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  Nov 30, 2020
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Pre-Law Studies Minor

The 18-credit minor in Pre-Law Studies can be completed by students in almost any major. It is recommended for all students interested in going to law school after graduating from Russell Sage. It would also be helpful for students who are interested in a law-related career after college, such as jobs in government or in the courts.

The American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has published a statement on preparation for legal education which has guided the formulation of this minor. According to the ABA, no specific major is or should be required for admission to law schools in the United States. However, undergraduate coursework is recommended that develops skills that can help students prepare for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and that builds a skills and knowledge base that can help students once they reach law school. The skills referred to by the ABA include: analysis and problem solving; critical reading; writing; oral communication; listening; and, legal research. The knowledge base includes: contemporary political systems; history, political theory; ethics and theories of justice; economics; and human behavior.

This minor requires two classes as its core, which meet the writing and legal research skills base recommended by the ABA. The remaining skills and knowledge may be acquired by the other four classes counting toward the minor, which should be different courses in various disciplines to balance the student’s major coursework. For example, a math major with a Pre-Law Studies minor will probably need a political systems course, while a political science major may need a human behavior course.

Requirements for Minor in Pre-Law Studies

Select one of the following writing intensive courses: 3 Credits

Select three additional Pre-Law courses with advisement from your Pre-Law minor advisor*: 9 Credits

Total credits in Pre-Law Studies Minor: 18


* Courses chosen must include work so that at least nine credits of the minor are taken outside of your major discipline.

Accelerated B.A./J.D. Program with Albany Law School

Russell Sage College and Albany Law School have partnered to offer a 3+3 Accelerated Law School program for entering first-year students and rising sophomore students who meet certain requirements.  Selected students start at Albany Law School after their junior year at Russell Sage.  They receive a bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage at the end of their first year at Albany Law School, spend the normal three years there, then receive a juris doctorate (J.D.) law degree.

Who should apply to the six-year program?  Student must be superior prospects to qualify for this program.  The admission committees at both Russell Sage College and Albany Law School use grade point average, class rank, SAT scores, and an essay or writing sample as criteria for admission.  The Sage Colleges and Albany Law School consider students with 1250 or above on the SAT and rank in the upper 10% of high school graduating class.

Students may seek admission to the accelerated law program after completion of their first year at college.  In this case, students must have maintained an excellent GPA during their first year of college level study in addition to the SAT and class rank requirements above. The standards for admission to the 3+3 Program are higher than for ordinary admission; failure to be accepted into this extremely competitive program does not mean that you should not plan to enter Russell Sage with a plan to attend law school.

How do you apply?  Entering first-year students should tell the admissions counselor with whom they speak that they wish to apply to the 3+3 accelerated law program with Albany Law School.  The admissions counselors will screen the admissions material and, if appropriate, send them to Albany Law School for a final decision.  Students seeking to apply to the 3+3 program at the end of their first year at Russell Sage should contact Professor Pamela Katz (244-2067) about their intention to apply.

What do you need to do to stay in the program?  Students in the Accelerated Law program must choose a major that, along with general education courses, can be completed in three years at Sage.  The Pre-Law Advisor can help you select a major that works for the program.  Students accepted into the 3+3 program must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 durign the three years of undergraduate study at Russell Sage College.  In addition, students must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and achieve a score no lower than the median LSAT score for the prior year’s entering class at Albany Law School.