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Belmont University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-17

Legal Studies Major and Minor

Major In Legal Studies **


The primary mission of the major is to focus on skills to prepare men and women for the challenges of law school or related fields. In fulfillment, the Legal Studies Major has two options: completion of the major with a minor to complete a degree to prepare for related fields or associated graduate work outside of law school, or a "3+3" program designed for possible early matriculation into Belmont's College of Law.

Students pursuing early admission to the Belmont College of Law through the 3+3 program participate in the Belmont University College of Law’s mission to prepare qualified students with an excellent understanding of the law that will equip them to become professional counselors, advocates, and judges; researchers, teachers, and philosophers of the law; entrepreneurs; and thoughtful citizens. Belmont University College of Law is committed to the Christian tradition.  We believe that instilling the highest standards of personal and professional conduct is our ethical and communal responsibility.  Meeting Belmont mission, vision and values, we seek to ensure that the knowledge and values that we transmit to our students serve the ends of justice.


To provide a way for qualified Belmont students seeking a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Belmont to save tuition costs by completing a bachelor's degree and a law degree in as little as six years. Through a unique arrangement with the Belmont College of Law, the 3+3 Law Program allows students to begin their first year of law school during their fourth year of undergraduate study (a minimum of 98 credits earned by completing the major and Gen Ed). For students not electing to pursue the 3+3 program the major offers skills that may be applied to the legal field or related disciplines.

The Belmont 3+3 Option

Belmont’s 3+3 (B.A. / B.S. to J.D. program) is designed to allow qualified students who complete the major in Legal Studies their respective General Education, plus any free electives to meet a minimum of 98 credits in undergraduate studies, and if accepted through application, the ability to matriculate to Belmont’s College of Law. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school, the student will earn the undergraduate degree (B.A. or B.S.), and upon completion of the College of Law’s degree requirements in the College of Law earn the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.1 Students electing to take this major but not seek early entry into Belmont’s College of Law will follow the course of study provided to the completion of the bachelor degree, as either a BA or BS in Legal Studies. 


Major in Legal Studies

Major in Legal Studies Hours
General Education Core Requirements (B.A. or B.S.) 59-65
Technical Requirements (count in Gen Ed):
ECO 2210, Macroeconomics (3)
ECO 2220, Microeconomics (3)
PHI 1510, Critical Thinking (3)
PHI 1520, Ethics (3)
Legal Studies Major 30
Major Core Requirements 24
MGT 2410, Business Law I 3
COM 2200, Persuasion or
COM 2020, Argumentation and Debate
ETP 3130, Legal Entrepreneurship 3
PHI 3430, Philosophy of Law 3
MGT 3230, Business Ethics*
   *Students should complete PHI 1510 or 1520 prior to registering for MGT 3230 
MGT 4310, Negotiations 3
LGS 4010, Legal Writing 3
MGT 4220,  Business Law II 3
Major Electives (choose two courses from the following): 6
MBU 2520, Copyright Law (pre-req: MBU 1110 or EIS 1220)
EIS 4360, Entertainment Law & Licensing (prereq: MBU 2520 Copyright Law)
MBU 3550, Music Industry Contract Law (pre-reqs: MBU 2520 Copyright Law and MGT 2410 Business Law I)
PSC 4320, International Law
PUB 2500, Copyright and Publishing Law
MDS 4100, Communication Law
SOC 3700, Criminal Justice
SOC 2450, Law and Society
REL 3540, Eco-Justice and Faith (pre-req of REL 2350. Christian Doctrine)
REL 3510, Poverty and Justice (pre-req of REL 2350. Christian Doctrine)

Legal Studies Major (3+3 option)
Sub total of Gen Ed plus major above = 89 - 95 credit hours. If pursuing the 3+3 option student must take 3 to 9 additional free elective hours to equal 98 earned hours prior to ability to matriculation to College of Law. 

Legal Studies Major (Non 3+3 option)
Students electing to pursue the Legal Studies Major but not seeking early entry into Belmont’s College of Law, or students leaving the Law School and returning to complete the undergraduate degree.
Minor Requirements (may not be in Legal Studies) 18
Electives 15-21
Total 128


1 Should a student in the 3+3 program decide to withdraw from the college of law after matriculation, or fail to successfully complete law courses such that the student is not eligible to continue toward the J.D. at Belmont, the student may be readmitted to Belmont University in the undergraduate program to complete the remaining undergraduate credits needed to graduate, (if the earning of the B.A. or B.S. degree has not already occurred).

Up to the first 31 hours of LAW courses (primarily year one of law school) in the Belmont College of Law will be listed as undergraduate LST (Legal Studies) courses. For example: LAW 6100, Contract and Sales (4) will be listed to an undergraduate rubric LST 4100, Contract and Sales (4). This provides accurate monitoring and auditing of the progress toward the undergraduate degree and ensures the student has a valid undergraduate transcript showing allowed course work in a “plus” program, with degree. 

