The program is designed to save qualified students time and money by enabling them to move on to law school following their junior year. Duquesne University School of Law agrees to accept all candidates from Saint Francis University provided that they meet the following eligibility requirements:
- A cumulative grade point average of approximately 3.5 for three years at Saint Francis University (at least 96 credit hours)
- Completion of all undergraduate major field and general education requirements at Saint Francis University
- A minimum LSAT score in the 60th percentile on the present LSAT. The student will take the LSAT in the winter of the third year at Saint Francis University. However, by request, a student may defer taking the LSAT until the spring of the third year.
- Recommendation by a selection committee appointed by the Provost of Saint Francis University and the Dean of Admissions of Duquesne University School of Law.
- All candidates for this program must, upon application, schedule an interview with the Dean of Admissions of Duquesne University School of Law. This interview should be scheduled after the student has taken the LSAT, but the results of the LSAT need not be available to the Law School at the time of the interview.
Each student in this early admission program will be awarded a Bachelor's Degree by Saint Francis University after successful completion of the first year of the Day Division program or the first three semesters of the Evening Division program at Duquesne University School of Law. If the student does not successfully complete the first year program at Duquesne University School of Law, the student will have to complete additional undergraduate credit hours (totaling 128 credit hours minimum) to obtain a Bachelor's Degree from Saint Francis University.
Through this program, pre-law students at Saint Francis University can get an early start on their law degrees. The program provides a combination of liberal and professional education well suited to those desiring to enter the field of law.
The pre-law concentration is designed to accompany any major. The total number of credits required to complete the concentration and the major varies with the major. For some majors, there is considerable overlap between the concentration and the major. For example, students can reasonably expect to complete the political science/pre-law major within three years, making the Duquesne University School of Law early admission program an attractive alternative. Majors in History, philosophy, sociology, and others also would be feasible.
For other majors, there is less overlap. As such, it would be extremely difficult or impossible for students in certain majors to fulfill all General Education, major, and pre-law concentration requirements in three years. Students who are interested in this program should plan carefully and discuss their plans with their advisors and with Dr. Melusky.