Pre-Law Advising at Patrick Henry College
By Rachel Cochran
Patrick Henry College (PHC) seeks to provide its students with as many opportunities as possible. One such opportunity is pre-law advising. For students who are passionate about justice, politics, and the Christian’s role in government, this is a beneficial option.
But why study law?
We believe that God calls Christians to serve in every area of culture, including law and government. By training leaders to communicate effectively, Christian students will be equipped to excel in their sphere of influence because they carry the truth and glory of God.
Patrick Henry College’s new pre-law advisor is Dr. Jesse Merriam. Dr. Merriam is currently the 2019-20 Visiting Fellow in American Political Thought at the Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. He is currently researching and writing on several topics, including affirmative action and populism’s role in the Founding, and localism.
Proven Track Record of Success
So, what does Patrick Henry College have to offer students interested in law? As a school that has a history of high LSAT scores, top placements in Ivy League Law Schools, and top national champions in activities such as moot court and mock trial; Patrick Henry College has a lot to offer.
Pre-law students work with Patrick Henry College’s advisor to develop a personal plan for success. This will include selecting internships, extracurricular activities, and LSAT training curriculum that will be a good fit for your interests and passions.
Students do not have to have a specific major such as government or business to participate in pre-law advising. This is because the more unique a student’s application looks, the better he or she will place.
When it comes time to apply to law school, the pre-law advisor works with students to put together and fine-tune their application packet. Patrick Henry College students also have access to a commercial preparation class, as well as practice to LSAT offerings.
Students have largely benefited from this approach as LSAT scores have increased by 7-12 points for students who complete this course.
In addition to LSAT scores, Patrick Henry College pre-law students also have a successful track record in World Moot Court Champions, Supreme Court Clerkships, Ivy League Law Review Editors, Top Mock Trial Teams, Elite Internships, 12-Time National Moot Court Champions, Government Career Paths, 100% Law School Acceptance, Top Tier Law Firms, Top 5% LSAT Scores.
For students wanting to study law, PHC is the place to be.
Students have gone on to attend top law schools such as Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, University of Chicago, University of Columbia Law School, New York University School of Law, to name a couple. Part of this success rate is due to Patrick Henry College’s unique curriculum and individual attention the students receive from faculty.
Within a four-year period, four PHC alumni have clerked for the following U.S. Supreme Court Justices: Justice Scalia, Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Alito. In addition, Patrick Henry College alumna Lindsay See, Solicitor General of West Virginia, has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Patrick Henry College has created the finest pathway to legal excellence in America for Christians.
Opportunities Outside the Classroom
Students have a wide variety of opportunities outside the classroom to gain skills and build their resumés. First, there is the Undergraduate Law Review.
The Patrick Henry College Undergraduate Law Review is an undergraduate journal dedicated to the scholarly examination of legal issues and informed discourse on legal thought. This student-run journal provides a forum for students to publish their research and join the academic discussions that permeate the legal field while developing opportunities for the college’s future attorneys to learn skills that few practitioners possess.
Second, students have the opportunity to participate in Moot Court. In this activity, students simulate appellate advocacy and hone their understanding and articulation of constitutional law and Supreme Court precedent. Well-deserving of an extremely rich legacy through years of dedicated coaching by Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Michael Farris and the late Dr. Frank Guliuzza, the Patrick Henry moot court team has won an unprecedented twelve of the last fifteen national titles in the American Moot Court Association. No other college or university has more than one title.
Additionally, Patrick Henry College students stunned the world by winning the 2016 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Tournament in Geneva Switzerland. This was PHC’s first year in the World Human Rights competition.
Third, students can participate in Mock Trial. Patrick Henry College’s Mock Trial program prepares students to enter the worlds of both civil and criminal trial advocacy. Students develop knowledge of the federal rules of evidence, courtroom procedure, witness examination, case-building, and more. Patrick Henry College’s Mock Trial teams compete against more than 700 teams from 400 schools, including the nation’s top ivy-league institutions. Fierce competition hones their critical thinking skills and equips them to clearly articulate passionate and well-reasoned legal arguments.
Philosophy of Education
Patrick Henry College’s pre-law advising program is unlike any other in the nation because of the college’s unique philosophy of education. PHC believes in providing students with a classical Christian liberal arts education as part of fulfilling the college’s three distinctives. These distinctives are: first, an unwavering biblical worldview, fidelity to the spirit of the American founding, a commitment to high academic rigor. This unique fusion of three distinctives sets Patrick Henry College apart from any other college in the world.
Patrick Henry College has a rigorous and extensive core curriculum of 63 credits, plus foreign language. The University of Chicago, which is famed for its liberal arts core, only has 45. The National Endowment for the Humanities, in a project designed to promote liberal education, proposed 50. This core embraces all seven of the classic liberal arts: grammar (Research and Writing; four courses in a foreign language; 1 course in logic, rhetoric, mathematics, geometry, music, and science (with biology and physics taking the place of the ancient “astronomy”).
In addition, Patrick Henry College requires two courses in the history of the United States, and two courses in the history of the Western World, two Western Literature courses, two courses in the theology of the Bible, Principles of Biblical reasoning, philosophy, Constitutional Law, economics, and two courses in Freedom’s Foundations. This is for the purpose of preserving for posterity the ideals behind the “noble experiment in ordered liberty”.
The classical liberal arts, of course, is not just a sequence of courses but a conceptual framework and a methodology. The liberal arts stress content, the imitation of excellence, the pursuit of knowledge that is valuable in itself, and the exercise of the whole range of talents that God has given. The liberal arts curriculum is broad in scope, but its parts are integrated with each other, as students explore the connectedness of all the disciplines.
It is a combination of Patrick Henry College’s successful track record and this unique fusion of a biblical worldview and the liberal arts that make the college’s pre-law advising program one of the best of its kind.