Law and Liberal Arts is a new minor coming to Wilkinson, beginning Fall 2020. The minor allows students at Chapman to dive deep into the study of law and its role in our society. It will also focus on building an academic foundation for those who plan to apply to law school.

“The development of this new minor is strategically aligned to provide students who want to go to law school with the skills that will help them succeed there,” said Associate Dean Stephanie Takaragawa.

“Success as a lawyer is about knowledge and skills in logical reasoning, excellence in reading and writing, an understanding of history, politics, and the economy, and an appreciation of the place of ethics to frame it all,” Ron Steiner, professor in the Fowler School of Law.

The minor will consist of three main core requirements: Symbolic Logic, Writing in the Legal Context, and Principles of Microeconomics. Students will then have a choice of electives within two tracks: Justice, Morality, and the Law or Global Justice and International Law.

“The minor’s electives consist of courses from across the curriculum,” said Bas Van der Vossen, associate professor in Philosophy and the Smith Institute for Political Economy, who will serve as program director of the new minor. “It will help students prepare to think critically and analytically about the law in the well-rounded way typical of the liberal arts.”

These elective courses span disciplines like political science, history, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. They include classes like Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Law and Politics in a Sexually Diverse Society, and Law and Politics of Mass Atrocity.

Van der Vosen previewed one of the newly developed core classes, Writing in a Legal Context: “[Students in this class] will practice argumentative and informative writing and speaking, using examples drawn from the real world along with fictional cases and situations.” The course, he added, would focus on active learning activities including debates, discussions, writing workshops, and collaborative activities with the Darling Law Library.

“The new minor was put together by an interdisciplinary team who recognized that being a lawyer is not an occupational category; it’s a skill set,” said Ron Steiner, a professor in the Fowler School of Law, who is taking over the role of pre-law advisor for undergraduate students in the fall. 

Click here for more information on the new Law and the Liberal Arts minor.