Law and Public Service
English attracts students who are interested not only in books but in the world around the characters and around them. They tend to understand that human behavior is influenced by relationships and outside forces. To that end we find our majors seeking to make a difference in their own community or world. Our majors might find themselves working in politics or serving in an embassy. Their research, writing and communication skills gained through our discussion based courses prepare them well for these fields. They might add majors or minors in areas that further support their specific interests: Political Science, Ethics and Public Policy and Sociology are common choices. There is a Social Justice major or minor as well as a Human Rights Certificate. Other wonderful opportunities can be explored through the Fundraising and Philanthropic Communication Certificate.
Some post-graduation options:
Fulbright - apply by August of your junior year to do this after your senior year
Possible Faculty Mentors:
English is an excellent foundation for law school.
Here is the general page for Pre-law Preparation
There is a law school caravan coming to campus Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 and you will be able to register to participate in that and meet many representatives from various law schools. I will have that link up soon.
Law schools seek students who have the following skills:
- 3.5 GPA or higher (excellent scholar)*
- a clear sense of why they want to do law and a feeling about which field of law interests them (human services, public defense, business, copyright, courtroom public defender, prosecutor, legislative work,etc.)
- strong writing skills
- the ability to read complex materials and make sense of them
- public speaking skills
- research skills, comfort in using the library and online tools
* Some colleges will take lower GPA if you have a strong LSAT (150 or so) or a good pattern in your last couple years,etc.
You gain all these skills as an English major so you are well-suited to apply for law school. We have many alum who are in law.
Courses that may be helpful include Phil 1636 (Principles of Reasoning) and Poli 3101 (American Constitutional Law and Politics- take in junior or senior year).
In addition you need to take the LSAT test (Khan free prep) and it is advisable to work in an internship related to law (State of Iowa or county courthouses among others often offer summer positions). Political internships Public Policy and other Washington DC internships
If you'd like to talk to one to learn more about law school or the practice of law, contact Kate Torno and she can give you a contact. This is best for those who are in junior or senior year of college.
If you are applying to law school read this about writing your personal statement. Use addenda as the only place where you explain challenges you've faced, low GPA or other things that do not show up in your application or personal statement.
Disclose ALL law violations that have occurred in your past and might be on juvenile or adult record on the appropriate forms. Do not try to hide them.
Possible Mentors in the Department: