• A recent graduate serves as the western Pennsylvania director for the office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.
    • A pre-law student who studied Chinese traveled to China through his participation in Gannon's ROTC program. He was also a student fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C.
    • Gannon provides students with exposure to an array of impressive speakers, including former Pennsylvania Governor and first Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, bringing the real world of government, policy making and leadership into the classroom.
    • Gannon sponsors one of theoldest Model U.N. programs in the country. Pre-law Student Advisory Board students gain valuable leadership experience through their participation in this program.

    You Will Learn

    For students interested in legal areas such as corporate practice, government, politics, private practice, public interest law, civil and criminal law or patent and copyright law, The Charles W. Deaner, Esq. ’48 Pre-Law Program can lead to an exploration of the options in preparation to enter law school or the legal field.

    Individuals expressing an interest in pre-law are initially placed in a sequence of courses in their freshman and sophomore years which introduce them to many of the major fields within Gannon.

    Pre-law majors are engaged in interesting coursework, challenged to think critically and objectively and encouraged to partake in internship opportunities that offer valuable connections and experiences that will prepare for a career.

    You Will Experience

    The location of the University, in the heart of the Erie legal community, makes it possible for students to experience internship opportunities in a wide variety of settings. Experiences implement hands-on projects, which include research, document drafting and preparation, title examinations, court schedules, attendance at hearingsand other court proceedings, all under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Internship opportunities include:

    • banks
    • federal and state court offices
    • insurance companies
    • law offices
    • non-profit agencies

    You Will Achieve

    Graduates pursuing preparationfor attendance in law schools, have had great success in acceptance to law school. Many have employment opportunities in the legal field soon after completion of the Legal Studies Certificate, which can be completed within the first two years of their education, if properly planned and in conjunction with their four-year degree. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Charlotte School of Law
    • Cleveland MarshallSchool of Law
    • Duquesne UniversitySchool of Law
    • Indianapolis School of Law
    • University of Dayton Law School

    You will Study

    Students in the pre-law program are able to choose their own field of concentration, and plan a course of studies that seems best suited to their individual interests and attitudes. Pre-law majors take various core and elective courses including:

    LEGL 111:Introduction to Law

    This course introduces students to the principles
    of substantive law essential to the prospective paraprofessional. The course covers topics in the areas of tort, contract, criminal and property law. Introduction to the structure of the judicial system and the mechanics of the legal process are also discussed.

    PLAW 260:Introduction to Law in Society

    This course introduces students to various topics including legal institutions and processes, evolution of the American legal system, major substantive areas of law, legal reasoning and the adversarial process, and the role of attorneys and courts in American society.

    PLAW 357:Legal Analysis & Persuasion

    This course introduces students to the fundamentals of legal thinking, including the critical examination of case law, statutory law and other written materials. Applying this legal analysis, students learn to persuade a targeted audience in both written and oral forms. Classroom exercises include briefs, mock appellate arguments and mock trial.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the industry vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • arbitrators, mediators and conciliators $61,280
    • court reporters $48,160
    • judges $102,980
    • lawyers $75,000 or more
    • paralegals and legal assistants$46,990

    For a current curriculum listing, visit
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (