The Case For Undergraduate Law Degrees

by Dish Staff

Brent T. White argues that “the lack of an undergraduate route to legal education is perplexing”:

First, in most countries—including those requiring additional graduate-level training to become a licensed attorney—law is an undergraduate degree. Second, there is little rationale for excluding the study of law from the full range of undergraduate academic subjects. On the contrary, limiting legal education to graduate students has contributed to the mystification of law and created a reality in which too few people are equipped to grapple productively with the complex array of legal issues that are pervasive in business, government, and society.

Third, a law degree would offer many benefits to undergraduates, including the ability to independently research, read, and understand the law, as well as training in critical thinking and problem solving, analytical reasoning, and persuasive writing—all of which are highly marketable skills that translate well into a variety of professions, law-related or not. Finally, undergraduate law degrees would be the best response to the reality that many law-related tasks are performed by people who are not lawyers but who need legal training.