Legal Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts major that engages the meanings, values, practices, and institutions of law and legality. The Legal Studies curriculum examines how law shapes and is shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces. The major is designed to stimulate critical understanding of and inquiry about the theoretical frameworks, historical dynamics, and cultural embeddedness of law.

The Legal Studies faculty and students grapple with important questions of social policy within the framework of significant concerns in jurisprudence and theories of justice. These concerns include individual liberty, privacy, and autonomy; political and social equality; the just distribution of resources and opportunities within society; the relationship between citizens and the state; democratic participation and representation; the moral commitments of the community; and the preservation of human dignity.

The major’s course offerings examine law and legality from both humanist and empirical perspectives. Courses are organized into interdisciplinary topical areas that transcend disciplinary boundaries in the interest of collaborative inquiry.

The Legal Studies major is under the academic supervision of the School of Law faculty.

Declaring the Major

Students may declare the major after completing two of the four prerequisites with a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) between the two courses and an overall UC Berkeley GPA of 2.0. For details regarding the prerequisites, please see the Major Requirements tab on this page. All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Honors Program

With consent of the major adviser, a student majoring in Legal Studies with an overall UC Berkeley grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 and a GPA of 3.5 in Legal Studies courses by the end of the spring semester junior year may be admitted to the honors program. The student must have completed at least half of the major requirements before being admitted to the honors program.

To graduate with departmental honors, students must:

  1. Enroll in LEGALST H195A honors seminar in the fall semester before writing the thesis;
  2. Enroll in LEGALST H195B and the one unit LEGALST H195C Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar  in the spring semester following successful completion of the LEGALST H195A honors seminar and meet the GPA requirements;
  3. Meet periodically throughout the semester with the faculty supervisor during the spring;
  4. Complete an honors thesis, with a minimum of 40 written pages, approved by the student’s approved faculty adviser; and
  5. Finish their final semester with at least a 3.5 UC Berkeley GPA and at least a 3.5 major GPA.

The thesis is read by the faculty supervisor who will assign a letter grade. There are three levels of departmental honors: honors, high honors, highest honors. The level of honors is based on the final upper division major/honors GPA and the quality of the thesis as decided by a student’s faculty adviser.

For more detailed information regarding the honors program and thesis requirements, please go to LegalStudies.berkeley.edu and click on the Research tab.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in Legal Studies.

Visit Program Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Summary of Major Requirements

Prerequisites
Four courses
Upper Division Requirements
Eight courses (if all Distribution Requirement courses are 4 units each), distributed among the following categories, totaling 32 upper division units:
Core Legal Studies Requirements: Four courses
Distribution Requirements: Four courses (may include the Capstone Experience). If a 3 unit course is chosen, make sure to take an additional unit to cover the 32 upper division unit requirement.
Capstone Experience (optional): One seminar course or research

Prerequisites

Select one distinct course, from each of the following areas:
Statistics
Introduction to Statistics
Foundations of Data Science
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business
Philosophy
Greek Philosophy
Individual Morality and Social Justice
The Nature of Mind
Knowledge and Its Limits
Introduction to Logic
Ancient Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Philosophy of Mind
History of Political Theory
History
African Americans in the Industrial Age, 1865-1970
A Comparative Survey of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the U.S
Contemporary U.S. Immigration
Origins of Western Civilization: The Ancient Mediterranean World
Origins of Western Civilization: Medieval Europe
European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present
Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War
Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Civil War to Present
Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History
Medieval Europe: From the Late Empire to the Investiture Conflict
Medieval Europe: From the Investiture Conflict to the Fifteenth Century
The Renaissance and the Reformation
Modern Europe: Old Regime and Revolutionary Europe, 1715-1815
Modern Europe: Europe in the 19th Century
Modern Europe: Old and New Europe, 1914-Present
Modern European Intellectual History: European Intellectual History from the Enlightenment to 1870
Modern European Intellectual History: European Intellectual History, 1870 to the Present
Social/Behavioral Sciences
Introduction to Economics
Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format
Economic Analysis--Micro
Economic Analysis--Macro
A Comparative Survey of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the U.S
Transnational Feminism
Introduction to American Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to Sociology
Principles of Sociology: American Cultures
Evaluation of Evidence
Four Centuries of Racial Vision and Division in the U.S.

