Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of law and society. Legal Studies courses are offered to the entire University and the major is maintained within the Political Science department. There is no minor in Legal Studies. The purpose of this multifaceted program is to develop the study of law within a liberal arts framework and to explore the myriad ways in which law is connected with other disciplines pertinent to an understanding of society.
One can say that Legal Studies is education about law, whereas law school is education in law. As a discipline, Legal Studies is based on the assumption that "law is too important to be left to lawyers." The critical, humanistic approach of the program encourages students to investigate and develop their attitude toward law and society within the context of a growing literature of Legal Studies and related disciplines.
Legal Studies also examines law and society from the perspective of other cultures. The department encourages study abroad to expand cross-cultural understanding in an increasingly global political community.
Faculty are engaged in diverse scholarship and teaching. Research interests include: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Borders and Citizenship, Civil Liberties, Education, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, Information Technology and Online Dispute Resolution, Legal Profession, Multinational Corporations, Palliative Care, Popular Culture, Religion. The Department organizes a clinical project in conjunction with the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center (MFHC). Legal Studies is also home of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.
Legal Studies supports a robust internship program including our popular judicial internship hosted by Judge Judd Carhart. In addition the department sustains a strong tradition in undergraduate Capstone honors research and writing. The Legal Studies Graduate Fellows program brings young scholars from multiple disciplines across campus to do collaborative research and teaching with Legal Studies faculty.
Many of the details about the department can be found to the left, within the navigation panel. Under the People tab, Legal Studies faculty are profiled for prospective students and professionals.