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The pre-law curriculum has four required courses

  1. Introduction to Legal Studies

    This class has several components including pre-law advisement, an introduction to legal concepts (court structure, case law method, legal theories, etc.), an introduction to legal research, a rigorous writing component, guest speakers from various legal practices, and extra curricular activities (e.g., participation in University of Buffalo’s mock trial program). The purpose of this class is to provide students with an introduction to the legal field.

  2. Law-related classes
    (one required, additional choices recommended):

    This component ensures that every pre-law student has a minimum exposure to at least one law-related class. This will allow students to assess their interest in studying law.

    Students will be allowed to substitute other law-related classes to meet this requirement with the approval of the Pre-Law Advisor. Students will, of course, have the opportunity to take many additional law-related classes
    in various departments.

  3. Liberal arts requirement
    (one of the following):

    • ENL 305 Advanced Composition
    • PHL 104 Critical Thinking
    • PHL 202 Logic

    These courses help sharpen critical thinking and writing skills that are essential for law students and lawyers.

  4. Legal internship

    This experiential requirement is designed to ensure that students gain insights into the practice of law. Before committing to law school students should have a realistic understanding of the workings of a legal practice.

 


Course Descriptions

  • BUS 375 Business Law I: Provides basic knowledge of the legal environment of business including, but not limited to, the judicial system of jurisprudence and the substantive laws of torts, contracts and agency. 3 credits. Every semester.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • BUS 376 Business Law II: Prerequisite: BUS 375 or permission. Includes topics such as sales, negotiable instruments, secured transactions, bankruptcy, personal property, business entity concepts, real property, wills and trusts. 3 credits. Spring.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • CRJ 305 Adjunction Process: Prerequisite: CRJ 100. Examines the organization and functions of the courts; pre- and post-trial motions and procedure; and the role of the prosecutorial and defensive agencies. 3 credits. Every semester.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • CRJ 311 Criminal Law: Prerequisite: CRJ 305 or PLS 320 or permission. Covers the historical development of the criminal law in the U.S; the parties to crime including principals/accessories; and the elements of the crimes against persons and property, and moral offenses, and defenses to such crimes. 3 credits. Every semester.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • CRJ 455 Legal Traditions: A complete examination of the law, its origins, roots and underpinnings in a jurisprudential context. Special attention is given to the nature of freedom, the concept of liberty, free will, the regularity and moral efficiency of punishment and the overall moral framework upon which the Western legal system bases itself from the early Greeks and Romans to Contemporary Neo-Classicists. Coverage includes a focused examination of Cicero, Plato, Aquinas, and contemporary jurists. 3 credits.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • CRJ 475 Legal and Justice Research: Explores the specialized methods and sources of legal and justice research in: justice publications and governmental resources, case law collections, computer-assisted research in legal practice, constitutional and legislative history, legal periodicals, administrative practice and procedure materials and social sciences materials related to law. Application of legal research strategies will be required. 3 credits.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • CRJ 495 Law and Evidence: A comprehensive review of evidentiary principles, both common and statutory law and their impact on both civil and criminal process and how these principles impact the conduct of trial and litigation. Topical coverage includes real and physical evidence, demonstrative substitution, hearsay and first-hand evidence, witness scope and qualification, as well as privilege principles. Both federal and state rules will be interpreted. 3 credits.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • PLS 320 Law and the Legal Process: Covers the judicial process, including its structure and organizational and the political dimensions of judicial decision-making. 3 credits.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • PLS 324 Constitutional Law I: Prerequisite; PLS 320 or CRJ 305 or equivalent. Covers the practices, customs and traditions of the Supreme Court. Focuses on the early cases decided by the Court. Includes topics such as judicial review, federalism, presidential and congressional power, the Commerce Clause, the federal court structure, and nationalization of the Bill of Rights. 3 credits. Every semester.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • PLS 326 Constitutional Law II: Prerequisite: PLS 320 or CRJ 305 or equivalent. Surveys 20th century Supreme Court civil rights and civil liberties cases. Includes topics such as freedom of speech, press, religion, due process rights, equal protection, voting rights and the rights of women and minorities. 3 credits. Every semester.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • PLS 402 Legal Internship: Prerequisite PLS 320. Provides an experiential learning opportunity. Places student interns in either a public or private law office, undertaking paraprofessional responsibilities. 6 credits. Every summer.
    Back to Law-related classes.

  • PLS 490 Moot Court Seminar: Focus is on the appellate process of the judiciary system. Students write an appellate brief in response to a factual pattern supplied by the professor and then present an oral argument before a panel of judges based upon the brief. Purpose of course is three-fold to teach students about a particular area of law, e.g., criminal or torts, to develop legal writing skills, and to improve oral communication skills.
    Back to Law-related classes.