Minor in Legal Studies


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 who successfully complete 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;

  • 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, please 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

Dr. Jennifer Morrison


Justice Studies

Dr. Edith Kinney


Political Science

Prof. James Brent



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:

Core Course - REQUIRED - 3 units

POLS 120 - Law and Society (3 units)

Electives - 15 units

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

Perspectives on Law

ECON 141 - Law and Economics (4 units)
ENVS/POLS 124 - Introduction to Environmental law (3 units)
JS 144 - Criminal Law (3 units)
PHIL 155 - Philosophy of Law (3 units)

Contemporary Issues in Law and Justice

AFAM 142 - Law and the Black Community (3 units)
CCS 127 - Chicanas/os and the Criminal Justice System
JS 101 - Critical Issues and Ideas in Justice (3 units)
JS 122 - Drugs and Society (3 units)
JS 123 - Terrorism, Intelligence, and Security (3 units)
JS 132 - Race, Gender, Inequality and the Law (3 units) - Area S
JS 143 - Criminal Evidence & Procedure
JS 171 - Human Rights & Justice (3 units) - 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

Total - 18 units


Other Recommended Courses

The courses below are other recommended law-related courses at SJSU. They are not required for completion of the Legal Studies minor. Nevertheless, they might be of interest to you and useful to your professional development.

BUS 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 & Non-Conforming Behavior

Forms & Handouts:

Please check the Justice Studies Undergraduate Forms page for the most up-to-date Minor in Legal Studies Fact Sheets & Forms.