By Scott Gower
Every year, more than 50,000 students across the United States turn in applications for admission to law school. Over the past 10 years, only 66 percent of all applicants to ABA-approved law schools were admitted, according to data from the Law School Admission Council.
For graduates from the Anderson University political science program, that would be a significant decrease.
Over the past 10 years, the program’s alumni have had a law school acceptance rate of 93 percent, even higher than the national admission rate for political science majors in 2013, which was 81 percent.
Out of all the majors represented by law school applicants, political science majors are typically one of the most represented.
“Students who are interested in law tend to select political science as a major,” said Dr. Michael Frank, professor of political science, said. “Students that have an interest in the law have an interest in the current policy problems we face and are interested in working in that system.”
While political science students are more likely to pursue a career in law, Frank believes the political science program at AU does more to prepare students for law school.
“The advantage of being at AU for pre-law in political science is that we make you read a lot, and what we make you read is complex material,” Frank said. “Political science is kind of an abstract discipline. It relies on theories and the application of theories to particular problems.”
But it’s not just the faculty that believes in the program. Former students, Alicia Adcock and Jon Frisby, AU political science graduates, speak highly of their AU experience.
Adcock, who graduated from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, agrees with Frank’s assessment, but she also believes the political science faculty plays an important role.
“I believe the faculty are devoted to helping each student reach their goals professionally after leaving the political science program and will dedicate their time and efforts to make sure that happens for each student,” Adcock said.
Frisby is currently a student at New York University School of Law, one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. He also speaks highly of the AU political science faculty.
“Many of the professors I’ve had would be willing to give me advice or a recommendation at any time, which is unique to schools of AU’s nature,” Frisby said. “I know my colleagues from large state schools tended to have a much more difficult time getting professor recommendations.”
Frisby also believes the internship he completed have helped prepared him for law school.
“AU’s judge/lawyer internship program is pretty helpful,” Frisby said. “I’ve used my experience interning for fellow AU alum Judge Rudy Pyle III a number of times, both in explaining why I wanted to get into the law and as an example of legal experience that I have under my belt.”
Frank believes Anderson University’s location strengthens the political science internship program and gives AU an advantage over other schools.
“Students from other schools may have to drive 30 minutes to go to a courthouse. Our students can walk to one,” Frank said. “We have the location and the connections to place students for excellent legal internships.”
Scott Gower is the web content editor and support specialist at Anderson University in the Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America’s top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.