Politics, Law and Justice Career Path
Law and the pursuit of justice shape our society and the world in profound ways, and the Politics, Law and Justice career path gives you the skills to understand and shape the world yourself. Along this path you will learn to protect civil liberties, defend the rights of marginalized interests and groups, and craft or challenge the rules of the political system.
PS Majors may be awarded up to two Career Path Certificates of Completion upon graduation. For a Certificate of Completion, a student must complete the Career Path gateway course and four upper division course from the path course list. Find details at polisci.uoregon.edu/career-path.
- Declare PS as your Major and pick your Career Path.
- Current PS Majors may also submit the declaration form
- Get started in the gateway course: PS 275 Legal Process
- Enroll in in upper division courses from the Politics, Law and Justice Course List
- Develop skills in 300-level courses
- Refine skills in 400-level courses
- Check-in with an Academic Advisor to be sure you meet PS major and university requirements along the way. Discuss how you can receive PS credit for an internship and consider working toward graduating with PS Honors.
Success stories: where PS degrees have taken our alums
Brooke Goggans has long experience working at the intersection of government and communications. After work in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Austin, she became the co-founder of Mosaic Strategy Partners, a Fort Worth-based Public Affairs and Strategic Communications firm. Mosaic creates targeted political and communications strategies using proprietary software to track data on issues, constituencies and legislation.
Brooke grew up in Sacramento, CA and was attracted to UO by its Nike connections in sports business. But she had always been interested in politics, and only got fired up as a student once a friend asked her, “If politics is your passion, why are you majoring in business?” After switching majors she interned in Salem, worked with various advocacy groups in Eugene and Portland and then interned in Washington D.C. with Senator Gordon Smith. “It was the Senate internship that changed the trajectory of my life,” she says. “I learned that politics doesn’t have to be solely candidate-campaign work. There were hundreds of related careers where I could channel my passions to build a rewarding career.”
“My degree trained me to be a critical thinker,” she adds, and gave her a full suite of skills to handle work in strategic communications: “There are a lot of people who can talk but can’t put a pen to paper and create the ‘product,’ can’t develop, write and present the strategy. This is the golden ticket—the combination of agency, work ethic and capabilities.”
Andrew Lubash had always been interested in politics, but it was not until Oregon passed Measure 36, defining marriage as between only a man and a woman, that he realized how intimately politics affects day-to-day life. After growing up as a runner in Beaverton, Lubash set his sights on the University of Oregon due to its competitive and cost-effective 4-year option; the fact that Eugene was home to a renowned Track & Field program was just an undeniable perk. Ultimately, he would become a political science major to learn more about how he could change our political system to ensure that mistakes like Measure 36 do not continue to happen.
Currently a Paralegal at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Washington D.C., Lubash works to establish regulations, study financial markets, and enforce consumer protection laws as described in the Dodd-Frank Act. In the Enforcement Office, he assists attorneys who bring cases against financial institutions that are violating consumer finance laws, recovering money in the form of redress for consumers. Lubash credits the PS degree for helping him develop professional skills that are vital to his job as a paralegal and aiding in the maturation of his passion to help others.
Through the PS major, Lubash took full advantage of the opportunities offered to students by the department. He interned in Salem as a Legislative Intern for PS 406 and received UO credit for his work applying academic concepts in the professional world. Additionally, Andrew not only successfully completed a Political Science Honors Thesis, but was also awarded the Bennet Prize Scholarship in 2015 for his efforts – explore his award winning thesis, The Rise of Unaccountable Power! In reflection, Lubash recounts the importance of his time studying political science at UO, stating “My political science degree not only helped develop my writing and analytical skills that are important aspects of my job as a paralegal, it also helped me develop my passion for helping others in extremely meaningful ways.”
Carl Windrup is a solicitor at Hogan Lovells LLP in London, England, currently finishing his last phases of legal certification before hoping to work in the legal firm’s banking department. A 2013 graduate from UO, he obtained a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Cambridge University in 2014. Then he worked as a political analyst at Swedbank in Stockholm, covering major political events like the crisis in Ukraine and elections in Turkey, Brazil and Sweden, before pursuing law practice in London.
Carl grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. The appeal of a broad research university with many offerings drew him to the US, and he chose UO for its strong reputation in the social sciences and humanities (and appealing location). Early on he was interested in a legal track, and politics had always been an interest. “Majoring in political science was a natural choice for me,” he says.
Besides laying the foundations for his legal career in several courses and an honors thesis project with Prof. Alison Gash, Carl appreciated how the political science program “made me a better researcher and writer.” “All of my political science professors pushed me to new levels intellectually by forcing me out of my comfort zone. I developed as a critical thinker, and I learned how to structure and present complex ideas. My political science degree provided me with a toolbox which has formed the foundation of all my endeavors to date.”