Illustration by Joaquin Kunkel

NYUAD Finalizes New Legal Studies Major and Concentration

For the past few months, the NYU Abu Dhabi administration has been negotiating the introduction of a Legal Studies major and its corresponding ...

Feb 28, 2016

Illustration by Joaquin Kunkel
For the past few months, the NYU Abu Dhabi administration has been negotiating the introduction of a Legal Studies major and its corresponding concentration.
These plans can now be confirmed, with the rollout of the concentration scheduled for fall 2016. The new major has been approved within the university but is now waiting for approval from the UAE government, a process that could take up to a year.
“In the next academic year, Legal Studies will be run as a concentration, with the idea that in the academic year after that, the full major will be run,” said Professor John Coughlin, who was behind the pitch to the University Curriculum Committee.
The Legal Studies concentration will have the same structure as all concentrations currently available at NYUAD. It will be awarded following completion of four Legal Studies courses that will be split into foundational electives and general electives.
For the foundational electives, students will have a choice between the classes What is Law, Legal Methods, Legal Institutions and Business Law. At least two of the four course requirements must be foundational electives, but students may opt to take all four courses as foundational electives if they so wish.
Some of the classes offered at NYUAD will qualify as general electives — these include Government and Religion, Reading Law and Law and the Imagination.
The proposed major will have 12 course requirements. The aforementioned four foundational electives, in addition to a fifth course in legal writing and research, will constitute the required courses. The remaining seven requirements will consist of other electives and the capstone, although it is yet to be determined whether further sub-categories of electives will be added.
Coughlin noted that despite the time it will take to obtain approval for the major from the UAE government, all current freshmen wishing to major in Legal Studies will be able to do so. He further emphasized the need to stay true to the university’s liberal arts roots.
“We’re very firmly committed to it being set in a liberal arts context … It’s a legal studies program that is liberal arts and legal education,” Coughlin said. “The liberal arts part is very important … we’re teaching global comparative law that is interdisciplinary between [the] humanities and the social sciences, not preparing people to practice law.”
A meeting for interested students will take place on Wednesday, March 9th, at 6 pm, in A3-002. Students with further questions regarding the introduction of the Legal Studies concentration and major are encouraged to attend. .
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