Upper Division: Core Legal Studies Requirements

Select four from the following, including at least one course designated as Humanities (H) and one course designated as Social Sciences (SS):16
Foundations of Legal Studies (H or SS)
Theories of Law and Society (H or SS)
Theories of Justice (H)
The Supreme Court and Public Policy (SS)
Law and Economics I (SS)
Punishment, Culture, and Society (H or SS)
Survey of American Legal and Constitutional History (H)
Law, Politics and Society (SS)
Sociology of Law (SS)

Upper Division: Distribution Requirements1

Select two courses in one of the following areas, and one course each in two distinctly different areas, for a total of four courses. LEGALST H195B (Honors Thesis) or LEGALST 199 (Independent Study) for 4 units may substitute for one of the two courses selected from the same area.

Area I Crime, Law & Social Control
LEGALST 102Policing and Society4
LEGALST 104ACYouth Justice and Culture4
LEGALST 105Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Law3
LEGALST 109Aims and Limits of the Criminal Law4
LEGALST 160Punishment, Culture, and Society4
LEGALST 163Adolescence, Crime and Juvenile Justice4
LEGALST 170Crime and Criminal Justice4
LEGALST 185ACPrison4
Area II Law & Culture
LEGALST 103Theories of Law and Society4
LEGALST 104ACYouth Justice and Culture4
LEGALST 105Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Law3
LEGALST 107Theories of Justice4
LEGALST 116Legal Discourse 1500-17004
LEGALST 132ACImmigration and Citizenship4
LEGALST 140Property and Liberty4
LEGALST 151Law, Self, and Society3
LEGALST 152ACHuman Rights & Technology4
LEGALST 153Law and Society in Asia4
LEGALST 155Government and the Family4
LEGALST 156Bioethics and the Law4
LEGALST 159Introduction to Law & Sexuality4
LEGALST 160Punishment, Culture, and Society4
LEGALST 161Law in Chinese Society4
LEGALST 168Sex, Reproduction and the Law4
LEGALST 173Making Empire: Law and the Colonization of America4
LEGALST 177Survey of American Legal and Constitutional History4
LEGALST 181Psychology and the Law4
Area III Law & Markets
LEGALST 105Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Law3
LEGALST 107Theories of Justice4
LEGALST 140Property and Liberty4
LEGALST 145Law and Economics I4
LEGALST 146The Law and Economics of Innovation4
LEGALST 147Law and Economics II4
LEGALST 152ACHuman Rights & Technology4
LEGALST 156Bioethics and the Law4
LEGALST 158Law and Development4
LEGALST 177Survey of American Legal and Constitutional History4
Area IV Law, Rights & Social Change
LEGALST 107Theories of Justice4
LEGALST 132ACImmigration and Citizenship4
LEGALST 138The Supreme Court and Public Policy4
LEGALST 152ACHuman Rights & Technology4
LEGALST 154Human Rights, Research & Practice4
LEGALST 156Bioethics and the Law4
LEGALST 157International Relations and International Law4
LEGALST 158Law and Development4
LEGALST 159Introduction to Law & Sexuality4
LEGALST 162ACRestorative Justice4
LEGALST 174Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel4
LEGALST 180Implicit Bias4
LEGALST 182Law, Politics and Society4
LEGALST 183Psychology of Diversity and Discrimination in American Law4
LEGALST 184Sociology of Law4
LEGALST 187Diversity, Law & Politics4
LEGALST 189Feminist Jurisprudence4
Area V Law & Sovereignty
LEGALST 119Philosophy and Law in Ancient Athens4
LEGALST 138The Supreme Court and Public Policy4
LEGALST 139Comparative Perspectives on Norms and Legal Traditions4
LEGALST 153Law and Society in Asia4
LEGALST 157International Relations and International Law4
LEGALST 171European Legal History4
LEGALST 173Making Empire: Law and the Colonization of America4
LEGALST 174Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel4
LEGALST 176Twentieth-Century American Legal and Constitutional History4
LEGALST 177Survey of American Legal and Constitutional History4
LEGALST 178Seminar on American Legal and Constitutional History3
LEGALST 179Comparative Constitutional Law4
LEGALST 182Law, Politics and Society4
LEGALST 187Diversity, Law & Politics4
1

Students may use up to two preapproved law-related courses from outside of the Legal Studies Program to count toward the distribution requirements, for a maximum of 8 units. Outside courses should normally be drawn from the preapproved list of law-related UC Berkeley courses, but may be approved from other four-year institutions, or from study abroad programs. If the course is not on the preapproved list, students must submit a syllabus and a description to the Legal Studies student academic adviser for approval. For the list of preapproved law-related courses, see below.

