Senate works to implement pre-law minor

Rachel Ann Lew

Students interested in law have not had a structured pre-law program, but the Senate of College Councils is currently developing a resolution for UT to offer pre-law as a minor.

Sanat Sharma, co-author of the resolution and computer science freshman, said he does not think there are enough resources to guide undergraduates who consider
themselves pre-law.

“We wished to create a program which made students aware of the various classes and resources available on campus and at their disposal,” Sharma said in an email. “Last year, over 400 pre-law based [advising] appointments were made and we felt there needed to be a structured way of spreading information to students.”

The proposed program would be composed of seven courses totaling 21 hours, focusing in government, philosophy, logic and speechmaking, according to the resolution. The program is designed to give undergraduate students in different majors “a taste of the skills required in law school,” Sharma said. 

Sharma said he thinks a structured pre-law minor program would allow students to gauge their interest in the field of law.

“It will also make them aware of the various law and logic related classes present at UT,” Sharma said. “A point to remember is that the pre-law minor is not aimed at helping people to get into law school.”

Sharma said a possible obstacle to implementation is providing a program that allows students from a variety of majors to participate in.

“We are aiming for a diverse minor with classes spread over multiple colleges,” Sharma said. “Here arises the tricky issue regarding specific classes open to only specialized majors. However, we are currently in talks regarding that and hope to find a solution.”

Miles Wilson, co-author of the resolution and religious studies and Plan II junior, said he and the other authors have already proposed the creation of a pre-law program to UT administration. 

“As of now, we have spoken to Career Services in both Liberal Arts and the Communication School,” Wilson said. “Additionally, we have spoken briefly to the government department, and will be meeting with them soon to discuss the feasibility of housing the minor within government.”

Bishop Wash, co-author of the resolution and advertising junior, said the proposed idea has been met with a positive response overall, but planning its implementation is still an ongoing process.

“The authors and I had a sit-down meeting with Dean Flores of the College of Liberal Arts,” Wash said. “He was adamant that the proposed pre-law program be considered a minor instead of a certificate due to both the universal understanding of what a minor is and the fact that it would be easier to implement because it would require less hours to complete. Dean Flores also suggested housing the pre-law program under the College of Liberal Arts.”

Government senior Ashton Hoffman, who has been admitted into law school, said the current course offering for pre-law students is characterized by excellent, but limited classes.

“Law school is a common and natural progression for students and therefore having a program tailored for that progression is important,” Hoffman said. “I would have definitely done [the program]. As of now, most students do government, which is a compromise at best. Our government program is excellent, but can’t possibly provide enough room for specific law types of classes.”