Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pre Law Student Association - Speaker on the Law School Admission Process

Please join the PLSA on February 20 at 11:30am in Room 248 for a presentation by Mr. Luke Ramey of the University at Buffalo Law School.  RSVP to by February 16. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Law School Admissions Trends to Watch

The number of law schools accepting the GRE (Graduate Records Examination)-General Test in place of the LSAT is growing. Law schools that have recently announced that they are accepting GRE scores include:
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Brigham Young University Law School 
  • Brooklyn Law School 
  • Columbia Law School 
  • George Washington University Law School 
  • Georgetown University Law Center 
  • Harvard Law School 
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law 
  • St. John's University School of Law 
  • Texas A&M University School of Law 
  • University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law 
  • UCLA School of Law 
  • University of Chicago Law School 
  • University of Hawai'i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law 
  • Wake Forest University School of Law 
  • Washington University School of Law 
The change allows law schools to draw from a wider, more diverse pool of applicants in terms of undergraduate preparation (major) and practical or life experience. As an initiator of the change, Harvard Law School reaffirmed the value of the GRE as “a great way to reach candidates not only for law school, but for tackling the issues and opportunities society will be facing.” Allowing the GRE in place of the LSAT is thought to encourage students of more varied backgrounds to apply for law school without the additional time and expense of a separate LSAT. The Dean of Admissions at Georgetown agrees “We had been thinking for quite some time that the guardrails to get into the legal profession were a little narrow.” Law schools want a “cross-section” of applicants, including those with backgrounds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

So, what should you know about this new trend?

First, make sure to read each law school’s application criteria carefully – some schools are not accepting the GRE for this cycle, or will only accept the GRE for joint degree programs (programs which combine a law degree with either a master’s or doctoral degree). Even if your school of interest is on the list, you should verify which exam is required before you sign up for the GRE in place of the LSAT.

Second, if you have already taken the LSAT, the schools that accept the GRE will still see your LSAT score. In other words, taking the GRE will not erase a poor LSAT score.

Third, if your first avenue of interest is law school, you should take the LSAT. For now, the list of schools is relatively small and the vast majority of law schools are still requiring the LSAT for admission. The elite schools are leading the way; but these are also highly competitive institutions and with an even wider applicant pool, admissions rates at these schools may actually go down. As importantly, the American Bar Association (ABA) is still actively considering whether the GRE is a suitable replacement and accurate predictor of law school success. It is not a good strategy to limit or target your law school applications based on a desire to avoid the LSAT. You should identify the schools that are a good fit for you and then take the admissions test as required (which more than likely means you'll still have to take the LSAT). The new GRE rules are mostly to allow students who have taken the GRE for graduate admissions in another program to apply to these select law schools without the time or expense of taking the LSAT as well.

Fourth, the move toward the GRE does say something about what law schools are looking for in terms of applicants. They do look at more than just your LSAT/GRE admission test score. Your undergraduate GPA, your letters of recommendation, your personal statement, and your life and career experiences all matter. Law schools value students from diverse educational backgrounds and with a wide array of interests. So be sure to give them the whole picture and emphasize what makes your application unique.


For more information on the law school application process visit the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) website and be sure to sign up for the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) Club on DC Link.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dr. Jay Wendland on panel discussion: "Presidents & the Press"

Dr. Jay Wendland, Assistant Professor of Political Science, will join a panel of distinguished experts on the role of media in politics for the November 29, 2017, event: "Presidents and the Press: A Discussion of the role of the Free Media in American Politics" sponsored by the Association for a Buffalo Presidential Center and held at The Buffalo History Museum (1 Museum Court, Buffalo, NY). The event starts at 6 pm. Admission is free.

Other panelists for the discussion include Lee Coppola (Retired Dean of Journalism, St. Bonaventure University); Robert McCarthy (The Buffalo News); Jody Kleinberg Beihl (SUNY Buffalo); Rose Ciotta (formerly at WIVB and The Buffalo News, now with the Philadelphia Inquirer); and Dan Herbeck (The Buffalo News).

More details are available at the website for the ABPC.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) is hosting a conversation on the Law School Admission Process with Luke Ramey, a representative of UB Law. Please join us on November 13 at 7:00 pm in DS 227. 

This is a great opportunity to ask questions and get insights from the law-school admissions point of view.

Food and light refreshments provided. Please contact PLSA president, Casey Young ( for questions.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Thoughtful Coal Miner--"Coal, Climate, and Environmental Backlash" tour--coming to Daemen on October 24

Nick Mullins, a 5th-generation former coal miner and author of The Thoughtful Coal Miner blog, will speak at Daemen College on October 24 as part of his "Coal, Climate, and Environmental Backlash" tour. His talk is sponsored by the History & Political Science Department (History & Politics Event Series), the Department of Modern Languages, the Social Work & Sociology Department, and the Department of Global and Local Sustainability at Daemen College. 

Details: Tuesday, October 24, from 11:30-12:30, in Scheck Hall, room 202, Daemen College (4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226). This event is free & open to the public.

Nick Mullins
Mullins will draw upon his personal history as a former underground coal miner and energy transition advocate to explain the socioeconomic transition currently underway in Appalachia, as the region has shifted from being a bedrock of labor rights into a bastion of political conservatism, rallying around the coal industry's claims of being victimized in a "war on coal." The story in Appalachia is a microcosm of national patterns, where strong environmental advocacy movements have been undermined by the gutting of regulatory agencies charged with protecting public health and safety as well as regulatory capture, with industry officials appointed to positions in the agencies charged with industrial regulation. Meanwhile, scientific studies and enforcement initiatives related to climate change are being defunded, and social justice initiatives undermined.

