arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences Search

Law & Society Minor

You are here

 What is the focus of the Law & Society Minor?

The law and society minor, offered as an activity of the Program on Ethics and Public Life, provides an opportunity for focused study of the interaction between law and society from an interdisciplinary perspective predominantly rooted in the social sciences and humanities: anthropology, comparative literature, economics, government, history, philosophy, psychology, science and technology studies, and sociology. A large selection of courses and on-campus events is available for completing the minor. The benefits of a student's participation depend on the particular courses and events selected, and the effort and interest invested.

Who can minor in Law & Society?

The law and and society minor is open to all undergraduates. Though many of those who register for the minor have intentions of going on to law school or a law-related profession, the law and society minor is not just for students interested in entering law school. The best candidates for the law and society minor are students interested in broader relations between legal institutions and historical and contemporary societies. This broader topic is, and should be, of interest to many students, regardless of whether they intend to enter the legal profession.

What are the requirements?

There are two basic requirements: attendance at two approved events, and successful completion (minimum letter grade of C+) of five approved courses.

The two events are selected from a regularly updated list provided via an e-mail listerve into which students are entered at the time of registration. After attending an event for credit, and before the end of the semester during which the event took place, an online form must be submitted as proof of attendance. Events attended prior to registration cannot be counted.

The five courses should be selected from at least three different categories on the approved course list, with no more than two courses in any one category and no more than two courses in any one department or the student's major. Cross-listed courses can be counted as any of the departments in which they are cross listed. NOTE: All ILR courses are considered one department.

When and How Should I Register?

The registration form is available online and will show courses already taken as well as courses planned / being considered. To allow sufficient time for a coherent program of study to be developed and completed, students who have an interest in the Law & Society minor are required to register before the start of the second semester of their junior year, but allowed to register at any time before that. Under extenuating circumstances, late registrations may be accepted at the discretion of the directors, but only if there is a clear and acceptable plan already formulated for completing the minor's requirements. Late registrants should use the standard online registration form; as all five of the courses listed will be either completed or certain by this stage, the registration form will also serve as the student's Completion Plan.

How Do I Know When I Have Completed the Minor?

Students should keep track of their courses taken / events attended, and may find the online Student Progress Record a helpful tool for their record keeping.

Prior to the beginning of the last semester before graduation, the online Completion Plan must be submitted so that the student's official record can be updated to show the final course plan. The Completion Plan, similar in format to the registration form but with updated information, can be submitted at any time after all five courses are completed or officially registered; if the two events have not yet been attended, "TBD" can be entered into the speaker section.

For more information contact:

Program Administrator
Margaret Nichols
218 Goldwin Smith Hall
epl@cornell.edu
607-255-8515

Program Directors
Professor Risa Lieberwitz (ILR)
361 Ives Hall
rll5@cornell.edu
607-255-3289

Professor Michael Lynch (S&TS)
302 Rockefeller Hall
mel27@cornell.edu 
607-255-7294