Legal Studies Major
The Legal Studies major provides an undergraduate liberal arts degree grounded in the Humanist tradition of law. The focus of the program is to study the historical and contemporary development of the law and its impact and relationship to political decision-making, moral philosophy, evolving theories and concepts of equity, equality and justice, and social and community norms.
The impact of law and legal process on citizens, both at home and abroad, has increased markedly in recent years. Factors contributing to the development of law and legal institutions include rapid growth in the complexity of government, public, private and administrative law, expanded conceptions of individual and group rights, increased public access to knowledge via the internet and increasing exposure to structures of legal ordering, such as healthcare, environment and economic regulation. If citizens are to protect, maintain and advance democratic ideals, civic life and participation, they require greater knowledge of the role of law, its goals, methods, successes and failures. Coupled with this must be an understanding of the benefits and limitations of evolving methods of alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice.
Legal Studies majors learn about both the theoretical and practical dimensions of law, not only within the American and English common-law model, but within other civil, code-based, global legal systems as well. They gain first-hand experience in legal analysis, argument and advocacy as well as in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). They learn such substantive areas of law as contracts, real property, family law, etc., and gain an understanding of procedural law in civil and criminal contexts. The program offers coursework in law-related topics involving diversity, multiculturalism, environmental regulation and international law.
Legal Studies programs offer students two options for majors: a 36-credit major in Legal Studies, which would be complemented by a minor of the student's choice, or a 58-credit comprehensive major in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, which would not require a minor. Additionally, this program offers a 24-credit minor in Criminal Justice. The criminal justice concentration builds on the Legal Studies curriculum to offer both social science perspectives and professional development in the study of justice through the lenses of police, courses, corrections, offenders, and victims.
Legal Studies Major Requirements
35-36 total credits
Completion of 35 or 36 credits is required, including 24 credits in required courses, 3 credits in a procedure course, 2 or 3 credits in a substantive law course and 6 credits from two of three groups.
|LSTU 115||Law and Human Behavior||3.00|
|LSTU 261||Contemporary Issues in Law and Society||3.00|
|LSTU 268||Alternative Dispute Resolution||3.00|
|LSTU 305||Methods of Legal Research and Writing||3.00|
|LSTU 450||U.S.Constitutional Law, Part I||3.00|
|LSTU 451||U.S. Constitutional Law, Part II-Civil Liberties and Civil Rights||3.00|
|or LSTU 499||Independent Research/Applied Skills|
|LSTU 498||Senior Capstone Presentation||0.00|
|Legal Procedures Courses|
|LSTU 210||Criminal Procedure||3.00|
|or LSTU 220||Civil Procedure|
|Substantive Law Courses|
|Select two credits of the following: (students are strongly encouraged to take more of these courses as electives)||2.00|
|Select one course from each of the following Groups:||9.00|
|Group 1: Legal Theory and Practice|
|Great Legal Trials: Stories That Changed Law|
|Comparative Law and Courts|
|Group 2: Legal Process and Systems|
|Law, Citizenship and Civic Engagement|
|Environmental Law and Regulation|
|Crime, Corrections and Punishment|
|Group 3: Diversity and Multicultural Issues|
|Race, Ethnicity, and Justice|
|Gender, Crime, and Justice|
For students planning to attend law school or graduate school, a preparatory course in the LSAT or GRE examination is highly recommended.