Legal Studies: Not Just for Pre-Law Students

Why it’s important to understand U.S. law as part of your undergraduate major

You may be studying business, health care, marketing or even computer science in your undergraduate years. So why learn U.S. law if you are not planning on becoming a lawyer?

Having a background in legal studies can be beneficial for almost any field. According to ULaw MD & Chief Executive Dr Stelios Platis, a legal background constitutes an excellent foundation for any business function, including leadership roles. Learning about U.S. law, students “will have gained a range of transferable skills that can be applied and adapted in any professional setting, making them highly employable in a wide variety of sectors such as in business, finance, banking, politics, media.”

In the Legal Studies Global Access Program (LSGAP), you take a variety of courses to gain skills to prepare you for graduate school and/or a successful career in any field. See below on how your study goals should incorporate U.S. law and how LSGAP is the program for you!

 


I am studying business/entrepreneurship!

More often than not, business and law go hand in hand. You may have heard the recent headlines about Robinhood, an investing app, and Gamestop, a video game retailer.

When Robinhood decided to suspend trading of Gamestop’s stock, it was immediately investigated by lawmakers, according to CNET. The controversy began when Reddit users/traders suddenly began buying Gamestop’s stock, but were stopped by Robinhood when the company realized that the average person could easily profit from the situation. It has become a large dispute in the court system, with multiple lawsuits. This is just one of many situations where understanding civil law and the legal system in general is crucial to succeed in the business world.

Aside from this recent nationwide dispute, it is also important to know how the United States legal system is incorporated in everyday business practices.

According to Financial Times, “Business and law are more interconnected than we intuitively think,” says Vincent Doré. And what is increasingly clear is that some of the most exciting developments in legal education are happening at the intersections of business, public policy and government. 

 

Related LSGAP courses

 Law Technology and Entrepreneurship
 LS 145 Law and Economics

    


I am studying health care/medicine!

Working with legal issues within global health care systems is unavoidable. Nurses and doctors are consistently using law in their everyday work—from contracts to health insurance to torts.

Medical professionals are also asked to use their medical expertise in court. “When complicated medical-related legal issues arise, physicians are often asked to provide expert opinions. Primary care doctors as well as specialists are valued in these situations,” according to Medical Economics.

Aside from the conventional medical professionals, health care lawyers have also become a more common career path. “The work health care lawyers do often touches on a variety of niche areas of the law, including but not limited to corporate, regulatory administrative, securities, contracts, commercial, tax, litigation, professional malpractice and bioethics,” the article continues.

Health care law is well suited for attorneys who like variety in their work and don't shy away from complexity.

“Many health care lawyers devote their practices to helping providers avoid allegations of health care fraud or abuse.”

 

Related LSGAP courses

 LS 190.4 Intimate Partner Violence
 LS 138 U.S Supreme Court and Public Policy

 


I am studying marketing!

Law and marketing work closely together—more than you would think. Copywriting, trademarks and patents are just some of the many ways marketers are faced with legal situations. Familiarizing yourself with the regulations will make future marketing projects a breeze.

UC Berkeley Professor of Law, Pamela Samuelson shares, “Copyright law performs a number of important functions. It facilitates public access to knowledge and a wide range of uses of creative works of authorship, and, in so doing, it helps educate our populace, enrich our culture, and promote free speech, free expression and democratic values.”

Although marketing requires the imagination, it is imporant to also use appropriate branding, style of writing, logos, et cetera, to be align with company policies.

“Legal writing and strategy requires formulating and presenting your point of view to receive a favorable decision. With a touch of creativity, this skill set can be adapted to market products and services. Also, it doesn't hurt to have someone with Intellectual Property (IP—patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets) expertise providing active input,” Wes Henderson from The Medium states.

Of course, there are hundreds of areas of marketing. Whether you are in content, brand or social media marketing, there are several codes and regulations you must follow. Taking courses in law will help you have a better grasp on what you can and cannot do in the marketing world.

 

Related LSGAP courses

 Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship
 LS 181 Psychology and the Law
 LS X400 Legal Writing

 


I am studying computer/data science!

The tech world is booming. With more and more of us working virtually, online legal issues regularly arise. From ethical hacking to cyber law, it is clear that having a background in U.S. law is beneficial when working in computer/data science.

According to UC Berkeley Law Professor, Paul Schwartz, “In 2003, a study at the UC Berkeley School of Information found that the amount of new information being created every year and stored on media was 5 exabytes. That amount is equal to the information stored in 37,000 libraries the size of the Library of Congress in the United States.

“A company should comply with legal requirements in its use of analytics.  A company should assess, beyond legal requirements, whether its use of analytics reflects cultural and social norms about acceptable activities.”

Legal Career Path states, “Computer law encompasses all of the laws that relate to the transfer, use and storage of electronic information. Basically, it’s any law that has to do with computers and other electronic devices that store information. Computer law includes a wide range of topics including security, private property rights and even constitutional law.

“Computer scientists and data scientists hold the key to important information. Businesses and companies put their faith into their employees who protect and manage private data. That being said, it is crucial for these scientists to have a strong understanding of the legal implications that their role could involve.”

 

Related LSGAP Courses

 LS 138 U.S Supreme Court and Public Policy
 Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship
 LEGALST 123 001 Data, Prediction and Law

 


 

These are just some of many fields where law is used.

How will you incorporate law into your future career or graduate school studies? Check out more of our legal studies course offerings so that you can have an understanding of law as it relates to your future!

 


Additional Resources

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Marketing

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Health care

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