Pre-Law

The Frank G. Raichle Pre-Law Center
Pre-Law Committee: Robert Klump, Esq., Director, Frank G. Raichle Pre-Law Center; Patricia Erickson, Director, of the Criminal Justice Program and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice; Peter J. Galie, Professor Emeritus of Political Science; and Julia Hilliker, Esq., Board Member, Desmond Law Society

The Frank G. Raichle Pre-Law Center assists students who wish to enter the legal profession by offering counseling and advisement regarding law schools and the Law School Admissions Test and by providing several partial pre-law scholarship awards to juniors and seniors. Internship and other opportunities are enhanced by the work of the college’s Pre-Law Advisory Council

The Raichle Center also sponsors an annual lecture series on problems of law and American society. Raichle Lectures have included six justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Students interested in law are encouraged to contact the Director or another member of the pre-law committee at their earliest opportunity and are encouraged to join the pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta.

Pre-law students may wish to consider joining the college’s Mock Trial team and enrolling by instructor’s permission in the one credit Mock Trial course (LEG 101)

Canisius College does not offer a Pre-Law Major, rather we offer a program that prepares students to succeed both in law school and in the legal profession.  Students wishing to choose law as a career may major in any field or fields as undergraduates. They should bear in mind, however, that their aim must be the attainment of a broad liberal education. Specifically, they should attain considerable skill in language, knowledge of human institutions and values and an ability to reason critically. The committee therefore recommends that students wishing to choose law as a career include in their undergraduate programs of study the following:

  1. Courses which develop skills of accurate comprehension and precise expression in language.
  2. Courses in which knowledge of human institutions can be attained, with special reference to American constitutional law and history.
  3. Courses which develop abilities in logic and appreciation of ethical and political values.
  4. Courses in introductory accounting and economics.

For a more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities please visit the Pre-law webpage.

The Program

Freshman Year

Introduction to the Raichle Pre-law Center

Attend New Student Orientation Program Session (Fall)

Phi Alpha Delta Membership

Consider membership in Desmond Pre-Law Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity (Fall induction)

Raichle Pre-Law Center

Attend Comprehensive Presentation by Raichle Center Director Robert Klump and former Director Peter Galie at which the following aspects of the law school application process and the legal profession will be addressed. All pre-law students are invited to attend (Fall)

  • What is the legal profession all about?
  • Varieties of practice, e.g. law firm, in-house, government.
  • What opportunities does a law degree provide in addition to the practice of law?
  • The current state of the legal job market.
  • The cost of attending law school and financing law school education.
  • Building a resume that will help get you into law school.
  • Choosing a curriculum that will be attractive to law school admissions committees.
  • Internship opportunities.
  • The LSAT (Law School Aptitude Test): how to prepare; when to take.

Sophomore Year

Phi Alpha Delta Membership

Consider membership in Desmond Pre-Law Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity Fall induction

Course Selection

Consider pre-law Recommended Electives in selecting courses Fall/Spring

Pre-Law Scholarship Competition

Sophomores satisfying eligibility requirements may apply for a partial pre-law scholarship for their junior year; several scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis by the Pre-Law Committee Spring

Junior Year

Course Selection

Consider pre-law Recommended Electives in selecting courses Fall/Spring

Pre-Law Scholarship Competition

Juniors satisfying eligibility requirements may apply for a partial pre-law scholarship for their senior year; several scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis by the Pre-Law Committee (Spring)

Internships

Juniors interested in doing a law-related internship during the summer preceding senior year should submit an application and supporting materials to the Director Spring

Getting into Law School

A Strategy for Success

A service provided by the Raichle Pre-Law Center consisting of one-on-one counseling during the Spring semester on the law school application process, including the following topics:

  • Selecting the right law school.
  • Applying to law school including early admissions.
  • Preparing for the LSAT, including course offered on campus by Kaplan.
  • Writing the personal statement.
  • Updating resumes.
  • Obtaining letters of recommendation.

Senior Year

One-one-one advisement sessions on the law school application process, including: whether and when to retake the LSAT; strategies for enhancing chances for admission at particular schools; negotiating scholarship and financial aid offers; selecting which law school to attend. Fall/Spring

Recommended Electives

Information after the course title is provided to help students understand the reason each course is recommended as a potential elective.

Accounting
ACC 201Financial Accounting (introduction to financial concepts relevant to study of business-related law school courses such as taxation and corporate law)3
ACC 202Managerial Accounting (introduction to financial concepts relevant to study of business-related law school courses such as taxation and corporate law)3
Classics
CLS 300Roman Law and Society (the origins and development of civil and statutory law in the Western legal tradition)3
Criminal Justice
CRJ 280Language for Legal Professions3
CRJ 449Criminal Law (acquisition of substantive knowledge of major areas of law)3
CRJ 450Criminal Procedure (acquisition of substantive knowledge of major areas of law)3
Economics
ECO 101Principles of Macroeconomics (introduction to the economic system that undergirds and plays a major role in our legal system)3
ECO 102Principles of Microeconomics (introduction to the economic system that undergirds and plays a major role in our legal system)3
English
ENG 385Persuasive Writing (refinement of professional writing)3
Philosophy
PHI 225Logic (preparation for LSAT)3
PHI 241Ethics: Traditions in Moral Reasoning (ethical standards relevant to the practice of law)3
PHI 261Philosophy of Law (philosophical underpinnings of law)3
Political Science
PSC 103The American Constitution (constitutional foundations of governmental power)3
PSC 320American Constitutional Law I (introduction to law school case method, i.e. use of court decisions to exemplify legal principles, acquisition of substantive knowledgeof major areas of law)3
PSC 321American Constitutional Law II (introduction to law school case method, i.e. use of court decisions to exemplify legal principles, acquisition of substantive knowledgeof major areas of law)3
PSC 420The Constitution, The War on Terror and Civil Liberties (introduction to law school case method, i.e. use of court decisions to exemplify legal principles, acquisition of substantive knowledgeof major areas of law)3
PSC 345Transnational Crime After 9/11 (substantive knowledge of legal mechanisms to promote responses to fight cross border crime, such as terrorism and drug trafficking)3

The following courses are available as options for any student, particularly those interested in legal careers.

LEG 101 Mock Trial 1 Credit

Acquire knowledge of trial proceedings, rules of evidence and courtroom skills necessary to qualify for Mock Trial team membership; prepare for and compete in Mock Trial tournaments. Students may take this class up to 4 times for credit.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Offered: fall & spring.

LEG 201 Legal Reasoning, Writing and Advocacy 3 Credits

Examine process and techniques which lawyers use to advocate effectively in the American legal system. Analyze the art of legal argument, decision-making and reasoning. Draft legal briefs and memoranda, including use of precedent.

Offered: occasionally.