Mullins arranged the "Coal, Climate, and Environmental Backlash" tour in order to help audiences understand the issues faced by working-class communities, as well as to rebuild stronger relationships among people in different parts of the country. His talk will address a range of topics, including the following:
  • Corporate manipulation of cultural values
  • The backlash in rural communities against environmentalism and liberalism
  • Outside exploitation of Appalachian resources and people
  • The power of the Jobs vs. Environment debate
  • Learning how to communicate across political and cultural lines

For more information about the tour, visit The Thoughtful Coal Miner blog or contact Dr. Penny Messinger.
Sponsored by: the History & Politics Event Series (History & Political Science Department); the Modern Languages Department,the Social Work & Sociology Department, and the Department of Global & Local Sustainability at Daemen College.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

History and Politics Event Series Presents: The New York State Constitutional Question

Ballot Choice 2017: Open Classroom Presentation 

On November 7, 2017, the voters of New York will confront a ballot question: “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” The New York State Constitution (Article XIX) mandates that this question be presented to the voters at least every 20 years. For a brief history and discussion of the convention process, see my earlier blog post and Chair’s report from the 2017 New York State Political Science Association Meeting.

The constitutional convention question is a unique opportunity for voters to review the foundation of New York State's governance and to compel a convention to study and propose necessary changes. The best way to make an informed decision on the ballot vote is to learn everything one can about the process. With less than a month to go before the vote, many New Yorkers have heard very little about the convention, or have received misinformation about the process and possible outcomes.

To help our students and interested members of the community better understand the process and issues, the History and Politics Event Series will offer a free public lecture on the New York State Constitutional Convention Question: Ballot Choice 2017. Two of the authors of New York’s Broken Constitution (2016 SUNY-Albany Press) will address the convention question in light of New York’s constitutional history, with an emphasis on the moment of opportunity that the 2017 ballot choice represents. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for audience Q&A. This open classroom lecture is free and open to members of the public. 

The event will begin at 6:00 pm in Room 236 Duns Scotus Hall
Daemen College Main Campus
4380 Main Street, Amherst NY   

For questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Parshall (, Associate Professor of Political Science and Section Chair, State and Local Politics, New York Political Science Association (NYPSA).

About the Speakers

Christopher Bopst, Chief Legal and Financial Officer at Sam-Son Logistics
Christopher Bopst is the Chief Legal and Financial Officer at Sam-Son Logistics in Buffalo, New York. Before that, he was a constitutional litigation partner at law firms in New York and Florida. He is the co-author with Professor Peter Galie of the leading reference work on New York’s State Constitution, The New York Constitution 2nd ed.(Oxford University Press, 2012), as well as numerous articles on the state constitution. He is also a contributor to and co-editor with Peter Galie and Gerald Benjamin) of a volume of essays entitled New York’s Broken Constitution: The Governance Crisis and the Path to Renewed Greatness (SUNY Press, 2016). In 2016, he was appointed to a Judicial Task Force on the New York Constitution formed to advise the Chief Judge and the New York Court System on issues related to the upcoming vote in 2017 on the holding of a constitutional convention.

Peter J. Galie, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Canisius College
Peter J. Galie is Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (Fordham Press, 1996);with Christopher Bopst, The New York State Constitution, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2012) ; an co-editor with Christopher Bopst and Gerald Benjamin, New York’s Broken Constitution: The Crisis in Governance and the Path to Renewed Greatness (SUNY Press, 2016). Other publications include The New York Constitution and the Federal System,” in the Oxford Handbook on New York State Government (Oxford University Press, 2012) and numerous articles on state constitutional law. He was an expert witness retained by the Attorney General of New York to prepare a report for the A-G’s appellate brief in Hayden v. Pataki, “The Felony Disenfranchisement Clause of the New York Constitution 1821–1938: Background, Chronology, Origin & Purpose” (June, 2004), and co-author, amicus brief submitted to the New York Court of Appeals in the case of Skelos v. Paterson (2009) on the question: “Does the Governor have the authority to fill a vacancy in the Lieutenant-Governor’s Office by appointment?” In 2016 he was appointed to a Judicial Task Force on the New York Constitution formed to advise the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals on issues related to the upcoming vote in 2017 on the holding of a constitutional convention.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Alumni profile: Christina Auguste

Christina Auguste at Niagara Falls
Guest blog post by Christina Auguste
I'm Christina Auguste and I recently graduated from Daemen College's Political Science program. I had several minors: Black Studies, Global Studies, and Religion and Philosophy. In my final year at Daemen I completed an internship at the International Institute of Buffalo in their Regugee Resettlement Department, as well as writing my senior thesis, entitled "Economic Recovery and the Rwandan Genocide." It wasn't all easy, but with a healthy amount of complaining (on my part) and guidance from my instructors I was able to get it all done. 
Auguste with Daemen President Gary A. Olson, receiving the Canavan Award

On the eve of graduation I was awarded the Mary Angela Canavan Award. [note: The Mary Angela Canavan Award is a prestigious award recognizing a graduating senior who has made significant contributions to the improvement of student life at the college.] The Canavan Award recognized my work in creating a program to increase diversity amongst the Orientation Leader staff. Even though this project wasn't related to my coursework, I received help and support from the History & Political Science Department faculty from conception to implementation. All the professors shared my passion for the project, which made me feel like I had a team behind me. 
My advisor, Dr. Aakriti Tandon, guided me through my senior year, particularly when I was applying to graduate programs. Thanks to her, to the department, and to my peers, I currently attend New York University's School of Professional Studies (SPS). I've joined their Masters of Science in Global Affairs Program. It's a new life at NYU and a little daunting at times but I know I can always call my favorite professor, Dr. Jay Wendland, to complain, and to get words of encouragement. 
Christina poses with Dr. Jay Wendland, Assistant Professor of Political Science, after commencement.