The Political Science Department provides advisement and assistance to students seeking careers as an attorney, legal assistant or paralegal. We provide information about the law boards (LSATs) and various resources to assist in LSAT preparation such as catalogs from approximately 90 law schools across the country and LSAT preparation material. Cortland has placed its graduates in most of the top law schools in the east, and many other schools around the country.
Law schools do not advise students interested in the law to pursue any one particular major. In general, the best way to prepare for law school is to build a strong academic record and develop analytic writing, reading and thinking skills. The Political Science Department offers many courses in this area, including Constitutional Law I: Powers, Constitutional Law II: Civil Liberties, Judicial Process, Law and Politics, The Criminal Justice System, International Law, Discrimination Law, Justice and Society, Legal Theory and a Pre-Law Internship.
These classes require students to brief cases and develop their critical thinking and writing skills in the areas of legal research, legal analysis, and legal drafting. Students learn how lawyers think and what they must do to be able to communicate effectively with lawyers, judges and laypeople. Students should consult with the pre-law advisor in the Political Science Department for more information.
Many of our recent graduates have gone on to study law at some of the best schools in the nation. The most common choices are law schools in the northeast, but some have traveled as far as Colorado and California. We are happy to help our students find the law school that suits their needs and interests. We maintain a pre-law library, invite law school speakers to campus, bring our own graduates in law back to talk to students and bring groups of students to the Cornell Law Day.
Our graduates have gone to various law schools including Cornell University, St. John's University, Albany Law School, State University of New Jersey Law School at Rutgers, the University of Baltimore Law School, University at Buffalo, The University of Alabama School of Law, New England School of Law, American University, Washington College of Law, George Washington University and Syracuse University. We pride ourselves on the success of our students in law school.
SUNY Cortland offers a moot court opportunity that is connected to an academic course. POL 489 is offered during the fall semester for 3 credit hours. In 2010 Danielle Singer placed sixth out of 82 competitors at the 2010 Moot Court Regional Competition, arguing cases before a panel of judges. This course is open to any major of at least junior status.
There is an information session for students interested in attending law school. The topics covered include: how to prepare for law school as an undergraduate, LSAT, personal statements, recommendations, and financial aid. Students also have an opportunity to ask questions about the application process.
Each fall semester Cortland students attend Cornell's Law School Day. This event includes law school representatives from all over the country to answer questions. It has been an invaluable tool for our students who have participated. This event is open to the entire campus.
Timothy Delaune, Pre-Law Advisor