Welcome to the Department of Legal Studies, situated in the University of Central Florida’s College of Community Innovation and Education!
We offer a nationally ranked curriculum and faculty committed to teaching and research centered on traditional law courses such as constitutional law, criminal and tort law, property law, civil procedure, law and the legal system, and legal research and writing. We also offer dynamic elective options such as national security, aviation law, environmental law, arbitration and dispute resolution, “thinking, like a lawyer,” and international and comparative law. Our pre-law students also have many internship and service opportunities available to them, including our Undergraduate Law Journal and moot court, mock trial, and mediation teams. Given these experiences, our graduates routinely report that the analytical skills and subject matter knowledge they acquire in our program prepare them effectively for either graduate legal studies or law-related employment.
But, while the law is a rich subject matter for undergraduate and graduate studies unto itself, it also is an inherently interdisciplinary subject, intersecting as it does with many non-legal disciplines like economics, education, political science, criminal justice, and public affairs. As a practical matter, too, laws, regulations, and court decisions play a key role in promoting (or constraining) advances in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Consider that many of the socio-technological issues of the day revolve around the evolving relationship between the law (or the absence of law) and devices that are a part of the “Internet of Things,” including social platforms, autonomous and artificially intelligent machines like drones, and “smart,” algorithmically-driven robots that are themselves capable of learning. In this context, our curriculum is a fresh one, reflecting instruction and research of pioneering issues of the day at the intersection of the law and various other disciplines.
The University of Central Florida is a particularly compelling platform for the study of law. The Department of Legal Studies not only offers a strong foundation for law-related careers in one of the most dynamic jurisdictions but it also is integrated into the broader, globally-impactful STEM competencies at the university. As such, we draw students from across the university with courses that touch on new frontier subjects like law and psychology, law and neuroscience, law and technology, and cybersecurity law.
Altogether, we are one of the largest legal studies departments in the country, offering local, state, regional, national, and international opportunities in one of the most enduringly important disciplines. Our fifteen full-time faculty support more than 1000 students interested in studying the law in traditional and innovative online and hybrid settings. But whatever the topics you explore with us—and regardless of whether or not your goal is to become a lawyer, paralegal, engineer, or businessperson—our curriculum fundamentally is designed to teach students how to think like a lawyer, a marketable skill that translates well into a wide array of professional undertakings. These include critical thinking skills and the ability to reason by analogy; the ability to use logic and evidence to build a persuasive argument; and the critical ability to compose written and verbal messages that allow you to present ideas in a clear, organized, and compelling manner.
I invite you to learn more about our program by viewing the nearby video link, reading our website resources, or reaching out to me if you have any questions or require more information. On behalf of the department’s faculty and staff, I invite you to get to know more about us, and ultimately, to join us at our state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown Orlando, Florida. Go Knights!