Legal Studies

  • Professors J. Marks, Fitzpatrick; Associate Professors Clark, Sorensen, Woodstock; Lecturer A. Marks (Coordinator); Instructor Lederach

  • Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary minor through which students think critically about the law. Law embodies much of a society’s answer or answers to the question, how should we live together? Traditionally, the study of law, or jurisprudence, has been not a narrow technical or pre-professional training but rather a study of the reasons behind laws, one approached especially by means of philosophy and political theory but today also approached by means of the social sciences and even literature. Understood in this sense, the study of law is an integral part of liberal education. The legal studies minor allows students to understand better the numerous ways in which law directs and is affected by society, the government, and individuals. And it develops critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills, which are important elements of a liberal education. Courses are drawn from the departments of philosophy and religious studies, politics, anthropology and sociology, media and communications, and psychology. The minor is a valuable supplement to a variety of undergraduate majors.

    Requirements for Minors

    A minor in Legal Studies consists of 20 credits. All students must take POL-218 and one of the following three courses: POL-320, 321, or 322. It is strongly recommended that one of these three 300-level courses be taken among the first 12 credit hours of the minor. The remaining credits must come from the following: ENV/POL-326, ENV/SOC-220; MATH/PHIL260; MCS-201, 307, 315, 330, 358; PHIL-140, 160, 240; PHIL/POL-237; POL-310, 314, 316,320, 321, 322, 325, 330, 356; PSYC-262. No more than 12 credits toward the Minor can come from or be cross-listed in a single department. Internships, seminars, special topics courses, and up to four credits of independent study projects above the 100- level may be substituted for the courses listed above with the approval of the course instructor and the coordinator of Legal Studies. For Politics majors wishing to minor in Legal Studies, no more than eight of the 20 credits for the minor can count toward the major.