No particular course of study is a prerequisite for admission to law school. Today's law students have undergraduate degrees in political science, English, business, natural science, history, foreign languages, education and music. CMU's pre-law program is based on criteria established and endorsed by legal and academic professionals nationwide. The pre-law program is designed to help undergraduates prepare themselves for successful admission to and performance in law school.
The main guide to undergraduate study should be the student's own interests and talents. The successful study and practice of law can be based on any large number of college backgrounds, so the student should feel free to study what interests him or her.
A lawyer must be able to communicate clearly in oral and written expression. Since words are the tools of the lawyer's trade, lawyers must be able to speak and write effectively.
The prospective law student must develop the capacity for creative and critical thinking. A lawyer must be able to reason logically from given premises and propositions to tenable conclusions.
Pre-Law students are encouraged to take part in several special opportunities that the program has to offer.
- University internship program which allows students to earn academic credit while working in the offices of state legislative and executive officials or for attorneys in private practice
- opportunity to participate in a test preparation program designed to boost student scores on the Law School Admission Test
- beginning the first semester on campus, special one-on-one pre-law advising to help each student take full advantage of every opportunity to prepare for success in law school
Questions? Contact John J. Carter, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Director of Pre-Law
The 3+3 cooperative program with the School of Law of the University of Missouri is for exceptional students. Such students complete three years of study at Central Methodist University, fulfilling general education requirements for the bachelor’s degree and admission requirements to the School of Law, then apply for admission to the University of Missouri. After three years of study there, and the completion of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence, the student will be awarded both the baccalaureate degree and the professional degree. (Note that the University of Missouri suggests that students obtain their bachelor’s degree prior to entering the Law School.)
Pre-Law Core Curriculum
All students with an emphasis in pre-law are encouraged to complete as many courses
from the pre-law core as possible. Pre-law students should aim to complete at least
two courses from each area of the core. The pre-law core curriculum is intended to
supplement the university’s general education requirements and the specific requirements
of the various
individual degree programs. Some of the courses listed below may be used to fulfill specific general education or major field requirements.
In addition to the university’s basic skills courses
CT 320 Interpersonal Communication
CT 310 Argumentation, Discussion, and Debate
AC 201 Principles of Accounting I
AC 202 Principles of Accounting II
EN 305 Expository Writing
EN 306 Technical Writing
Human Institutions and Values
In addition to fulfilling the Missouri state civics requirement
PS 308 Constitutional Law and the Judicial Process
PS 309 Law in American Society
BU 341 Business Law-Contracts
BU 342 Business Law-Commercial
CJ 202 Criminal Law
CJ 301 Constitutional Aspects of Criminal Justice
AC 340 Income Tax Accounting
MA 105 Elementary Statistics
PL 101 Introduction to Logic
PL 208 Introduction to Ethics
PL 308 Philosophy of Business and Law
EC 311 Money, Credit, and Banking
EC 330 Law and Economics
Tom Meier '91
Tom came to Central from St. Charles, Mo. to play soccer and study political science. He was very active in student government and played four years of varsity soccer. As a senior Tom was elected president of Central’s Student Government Association. Admitted to two of the nation’s top three law schools, Tom elected to study law at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He currently practices corporate law in Chicago.
Tim Kern '91
Tim Kern came to Central in 1987 from St. Charles to play soccer for Coach Moz and to major in political science. Tim played four years of varsity soccer, was active in Pi Gamma Mu, and an officer in his social fraternity, Delta Sigma Psi, and was elected vice president of Central’s Student Government Association during his senior year. After graduation Tim attended law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He now serves as a judge in Weld County, Colo., where he is a partner in the firm of Coleman, Liu, Lyons and Collins.
Greg Young '95
Greg came to Central from Florissant, Mo. Active in student government throughout his undergraduate career, Greg was elected president of Central’s SGA during his during his senior year. As an undergraduate majoring in political science Greg completed internships with a federal district judge and a United States senator. Upon Greg entered law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned his JD degree. After law school he pursued a career as a political consultant and now practices law in Columbia, Mo.
