Department of Philosophy and Religion

Pre-Law

Note: The department has begun a new lectures series particularly relevant to pre-law students. Click here to read more about the The Lemon Lectures in Social, Legal, and Political Thought.

There is an emphasis area within the philosophy major specifically designed for students interested in going on to Law school. The Philosophy major with a Law, Liberty, and Justice Emphasis Area listed officially on transcripts and diplomas. It combines specific Philosophy courses with selected social science courses as follows: Philosophy: consists of Logic (PHIL 102), Moral Philosophy (PHIL 304) or Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 320), Ancient and Modern Philosophy (PHIL 315 and 316), Philosophy of Law (PHIL 343), and a senior Philosophy seminar (PHIL 401 or 402). Other: United States Legal History to 1890 (HIST 328), United States Legal History since 1890 (HIST 329), and nine additional credits in philosophy selected with the advice and consent of the departmental pre-law advisor. Students with this emphasis area are strongly advised to include American Constitutional Law I and II (PO SC 437 and 438) as an elective, minor, or advanced area requirement. Additional electives are added as needed to meet the minimum of 120 semester hours required for graduation.

Pre-Law Internship Opportunities


Paid Summer Internship with the South Carolina Supreme Court

Service learning internships provide students with an opportunity to integrate academic studies, meaningful community service, and career experience. A pre-law internship can also dramatically improve a student’s chances of acceptance into the law school or the graduate program of his or her choice. This internship is the first and only one of its kind in the State of South Carolina and is offered only to students in the Philosophy Major.

Next Spring, one student will be selected, through a competitive process for a full-time, 8-week paid summer internship at the court. The selected student will receive a stipend of $4000.

The intern will work with a wide variety of offices collected under the umbrella of the Supreme Court. Last year’s intern got to sit in on court proceedings at the state and federal level, work with pro bono and pro se legal cases, see the legislature in session, work with the SC Bar Association and more. Together with Betsy Goodale (managing lawyer for the SC Supreme Court) we will design an exciting internship experience tailored to your interests and to unique opportunities available this summer.

Monday, October 1st, 5-6 pm (233 Hardin Hall): Join us for pizza and a discussion of the Prelaw internships available for LLJ majors.  Speakers will include the 2012 pre-law interns: David Roth (South Carolina Supreme Court), Tori Green (Access to Justice, a commission of the Supreme Court of South Carolina) and Greyson van Dyke (NJ law firm Budd Larner).

Unpaid Pre-law Internships during the Semester or in Summer

The Department assists students in finding and setting up an internship with federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private law firms.  Students receive credit hours as follows: 3 credits for 120 hours, 2 credits for 80 hours, 1 credit for 40 hours. Students submit a portfolio for credit and meet regularly with the prelaw advisor.
Eligibility Requirements for all internships

- Philosophy major (any track)
- Junior status (60 credit hours successfully completed) at the time of internship placement.
- Minimum 3.0 GPR at the time of application.
- Students must be willing and able to pass a background check if the internship sponsor requires it.

Students interested in internship opportunities should contact Dr. Candice Delmas.

Why Choose Philosophy for Pre-Law?

#1 Philosophy is fun and challenging.

Students of philosophy think about fundamental questions, such as: Do we have free will? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is a person? Is our universe real? How should we live? What do we owe others? According to the Association of American Law School, a pre-law student ought "to acquire a college education that will last a lifetime.” That is exactly what philosophy offers.

#2 Philosophy fosters fine-tuned reasoning, analytical, and writing skills.

Philosophy stimulates deep thought. In studying philosophy, one develops a skill set that is crucial crucial for doing well in law school and succeeding as a lawyer or judge. These skills include: the capacity to reason carefully, independently, and critically, the capacity to think for oneself, the ability to express one’s thoughts with clarity and force in oral and written form. Philosophy also helps to develop insight into the institutions and values with which law deals, as well as about the cultural heritage of Western societies, including their moral, philosophical, and legal foundations.

#3 Philosophy majors outperform all other humanities majors on the LSAT. 
Philosophy majors outperform all other majors on the GRE.  On the LSAT, they are tied with econ majors and only second after physics/math majors.