Pre-Law

As a pre-law student at BVU, you’ll gain a competitive edge through engaging courses taught by expert faculty, co-curricular activities, internships, leadership opportunities, and unique professional development experiences. BVU’s law school preparation emphasizes not only substantive knowledge of the law, but develops the skills most important to success in law school including logical and analytical reasoning, research, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Legal studies and partnerships

Students who graduate with this major can pursue careers in:

  • Preparation for entry to law school or graduate school
  • Law offices
  • Government agencies or public-sector jobs
  • Non-profit organizations or private businesses
  • Political campaigns

To date, BVU is one of the only institutions in the country to have a dedicated legal studies track and partnerships with the University of Iowa College of Law and Creighton University School of Law.

As part of BVU’s “3+3” accelerated law school entry program, qualified students can apply for admission to law school with one of BVU’s partner institutions and earn both their Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor in six years.

BVU’s pre-law students will analyze real-world legal cases and problems, draft legal documents, conduct in-depth research alongside expert professors, take courses taught using the same methods used in law school, and enhance professional skills through a wide range of internship opportunities, including coveted placements through BVU’s Washington Center program.

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Dual Degree Programs

Early entry to law school

Qualified students who thrive in an exciting and challenging curriculum should consider BVU’s 3+3 Accelerated Entry to Law School Program.  BVU is one of the only institutions in the country with a dedicated legal studies track and partnered with two law schools – the University of Iowa College of Law (Iowa Law) and Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Neb. (CUSL)

Learn more

Lead Others

American Mock Trial Association + more

BVU was among the original 12 founding members of the American Mock Trial Association, which started in 1985 and today has over 500 registered teams. In recent years, the BVU team has earned trophies for “best attorney” and “best witness” at regional competitions. Students are also able to earn academic credit by participating in the program.

Political science majors are campus leaders in student government, community service projects, and participate routinely in BVU’s distinctive “Alternative Week of Spring Break” wherein students travel throughout the United States providing essential services to vulnerable populations. 

 

Get Equipped

Pre-law students complete a credit-bearing Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and a mock trial preparation course.

Dedicated Professors

The department’s dedicated pre-law advisor assists students throughout their academic careers as they prepare for law school or professional life.

100% Acceptance

BVU’s pre-law students who receive faculty recommendations have a 100 percent law school acceptance.

The Washington Center

Intern in our nation's capital

BVU has a longstanding relationship with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, which is an organization that matches students with internships in Washington, D.C. The Washington Center has placed BVU students in the White House, the U.S. Congress, law firms, policy think tanks, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and various law enforcement agencies

Internships

  • Iowa Secretary of State
  • Iowa District Court
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • Law firms
  • Government agencies

Careers

  • Assistant legal counsel to Wisconsin governor  
  • United States congressional staff
  • United States Department of Defense staff      
  • County attorneys
  • Political Campaigns

Graduate School

  • University of Iowa
  • Wake Forest University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Creighton University

Major in Political Science - Legal Studies Track (40 credit hours)

Required support work

  • PSCN 110 Introduction to American Government
  • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
  • PHIL 130 Logic

Legal Studies Core

  • PSCN 205 Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
  • PSCN 370 Legal Research and Writing
  • PSCN 400 Pre-Professional Seminar
  • PSCN 401 LSAT Preparation
  • PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
  • PSPA 320 State and Local Politics OR PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs

Electives

Complete Option A, B, or C

Option A (choose four)

  • CRIM 371 Criminal Procedure OR CRIM 240 Criminal Law
  • MGMT 315 Business Law I
  • PSCN 240 Judicial Process or PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
  • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
  • PSCN 485 Special Topics in Political Science
  • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
  • PSCN or PSPA course at 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

Option B

  • PSCN 490 Washington Center Internship Program

Option C

This option is available to students in the “3+3” Accelerated Law School Entry dual degree program.

Electives (choose two)

  • CRIM 371 Criminal Procedure OR CRIM 240 Criminal Law
  • MGMT 315 Business Law I
  • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
  • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
  • PSCN or PSPA course at 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

AND admission to the "3+3" Accelerated Law School Entry Program & successful completion of the first year of full-time study in partner law school's Juris Doctor program.

Buena Vista University 3+3 partners include the University of Iowa College of Law and Creighton University School of Law. Eligibility for the "3+3" Accelerated Law School Entry Program is contingent on satisfaction of the following criteria:

  • ACT of 24 (or above) or SAT of 1110 (or above) at time of admission to BVU
  • Successful completion of: a minimum of 98 credit hours, the Legal Studies Track, BVU Foundations and Explorations requirements and IDST 400
  • Favorable recommendation from BVU’s designated Pre-Law Advisor.
  • Successful admission to a partner law school.
  • Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) in the partner law school’s Juris Doctor program

Faculty

Ms.   Lisa Kesting  Best

Lisa Kesting Best

Professor of Political Science

Meet the professor
Dr.   Bradley  Best

Bradley Best

Professor of Political Science

Meet the professor