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View From The Hill: WKU expands Legal Studies to a major, consolidates law related resources under one umbrella

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:51 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Going to law school is far from the only career path for students interested in the legal system.

In this week’s View from the Hill, Amy Bingham explains how a new major in legal studies at WKU will prepare students for endless career opportunities.

“It’s a collaboration between WKU’s departments of history and political science. A Legal Studies Major was recently approved by the Board of Regents and a number of law-related resources now operate under one umbrella.”

“This is such a big deal for students at WKU.”

Professor Patti Minter says elevating legal studies to a major (after implementing it as a minor in 2010), was a long time coming.”The biggest question I got as more and more students joined the minor was when is this going to be a major, not IS it going to be a major, it was WHEN.”

It’s finally happening this week.

“It’s going to create people who are ready to go to law school, ready to go to work in government, public policy, in diplomacy, in law enforcement.”

Freshman Bailey Bryant is a performing arts major with plans to go to law school. She was among the first three students to sign up.

“When I saw the legal studies that was more specifically for preparing you for that and even other government jobs, I really decided and thought that was the perfect major for me to double major in.”

Minter says the interdisciplinary approach will give students the chance to explore law as a diverse field.

“You get to look at it from the areas of ethics, from humanities, from social sciences, from business. You could go into HR with a good background in legal studies.”

Another change - auxiliary services like WKU’s Mock Trial Team, Student Legal Services, and pre-law advising have been brought under one umbrella.

“The purpose for the umbrella is to really consolidate all the law-related academic programs and resources in one place to make it easier for students to find and know where to look for them.”

Giving students like Bailey an even stronger start toward the career of her dreams.

“A student is going to have a really good grasp on what law as an academic field is and some ways they can put that into practice as they move into our workforce.”

The university has also rebranded ‘paralegal’ studies to ‘professional’ legal studies.

To find out more, log on to www.wku.edu\legal-studies

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