Our dedication to Racial Equality and Social Justice (RESJ) spans decades. Learn more about our RESJ Initiative

time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

Legal Studies Concentration

  • Credits:

Concentration Description

The undergraduate concentration in Legal Studies introduces students to the history and function of the American legal system and provides students interested in pursuing a law career with a basic understanding and knowledge of various aspects of law school and the legal profession. Cambridge College students are introduced to diverse topics and learning that incorporate principles of social justice, civil liberties and service to the community. It is in this context that students learn about and discuss executive, legislative and judicial law and their power to both shape and reflect our understanding of our changing society, world and communities.

A Key Element in Your Bachelor’s Degree.   The concentration is accepted in any Cambridge College bachelor’s degree, as open electives. It is often of interest to students doing a bachelor’s degree in human services, multidisciplinary studies or psychology. It also provides valuable understandings to students in other fields who work with people and social change.

Program Outcomes

Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the history and evolution of the US legal system
  • Appreciate the scope and implications of civil liberties and social justice in the US
  • Gain working knowledge of the structure of legal systems and legal processes in the US
  • Understand the different branches of government, and their impact and influence on our legal system
  • Recognize how legal processes and practices shape our communities and society
  • Develop analytical and critical thinking skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities.

Careers and Further Study

Our students go on to graduate study in human services, psychology, counseling, social work, law, political science, government studies, corrections, law enforcement, forensics. This program can lead to careers in law, government service, corrections, law enforcement, politics, urban and community planning, mediation and management in NGOs, government, and community agencies.


In addition to the courses listed below, take two 1-credit JUS electives.

Introduction to Legal Studies
JUS 205 3 credit(s)
Introduction to Legal Studies introduces students to the legal system and the legal profession in the United States. The course will explore theoretical and historical influences on the American legal system and the practice of law, the origins of the legal system in English common law, the sources of American law, including an overview of the Constitution, state and federal status, the court system, and the legislative and trial process. Students will explore the legal profession and the varied roles assumed by the legal professional in contemporary society. Students will gain an understanding of the emergence of specialized areas of law and the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a law career.
Introduction to the American Legal System
SOC 212 3 credit(s)
To be effective citizens, employees, parents, and members of society we must comprehend the conceptual frameworks of the law and its implications in our daily lives. This course introduces legal concepts and activities, and their pragmatic applications: contract law, civil rights law, employment law, family law, and patient rights. We also discuss how the United States Constitution impacts contemporary legal issues including government regulation of private business, separation of church and state, right to privacy, government funding of educational and religious institutions, and property rights versus environmental and other governmental constraints.
Crime and Criminal Justice
JUS 200 3 credit(s)
This course provides an introduction to the nature of the crime problem in the United States, including patterns of victimization and offending and the ways in which the criminal justice system responds to these behaviors.
Forensic Psychology
PSY 328 3 credit(s)
This course is an introduction to the field of forensic psychology and examines how psychological theory and practice intersect with the law, the legal system, and the field of criminal justice. It will offer a broad perspective of the field and will cover the role that psychology has played in a number of related areas, including theories of crime and criminal behavior, the nature of eyewitness testimony, criminal investigation, the psychological evaluation and understanding of criminal suspects, and jury selection.
Restorative Justice and Alternative Sentencing
JUS 435 3 credit(s)
An alternative to the retributive model of justice, Restorative justice offers a reconciliation model in which the victim, the offender, and the broader community can work toward a more personal and satisfying response to juvenile crime. The emergence and growth of several models such as balanced and restorative justice, VORP (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program), and circle conferencing are viewed within the context of adolescent offending. Attention is paid to issues of age, gender, and culture in various methods of conflict resolution.
The Art of Advocacy, Skills for Policy and Service Delivery
BHS310 1 credit(s)

Advocacy is an art which integrates policy and passion with the skills of communication, social intelligence and change analysis to achieve a better world. Students will recognize how they already engage in advocacy while exploring systems and institutional level advocacy for social change. Each student will outline an advocacy campaign based on a social issue they have selected. The class will visit the Massachusetts State House and other sites. Students will communicate advocacy actions they have undertaken.