Home > Academic Catalog > 2011-13 Academic Catalog > Academic Programs > Pre-Law


Program Director: Sam Edwards, J.D., LL.M.
Division of Environmental Studies & Management

Program offered:

  • Certificate in Pre-Law

Pre-law Certificate Program
The pre-law certificate program is designed to provide the essential skills and background knowledge to excel in a career in law or policy. This rigorous certificate program is designed for strong students and is a companion to any major.

In addition to ensuring that students master the essential skills and understand the requisite background knowledge for a career in law or policy, the program also provides advising to help students select the best path to such a career. We provide a variety of services to students, including assistance with (1) course work planning, (2) locating appropriate internship and volunteer opportunities, (3) exploring career opportunities, including legal work, public policy formation, advocacy and related fields, (4) preparing for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and (4) the application process to law and graduate schools.

The program offers students the opportunity to learn more about careers in law and policy through regular fieldtrips and other activities reserved for students in the program. Students are also encouraged to attend presentations by invited speakers from a wide range of areas in law and policy.

The Pre-law Certificate Program Committee will award a student the Pre-law Program Certificate and will issue a letter certifying successful completion program for any student who meets the following requirements:

Program Requirements
Core Course Requirements

Distribution Course Requirements:
Students are to complete one course from each of these four distribution categories. Recommended courses are listed below.

In addition, students are required to:

  • Complete an experience related to the profession such as an internship in a legal setting, a job shadow, substantial volunteer work, or an independent project.

  • Demonstrate strong writing skills such as through a substantial research project in the student’s major area of study.

  • Demonstrate through community service or similar volunteer experience a commitment to serving others.

  • Obtain an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher.

Core Courses: 12 Credits

Distribution Courses: 10-12 Credits

Total Certificate: 22-24 Credits

Program Procedures
1. Submit an application to the pre-law program committee after one semester at GMC or at an earlier date by arrangement with the committee.

2. Meet regularly with the Director of the Pre-law Certificate Program to discuss course selection and to get academic advising.

3. Submit by the end of the junior year a report detailing what program requirements you have completed and how you intend to meet all of the program requirements by graduation.

4. Submit an application for the issuance of a Pre-law Program Certificate. The application should be submitted in the final semester before graduation and should demonstrate to the pre-law program committee how the student has met all of the program requirements.

List of Recommended Courses for each Distribution Category (see the Director of the Pre-law Certificate Program for a complete listing of courses offered each semester)

Knowledge-oriented courses
Business Law I
Constitutional Law
Environmental Law
International Environmental Law & Policy
Law and Society
Philosophy of Law
Public Policy & the Environment
Social Theory
Topics in the US Supreme Court
Topics in the Vermont Supreme Court
Wildlife law

Skill-oriented courses
Communication skills
Environmental Advocacy, Public Policy, and Corporate Responsibility
International Negotiation & the Environment
Media Campaigns and Advocacy

Analytical skills
Calculus I
Calculus II
Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis

Research skills
Directed Study in the Social Sciences
Environmental Policy Research, Writing, and Analysis
Environmental Studies Thesis
Honors Thesis
Independent study with a significant research project

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