Lawyer Up! New Pre-Law Minor Enhances MC Students’ Constitutional Understanding
Laws are the rules that bind everyone in American society together. As defined by the Judicial Learning Center, laws protect our general safety, and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people, by organizations, and by the government itself.
A new minor being offered at Mississippi College this fall will provide students in any degree program a fundamental understanding of American laws and the U.S. Constitution upon which they are based.
According to Dr. Patrick Connelly, associate professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at MC, the new program will allow students to tailor the minor to their specific areas of interest. It will include electives in numerous types of law and other topics that enhance the study and practice of law.
“Previously, MC only offered prelegal-emphasis tracks of study connected to its history and political science major programs,” Connelly said. “This opens the door for students outside our department to have access to pre-law as a minor.”
Classes will be taught primarily at MC’s Clinton campus, with some courses available online.
Jay Armstrong, director of admissions for MC Law, said the minor could lead some students to consider a future in the legal profession.
“I am happy to see the pre-law minor come to fruition,” Armstrong said. “It will give undergraduate students an introduction to our legal system and the United States Constitution. Some of the courses offered will be taught by MC Law professors and/or practicing attorneys, which we hope will convince some students to consider law school.”
Connelly said the minor originated from a desire to create a strong, interdisciplinary minor for a broader audience of students.
“While the minor core is rooted in our department, students will have a wide range of elective options beyond our department,” he said. “MC leaders have been discussing the possibility of a free-standing pre-law minor for a couple of years, but we got together in the spring of 2021 to finalize the structure.”
The minor will consist of a 12-hour required core of classes, including Introduction to Law, Legal Writing, and American Constitutional Development I and II, plus six hours of elective courses.
Students may choose from Administration of Justice classes such as Criminal Law, Criminology, Judicial Process, Private Security Law, and Arrest, Search, and Seizure; Department of English classes Analysis of Discourse, Rhetorical Devices and Designs, and Public and Professional Writing; Department of Christian Studies and Philosophy classes Christian Ethics and Introduction to Logic; School of Business classes such as Business Law II, Business Law and Ethics, and Real Estate Law; and Department of Communication class Communication Law.
“The 12-hour core of the minor will give students a great foundation in law and the Constitution, which not only prepare students for the possibility of law school, but the responsibilities of citizenship,” Connelly said. “While the minor was created with those who may be interested in law as a career in mind, it also strengthens the analytical writing skills of anyone who takes it.”
He said MC students in the Department of History and Political Science and in other disciplines already have expressed an interest in the minor.
“That’s a promising start,” he said. “While we are not the only school in the state to offer some variation of this minor, it not only makes us competitive, but offers something unique. The range of interdisciplinary options and our strong relationship with the MC School of Law will greatly benefit MC students.”
For more information about MC’s pre-law program, visit mc.edu/academics/departments/history.pre-law.