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Legal Studies

Learning Goals:

  • A knowledge of the essential elements of the American civil and criminal legal system and of alternatives that have been developed, including both the players and the processes.
  • An awareness that individuals have both rights and responsibilities within the American legal system.
  • An awareness of the varied expectations that Americans hold of the legal system and an ability to assess the capability of the system to meet these expectations.
  • A knowledge of the way in which at least three different disciplines view the legal system and an ability to integrate material from one discipline in a class of another discipline.
  • An ability to understand and critique a complex argument, showing strong analytical reasoning abilities.

The legal studies minor is not to be regarded as a prelaw program but is designed to be compatible with and complement various major programs, including those that remain traditional foundations for careers in law. Students planning a legal studies minor should declare their intention during their sophomore year to ensure that the required courses will fit into their program.

To complete the 24-semester-hour minor in legal studies, students must take the following courses: ACCT-210 Legal Environment, POLI-215 Law and Politics, and one of the following: SOCI-255 Crime and Justice, SOCI-350 Punishment and Society, or SOCI-405 Law and Society. Twelve additional semester hours must be selected from the following (at least one of these electives must be at the 300 or 400 level and not already counted toward one of the above requirements): ACCT-220 Introduction to Taxation; ACCT-310 Advanced Business Law; ANTH-311 Regulating Bodies; COMM-481 Media Law; ENST-335 Environmental Laws and Regulations; PHIL-125 Justice; PHIL-122 Resolving Moral Conflicts; POLI-334 International Organizations and Law; POLI-411 Constitutional Law; POLI-412 Civil Liberties; SOCI-255 Crime and Justice; SOCI-350 Punishment and Society; SOCI-405 Law and Society; and LGST-505 Internship in Legal Studies. Other courses may count as electives with the approval of the legal studies coordinator. Students minoring in legal studies are urged to take additional courses in history, economics, sociology, political science and other related fields.

Further information may be secured from Assistant Professor of Political Science Alison Merrill, coordinator of the legal studies program.

Double-counting restriction for interdisciplinary minors: only 8 semester hours of this minor may be double-counted toward the student's major.

LGST-505 Internship in Legal Studies

Practical experience in a supervised work program in a legal setting. This may include work in a law office, the office of a district attorney or public defender, in a court program, or work for a judge. The student must obtain approval from the cooridinator of the legal studies program before beginning the internship. The faculty intern advisor will be chosen in consultation with the legal studies coordinator. To register for the internship, a student must be a declared legal studies minor, have junior or senior standing, and have completed at least two of the three required courses for the minor (ACCT-210, POLI-215, and either SOCI-255, SOCI-350, or SOCI-405). Only one internship may be counted toward the minor. 2 SH.

Rick Davis, M.Tax/J.D.

Department: Accounting
Professor of Accounting

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4460

Michael Smyth, Ph.D.

Department: Sociology/Anthropology
Associate Professor of Sociology