Pre-law forum to return to BJU after 15-year hiatus

BJU will hold its first pre-law forum since the mid-1990s on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. in Stratton Hall. The forum will feature guest speaker Alan Wilson, South Carolina’s current attorney general. Although this forum has not been held for nearly 15 years, Ethan Sanders, a junior communication major, initiated the project to bring these forums back.

“Everyone’s invited,” he said. “Whether you’re actually interested in law school and want it to be your career, whether you’re interested in politics or whether you want to see a high profile speaker.” Sanders is the main spark behind the revival of this forum, and his desire for these forums is to see as many students come as possible.

“What we have in mind is inviting the speakers to speak on a range of legal topics,” he said. “From how they initially became interested in law, to the process they underwent when applying to law school and even down to what classes they took as undergrads.”

Sanders desires that the forum on Thursday will focus on how a Christian perspective and worldview interact with the legal world of the attorney. All of the speakers he has currently contacted come from a Christian background, and he hopes to continue this trend in future semesters.

Two other speakers he has contacted for this particular semester are attorneys Joel Heusinger and Marc Ingersoll. Heusinger will speak at the second forum on Oct. 25, while Ingersoll will speak at the third forum on Nov. 21. All three forums will follow a similar pattern of 45 minutes for the speaker to introduce himself and his law practice, and a brief question and answer time will follow.

Although three forums have been planned, the Pre-law Forum is still in its infancy. Sanders said that in the upcoming semesters he and the group of students and faculty hope to form a pre-law association similar to the Criminal Justice Association.

Dr. John Matzko, the faculty sponsor for the forum, is one of the faculty members Sanders consulted. Matzko was also the leader of the previous Pre-law Association. The forum that he led for approximately 15 years ended soon after the pre-law major, previously available at the University, also ended.

Matzko emphasized that being a pre-law major is not necessary if you want to attend law school. He said law schools are not interested so much in a student’s major as they are in his or her grades. History, communication, and political science are all equally viable options for interested students.