The Legal Studies concentration teaches theoretical and practical aspects of the field of law as a profession. Students are equipped to offer substantive legal support services to firms and agencies or to continue their education in law school. The core curriculum emphasizes four correlated disciplines: (1) theory, process, application, and ethics of law; (2) legal and administrative research and investigation; (3) law-related technologies, and (4) professional decorum and communication skills. Only licensed attorneys are permitted to practice law, but well-trained paralegals and support staff are indispensable to any office that faces critical issues in law, regulatory compliance, or policy. The unique skill sets of Legal Studies graduates are vital not only to law firms but also to corporations, government agencies, courts, law enforcement, health care organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, and a wide range of other professional settings.
General Education (35-41 hours)
See University General Education Program for the University General Education Program requirements. Students who have completed one year of American History in high school are exempted from the six credit-hour History General Education Program requirement; otherwise, students will have to meet the History requirement.
Coordinated Study (54 hours)
Many upper-division (3000/4000-level) courses have prerequisites that must be met prior to being permitted to register for those courses. You are responsible for knowing and satisfying all course prerequisites. Some (not all) prerequisites are listed below. For specific information about courses and the prerequisites they may have, please view course descriptions at: Course Descriptions
Many courses also require permits from the department that teaches the course. For example, SWRK and CJUS courses will always need permits from those respective departments. College of Professional & Liberal Studies staff cannot issue permits for courses taught in other departments. ALL 3000/4000 level classes taught by the College of Business (ACCT, ECON, FIR, MGMT, MKTG) require a permit; students must request a permit online at: https://fcbeacad.memphis.edu/permits/
No more than 15 hours of the Legal Studies Professional Core may be satisfied through transfer credit.
Legal Studies Professional Core (30 hours)
* Students must complete LEGL 2400 , LEGL 2410 , and LEGL 3150 with a grade of C- or better before enrolling in any upper division (3000-4000 level) LEGL courses.
** A permit is required to enroll in UNIV 4110 - Internship** . The program coordinator approves internships and issues permits. In order to be eligible, students must have earned (1) ninety credit-hours and (2) a grade of C- or better in both LEGL 3150 - Legal Research/Writing I and LEGL 4150 - Legal Research Writing II . The internship requires students to perform 150 clock-hours of substantive legal work within a professional legal environment. Although the academic advisors and the program coordinator are available to assist however possible, it is each student’s responsibility to find, apply for, and secure his/her own internship prior to seeking a permit for UNIV 4110 . Students cannot transfer credit for internships from other schools or programs unless the student and the internship both meet UM’s Legal Internship standards, as determined by the program coordinator. For more information and related forms and documents, please visit https://www.memphis.edu/cpls/pdfs/UNIV4110_Legal_Studies_Internship_Packet.pdf.
Law-Related Electives (12 hours)
*Mock trial is a specialty course offered by the Political Science Department. It is limited to students who audition and are selected for the UM Mock Trial team, which sometimes travels for regional competitions. Eligible students may take the course twice for a total of six credit hours, but only in consecutive semesters (fall and then spring). For more information on permits, auditions, requirements, and offerings, please contact the Political Science Department.
Interdisciplinary Electives (12 hours)
Legal Studies students must also take at least 12 hours (four classes) of Interdisciplinary Electives. This course group is meant to offer students the freedom to shape their own learning experience while still adhering to a central theme of modern legal systems in society.
Students seeking to enroll in courses outside the College of Professional & Liberal Studies must obtain the appropriate permits from the department offering the course. Note that all upper-division courses offered by the Fogelman College of Business and Economics require a permit (3000 or 4000-level ACCT, ECON, FIR, MGMT, MKTG). To request a permit for courses at Fogelman College, please visit fcbeacad.memphis.edu/ugad/permits. Many upper-division courses in other departments also have prerequisites or permit restrictions. Students are responsible for knowing and satisfying all course requirements prior to enrollment. For specific information about course descriptions and prerequisites, please see the Undergraduate Catalog, which is available online at Course Descriptions .
College Requirements (9 hours)
Thematic Studies (6 hours)
College of Professional & Liberal Studies thematic studies course(s) are designed to broaden a student’s knowledge of significant themes in social, political, and religious history. Review a complete list of courses: https://www.memphis.edu/cpls/resources/thematic_studies.php
Senior Project (3 hours)
The senior project is a student’s culminating experience or capstone designed to synthesize and integrate the content of a student’s program of study. The senior project is intended to fuse the two or more academic areas that comprise the student’s coordinated study (major) into an academically-relevant example of scholarship. Students will complete a thesis, task-based, or artistic project on a topic of their choice with approval of their senior project instructor. The senior project is completed during a student’s final semester. Students will be assigned to a specific section based on their concentration.
Please note that the Legal Studies Senior Project does not involve the same materials and assignments as the Senior Project for students in other fields of study. Instead of an academic research paper, Legal Studies students analyze a case file and conduct independent legal research to draft a full-length trial brief that is suitable for attorney signature and filing with the court. For more information about the Legal Studies section of Senior Project, please email email@example.com. For permit and registration information, please contact your academic advisor or the Senior Project Coordinator.
General Electives (16-22 hours)
May be chosen to bring the total number of hours to 120 with a minimum of 42 upper-division hours.