Students walking through the academic quad

Legal Studies Minor

Legal Studies provides students interested in a career in law an opportunity to acquire the wide range of intellectual skills essential for academic success in law school. The goal of Legal Studies is not to train lawyers but to help students develop the highly sophisticated writing, analytical, and critical skills that law schools demand. Students in Legal Studies complete the interdisciplinary program of 20 credits that they satisfy while fulfilling the requirements of a traditional liberal arts major. By requiring students to take courses outside of their own field of study, the Legal Studies minor exposes them to academic methodology and critical approaches not inherent to their own disciplines, strengthens their writing and analytical skills, and broadens the base of their academic experience in preparation for law school or other legally related careers. In addition, students are exposed to both the for profit and not for profit legal environment.

Each student must complete the two required classes:

  • PHL 278 Logic (4 Cr.)
  • PLS 250 Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis (4 Cr.)

In addition they must take four elective credits outside their major or minor from the following list of approved electives:


Students must take eight elective credits from the list of approved 300 level courses:

  • BUS 350 Business Law (4 Cr.)
  • COM 301 Communication Law and Policy (4 Cr.)
  • PCE 310 International Human Rights Law (4 Cr.)

Legal Studies minors are strongly encouraged to take further recommended and related courses that are of interest to them. A list of related courses includes, but is not limited to:

BUS 231  International Business Environment (2 Cr.)

COM 257 Intercultural Communication (4 Cr.)

COM 340 Media, Politics, and Civic Engagement (4 Cr.)

ED 247 An Introduction to Education Policy (4 Cr.)

ENG 200  Close Reading, Critical Writing (4 Cr.)

ENG 215  Literary Theory: Eight Ways of Looking at a Text (4 Cr.)

HIS 235 American Revolution (4 Cr.)

HIS 260 Civil War and Reconstruction (4 Cr.)

HIS 270 African American History I (4 Cr.)

HIS 273 African American History II (4 Cr.)

JS 258  The International Politics of the Middle East (4 Cr.)

PCE 251 Human Rights (4 Cr.)

PHL 105  Personal and Community Ethics (4 Cr.)

PHL 231  Political Philosophy (4 Cr.)

PLS 290 Pre-law Internship (number of credits varies)

PSC 201  Modern Political Thought (4 Cr.)

PSC 202  Contemporary Political Thought (4 Cr.)

PSC 221 Comparative Political Analysis (4 cr.)

HIS 273 African American History II (4 Cr.)

JS 258  The International Politics of the Middle East (4 Cr.)

PCE 251 Human Rights (4 Cr.)

PHL 105  Personal and Community Ethics (4 Cr.)

PHL 231  Political Philosophy (4 Cr.)

PLS 290 Pre-law Internship (number of credits varies)

PSC 201  Modern Political Thought (4 Cr.)

PSC 202  Contemporary Political Thought (4 Cr.)

PSC 221 Comparative Political Analysis (4 cr.)

PSC 257 Problems in International Political Economy (4 Cr.)

PSY 202  Human Learning and Memory (4 Cr.)

RLG 239  Religion and Politics in America (4 Cr.)

RLG 333 - Christian Ethics and War (4 Cr.)

THE 105 - Effective Public Speaking (4 Cr.)

WS 225 - Gender and Sexuality Studies (4 Cr.)

WRT 206- Professional Communication (4 Cr.)

WRT 208 - Journalism Workshop (4 Cr.)

PLS/SOA 204 Law & Society (pre-requisite PHL 278 or permission of the instructor) (4 Cr.)

An introductory, interdisciplinary examination of law as a social institution. Focus is on the origin, history, and philosophy of legal systems from an international perspective, as well as the relationship in the United States between common law and statutory law, federal and state law, the courts and legislative bodies, and the courts and the executive branch of government. Exploration of the legal profession, its history, practice, goals, and place in American society. Spring semester.

PLS 250   Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis (4 Cr.)

This course explores the specialized methods of legal research, analysis and writing. This includes the conducting of computer assisted and other reporting services legal research as well as understanding and writing legal documentation. Corequisite PLS/SOA 204 and PHL 278. Fall Semester.

BUS 350   Business Law 4 Cr.

This course explores the elements of business law including its regulations, the jurisprudence system and legal instruments. The latter includes torts, contracts, sales agency, transactions, negotiation instruments, and business entities.  Pre-requisite PLS 250 Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis for pre-law minors; BUS 206 Business Writing and 16 credits in BUS courses as well as junior status). Spring.

PCE 310 International Human Rights Law (pre-requisite for declared pre-law students PLS 250; for non pre-law students PCE 251)  (4 Cr.)

Program Contact
Nancy Hubbard | nancy.hubbard@goucher.edu


Center for Education, Business and Professional Studies

Majors: American Studies, Art History, English (with concentrations in literature, writing, creative writing, secondary education), History, Philosophy

Minors: Art History, English, History, Historic Preservation, Book Studies, Philosophy

Center Director: Nancy Hubbard, nancy.hubbard@goucher.edu