Multidisciplinary Studies

Undergraduate Programs

Legal Studies

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Many undergraduates enter upon their studies at the University of Rochester with an interest in the law. For some students the law, especially constitutional law, is an intellectual interest they developed in high school after taking an introductory law course, an interest they would like to further develop even if they do not intend to attend law school. Other students have given thought to turning to the legal profession after graduating from the University. Yet other students may find a general introduction to legal studies to be a nice complement to their major, enriching and filling out an aspect of their other studies to which they are primarily devoted. For yet others the availability of this minor might operate as an "eye-opener" to a field of inquiry which they have only discovered and developed an interest in since coming to the University.

The minor in legal studies is an interdisciplinary program of study which gives students the opportunity to examine law from a variety of perspectives. The study of law is a humanistic enterprise and, while the minor should be useful for those who may be thinking of attending law school, it should not be considered a program in pre-professional training.

To be more precise, the goals of this minor are to:

  1. Educate students in certain broadly relevant analytical skills.
  2. Introduce students to what it means to study a social phenomenon from a variety of perspectives.
  3. Help students obtain a better understanding of law and the multiple functions it plays in a variety of societies.
  4. Encourage writing and the development of writing skills.
  5. Stimulate greater interaction among faculty interested in law and society.


Program Management and Advisors

Students who want to declare a Legal Studies minor or who just want to discuss questions about a Legal Studies minor should see:

Program Requirements

Students who plan to declare a minor in legal studies must define a coherent program of study in consultation with the Legal Studies minor advisor (listed above). The program requires a minimum of six (6) courses, drawn from the lists below, and distributed as follows:

  1. two courses from the "analytical techniques" course list;
  2. at least one course from the "legal studies" list and at least one course from the "cognate" course listing; and
  3. two additional courses selected from any of the three lists, or any other two courses approved by the student's advisor.

Note the following:

  • A legal studies minor may count as a Humanities minor if at least three of its courses are in the humanities (English and Philosophy courses, except PHL 110, are humanities courses.)
  • A legal studies minor may count as a Social Science minor if at least three of its courses are in social science (Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, and Sociology courses are social science courses.)
  • No more than two courses used for the student's major(s) may be used toward the minor.


Official Course Lists

A. Analytical Techniques (at least 2 required)

ECO 207—Intermediate Microeconomics
ECO/PSC 288—Game Theory
ENG 135—Debate
ENG 136—Advanced Debate
PHL 105—Reason and Argument
PHL 110—Introductory Logic
PSC 107—Introduction to Positive Political Theory
PSC 281—Formal Models in Political Sciences

B. Legal Studies (at least one required)

ANT 230—Post-Conflict Justice
ANT 231—(IL)Legal Anthropology
CAS 304—Urban Crime and Justice
ECO 265—Law and Economics
EDU 490—Higher Education Law
LAW 205—Business Law
PH 230—Law in Public Health Practice
PHL 223—Social and Political Philosophy
PHL 226—Philosophy of Law
PHL 285/PSC 385 Legal Reasoning and Argument
PSC 223—Constitutional Structures and Rights
PSC 234—Law and Politics in the United States
PSC 240—Criminal Procedures and Constitutional Principles

C. Cognate Courses (at least one required)

ANT 104—Contemporary Issues and Anthropology
ANT 202—Modern Social Theory
ANT 205—Theories and Debates in Anthropology
ECO 220—Fair Allocation
ECO 234—Regulation of Economic Activity
ENG 286—Presidential Rhetoric
HIS 164—Democratic America [prior to fall 2013 HIS 146]
HIS 166—Recent America [prior to fall 2013 HIS 148]
HIS 228—British History to 1485 [prior to fall 2013 HIS 231]
HIS 260—American Thought I [prior to fall 2013 HIS 267]
HIS 261—American Thought II [prior to fall 2013 HIS 268]
HIS 269—The Civil War [prior to fall 2013 HIS 249]
HIS 362W—American Thought [prior to fall 2013 HIS 335W]
PHL 103—Contemporary Moral Problems
PHL 225—Ethical Decisions in Medicine
PHL 230—Environmental Justice
PSC 216—Legislative Politics
PSC 225—Race and Political Representation
PSC 263—Comparative Law and Courts
PSC 284—Democratic Theory
PSC 291—First Amendment and Religion


Sample Minor Concentrations

The following are examples of course packages with specific concentrations within the general field of legal studies. These sample packages are provided for illustrative purposes only.

Legal History

  • PHL 105 Reason and Argument
  • PSC 285 Strategy and Politics
  • PSC 223 Constitutional Politics
  • PSC 234 Law and Politics in the United States
  • HIS 164 Democratic America [prior to fall 2013 HIS 146]
  • HIS 166 Recent America [prior to fall 2013 HIS 148]

Legal Theory

  • PHL 105 Reason and Argument
  • ECO/PSC 288 Game Theory
  • PHL 226 Philosophy of Law
  • PHL 223 Social and Political Philosophy
  • ECO 265 Law and Economics
  • PSC 284 Democratic Theory

Law and Policy

  • ECO 207 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECO/PSC 288 Game Theory
  • LAW 205 Business Law
  • PHL 226 Philosophy of Law
  • PHL 225 Ethical Decisions in Medicine
  • PSC 225 Race and Political Representation

Legal Reasoning and Processes

  • PHL 105 Reason and Argument
  • ENG 135 Debate
  • PHL 226 Philosophy of Law
  • PSC 223 Constitutional Politics
  • PSC 240 Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Principles
  • ENG 375 Presidential Rhetoric
  • PSC 216 Legislative Politics
  • PSC 315 Legislative Behavior

Law and Social Science

  • PSC 107 Introduction to Positive Political Theory
  • ECO 207 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECO/PSC 288 Game Theory
  • ECO 265 Law and Economics
  • ANT 202 Modern Social Theory
  • PSC 216 Legislative Process