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Pre-Law


At left, Tim Peterson '10 landed a clerk position with John Malm '88 before graduating John Marshall Law School in Chicago. At right, Neil Driscoll '11 interned at the HIV/AIDS Legal Center near Sydney, Australia.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Augustana’s program in pre-law is affiliated with the political science department. The department offers several law related courses and is one of the most globally focused departments at the college. The political science department provides extensive coursework in international and comparative politics, and serves as a key resource for several of the college’s international study programs, especially Asian studies and Latin American studies. The department’s challenging, motivational law program is adaptable to each student’s interests.

In the past five years, 83 percent of Augustana graduates who applied to law school in their senior year were admitted to at least one of their choices. During the last five years, the national average for all law school applicants was 73 percent. Law schools attended by recent Augustana graduates include the Universities of Illinois and Minnesota, DePaul, Drake, Elon, John Marshall, Loyola, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Texas Southern, Valparaiso, Wake Forest and Washington University, among others.

What graduates do

Jennifer Youngs ’12 is pursuing her Doctor of Law at the University of Illinois.

Allison Schaley '11 is a legal assistant with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lucas Mlsna '07 is an assistant state's attorney for Winnebago County in Rockford, Ill.

The strong liberal arts curriculum provided by Augustana, featuring breadth and depth of study, is the best preparation for law school and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). While students preparing to become lawyers may choose any academic major, their liberal arts base is the key to developing the ability to think critically, to read and comprehend complex materials, to communicate effectively, and to research and defend a position or argument.

Beyond the rigorous academic program and liberal arts background, Augustana’s community and learning environment are ideal for pre-law students for important social reasons: students here find encouragement and many opportunities to develop their citizenship and leadership qualities. In the competitive law school admission process, these characteristics combined with strong mentoring and high scholastic ability make our graduates stand apart.

Facts & distinctions

Students interested in law school often participate in the pre-law club. Activities include LSAT practice, speakers and law school visits. Other activities sponsored by the political science department that may interest pre-law students include Model United Nations, Model Illinois Government, and the Politics Club.

Students who wish to further develop their skills in speaking and argumentation may participate in Augustana’s nationally recognized debate program. In all, Augustana offers more than 150 co- and extra-curricular organizations.

Pre-Law students use the $2,000 Augie Choice fund to support law related internships, including experience with legal services agencies.

Sarah Jean Kilker ‘13, history and political science major

“At Augustana, one is able to get a true liberal arts perspective of the law, and the curriculum provides students with a deeper understanding of what a legal education is all about. Experiencing and learning about law from diverse views, like history, philosophy, and political science, prepares one to explore legal careers/law school with a more open and well-rounded mind.”

Kierra Smith ‘14, political science and accounting majors; Audit assistant at Deloitte, Chicago.

"Being a pre-law student at Augustana provides a unique experience because with our liberal arts education it allows students to explore other interests and have the capability to intertwine their studies into a hybrid educational experience. I’m a Political Science and Accounting major and all the different classes that I can take, along with the available internship opportunities for both studies, really allow me to have a wide variety of options for the future."

Karalyn Jevaney '12, political science/pre-law; J.D. candidate at The John Marshall Law School, Chicago.After graduating from Augustana, I began the Illinois

"Legislative Studies Internship Program (ILSIP). This program places five interns in each of the four caucuses (House Republicans, House Democrats,Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats) as well as four interns in the Legislative Research Unit (LRU). For my internship, I was placed with the House Republicans. When the legislature is in session, each intern assists on a committee. We also help to analyze bills to provide the legislators with background information. I would be responsible for bills assigned to my committee and I would also attend hearings for those committees. We follow our bills through the entire process from being released from the Rules Committee to a committee and then eventually being debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.This experience has been a very positive one. Not only did I get to know more about the legislative process, but I also was able to meet a lot of different people, both Republicans and Democrats."

Hanlon '73 retires after 38 years as city attorney

For 38 years one man has had his fingerprints on every ordinance, resolution and item brought to the Galesburg City Council, and this month he retired.John Hanlon has been a lifelong Galesburg resident except for the few years he was away at school. “What I’m proud of is that I’ve tried throughout those 38 years to do the best job I can do in the day-to-day routine because some of it is routine," he said. "But it’s important, it has to be attended to.”

Vikings bond learning law

First-year law student Tim Peterson '10 began looking for summer work in the legal field early last spring. One firm wasn't offering a position, but Peterson dressed in a suit and tie and delivered his résumé in person. He did not know the owner of the firm graduated from Augustana in 1988.
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