Pre-Law Advising

Preparing Students for Law School

All American Bar Association-accredited law schools require a baccalaureate degree and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, published by the American Bar Association and the Law School Admission Council suggests students take courses that lend themselves to the creation of a context in which law may be better understood, courses that augment communication skills and courses that sharpen analytical skills. There is a common consensus that a broad-based academic experience well grounded in the liberal arts provides the best preparation for law school. All programs offered at Loras College can offer such an experience.

According to the American Bar Association, there are important skills and values, and significant bodies of knowledge that you can acquire prior to law school and that will provide a sound foundation for a legal education. These include analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice. Loras offers educational, extra-curricular and life experiences that will assist you in developing those attributes.

For students that want to take an undergraduate law course, there are a variety of classes in several different majors such as Constitutional Law, Communication Law, Criminal Law, Business Law, Sports Law, and School Law.   There are three intercollegiate academic programs that Loras sponsors that support pre-law education and a student organization open to all majors.

Connor ReillyThe Pre-Law program has helped me focus on my future plans, with the help of a wonderful group of advisors and professors who understand my path to law school.”

– Connor Reilly (’14)

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

“Moot Court is a unique opportunity to develop and exhibit debate and presentation skills. Students are judged on articulation, poise, research and the ability to think abstractly and analytically. In conducting legal research, crafting a defensible argument, and presenting it orally, I am engaged on multiple levels.”

-Dale Elenteny

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"Moot Court is a unique opportunity to develop and exhibit debate and presentation skills. "

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St. Thomas More Pre-Law Society

The St. Thomas More Pre-Law Society student-run organization assists with pre-law advising and activities for students continuing on to law school.

The Pre-Law Society provides opportunities to attend law school visits in the surrounding area, brings speakers from law school admissions to talk to students about the application process and also offers many networking opportunities with legal professionals in the Loras and Dubuque communities. The objectives of the St. Thomas More Pre-Law Society are to help members make informed decisions about whether or not to attend law school. The student-run group meets quarterly and also engages in community service work.

Contact us to assist you in all phases of your undergraduate experience and in preparation for successful admission to the law school of your choice.

Mock Trial Team

The Loras College Mock Trial Team, is an intercollegiate trial advocacy competition sanctioned by the American Mock Trial Assn. Cases are criminal in even years and civil in odd years to give students the opportunity to learn about specific content areas of the law.

The season begins after Labor Day with a national case release, with tournaments in October through December in the Midwest, and continues to a national season in the winter, ending in April at the National Championship Tournament if Loras qualifies. Six to ten students make up a team of witnesses and attorneys presenting both sides of the case in subsequent rounds of competition. Loras hosts the National Invitational the last weekend in January bringing 70 teams from across the U.S.  Loras has consistently ranked in the top fifty teams over the past 30 years. Loras has two teams.

Academic credit is available. Com 159 is offered for one credit all three quarters of the year. Several students each year win Outstanding Attorney and Witness Awards and Loras boasts several All-Americans among its alumni. Loras is also the recipient of several Civility Awards over the past twenty years awarded by peer teams.  Loras competes at both a regional and national level against opponents such as the University of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Cornell, Lewis, Macalester, Washington, Drake and teams from both coasts.

Moot Court

Moot Court is an intercollegiate academic competition in which students perform the role of advocates in oral argument in a fictitious case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Students at Loras have the unique undergraduate opportunity to participate in Moot Court and represent Loras in regional and national intercollegiate competition.

Students at Loras have the unique undergraduate opportunity to participate in Moot Court and represent Loras in regional and national intercollegiate competition.  Moot Court students prepare a legal argument from a fictional case problem involving real matters of constitutional law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.  The students craft an original oral argument, present the argument and respond to unscripted questions by a panel of judges in competition against other teams.  The panel of judges is comprised primarily of lawyers, as well as actual judges and advanced law students.

Loras co-hosts the Upper Midwest Regional Tournament with the University of Iowa College of Law.  The tournament is one of ten such qualifiers for the national championship.  For more information on undergraduate Moot Court, see:

Through Moot Court, students develop skills that will benefit them throughout their lives and careers.  Moot Court places great emphasis on understanding and applying legal reasoning and argumentation, and it also refines persuasive writing and speaking skills.

Moot court shaped my Loras experience by confirming my desire to attend law school. Moot court taught me many of the skills that law school students will need todevelop during their first year, effectively placing me ahead of the game and helping to ensure law school success.”
-Jessica Donels

For more information, please contact team coaches Dr. Christopher Budzisz (, 588-7279) or Deone Merkel (

Legal Internship Opportunities

Through a variety of local and national programs, students can pursue internships that encourage them to apply what they are learning through their coursework to professional settings. Internships are an excellent way to obtain experience in the field prior to college graduation.

There are unpaid internships available at the State of Iowa Public Defender’s Office, the Dubuque County Attorney’s Office, Iowa District Court Administration, Legal Services of Iowa, and occasionally paid internships at private law firms. Washington, Mazzuchelli Middle School and Dubuque Senior High School also employ Loras Mockers to assist in coaching their mock trial teams. Mazzuchelli and DHS have had teams win regionals and compete at state competitions. We also assist law student alums in finding summer clerkships which have included prosecutor’s offices, law firms in the Midwest, judicial clerkships and the Dept. of Justice.

Mediation Team

Mediation is a conflict resolution process in which an impartial third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision-making by parties in dispute.

Each team of 3-5 people competes on cases supplied by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution. Problems range from simple neighborhood disputes to more complex civil litigation. Each team member serves as a mediator (the person who tries to solve the problem), an advocate (an attorney who represents one of the parties involved) or a client (one of the party members). In each round of competition there are two co-mediators and members of each party involved, all of whom are from different teams. They work toward reaching an agreeable solution between both sides.

The season begins in September and ends at nationals in November. The team has been ranked in the top ten 13 out of 14 years at nationals. Many Loras alumni have been awarded All-American status.