Prepare for a Career in Law

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The Schar School Prepares Competitive Law School Applicants

Whether you are laser-focused on going to law school or just thinking about it, a degree from the Schar School of Policy and Government offers the flexibility to pursue a career in law—or one in government, academia, the nonprofit sector, and in private practice. We provide a host of programs and opportunities that will prepare you to excel in whatever field you choose.

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Legal-Focused Courses

The Schar School offers numerous courses with a legal focus. These classes fulfill bachelor’s degrees and legal studies minor requirements as well as some courses in the Mason core.

  • GOVT 301: Public Law and the Judicial Process
  • GOVT 307: Legislative Behavior
  • GOVT 414: Politics of Race and Gender
  • GOVT 420: American Political Thought
  • GOVT 422: Constitutional Interpretation
  • GOVT 423: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
  • GOVT 446: International Law and Organization
  • GOVT 452: Administrative Law and Procedures

Law-Focused Undergraduate Degrees

Students in any Schar School undergraduate degree will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain the practical skills and knowledge needed to make a real difference in the world.
  • Network with industry leaders and subject-matter experts in the field of law.
  • Learn strategic curriculum that will provide insight into specific fields of interest.
  • Develop the pre-law skills to become a competitive applicant for law school.

Legal Studies Minor

The legal studies minor focuses on the constitutional foundations, interpretation, processes, and functions of domestic and international law. If you pursue a minor, you have the opportunity to:

  • Conduct independent research
  • Engage in globally related activities through course work and language study at Mason and abroad
  • Participate in many forms of public service
  • Prepare for a future career through internships, career-focused coursework, and other college-to-career activities

All students must complete 18 credits in government with a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course. Eight credits of course work must be unique to the minor.

Concentration in Law, Philosophy, and Governance

Students can choose to pursue a concentration within any of the Schar School’s three majors:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Security and Law
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Administration 

The concentration in law, philosophy, and governance explores the basis for government and its foundational roots, and examines the logic, history, and means by which people create governments.

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Pre-Law Opportunities and Resources

The Patriot Pre-Law Program is a faculty led program that helps students gain an advantage in the highly competitive law school admissions process and ultimately on the legal job market. Assistant Professor Phillip Mink, a career lawyer, guides students as they search for the right law school and complete the application process. Students have the opportunity to:

  • Network with other students from different law schools that include Georgetown, George Washington, and many other schools that give students a broad understanding of the admissions process. 
  • Attend workshops to help understand the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
  • Learn the skills to create a detailed law school personal statement, which many law schools use instead of a face-to-face interview.
  • Get advice on choosing the best law school based on rank, financial aid and cost of attendance, and specialized programs.

The co-presidents are Ankita Bhurtel (left) and Iman Abdel-Latif (right).The program director is Phillip Mink (middle).

The Schar Pre-Law Group is a student led organization that provides support and educational and professional opportunities for students interested in law school. This group helps:

  • Inform members about the law school application process through information sessions, LSAT and personal statement workshops, and recommended classes.
  • Facilitate communication with law school admissions experts, opportunities to visit law schools, and events with practicing lawyers and law school professors.
  • Foster a community, support system, and inclusive environment for all Mason students interested in pursuing a career in law.

Jurisprudence Learning Community

JPLC students at the Virginia Supreme Court
Students at the Virginia Supreme Court

One of four learning communities at the Schar School, the Jurisprudence Learning Community, focuses on building connections between you and your peers as well as law professionals. Students in this learning community gets the opportunity to participate in activities such as:

  • A weekly dinner series for participating LC students with high-profile speakers including Associate Counsel to the President at the White House and the Senior Advisor to the Speaker of the House 
  • A field trip to the Supreme Court of Virginia for a talk and tour with Justice Cleo Powell 
  • A law school admissions tour and class visit at Mason's Antonin Scalia Law School 

The learning community is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

    Ally Coll (Thumbnail)

    “Together we explore the legal system: how it works, who makes it run, and why it is at the heart of every major policy issue facing our country today. Students build analytical skills and gain real-world exposure to opportunities in order to prepare them for a career in law and policy.” 

     

    Assistant Professor Ally Coll
    Director of the
    Jurisprudence Learning Community

     

    For any questions or to learn more about Ally Coll, click here 
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    Faculty Experts in the Legal Field

    Student in Faculty Legal-Led Course
    Students attend a faculty-led panel discussion 

    Schar School professors bring years of legal experience to the classroom and undergraduate research. Areas of expertise include:

    • Labor law
    • International law
    • Immigration law
    • Intelligence and national security
    • The criminal justice system
    • Courts and prisons system
    • Reproductive law
    • Workplace law
    Stuart Malawer

    "As a former tenured law professor and now teaching at the Schar School, I am proud of how broad our discussions are in class while outlining specific cases, statutes, and treaties.”

    Stuart Malawer, JD, PhD
    Distinguished Service Professor of Law and International Trade
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    Gain Real-World Experiences

    Schar School students interested in legal studies can earn credit toward their degree while completing an internship during each semester. Our students have interned with:

    • Law firms, including Cervantes & Cervantes; Choharis Law Group; CIMA Law Group; Jaklitsch Law Group; and Salvetti Law Group
    • Members of Congress, including Rep. David Rouzer, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep. Lauren Underwood
    • Fairfax Circuit Court Office of Historic Records
    • Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Human Rights Campaign
    • Juvenile Domestic Relations District Court Services Stronger Together
    • Legal Aid Justice Center
    • U.S. Government Accountability Office
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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    Schar School Graduates Pursue Careers in Law

    Many of our students enroll in law school or accept positions within government, law, and the nonprofit sector. Here is a selection of law schools and employers where recent Schar School graduates can be found:

    Law Schools

    • Georgetown Law
    • George Washington University Law School
    • Quinnipiac University School of Law
    • Seton Hall University School of Law

    Law Firms

    • Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC 
    • Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, LLP
    • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
    • Norton Rose Fulbright 

    Nonprofit Organizations

    • Fair Elections Center
    • American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
    • Foundation for Law & International Affairs
    • Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

    Local, State, and Federal Government Jobs

    • Administrative Office of the United States Courts
    • Prince William County Circuit Court
    • U.S. Department of Justice
    • U.S. Department of Treasury
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    Get in Touch

    Prospective students and their families can get to know the Schar School by setting up an informational appointment with the Schar School undergraduate recruitment team. 

    Visit in person in 333 Aquia Building on the Fairfax campus, or set up a time to talk by phone or Zoom. Reach out to ScharUAA@gmu.edu or 703-993-6564 to schedule a conversation.

    Schar School Undergraduate Student Liaisons are also happy to help!

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    Learn more about our undergraduate experience, program offerings, and career outcomes.