Legal Studies

What makes a law unjust? Which children are most at risk for becoming part of the juvenile justice system? What role has race played in the evolution of democracy? If these are the types of questions you like to ask (and answer), then legal studies might be the right program for you. This major is designed for students who prefer a broad, interdisciplinary approach to learning, and want the freedom to explore different topics throughout the social sciences.

What will I learn?

Political science. U.S. history. Philosophy. Sociology. These are just a few of the subjects you’ll study as you learn about the origins of law, how the law is applied and the impact of legal institutions throughout society. There are a few required courses, but you'll get to choose most of your classes based on your interests. You'll also be able to take interdisciplinary courses that focus on combining expertise from different areas to solve complex challenges.

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.

What can I do outside of class?

As one of our students said, "You won't know if you like something until you try it." That's why we encourage you to get out there and practice your skills, meet new people and build your professional network. 

  • Internships. Our students have interned for a U.S. Senator, private law firms, the City of Buffalo, the Volunteer Lawyers Project and other leading organizations.
  • Study abroad. We encourage students to spend time living and learning in another country.
  • Clubs and events. UB has hundreds of student groups where you can make new friends and explore your interests.
Study Abroad

What can I do with a legal studies degree?

Can you go to law school? Yes—but you certainly don't have to. While some of our grads go on to law school or grad school in a related field, many also choose to start working right away. 

Our alumni have had successful careers within many different types of organizations, including:

  • Corporations:
    • MetLife.
  • Government agencies:
    • City of Buffalo.
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
    • New York City Police Department.
    • New York State Office of the Attorney General.
    • New York State Police.
    • New York Supreme Court.
    • U.S. District Court.
  • Law firms:
    • Brown Brothers Harriman.
    • HoganWillig.
  • Nonprofit organizations:
    • Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation.

Who will I learn from?

"I looked forward to going to class because I knew I would leave feeling inspired."

As our students will tell you, our teachers are here to bring out your best. You can discuss civil liberties with experts in political science, sharpen your critical thinking skills with renowned philosophers, and learn from faculty who specialize in bringing together insights across multiple disciplines.

In this program, you'll get to take courses with faculty throughout the university—just one benefit of being in an interdisciplinary major. Of course, your instructors may also include working professionals from various fields and industries who come to UB so they can share their experience (and connections!) with the next generation.

With such a wide range of teachers and mentors, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet the people who can guide you on your career path, every step of the way.