UMass Amherst Department of Political Science

Undergrad-Legal Studies

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 Department of Political Science. 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. 

Legal Studies supports a robust internship program including our popular judicial internship hosted by Judge Judd Carhart, and we sustain a strong tradition in undergraduate Capstone honors research and writing.



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