Amanda Fritz '97
Amanda came to Central from St. Louis to study English. She was active in student government, the Pre-Law Club, Phi Alpha Delta, pre-law honor society, and Sigma Tau Delta, English honor society. She earned her degree in English cum laude. Amanda elected to attend law school at St. Louis University and upon finishing her JD degree she accepted a post as a litigator with the St. Louis firm of Brown and James.
Wendy Biache '98
Wendy came to Central from Ozark, Mo. where she was Valedictorian of her senior class. At Central, Wendy was active in A Cappella Choir and student government as well as the pre-law club. As a senior she was elected president of the Student Government Association and earned her degree in Business magna cum laude. After graduation Wendy attended law school at Drake University in Iowa where she was chosen for the Dean’s List and Law Review. After several years of practice with the Kansas City firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon, Wendy now works as an attorney with the Caterpillar Corporation.
Matt Miller '99
Matt came to CMU from Kansas City in 1995 to study in the newly established Criminal Justice program. Matt worked to pay his tuition and living expenses throughout his undergraduate career, but still managed to graduate magna cum laude. Accepted at a number of Midwestern law schools, Matt elected to pursue his JD at Washburn University in Kansas and now practices law in Kansas.
Leila Morgan '01
Leila came to Central from the Kansas City area to study criminal justice. Leila was active in student government, Pi Gamma Mu, the national honor society for the social sciences and Phi Sigma Tau, the honor society for philosophy. She ended up double majoring in criminal justice and ethics and received her degree summa cum laude and with honors in ethics. After graduation Leila elected to enter law school at Fordham University in New York City. She is now a trial lawyer in California.
Kristin E. Gore '01
Kristin came to Central from Bartlesville, Okla. to study political science and pursue her interest in public speaking and debate. In her time at Central Kristen was active in Pi Gamma Mu, Student Government and the pre-law club. Kristen ultimately graduated with a double major in communication studies and political science in 2001. As a senior she won the General Lewis M. Means Award for Excellence in the study of Political Science. In the fall 2001 Kristen entered law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned her J.D. in 2004. After a brief tenure in private practice in Jefferson City, Kristen became an Assistant Attorney General for Missouri.
Dan Farris '03
Dan came to Central from Bunceton, Mo. As an undergraduate Dan was active in student government, serving in a cabinet post during his senior year, and in CMU’s pre-law program, where he served as the undergraduate fellow during his senior year. Torn between graduate school in political science and law school, Dan took a year off after graduation to work and gain experience and entered law school in Lansing, Mich. in 2004.
Nina Marie Garrett '03
Nina came to Central from St. Louis in the fall of 2000 already on her way to law school and determined to complete her BA in political science and business in just three years. Despite taking very heavy course loads throughout her six semesters at Central, Nina was active in the Pre-Law Club and Pi Gamma MU, the national honor society for the social sciences. She did graduate in just six semesters and during her final year she was courted by a number of fine law schools, including Drake and Creighton. In the Fall of 2003 Nina entered the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. After graduating early, again, Nina passed the Missouri Bar Examination in early 2006 and took a position with a firm in the St. Louis area.
Heather Haake '04
Heather came to Central to play varsity women’s basketball and she excelled both on the court and in the classroom. Heather originally pursued undergraduate preparation for Missouri teacher certification, but in the summer before her senior year switched her major to history and dedicated herself to preparing for law school. Heather was active in Pi Gamma Mu and was selected for the National Dean’s List. Heather took one year off after graduation to work and gain some experience. She enter law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the fall of 2005. During 2006-2007 she was selected to serve as a member of UMKC’s prestigious law review.
