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Legal History Certificate

Beginning in Fall 2022, the Legal History Certificate provides undergraduate students with historical knowledge and analytical skills that will give them a strong foundation for a law school education. Students learn about the historical development of the U.S. legal system, read legal documents, perform legal research, and practice argumentative writing.

The Legal History Certificate program is specifically focused on the skill set future lawyers need. The American Bar Association (ABA) and the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) have identified background historical knowledge as an essential foundation for a law school education. Lawyers must understand historical precedent, the historical context in which laws were made, and the evolution of legal doctrine. The ABA and the LSAC also emphasize the importance of critical reading, research, and writing skills as important preparation for an advanced legal education. The Legal History Certificate will prepare students in all of these areas. It positions Aggies to succeed in law school and provides them with an advantage in the admissions process.

This is a 12-hour certificate that is open to all majors. It may be pursued concurrently with the Philosophy Pre-Law Certificate, although there is no overlap in the two certificates’ requirements.

To receive the Legal History Certificate, you must take:

  • Two required courses: HIST 447 and 448. The history department offers 447 in the fall and 448 in the spring.
  • Two history electives from the following list: HIST 225, 230, 258, 301, 305, 307, 308, 317, 319, 365, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 444, 452, 455, 456, 462, 464, 473.
  • HIST 485 (Directed Studies) in the final semester of the certificate. This is fulfilled by submitting a research paper from any class about a legal history topic. Revisions may be requested. This class can be taken for zero credit hours.

If you have any questions about the Legal History Certificate, you should contact the program’s primary faculty sponsor, Dr. Katherine Unterman (

To declare your intention to pursue the certificate, please write to the history advisor, Robyn Konrad (