Legal Studies majors seeking early admission through the 3+3 program should consult the Legal Studies advisor and the Belmont College of Law for admissions criteria. The list below is provided as a guideline for Admissions to the Belmont College of Law:

Admission requirements:

  • Admission into Belmont's graduate law program (J.D.) is competitive. Participation in the Legal Studies 3+3 is not a guarantee of admission to the Belmont College of Law J.D. program. Students interested in the program should work closely with the undergraduate law school advisor to ensure that they are meeting requirements and their GPA is competitive for graduate studies.
  • Students may apply to the Belmont graduate program after successfully completing a minimum of 98 semester credit hours as given in the curriculum matrix above.
  • Finish major requirements in the Major of Legal Studies
  • Finish general education requirements (B.A. or B.S.)
  • Create an account with the Law School Admissions Council’s Credential Assembly Service (LSAC CAS) early in your junior year and apply for a need-based fee waiver from LSAC (if relevant)
  • Provide information to the Director of Legal Studies for the assessment letter, including information on academic honors and awards, work experience, public service, significant achievements in extracurricular activities
  • Complete personal statement for law school application
  • Complete resume for law school application
  • Complete financial aid application (if relevant) for law school application and also research other scholarship/financial aid options
  • Contact the College of Law’s Admission Coordinator and complete law school application
  • An applicant must present a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).  If taken multiple times, the highest score will be used.
  • Be in good standing with the university and “academic good standing.”

Students will be advised to take these additional calendared steps to prepare for the LSAT:

  • Take an LSAT prep course in August, November, or January of the Junior year
  • Take the LSAT exam in September, December, or February of the Junior year
  • Submit law school application online via the LSAC CAS on or before March 1st


Minor in Legal Studies

Minor in Legal Studies 1 Hours
Core Emphasis 9
Three courses from the Core list below:
MGT 2410, Business Law I (3)
PHI 1510, Critical Thinking (3)
MBU 2520, Copyright Law (3) or PUB 2500, Copyright and Publishing Law (3)
PHI 1520, Ethics (3) or PHI 2250, Applied Ethics (3) or REL 2510, Christian Ethics (3)
Electives (Choose three courses from the list below): 2 9
Theory, Legal Reasoning, and Methods
COM 2020, Argumentation and Debate (3)
COM 2200, Persuasion (3)
ENG 1050, Understanding Literacy Language (3)
ENW 3660, History of Rhetoric (3)
PHI 1510, Critical Thinking (3)
PHI 1540, Logic (3)
PHI 3430, Philosophy of Law (3)
PSC 2500, Political Theory (3)
PSC 3510, Foundations of Democracy (3)
PSC 3610, Game Theory and Public Choice
SOC 3800, Criminology (3)
Legal Institutions
EIS 4360, Entertainment Law and Licensing (3)
MBU 2520, Copyright Law (3)
MBU 3550, Music Industry Contract Law (3)
MBU 4630, Legal Issues in the Entertainment Industry (3)
MGT 2410, Business Law I (3)
MGT 4220, Business Law II (3)
PSC 2200, American Political Institutions (3)
PSC 3280, American Constitutional Law I (3)
PSC 3280, American Constitutional Law II (3)
PSC 4320, International Law (3)
PUB 2500, Copywrite and Publishing Law (3)
SOC 3700, Criminal Justice (3)
Law and Culture
HIS 2010, American Experience to Reconstruction (3)
HIS 2020, American Experience since Reconstruction (3)
PSC 2400, Comparative Politics (3)
SOC 2450, Law and Society (3)
SOC 3100, Politics and Knowledge
Ethics and Justice
PHI 1520, Ethics (3)
PHI 2250, Applied Ethics (3)
REL 3510, Poverty and Justice (3)
REL 3540, Eco-Justice and Faith (3)
SOC 2440, Restorative Justice (3)
Total Hours 18

1Interested students majoring in Music Business should choose the Legal Studies Emphasis within that major instead of this minor.

2 It is preferred that students take these electives at the 3000 level or higher. Although several General Education Courses are listed as electives, they do not count for credit in both the minor and Gen Ed. Students should generally select electives outside their major area for a better distribution in related subject areas.

Legal Studies Courses

LGS 4010, Legal Writing (3)(Prerequisites- GND 1015, COM 2200, ENG 3010)- [for non-legal studies majors/minors, permission of instructor and successful completion of GND 1015 and ENG 3010]. Students may not be simultaneously enrolled in any of the pre-requisite courses. Required of Legal Studies majors.

This course trains students in techniques of advanced audience analysis for the writing of a variety of legal documents, and in composing advanced analytical and persuasive legal texts.  Students will practice information literacy and research using field appropriate resources; write two analytical memoranda in the closed and in the open forms using techniques of objective writing to apply legal research, analysis and application of relevant aspects of the law to the client’s case, and provide well-organized and supported written communication. Students will also write a substantial analytical and persuasive paper (of roughly 10,000 words with opportunities for revision) in the form of a traditional journal note; a research paper on a legal issue of interest to the student; a trial or an appellate brief; a proposal or recommendation report addressing a significant legal issue; or, an equivalent project developed with the course professor.  At the completion of the course, students will have written and been evaluated in writing open and closed memoranda and an extended research-based prose persuasive document representative of professional legal writing for publication or for use as a legal brief.