For additional information about opportunities your particular college offers, please refer to that section in this catalog.
Grand Valley State University’s prelaw program, in keeping with the recommendations of U.S. law schools, is not a single major that is defined as prelaw. As law school officials point out, students will learn the law in great detail once they attend law school. Grand Valley’s approach to prelaw encourages students to pursue majors and elective courses that will complement their law degree while providing the diverse intellectual foundation necessary for success in the field of law. Grand Valley also recommends that students experience courses directly related to law (see list below) in order to understand if they are suited for a career in law.
For more information, please contact Professors Mark J. Richards, Ph.D. (Political Science), Kristine Mullendore, J.D. (Criminal Justice/Legal Studies), John Uglietta, J.D., Ph.D. (Philosophy), Star Swift, M.L.I.R., J.D. (Business), Richard Harris, M.B.A., J.D., LL.M. (Accounting & Tax), MSU College of Law Admissions (800-844-9352; firstname.lastname@example.org), or refer to www.gvsu.edu/prelaw.
Choice of Major
Students choose political science to gain an understanding of the politics of the institutions that make and implement the law. Students may choose legal studies to focus directly on the processes of law making, implementation, enforcement, and practice. The legal studies program also prepares students to be legal assistants, also known as paralegals, who may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Students interested in corporate law choose majors such as business, economics, engineering, computer science, and biology, among others. For international law, students may consider majoring in international relations or a foreign language, such as Chinese, French, or Spanish. Students who want to work in corrections management combine our criminal justice major with a law degree. Social science disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology explain human behavior. History and classics provide lawyers with the context necessary to understand the development of our common law legal tradition. Philosophy cultivates the logical reasoning skills that are integral to a successful legal career. Communications, English, and writing refine oral and written communication skills.
Prelaw Education Residence Living (PERL)
The PERL program is an academic learning and living community open to students of any major who are interested in prelaw. The mission of the PERL program is to provide advising and support to students of any major who are interested in attending law school and pursuing a career in law (also known as prelaw students) after completing their undergraduate degree.
LEAP (Legal Education Admission Program)
Business, political science and legal studies majors at Grand Valley State University have the opportunity to participate in the Legal Education Admission Program, which enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law in about six years, saving a year of time and money. For more information, please consult the business, political science and legal studies sections of the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog.
Grand Valley prelaw and legal studies students are invited to join our Law Society. Members will have opportunities to:
- Hear scholars, judges, and lawyers speak on current legal issues
- Meet with law school admissions officials
- Contribute to the community through charitable work
- Receive advice on LSAT preparation and admission to law school
Grand Valley has formal prelaw advising available to all students by professors Mark J. Richards, Kristine Mullendore, and John Uglietta, who advise students on Grand Valley courses and majors, the law school application process, the LSAT, and legal careers. For a detailed prelaw FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and contact information for the advisors, please visit http://gvsu.edu/prelaw.
Courses Related to Law
Grand Valley advises prelaw students to take several classes related to law to gain a sense of the legal field and begin preparation for law school. Here are some examples of the many courses related to law at Grand Valley:
Criminal Justice and Legal Studies: entire Curriculum. Examples Include:
Seidman College of Business:
Seidman College of Business Graduate Level Courses: