Legal Studies

Law constitutes one of the fundamental ways in which society is ordered, and the rule of law remains essential to individual and communal flourishing. The undergraduate major in Legal Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi poses the broad philosophical, cultural, social, economic, political, religious, and ethical questions that prove indispensable both to a deep understanding of law and to liberal arts education. The Legal Studies curriculum design responds, in part, to the increasing globalization of law through a consideration of issues such as the environment, the rule of law, international business, global governance, migration, law and media, human rights, technology and security, intellectual property, and law and ethics. At the same time, recognizing that law maintains a local focus, the curriculum treats the wide-ranging questions raised by globalization through the study of particular examples drawn from common law, civil law, and other legal systems.

  • What is justice?
  • What is law?
  • How is it organized?
  • Who and what constitutes the arbiter of justice?
  • What are the effects of historical, cultural, religious, and national settings on law and justice?
  • Is the developing global society on the path to a just and moral order, and what role can the law play?
  • What are the legal issues raised by global concerns such as those about the environment, technology, and cybersecurity?

The Legal Studies program offers students the opportunity to gain insight on issues ranging from human rights to corporate law, and everything in between, all with a broad interdisciplinary and global perspective.

Jack Delano, Legal Studies graduate; J.D. Candidate at Cornell Law School

The Legal Studies program provides students with a set of substantive skills that are immediately applicable outside the classroom. Legal Studies majors emerge with a rigorous training in writing, research, analysis and oral communication. Opportunities for internships in legal offices with practitioners throughout Abu Dhabi are available to students. A pathway to becoming a UK Solicitor is available through the London track. The various study away pathways for the Legal Studies major can be found on the NYUAD Student Portal at Students with questions should contact the Office of Global Education.

Although the BA in Legal Studies is not a professional degree, the degree’s versatility affords students ample and diverse career options. Legal Studies counts, for example, as a proven path to opportunities as government officials, entrepreneurs, advocates, diplomats, corporate executives, NGO representatives, and not-for-profit directors. Earning the BA in Legal Studies does not result in automatic licensing as a lawyer. Nonetheless, the Legal Studies major furnishes a firm foundation to students who are interested in traditional paths of professional study to practicing law in private and public spheres, working for local, national, and international organizations on policy matters, and serving as lawyers in regional and global markets. The Legal Studies program provides a plentiful understanding of global legal structures and applicable laws, rules, and regulations within which its students will eventually work.

Legal Studies Major

See the complete program overview, graduation requirements, and course listings.

Legal Studies Minor

The minor serves as a complementary field of study to disciplines in Social Science, Arts and Humanities, Science, and Engineering.