Pre-Law | Program Overview
Pre-Law at Houghton
While the study and practice of law have ancient roots, they also play a dynamic role in today’s world. Few fields so effectively combine theory and practice, opening diverse avenues for applying the tools of intellect to the problems of society. Pre-law studies pave the way for challenging and rewarding careers in the courtroom, the justice system, government and civil service, non-governmental organizations, and business. Pre-law studies at Houghton College combine the liberal arts advantage with the lens of Christian understanding.
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)
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.
Pre-law studies at Houghton are tailored to individual interests and career aims, and students are advised to take a wide range of academically challenging courses. While we encourage students to prepare for successful graduate study in law, we also offer a variety of research and field experiences, internships, and courses that invite students to consider various other careers in fields related to the law. Students who decide not to pursue a Juris Doctor degree may discover a calling to graduate study in political science or political theory, philosophy, or business. Or they may use their pre-law foundation to launch a career in fields such as law (including paralegal), criminal justice, sociology, and development.
Pre-law studies at Houghton College build a strong foundation of crucial skills, knowledge and experience designed to enable students interested in law, governance, justice, and public service to pursue their calling to the law and related fields. Our faculty challenge students to develop the discipline and competence necessary for admission to law school, successful graduate study, and leadership in their chosen fields.
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.