Departmental Goals and Objectives
The Department of Legal Studies at UIS offers students an exceptional opportunity to study and experience law in action. Springfield is the seat of the Illinois legislature, the Illinois Circuit Court for Sangamon County, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Legal Studies students have the opportunity to interact with both the legislature and the state and federal courts in their classes and through internships. The Legal Studies department emphasizes law in a societal context within a broad-based liberal arts curriculum. The department seeks to develop the student’s knowledge and understanding of the legal system and to enhance skills in analytical thinking, research, and writing. The department also seeks to develop professional and scholarly skills that graduates will need in law-related careers or graduate-level studies. Students are encouraged to participate in several experiential learning opportunities, including working with the Illinois Innocence Project, competing with the Mock Trial Team, and participating in the Pre-Law Society.
Knowledge of law and the legal system is important for individuals in a wide array of careers, including politics, government, law enforcement, social work, lobbying, legislative work, legal analysis, nonprofit work, corrections, human resources, and court administration. Many professionals, especially in the public sector, need a comprehensive understanding of what the legal system is, how it works, how it interrelates with social change, and how it assists people in asserting their rights.
The objectives and outcomes for the B.A. graduate are:
- To develop analytical skills necessary to appreciate law as a social phenomenon;
- To develop an understanding of how law is created, applied, interpreted, and changed;
- To impart knowledge of substantive areas of the law;
- To provide clinical or direct working experience in legal environments;
- To perfect student skills in legal research, writing, and analysis; and
- To provide an interdisciplinary liberal arts education.
Students interested in learning more about legal studies or preparing to designate legal studies as an academic major should contact the Legal Studies Department. For advice on what kinds of classes provide good preparation for law school or information about how legal studies prepares students for law, students should contact the Pre-Law Center at (217) 206-4529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.