University of Wisconsin–Madison

Legal Studies Program

Program Overview

The Legal Studies Program is an undergraduate major in the College of Letters and Sciences. The program’s mission is to provide a liberal education across traditional disciplines, focusing on the theory and operation of law and legal institutions. The courses in the Legal Studies major expose students to the many facets of law as a social phenomenon – its evolution, function, motivating ideas and effects. The major is not intended as preparation for law school because the emphasis is on exploring broadly defined questions about law from a variety of perspectives, rather than on training for the profession. The Legal Studies major is, however, suitable for pre-law students.

The curriculum is designed around the following five themes: Legal Institutions, Processes of Legal Order and Disorder, Law and Social Forces, Law and Culture, and Law and Theory.

Program Requirements

Jump to the UW Undergraduate Guide

Program Advising

Jump to the Advising Hours and Appointments

Courses

  • Spring 2019 Courses

    For the most current information, search the UW-Madison Schedule of Classes here

    Spring 2019 Legal Studies Courses (print-able)

    Gateway Courses

    Legal St/Soc 131: Criminal Justice in America – 9:30-10:45 T/R + disc

    Legal St/Poli Sci 217: Law, Politics & Society – online

    Methods Courses (Statistics and Research Design)

    Statistics (one course from this listing)
    Economics 310: Statistics: Measurement in Economics
    Psychology 210: Basic Stats for Psychology
    Sociology 360: Statistics for Sociologists
    Statistics 224: Intro Stats for Engineers
    Statistics 301: Introduction to Statistics
    Statistics 371: Intro Applied Stats – Life Sciences

    Research Design (one course from this listing)
    Political Science 170: Research Methods in Political Science – 11-11:50 T/R + disc
    Political Science 373: Intro to Survey Research 9:55-10:45 M/W + disc
    Political Science 401: Intro to Empirical Legal Research – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    Psychology 225: Experimental Psychology
    Sociology 357: Methods of Sociological Inquiry – 11-11:50 T/R + disc

    Theme Group 1: Legal Institutions

    General Business 301: Business Law – online + disc
    General Business 302: Bus Orgs and Negotiable Instruments
    Legal St/Hist 262: Amer Legal History 1860s to Pres – online
    Legal Studies 444: Law in Action – 11-12:15 T/R
    *Political Science 340: European Union – 4-5:15 T/R + disc
    Political Science 401: Legal Writing – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    Political Science 412: The American Constitution II – 4-5:15 T/R + disc
    Political Science 470: The First Amendment – 1-2:15 T/R
    Political Science 601: The Supreme Court’s 2018 Term – 2:25-5:25 W
    Political Science 601: Constitutional Issues – 2:25-5:25 F

    Theme Group 2: Process of Legal Order & Disorder

    Legal Studies 694: Field Observation in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies – 9-11 W (application and internship required)
    Psych 526: The Criminal Mind: Forensic and Psychobiological Perspectives – 11-12:15 T/R + disc
    Psych 601: Psych Juvenile Delinquency (Psych 225 prereq) – 9-10:15 M/W
    Sociology 421: Deviant Behavior – 2:30-3:45 M/W
    Sociology 441: Criminology – 1:20-2:10 M/W/F  + disc
    Sociology 446: Juvenile Delinquency – 4-5:15 M/W

    Theme Group 3: Law & Social Forces

    American Indian 450: American Indian Natural Resources Law – 11-12:15 T/R (ethnic st) (Honors only)
    American Indian 450: Indian Child Welfare Act – 4-7 T/ (ethnic st)
    Legal Studies 400: Civil Rights – 2:30-3:45 M/W
    Legal Studies 400: Impacts of Social and Legal Issues on Health (application and placement hours required) – 3:30-5
    Legal Studies 400: Wrongful Convictions – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    Legal Studies 443: Immigration, Crime & Enforcement – 2:30-3:45 M/W (ethnic studies)
    Legal Studies 645: Intellectual Freedom – 1:30-4 M
    Psych 601: Legal Psych: Crim & Civil Iss (Psy225 prereq) – 2:25-4:55 M

