The pre-law program at the University of Minnesota, Morris is designed to assist students preparing for legal careers throughout every stage of their undergraduate education by providing
- Career information
- Assistance with course selection
- LSAT planning and preparation
- Law school selection guidance
The University of Minnesota, Morris has one of the best law school placement records in the entire Upper Midwest. Here are some of the advantages we offer those who choose to prepare for their careers on a distinguished liberal arts campus.
The campus pre-law adviser is Timothy Lindberg, professor of Political Science.
The academic rigor and interdisciplinary strength of a liberal arts campus will greatly empower your pre-law education. Courses are taught by faculty from across the campus.
Hands-On Legal Experience
Because of the strong relationship between the campus and surrounding communities, students at the University of Minnesota, Morris have unparalleled access, through the Stevens County Attorney’s Office, to criminal prosecutions, including interviewing of defendants and/or witnesses, drafting of criminal complaints, and observation of a wide range of criminal proceedings.
Comprehesnsive Law School Selection and Admission Information
The campus provides an annual Graduate and Professional School Information Day. The pre-law adviser will assist you in maximizing your chances of getting into the top law schools, offering detailed information on admissions requirements and criteria at various institutions.
LSAT Preparation Assistance
In addition to the support of the campus pre-law adviser, students at the University of Minnesota, Morris have access to an FAQ written by a pre-law adviser with ten years’ experience that includes scoring information and a suggested study schedule.
Successful Extra-Curricular Organizations
Many pre-law students enjoy competing in the prestigious University of Minnesota, Morris Mock Trial program. The group has a strong history of success both at the regional and national levels of the American Mock Trial Association.
Suggested Pre-Law Courses
“Am I really cut out to read the law?”
“What kind of law should I practice?”
“Am I a litigator or a writer of great briefs?”
“Could a writ of habeas corpus get me out of my final?”
Forensics, logic, business, justice, the Constitution... the University of Minnesota, Morris offers several courses that allow undergraduates to explore the possibility of a career in law. One of the benefits of preparing for a legal career at a liberal arts campus is access to upper-level courses in disciplines such as:
that include concentrated reading and writing so valuable to the aspiring lawyer. Examine the list below for some examples and see what catches your interest. There are no requirements for the UMM pre-law program, which is for advising and guidance purposes. Students are encouraged to take courses that focus on logic, analytical problem-solving, and creative or analytical writing, but keep in mind that successful lawyers have majored in every discipline, including the Sciences, Humanities, Fine Arts, Education, and Social Sciences.
And for the record, a writ of habeas corpus, also known as an order from a judge to an incarcerating official, will not get you excused from examinations.
POL 1202. Law and Society: Introduction to Public Law
This introductory level course is intended as a survey of the concept of public law both for students interested in taking upper-level courses dealing with legal and constitutional questions and for students simply interested in a greater understanding of why and how law matters in 21st-century society.
POL 2202. Criminal Justice and Policing
Law enforcement is a critical function in the United States that operates on the local, state, and national level. This course examines processes, actors, and institutions involved in criminal justice, from the investigation of criminal activity through the arrest and incarceration of individuals. With a focus on modern controversies such as use of force and systemic racism, the course provides students with a critical foundation for understanding the criminal justice system in the context of the United States.
POL 2221. The American Judicial Process
A half-semester course examining the common law system as broadly practiced in the United States, including types of legal recourse, the structures of state and federal judicial systems, how judges are selected, and the various influences on their decisions.
POL 2222. The U.S. Supreme Court
A half-semester course specifically looking at the role of the Supreme Court in U.S. politics with an emphasis on its historical development, how it interacts with the other federal branches, and the decision-making process of the justices on the Court.
POL 2354. Political Ethics
Examination of the strengths, weaknesses, and implications of moral arguments in political decision making. Ethical frameworks drawn from theoretical readings are applied to a range of contemporary U.S. case studies such as state use of violence, interrogation in times of war, governmental secrecy and deceit, official disobedience, health-care access, welfare reform, and environmental regulation and protection.
POL 2461. Diplomatic Negotiation
Discusses negotiation strategies and tactics and examines negotiation skills through a series of simulated negotiations and mock conferences. Diplomacy, negotiation styles, negotiation simulations, and mock conferences.
POL 3231. Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Case-based examination of major Supreme Court opinions primarily dealing with the Bill of Rights and including topics such as freedom of religion, speech and the press, rights of the accused, and struggles over the right to privacy and how to guarantee civil rights protections.
POL 3232. Constitutional Law: Government Powers and Constraints
Case-based examination of major Supreme Court opinions dealing with separation of powers, checks and balances, and issues of federalism. Specific topics include the importance of due process, the Contract Clause, the power to tax and spend, the Commerce Clause, and the struggle to define national and state powers.
