Law professor proposes legal studies minor

Students+listen+and+take+notes+in+Class+Law+301+in+Room+114+of+David+Kinley+Hall+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+3rd.+The+Illinois+Student+Government+recently+passed+an+endorsement+of+a+Legal+Studies+Minor%2C+which+the+Class+Law+301+class+qualifies+for.
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Law professor proposes legal studies minor

Students listen and take notes in Class Law 301 in Room 114 of David Kinley Hall on Friday, Nov. 3rd. The Illinois Student Government recently passed an endorsement of a Legal Studies Minor, which the Class Law 301 class qualifies for.

Students listen and take notes in Class Law 301 in Room 114 of David Kinley Hall on Friday, Nov. 3rd. The Illinois Student Government recently passed an endorsement of a Legal Studies Minor, which the Class Law 301 class qualifies for.

Jessica Jutzi

Students listen and take notes in Class Law 301 in Room 114 of David Kinley Hall on Friday, Nov. 3rd. The Illinois Student Government recently passed an endorsement of a Legal Studies Minor, which the Class Law 301 class qualifies for.

Jessica Jutzi

Jessica Jutzi

Students listen and take notes in Class Law 301 in Room 114 of David Kinley Hall on Friday, Nov. 3rd. The Illinois Student Government recently passed an endorsement of a Legal Studies Minor, which the Class Law 301 class qualifies for.

By Cori Lippert, Staff Writer

The University may be offering a legal studies minor to undergraduates after Law Professor Jennifer Pahre brought the idea to officials at the College of Law.

Chief of Staff of Illinois Student Government Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS, said he was approached last semester about the minor from a friend of his. He set up meeting with Pahre and discussed the curriculum of the minor.

ISG endorsed the minor at a weekly meeting on Nov. 1. Pahre wants to form a proposal that will have no problem making it through the administration.

Pahre said there are three different tracts students can take within the minor. The first tract will be law and economics, which will focus on students in economics who may want to learn how economic policy influences the law.

The second tract will be law and politics. Pahre said she discovered while speaking with people in the community, that people have an interest in understanding the Constitution and how politics and law influence each other.

“The third tract is more flexible and fluid for students who want to go in a different direction, and right now we are calling it law school focus,” Pahre said. “The idea there is that you have an opportunity to look into a specialized area of law that particularly interests you.”

Pahre said she believes law is wildly under-taught, and people should be given more opportunities to learn more about the law.

“I got to talk with bar association members and members of local legal aid organizations,” Pahre said. “Members and judges who had been on the bench and consumers who have had legal experiences and consumers who have not had legal experiences.”

Pahre said she believes it is important for people to understand the important role law plays in life and wants people to be able to know when they need legal help.

“I think it’s important, similarly, to know enough law to know when you might need a lawyer, and I am not sure we’re doing a particularly good job in training people to understand the perils they face in the collection of situations that come up,” Pahre said.

ISG Senator Schuyler Davis, second-year law student, said there are a ton of legal issues that come up throughout life and taking a few college courses about the law can help people in those situations.

“It is a good idea to have a thorough understanding of the law. It can come in handy in a lot of other jobs and things like that,” Davis said.

Haydary said that it is important for the University, as a land grant university, to educate students on life and help them to become contributing citizens to society.

“I thought this would be a good way to help supplement students’ resumes, students’ academic interests and also just help make people more aware of law in general,” Haydary said.

The legal studies minor will not be considered a pre-law track by Davis or Pahre.

“I hope that we can provide something that is useful and interesting and stimulating to the people that live in this state,” Pahre said.

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