Perhaps more directly than any other profession, a law career draws on the strengths of a liberal arts education. Analytical thinking, careful research, persuasive speaking, and writing, an understanding of the implications of historical precedent -- these, along with hard work, determination, and high ethical standards, are the characteristics of the successful attorney. They also are precisely the abilities that a challenging liberal arts education at Knox College is designed to provide.
Undergraduate preparation for law school does not require any particular major; indeed, Knox students who majored in the social sciences, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and foreign languages have all successfully gone on to law school.
At Knox, pre-law advising begins early in your first year and continues through graduation. Good counseling ensures that your curricular choices provide a strong foundation for legal study and help secure admission to a law school of your choice.
Knox's pre-law adviser is Lane Sunderland, Chancie Ferris Booth Professor of Political Science. He has twice won Knox's highest teaching prize, and his courses on constitutional law are generally regarded as a "must" for any Knox student considering a law career.
Professor Sunderland has held a prestigious United States Supreme Court Judicial Fellowship and was director of educational programs for the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. He offers experience in preparing students for law school, a wealth of contacts at leading law schools across the country and throughout the legal profession, and an established reputation as a legal and constitutional scholar.
Professor Sunderland conducts prep sessions for Knox students prior to the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and can help you identify law schools that fit your interests.
Admission to Law School
Knox students have an excellent record of gaining admission to the nation's top law schools. Over the last several years, more than 90% of Knox students who work with the Pre-Law Advisor have been admitted to one or more law schools. Knox graduates have attended such law schools as:
Chicago-Kent Law School
John Marshall Law School
Loyola University of Chicago
New York University
University of Chicago
University of Denver
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of North Carolina
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas
University of Virginia
Knox-Columbia and Knox-University of Chicago Cooperative Programs
Knox has cooperative programs with the law schools of Columbia University and the University of Chicago that allow carefully selected juniors to cut one year off the traditional number of years required to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Juris Doctor degree. What ordinarily would take seven years (college and law school) can be completed in six through the cooperative program.
The 3-3 program toward the B.A/J.D. is limited to students with outstanding academic credentials. You must demonstrate intellectual competence, maturity and leadership, the capacity to absorb legal concepts and materials, and the promise of outstanding professional service.
The program at Columbia, operated in conjunction with a select number of undergraduate colleges, offers a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary legal education, after the completion of which the Juris Doctor degree is awarded.
Visitors to Knox
Knox recognizes the importance of involving its students with members of the legal community. The pre-law program regularly schedules visits and lectures by noted scholars and attorneys, who also meet individually with students interested in legal careers. Recent visitors to the Knox campus have included:
William H. Colby '77, Attorney and Author, lead attorney in the precedent-setting Cruzan "right to die" case before the U.S. Supreme court
Judge Margaret Ryan '85, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court (Photo, right)
Jonathan Turley, Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
Jan Koran '71, former General Counsel of the YMCA of the USA
Judge Ruben Castillo, United States District Judge and member of the United States Sentencing Commission
David Schulz '74, Attorney and Partner, Clifford Chance
Judge Harry Edwards, U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
David Bates '78, Environmental lawyer, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
Morris Dees, Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center
Kenneth Starr, Independent Counsel and former Solicitor General of the United States (Photo, left)
Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union
Steven Yandle, Associate Dean of the Yale Law School
Thomas Merrill, Professor of Constitutional Law at Northwestern Law School
John Podesta, a Knox College graduate and member of the Board of Trustees, will join the White House staff as a senior counselor to President Barack Obama, according to media reports.
Competing against student newspapers from all over the country, The Knox Student captures fourth place in the News Story category and honorable mention in the Editorial/Opinion category.
The Knox College chapter of Habitat for Humanity sponsors a contest in which team of students competed to build the tallest structure, using only marshmallows and toothpicks.