Arizona Law Introduces Bachelor of Arts in Law Degree
Imagine taking a law procedure or torts course as a college sophomore. Or entering a constitutional law course as a junior. In a possible Hail Mary move to shift legal education, the University of Arizona will be debuting its BA in Law degree this semester. The program will be housed in the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) and will work collaboratively with the James E. Rogers College of Law. Of course many law schools already offer master’s programs in legal studies, but as Arizona professor, Brent White notes in a contributing article to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this is another way to battle increasing student debt and decreasing job opportunities.
How the program will work is students take four law core courses and five SGPP core courses before moving to five advanced law courses and two advanced SGPP courses. Students also have the option to complete a BA in Law in three years and move into Arizona’s Juris Doctor program.
White offers four reasons for the creation of the fledgling program.
- To become an attorney in “most countries,” licensing can come without professional education.
- Little rationale to exclude the study of law at the bachelor’s level.
- Benefits undergrads by teaching problem solving, persuasive writing and understanding of a judicial system.
- Many law-related tasks are actually performed by people who have been legally trained but are not attorneys.
This program begs many questions. What does one do with a BA in Law? Won’t the students who want to be attorneys go to law school eventually anyway? Does this program demean the profession? Will it be so appealing, other schools catch on and there is a societal shift towards BA in Law degrees and away from a JD? The answers to some of these questions are being answered by proponents of the program. Careers in corporate compliance, tax advising, conflict resolution and contract administration and others are listed by Arizona. It could be a fantastic stepping-stone to pursuing further policy education. Other answers will most likely only come from Time.
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
Source: Arizona Program
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