COAS_CriminalJustice_Faculty

Pre-Law Program 

Location: Building 51, Room 2117
Phone: (904) 620-1069
Web Address: http://www.unf.edu/coas/prelaw/

Martin I. Edwards, Director Pre-Law Program       

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a Pre-Law Program to enhance the preparation of the undergraduate student interested in pursuing law school and entrance into law school or a law-related career. The Pre-Law Program is multifaceted in the range of services to students preparing for the rigors of legal training. Components of the program include thorough pre-law advising, curriculum analysis and assistance with appropriate course selection, and preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The program assists students in preparing for the LSAT in various ways: by helping students form study groups, lending students LSAT study videos, books, previously administered LSAT tests, and advice handouts from our extensive Resource Center. The Pre-Law Program assists students in acquiring the necessary background and skills for law school admission and provides the guidance and practical information to maximize the student’s opportunities for success in the field of law.

Additionally, the Pre-Law Program offers at least one $1,500 scholarship each academic year to a qualified student. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in and have been enrolled in the Pre-Law Program for two consecutive semesters prior to applying, have and maintain a minimum of 3.25 GPA, and be enrolled as a full-time student (12 semester hours) at UNF.

The Pre-Law Program also strives to keep students informed about and involved in Pre-Law activities. The program publishes an information magazine entitled, Pre-Law during the fall and spring semesters, which include articles written by other Pre-Law students about their experiences as UNF students and offers their advice about taking the LSAT or applying to law school. The magazine also includes information on up-coming events and pre-law opportunities. Students are welcome to stop by the offices anytime and pick up the most recent edition of Pre-Law for free.

During the course of each semester, the Pre-Law Program hosts and co-sponsors a variety of law-related events including two Pre-Law Board luncheons each year and two major informational events including Pre-law Day and Pre-law Forum. The Pre-Law program's Board of Advisors is comprised of over fifty local judges, attorneys, business people, and former UNF students who meet two times a year with Pre-law students. During these luncheons, guest speakers lecture on a variety of topics including international and national politics, American history as well as crime in America. In addition, one luncheon each year is designated for Pre-law Scholarship finalists to speak to the Board who then decides that year's scholarship winner. During the fall semester each year, Pre-Law sponsors Pre-Law Day, an event which allows students to meet with representatives from over thirty law schools from across Florida and around the country. The representatives answer student questions regarding the law school application process. A prominent guest speaker from the legal community is invited to serve as guest speaker. Each spring, Pre-Law also host Pre-Law Forum during which a panel of guest speakers discuss subjects as varied as the law school application process, the realities of life in law school and choosing a field of law.

The Pre-Law Program has developed four undergraduate courses which focus on the application of specific skills and perspectives such as: analytical thinking and problem solving, critical reading and writing, oral communication, research, task organizing and time management, the values of serving others and promoting social justice and knowledge. The first of the courses, "Mock Trail," was instituted during the summer of 1995. Students learn the fundamentals of trial techniques and strategy by active participation in mock trails. The examination of witnesses provides students with opportunities to practice direct and cross-examination skills acquired during the course. In 1996, the University joined the American Mock Trail Association and fielded its first Mock Trial team. Currently, two mock trail teams annually compete in the Southeastern Regional Mock Trail Qualifying Tournament. Five times during the past ten years UNF teams have competed in the national tournaments. Another course "The Law and Social Responsibility" contains a historical, philosophical, and sociological examination of law and legal practitioner with special reference to such questions as: "Do law, lawyers, and law enforcers make people socially responsible?" The third course "Pre-Law Seminar: Ethics, Standards and Values" focuses on the ethical role a contemporary lawyer s in an ever changing society. The fourth course, "Child Advocacy," deals with the role various professionals perform in dealing with the rights of children within the legal system.

In addition, the Pre-Law Lecture Series has been created to invite nationally renowned guest speakers to campus.  Among these speakers have been Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist; Jeffrey Toobin, author and Senior Legal Analyst with CNN; Ken Starr, Solicitor General of the United States, United States Circuit Judge, Independent Counsel during the Clinton Administration, and current president of Baylor University, and Scott Turow, writer and practicing attorney.  Mr. Turow is the author of seven best-selling novels including Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof, both of which were made into movies.  The speakers in this series interact with students as well as present public lectures on an issue in the law which intersects a course of study in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Prospective students are welcome to visit the Pre-Law offices throughout the year or visit the website for more information. Students interested in the Pre-Law Program should consult the Director of the Pre-Law Program whose office is located in the Social Sciences Building 51, Room 2117 and can be reached by phone at (904) 620-1069, or email at medwards@unf.edu.