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Legal Studies Minor

 Legal Studies Minor in the Department of Political Science

The Legal Studies minor is an interdisciplinary 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. 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. The legal studies program  places an emphasis on developing students’ communication skills, 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 the student’s 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 prerequisites 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 10600 Philosophy, Politics and Society
·         PHIL 17000 Introduction to Logic and Scientifc Method
·         POLSC 11000 American Government: A Historical Introduction

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.
·         ANTHC 32075 Law and Anthropology
·         ASIAN 39002 Asian American Civil Rights and the Law
·         HIST 36400 American Constitutional History, 1783 to 1900
·         MEDIA 39400 Media and the Law in the Digital Age
·         POLSC 21900 Women and the Law
·         POLSC 23800 American Legal System
·         POLSC 24000 The American Judiciary
·         POLSC 30300 Democracy and Emergency
·         POLSC 31000 Comparative Legal Systems
·         POLSC 34300 Criminal Law
·         POLSC 37500 International Law
·         SOC 31900 Criminology
·         SOC 32000 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.
·         BUS 23000 Essentials of Business Law or ACC 28000 Business Law I
·         ACC 28000 Business Law I
·         HEBR 29500 Ancient Hebrew Law
·         MEDIA 36500 Digital Copyright
·         POLSC 34000 Organizing the Government
·         POLSC 34100 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights
·         POLSC 34200 Constitutional Law: The First Amendment
·         ECO 37000 Law and Economics
·         PHIL 25200 Problems of Law and Morality
·         PHIL 34600 Justice in Contemporary Society