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Pre-Law

at the University of Tennessee at Martin

 

“Now to what higher object, to what greater character, can any mortal aspire than to be possessed of all this knowledge, well digested and ready at command, to assist the feeble and friendless, to discountenance the haughty and lawless, to procure redress of wrongs, the advancement of right, to assert and maintain liberty and virtue, to discourage and abolish tyranny and vice?"  -John Adams

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Law school provides an attractive opportunity for many students looking for a career in public affairs, business or finance.  Even those who do not necessarily want to become lawyers can use a law degree to build a successful career in banking, government, communications, law enforcement, or any number of areas of government service.  While gaining admission to one of the nation’s 180 law schools has become a highly competitive process, U. T. Martin regularly sends its graduates to law schools in Tennessee and across the region and on to distinguished law-related careers.

This site is designed to give prospective students an introduction to what U. T. Martin has to offer in preparing its students for the law school application process and for a successful career in the legal profession.  Dr. Theodore Mosch, long-time professor of political science and pre-law advisor, has prepared a detailed guide for our undergraduates who are considering applying to law school.  There are also pre-law resources available on my external links page, and a list of current law-related happenings on my pre-law news page.  The following is a brief introduction to U. T. Martin’s pre-law services, the things we feel make U. T. M. a great place to start your journey to a successful legal career.

Like most universities, U. T. M. does not offer a “pre-law” major.  In past years some universities did offer pre-law majors, but most law schools prefer their students to pursue their own academic interests when they are undergraduates.  For most law schools a bachelor’s degree in any major is sufficient, and law schools accept students with degrees in a wide range of fields. 

WHY U.T.M.? 

            -Pre-Law Advising 

In addition to providing an outstanding undergraduate education, U. T. Martin provides pre-law advising services to its students who are considering law school, regardless of their academic major.  As a pre-law advisor, I do not replace a student’s academic advisor; instead, I am available to provide information, resources, and guidance to students at every step of the law school application process, advising students on things like (1) taking helpful classes, (2) preparing for the Law School Admissions Test  (LSAT), and (3) submitting strong applications with strong supporting letters.  You may contact me by e-mail at cbaxter@utm.edu or by telephone at (731) 881-7367.

             -Law-related Courses 

U. T. Martin offers a number of courses in a wide range of disciplines that relate to the legal profession.  These classes not only educate students about various aspects of the law but also give students the opportunity to see which areas of the law might interest them as they prepare for their careers.  In many cases these classes also introduce students to researching the law and to analyzing court decisions, skills that will be essential to them when they become law students.   As of the 2014-2015 academic year, these classes can be combined in a Legal Studies minor.  These classes include

· AGEC 375 Environmental & Agricultural Law

· BLAW 201 Legal Environment of Business

· BLAW 301 Business Law I

· BLAW 302 Business Law II

· BLAW 311 Business & Labor Law

· BLAW 401 Real Estate Law

· COMM 491 Communications Law & Ethics

· CJ 320 Criminal Procedure

· CJ 400 Criminal Law

· CJ 420 Criminal Evidence

· CJ 470 Tennessee Criminal Law

· PHIL 410 Political and Legal Philosophy

· POSC 353 Administrative Law

· POSC 431-2 American Constitutional Law

· POSC 390 Paralegal Studies - Jurisprudence

· POSC 391 Paralegal Studies - Legal Terminology & Writing

· POSC 392 Paralegal Studies - Legal Research

· POSC 451 Judicial Process

· SWRK 345 Social Work in Juvenile Justice

 

            -Internship Opportunities

Through political science and paralegal internships, numerous U. T. Martin students have received an up-close and personal introduction to our political and legal system in Washington, D.C., the state capitol in Nashville, and in legal and government offices around the state.  Please see my internship page for more details. 

            -The Proof is in Our Alumni

Countless U. T. M. graduates have gone on to receive law degrees and now occupy prominent positions in law firms, judicial offices, governmental agencies, and corporations across Tennessee and all around the country.  Below is a list of just some of the schools in which U. T. M. alumni have studied law.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Law

 

University of Memphis (Cecil C. Humphreys) School of Law

Vanderbilt University School of Law

University of Missouri School of Law

University of Alabama School of Law

Cumberland School of Law (Samford University)

Nashville School of Law

Duke Law School

University of Baltimore School of Law

University of Chicago Law School

Southern Illinois University School of Law

Harvard Law School

George Mason School of Law

Chapman University School of Law

Loyola College of Law, New Orleans

University of Mississippi School of Law

 

Just a few of our outstanding UTM alums in the news:

    C. Dale Allen

     Dale Allen, a 1980 graduate of UTM, is a partner in the firm of Adams and Reese, LLP, in Nashville.  Mr. Allen was featured on the cover of Tennessee Trucking News in September of 2012 in recognition of his 20 years of service to the Tennessee Trucking Association and his receipt of the Pinnacle Award at the annual TTA conference.   

    Van Jones

     A 1990 graduate of U. T. Martin, Van Jones received his law degree from Yale University.  To read about his inspiring career as a social activist and champion of human rights, read the Summer/Fall 2002 issue of UTM's Campus Scene magazine.  Jones was named an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2007.

     J. Houston Gordon

    Mr. Gordon received the 2008 Chancellor's Award for University Service in October 2008, recognizing his outstanding career in law and his lifelong service to the University of Tennessee at Martin.  On Oct. 3, the Special Collections area of the Paul Meek Library was named the "J. Houston Gordon Museum" in his honor.

Chancellor Tom Rakes with J. Houston Gordon and his wife, Debbie.  Photo courtesy of U.T. Martin's Office of University Relations.

 

If you have any questions regarding preparation for law school at U. T. Martin, or have any suggestions or comments about this page, please contact me at cbaxter@utm.edu .

 

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Last updated 12-15-14.

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