    Theme Group 4: Law & Culture

    *Comp Lit 500: Guilt – 1-2:15 T/R
    Legal Studies 450: Criminal Justice and Popular Culture  – online
    *Legal Studies 477: History of Forensic Science – 11-12:15 T/R
    *Legal Studies 510: Legal Pluralism – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    *Lit Trans 236: Extreme Stories (Comm B) – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    *LitTrans 324: Criminal Utopias – 1-2:15pm T/R

    Theme Group 5: Law & Theory

    *Legal Studies 600: Legal Dystopias – 1:20-3:15 W
    Med Hist/Phil 558: Ethical Issues in Health Care – 11-12:15 T + disc
    Philosophy 341: Contemporary Moral Issues (some sections are Comm B)

    Core Perspectives

    Legal Studies 262: Amer Legal History 1860s to Present – online
    Legal Studies 443: Immigration, Crime & Enforcement – 2:30-3:45 M/W (ethnic studies)
    Legal Studies 400: Civil Rights – 2:30-3:45 M/W
    Legal Studies 400: Wrongful Convictions – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    Legal Studies 450: Criminal Justice and Popular Culture  – online
    *Legal Studies 477: History of Forensic Science – 11-12:15 T/R
    *Legal Studies 510: Legal Pluralism – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    *Legal Studies 600: Legal Dystopias – 1:20-3:15 W

    *Meets requirement that at least two courses in the major must have substantial content dealing with countries or cultures other than the United States.

  • Summer 2018 Courses

    For the most current information, search the UW-Madison Schedule of Classes here

    Gateway

    Legal Studies/Soc 131: Criminal Justice in America- 3cr- 6/17-7/14,2018

    Statistics

    Economics 310: Statistics Measurements in Economics- 4cr 5/28-7/7 (online)

    Psych 210: Basic Stats for Psychologists-3cr- 6/17-8/11

    Sociology 360: Statistics for Sociologists- 3cr- 6/17-8/11

    Stats 301: Introduction to Statistics- 3cr-       6/17-8/11

    Stats 371: Intro Applied Stats – Life Sciences- 3cr- 6/17-8/11

    Methods Courses

    Soc 357: Methods of Sociological Inquiry- 3cr- 6/17-8/11

    Theme Group 1: Legal Institutions

    Educational Leadership & Policy St 502: Law & Public Education (online) – enroll for 3 credits

    Gen Bus 302: Bus Orgs & Negotiable Instruments- 3cr 5/28-6/16

    *International St/Political Sci 434: The Politics of Human Rights- 3cr- 6/17-8/11

    Legal St/Hist 262: Amer Legal History 1860s to Pres- 3cr (online)

    Theme Group 2: Processes of Legal Order & Disorder

    Legal St/Soc 694: Field Observation in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies (application required)

    Library & Info St Topics 341: Privacy, Surveillance & Security in Society- 3cr- 6/3-7/28

    Theme Group 3: Law and Social Forces

    Econ 522: Law and Economics- 4cr- 5/28-7/7 – (online) – 5/30-7/9

    Legal StGen&WS/Soc 467: Crime, Gender and Justice- 3cr (online)

    Theme Group 4: Law and Culture

    None

    Theme Group 5: Law and Theory

    Phil 341: Contemporary Moral Issues- 3cr- 5/20-6/16

    Core Perspectives

    Legal St/Hist 262: Amer Legal History 1860s to Pres- 3cr (online)

    Legal St/Gen&WS/Soc 467: Crime, Gender and Justice- 3cr (online)

  • Fall 2018 Courses

    For the most current information, search the UW-Madison Schedule of Classes here

    PDF Printable

    Gateway Courses

    Legal Studies/Sociology 131: Criminal Justice in America – 2:30-3:45 M/W + disc

    Methods Courses (Statistics and Research Design)

    Economics 310: Statistics: Measurement in Economics
    Psychology 210: Basic Stats for Psychology
    Sociology 360: Statistics for Sociologists
    Statistics 224: Intro Stats for Engineers
    Statistics 301: Introduction to Statistics
    Statistics 371: Intro Applied Stats – Life Sciences

    Political Science 170: Research Methods in Political Science – 1:20-2:10 M/W + disc
    Psychology 225: Experimental Psychology
    Sociology 357: Methods of Sociological Inquiry – 9:55 M/W + disc

