Dalhousie Law Journal


John Barnes


Undergraduate law program, law courses outside professional schools, approaches to the teaching of law, techniques of the social sciences


The purpose of this article is to describe how one undergraduate law program is operating, the objects of that program and the problems faced in offering law courses outside the professional schools. The extent of legal activity at Carleton will be outlined first, followed by an explanation of the reasons for the development of the particular calendar content. Different approaches to the teaching of law in the context of a general university program will be considered, discussing particularly the application of the techniques of the social sciences. The role of undergraduate law and the possible professional applications of a B.A. which includes law courses will then be assessed. Finally, the Department's situation relative to the position of law faculties will be noted. I feel no special need to justify teaching law at the undergraduate level. The fundamental social importance of legal structures speaks plainly for extending understanding of the working of the legal process in every available way. The experience in teaching law in universities outside North America indicates that in many respects the undergraduate program is the normal place for legal education. The paper aims to inform about one law department's situation, with the hope of identifying questions and policies which may have to be considered in other universities proposing to institute undergraduate law. No suggestion is made that the Carleton program is a model for imitation in detail: its content is the result of slow evolution in response to needs unlikely to be entirely duplicated elsewhere.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.