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          • New pre-law concentration gives English majors flexibility to transition from classroom to courtroom

          New pre-law concentration gives English majors flexibility to transition from classroom to courtroom

          February 04, 2016

          Prospective English majors looking to get ahead and turn their degree into opportunities in various legal, business and political fields have a new route to success in Edinboro University’s interdisciplinary pre-law concentration.

          The new concentration, one of three options for students pursing a Bachelor of Arts in English, will be offered beginning this fall.

          “The B.A. in English has served for many years as a route to law school, due in large part to its emphasis on critical analysis and on strong reading, writing and research skills,” said Mary Paniccia Carden, Ph.D., chairperson of the English and Philosophy Department. “We think that with this new concentration added to existing programs and courses in Political Science and Business, Edinboro University will become the place to go for legal studies.”      

          The pre-law concentration maintains a strong emphasis on the tenets of a traditional English degree but also incorporates courses in political science, philosophy, writing and literature that further enhance students’ preparation for legal studies.

          In addition to high-quality courses in multiple disciplines, Carden said Edinboro’s strengths as a top choice for legal studies include opportunities such as the Mock Trial Team and the expertise of Joseph Conti, J.D., former Erie County district attorney and assistant professor of criminal justice, who serves as pre-law advisor.

          Scott Miller, DBA, interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and a lawyer himself, said the interdisciplinary approach is valuable and desirable for students wanting to take the next step into law school.

          “I see this as a wonderful asset to the university that serves students who desire to attend law school, providing them with not only a strong background in writing, composition, and critical thinking, but with the additional courses that will help them when they attend law school and beyond,” Miller said.

          Carden said one of the most enticing aspects of the pre-law concentration is the flexibility within its 36 credits of free electives, which allows students to tailor the concentration  to emphasize their interests in legal and related fields. The curriculum also broadens graduates’ career options and strengthens their edge as job candidates, she said.

          “The problem-solving, research, communication, argumentation, cultural awareness, and analytical thinking and writing skills students develop in the pre-law concentration are attractive to a wide variety of employers,” she said. “They are easily transferable to other career paths.”

          The English-Pre-Law concentration is one of a number of new offerings Edinboro University has developed in response to student demand and regional need. The English-Pre-Law curriculum, a complete list of majors and programs, and other information about the value of a high-quality EU degree are available at www.edinboro.edu.