Illustration of weighing scales. The Philosophy and Law minor is a liberal arts-oriented introduction to law. It focuses on the philosophical, moral, and political underpinnings of law and the legal system. It covers several areas of law including torts, contracts, property, procedure, Constitutional law, and criminal law.

The minor gives students a context for thinking about the philosophical underpinnings of the political and legal systems of the United States and the modes of thought found in the legal system. Since legal argument frequently uses ideas found in moral thought, exposure to the theory or history of ethics is critical. The program may be of interest to students contemplating a career in law and related careers, though it is not intended as a pre-law or legal studies program. 

Program Details

A complete list of minor requirements and courses are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

You will take 18 semester hours, including:

Law and legal institutions and processes, with emphasis on civil law. Development of legal ideas in such areas as torts, contracts, and property law. Role and history of legal institutions within political framework. Relations between courts and legislatures.
Survey of contemporary debates concerning fundamental principles of political life. Topics typically include justification of political authority, the proper role of government in society, economic justice, freedom and rights, and the free enterprise system.
Theories of the nature of law (natural law, realism, positivism, critical legal theory); interpretation of precedents, statutes, and Constitution; Constitutional protections such as freedom of speech and religion and the right of privacy; selected issues in criminal and civil law.

PHL 435 requires additional work not required in PHL 335.

One of the following ethical theory courses:
  • PHL 125: Introduction to Ethics
  • PHL 215: History of Moral Philosophy
  • PHL 315: Ethics: Theories of Good and Evil

Two courses from the following (other courses may be substituted, with approval):
  • JS 150: Foundations of Law
  • JS 230: The Judicial Process in America
  • PSC 330: The American Judicial Process
  • PSC 340:  American Political Thought
  • PSC 380: The Politics of Constitutional Law
  • PSC 381: The Bill of Rights

Ready to Apply?

All the information you need to apply can be found on UAB's Undergraduate Admissions Hub.