Required Pre-law Courses

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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.

Law-Related Classes- Descriptions found below
(one required, additional choices recommended):

      • PLS 324 Constitutional Law I
      • PLS 326 Constitutional Law II
      • PLS 320 Law and Legal Process
      • PLS 490 Moot Court Seminar
      • PLS 402 Legal Internships
      • CRJ 305 Adjudication Process
      • CRJ 311 Criminal Law
      • CRJ 471 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
      • CRJ 495 Law and Evidence
      • BUS 375 Business Law I
      • BUS 376 Business Law II

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.

Liberal Arts Requirement (one of the following):

      • ENG 300 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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CRJ 471 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Last Updated 8/13/18

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