Anna Steel '04
Anna came to Central as a political science major, but switched her major during her freshman year to criminal justice. Anna was active in Pi Gamma Mu honor society and Zeta Psi Lambda, social sorority. During her second year at Central Anna joined the Coast Guard Reserve and the events of September 11, 2001 resulted in a period of active duty which necessitated a delay in her planned graduation. Nevertheless, Anna overcame this adversity and ultimately entered law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the fall of 2004.
Tara Blackburn '04
Tara came to Central from Bonne Terre, Mo. The niece of a distinguished CMU alumnus, Tara met with great success in her undergraduate career. Electing to major in history, Tara was active in Alpha Phi Omega, a national service honorary society, Pi Gamma Mu, the national honor society for the social sciences. Tara was chosen the Divisional Fellow for the social sciences during her senior year. At graduation she was recognized as the recipient of the 2004 Judge Andrew J. Higgins Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Studies and she received her BA magna cum laude. Tara received her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2007. She accepted a position as an associate with the Andreck Law Firm in Trenton, Mo. and was admitted to the Bar in the fall of 2007.
Amber Davis '04
Amber came to Central from Palmyra, Mo. While at Central she was active in student government and Pi Gamma Mu, the national honor society for the social sciences. As a senior Amber served as vice president of Pi Gamma Mu, the social sciences honor society and as secretary of Central’s Student Government Association. As a senior she was chosen to be the undergraduate Fellow for the Pre-Law Program and won the General Lewis M. Means Award for Excellence in Political Science at graduation that year. Amber earned her BA magna cum laude in 2004 and her law degree from the University of Missouri in May 2007. She accepted a position as an Associate with the Cruse Law Firm in Hannibal, Mo. and was admitted to the Bar in the fall of 2007.
Doug Hansen '06
Doug was recruited to Central as a varsity athlete and an English major. He considered the possibility of attending law school after graduation or entering a career in teaching. After a successful career on the soccer field Doug graduated cum laude in English in May 2006 and took a teaching and coaching position in the Mexico, Mo. public schools. After two years as a successful classroom teacher, Doug decided to again explore the possibility of law school and returned to Central on weekends to take advantage of our LSAT preparation program. Doug was ultimately admitted to a number of good law schools, and began his legal studies at the prestigious University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in the fall of 2008.
Matt Reeves '08
Matt came to Central Methodist to study sociology and along the way to earning his degree decided that his interest in helping people might best be fulfilled through a career in the law. Although Matt was a outstanding student throughout his undergraduate career, he was also an integral part of Alpha Phi Gamma, social fraternity. During his senior year Matt was admitted to a number of law schools, including Drake, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Washburn. Matt received Central’s 2008 Judge Andrew J. Higgins award for excellence in pre-law studies.
Christopher Janssen '09
Chris came to Central for Beaufort, Mo. He was recruited by both the University’s honors program and Eagles varsity football program. Chris became a starting tight end on the Varsity Eagles football team. He was also active in the social science honor society, Pi Gamma Mu, and the social fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. As a senior he served as an officer in Pi Gamma Mu and as chapter president of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He was also active in student government and served in the SGA cabinet. Chris earned his degree with honors in political science, and his many academic accomplishments earned him the 2009 Judge Andrew J. Higgins Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Studies. In the fall of 2009 Chris began work on the masters of public administration degree at the University of Texas – El Paso.
Brianne Preston '09
Brianne came to Central in order to study history. She was active in the social sorority, Delta Pi Omega, as well as the social science honor society, Pi Gamma Mu, in which she served as chapter president during her senior year. She was also inducted into Sigma Epsilon Pi, the CMU honor society for the top ten percent of each graduating class. She received her bachelor’s degree in history magna cum laude. Brianne did post-graduate study in classics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Taylor White '11
Taylor came to Central from East Prairie, Mo. on a baseball scholarship. He excelled both on the field and in the classroom, earning membership in Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society for the social sciences and Sigma Epsilon Pi, Central Methodist’s general honor society for the top ten percent of graduating seniors. A political science major, he is the only two-time winner of the Pi Gamma Mu Academic Excellence Award, and served as president of the Kappa Chapter during his senior year. As a senior he also received the Judge Andrew J. Higgins Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Studies. Taylor elected to pursue his law degree at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville.
