LEGAL HISTORY PLAN
MA and Minor Field
Background: The Graduate School Catalog provides:
History/Law Joint Degree Program—The Department of History and the College of Law offer a
program in legal history leading to either the M.A. or a Ph.D. degree in history
and the J.D. in law. Because the faculties of history and law stress
interdisciplinary training, students admitted to the joint degree program will
be allowed to count a significant number of hours toward both degrees.
Applicants must be accepted by both the
From: 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog pp. 158-159
This plan is designed to give content to this provision by outlining the minor field in legal history (taken by Ph.D. students) and the requirements of the M.A. in legal history. It formalizes expectations that are currently in place for students in the joint-degree program and for Ph.D. students not in the joint degree program who minor in legal history.
Required courses: The M.A. and the minor both require the same three (3) seminar cycle in legal history. This cycle has three components:
1. Law in history seminar: This seminar is intended to expose students to the fundamental principle of modern legal history: that law and legal systems exist in a particular historical context. Seminars that fulfill this requirement may be nationally based or focused on a particular, suitably broad historical topic that traces out over time how different laws shaped and reflected society and society shaped and reflected laws.
Seminars currently on the books that count for this requirement include: American Legal History (AMH 6557/LAW 6226) (Dale); American Constitutional History (AMH 6557) (Dale); US Law and Social Policy (Spillane, last taught in Spring 2002); English Legal History (LAW 6220) (Wright). This category would also include seminars on History of Crime and Law (Adler) or History of Women and Law (Wright) so long as those courses were not taught from a comparative perspective.
2. Theory/methods seminar: This seminar is intended to expose students to the different theoretical and methodological approaches brought to bear on modern legal history. This seminar is intended to provide the methodological foundation for the work students do in their other legal history seminars, and for their thesis work in legal history, but it need not be taken first in the sequence.
Seminars currently on
the books that fulfill this requirement include: Law and Society (taught either
as a stand alone course cross listed with CCJ 6038 or as a history trailer to
CRIM 3038) (Spillane or Adler);
3. Comparative legal history: This seminar is intended to expose students to
comparative/transnational legal study, an area that is firmly rooted in the
history of legal study (Max Weber and Karl Llewellyn are two obvious examples
of scholars whose work was both historical and comparative). This approach has
become more significant recently as American courts look to other legal systems
for principles and in the wake of constitution-making efforts in
Seminars that count for this requirement include: Comparative Constitutional Law (HIS 6416) (Dale); History of Women and Law (so long as it is taught comparatively) (LAW 6930) (Wright); or a seminar in History of Crime and Law (so long as it is taught comparatively) (Adler).
Students may take the seminars listed above in any sequence. Normally at least one seminar in the legal history cycle will be offered every semester so that students can get through a complete cycle in four semesters. The legal history coordinator will be responsible for working with the graduate coordinator, the associate chair, and the law school to make sure that required seminars are offered.
In the unlikely circumstance that no seminar is offered in a given semester, an independent study taught by any of the faculty listed above may be substituted with the approval of the grad coordinator and legal history coordinator. There may be additions to the list of seminars that fulfill the requirements of the cycle, or of faculty whose work fits into the parameters of the program. Faculty who wish to be added to the legal history program, or who wish to propose new seminars need the approval of the legal history coordinator and the other faculty (listed above) who teach courses that are already part of the cycle.
Examination: Students taking legal history as their M.A. field of concentration or as a departmental inside minor field must take a written examination in the field.
1. M.A. examination: The examination will be a 24-hour take-home examination that will be given by an examining committee composed of two professors from the legal history group (the legal- history coordinator and one other professor from the legal-history group who taught the student) and one additional faculty member who does not teach legal history. In the event that the student took legal history seminars from only one professor in the legal-history group, a second member of the legal-history group will be chosen by the grad coordinator and legal-history coordinator to serve as the second reader.
2. Departmental Inside Minor-field examination: The examination will be a 24-hour take-home exam that will be given by an examining committee composed of two professors from the legal- history group, one of whom will be the student’s departmental inside minor-field advisor. In the event that the student took legal history seminars from only one professor in the legal-history group, a second member of the legal-history group will be chosen by the grad coordinator and legal-history coordinator to serve as the second reader. One of the two legal-history faculty members who conducted the student’s departmental inside minor-field examination will serve as the departmental inside minor-field member on the student’s dissertation committee.
Other requirements for MA: Students may take between three and five seminars in legal history, so long as they take seminars in the three core areas and do not repeat courses. Students are also expected to take the historiography seminar, six credits in history outside the legal-history field, and three credits outside of the Department of History. Students may do either a thesis or non-thesis option.
The law school requires that students in the joint-degree program complete the first year of law school within one year and they must do so within the first two years of admission to the joint degree program. The law school requires students admitted to the joint degree program to complete all required law school courses. If a scheduling conflict occurs between a required history seminar and a required law school course a student should work with the legal-history coordinator to try to resolve the scheduling conflict.
The credit hour expectations for a student in either the M.A./J.D. or Ph.D./J.D. programs in history are set out at http://www.law.ufl.edu/programs/joint/degrees.shtml.
It is the expectation of the law school and the History Department that students admitted to the joint-degree program will take a mix of law and history courses in all semesters other than their first two semesters at the law school. Failure to do so may have an impact on funding for students in the Ph.D. program.
Legal-history coordinator: Because of the scheduling complications that may arise for students in the joint degree program (and because of the impact that may have on fellowships) the legal- history coordinator will work with graduate students in the joint-degree program and their primary advisors to make sure that their schedules appropriately combine law and history courses. The legal-history coordinator will sign off on schedules for the upcoming year, sign off on changes, and sign off on progress reports for students in the joint-degree program to make sure students are properly on track and to help students (and their advisors) stay on track. Where problems arise, the legal-history coordinator (in consultation with the student, student's advisor, law school, and grad coordinator) will help the student find solutions. The legal-history coordinator's approval of a student's schedule and progress will include a determination that the student is making satisfactory progress towards a degree for the purpose of maintaining a fellowship.
Students who have questions about specific requirements should contact the legal-history coordinator.
Further note: Consistent with the interdisciplinary expectations outlined in the Graduate Catalog, quoted above, students will no longer be admitted to either the M.A./J.D. or Ph.D./J.D. program in history who do not intend to pursue an MA in legal history or a minor field in legal history.
In general, the normal law school progression is:
1st Semester Required Courses
Contracts 5000 (4 credits)
Criminal Law 5100 (3 credits)
Torts 5700 (4 credits)
Legal Research and Writing 5792 (2 credits)
Professional Responsibility 6750 (3 credits)
2nd Semester Required Courses
Civil Procedure 5301 (4 credits)
Constitutional Law 5501 (4 credits)
Property 5400 (4 credits)
Appellate Advocacy 5793 (2 credits)
Estates and Trusts* 6430 (3 credits)
Evidence* 6330 (4 credits)
Legal Drafting (required) 6955 (2 credits)
Corporations* 6063 (3 credits)
Trial Practice* 6363 (4 credits)
Note that courses marked with an * are “Registration-priority courses.”
These courses are not required, but the faculty recommends them for the designated term. Registration for these courses will be allowed in the term of priority. Registration in any other term is subject to space availability after