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Law and Society

College of Arts & Sciences

The Law and Society major offers an exciting course of study for students interested in investigating the origins, actors, institutional frameworks, cultural development, and theoretical foundations of law and justice as they relate to society. The interdisciplinary study of law and society draws from the insights and tools of diverse academic disciplines. You’ll have freedom to study under a broad range of professors and to take a wide variety of courses. Another exciting option is the 3+3 Law Program offered in collaboration with our School of Law.

Why Choose Law and Society?

Students in the Law and Society major grapple with a number of important and pressing concerns, including the nature and functions of law in American society; the contested meanings of justice, freedom, equality, and rights; and the role and influence of courts, attorneys, and the police in the United States and around the world. Students interrogate a wide variety of controversial legal, political, and social issues, from the death penalty, affirmative action, and immigration policy, to free speech, police conduct, and Internet privacy.

What Will You Study?

The dynamic curriculum of the Law and Society major is designed to stimulate critical thinking about important and urgent issues of law, society, and justice, both in the United States and around the world. Subjects include American constitutional law and judicial politics; international law and organization; comparative legal systems; and theories of justice, civil liberties, and social inequality. You will have the flexibility to supplement these core courses with designated major electives in a wide variety of academic fields.

Career Opportunities

The Law and Society program is excellent preparation for a variety of opportunities, including law and graduate school, and careers in law, government, education, international affairs, and business.

Clubs & Organizations

Law and Society students may have interests in: Alpha Lambda Delta (First-year honor society), Pre-Law Society, Model United Nations, and Washington Semester. Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.

Clubs and Organizations

Unique Learning Opportunities

  • Internships and Field Work

    Qualified students may also have opportunities to study independently or engage in supervised research with a faculty member on a topic within the field of Law and Society; to undertake an internship for academic credit; and to study abroad; or to participate in the Washington Semester Program offered by American University in Washington, DC. Additionally, the University's School of Law, located on campus, offers undergraduate students a number of unique opportunities, including invitations to law school workshops, speaker and film series, and academic and professional conferences. Recent internship sites include the Hampden County District Attorney's Office; Hampden Superior Court; Dunn & Phillips, P.C.; Massachusetts Department of Children and Families; Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services; U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren; and many others.

  • Study Abroad: Become a Global Citizen

    Today’s workforce needs professionals who see the big picture. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to become a student of world cultures and histories as they relate to your studies while making valuable contributions in your explorations. Whether you participate in a faculty-led summer seminar course or spend a semester at an international university, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.

    Study Abroad