Legal Studies Program

 

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Jackson State University’s legal studies program exists to engage students in the readiness process for successful law school admission and retention. Each Jackson State University student with an interest in attending law school, regardless of major, degree, or discipline, is eligible to participate in the legal studies program.   

The University offers the program from the College of Liberal Arts. The pre-law advisor is Professor Rhonda Cooper, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. Before coming to Jackson State University, Professor Cooper served as a civil and criminal trial attorney.

Professor Cooper’s office is located in room 320 of the Dollye M.E. Robinson Building.  You may contact her with questions or schedule an appointment through her email address:  HYPERLINK "mailto:rhonda.c.cooper@jsums.edu" rhonda.c.cooper@jsums.edu.  Prof. Cooper will work closely with you in planning your curriculum, applying to law school, preparing for admission, and navigating legal career options.

Curriculum Requirements

The Legal Studies Curriculum introduces students to terminology, ideas, and skills related to law and the legal profession.  The curriculum has been specifically designed to enhance student readiness for law school and/other graduate study. The courses within the curriculum assist students in 

developing analytical and communication skills

understanding the social, political, and economic contexts within which legal issues arise

engaging in the meanings, values, practices, and institutions of law and legality

 

Students who concentrate in legal studies are required to obtain a grade of “C” in all required and elective courses. A minimum of 12 hours is required for successful completion of the curriculum. The core/required courses for the curriculum are Introduction to Law: Law, Politics & Society I and II (200-level writing intensive course) and Legal Research & Writing I and II (400-level capstone course).

 

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT Survey Course (300-level) is a suggested/supportive elective offered during the spring semester to prepare juniors to take the June and/or October LSAT in their senior year. The course emphasizes traditional exercises and simulated tests to improve reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, logical analysis, and writing skills necessary to obtain competitive scores on the LSAT. 

The average LSAT scores at many HBCUs are lower than the national average. However, the median score of 149 for JSU students is comparable to the national median score of 150. Reports from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) reveal students who enroll in this course consistently score higher on the LSAT than those who do not.

Additionally, the legal studies program hosts workshops throughout the school year to highlight the analytical and critical-thinking skills needed to improve JSU LSAT scores.    

Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-Law Society 

The Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-Law Society, a University-recognized organization, is the service arm of the legal studies program and furthers student interest in the law through activities and events designed to educate and empower. Elections are held annually in the spring; there are seven elected officers and nearly sixty financially active members.   

Students are strongly encouraged to join the Pre-Law Society as a component of their academic, social, leadership, and professional development.  Membership in the Pre-Law Society exposes students to tremendous career-building opportunities: 

• travel to LSAC forums and law school campuses

• participation in competitive clinical and practical activities such as moot     court, mock trial, and debate

• hosting bi-semester lecture series featuring judges and attorneys

• mentoring by members of the Mississippi and Magnolia Bar Associations

• and students at Mississippi College School of Law 

• summer pre-law institutes and scholars programs 

• internships with law offices, courts systems, and non-profit and administrative agencies  

• community service and service learning projects with Jackson Public School students

 

Thank you for your interest in the Legal Studies Program.