Bethany adds legal studies major

The Board of Regents of Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) recently approved the addition of a new major and minor in legal studies. The new major will be offered beginning with the fall semester of 2015.

Bethany’s new legal studies major was developed as a collaborative effort between several academic programs including communication, history, and sociology, and draws upon the College’s liberal arts tradition to bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of law. Sara Burger-Edwards, J.D., Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, will serve as the coordinator for the legal studies major. Edwards has been teaching communication courses with a legal studies emphasis at BLC since 2008. Ryan C. MacPherson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, will also bring extensive experience in public policy and constitutional law matters to the legal studies program. 

Dr. Eric Woller, Vice President of Academic Affairs, explained more about the legal studies program, “Bethany already has a track record for placing graduates in law programs. The new legal studies major builds on that track record and provides students with valuable legal knowledge and skills that can be utilized in many different occupations. The program prepares students for entry-level, law-related careers such as paralegal or corrections officer and also provides groundwork for those students who plan to go on to law school or graduate school. Students interested in business leadership, nonprofit board service, community development, and consulting will also find the legal studies program beneficial. A unique feature of the program is that students also will learn to apply Christian values to the ethical challenges of contemporary legal practice.”

Legal studies graduates at BLC seeking admission to law school will receive special advising in preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) examination, and employment prospects for legal studies graduates looks bright. 

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10 to 17 percent increase in job opportunities from 2012-2022 for persons with legal expertise,” said Burger-Edwards.