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.

Requirements for the Major in Legal Studies. All majors Legal Studies Majors must complete the following courses (44 semester hours):

Semester Hours View Full Course Catalog >>
4 ACCT-210 Legal Environment
4 POLI-215 Law and Politics
4 POLI-411 Constitutional Law
4 POLI-412 Civil Liberties
4 SOCI-255 Crime and Justice
or SOCI-350 Punishment and Society
4 SOCI-316 Social Justice
or SOCI-405 Law and Society
4 PHIL-122 Resolving Moral Conflicts
4 PHIL-213 Symbolic Logic
4 ENGL-299 Professional and Civic Writing: Practice and Theory

Additionally, students must complete 8 SH of the following courses:

2        ACCT-220 Intro to Taxation (2 SH) and ACCT-310 Advanced Business Law

4 ANTH-311 Regulating Bodies: Food, Sex, Drugs and the Economy
4 COMM-481 Media Law
4 ENST-335 Environmental Laws and Regulations
4 MGMT-416 Intellectual Property and Business
4 PHIL-150 Race, Class and Ethics
4 POLI-334 International Organizations and Law
4 SOCI-311 Sociological Theory

Students must complete an internship, which may or may not count for credit.

A capstone experience is required for the major. If a student has not completed a capstone for another program, the Director of Legal Studies will work with them to identify a possible capstone experience (such as POLI-501 Senior Seminar).

Minor in Legal Studies. 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; ACCT-496 when taught as ‘Fraud and Forensic Accounting’; ANTH-311 Regulating Bodies; COMM-481 Media Law; ENST-335 Environmental Laws and Regulations; MGMT-416 Intellectual Property and Business; MGMT-362 Employment Law; 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. Students should note that the required and elective Sociology courses have a prerequisite of SOCI-101 or ANTH-162.

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.

Nicholas J. Clark, Ph.D.

Department: Political Science
Associate Professor of Political Science

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4726

Rick Davis, M.Tax/J.D.

Department: Accounting
Professor of Accounting

Coleen Patricia Zoller, Ph.D.

Department: Philosophy
Professor of Philosophy

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4163

Andrea M. Lopez, Ph.D.

Department: Political Science
Associate Professor of Political Science

Heather Lang, Ph.D.

Department: English & Creative Writing
Assistant Professor of English

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4658

Alison Merrill

Department: Political Science
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Rolfe D. Peterson, Ph.D.

Department: Political Science
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4170

Michael Thomas

Department: Philosophy
Assistant Professor of Philosophy