• the fundamentals of legal studies that will prepare a student for law school

You’ll enjoy the Abbey’s pre-law minor if you:

  • wish to study law or law enforcement
  • are interested in legal systems and court cases

Belmont Abbey College’s pre-law Minor is specifically intended to help students who plan to attend law school after they graduate. In this program, you will:

  • take a liberal-studies approach to government and law
  • have a virtue-based foundation in legal studies

Today computers and the internet are essential resources in almost any field. Earning a minor or concentration in computer studies from Belmont Abbey College will teach you to tap into those resources and effectively employ computer technology in your career.

  • law school
  • legal careers

The pre-law minor is built to prepare you for law school and legal careers, but the knowledge of legal procedure you gain by minoring in pre-law can greatly benefit any profession.

The Abbey Difference:

Guided by the tenets of Catholicism and the Benedictine hallmarks, Belmont Abbey College strives to provide its students with a well-rounded education that promotes wise and ethical decisions. The pre-law minor combines courses in constitutional law with study of criminal courts, psychological statistics and business law, helping students who hope to continue their legal studies as well as grow in their understanding of law and virtue.

Program Requirements:

  • PO 309 Constitutional Law I
  • PO 310 Constitutional Law II

Any three courses from the list below:

  • PH 202 Introduction to Logic
  • PO 311/CJ 311 Moot Court
  • CJ 355 English Roots of American Law
  • CJ 360 American Criminal Courts
  • CJ 370 Criminal Procedure
  • CJ 450 Trial Advocacy
  • BU 412 Legal Environment of Business
  • PC 300 – Statistics for Psychology

Note: CJ201 is prerequisite for students wishing to take CJ 302, CJ 355, CJ 360, or CJ 370.

Certain majors are usual precursors to law school. We recommend majoring in English, History, or Government and Political Philosophy, because these disciplines hone the particular skills needed for success in law school. However, since a high cumulative grade point average in a student’s undergraduate studies considerably improves his or her chances for admission to any law school, students should major in any field that genuinely interests them and in which they excel.

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Stephen Ward
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justic
B.A. North Carolina State University
J.D. Mercer College

Pre-Law Resources:

One of the most important parts of preparing for acceptance to law school is taking the Law School Admission Test. This exam provides a standard, objective criteria with which law schools can assess students who apply to law school. It tests reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. Check out the link below to learn more about the LSAT. http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/about-the-lsat/
In partnership with The Princeton Review, UNC Charlotte Extended Academic Programs offers the LSAT Essentials course at a significant discount. To learn more about this great opportunity, follow this link: http://continuinged.uncc.edu/lsat/

Highlights of your experience:

These courses highlight the some of the ideas you will consider as a government major at Belmont Abbey College.

This course will examine the historical basis of the American Legal System in the Common Law traditions of England. Attention will be given to the creation of the Common Law, the drafting of the Magna Carta, the development of the Parliamentary Procedure, the evolution of the Adversarial System of Justice, and the birth of modern Law Enforcement. The course will culminate in a trip during Spring Break to London. Here, the students will visit the British Library to see the Magna Carta, tour Parliament, observe a criminal trial in the “Old Bailey” courthouse, and visit New Scotland Yard and the Middle Temple of the Inns of Court. Visiting these sites will help students understand that the connection between the British and American legal systems is still strong and provide students with a unique perspective that cannot be gained in the classroom.
This course focuses on one of the three subsystems of the Criminal Justice system. Students study the intricacies of the state and federal criminal court systems, particularly the responsibilities and challenges faced by prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and juries. Students are also exposed to criminal procedure within the courts and to applicable constitutional law.
A study of the individual rights and liberties protected by the U.S. Constitution, as viewed through Supreme Court cases and other materials. The primary focus will be on the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, press, and religious liberty, as well as on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee to each person of “the equal protection of the laws.” The course will also consider the jurisprudence surrounding rights of political participation and the constitutional protection of property and privacy.

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