Capstone Experience (Optional)

Legal Studies students are strongly encouraged to enroll in one legal studies seminar course (LEGALST 190 Seminar on Topics in Law and Society), preferably in their senior year, to complete their remaining units. Alternatively, students who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to enroll in LEGALST H195A Honors Seminar & LEGALST H195B Honors Thesis, the honors program, for their capstone experience. Students who have a faculty mentor and a desire to do a research project but do not meet the eligibility requirements for honors, may enroll in 4 units of LEGALST 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research for their capstone experience provided that they meet the eligibility requirements for independent study. For details regarding eligibility requirements, please see the department's website.

Preapproved Law-Related Courses

ANTHRO 157Anthropology of Law4
ASAMST 141Law in the Asian American Community4
CHICANO 174Chicanos, Law, and Criminal Justice4
ETH STD 144ACRacism and the U.S. Law: Historical Treatment of Peoples of Color4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ESPM 163ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
HISTORY 100Special Topics4
ISF 100EThe Globalization of Rights, Values, and Laws in the 21st Century4
MEDIAST 104AFreedom of Speech and the Press3
NATAMST 100Native American Law4
NATAMST 102Critical Native American Legal and Policy Studies4
PACS 126International Human Rights4
PACS 127Human Rights and Global Politics4
PHILOS 104Ethical Theories4
PHILOS 115Political Philosophy4
POL SCI 112BHistory of Political Theory4
POL SCI 124CEthics and Justice in International Affairs4
POL SCI 150The American Legal System4
POL SCI 157AConstitutional Law of the United States4
POL SCI 157BConstitutional Law of the United States4
POL SCI 167ACRacial and Ethnic Politics in the New American Century4
PUB POL 190Special Topics in Public Policy1-4
RHETOR 152Rhetoric of Constitutional Discourse4
RHETOR 159BGreat Themes in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Political and Legal Theory4
RHETOR 160Introduction to the Rhetoric of Legal Discourse4
RHETOR 164Rhetoric of Legal Theory4
RHETOR 165Rhetoric of Legal Philosophy4
RHETOR 166Rhetoric in Law and Politics4
RHETOR 167Advanced Themes in Legal Theory, Philosophy, Argumentation4
RHETOR 168Advanced Topics in Contemporary Law and Legal Discourse4
SOCIOL 114Sociology of Law4
SOCIOL 137ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
SOCIOL 152Deviance and Social Control4
UGBA 107The Social, Political, and Ethical Environment of Business3
UGBA 175Legal Aspects of Management3

College Requirements

Undergraduate students in the College of Letters & Science must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide.

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

American Cultures

American Cultures is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units, including at least 60 L&S units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department

Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding EAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Plan of Study

The following sample plan is just one way to go about planning your courses. See Lauri, the undergraduate academic adviser, for variations specific to your plans.

Fall | Freshman Year
Prerequisites

Spring | Freshman Year
Prerequisites

Fall | Sophomore Year
Prerequisites

Spring | Sophomore Year
Prerequisites

Fall | Junior Year (Junior Transfers start here.)
Upper Division Core (4 units)
Upper Division Area (4 units)

Spring | Junior Year
Upper Division Core (4 units)
Upper Division Area (4 units)

Fall | Senior Year
Upper Division Core (4 units)
Upper Division Area (4 units)

Spring | Senior Year
Upper Division Core (4 units)
Upper Division Area (capstone course) (4 units)

Student Learning Goals

Mission

Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary liberal arts major that engages the meanings, values, practices, and institutions of law and legality. The Legal Studies curriculum examines how law shapes and is shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces. The major is designed to stimulate critical understanding of and inquiry about the theoretical frameworks, historical dynamics, and cultural embeddedness of law.

The Legal Studies faculty and students grapple with important questions of social policy within the framework of significant concerns in jurisprudence and theories of justice. These concerns include individual liberty, privacy, and autonomy; political and social equality; the just distribution of resources and opportunities within society; the relationship between citizens and the state; democratic participation and representation; the moral commitments of the community; and the preservation of human dignity.

The major’s course offerings examine law and legality from both humanist and empirical perspectives. Courses are organized into interdisciplinary topical areas that transcend disciplinary boundaries in the interest of collaborative inquiry.

