ECU DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS, LAW AND SOCIETY
Welcome to the Department of Politics, Law and Society! Thank you for visiting our page. Our department is the home of two very different and dynamic programs of study. In both Political Science and Legal Studies, our faculty is devoted to providing educational experiences that will prepare you for life in the real world. Our goal is for as many students as possible to participate in active learning, such as simulations, internships, networking, and service learning. Many of our students also present their original research in off-campus academic conferences such as Oklahoma Research Day and the Oklahoma Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Please consider becoming a part of our community of scholars!
The Politics, Law and Society Programs have a number of scholarships that they award each spring, including the Hargrave Pre-Law Scholarships, the Dean Peterson Scholarship in Legal Studies, and the Burl Harris Scholarships. To apply, email Department Chair Christine Pappas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, major or potential major, and your career goals. Scholarships range in size between $200 and $500. High school seniors are encouraged to apply.
Should you choose Political Science or Legal Studies?
Students seem to become interested in our department for three reasons. First, they seek training to work in a law office as a legal assistant. Second, they want to go to law school and become an attorney. Third, they simply love politics. If any of these descriptions fit you, you have come to the right place. Next, you need to decide if you should major in Political Science or Legal Studies. Many of our students wrestle with the decision about which is the best path for them. The truth is that ECU has prepared many successful law students in each program. Legal Studies is more legally technical. If you wish to become a legal assistant, this is the major for you. Political Science is more conceptual, so people who love ideas or arguing about politics will feel more at home with this major. Many students major in one, and minor in the other. The Legal Studies minor provides students majoring in other degree fields the opportunity to explore law as a discipline at the undergraduate level and study the impact of law on their area of interest. The Legal Studies minor is not approved by the American Bar Association as the Legal Studies minor is not intended to prepare students for paralegal positions. Students who minor in Legal Studies should not represent themselves as prepared for paralegal employment. The Legal Studies minor is open to Pre-Law students and students from any other discipline at ECU. Graduates of ECU's ABA-approved Legal Studies program are immediately employable in a law office as a paralegal or legal assistant. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
Success in any career today demands flexibility based in three skill areas: the ability to think critically, the ability to analyze information from a variety of sources and apply that analysis to solving problems, and the ability to communicate that analysis to others. These skills are particularly critical for careers in law, government, business, teaching, medicine, as well as for successes in graduate or professional school. Both Political Science and Legal Studies equip students in these three areas.
Do you wish you could major in PRE-LAW?
While Pre-Law is a major at many colleges and universities, at ECU we channel students either into Political Science or Legal Studies. Close to 100 percent of ECU students are accepted into law school! While you will not have to decide right away, we suggest you make a decision by your Sophomore year so you can take the recommended General Education classes for your major and get on the right track. For more information or advice, contact Dr. Christine Pappas, Pre-Law advisor, at email@example.com.