Pre-Law Certificate

Coordinator: Sarah Marusek, Ph.D.
Email: marusek@hawaii.edu

According to the American Bar Association’s Statement on Pre-Law Preparation, students wishing to pursue legal education should “take advantage of opportunities to develop research and writing skills” in order to develop a lawyering skill set.1 Through rigorous engagement in a variety of subject areas taught by demanding instructors, such lawyering skills include “problem solving, critical reading, writing and editing, oral communication and listening, research, organization and management, public service and promotion of justice, relationship-building and collaboration, background knowledge, and exposure to the law.” This interdisciplinary certificate has been developed to provide students, particularly transfer students, with a wide array of upper division electives from a variety of majors, including Anthropology, Business, English, Gender and Women's Studies, Geography, History, Management, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology.

Mission

The study of law is a postgraduate professional program usually requiring three years of full-time study beyond completion of the bachelor’s degree. The mission of the Pre-Law Certificate is to provide an interdisciplinary opportunity for all interested students as no specific pre-law program or major is required for admission to law school. Whatever the major, students intending to apply to law school will benefit from taking courses that emphasize critical analysis, writing, and analytical/methodological frameworks of interpretation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish between descriptive and normative approaches to social, legal, and cultural problems.
  2. Interpret law, moral principles, and institutions using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, methods, and methodologies.
  3. Identify and analyze contemporary and historical perspectives on the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
  4. Incorporate academic approaches with the collaborative techniques of organization and problem-solving to address issues of public concern.
  5. Produce research papers and projects with high levels of written and oral communication.

Pre-Law Certificate Course Requirements (24 Credits)

  • 12 Credits of required core courses
  • 12 Credits of electives from 3 different course alphas (courses may focus on one area or combine courses from the areas below.

1. Core (12 Credits)

  • Argumentation (3 Credits taken from)
    • ENG 287 Introduction to Rhetoric (3)
    • PHIL 209 Reasoning (3)
    • PHIL 220 Social Ethics (3)
  • Context and Background (3 Credits taken from)
    • HIST 151 World History to 1500 (3)
    • HIST 152 World History since 1500 (3)
    • SOC 100 Principles Of Sociology (3)
    • WS 151 Intro Gender & Women's Studies (3)
  • People and Place (3 Credits taken from)
    • GEOG 103 Geog And Contemp Soc (3)
    • HIST 284 History of Hawaii (3)
  • Institutions and Legality (3 Credits taken from)
    • POLS 101 Am Politics: National (3)
    • POLS 220 Intro to Law and Legality (3)

2. Electives (12 Credits)

  • Choose 4 courses from a minimum of 3 different course alphas below. Students may choose to focus on one area OR combine courses from the areas below.
  • Rights and Disparities
    • HIST 471 US Constitutional History (3)
    • PHIL 315 Ethical Theory (3)
    • PHIL 325 Philosophy Of Law (3)
    • PHIL 327 Bioethics (3)
    • PHIL 370 American Philosophy (3)
    • PHIL/WS 375 Feminist Philosophy (3)
    • POLS 300 Hist Poli Thought: Anc To Mod (3)
    • POLS 303 Feminist Political Theory (3)
    • POLS 304 Liberalism and Globalism (3)
    • POLS 321 Constitutional Law (3)
    • POLS 323 Criminal Law and Procedure (3)
    • POLS/WS 327 Law and Identity (3)
    • POLS/PHIL 328 Rights (3)
    • POLS 331 Presidency And Congress (3)
    • POLS 338 Public Policy Process (3)
    • POLS 428 First Amendment (3)
    • SOC/POLS 324 Criminology (3)
    • SOC 328 Gender, Crime, and Justice (3)
    • SOC 365 Sociology of Deviance (3)
    • WS 352 Gender and Sexuality (3)
  • Land Use and Cultural Resources
    • ANTH 310 Contemp Iss in Hawaiian Anth (3)
    • ANTH 389 Cultural Resource Management (3)
    • BUS 240 Business Law (3)
    • GEOG 201 Interp Geog Data (3)
    • GEOG/POLS 325 Legal Geography (3)
    • GEOG 340 Intro to Land Use Planning (3)
    • GEOG 441 Environmentl Impact Assessment (3)
    • HIST 481 Land & Sovereignty in Pacific (3)
    • MGT 423 Business & Society (3)
    • PHIL 304 Ethics and Cultural Diversity (3)
    • PHIL 316 Science, Technology & Values (3)
    • PHIL 329 Environmental Ethics (3)
    • POLS 335 Envir Politics & Policy (3)
    • POLS 342 International Law (3)
    • POLS 360 Public Administration (3)
    • SOC 320 Social Stratification (3)
  • Skills and Professional Expertise
    • ANTH 490 Internship in Archaeology (3–6)
    • GEOG 382 Qualitative Research (3)
    • GEOG 496 Planning Internship (3)
    • HIST 300 Historical Methods (3)
    • HIST 301 Professional Practice (3)
    • HIST 391 Internship (3)
    • PHIL 345 Symbolic Logic (3)
    • POLS 280 Methods of Research (3)
    • POLS 320 Mock Trial (3)
    • POLS 391 Internship (3–12)
    • SOC 391 Internship (3–12)
    • WS 200 Gender Leadership & Soc Just (3)

  1. http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/pre_law.html

    Notes:
    1. Students must pass each course within the certificate program with a grade of C or better.

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