"Any government is free to the people under it where the laws rule and the people are a party to the laws."
"A government of laws, and not of men."
The Department of Government offers a Pre-Law track in the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Political Science Pre-Law. These programs are designed to give students a head start in their first year of law school.
To appreciate the value of our pre-law program, be it noted that in "Preparation for Legal Education" the American Bar Association declined to prescribe a particular major or even specific courses for students contemplating going to law school. Instead, it advised undergraduates to acquire generic language, research, and organizational skills, as well as knowledge of American history, government, and society; political theory, including theories of justice; philosophy and ethics; economics and business; and international relations. (See also "Advice for Getting Into Law School", by Prof. Daniel R. Pinello of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York.)
Although there is no single undergraduate path to law school, it is not surprising that, nation-wide, the major of choice among students taking the LSAT is Political Science. This is because the study of government requires students to develop the very skills and to learn exactly the kind of knowledge mentioned by the ABA. At the University of West Florida, Political Science Pre-Law is a rigorous and rewarding program. Students take courses in political theory, American government, and constitutional law, as well as in history, economics, philosophy, literature, economics, communications, and statistics or computer science. They are required to do library research, read, analyze, and evaluate difficult material, and communicate their findings and conclusions clearly, both orally and in writing. Upon graduation, our majors successfully compete with those of other majors and institutions when it comes to the LSAT and admission to law school. Our graduates have gone on to study the law at Florida State University, the University of Florida, Stetson, as well as other schools in the Southeast.
For more information, please contact:
Jocelyn Evans, Chair
Department of Government
Building 50/Room 121
University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514