    Theme Group 1: Legal Institutions

    Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 502: Law and Public Education (online) – enroll for 3 credits
    General Business 301: Business Law – online + disc
    General Business 302: Bus Orgs and Negotiable Instruments
    Legal Studies/Hist 261: American Legal History to 1860 – online
    *Legal Studies 400-020: Comparative Constitutional Law – 2:30-3:45 M/W
    *Legal Studies 409: Human Rights in Law and Society – 11-12:15 T/R
    Legal Studies/Soc 641: Sociology of Law – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    Political Science 311: U.S. Congress – 4-5:15 M/W + disc
    *Political Science 347: Terrorism – 9:55 M/W + disc
    Political Science 408: The American Presidency – 9:30-10:45 T/R + disc
    Political Science 411: The American Constitution I – 2:30-3:45 T/R + disc
    Political Science 470: The First Amendment – 4-5:15 T/R + disc

    Theme Group 2: Process of Legal Order & Disorder

    Legal Studies 694: Field Observation in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies – 10-12 W (application and internship required)
    Political Science 314: Criminal Law and Justice – 4-5:15 M/W
    Psych 526: The Criminal Mind: Forensic and Psychobiological Perspectives – 11-12:15 T/R + disc
    Sociology 441: Criminology – 2:30-3:45 M/W + disc

    Theme Group 3: Law & Social Forces

    AfAm/History 628: History of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. – 9:30-10:45 T/R (ethnic st)
    AfAm 673: Topic: Race and Policing – 2:25-5:25 M (ethnic st)
    American Indian 450: Federal Indian Law – 11-12:15 T/R (ethnic st)

    American Indian 450: Indian Child Welfare Act – 4-7 T (ethnic st)
    Econ 522: Law and Economics – 2:30-3:45 M/W + disc
    Envir St 349: Climate Change Governance – 11 T/R + disc
    Envir St/Geog 439: US Environmental Policy and Regulation – 11-11:50 MWF

    Legal Studies 400: Neighborhoods, Crime and Punishment – 1-2:15 T/R
    Legal Studies 450: Impacts of Social and Legal Issues on Health – 4-5:30 W (application and service learning required)
    *Legal Studies/Soc/GWS 425: Crime, Gender and Justice – 4-5:15 M/W
    Legal Studies 663: Cyber Law – 1-2:15 M/W
    Psych 401: Psychology, Law and Social Policies – 4-5:15 M/W
    Sociology/Asian Am 220: Ethnic Movements in the U.S. – 4-5:15 T/R + disc – (Comm B and ethnic st)
    Sociology 496: Ethnicity, Race, and Justice – 4-5:15 M/W

    Theme Group 4: Law & Culture

    *Anthro 350: Political Anthropology – 1:30-4 F
    *Comp Lit 203-001: Law and Literature – 11-12:15 M/W (Fig Student Only)
    *History 201-003: Shanghai Life and Crime – online (Comm B)
    *Legal Studies 450: Intro to Islamic Law – 2:30-3:45 T/R

    Theme Group 5: Law & Theory

    Legal Studies 450: Jurisprudence and Social Issues – 2:30-3:45 T/R
    Philosophy 304: Philosophy & Criminal Justice – 11 MWF
    Philosophy 341: Contemporary Moral Issues (some sections are Comm B)

    Core Perspectives

    Legal Studies/History 261: American Legal History to 1860 – online
    *Legal Studies 400-020: Comparative Constitutional Law – 2:30-3:45 M/W

    Legal Studies 400: Neighborhoods, Crime and Punishment – 1-2:15 T/R
    *Legal Studies 409: Human Rights in Law and Society – 11-12:15 T/R
    Legal Studies 450: Jurisprudence and Social Issues – 2:30-3:45 T/R
    *Legal Studies 450: Intro to Islamic Law – 2:30-3:45 T/R
    *Legal Studies/Soc/GWS 425: Crime, Gender and Justice – 4-5:15 M/W
    Legal Studies/Soc 641: Sociology of Law – 9:30-10:45 T/R
    Sociology 496: Ethnicity, Race, and Justice – 4-5:15 M/W

    *Meets requirement that at least two courses in the major must have substantial content dealing with countries or cultures other than the United States.

Syllabus Archive