Pre Law at Houghton

Work to solve today’s problems while understanding law’s ancient roots. Apply concepts of governance and justice to critical issues to serve the greater good.

The practice and study of law have deep roots in Western history as far back as Mosaic law and the courts of Athens. Law continues to play a critical role in helping the dynamic world of the 21st century function effectively, particularly in our increasingly globalized society where every aspect of human culture is enmeshed in a web of national and international legal institutions.

The pre-law program at Houghton is built with personalization in mind, allowing students to tailor their course of study to their interests and passions. They work with a pre-law adviser to develop a study that strengthens not only their knowledge of law but analytical thinking, intellectual curiosity and scholarship, and communication of results.

Graduates go on to further study in law as well as careers in the courtroom, criminal justice, government and civil service, nongovernmental organizations, business, journalism, and more.


Course requirements

At Houghton, students considering law school come from all majors and minors; no particular major is required. Advisers recommend a balanced course of study that directly reflects law school admission expectations.

Pre-law students can also take advantage of opportunities to study abroad to develop their understanding of diverse cultures beyond the United States and a more global perspective on significant social, political and cultural issues.


Why Study Pre-Law at Houghton?

  • Houghton's Christian liberal arts approach encourages students to examine their vocational calling, develop a mature ethical understanding and practice civic engagement. They learn to view history, law and governance from biblical perspectives that enable them to be agents for God’s kingdom as they work for justice, reconciliation and the well-being of their fellow citizens.
  • The liberal arts advantage provides the broad range of study as well as the specific skills in critical thinking, reading comprehension, research, and oral and written communication recommended by the American Bar Association and the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).

Liberal Arts Preparation

Houghton's emphasis on the liberal arts provides a broad range of study as well as specific skills in critical thinking, reading comprehension, research, and oral and written communication. Organizations such as the American Bar Association (www.abanet.org) and the Law School Admissions Council (www.lsac.org) recommend precisely this sort of preparation for students planning to attend law school.

Pre-Law Activities

Those interested in pre-law also sponsor various events, including the college's annual Constitution Day celebration and an associated reading group; excursions to law offices, courtrooms or regional points of interest; and visits with members of Houghton's extensive network of alumni attorneys. Students are also encouraged to join the Runnymede Society, Houghton’s student pre-law society. Founded in 2010, the Runnymede Society sponsors a range of events devoted to helping students prepare for law school and promoting campus discussion about issues of law and public affairs.

Pre-Law Advising

Each entering student has a primary academic advisor in his or her expected major. In addition, students expressing an interest in pre-law meet regularly (ideally at least once a semester) with one of our pre-law advisors (Professor Peter Meilaender, and Professor Ron Oakerson) to discuss their program of study, preparation for the LSAT exam, and the law school application process. Advisors also encourage qualified students to pursue research and field experience or internships.

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