James C. & S. Maynard Turk Pre-Law Program
By offering a challenging course of study in a highly supportive environment, The James C. and S. Maynard Turk Pre-Law Program gives students a distinct edge in preparation for an outstanding legal career.
Roanoke's innovative curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, research and communication skills essential to working with clients, and building a strong legal case. With the campus conveniently situated in a judicial hub, Roanoke routinely places students in prime internships with federal judges, public defenders, police departments and U.S. Attorneys' offices.
The pre-law program eliminates roadblocks by pairing students with pre-law advisors, paying for students' testing fees and covering part of the cost of LSAT preparatory courses.
Roanoke has an impressive record of placing students in top-tier law schools, and a number of pre-law students have secured full-ride scholarships. Further, Roanoke graduates have gone on to impressive careers in public interest, criminal and corporate law.
The pre-law program is interdisciplinary, drawing upon a variety of different legal perspectives. Coursework is designed to give students the flexibility to investigate subjects most relevant to their future career plans or interests. Pre-law students may study any major.
We offer a concentration in legal studies.
“At a bigger school, there wouldn't be an opportunity to do such research. I was a lot more prepared for law school because I have research skills.”
Bridget Tainer '06. Bridget did research for a federal judge.
Tabitha Green ’16 | Georgetown University Law Center
"As far as the courses are concerned, having both practicing and retired attorneys come in to teach classes provides insight into many different components of the legal profession. Moreover, it helps to provide real-world examples to go along with the information we are learning in class. Since I started classes at Georgetown, I have truly realized how much of a learning experience this was. Many of my peers here have no experience briefing cases; whereas, briefs were frequently among my course requirements in the pre-law curriculum. In addition to the curriculum, the program takes the initiative to provide information about different law school and to establish connections with local law school admissions counselors. In the long run, this is all very helpful."
Our grads go on to top-notch law schools.
Professor and Student Co-Author Book on Death Penalty
Even as a high-schooler, Maggie Anderson '13 dreamed of a career where she could immerse herself in writing and academic research. She decided to become a Maroon after being impressed by Roanoke College's Research Fellow and Summer Scholars opportunities.
The scholarly skills Anderson honed in those programs mightily impressed Dr. Todd Peppers, the Henry H. & Trudye H. Fowler Professor in Public Affairs. He invited Anderson, in the summer before her junior year, to help him research the late Marie Deans, who dedicated her life to the abolition of the death penalty.
The pair's work continued for six years and resulted in the book "A Courageous Fool," which was released in 2017. Anderson always thought she'd like to write a book one day, but never pictured it happening this soon. "This is a dream come true," she says.
Sotomayor, the first Latina on the U.S. Supreme Court, shared gripping personal anecdotes via Zoom to hundreds of Roanoke students.
Internship, capital punishment research led to four law school acceptances
"I fell in love with the law from my first interactions with it while shadowing an attorney in a small town with a general practice," Jamie Almallen '17 said. When she came to Roanoke College she interned with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Roanoke and later at the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center. These experiences exposed her to capital punishment which became the topic of her senior thesis.
"My senior thesis was not just a required paper that I needed to complete in order to check off a box to graduate, it was a continuation of my passion. My major and my professors at Roanoke College gave me the knowledge, confidence, and support to pursue the opportunities that came my way," Almallen said. She was accepted to four law schools and is now pursuing her dream at the University of Virginia School of Law
Driven to Fight Art Crime and Preserve Cultural Artifacts
"The college hosted an event for the founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, Robert Wittman, and this was literally a life changing moment for me. From that day on, I wanted to become a modern day 'monument's woman' and defend communities' rights to their cultural heritage," said Brieanah Gouveia.
Gouveia later received a Fulbright Study Award to Scotland's University of Glasgow to pursue a master's degree in art history after Roanoke. Her program focuses on art crime and art law. There, she hopes to get experience from a law firm on art-related alternative dispute resolution, or in a provenance section of an auction house or museum.
"I want to be involved in safeguarding world cultural sites," said Gouveia, who plans to apply to law school.
Public Affairs Society Encourages Discourse, Critical Thinking
The Public Affairs Society at Roanoke College offers students the unique opportunity to encourage public discourse between the various disciplines of the public affairs department, such as political science, criminal justice, and international relations. The organization aims to promote awareness, as well as participation, in public issues that affect students in any and every major on campus. It offers students the unique opportunity to encourage and partake in public discourse; something that not every club can offer.
Excited About Law After D.C. Internship
A reality check. That was one of the biggest takeaways for Sontanna Cremins during an internship in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Cremins interned in the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence division, where she worked with numerous intense cases. "Whenever there are kids involved, that kind of makes you cringe," she said. She helped attorneys prepare for trials, met with victims and monitored police body cam footage. "I want to be able to do work like this," said Cremins, who plans to attend law school.