Welcome to the home page of the Humanities and Law minor in the School of Humanities at UC Irvine. The following pages contain program information, a list of participating faculty and a selection of links to some useful and interesting law and legal history sites. You may be asking yourself what is the Humanities and Law minor and why would I want to take these courses?
The United States is one of the few countries in the world where law cannot be studied as an undergraduate major. This is especially ironic since law was one of the earliest disciplines (along with medicine and theology) represented in the oldest European universities. In the United States law has been restricted to graduate-level law schools whose mission is the career preparation of the professional lawyer. But, because of student and faculty interest in law, programs such as our Humanities and Law minor have been developed. Some may say that we have too many lawyers (a moot point) but we certainly have too few citizens who understand the law. Understanding the law does not mean being your own lawyer but, instead, it means critically understanding the history, philosophy and cultural development of law here and abroad. Along with religion, law is a culturally constructed reflection of society's truths and values. Furthermore, law is a reflection of society's fears and aspirations, prejudices and self-image.
The Humanities and Law minor draws upon courses from throughout the School of Humanities. The minor introduces you to the critical study of law in the context of history, philosophy and literature. The minor is not meant in any way to be a professional program. It is not law school but it can prepare you for law school by expanding your critical perspectives on law.
We invite you to look through the Humanities and Law web pages for more information about the program.
If you have further questions please call the Humanities and Law coordinator at (949) 824-6525, or e-mail the program Director Professor Jeffrey Helmreich (firstname.lastname@example.org).