Scales

All Rise for Legal Studies Minor

Students are admitted to law schools from virtually all majors, according to the American Bar Association. Buffalo State’s new legal studies minor, which is offered for the first time this semester, is designed to ensure that students interested in attending law school are exposed to a variety of subjects and achieve a balance of educational experiences.

The 18-credit-hour minor is housed in the Political Science Department, but, said chair Laurie Buonanno, “the minor is administered by an interdisciplinary faculty.” It was devised by the pre-law advisement committee, chaired by Virginia Grabiner, associate professor of sociology. Jon Lines, lecturer in political science, serves as the minor’s coordinator and as coach for the Buffalo State Mock Trial team.

Two courses are required to complete the minor: Introduction to Law and Introduction to Philosophy. The capstone project is Moot Court, a 400-level course cross-listed with psychology, criminal justice, and sociology, which is taught by a judge and is based on a murder trial. This year, Town of Tonawanda Town Justice John J. Flynn will teach the course. Students may take Contemporary Constitutional Issues instead.

Students can choose from a list of 21 courses to complete the minor’s requirements, but no more than two may be from the same department. The list reflects a wide range of law-related topics including rhetorical criticism, economic analysis of law, and English legal history.

Buonanno noted that Kelly Boos, assistant to the dean of natural and social sciences, will continue to serve as pre-law adviser for students interested in attending law school. The pre-law handbook provides valuable information, including a timeline indicating when students should acquire the necessary academic skills.