Patrick McVey '11
Patrick transferred to Central as a junior from West Point. Already a stand-out soccer player, Pat played a critical role as a starter on the CMU varsity squad throughout his two years in Fayette. Patrick also earned accolades in the classroom, earning membership in Pi Gamma Mu, the international social science society. As a senior Patrick was selected for the General Lewis M. Means Award for Excellence in the Study of Political Science. Patrick was selected for admission to law school at Oklahoma City University, where he is pursuing his interest in labor law.
Knial Richard Piper II '12
Knial Piper came to Central from Springfield, Mo. in order to pursue an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, while also working toward a commission in the United States Army, through Central’s cooperative ROTC program. Despite his off-campus ROTC commitments Knial was an active member of Alpha Phi Gamma, social fraternity, and Pi Gamma Mu, international social science honor society. He earned considerable recognition for his fine academic work during his undergraduate tenure, culminating in his selection as the recipient of the 2012 Judge Andrew Jackson Higgins Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Studies. Knial received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice magna cum laude. Second Lieutenant Knial Piper was accepted into the fall 2012 1-L class at the University of Missouri-Kansas City law school.
Cameron M. Yates '13
Cameron came to CMU from Hallsville, Missouri with interests in criminal justice and the study of law. He was active in theatrical productions, and took a leading role in Chi Delta social fraternity. Settling on a double major in CJ and political science, Cameron worked hard to prepare himself for the study of the law, earning his degree magna cum laude, earning membership in Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society for the social sciences, and Sigma Epsilon Pi, Central Methodist's general honor society for the top ten percent of graduating seniors, and receiving the Judge Andrew Jackson Higgins Award for Excellence in pre-law studies. Cameron received a full scholarship to Indiana University Law School, beginning fall 2013.
Tyler Winn '13
Tyler Winn came to Central Methodist University from St. Louis, Mo., by way of the University of Missouri. Tyler was active in Greek Life, student government, The Collegian, and Pi Gamma Mu, the national social science honor society, as well as being a member of the University’s varsity golf team. Notable among his many accomplishments was his selection Student Government to direct CMU’s 2012 Homecoming festivities, and his selection as the 2013 co-recipient of the Judge Andrew Jackson Higgins Award for excellence in pre-law studies. Tyler was accepted as a member of the fall 2013 entering class at Saint Louis University Law School.
Geofrey C. Bilabaye 15
Geofrey matriculated to Central from Tanzania to study computer science. Active in student government throughout his time in Fayette, Geofrey was selected student government president for his junior year. Among his many academic honors he earned his B.S. magna cum laude, with honors in Computer Science. He was also elected to membership in Pi Gamma Mu, the social science international honor society and Sigma Epsilon Pi, Central's general honor society open to the top ten percent of graduating seniors. Geofrey was earned admission to the Thomas Cooley Law School at the University of Western Michigan.
Kelsey D. Forqueran 15
Kelsey came to Central via Malta Bend, Missouri. As an undergraduate Kelsey pursued and interest in theatre, where she distinguished herself both on stage and behind the scenes. She was also selected an officer in Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society for the social sciences. Kelsey pursued a double major in communications and political science and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude. In the spring 2015 semester Kelsey was admitted to the Law school of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she began with the fall 2015 class.
Valerie N. Kimball 16
In 2012, Valerie matriculated to CMU to study Criminal Justice. She was selected for membership in Lambda Alpha Epsilon, national criminal justice professional fraternity, and Pi Gamma MU, international social science honor society, as well as receiving the 2015-2016 Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice, and the Judge Andrew Jackson Higgins Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Studies. Valerie was admitted to a number of excellent law schools, including the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.