If you enjoy analyzing arguments, like to think critically, and are interested in things like justice, social order and rights, this major might be for you. As a law major, you can get the lifelong benefits of studying the law (including some fascinating career opportunities) without the commitment of going to law school. It’s the perfect major for students who are interested in how law impacts our lives, but don’t necessarily want to be an attorney.

What will I learn?

As a law student, you'll gain practical knowledge of the law and how it's applied in a variety of contexts. There are only a few required courses, which means most of your time will be spent in elective classes. If you're thinking about running a start-up one day, maybe you’ll study intellectual property and business law. Or perhaps you’ll take classes in criminal law and juries if you’d like to work for a law firm. At UB, our undergrads have studied the law as it relates to sports, social media, reproductive rights, racism, climate change and countless other relevant topics.

Law vs. Legal Studies
  • Law teaches you how the law impacts other fields—from banking to the arts and entertainment—so you can apply it in your career.
  • Legal studies takes a broader look at the role of law in society, including social and philosophical aspects.

If you are definitely interested in going to law school, you may want to consider a combined JD degree.

What can I do outside of class?

Want to roll up your sleeves and get real-world experience? Check out these opportunities at UB:

  • Internships and volunteer opportunities. Students have an opportunity to pursue internships and volunteer experiences, including a for-credit internship for junior and senior law majors. We also match students and advertise opportunities for volunteer experience and internships in legal services organizations, policy programs and other law-related opportunities.
  • Events and clubs. Students are encouraged to attend lectures and panels organized by the School of Law and various student organizations. In addition, the university has an undergraduate chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, a law fraternity and a Mock Trial student team that competes in outside competitions.
Student Clubs

What can I do with a law degree?

As a law graduate, you can work for an attorney, perhaps consulting on trials, managing all of the electronic documents associated with a case or helping them craft presentations for juries. Or, since nearly every organization deals with legal issues, you may decide to work for a business, nonprofit or government agency.

As a law graduate, you might consider jobs in:

  • Human resources: employment, labor and contract law.
  • Banking and finance: tax law, corporate law and related issues.
  • Creative endeavors: contract law and intellectual property.
  • Government issues: compliance and donstitutional law.

Of course, if you decide you want to go to law school, this program will prepare you very well.

Who will I learn from?

As the only law school in the SUNY system, UB attracts nationally recognized faculty who are committed to training the next generation of law students. 

In addition to their legal expertise, many of our faculty have degrees in related subjects such as sociology, history and anthropology, so they can provide additional insight and context for applying the law. Their specialties have covered everything from tax policy and collective bargaining to gender issues and election law.

Our faculty have also earned many high-profile awards, including SUNY Distinguished Professor, UB’s Teaching Innovation Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Here, dozens of our faculty are practicing attorneys and judges who can share their real-world experience—and networking opportunities.