Frequently Asked Questions
What is Legal Studies?
Legal Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the law in the broad context of history, economics, politics, health, philosophy, literature, and the sciences. The scope of legal concerns range from the local to the national to the global scale.
The law is an excellent lens through which to learn about and critically examine other disciplines, shedding light on debates central to those disciplines. Legal Studies includes the study of the role of law and legal institutions in society as well as how the law responds to and/or catalyzes change.
Why study Legal Studies at Brandeis?
Since 1974, the Legal Studies Program at Brandeis has carried forward with it the history of Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis and a legacy of commitment to understanding the law in all of its complexities and intricacies.
This interdepartmental program considers challenges and perspectives that reach across most academic disciplines at Brandeis. It is one of the most popular minors, with an average of 135 students choosing to minor in Legal Studies every year.
At Brandeis, we recognize the importance of hands-on experience, or “learning by doing.” The Legal Studies Program offers a range of experiential courses with unique opportunities for students to build professional skills and apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world situations.
Additionally, Legal Studies at Brandeis provides students multiple opportunities to engage with the law outside of the classroom, such as the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative, which connects students with opportunities to provide educational services to individuals impacted by incarceration.
"The Legal Studies Department at Brandeis is special for more reasons than I have room to explain, but I would be remiss if I did not highlight the fantastic faculty and the unique course offerings. The structure, assignments, and content of courses help not only to broaden your understanding of law and everything law touches, but they also can instill in you a way of thinking that lasts long after you leave the classroom. The faculty, with their dedication, generosity, and skilled pedagogy, make what you learn really come alive."
- Haley Brown '22, Legal Studies UDR
What can I do with a minor in Legal Studies after graduation?
Legal Studies offers a springboard to varied careers or further study as leaders, thinkers, and life-long learners well-prepared for a wide range of educational and professional opportunities. Legal Studies minors find and create opportunities at many levels - while at Brandeis and beyond - whether the local (town, city, and state) or the national and expanding to the global.
While many Legal Studies minors plan to go to law school (whether right after graduation or after working for some time), many choose to pursue a broad range of other graduate school and career paths. This minor is not intended as “pre-law” preparation for law school because the Program’s emphasis is on investigating the law from a variety of perspectives, rather than on training students for the legal profession. If your goal is to attend law school, understand that no single major or minor is the key to gaining admission to law school. Rather, you should choose an academic plan that most interests you and challenges you to become a better student.
Learn more about post-graduate opportunities as a Legal Studies minor.
What are the requirements for completing the minor?
Minors must complete six courses, including two core courses, three electives, and a hands-on-experience.
See all the Requirements for Minor.
How do I declare a minor in Legal Studies?
Legal Studies is one of the most popular minors at Brandeis. Undergrads may declare a Legal Studies Minor, by filling out a Declaration Form, contacting Grace Last, Program Administrator in the Legal Studies Office (Brown 325), or meeting with Prof. Daniel Breen, Undergraduate Advising Head (UAH).
Students who complete the requirements for the minor receive certificates from the program and a notation on their official transcripts.
Students do not need to declare a Minor in Legal Studies to take Legal Studies courses.