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Classics

Elijah McLeod ‘07

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Lawyer Elijah McLeod writes about the value of a Classics degree

“I finished law school Nov. of ‘10. Now I’m working law out in the Hillcountry (Marble Falls, Horseshoe Bay, Llano, Burnet etc.). Please tell any current SU student considering Classical studies as a major or minor that the program in all its forms would be an excellent foundation for legal studies. Of course there is the vocabulary / word-root knowledge and history, both of which are helpful for legal terms of art (e.g. ‘Res Gestae’ an exclusion to the hearsay rule), but more than that: the mental process and rigor of translating the original languages and making recitations of your translations on the spot in class is very similar to the process of reciting the often obscure and numerous rules out of case law. I found that mental process is extremely important in law school because the exams are recitations of rules (holdings) applied to new sets of facts to produce a ‘legal’ conclusions. The faster and more efficiently you recite and apply the rules, the more points the Prof. will give you on the exam. So, the only change I would have made to my SU studies looking back is that I would taken more Classics classes. I should have learned Latin! I’m sure you have heard all this before from past students…..but that is because it is true!”

 

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