Minor in Legal Studies

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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 deanna.fassett@sjsu.edu
Justice Studies
Dr. Edith Kinney edith.kinney@sjsu.edu
Political Science
Prof. James Brent james.brent@sjsu.edu


This is an 18-unit* minor, comprised of one required core course, and five electives selected from five disciplinary areas. 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.
*Note that the total minor count will vary between 18 to 22 units, depending on course selection.

The course requirements, groupings, and choices are as follows:

Core Course - Required - 3 units

POLS 120: Law and Society

Electives - 15 units

Students choose one course from each of the following five groups:

Perspectives on Law

  • ECON 141: Law and economics
  • ENVS/POLS 124: Introduction to Environmental law
  • JS 144: Criminal Law
  • PHIL 155: Philosophy of Law

Contemporary Issues in Law and Justice

  • AFAM 142: Law and the Black Community
  • CCS 127: Chicanas/os and the Criminal Justice System
  • JS 101: Critical Issues and Ideas in Justice
  • JS 122: Drugs and Society
  • JS 123: Terrorism, Intelligence, and Security
  • JS 132: Race, Gender, Inequality and the Law (Area S)
  • JS 143: Criminal Evidence & Procedure
  • JS 171: Human Rights & Justice (Area V)
  • SOCI 151: Violence in the Family

Legal History

  • AFAM 134: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement
  • MDES 108: Talmud to Kabbalah
  • POLS 121A: Constitutional Law: The Supreme Court
  • POLS 121B: Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties
  • POLS 121C: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights

Law and Ethics

  • COMM 133F: Ethical Problems in Communication
  • MCOM 101: Laws and Ethics of the Media
  • PHIL/BUS3 186: Professional and Business Ethics (Area S)

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: BUS3 151 Labor Relations; COMM 130F Social Movements Communication; COMM 140P Argumentation and Debate; JS 136 Family and Community Violence; JS 145 White Collar Crime; JS 152 Juvenile Delinquency & Justice; JS 155 Victimology; JS 185 Special Topics in Law and Justice; SOCI 154 Sociology and Nonconforming Behavior

Forms & Handouts:

Please check the Justice Studies Undergraduate Forms page for the updated Minor in Legal Studies Fact Sheets & Forms.