Learning Firsthand


Roanoke College interns have very positive experiences preparing and presenting legal briefs, researching cases and drafting opinions on behalf of judges and attorneys. Learn more.

Learn firsthand through simulations

In their courses, Roanoke's pre-law students are afforded opportunities to see how the profession is practiced. While interning with a federal judge or local attorney's office, they also find themselves participating in depositions, mock cross-examinations, mock union elections or any number of interactive classroom activities. These are typical classroom exercises for the pre-law student.

Washington Semester
The Washington Semester program is available for students interested in gaining experience and contacts in our nation's capital. Recent interns from Roanoke have been placed with the White House, the Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Justice and the Congress, as well as judicial and law offices and various interest groups and service agencies.

Center for Community Research
This campus resource allows students to work on polls that are used in real election analysis and policy decisions. Students gain an understanding of polling tactics as well as the relationship between the media, public opinion and politics. A group of students worked on a poll that was quoted several times in national media during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Fowler Program
The Henry H. Fowler Program sponsors an annual public policy paper competition and lectures by such impressive guests as Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former Polish President Lech Walesa.

Build research skills for a career in law 

The Judge James C. Turk Summer Scholar Program
The Judge James C. Turk Summer Scholar Program permits qualified students to spend the summer conducting intensive, independent research on a topic involving law and politics. The Turk summer scholar works with a faculty mentor who guides the project. The end result is an original piece of scholarly research that the student can submit for publication to an academic journal or for presentation at a law or political science conference. Please see Turk Pre-Law Coordinator Professor Todd C. Peppers for further details.

Roanoke College Summer Scholar Program
The Summer Scholars Program at Roanoke is a grant program enabling qualified students to conduct intensive, independent research for eight to 12 weeks. Roanoke students frequently are selected to have their projects presented at the prestigious Posters on the Hill program in Washington, D.C.

Undergraduate Research Assistants Program
URAP is a program unique to Roanoke where students work as research assistants with a member of the faculty on an original research project of interest to both the URAP scholar and the faculty mentor. A recent URAP student in the pre-law program helped a professor research and write a book on the hiring of law clerks.

Independent Studies
Independent studies provide students with a practical application of their particular majors or more specialized study in a particular area. Among other important topics, students have studied criminal issues, legal trends and the law's political implications.


"At a different or bigger school, there wouldn't be an opportunity to do such research. I was a lot more prepared for law school because I have research skills."

Bridget Tainer '06, on her internship. Bridget did research for a federal judge.


Honorable James C. Turk '49 Endowed Scholarship:

The income from this endowment provides awards to needy students from Virginia and who intend to go to law school. This endowment was established by the Turk family.

Read the news release about the establishment of the program.