Legal Studies

In Legal Studies, you’ll develop the critical and analytical thinking, writing and reasoning skills necessary to examine all perspectives on issues. Our students study topics like ethics, conflict resolution and social justice to understand the profound effect of the law on people’s everyday experiences. Combined with a required second major and advising from attorney faculty members, you’ll be prepared for law school or a legal career such as a mediator, court reporter or claims examiner.

Degree Requirements

The Legal Studies Major

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Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies must satisfy the University Core Curriculum requirements, 11 required major courses, three required courses from other departments and the requisite courses for a second major in the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences.

Requirements in the Major

LS101The American Legal System
CJS204Constitutional Law
LS209Legal Methods I
LS215Legal Methods II
CJS320Crim./Civ. Proc. In U.S. Courts
LS345Ethics and Professional Responsibility
LS425Senior Thesis in Legal Studies
LS469Legal Studies Practicum

Elective Requirements

Any three additional Legal Studies courses

Requirements in Other Departments

POLSC100American Government and Politics
Any 300+ level writing course

Requisite Courses for Second Major in the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences.

Note: The Legal Studies Major is not approved by the American Bar Association and is not intended to prepare students to work as Paralegals.

Note: The Legal Studies Program is not affiliated with the Paralegal Studies Program offered through the University’s School of Continuing Studies. Continuing Studies students in the Paralegal Studies Major cannot satisfy Program degree requirements by taking Legal Studies Program courses in the day division.

The Legal Studies Minor

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The legal studies minor is designed to provide students with exposure to the study of law. This minor is not available to students enrolled as legal studies or criminal justice majors.

Requirements in the Minor

LS101The American Legal System
LS209Legal Methods I
CJS320Criminal and Civil Procedure in the US Courts

Any three additional legal studies courses at the 200 level or above

Note: The minor in legal studies is not approved by the American Bar Association and is not intended to prepare students to work as Paralegals.

Baccalaureate / Juris Doctor

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Outstanding students who qualify for this special program may be able to complete all requirements for a baccalaureate degree and the Juris Doctor degree in six years.

Full-time students who matriculate at the University in their freshman year and who maintain superior academic records with outstanding academic averages and superior scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) may apply to the Roger Williams University School of Law in their junior year. All undergraduate graduation requirements, excluding all Legal Studies requirements with the exception of LS 101 and either LS 209 or LS 215, should have been completed or the courses for completion should be in progress. The Legal Studies major will be completed using courses taken during the first year of law school. Students must have completed a minimum of 90 credits toward the undergraduate degree prior to beginning law school in the fall semester. After commencement the graduation coordinator will confirm that a minimum of 30 credits were successfully completed in the Law School. At that point the undergraduate degree will be posted.

  • A student must have earned at least 90 credits in three years of study at Roger Williams University before beginning at the School of Law.
  • All Core Curriculum requirements and major requirements must be met within those 90 credits.
  • The student’s cumulative grade-point average must be at least 3.0 with no grade lower than a C (2.0).
  • The student must score significantly above the 50th percentile on the LSAT.

In completing the first year of work in the School of Law, a student in the Three-Plus-Three program must pass all law courses with a grade-point average of at least 2.0. It is mandatory that all non-law academic work toward the combination degree be completed before any work in law is undertaken.

Those interested in pursuing the Three-Plus-Three Program must contact the Dean of Admissions at the School of Law and the Dean of the School of Justice Studies, no later than the end of the freshman year. This program is not available to transfer students.

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.