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Pre-Law Related Minors

Minors can be thought of as a “mini-major” in that they are usually a little over half the number of units required for a major. While giving you some of the tools a major would in less time, minors are a great way to add another area of concentration in a particular area of study, to your degree. While there are several minors offered that will allow you to gain exposure to the subject matter of law, adding a law related minor will not put you at an advantage over another applicant who pursues a minor not related to law. The basic rule for choosing a minor is the same as for choosing a major; choose something you like and do well in it. Some of the law related minors are as follows:

Business Law

A minor in business law is available to students in all schools and departments except the Marshall School. The minor in business law will provide students with practical legal knowledge of substantive business law topics and current legal issues. The minor provides skill sets to identify and manage issues encountered within personal and business contexts including litigation, contract law, employment and human resources, real and personal property law. This minor exposes students to such topics as: commercial transactions, constitutional law, Internet and online commerce; intellectual property and entertainment law; bankruptcy and securities law; law of business and non-profit organizations; and international law. It also prepares students for career opportunities in management, technology and politics. The minor is an excellent preparation for further legal education.

Communication Law and Media Policy

The rapid advance in information and communication technologies raises serious questions about the limits of free speech, censorship, and the impact of present and emerging communication policies on domestic and international industries. To address these developments, this 24-unit cross-departmental minor combines courses from communication, law, economics, political science and journalism. This minor not only enables students to understand what is occurring in the communication revolution, it also prepares them to participate in the movement as critics and advocates.

Forensics and Criminality

The interdisciplinary minor in forensics and criminality was designed for students interested in the study of law, deviant behavior or careers in the criminal justice system. In this program, students study psychological and/or ethical issues related to criminal behavior, consider criminality in the context of social class analysis, and learn about the American system of criminal justice.

Human Rights

The protection of human rights has become a matter of international concern. Despite widespread media coverage of violations, flagrant abuses occur daily, throughout the world. The human rights minor provides students with in-depth knowledge about various human rights. Drawing together classes from a range of departments in and outside the College of Letters, Arts and Science, this interdisciplinary minor will cover the theoretical foundations of human rights, the historical and current developments, case studies and policies. Furthermore students will be required to take their learning outside the classroom through an internship or by teaching human rights in the community, and will be encouraged to join relevant student organizations. Students take one core course in human rights, POSC 448a The Politics of Peace: Human Rights. In addition, the minor requires two courses dealing with international human rights, one domestic human rights related course, and an approved internship, teaching human rights in the community, or independent project through the Department of Political Science.

Law and Society

This interdisciplinary program focuses on the effect of law on society as well as the ways in which social forces influence the legal system. The idea is that we will understand the law if we look beyond "law on the books" to "law in action." Thus, it is important to study key legal institutions such as the legal profession, the judiciary, juries, the police, legislatures, and administrative agencies. In addition, the minor introduces students to legal policies like plea bargaining, the death penalty, and the constitutional principles that underlie political debates about these policies, e.g., equal protection, due process, and privacy.

Philosophy for Business, Law, and the Professions

The aim of the minor is to give students headed for business, law or the professions a strong set of critical, analytic and expository skills, while providing them with a broad humanistic perspective not found in professional education. Students are required to take five courses, at least four of which must be upper division. They must take one course from each of the following categories (1- 4), and one additional course from either category 2 or 3.

Psychology and Law

This interdisciplinary minor brings together courses in psychology that focus on the social, clinical, cognitive and societal aspects of psychology and how it relates to law. This knowledge is augmented with courses from the Gould School of Law that identify the relationship between mental health, social psychology and law.

Law and Public Policy

The minor in law and public policy draws upon four fields of study: public policy and management, law, economics and political science. It provides students with an understanding of the political and economic contexts in which laws are made as well as how legal institutions shape policy formulation. Students learn to analyze the consequences of policy and alternatives; the roles played by government, business and nonprofit organizations in public decision making; and the legal bases for various areas of public policy.

Major Highlight: Philosophy, Politics & Law (PPL)

This interdisciplinary major combines in a systematic and structured way basic education in philosophy, political theory and elements of law.  It may be of particular interest to studetns contemplating post-graduate work in law;
those interested in a career in public service or politics, and those attracted by the rigor of philosophy and its attention to foundational issues, who are also interested in the law.  Students are exposed to a wide range of conceptual and
methodological approaches, while learning enough philosophy and political science to leave a choice of options for graduate schools.

Major Highlight: Law, History, and Culture

This major is designed for students drawn to interdisciplinary study of legal and cultural issues, as well as those who intend to pursue a law degree. It offers students an interdisciplinary education in legal institutions, languages and processes that are central to social, cultural and political developments in the past and present, and play a critical role in shaping our most basic concepts and categories of thought and identity. It combines approaches from history, literature, philosophy, political theory, religion and classical studies to explore the law’s position at the nexus of society. The major will help students develop the critical skills of reading, writing and analysis crucial to both a liberal education and the study of law. Students will gain theoretical and analytical perspectives on ethical, political and social issues relevant to law as they explore specific legal issues from a humanistic perspective.