Law, Rights, and Justice Minor- Linfield College
Law, Rights, and Justice

Law, Rights, and Justice

Coordinator
Nicholas Buccola, Ph.D.

The interdisciplinary major in Law, Rights, and Justice is intended to encourage students interested in law to connect legal theory with legal practice, to explore law through the lenses provided by multiple disciplines, to think critically about the relationship between law, rights, and competing conceptions of justice, and to combine liberal learning with possible career aspirations. Through an interdisciplinary program that combines humanistic with social scientific forms of inquiry, students will have opportunities to think critically about a variety of issues such as the sources of law, the functions of law, the impact of law on society and society on law, the behavior of legal elites, the impact that behavior has on ordinary people, the relationship between law and morality, the nature and value of rights as well as how competing conceptions of justice can provide us with lenses through which to view the relationship between law and freedom, virtue, democracy, equality, and human flourishing.

The Law, Rights, and Justice major will provide students with skills that will serve them well should they decide to attend law school or should they decide to pursue another path: the ability to read complex texts, the ability to assess the logic of arguments, the ability to do independent research, and the ability to communicate effectively through speech and writing. The major will be housed in the Department of Political Science.

Goals for the Major and  Minor

In successfully completing the Law, Rights, and Justice minor, a student will:

  • exhibit a fundamental grasp of the major reasons that have been offered in defense of the rule of law, individual rights, and competing conceptions of justice;
  • exhibit a fundamental grasp of the major reasons that have been offered in critique of the rule of law, individual rights, and competing conceptions of justice;
  • think critically about the connections and tensions between the rule of law, individual rights, and competing conceptions of justice;
  • ask meaningful questions about law, rights, and justice;
  • communicate with clarity and precision in response to meaningful questions about law, rights, and justice.

Requirements for the Major

The Law, Rights, and Justice degree is available as a bachelor of arts degree only, as defined in the section on degree requirements for all majors in the course catalog.

For the Major: 46 Credits

Required Courses (22 Credits)

  • Core Course in Political Philosophy: PHIL 365: Social and Political Philosophy OR POLS 220: Great Political Thinkers
  • Core Course in Law: POLS 225: The Study of Law OR POLS 320: Law, Rights, and Justice
  • Research Methods Requirement: POLS 230
  • Experiential Learning Requirement: POLS 487: Experiences in Politics
  • Research / Writing Requirement: POLS 498: Proseminar
  • Senior Capstone Experience: POLS 489: Senior Project AND POLS 490: Senior Seminar

Elective Courses (24 Credits) – Note 1: at least three of your elective courses must be at the 300 or 400 level. Note 2: a student may not double major in Political Science and Law, Rights, and Justice.  

Three courses from Category A: Thinking & Arguing about Rights & Justice*

  • RELS 120: Old Testament
  • PHIL 170: Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 180: Moral Problems
  • PHIL 190: Logic
  • PHIL 210: Philosophy, Sport, and Society
  • PHIL 215: Bioethics
  • HIST 252: History of the U.S. West
  • HIST 267: U.S. Women’s History
  • HIST 276: Native American History
  • ENGL 301: Global Encounters
  • ENGL 304: Literature and Landscape
  • ENGL 305: Diverse Voices
  • PHIL 306: Environmental Ethics
  • RELS 309: Old Testament Prophets
  • POLS 310: American Political Thought
  • POLS 312: Rebels, Thugs, and Skeptics: 20th Century Political Theory
  • POLS 313: What is Freedom?
  • PHIL 320: Ethical Theory
  • POLS 320: Law, Rights, and Justice
  • POLS 330: Politics and the Arts
  • JAMS 335: Media Ethics
  • COMM 340: Persuasion and Social Influence
  • RELS 342: Women in Religion
  • PHIL 360: Philosophy of Law
  • ENGL 365: Postcolonial Literature
  • PHIL 380: Existentialism
  • POLS 380: Topics in Political Theory
  • PHIL 370: Topics in Philosophy (with approval from program coordinator)
  • THTR 399: This is America: Culture, Law, and Identity
  • COMM 455: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • PHIL 460: American Philosophy

* If there is a course being offered that you believe will deepen your ability to think and argue about matters of rights and justice, but is not listed above, please contact the coordinator of the program to discuss counting it toward your Category A elective requirements. 

