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College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Political Science, Legal Studies

Overview

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Option in Legal Studies, is an excellent choice for a liberal arts education with an emphasis on writing skills and analytical thinking. Graduates from this major are well suited for a variety of career options. Our graduates are members of Congress and the state legislature; city and county managers; lawyers and judges; law enforcement and correctional officers; lobbyists and campaign consultants; diplomats and international business executives; and teachers and college professors, among many other careers.

Students in the Legal Studies option have extensive opportunities for internships. The largest is our Community Legal Information Center, where over 100 students a semester provide free legal information to fellow students and members of the community. Students also have opportunities in local government and law enforcement agencies, at the State Capitol and in Washington, D.C.

Mission

The mission of the Legal Studies Program is to provide students the opportunity to focus on legal studies and the judicial branch of government. An additional mission is to promote civic engagement and a commitment toward working for the public good. Students will have the capacity to move into specific career opportunities (i.e. paralegal certificate) or have the skill and knowledge for future study in law school or graduate studies.

Goals & Objectives

  • Knowledge: Students will understand the judicial system, laws, process, and procedures for due process, equal protection, and other basic principles of constitutional law.

  • Skill: Students will have both the written, oral, and research skills to communicate effectively in the legal environment and the critical legal reasoning skills to analyze laws and legal opinions. Students will be able to use appropriate technology in legal studies. Students will have leadership skills.

  • Professionalism: Students will have an understanding and knowledge of the professional code applicable to legal practice and through their internships prepare for professionalism in a law office setting.

  • Citizenship: Students will understand the importance of participation in a democratic society through an academic service learning experience.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Written communication: Legal Studies students will demonstrate the ability to develop and convey ideas in writing for informational, persuasive, and expressive purposes.

  2. Oral communication: Legal Studies students will demonstrate the ability to communicate by means of spoken language for informational, persuasive, and expressive purposes.

  3. Quantitative reasoning: Legal Studies students will demonstrate the ability to interpret, analyze, and communicate quantitative information.

  4. Information Literacy: Legal Studies students will demonstrate the ability to recognize when and what information is needed to locate, evaluate, and ethically use the needed information from government and private sources to accomplish a specific purpose.

  5. Critical thinking: Legal Studies students will demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking skills in the reading and interpretation of professional and scholarly materials.