Legal Studies’ Pedagogic Objectives

Convey how law relates to social context:  Students will learn about the transformation of legal processes and systems across time and space (e.g., globalization, transnational processes). They will also study how law shapes and is shaped by economic, political, and cultural forces, as well as how and why law in action often differs from legal doctrine.

Adopt an explicitly interdisciplinary approach:  Students will focus on pervasive problems of legal and social policy across traditional curricular and disciplinary boundaries. Although the program encompasses multiple disciplinary perspectives (e.g., history, economics, sociology), it is designed to transcend academic identities rather than compartmentalize the study of law into the discrete perspectives of established disciplines. To accomplish this integration, the major is organized around areas of focus that explore common themes but include coursework across disciplinary boundaries.

Integrate empirical and humanities-oriented perspectives: Students will be exposed to both empirical and humanities-oriented perspectives on law and legal institutions through distribution requirements within the major. Empirical perspectives encompass public policy analysis, training in the epistemological commitments of social science (e.g., empirical methods, the logic of social inquiry), and familiarity with the central questions and tenets related to law in disciplines such as economics, sociology, and political science. Humanities perspectives include maintaining the program’s historical focus on clarifying fundamental values, examining philosophical questions related to law, and understanding the operation and effects of social and cultural practices as they relate to law, legal institutions, and the phenomenon they regulate. After students fulfill the basic distribution requirements, they may, but will not be required to, concentrate their efforts in either empirical or humanities-oriented perspectives.

Promote engagement with social policy: Students will be encouraged to engage deeply with social policy guided by significant themes in jurisprudence and theories of justice. These themes include individual liberty, privacy, democracy, and the relationship between the citizen and the state. Engaging with these themes ensures that policy studies are basic and critical, rather than confined to preexisting policy formulations and assumptions. This new objective of engagement with social policy is intended to connect humanistic inquiries regarding justice, morality, and values, with empirical inquiries into patterns of social behavior and the effects of law on society. This goal will be accomplished through both coursework and field work options.

Encourage civic engagement and an appreciation of the values at stake in legal concerns:  Consistent with the mission of a public university, the major will develop informed and engaged citizens with sufficient knowledge and background to participate in civic institutions and the development of law and policy during and after their education at Berkeley. This participation could take many forms, including interacting with public officials, joining the legal profession, working for legal institutions, engaging in policy analysis, advocacy, social movement building, community organizing, political activism, and the like. Civic engagement includes confronting the relationship between law and justice, and understanding how law affects the public interest and social utility.

Provide a liberal arts education: The major will continue to have a liberal arts orientation. Students will learn to analyze and understand legal rules and legal institutions, but from a broader perspective than is typically taught in a traditional law school setting.

Learning Goals for the Major

The faculty strongly supports an undergraduate liberal arts education that teaches students to develop their intellectual capacities: how to research topics independently, how to ask penetrating questions, how to analyze problems, how to construct arguments based on critical thinking, how to make well-founded judgments, how to identify issues of importance for the future. The intent of the program is that courses be framed with this perspective. In addition, the program is committed to introducing students to multiple disciplinary approaches to the study of law and legal institutions, as well as conveying important basic knowledge about the core features of the American legal system.

Critical Thinking Skills

In concert with the goals identified above, these critical thinking skills focus on particular forms of analysis central to engaging with law and legal institutions from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

  • Identify and evaluate arguments, synthesize ideas, and develop well-substantiated, coherent, and concise arguments, whether in oral or written form.
  • Identify and follow a logical sequence or argument through to its end; recognize faulty reasoning.
  • Develop the ability to critically evaluate proposed legal reforms and policies.
  • Develop the ability to formulate generalized, abstract principles in a way that clarifies the major issues at stake and identifies the most relevant elements of a concept or text.
  • Promote exploration of the role of law in American society from both social science and humanities perspectives.
  • Learn to draw from multiple disciplinary approaches and fields of study across philosophy, history, economics, political science, and sociology; synthesize, bridge, and question disciplinary boundaries to identify new inquiries or insights.

Basic Knowledge about Law and Legal Institutions

These goals address important basic knowledge about law and legal institutions that the program seeks to convey. These goals are not intended to provide a pre-professional education but instead to produce citizens literate in the basic functions and structure of legal systems.

