Nov. 20, 2020

New foundational training for students pursuing legal careers

Undergraduate philosophy students can declare a concentration in law and philosophy

Did you know that philosophy majors consistently outperform their peers in Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) results? That law schools appear to be accepting philosophy students at higher rates than other popular fields? There is demand for relevant and applicable training for undergraduate students who wish to pursue their graduate studies in the field of law. In response to this demand, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary has created a concentration in law and philosophy. 

The Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law have identified existing undergraduate courses that develop the necessary skills for a legal career, including textual analysis, rhetorical training, analytical reasoning, moral assessment, historical context, and more. A critical component of legal training is the ability to read and understand complex texts and make inferences about theory; skills which are implemented through training in philosophy.

“Philosophy's focus on logic and rhetoric, in particular assessment of arguments in ordinary language, is an essential tool for law school,” says Dr. Allen Habib, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy.

The BA or BA Honours in Philosophy student can now elect to complete a concentration in Law and Philosophy by taking 18 units (six courses) in philosophy from a list of courses on topics as diverse as bioethics, IT ethics, evidence, law and morality, social and political philosophy, and more.

This transdisciplinary concentration in law and philosophy identifies the courses that are most appropriate for students who would like to further their professional studies in law after their BA program. It is a clear pathway designed for those with a goal of earning a Juris Doctorate (JD), a Bachelor of Law (LLB), or even becoming a legal scholar through masters’ and PhD programs in Philosophy/Law.

The University of Calgary Academic Calendar includes further program requirement details for the BA or BA Honours in Philosophy. If you’re a Faculty of Arts undergraduate student interested in declaring a BA in Philosophy with a concentration in law and philosophy, or a BA or BA Honours in Philosophy student who would like to add the concentration to your program, the annual deadline for a change of program is February 1st via your online Student Centre.

Please contact the Department of Philosophy (phildept@ucalgary.ca) or an advisor with the Arts Students' Centre if you have further questions about this exciting new opportunity!