Otterbein's Legal Studies interdisciplinary minor is housed in the Department of History and Political Science. The minor is intended for students interested in law and the legal system. For information on applying to law school, see the Legal Studies/Pre-Law Resources page.
The Legal Studies minor focuses on the relationship between law and society and on the principles of legal thought and decision-making. Legal Studies students are exposed to analytical and communication skills that are demanded in law school and legal careers. The minor’s interdisciplinary approach also promotes skills with diverse applications, including graduate study programs in international relations and social service careers. Students will gain greater understanding of the political and constitutional foundations of the legal system and of the law’s social implications.
Legal Studies Minor Requirements
The Legal Studies curriculum is designed to introduce students to various types of law, legal reasoning, constitutional analysis, and political and social theory, as well as strengthen writing, communication and critical-thinking skills.
Minors must complete a total of 6 courses (24 semester hours) in three areas:
A. Core (all courses required)
- COMM 2400 - Argumentation and Advocacy - 4 hrs
- PHIL 1200 - Symbolic Logic - 4 hrs
- POLS 2250 - Judicial Process - 4 hrs
- POLS 4200 - Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties - 4 hrs
B. Political and Social Theory (1 course required)
- PHIL 2800 - Social and Political Philosophy - 4 hrs
- POLS 2400 - Democratic Theory - 4 hrs
- POLS 3280 - Environmental Political Theory - 4 hrs
- POLS 3480 - Gender and Feminist Political Theory - 4 hrs
- POLS 4640 - Theories of Social Justice - 4 hrs
- POLS 4690 - Globalization, Justice, and Democracy - 4 hrs
C. Law and Society (1 course required)
- BUS 3500 - Business Law - 4 hrs
- JAMC 4500 - Media Law - 4 hrs
- MUSC 2081 - Legal Issues in Music - 4 hrs
- POLS 4100 - International Law and Institutions - 4 hrs
- POLS 4300 - Law, Politics and Society - 4 hrs
- SOCL 2050 - The Criminal Justice System - 4 hrs
- SOCL 4010 - Children in the Justice System - 4 hrs
Preparing for Law School
The American Bar Association (ABA) does not prescribe a specific major or a particular set of courses to prepare students for admission to law school. The ABA recommends that students take "a broad range of difficult courses" that challenge their critical thinking, writing, reading, and communication skills. According to the Law School Admission Council: "Law schools want students who can think critically and write well, and who have some understanding of the forces that have shaped the human experience. These attributes can be acquired in any number of college courses, whether in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, or the natural sciences."
Otterbein's Legal Studies minor, in co-ordination with its high-quality liberal arts education, introduces students to various types of law, to the forces that shape the human experience, and to techniques designed to sharpen reading, analytical, persuasive and deductive reasoning abilities.
Traditional majors for law school preparation include history, English, philosophy, political science, economics, and business, but students may focus their undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science, mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing, or education.
Otterbein Student Success
Recent Otterbein graduates have gained admission into the following law schools:
- American University
- Capital University
- Cleveland Marshall University of Law
- Cumberland School of Law
- Depaul University
- Detroit University of Law
- Dickinson Law School in Pennsylvania
- Duke University
- Loyola University of Chicago
- Massachusetts School of Law
- McGeorge Law School in Sacramento
- Ohio Northern University
- The Ohio State University
- Temple University
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Connecticut
- University of Dayton
- University of Illinois
- University of Maryland
- University of Michigan
- University of Minnesota
- University of Missouri
- University of Toledo
- Wake Forest University
- William and Mary Law School
For information on applying to law school, see Legal Studies/Pre-Law Resources or contact Professor Marcus E. Green, Otterbein’s Legal Studies Advisor.