Legal Studies (BA)

Program Description

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. 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 cyber security? 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, law and media, human rights, technology and security, and law and ethics. At the same time, recognizing that law maintains a local focus, the curriculum treats the broad questions raised by globalization through the study of particular examples drawn from common law, continental law and other legal systems.

The major in Legal Studies is intended as an approach to the study of law rooted in the liberal arts tradition. 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 integration of Legal Studies with liberal arts education enhances the opportunity for cross-disciplinary study. The Program in Legal Studies is situated within both the Social Sciences and the Arts and Humanities, aiming to serve as a bridge between these divisions. The design of the Legal Studies curriculum facilitates double majors and allows ample leeway for taking courses in other academic disciplines. The curriculum aspires to foster in students the readiness and ability to act in a truly human manner which entails qualities such as serving as an advocate for individual rights and as an artisan of the common good.

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. Although the BA in Legal Studies is not a professional degree, the versatility of the degree paves the way to manifold career options. The study of law counts as a time-honored and proven path to opportunities as government officials, entrepreneurs, advocates, diplomats, corporate executives, NGO representatives, and not-for-profit directors, to mention but a few examples. For those students who intend to enroll in JD, LLM. and other graduate programs, the Legal Studies major affords a firm foundation as the major introduces an understanding of law which, no doubt, will prove advantageous to further study. Students who opt to complete the Legal Studies London Track will be exposed to the great ideas of the common law as a preparation for service in legal and law-related professions.

Study Away

The study away pathway for the Legal Studies major can be found on the NYUAD Student Portal at Students with questions should contact the Office of Global Education.


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