Legal Studies (Certificate)


Students may earn a Certificate in Legal Studies at University of Detroit Mercy. This certificate was developed by the University's advisory committee for the Pre-Law Program.

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    Requirements for the Certificate in Legal Studies (24 credits)

    • LST 2000 Introduction to Legal Studies (3 credits) OR  POL 2010 Introduction to Law and the Judiciary (3 credits)
    • POL 2100 American Politics (3 credits)

    One course from each of the following four component areas of the certificate program:

    Skills for the Legal Profession

    • PHL 1500 Critical Thinking (3 credits)
    • PHL 2500 Symbolic Logic (3 credits)
    • POL 2020 Criminal Law and Procedure (3 credits)
    • POL 2800 Legal Research (3 credits)

    History and Content of the Law

    • HIS 2500 United States History to 1877 (3 credits)
    • HIS 2510 United States Since 1877 (3 credits)
    • POL 3420 American Constitution and Public Law (3 credits)

    Theoretical Foundations of Law

    • PHL 2400 Topics in Philosophy (3 credits)
    • PHL 3010 Social and Political Philosophy (3 credits)
    • PHL 4240 Philosophy of Law (3 credits)
    • POL 3800 Elements of Political Thought (3 credits)

    Law in Society

    • BUS 2310 Business Law (3 credits)
    • BUS 3190 Ethics, Business Leadership, and Social Responsibility (3 credits)
    • CJS 4510 Criminology and Penology (3 credits)
    • ECN 4305 History of Economic Thought (3 credits)
    • ECN 4350 Economic History of United States (3 credits)
    • ETH 3590 Ethics and Public Policy (3 credits)
    • HIS 3550 The United States Since 1945 (3 credits)
    • POL 2020 Criminal Law and Procedure (3 credits)
    • POL 3100 Women and Politics (3 credits)
    • POL 3460 Civil Liberties and Equality (3 credits)
    • RELS 2400 Social Ethics (3 credits)
    • RELS 3430 Ethics and Economic Theories (3 credits)
    • RELS 3480 Justice: Contemporary Issues and Theories (3 credits)

    Elective (3 credits):

    Students must select one course from any of the four component areas above.

    Capstone (3 credits):

    Requires LST 4990 Capstone Seminar (3 credits) OR POL 4990 Senior Seminar (3 credits)


    Additional Requirements

    Students may take no more than 12 credit hours in any one department (e.g. CST, HIS, PHL, POL).

    At least 12 credit hours must be taken at the 3000-4000-level.

    Students must complete 10 hours of community service. These hours may be fulfilled in courses such as POL 2100.

    The Pre-Law Committee emphasizes that there is no required undergraduate major for law school; rather, students should choose an academically rigorous major that is both of interest to them and that develops their skills in critical reading, writing and thinking. Students who plan to attend law school are advised by the Association of American Law Schools to develop basic skills and insights rather than follow any pre-set pre-law program. Law schools urge an undergraduate education that emphasizes:

    1. Reading comprehension skills. Reading both case law and statutes requires the ability to distinguish and understand the parts of complex claims and definitions.

    2. Critical writing skills. The wide variety of forms of writing used in the law all require clear and concise writing skills and presuppose proficiency with standard English grammar, punctuation and syntax.

    3. Critical thinking skills. In both its oral and written formats, the practice of law requires skill at argumentation. Distinguishing a claim from the reasons given in support of it, as well as identifying and analyzing the arguments given in judicial decisions, are essential skills in the practice of law.

    4. Understanding and analysis of the human institutions and values that are central to the law. Classes that offer insight into the historical development of the law, its impact on other aspects of human life and the values it reflects are suggested.

    Regardless of the choice of undergraduate major, students planning to attend law school should choose academically rigorous courses (particularly in the liberal arts) that develop all of the skills listed above. Juniors and seniors should choose 3000- 4000-level courses for their electives, in addition to the upper division courses required by the student's major.


    Pre-Law Committee

Program Contact Information

Genevieve E. Meyers, Ph.D.
Director of the Pre-Law Program

Briggs Building, Room 238
McNichols Campus

Telephone: 313-993-1089
Fax: 313-993-1166