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Legal Studies

  • Available as a minor
    Since the turmoil of the 1960s, instruction concerning our country’s noble political-legal heritage has been disappearing from higher education. A new emphasis on civic responsibility and public service in the Judeo-Christian tradition seeks to restore that heritage.

  • Designed to foster the academic skills necessary for effective citizenship and careers in public life, the Legal Studies minor educates students to appreciate the Anglo-American legal tradition, which spans 10 centuries and established a “higher law” approach premised on the rule of law under God.

    At Olivet, you can: 

    • Take foundational courses on the Western legal tradition, focusing in particular on the history of English and American law.
    • Choose from seven law-related courses now integrated into Olivet’s curriculum.
    • Select courses from a variety of disciplines, including political science, business, communication, English, education, social work, mathematics, philosophy, theology.
    • Complete a senior research project based on a topic of your interest.
    • Benefit from the skills and knowledge of professors who are already successful in the fields of law and public service.
    • And so much more!

    Additional opportunities

    The Center for Law and Culture is a self-sustaining non-profit organization located on Olivet’s campus. Each year in May, the Center sponsors the Law, Justice and Culture Institute to provide additional learning opportunities for undergraduate students, as well as interested citizens, law school students and graduate students. The goal is to help students formulate a vibrant, biblical view of public engagement in law, government and politics, exploring such topics as:
    • law and the administration of justice among the ancient Hebrews
    • the “higher law” foundations of the American constitutional order
    • Nazism, the Nuremberg trial and the resurgence of natural law

    Putting knowledge to work

    Complete an approved off-campus study program and earn college credit toward completing this minor.

    Join a student organization:
    • Law & Politics Society, a student organization that hosts events and activities designed to prepare members for the challenges they will face in undertaking careers in law, government and politics.
    Capitol Hill Gang, the political science club open to all students, dedicated to increasing political awareness and fellowship among students.
    Enactus (formerly known as SIFE), a global organization that gives college students the opportunity to teach the business skills they have learned in the classroom to those in the communities around them.

    Participate in an educational trip to Washington, D.C.:
    • Federal Seminar program (study trip) – Spend a week in our nation’s capital and attend seminars by congressmen, senators, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors and the public liaison from the President’s office.
    • Capitol Hill Gang trip (working trip) – Get engaged in the activities of government. Interview congressmen and senators. Spend an afternoon as an intern in the office of a nonprofit or policy-making organization. Work for an evening in a community development program for a low-income neighborhood.

    American Studies Program (ASP) semester in Washington, D.C., helps you connect biblical faith with public life and vocation. Many internship opportunities are available with government departments and nonprofit organizations.

    Attend special political events, such as Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. Hear from and meet our country’s political leaders. Discuss “hot button” issues and American values with your professors and peers.

    Study abroad with Gain the understanding that only comes when you plant your feet in someone else’s backyard. Gain a new understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Western civilizations. Become a different kind of Christian leader because of your experiences.


    If you
    • Are planning to enter law school
    • Desire a career in public service, such as politics, government, consulting, nonprofit/nongovernmental management
    • Want to have a deeper understanding of how our government is designed and how it works
    Then a minor in legal studies may be for you!

    Completing the studies for this minor will benefit you in any public service or corporate career you may choose.

    Legal Studies is part of the Department of History and Political Science within the College of Arts and Sciences.


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  • "We need to prepare all of our students to be better citizens and to value our liberty by understanding our legal heritage." — Professor Charles Emmerich