Legal History - Certificate

The purpose of the Legal History Certificate is to provide students with historical knowledge and analytical skills that will give them a strong foundation for a law school education. Students will learn about the historical development of the U.S. legal system, read legal documents, perform legal research, and practice argumentative writing. The coursework includes two required classes, two elective courses from the History Department, and a zero-credit directed studies course that is fulfilled by submitting a paper from any History class about a legal topic.

The Legal History Certificate program is specifically focused on the skill set future lawyers need. The American Bar Association (ABA) and the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) have identified background historical knowledge as an essential foundation for a law school education. Lawyers must understand historical precedent, the historical context in which laws were made, and the evolution of legal doctrine. The ABA and the LSAC also emphasize the importance of critical reading, research, and writing skills as important preparation for an advanced legal education. The Legal History Certificate will prepare students in all of these areas. It positions Aggies to succeed in law school and provides them with an advantage in the admissions process.

Students interested in the Legal History Certificate should contact a History Department academic advisor or the program’s primary faculty sponsor, Dr. Katherine Unterman.