Graduate-level professors will be teaching undergraduates in a new academic program created through a University of Nebraska partnership.
Joining forces with the NU College of Law, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business is offering a collaborative law and business minor to undergraduate students starting in the fall semester. The minor includes four courses taught by five Nebraska Law faculty, including former Chancellor Harvey Perlman.
“This new program is a great example of out-of-the box thinking by two colleges about what makes for attractive course offerings for undergraduates,” said Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. “It is a unique collaboration that pairs a graduate-only college with another college to teach undergraduates the fundamentals of law in the context of business.”
“This new program is a great example of out-of-the box thinking by two colleges about what makes for attractive course offerings for undergraduates.”
Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer
Courses offered will build students’ familiarity with legal concepts for jobs that do not require a juris doctorate but require some knowledge of the law. They will also allow students interested in legal careers to experience law instruction as an undergraduate.
“People in business fields operate in an environment where it is advantageous to have a familiarity with law and regulations,” said Richard Moberly, dean of Nebraska Law. “This minor will be beneficial to Nebraska undergraduates, building a certain level of expertise and allowing them to make positive impacts on the companies they work for after graduation.”
The program is believed to be the first to integrate graduate-level law faculty into undergraduate-level classrooms within a business college. Moberly said the concept is similar to an existing program at the University of Arizona, which offers a law major to government and public policy students within its College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Designed to complement any major, Nebraska’s law and business minor will provide students with the skills for additional employment possibilities. Many of these jobs are in growing fields such as regulatory compliance, human resources, accounting, financial services and securities regulation and real estate development.
“Position descriptions for non-attorney jobs listing legal knowledge as a qualification have dramatically increased, with national job sites like Indeed.com currently showing more than 80,000 listings” said Donna Dudney, associate dean of undergraduate curriculum and programs and associate professor of finance. “We see the minor being a natural fit for business majors, but non-business majors can also benefit from legal knowledge. For example, an understanding of EPA regulations and compliance would complement a degree in environmental studies.”
Patrice McMahon, associate professor of political science and incoming director of Nebraska’s Honors Program, said the new minor offers students in a variety of disciplines an unparalleled opportunity to learn about and experience law education and instruction.
“Many of my students in political science, global studies and history hope to go to law school and this new program presents a great opportunity for them to discover if that is the right choice,” McMahon said. “Moreover, the classes are taught by some of the Nebraska Law’s best faculty. I hope students who are able will take advantage of this new opportunity.”
Moberly said that if the program is successful, the law and business minor may expand and be offered as a major in the future.
Two of the four courses in the program will offered each fall semester, with the other two meeting in the spring session. All courses will be held in Howard L. Hawks Hall, home to Nebraska Business.
Enrollment in the courses is currently open for the fall 2018 semester.