Legal Studies Major

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  (launching in fall 2018) is intended to pose 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.

  • 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?

Although it will be attentive to particular and comparative examples, the Legal Studies major curriculum does not focus on the law of specific nations. Rather, the curriculum aims to engage students in active pursuit of knowledge and understanding; to foster in them the readiness and ability to embrace conceptual and ethical complexity; and to strengthen students' confidence and ability as producers of knowledge about law and legal institutions.

Legal education expands, deepens, and sharpens the mind, and it hones skills such as critical thinking, textual interpretation, understanding of the many facets of arguments, respect for the opposing views, dispute resolution, reconciliation, and clear oral and written expression. The major in Legal Studies is intended as an introduction to law, the rule of law and legal systems.

Earning the BA in Legal Studies does not result in automatic licensing as a lawyer, and completion of the program of study will not necessarily allow credit against future legal studies or entry into the profession. The integration of Legal Studies with liberal arts education enhances the opportunity for cross-disciplinary study. Legal Studies is situated within both the Social Sciences and Arts and the Humanities, and it thus aims to serve as a bridge between these divisions.

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