Pre-Law Program Overview

The Pre-law Program at Hartwick consists of aims pursued within the liberal arts education provided by our Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum and a major in the arts and sciences, rather than a specific pre-professional major or sequence of required courses. The pre-law program coordinator at Hartwick provides guidance to students interested in law-related careers.

Please note: Hartwick College focuses on offering fall, January, and spring term undergraduate courses in person, however circumstances may require us to offer a small number of courses in this department through distance education. In times of emergency, following regulatory guidelines, all classes may temporarily need to be delivered through distance education, including online. We also offer a slate of courses online in the summer to help our students make progress towards their degrees. With support from an academic advisor, students needing particular courses may have other online options as well. If you have questions about the way courses are delivered in your program, please contact your Department or Program Chair.


A successful application to law school depends on a combination of academic achievement, significant participation in campus activities, and an above average score on the Law School Admission Test. Most law schools are looking for “A” and high “B” students.

Legal Studies Minor

The Legal Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary course of study. Review the requirements in the College Catalog.

Legal Studies Minor Requirements

Courses to Prepare for Law School

Individualized Courses of Study

Following the guidelines of the Association of American Law Schools, we recommend individualized courses of study that:

  • provide basic information about economic, political, and social institutions,
  • cultivate an appreciation for historical documentation and analysis,
  • develop skill in oral and written use of the English language,
  • develop the ability to think creatively and critically through deduction, induction, and by analogy.

The pre-law coordinator counsels students to educate themselves broadly, challenge themselves in a major, and maintain a high academic average. Popular majors for pre-law students are English, political science, economics, and philosophy. Opportunities to become familiar with the practice of law itself are available through internships and job-shadow programs.

Courses Specific to Law

The following courses that are offered at Hartwick are directly relevant to the legal field:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Courts and Judicial Process
  • Constitutional Law
  • Business Law
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Environmental Law
  • International Law
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Crime and Society
  • Mock Trial

Additional Courses

Courses that complement an interest in law and help prepare one for law school are:

  • Logic
  • Microeconomics
  • State and local Government
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • Human Rights
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Business Writing
  • U.S. Government and Politics
  • Public Administration
  • Any department research methods

3+3 Accelerated Program with Albany Law School

Under this program, interested first year Hartwick students apply for selection into the program based on past performance and future potential. If accepted into the program, they are guaranteed admission to Albany Law after their third year at Hartwick if they maintain a 3.3 GPA throughout their first three years at Hartwick, and they have a one-time or average LSAT score no lower than the median LSAT score for the prior year’s entering class at Albany Law. Students who complete this program receive a bachelor’s degree from Hartwick after successfully completing three years at Hartwick and their first year of study at Albany Law School.

Meet the Coordinator

Matthew Chick

Assistant Professor of Political Science & Pre-Law Program Coordinator


Assistant Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies Program Coordinator, Matthew Chick