Jurisprudence and Social Policy

University of California, Berkeley


UC Berkeley Law School’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP) Program offers a unique interdisciplinary graduate program leading to PhD degrees for students interested in:

  • The scholarly study of legal ideas and institutions from the standpoint of one or more of the basic disciplines, such as history, economics, philosophy, sociology, or political science.
  • Policy analysis and applied research on law-related issues in such fields as criminal justice, poverty and discrimination, human rights, urban planning, and environmental protection.
  • Preparation for teaching legal studies in graduate and undergraduate curriculums.
  • Interdisciplinary preparation for teaching law.

Admission to the JSP Program does not require a juris doctor (JD) degree and does not lead to a JD degree. Students may apply to both the law school’s JD and JSP Programs; however, admission to one does not guarantee admission to the other.

Applicants have two options:

  • To seek admission to the JSP Program alone, leading to the PhD degree without a JD degree.
  • To seek admission to both programs, leading, if admitted to both, to the JD and PhD degrees. Completion of the first option normally takes about five years and completion of the second option includes an additional year or more.

A fundamental objective of the JSP Program is to focus the knowledge and perspectives of the social sciences and humanities on the analysis of law, legal discourses, legal institutions, and law-related policies. To this end, JSP’s faculty includes scholars from economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Graduate Program

Jurisprudence and Social Policy: PhD

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Faculty and Instructors


Catherine R. Albiston, Professor. Social movements, gender, employment law, legal profession, public interest law.
Research Profile

Robert D. Cooter, Professor. Business law, contracts, torts.
Research Profile

Lauren Edelman, Professor. Organizations and employment, civil rights, social inequality, disability, research methods.
Research Profile

Rebecca Goldstein, Assistant Professor. Racial and ethnic politics, bureaucratic politics, and the politics of criminal justice policy.
Research Profile

David Grewal, Professor. Legal theory, political theory, intellectual history, global economic governance, international trade law, intellectual property law and biotechnology, law and economics.
Research Profile

Kinch Hoekstra, Professor. Political theory, history of philosophy .
Research Profile

Christopher Kutz, Professor. Moral/political philosophy, ethics and laws of war .
Research Profile

Taeku Lee, Professor. Race and ethnic politics, research methods.
Research Profile

David Lieberman, Professor. History of legal ideas, legal theory .
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Calvin Morrill, Professor. Organizations, culture, social movements, education, youth, research methods.
Research Profile

Dylan Penningroth, Professor. African American and U.S. socio-legal history.
Research Profile

Victoria Plaut, Professor. Diversity/Inclusion, culture, research methods.
Research Profile

Jonathan Simon, Professor. Criminal justice, punishment and society, mass incarceration.
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Sarah Song, Professor. Citizenship, migration, race, feminist theory.
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Rachel Stern, Professor. Courts, authoritarian states, globalization, China.
Research Profile

Christopher Tomlins, Professor. Labor, slavery, colonization, history of contemporary legal thought.
Research Profile

Franklin E. Zimring, Professor. Legal policy, criminal sanctions, policing.
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Emeritus Faculty

Malcolm M. Feeley, Professor Emeritus. Criminal law, punishment, social policy.
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Robert Kagan, Professor. Law and political science.
Research Profile

Kristin Luker, Professor Emeritus. Sociology of law.
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Daniel Rubinfield, Professor. Law and economics.
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Harry Scheiber, Professor. Law and History.
Research Profile

Martin Shapiro, Professor. Law and political science.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program

The Law Building

Phone: 510-642-3771


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Associate Dean and Chair of the JSP Program

Taeku Lee

492 Simon Hall

Phone: 510-643-9532


Student Services Office


280 Simon Hall

Phone: 510-643-2744

Programs Manager and Student Affairs Officer

Margo Rodriguez


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