The Law&Philosophy Minor

The study and practice of Law requires a unique combination of argumentative skills and reasoning abilities. Indeed, the American Bar Association's Council of Legal Education and Opportunity recommends that students interested in studying the Law take courses that “teach reasoning and analytical skills.” The discipline of Philosophy has traditionally played a role in the development of such skills and abilities in students.

The minor in Law and Philosophy provides students with intensive training in reasoning and argumentation. It allows students to examine many of the current moral, political, and legal issues that are of interest to lawyers, judges, and legal scholars, as well as to professions in criminal justice, security and preparedness, government, and social work. Students will investigate questions such as: What is the relation between law and morality? How do changes in technology contribute to changes in the law (e.g., regarding medicine or environmental issues)? Does the law help or hurt oppressed groups in society? What makes something a human right, and how should respect for human rights be instantiated in the law? What is the basis of international law and can international law contribute to peace?

In the classroom, students will learn to engage in reasoned debate about complex problems, to argue for or against certain propositions, to defend views against objections, and to subject their own biases to careful scrutiny. Special emphasis is placed on reading arguments carefully, analyzing their structures and assumptions, and writing logically, clearly, and precisely.


The minor requires 12 core credits in Philosophy and 6 credits of legal studies electives. At least 9 of the total e credits must be in coursework at or above the 300 level.

  • Philosophy course (12 credits)
    • 3 credits from either APHI 112 Critical Thinking or APHI 210 Introduction to Logic
    • 3 credits from APHI 212 Introduction to Ethics or APHI 220 History of Social and Political Philosophy or APHI 326 Moral Philosophy
    • 3 credits from APHI 325 Philosophy of Law
    • 3 credits from a 300-level or 400-level course in Philosophy
  • Elective courses (6 credits)
  • Elective courses may be law-related courses from Philosophy or other units, including Africana Studies, Business, Criminal Justice, Journalism, and Political Science.

    • APHI 114 Morals and Society or APHI 115 Moral Dilemmas
    • APHI 338 Moral Problems in Medicine
    • APHI 350 Philosophy and Feminism
    • APHI 355 Global Justice
    • APHI 417 Bioethics
    • APHI 474 Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy
    • A AFS 400 The Law and African-America
    • BLAW 220 Business Law
    • BLAW 200 Legal Environment of Business
    • RCRJ 202 Introduction to Law and Criminal Justice
    • RCRJ 302 Punishment and Corrections
    • RCRJ 353 American Criminal Courts
    • RCRJ 401 Crime Deviation and Conformity
    • RCRJ 424 Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law
    • A JRL 225 (= A DOC 225) Media Law and Ethics
    • RPOS 326 Introduction to Public Law
    • RPOS 328 Law and Policy