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Catching a trend: HPU's new Pre-Law Program

by Mark Smith, Web and Opinion editor

Have you ever thought about going to law school? If so, HPU may have just what you’re looking for. New this semester is the Pre-Law program. This program was designed to help identify students who are interested in pursuing law school and to help them get started pursuing their goals.

“This is a program for anyone who is interested in anything from the legal field to politics to non-profit work,” said Dr. Cynthia Quinn, J.D., the advisor and faculty member for the Pre-Law program.


The program was started by Quinn and Dr. Jeanne Rellahan, dean for International Studies. After listening to student suggestions, the two teamed up and put the program together over the fall semester. During that time they were able to gain the full support of the University administration as well as advisors and faculty who were willing to help by counciling students and teaching classes that would benefit the new program.

Pre-Law starts off by assigning students an advisor who will help them to select the right courses based on the student’s study interest. The advisor will also help the student prepare for law school applications and admissions tests.

Students in this program are required to join the Pre-Law Society, a Registered Independent Organization (RIO) here at HPU. “The society provides oportunities for leadership and mentorship that you can’t always get in the classroom,” Quinn said. The society also offers members help with identifying scholarships, doing community service, and networking. The Pre-Law Society currently has 50 members.

Students interested in the program should consider classes in such fields as math, anthropology, economics, foreign language, political science, law, communication, and philosophy. These classes will help students prepare for future challenges, such as problem solving, issues of public policy, intercultural communication, a public speaking, the judicial system, and analysis.

Many students who have graduated from HPU have gone on to law school, according to Rellahan, who added that HPU has a solid track record in guiding students in the selection process. Law schools from which HPU’s students have graduated include American University, Cornell University, George Washington University, Golden Gate University, Harvard University, Vanderbilt Law School, and the University of Hawai‘i Law School. 

For more information on the Pre-Law program and the Pre-Law Society, e-mail Quinn at


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