Three Courses from Category B: Law, Politics, & Public Policy**

  • HIST 120: Western Culture to 1500
  • HIST 121: Western Culture since 1500
  • HIST 124: East Asia Before 1800
  • HIST 125: East Asia Before 1800
  • HIST 152: U.S. Environmental History
  • HIST 200: Modern China
  • HIST 201: Money, Government, and Society in the 20th Century U.S.
  • POLS 201: American Politics
  • SOCL 201: Deviance – Individual and Society
  • ENVS 202: Environmental Governance
  • HIST 210: Modern Japan
  • HIST 213: Colonialism and Slavery in Latin America
  • HIST 214: Independence and Inequality in Latin America
  • HIST 215: Revolutions in 20th Century Latin America
  • POLS 225: The Study of Law
  • HIST 248: Europe in the Age of the French Revolution
  • HIST 249: Politics and Culture in Nineteenth Century Europe
  • SOCL 265: Race and Ethnicity
  • ENVS 300: Topics in Environmental Policy
  • HIST 314: The U.S.-Mexico Border
  • POL 315: Politics and Religion
  • HIST 318: History of Women in Latin America
  • HIST 320: Empire & Aftermath in Asia
  • HIST 322: Gender and Social History in East Asia
  • HIST 325: Colonial and Revolutionary America
  • POLS 325: U.S. Supreme Court
  • POLS 326: The Presidency
  • ENVS 325: Environmental Law and Regulation
  • HIST 335: Civil War in Black and White
  • POLS 335: Topics in Public Policy
  • JAMS 337: Mass Media & the Law
  • BNSS 340: Business Law I
  • HIST 345: Emergence of Modern America
  • ECON 352: Economics of the Law
  • HIST 353: How the West Fed the U.S.
  • HIST 355: American Empire
  • POLS 360: Politics of Inequality
  • POLS 362: Global Governance, International Law and Ethics
  • HIST 379: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Europe
  • BNSS 435: International Business Law
  • BNSS 440: Business Law II
  • HIST 463: Modern France
  • SOCL 470: Society, State, and Social Policy

** If there is a course being offered that you believe will deepen your understanding of law, politics, and public policy, but is not listed above, please contact the coordinator of the program to discuss counting it toward your Category B elective requirements. 

Requirements for the Minor

In order to complete the Law, Rights, and Justice Minor, students must complete six courses. Elective credits for this minor may not count toward the student’s major. Students must take at least one elective course from List A and at least one elective course from List B. No more than three courses from one department may be counted toward the minor. If a student believes a course not listed below might be an acceptable alternative, he or she should check with the coordinator of the program.

Required Courses

  • POLS 220: Great Political Thinkers or PHIL 365: Social & Political Philosophy
  • POLS 320: Law, Rights, & Justice

 At least one elective from:

  • PHIL 180: Moral Problems
  • PHIL 215: Bioethics
  • SOAN 240: Utopias and Dystopias
  • ENGL 260: Transatlantic Literature: The Good Society
  • PHIL 306: Environmental Ethics
  • POLS 310: American Political Thought
  • PHIL 320: Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 360: Philosophy of Law
  • POLS 380: Topics in Political Theory*

 And at least one elective from:

  • POLS 225: The Study of Law
  • POLS 325: U.S. Supreme Court
  • MSCM 337: Mass Media & the Law
  • BNSS 340: Business Law I
  • ECON 352: Economics & Law
  • POLS 362: Global Governance, International Law and Ethics
  • SOCL 370: Society, State, and Social Policy
  • BNSS 435: International Business Law
  • BNSS 440: Business Law II

*Depends on topic; check with coordinator of the program.