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Legal Studies Minor

 Legal Studies Minor in the Department of Political Science
Advisor: TBA

The legal studies minor is an inter-disciplinary course of study that allows students to examine the role and development of law from different perspectives within a liberal arts curriculum. Legal studies students will be introduced to the study of judicial opinions, theories of law and legal interpretation, the structure and role of legal institutions, and the operation of law in history and everyday life.

Program Justification
  Law is a central feature of political, social, and economic life. The legal studies minor will prepare students embarking on careers in government, business, or the non-profit sector to think broadly and critically about the nature of law. It will also be extremely helpful for any students planning to pursue graduate study focusing on law or legal institutions, in a wide variety of disciplines.  A legal studies program builds upon certain priorities established in the Hunter College 2011 strategic plan, including an emphasis on developing students’ communication skills and interdisciplinary scholarship and a commitment to connect undergraduate education to advanced career opportunities.  The core of the legal studies minor, though, is a commitment to the study of law within the liberal arts tradition. 

  While there are many ways for students to prepare successfully for law school, an advantage of the legal studies minor is its ability to help the college identify students planning to apply to law school, to ensure that these students receive guidance on the application process as early as possible, and to give them a solid foundation when they enter law school.


15-credit minor: Students are required to complete at least one course from within each of the three categories below. Students can take no more than three courses from one department.

No more than two courses from your major can be applied toward the Legal Studies minor. Courses used to fulfill the Legal Studies minor may be used to meet any other degree requirements, including the political science major. Students should be aware that courses listed for this minor may have prerequisite classes within their home departments.

Foundations of Legal Studies:
These courses teach students foundational knowledge and skills that are important for thinking and writing clearly about law.
·         PHIL 103 Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking
·         PHIL 106 Philosophy, Politics and Society
·         POLSC 110 American Government: A Historical Introduction or POLSC 111 Introduction to American Government 

Legal Institutions and Legal Processes:
These courses emphasize the “law on the ground.” They tend to present a more external analysis of the role and operation of legal institutions, actors, and norms.
·         POLSC 219 Women and the Law
·         POLSC 238 American Legal System
·         POLSC 240 The American Judiciary
·         POLSC 310 Comparative Legal Systems
·         POLSC 375 International Law
·         ASIAN 390.02 Asian American Civil Rights and the Law
·         MEDIA 394 Mass Communications and the Law
·         HIST 364 American Constitutional History
·         SOC 319 Criminology
·         SOC 320 Law, Society, and Civil Rights

The Theory and Practice of Legal Interpretation:
These courses emphasize the “law on the books,” the way relative insiders, like legal theorists and judges, talk about the content of law. Courses in this category introduce students to judicial opinions as well as normative theories about the way law should be interpreted.
·         POLSC 340 Organizing the Government
·         POLSC 341 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights
·         POLSC 342 Constitutional Law: The First Amendment
·         ECO 370 Law and Economics
·         PHIL 252 Problems of Law and Morality
·         PHIL 346 Justice in Contemporary Society