2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Legal Studies, Dispute Resolution Concentration, B.S.

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B.S., Legal Studies

The legal studies major provides students with an understanding of fundamental principles of law and analyzes the role and function of the American legal system within a societal and political context. The interdisciplinary course of study develops critical thinking and writing skills and prepares students for law-related careers, law school, or graduate school. Three concentration options allow students to focus on particular career aspirations and interests.

The legal studies international track provides an opportunity for students to study abroad for a semester, expanding their experience and knowledge of global legal and policy issues, while directly furthering requirements for their bachelor's degree. In partnership with universities in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia, legal studies students with a minimum 3.0 GPA may study abroad in either the spring semester of their sophomore year or fall semester of their junior year.

A two-semester internship in the final year of study combines classroom learning with on-the-job experience, enhancing employment opportunities after graduation. Placements are geared to the student's area of concentration.

Students earning a B.S. degree in legal studies must complete at least 124 credits, including the University Core Curriculum, major requirements, concentration requirements, and free electives.

Program Restrictions to University Core

No more than two LSTD courses can be taken as part of the University Core.  LSTD 4440  is not allowed for the Public Affairs concentration.


Students select an area of concentration for the elective portion of the program. The concentrations consist of five courses that focus on a specific approach to the field of legal studies. Course selection is made with the assistance of the program adviser. Students planning to go on to law school typically choose either the public affairs or dispute resolution concentrations.  Students planning careers as paralegals choose the ABA-approved paralegal studies concentration.  A paralegal performs specifically delegated substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney who is responsible for the paralegal's work.  Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Concentration in Dispute Resolution

Students in the dispute resolution concentration will explore alternative methods for resolving disputes traditionally resolved through the civil or criminal legal systems. This concentration provides students with an understanding of conflict management theories and alternative dispute resolution practices, and an introduction to practical skills in negotiation, mediation, and facilitation. Graduates are prepared for law-related, alternative dispute resolution careers in the judicial system, government agencies, and the private sector, or for further education in law school or graduate school.

Plus four of the following: conflict management, interpersonal relations, interpersonal or cultural dynamics courses related to concentration content, as approved by program adviser:

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