Law & Society Minor
This program explores the law’s relationship to historical and contemporary social issues. Coursework in the minor helps students gain an understanding of legal history and legal structures, explore the role of the law and lawyers in solving social problems, consider the philosophical concept of justice, examine how law and legal reasoning affects nearly every aspect of contemporary life and get “hands on” internships and capstone experiences in a range of professional settings.
Coursework in the minor will:
- help students gain an understanding of legal history and legal structures
- explore the role of the law and lawyers in solving social problems
- consider the philosophical concept of justice
- examine how law and legal reasoning affects nearly every aspect of contemporary life
- offer “hands on” internships and capstone experiences in a range of professional settings
The minor can enrich many other majors on campus including (but not limited to) business, communication, criminology, English, history, philosophy, pre-health sciences, psychology, public relations, religion and sociology. This is not a pre-professional program offering paralegal training, nor is it required for students who are planning to attend law school. Rather, it embodies the spirit of liberal learning, focusing on communication skills, critical thinking, textual analysis, quantitative analysis and moral reasoning. It will help prepare students for a wide range of law-related careers. Students interested in attending law school should also plan on completing additional courses in writing, logic and public speaking.
The Law and Society minor requires a minimum of 15 credit hours.
All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.
Required Course (3 hrs.)
An exploration of the role that law plays in organizing society, resolving disputes and fostering change. Students will focus on the multitudinous ways in which law influences their daily lives and how social groups work to change the law and improve society. Students will be introduced to theories about law and how law has developed over time.
Students must earn at least a "B" in PLSC 220 earn the law and society minor.
Choose one from the following (3 hrs.):
Internships are designed to help students better understand the connection between theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to learn more about expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better to be eligible for internships.
Prerequisite: BSCI 380. A second opportunity for students to connect theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to discuss expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better.
Choose a total of 9 hours from the following electives:
(At least one in each category)
Social Science and the Law
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the social, political and historical forces that have helped shape the practice of the death penalty in America and the international community. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between race, class and gender and imposition of capital punishment as well as the influence of U. S. Supreme Court rulings on the administration of the death penalty.
An in-depth look at the judicial branch of government, emphasizing the state and federal judicial systems. The role of the prosecution, defense, judge and jury are examined, as well as judicial procedure.
Louis Henkin famously wrote, “...almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all of the time.” This class attempts to demonstrate how the ‘almosts’ in that quote are key to answering the questions, “Does international law matter and what are the real-world impacts of international organizations?”
Public Policy and the Law
This course will examine a wide variety of topics related to the law of animals, such as classes of animals (companion, exotic, domestic), torts (liability statutes, damages and valuation), contract law (landlord/tenant, area animal restrictions, dissolution of marriage), wills and trusts, criminal law (breeding regulations, legal vs. illegal breeding, animal cruelty), hoarding, entertainment regulations, dog fighting, the Humane Slaughter Act, the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. Particular attention will be paid to the topics of interest of the students enrolled.
Prerequisite: Admission to Breech School of Business. This course explores ethical and legal issues in business beginning with the legal system and forms of dispute resolution and covering the procedural and substantive areas of constitutional law, business crimes, torts/products liability, contracts and sales. Contemporary legal and ethical issues in business are discussed.
Prerequisite: Admission to Breech School of Business. This course covers the legal requirements of the Uniform Commercial Code as to negotiable instruments, debtor-creditor relationship, and secured transactions. Other substantive areas covered in this class include bankruptcy, insurance, business organizations, and employment law.
This course is an overview of laws and regulations as they pertain to the business atmosphere. Topical areas include procedural laws and the court system, alternative means of dispute resolution, constitutional law, torts/products liability, business crimes, contracts, sales, forms of business organizations, and employment regulation. Case analysis and ethical implications are discussed in each area.
A study of judicial processes and decisions with particular emphasis on the Supreme Court decisions that have shaped legal thought and altered the social fabric of American society.
Examination of the rise of the gay and lesbian movement and the challenges of achieving civil liberties and civil rights in dominantly heterosexual Western and non-Western societies.
Jurisprudence and Ethics
A survey of federal, state and municipal laws governing freedom of speech and commerce in journalism, public relations and advertising, with an exploration of ethical guidelines for professional behavior.
A philosophical and pragmatic examination of justice and punishment. The course will provide the student with an understanding of the conceptual foundations of justice.
This course explores the role of attorneys in film and literature. Using a wide range of texts, the course examines how lawyers can be represented as either heroes, who use law to fight social injustice or villains, whose mastery of the law enables them to overpower others, especially the voiceless. Students will consider why attorneys are viewed through these competing lenses and how these stories and images help us understand our own struggles to gain agency and freedom in an increasingly complex and diverse world.