History Department


History 303: Research and Writing Seminar in History


Andrew Morris


The American Bar Association, the association which accredits lawyers, allowing them to practice law, does not recommend a specific path or major in preparation for law school. It does, however, recommend taking demanding courses that will foster skills like problem-solving, critical reading, research, etc. So how does one prepare for law school, especially like a Polytechnic School at Cal Poly? When Cal Poly was founded in 1903, it did not even have a pre-law program, let alone any programs in the liberal arts/social sciences area. It was not until the later development of the Political Science Department that pre-law programs took off at Cal Poly. In looking at the development of academic curriculum related to pre-law and the development of pre-law student organizations on campus from the start of the Political Science department in 1973 to current times, I will argue that pre-law opportunities on campus have improved and provided students a way to better determine if they want to attend law school or pursue a career in law. I will also argue that the development of these programs were student-driven and as they were developed, they better fit Cal Poly’s learn by doing ideology.

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