By: Michael Savich
Though there are many reasons to choose Goucher College, a robust offering of courses on US law has not been among them. But the winds of change are nevertheless blowing, and Goucher is preparing to offer a dedicated Legal Studies minor.
According to Nancy Hubbard, head of the Center for Education, Business, and Professional Studies Goucher does currently have a Pre-Law concentration, but it is only compatible with certain majors and few students make use of it. Due to its unpopularity, it has been “re-crafted” into a minor, and is now available to any student.
Approved by a vote in March 2017, the minor is part of the Center of Education, Business and Professional Studies. Professors involved include Nancy Hubbard, LaJerne Cornish, Jason Cherubini, and Seble Dawit. Additionally, as part of the minor, Goucher is entering into a “strategic partnership” with the New York Law School. Their Associate Dean is scheduled to visit on April 26th for a question and answer panel with students enrolled in the concentration.
The two required courses for the minor are PHL 278 “Logic and Language” and PLS 250 “Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis.” According to the listing on My Goucher, PHL 278 is about the relationship between language and meaning, and includes the study of Aristotle’s Organon as well as critiques of the ideas in the writing. The listing for PLS 250 explains that the course covers “conducting computer assisted… legal research” and the ability to read and write legal documentation.
In addition to this requirement, students must also take classes from a list of electives. The choices span from Environmental Studies, Jewish Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Business, Communications, and Peace Studies.
The common thread running through all these courses focusing on people and how they behave, think, and act. This goes along with the stated goal of the minor as stated on its webpage, which is “not to train lawyers but to help students develop the highly sophisticated writing, analytical, and critical skills that law schools demand.”
In other words, Goucher College’s Legal Studies minor aims to provide the rich foundation that liberal arts curriculums are known for, while leaving the career path to dedicated law schools. However, at time of writing there is no official word on this, it is likely that it will happen. If you are considering or planning on going to law school after Goucher, it may be worth your while to look into this new offering.