Political Science Department Chair

Dr. Christopher McCarthy-Latimer is an associate professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Framingham State University.  He is also the Pre-Law advisor. Dr. McCarthy-Latimer holds a PhD and a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and a JD from American University Washington College of Law. His areas of specialization include public law, American politics, civic engagement and technology. During his four years at FSU, he has implemented a Moot Court Symposium, as well as a 3+3 partnership with Suffolk University Law School.

Where did you work prior to coming to Framingham State?

The position I held before I came to Framingham State was associate dean of Endicott College. I realized that I wanted to get back into teaching because it provides me with a better connection to students. I really enjoy teaching and don’t mind the administrative work, so the opportunity to chair the Political Science Department at Framingham State was a good fit. At FSU, I get the chance to know everyone, because it’s a smaller program. I really enjoy it here.

When did you establish the Moot Court Symposium at FSU?

I launched Moot Court in the fall of 2014. Students who sign up for it take part in a competition at Fitchburg State University against students from other universities in the Northeast. Unlike in law school, students are provided with a limited number of cases, usually 15 or 16, that everyone uses. There are two constitutional issues that teams have to wrestle with and then respond to questions from a judge. Being able to think and answer questions on your feet is a very valuable skill for just about any profession. It’s also a good way to meet students at other universities. I enjoy when our students go up against students from schools like Princeton or Northeastern because they realize, “Hey, they’re just like us.”

Are there a lot of Pre-Law students at Framingham State?

Right now I’m still working to grow the program. It has not been pushed very hard in the past, but it is becoming more prominent and moving in the right direction. There is a misperception among a lot of students who attend Framingham State that they are not going to be able to get into a good law school. That’s just not true. Law schools care about two things—your GPA and your LSAT score. If you do well in those two areas, you will get into a great law school.

What is the 3+3 program you launched with Suffolk University Law School?

The concept of the 3+3 program has been around at undergraduate universities for many years. You spend three years fulfilling all your major requirements for your bachelor’s degree, which means students need to be vigilant and really pay attention to the courses they are taking. During the fourth year, you go to law school and all the credits come back as electives toward your bachelor’s degree. This allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in just six years, saving time and money. We now have an agreement in place with Suffolk University Law School that allows us to provide this opportunity to students. I’m in the process of reaching out to other law schools in order to expand our 3+3 options.