2023-2024 Academic Catalog



The Pre-Law Program, designed to serve students from all areas of the University, provides undergraduates and alumni interested in law school with opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful legal career through both the Pre-Law Studies minor as well as through an extensive variety of pre-professional services and resources designed to help students plan an intentionally developmental undergraduate academic path. While students interested in careers in law should choose undergraduate majors to match their interests and abilities, they should also contact and stay engaged with the Pre-Law Program as early in their undergraduate careers as possible so they can receive effective prelaw advice.

Students can take advantage of one or both paths through the Pre-Law Program. The interdisciplinary Pre-Law Studies minor enhances the preparation of students planning to seek admission to law school by promoting both the development of skills considered essential by both law schools and legal professionals -- critical reasoning, writing, and analytical skills – and professional skills. The Pre-Law Program, i.e., the Director, together with fifteen additional prelaw faculty advisors, provides students with curriculum guidance for developing the skills set needed for success in their future legal education and career, with law school admissions fairs, with aid in preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), including simulated tests and prep workshops, and with individual assistance in law school selection and law school applications. Moreover, the Program has a legal internship program and a Mock Trial team, both of which offer students valuable experiential learning working with attorneys, an undergraduate chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, a Pre-Law Club, and other opportunities for development based on the individual student's talents, interests, and goals.

For further information concerning the Pre-Law Program at the University of Dayton, students should contact the Pre-Law Program in Alumni Hall, Room 117; phone (937) 229-4229 or at prelaw@udayton.edu.

Pre-Law Committee

Laura H. Hume (History), Director
Agnew (International Studies), Al-Akkad (Engineering), Bednarek (History), Berry (Psychology), Bresnahan (Philosophy), Hudson (Human Rights Studies), Hurley (Criminal Justice Studies), Ingram (Political Science), Leonard (Business), Neeley (Political Science), Parsons (Communication), Picca (Criminal Justice Studies), Shafer (Arts and Sciences), Shaw (Law), Slade (English), Small (Sociology)

Minor in Prelaw (PLW)

Core Courses
PLW 200Legal Careers & Professional Development1
PHL 302Symbolic Logic3
POL 301The American Judicial Process3
Additional Essential Skills Courses (13-15 hours)
Writing Skills - select one course from:3
Elements of Style
Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing
Report & Proposal Writing
Business and Professional Writing
Quantitative Analysis Skills - select one from: 13
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Introduction to Managerial Accounting
Research Methods in Communication
Statistics for Business I
Statistics for Business II
Principles of Microeconomics
Introductory Calculus I
Introduction to Statistics
Elementary Statistics
Data Analysis
Written Research Skills - select one from: 23
Senior Capstone
Research Seminar-Literature (majors only)
Historiography (majors only)
History Capstone Seminar (majors only)
Senior Capstone Seminar (majors only)
Directed Research (majors only)
Introduction to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis
Political Science Research Methods (majors only)
Senior Project Capstone (majors only)
Legal Vocabulary and Concepts - select one from:3
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure
Legal Environment of Business
Philosophy of Law
Constitutional Law
Law & Society
Experiential Learning - complete 1-3 hours from the following: 31-3
Internship in Criminal Justice I
Mock Trial I 4
Mock Trial II 4
Legal Internship

 Other MTH courses may also apply with permission of program coordinator.


May be completed with an Honors Thesis course in any academic department or with permission of the program coordinator any other course not listed that both teaches research methods and requires the student to research and write a substantial paper (12-page minimum length) will also fulfill this requirement.


Other internships may also apply with permission of program coordinator.


Must complete sequence in consecutive semesters over the course of one academic year.


PLW 200. Legal Careers & Professional Development. 1 Hour

Introduction to careers in various legal practice fields and the different employment options students will have with a law degree. Emphasis is on exploring personal motives and strengths as students consider preparing for law school and a legal career. Includes academic planning and professional behaviors development.

PLW 301. Mock Trial I. 1 Hour

Practice and performance of attorney and witness roles for Mock Trial National Competition case. Repeatable up to four semester hours.

PLW 302. Mock Trial II. 1 Hour

Practice and performance of attorney and witness roles for Mock Trial Regional and National competitions. Repeatable up to four semester hours. Prerequisite(s): PLW 301; invitation by mock trial coaches.

PLW 350. Introduction to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis. 3 Hours

Applied skills course integrating units on critical reading, legal reasoning, legal research, and predictive writing. Skills are applied toward examining the role of law in our society, the basic structure of our legal system, and the hierarchy of legal authority. Prerequisites: (ASI 110, ENG 100, ENG 114 or ENG 198).

PLW 495. Legal Internship. 1-3 Hours

Supervised legal work experience with an approved law or law-related office, organization or program. Prerequisites: Sophomore status, 3,0 minimum overall GPA, completion of PLW 200 and/or permission of supervising professor.