The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice will now offer a minor in legal studies starting next year.
Chris Riley, assistant professor of political science and criminal justice, worked with Andy Little, associate professor of business law, to create this new minor to better help prepare students for advanced legal studies.
“The influence that Dr. Haley had over both Andy and I when we were students 20 years ago both benefited from his advice,” Riley said. “We wanted to create a program that reflected some of the best parts of ACU that would prepare new students to go into legal professions.”
Like other minors, legal studies will consist of 18 hours and will require PLAW 310, Legal Studies Seminar, which is a new course that will be available in 2021. Along with PLAW 310, PLAW 320, a Legal Studies Internship will also be added to the list of courses next year.
“I will most likely be teaching both the new courses, at least initially,” Riley said. “There may be other alumni or attorneys, like Dr. Neal Coates, but initially, I am the one who is developing both the 310 and 320 courses and will most likely be the one to teach those next year.”
Shaden Lopez, a senior political science major from Austin, said she was happy to hear that this minor has now become a reality.
“This minor will bring a diverse and rigorous twist to what a pre-law or legal studies student may see in their career,” Lopez said. “Plus, the courses offered have the opportunity to enlighten and inspire students to pursue a legal career or legal studies.”
The targeted audience for this new minor is for those who seek to pursue a future career in legal studies.