  • Understand core theories about the relationship between law and society.
  • Be introduced to core features of the American legal system.
  • Understand basic legal terminology, legal concepts, legal actors, and modes of legal reasoning.
  • Become acquainted with legal systems other than our own, including how they compare to the current American legal system.
  • Develop insights into how law has evolved through time, including the temporal and geographical transformation of legal processes and systems.

Engaged Citizenship

The faculty believes that our role as a program in a public institution should include training students to be engaged, active, and critical citizens in our society. Many legal studies students engage in civic participation and service while at Berkeley, and many go on to careers in public service. We seek to develop more opportunities for students to develop practical skills and knowledge relevant to those experiences in addition to the broader intellectual skills conveyed by a liberal arts education.

  • Experience the law in action through service learning, exposure to legal clinics, problem solving, and social policy engagement.
  • Enable civic engagement and participation in developing and critiquing social policy.

Research Methods

A key part of a liberal arts education is learning how to conduct independent research and analysis. The program seeks to expose students to a multidisciplinary range of methods of research. 

  • Develop an understanding of methods of research and forms of evidence across multiple disciplines.
  • Develop skills necessary to find and to assess relevant jurisprudential, social science, and humanities materials related to law and legal institutions.
  • Develop basic abilities in statistical analysis and reasoning.
  • Understand the logic of inquiry in the social sciences.

Humanities

(Defined as philosophy, political theory, and history.)

 These goals provide general guidance for curricular focus and development in the humanities as they relate to law and legal institutions.

  • Encourage understanding of and reflection on fundamental normative concepts such as fairness, due process, equality, and utility.
  • Encourage understanding of and reflection on rights, duties, punishment, and justice.
  • Encourage understanding of and reflection on the ethical dimensions of the relationship between citizens and the state, and the forms and limits of sovereignty.
  • Understand the historical contexts and forces within which legal systems operate and how legal systems influence history and societies.

Social Sciences

(Defined as sociology, political science, psychology and economics.)

These goals provide general guidance for curricular focus and development in the social sciences as they relate to law and legal institutions.

  • Develop the ability to connect theory about law and legal institutions with empirical predictions about the state of the world and to evaluate those predictions with data.
  • Understand how, and why, the law in action often differs from the law on the books.
  • Develop an expansive understanding of the social contexts in which law and legal institutions can be studied empirically.

Advising

Students are encouraged to take charge of their academic career by reading through the rich information that the Legal Studies website provides. Students are also welcome to come in for advising during Lauri’s drop-in office hours, 8:30 to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lauri’s office is located in the back of the first floor at 2240 Piedmont, the big house right next to the Law School and just across the street from Memorial Stadium. Students should let Lauri know when they arrive, and if she’s with a student, they should have a seat out on the purple couch in the lobby. Prospective students or students not able to come in should e-mail Lauri with their questions at Lauri@berkeley.edu.

Academic Opportunities

Independent Study (LEGALST 199)

LEGALST 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research is open to officially declared Legal Studies seniors with a 3.0 University grade point average (GPA) and a 3.0 GPA in upper division courses for the major. In order to enroll, the student must first develop a research topic, then find a Legal Studies faculty member who is willing to serve as a supervisor. The student should have already taken at least one course from the faculty member in the area in which s/he wishes to do research. The student should submit a written proposal to the faculty member outlining the scope and length of the research project. A general guideline is 1 unit of credit per 10 pages of text in the final research paper, up to a maximum of 4 units. For further information regarding this course, please visit the department's website.

Undergraduate Legal Studies Research Conference

In addition to writing a thesis, many Legal Studies Honors Program participants also present their work at the annual Undergraduate Legal Studies Research Conference usually at the end of April. This event will showcase original research from students in Legal Studies as well as students from a number of other departments on campus. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to see what their colleagues have accomplished and what work they might pursue as a Legal Studies major.

The annual Legal Studies Undergraduate Research Conference celebrates the scholarship and creativity of the Berkeley undergraduate student body through an afternoon that focuses on law-related research. Berkeley Law and the Legal Studies Department co-sponsor the conference.

This conference is open to all students who have completed or are doing research on a topic related to law (e.g., criminal justice, courts, civil and human rights, poverty and the law, health and the law, and conflict resolution). At previous conferences, participants included undergraduates from departments such as History, International and Area Studies, Rhetoric, Political Science, Chicano Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Classics, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, English, Legal Studies, and Media Studies.

