The intercollegiate, interdisciplinary Program in Legal Studies seeks to illuminate the discipline of law—that body of enacted or customary rules recognized by a community as binding—with ideas and methods from some of the other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. It is also intended to help unify and increase the undergraduate student’s appreciation of these other disciplines by using them to study law as a central social phenomenon and repository of values.
By contrast, American law schools are specialized graduate institutions with their own traditions and systems of values and have a largely professional orientation, but for this very reason they can give at best only secondary attention to the goal of exploring the relationships of law with other aspects of intellectual and social endeavor. A premise of the Program in Legal Studies is that law, when approached from a liberal arts perspective, is too important—and too interesting—to be left entirely to professionals.
A major in this program, of course, may pursue further professional training in the law or graduate education in the minor field with an emphasis on its legal dimensions—such as the history of law or the philosophy of law. Others may enter careers in government or in advocacy organizations. Interested students should contact Professor Mark Golub for additional information.