About the Department of Law
The Department of Law provides the opportunity for a Major in Law and Legal Studies. We welcome cadets who are interested in undergraduate legal studies.
Law and its effect on society have long been a proper subject of study, and writers from Aristotle to Oliver Wendell Holmes have addressed the nature of law and its impact upon the people of the world. This is of particular importance in our country, based on the principle of the rule of law. Over a century ago, Alexis De Tocqueville observed that in the United States nearly every political question eventually becomes a legal question. It is also particularly important in the international arena, as the world’s nations with their various legal systems become increasingly interdependent.
The goal of our undergraduate legal studies program is to help develop cadets’ critical thinking abilities to prepare them to be leaders of character. By its nature, the study of law draws on historical and cultural perspectives, requires awareness and resolution of moral and ethical issues, demonstrates the need for and value of clear and concise communication, and leads to increased understanding of how individuals, organizations, and societies pursue goals. We do not seek to provide cadets with a body of legal knowledge or to train them to be lawyers — this is not a pre-law program. Rather, the Department of Law’s Law and Legal Studies program is designed to educate cadets to be leaders in a changing and often ambiguous world.
Colonel Maritza Ryan
Professor and Head Department of Law