The Legal Studies major is designed to give students an overview of the American legal system, to help them understand the fundamentals of public and private law, and to acquaint them with the philosophical and historical roots of contemporary American law.
The courses in this program are small (generally ranging in size from 10 to 12 in a seminar or 20 to 30 in a 2000-level course). This small size facilitates in-class discussion and permits the students ample opportunity to work closely with the professors, all of whom are distinguished scholars or practitioners of law.
Students learn to read difficult legal material, including cases and statutes, as well as works of history and philosophy. Students also learn to write legal briefs, analyze complex arguments, and write effective and persuasive essays. There are in-class oral arguments and mock trial exercises which give the students a chance to simulate the roles of judges, jurors, witnesses, and attorneys in the daily practice of law. The program provides a superb preparation for law school and for participation in any law-related profession or graduate education. The writing and oral communication skills developed can also be of use to graduating students in a variety of fields, from government to business and beyond. Students in the program also have the opportunity to do an internship in a legal field.
Introduction to American Government
Introduction to Political Thought
Introduction to Common Law
Courses with Choice
One Course on Ethics
One Course on Logic (Philosophy Dept.)
Criminal Law or Criminal Procedure
One “Perspective” Seminar (relating Law to History/Philosophy, etc.)
(two must be from outside Poli Sci Dept.; all must relate to Law/govt.)
(or two-semester Senior Honors Seminar for honors)
Manhattanville boasts a world class faculty who are committed to teaching students to be ethical and socially responsible leaders in the global community. The faculty ensures the intellectual and personal development of each student. Professors teaching in the program have research expertise in American politics, global legal issues, US legal history, international politics, genocide studies, global energy politics, and other related issues.