Faculty consider SGA’s resolution for legal studies certificate


    TCU has more than 8,000 undergraduate students with around 100 different areas of study, yet there is no designated pre-law major or pre-law track.

    Knowing this, the TCU Student Government Association presented a resolution on Nov. 11 supporting the creation of a legal studies certificate program.

    The resolution advocates for a certificate to provide direction for students applying to law school.

    According to the Addran College of Liberal Arts’ website, the department currently offers pre-law advising to students.

    Pre-law advisor Ralph Carter said his position gives advice for students on their choices of majors and minors and the application process. 

    Benjamin Thompson, sophomore pre-law marketing and finance major, said he thinks the school would benefit from the legal studies certificate in addition to the pre-law advising.

    “I think it would benefit the school and their reputation in Texas,” Thompson said. 
    “There’s a lot of great schools in Texas that have good law programs, and I think it could really bolster the school university’s perspective.”

    Senior political science major Andrew Upton said he worked with the SGA academic affairs committee to write a resolution to present to SGA.

    The resolution included a list of courses for students to take to qualify for the Legal Studies Certificate. The courses can be seen below.

    Upton said the resolution passed with a 92 percent approval.

    If approved by faculty, students following the pre-law track would receive a Legal Studies Certificate with their major and minor. 

    Upton said he hopes the resolution will go into affect spring 2015 and be on the table fall 2015. 

    Carter said he and the other pre-law advisers are discussing the pre-law certificate idea and will get back to SGA as soon as they can. 

    SGA Academic Affairs Chair Jacob Greenstein said the certificate would be supplementary to a degree. 

    “It’s a big first step to getting the pre-law advising process smoother and hassle free,” Speaker of the House Alex Cohen said.

    Subsequently, Carter said the certificate will not help students get into law school, but will provide courses that will have value after you get into law school. 

    However, faculty members have varying opinions about the proposal. 

    Joanne Green, political science department chair, said she hasn’t seen evidence to suggest that students have an advantage in applying to law school and being successful in law school with a minor in legal studies.

    “We would really have to look into the pros and cons of it and look at what some of the academic literature has said because there’s quite a bit of research in this,” Green said