Catalogue 2017 - 2018

Law and Society Major

General Information

The Law and Society major is a course of study for the liberal arts student who is interested in studying the origins, actors, institutional frameworks, cultural development, and theoretical foundations of law and justice as they relate to society. The study of law and society draws from the insights and tools of academic disciplines like history, political science, philosophy, sociology, economics, and related social sciences, to illuminate the development and practice of law and jurisprudence through a variety of legal traditions. This major looks at law, broadly construed, and legal actors and institutions in a wide variety of contexts: domestic (i.e., United States), foreign, and international.

This is an interdisciplinary major, so students in this program are not confined to learning about law through the narrow prism of one particular discipline. The goal of the program is to allow students the freedom to sample from a wide variety of courses and instructors and to pursue specific interests within a broad organizing framework — the law.

Career Opportunities

The goal of the program is to produce students who can think clearly and dissect and analyze arguments critically. The multidisciplinary approach exposes students to a great variety of human behaviors and institutions. The law and society major is not designed to be the only path for preparing students for law school, nor does it provide paralegal training, but many students who plan to attend law school may benefit from and enjoy this major as a field of study. The broadly based education offered by this major is an excellent preparation for careers in law, education, government, business, and international affairs.

History and Political Science Faculty

Program Objectives

  1. Understand law in its various theoretical, institutional, and historical forms and as it exists in practice.
  2. Consider how various historical, social, economic, and political contexts shape the construction, mobilization, and interpretation of law.
  3. Develop an appreciation for international law and for non-Western legal traditions from the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.
  4. Understand the comparative development and practice of constitutional law in the United States and other societies.
  5. Perceive the dynamic relationship between law, society, and politics on a local, national, and international level.
  6. Understand the development and dynamics of legal institutions and practices in the United States and elsewhere in an increasingly globalizing world.

General University and College Requirements

See General University Requirements and College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.

Degree Requirements

Required law and society courses (36 credit hours)

LSOC 101Introduction to Law and Society

3 cr.

LSOC 102Law & Society II: Legal Justice and Social Justice

3 cr.

POSC 102American National Government

3 cr.

POSC 201Comparative Politics

3 cr.

POSC 207Western Political Thought

3 cr.

POSC 225Law and Judicial Politics

3 cr.

POSC 325Constitutional Law

3 cr.

POSC 326Civil Liberties

3 cr.

POSC 340International Law and Organization

3 cr.

LSOC 344Comparative Legal Systems

3 cr.

LSOC 403Theories of Justice

3 cr.

LSOC 490Senior Seminar in Law and Society

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:36

The major will require that the student select four courses (12 credits) from the following:

BL 201/HONB 201Introduction to Business Law

3 cr.

ILP 253Justice Then and Now

3 cr.

ENGL 366Crime and Punishment

3 cr.

LSOC 230/POSC 230When Cultures Collide

3 cr.

POSC 209American Political Thought

3 cr.

POSC 342Environmental Politics

3 cr.

SO 208Gender

3 cr.

SO 211Race and Ethnicity

3 cr.

SO 309Deviance

3 cr.

SO 413Social Inequality

3 cr.

SW 204Social Work and Criminal Justice

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:12

The student will also be required to take courses outside the major as follows:

EC 111Principles of Microeconomics

3 cr.

SO 101Introduction to Sociology

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:6

Total Credit Hours: 54