Skip to main content

Pre-Law Program Information

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin does not offer a degree (or a minor) in Pre-law or legal studies. However, UTPB does offer courses and advising assistance for those planning to apply for law school after graduation.

Preparing for law school:

There is no major or minor in pre-law. Lawyers with strong undergraduate preparation are needed in every field. Good law schools do NOT recommend a particular undergraduate major or any prescribed course of study before application to law school.

You do need a good G.P.A. so you should major and minor in disciplines that interest and excite you.

Academic skills needed for success in law school:

*Critical analytical thinking skills

*Command of written and oral communication

*Appreciation of other cultures

* Broad-based knowledge of literature, the arts, history, the social sciences, mathematics, and

the physical and biological sciences

*In-depth knowledge of one or more fields of knowledge

Other useful experiences and skills:

*Volunteer in the community

*Get involved with student organizations

*Do an internship

*Learn to network

Useful UTPB courses to take as electives:

You should have a general knowledge of how the governmental and legal systems work. Here are some upper division UTPB courses available for you to take as electives so that you can better understand the American legal system and learn some legal terminology:

  • COMM 3355 Advanced Public Speaking
  • COMM 4315 Communication Law
  • CRIM 4312 Criminal Procedure
  • CRIM 4322 Legal Foundations of Corrections
  • CRIM 4333 Law and Society
  • ENSC 3320 Environmental Law
  • LEAD 4370 Conflict Resolution
  • PLSC 3330 Judicial Politics
  • PLSC 4335 Constitutional Law
  • PLSC 4336 Civil Liberties
  • PSYC 4375 Psychology and the Law

Taking the LSAT

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is the organization which administers the LSAT. The LSAT is a 3 ½ hour aptitude test to predict how well a student will do in law school. It tests reading comprehension as well as logical and analytical reasoning. The LSAT is required by every law school in North America. The LSAT should be taken the summer before your college senior year or at the latest the October before you plan to attend law school.

The LSAT may be taken more than once, and scores are treated in various ways depending upon the law school. The LSAT is administered nationally four times a year at many sites, including UTPB. Information on the LSAT and how to sign up for the testing (as well as other information about law schools) can be found on the LSAC web site: www.lsac.org

Helpful websites:

Year-By-Year Checklist for the Pre-Law Student

*Freshmen and sophomore years: focus on getting good grades, learning how to write and take tests, involving yourself in school organizations

*Freshman and sophomore years: contact the pre-law advisor on campus; finish your General Education requirements; begin to take courses in your major and minor; attend all Pre-Law sponsored activities

*Junior year: maintain your GPA and your volunteer activities; schedule an internship off campus; start examining law schools and their requirements; study for the LSAT; maintain contact with the pre law advisor; schedule the LSAT

*Note: UTPB is an official site for the LSAT. Check the lsac.org for dates, registration information, and code number for UTPB

*Senior year: maintain your GPA; schedule the LSAT if you have not taken it earlier; finalize decisions on law school

For more information, contact the Pre-Law Advisor:

Dr. Craig Emmert

Associate Professor of Political Science

MB 3232

(432) 552-2344

emmert_c@utpb.edu