POL 3475. International Human Rights
Explores the historical and philosophical development of concepts of human rights and the contemporary international political and legal frameworks to address rights. Analyzes contemporary concerns about political, economic, and social rights, as well as specific human rights topics like human trafficking and war crimes. Compares American, European, Asian, and Developing World conceptions and critiques of human rights
PSY 3502. Psychology and Law
A psychological perspective to the law and to the legal system. Topics include jury decision making, forensic psychology, trial processes, eyewitness testimony, and sentencing.
ENGL 2121. Introduction to Creative Writing
Introduction to the basic elements of creative writing, including exploration of poetry, story, and journal writing. Practice with techniques such as dialogue, description, voice, and style.
ENGL 2171. Editing and Proofreading
Students learn and practice the techniques of developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading, while exploring career applications for these skills.
POL 3411. International Law
Relations of international law to individuals, states, the international community, jurisdictional problems, survey of principles developed by diplomatic agents and consuls, treaties, arbitration, treatment of aliens, pacific settlement. War and hostile measures short of war, military occupation, war crimes, neutrality, collective security sanctions.
PHIL 3131. Philosophy of Law
Critical examination of theoretical and practical normative issues in the philosophy of law (e.g., nature of law, justification of punishment, plea bargaining, legal and moral responsibility, and civil disobedience).
PHIL 2101. Introduction to Symbolic Logic
(Strongly recommended for the LSAT!)
An introduction to formal or deductive logic, including basic concepts of logical argumentation; Aristotelian logic; and symbolic translations, truth tables, and theory of deduction. Samples from political speeches, philosophical essays as well as original LSAT questions are analyzed.
PHIL 2111. Introductory Ethics
An introduction to philosophical accounts of what makes right acts right and wrong acts wrong, issues involving the concept of goodness, and arguments or debates about moral responsibility.
PHIL 2112. Professional Ethics
A critical examination of moral issues that arise in a person’s professional life. Possible topics include affirmative action, autonomy in the workplace, ethical issues in advertising, corporate responsibility, coercive wage offers, distributive justice, and sexual harassment. Issues concerning race, gender, and women are included in selected modules.
MGMT 2101. Principles of Accounting I
Especially Recommended for Small Firm Lawyers
An introductory course in accounting principles and practices. The students develop an understanding of both the conceptual and procedural framework of the accounting processes. Emphasis is placed on the preparation and communication of accounting information and the financial statements for a proprietorship.
Morris Graduates Law Schools and Legal Careers
“Attending the University of Minnesota, Morris was the best thing I could have done to prepare me for law school and a career as an attorney. The liberal arts mission was invaluable - being able to major in history while also minoring in computer science helped foster my appreciation of the law and my writing skills, while simultaneously honing the analytical skills that are central to both computer science and the law. The personal attention from faculty is also unparalleled. When interning at one of the top firms in Minnesota, a partner impressed by my writing observed that someone must have invested a lot of time in developing my writing technique. He was right. I instantly recalled the countless hours Professor Roland Guyotte had poured over my senior history thesis, meticulously taking his red pen to correct every little error and make me a better writer. Best of all, I was able to receive this top liberal arts education at a public university price; something to be truly appreciated given that law school on its own is such a significant financial investment.”
—Timothy J. Droske
Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
As the list below indicates, the Pre-Law program at the University of Minnesota, Morris, enjoys an outstanding placement record, one of the best in the entire Upper Midwest. Recent graduates have gone on to attend some of the strongest law schools in the country, including:
- Berkeley (Boalt)
- The University of Chicago
- The University of Minnesota
- The University of Virginia
“But what if I want to attend a law school nearby?”
Some students may prefer to attend a regional law school where they can focus on legal issues and legislation pertinent to their communities. The University of Minnesota, Morris boasts excellent admissions rates into such schools including the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Thomas, the University of North Dakota, and the University of South Dakota.
How far can you go if you combine the power of the liberal arts with a legal education? Graduates of the University of Minnesota, Morris have practiced law in some of the most prominent positions and offices in the land, including:
- University of Minnesota Office of the General Counsel
- Hennepin County District Court Judge
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clerk
- Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice
- Assistant Attorney General
- Public Defender
- Associate Counsel to the President
- White House Counsel’s Office
- Regulatory & Government Affairs and Litigation & Controversy Department
- Workers Compensation Judge
- Defense and National Security Group
- Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group
A strong undergraduate education, the key to a successful career, is effectively enhanced by solid advising. Pre-Law advising at the University of Minnesota, Morris can assist you with:
- Course selection
- LSAT preparation
- Law school admissions counseling
Pre-law students should consider adding Professor Timothy Lindberg as an adviser. Students are encouraged to contact Professor Lindberg about any questions they might have about law school, the LSAT, law school admissions, or a career in law. A professor of Political Science, Dr. Lindberg teaches courses in political behavior, Constitutional law, and the judicial process at UMM. His research interests include U.S. territorial policy, intersections of law and policy, and the role of race, religion, and identity over U.S. history in political decision-making. He is the current parliamentarian to the Campus Assembly and the adviser to both the UMM Mock Trial organization and the Morris Campus Student Association.
Students may also wish to include Pre-Law as one of their programs on their declared areas information on file with the Advising Office.