History of Legal Studies Program at UD
In the early 1970s, the University considered the possibility of starting a medical school.
Consideration was also given to starting a law school. Neither effort panned out.
The origins of the Legal
Studies program can be traced back to the efforts of group of interested faculty
who met in 1987 to discuss the possibility of starting a Legal Studies program.
This group included
James Magee and Leslie Goldstein of Political Science and Valerie Hans and
Frank Scarpeti of Sociology. The next spring, a task force was charged by President Russel
C. Jones to investigate their proposal. Professor Gerard Mangone
of the College of Marine Studies
chaired the task force, which included two faculty members (Ken
Haas of Sociology and
James Magee of Political Science) who are still involved in the Legal
Studies program. In lieu of a law school, the undergraduate legal studies program was started
in 1989. The initial faculty who participated included
Turkel of Sociology and Sue
At first, this was mostly a forum for faculty interested in law-related subjects
to meet and share discussions. In 1991, Legal Studies became an
undergraduate minor. Over the years, it has grown enormously. Today,
there are over 150 students with a minor in legal studies.
director of the Legal Studies Program was
Jack Carter of the College of
Business & Economics (now at Goucher College).
associate professor in the Communication Department, served as Director from
1996 to 1998.
Valerie Hans of the Department of Sociology and Criminal
Justice, now at Cornell Law School, assumed directorship of the Legal Studies Program in the fall of 1998
and served for two years. Thereafter, Professor
Kenneth J. Koford
served as director from 1999 to 2004. The current director is Professor
of the Lerner College of Business and Economics.
In April 1998, the Legal Studies Program held its
first Annual Student Research Day. This evolved into the
Conference. The tradition will continue this year,
with an interesting program planned.
In Spring 2005, Legal Studies began the
Lecture series. This new lecture
series is named in honor of our long-time friend and former Director of Legal
Studies, the late
Kenneth J. Koford.
The lecture series is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics in the Lerner College
of Business & Economics. The First Annual Koford lecture was given by
Rosen of the George Washington Law School. The guest speaker for 2006 was Prof.
Eric Posner of the
University of Chicago Law School. Our guest speaker for the Third Annual
Koford lecture in March 2007 was
Sam Peltzman, the
Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service
Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago.
In April 2007, Antonin Scalia,
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, visited
the University of Delaware and delivered a lecture on constitutional
interpretation. The event was sponsored by the Legal Studies Program.
In Spring of 1999, the Legal Studies Program offered for the first
time a one-credit pass/fail lecture series and course called "The Law and You."
The popular course meets for an hour each Friday at noon to hear Delaware attorneys and
other speakers talk about legal issues of relevance to students and the