Law & Society Minor

The Law & Society Minor, offered as an activity of the Program on Ethics & 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.

The minor is available throughout the University to any undergraduate who has an interest in the interaction of legal institutions and historical / contemporary societies. At the end of the 2018-19 academic year, 185 students representing 7 Colleges graduated with the Law & Society Minor notation on their transcript.

A new course was created in Fall 2021 to focus on the interdisciplinary nature of the minor. The course, PHIL 2990: Foundations of Law & Society, is taught in four modules by instructors from different disciplines. The course may be taken by any undergraduate student whether they are registered for the minor or just interested in learning more, although it is not a requirement of the minor. You can learn more about the course here

Basic requirements for the minor:

1. Register using the online Registration Form

Registration should ideally be submitted by the beginning of the second semester of junior year.

2. Successfully complete 5 courses from the Approved Course List

Courses should be 3 or 4 credits, taken for a letter grade (B- or better to count, starting with Spring 2020 semester courses), and cover at least 3 (of 5) categories, with no more than 2 courses in any one category or department. (NOTE: All ILR courses are considered as one department.) Cross-listed courses can be counted as any of the departments in which they are cross listed.

3. Attend 2 approved events and submit an Event Report Form for each

At registration, students are included in a listserve to receive information about events approved for credit. After each of the two events attended (no later than the last day of class in the semester in which the event occurred), an event report form must be submitted to receive credit.

4. Submit the Certification for Graduation Form

Students are expected to keep track of their courses taken / events attended. When all five courses have been completed or begun, the Certification for Graduation Form needs to be submitted so that the student’s official record can be updated to show the 5 courses to be counted. (NOTE: If the two events have not yet been attended, “TBD” can be entered on the form.) This form is REQUIRED for you to complete the minor and have the minor designation added to your transcript.

For more information contact:

Program Assistant
218 Goldwin Smith Hall

Program Co-Director
Professor Erin York Cornwell (Sociology)
390 Uris Hall

Program Co-Director
Professor Risa Lieberwitz (ILR)
361 Ives Hall

Program Co-Director
Professor Julia Markovits (Philosophy)
220 Goldwin Smith Hall