Minor in Legal Studies

photo of Tower Hall


The minor in Legal Studies is an 18-unit course of study that examines law as a social institution from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Students choosing this minor:

  • become more informed and effective participants in society;
  • deepen  their appreciation of the role of law in economics, politics, business, education, international relations, employment, social stability and change;
  • learn to analyze the impact and limitations of law and legal change, including law’s unintended or hidden consequences; and
  • improve improve their abilities to make effective arguments, evaluate data, analyze rhetoric, reach consensus and solve problems.

If you're interested in pursuing a Legal Studies minor, obtain a minor form from the Communication Studies, Justice Studies, or Political Science Departments, and meet with one of the designated Legal Studies advisor in those departments:


Communication Studies

Prof. Deanna Fassett

HGH 108



Justice Studies

Dr. Edith Kinney

MQH 525B



Political Science

Prof. James Brent

BT 462





This is an 18-unit minor, comprised of one required core course, and five electives selected from five course groups. In order to ensure that your legal studies education is broad and interdisciplinary, only one of the five electives can be taken from your major department (if applicable). Faculty Minor advisors may approve substitutions in appropriate cases. The course requirements, groupings, and choices are as follows:

  1. Core course (required for all students) - PolS 120, Law and Society
  2. Electives: Students choose one course from each of the following five groups:
    1. Perspectives on Law:
      • Econ 141, Law and Economics
      • EnvS/PolS 124, Introduction to Environmental law
      • Phil 155, Philosophy of Law
    2. Contemporary Issues in Law and Justice:
      • AfAm 142, Law and the Black Community
      • JS 115, Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
      • JS 122, Drugs and Society
      • JS 132, Race, Gender, Inequality and the Law
      • JS 133, Terrorism, Intelligence, and Security
      • MAS 127, Chicanas/os and the Criminal Justice System
      • Soci 151 Violence in the Family
    3. Legal History:
      • AfAm 134, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement
      • Hist 171, American Constitutional and Legal History
      • MdES 108, Talmud to Kabbalah
      • PolS 121A, The Supreme Court: Constitutional Law
      • PolS 121B, Civil Liberties: Constitutional Law
    4. Law and Ethics:
      • Comm 133F, Ethical Problems in Communication
      • MCom 101, Laws and Ethics of the Media
      • Phil 186, Professional and Business Ethics (cross-listed in Bus and JS)
    5. Laws and the Courts:
      • Comm 147P, Argumentation and Persuasion in Courts of Law
      • JS 103, Courts and Society
      • PolS 122, Judicial Politics

Other recommended law-related courses (not required for completion of the Legal Studies minor) offered at SJSU include: Bus 151, Labor Relations; Comm 130F, Social Movements Communication; Comm 140P, Argumentation and Debate; JS 111, Special Topics in Law and Justice; JS 120, Juvenile Justice; JS 135, White Collar Crime; JS 136, Family and Community Violence; PolS 105, The Legislative Process; Soci 152, The Youth Offender; Soci 154, Sociology and Nonconforming Behavior; Soci 155, Victimology.