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Welcome to the Department of Law    

The Law and Legal Studies program provides cadets insight into legal concepts and functions of law. It is not a pre-law program to train future lawyers. Rather, our purpose is to educate cadets to be leaders in a changing and often ambiguous world.
Learning how to think clearly and analyze arguments and claims critically are key benefits of the program. These essential skills, along with moral and ethical considerations, form the basis for effective leadership. Cadets examine the role of law from many perspectives, including:
  • As a primary means of maintaining social order;
  • In balancing individual interests against the interests of society; and,
  • In resolving disputes.

If you are a USMA Cadet interested in becoming a law major, please contact our Department Academic Counselor, LTC Wendy Cox.


LTG Darpino Debate 1 Blackhawk 2 Blackhawk2
Cadets enrolled in Advanced Constitutional Law meet with Chief Justice John Roberts at the Supreme Court in April 2015.
Cadets meet with Justice Samuel Alito at the Supreme Court in April 2015.
On March 25, 2015, Yale Professor John Fabian Witt delivered the Spring Law 403 lecture to First Year Cadets.
The West Point Center for the Rule of Law’s three day Ukraine workshop brought together 21 preeminent legal scholars, military practitioners, and government representatives to discuss international legal issues stemming from Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Professor DiSarro's Advanced Constitutional Law class met with Justice Elena Kagan after listening to oral arguments at the Supreme Court on December 2, 2014.
BG Mark Martins, Chief Prosecuter - U.S. Military Commissions, addressed First Class Cadets on October 29, 2014.
LTG Flora Darpino, the Judge Advocate General of the Army, delivers the Spring 2014 Altenburg lecture to First Class Cadets.
LTG (Ret.) Dana Chipman moderated a debate between attorneys Gregory Lipper (left) and Thomas Johnson (right) during the Fall 2013 Evening Lecture. The case of Greece v. Galloway was heard before the Supreme Court on November 6, 2013.
CPT Brady Dearden, 2009 USMA graduate and law major, is currently an Aviation Officer deployed to Afghanistan. He has flown the Department of Law seal in his Blackhawk on several missions in the country, and reports that it is holding up well.
The Department of Law seal, on board a Blackhawk in Afghanistan.





​Spring 2015 Law Lecture: Professor John Witt

​Posted on April 7, 2015

​On March 25, Yale Law School Professor John Fabian Witt presented the Spring Term 2015 lecture in Constitutional and Military Law to the 570 Firstie Cadets taking LW403. Professor Witt discussed the historical basis of the law of war and current implications for the U.S. military. Professor Witt Professor Witt is the author of "Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History," which was awarded the 2013 Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  In 2010 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his project on the laws of war in American history. 

Fall 2014 Salvatore Lecture: BG Mark Martins

Posted on November 25, 2014

​On 29 October 2014, BG Mark S. Martins, Chief Prosecutor of the Military Commissions, USMA '83 and Rhodes Scholar, presented the Fall Term lecture in Constitutional and Military Law for Firstie Cadets. Also in attendance were 9/11 first responders and families. His lecture was offered as part of the Salvatore Constitutional & Military Law Lecture series. BG Martins chellenged the Cadets with law-related scenarios they might face as new officers. Thoughout his remarks, BG Martins emphasized the importance of determining the facts before making decisions and the importance of strengthening the Rule of Law. 

Ukraine Workshop: A Case Study in the Viability of International Law

​Posted on November 3, 2014

​From 20-23 October 2014, the West Point Center for the Rule of Law’s hosted a workshop titled “Ukraine: A Case Study in the Viability of International Law.” This event brought together 21 preeminent legal scholars, military practitioners, and government representatives to identify the emerging jus ad bellulm and jus in bello issues stemming from Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The workshop was organized by Associate Professor LTC Shane Reeves, who led theDepartment of Law in executing the world’s firstmeeting of legal scholars to address this topic. The event was co-sponsored by the United States Naval War College’s Stockton Center for theStudy of International Law.

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