Berkeley Legal Studies Association (BLSA)

The Berkeley Legal Studies Association strives to create a community of individuals interested in law. Some events each semester include LSAT workshops with popular test preparation companies, lunches with Legal Studies professors, speaker panels, and The Living Catalogue. BLSA hopes that students will join the club and enjoy the friendly and intellectual environment that they are committed to provide. Please feel free to email them at blsalaw@gmail.com with any questions or for more information on how to join.

Courses

Legal Studies

LEGALST R1A Reading and Composition in Connection with the Law as a Social Institution 4 Units

Terms offered: Not yet offered
This course is designed to fulfill the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement. Students will learn to identity an author's point of view and main arguments; evaluate an author's credibility and the merits of hs or her argument, write a unified essay with intro, thesis statement, transitions between paragraphs, a concluding paragraph and develop an argument about an issue related to the course.

Reading and Composition in Connection with the Law as a Social Institution: Read More [+]

LEGALST R1B Reading and Composition in Connection with the Law as a Social Institution 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
This course is designed to fulfill the second half of the Reading and Composition requirement. Students will develop their skills at critical reading, writing, and analysis, and will complete a series of essays culminating in a research paper relating to law, legal actors, and legal institutions. Emphasis will be placed on the process of writing, including developing research questions, constructing an argument, and revising for content and style.

Reading and Composition in Connection with the Law as a Social Institution: Read More [+]

LEGALST 24 Freshman Seminars 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2001, Fall 2000
The Berkeley Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small-seminar setting. Berkeley Seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester.

Freshman Seminars: Read More [+]

LEGALST 39B Freshman/Sophomore Seminar 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2009, Spring 2006, Fall 2001
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

Freshman/Sophomore Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST 39D Freshman/Sophomore Seminar 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

Freshman/Sophomore Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST 39E Freshman/Sophomore Seminar 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2012
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

Freshman/Sophomore Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST 39H Freshman/Sophomore Seminar 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

Freshman/Sophomore Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST 39I Freshman/Sophomore Seminar 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

Freshman/Sophomore Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST 88 Crime and Punishment: taking the measure of the US justice system 2 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
We will explore how data are used in the criminal justice system by exploring the debates surrounding mass incarceration and evaluating a number of different data sources that bear on police practices, incarceration, and criminal justice reform. Students will be required to think critically about the debates regarding criminal justice in the US and to work with various public data sets to assess the extent to which these data confirm or deny specific policy narratives.
Building on skills from Foundations of Data Science, students will be required to use basic data management skills working in Python: data cleaning, aggregation, merging and appending data sets, collapsing variables, summarizing findings, and presenting data visualizations.
Crime and Punishment: taking the measure of the US justice system: Read More [+]

LEGALST 98 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Small group instruction in topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses. Topics may vary from year to year.

Directed Group Study: Read More [+]

LEGALST 100 Foundations of Legal Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical introduction to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding
questions of law and justice.
Foundations of Legal Studies: Read More [+]

LEGALST 102 Policing and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Summer 2015 10 Week Session, Summer 2015 Second 6 Week Session
This course examines the American social institution of policing with particular emphasis on urban law enforcement. It explores the social, economic, and cultural forces that pull policing in the direction of state legal authority and power as well as those that are a counter-weight to the concentration of policing powers in the state. Special attention is given to how policing shapes and is shaped by
the urban landscape, legal to cultural.
Policing and Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST 103 Theories of Law and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2016
An historical examination of major interpretations of law, morals and social development, with special emphasis on the social thought of the 18th and 19th centuries and including the writings of Marx, Maine, Durkheim, Weber and other contemporary figures.

Theories of Law and Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST 104AC Youth Justice and Culture 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
This course challenges adult-centered representations of urban youth of different ethnicities, their problems, and the supposed solutions to those problems. It departs from the conceptualizations and methods used to study youth in mainstream criminology and developmental psychology. Attention is given to youth conflict, peer relations, identity building within and across ethnic groups, claims on territory, the salience
of law and rights, and adaptations to adult authorities and practices.
Youth Justice and Culture: Read More [+]

LEGALST 105 Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Law 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
Criminal law raises fundamental theoretical issues that have occupied philosophers over the years. In this course we will discuss a selection of articles that bring to bear such a philosophical perspective on important aspects of criminal law. Topics include justification of punishment, foundations of blame and responsibility, substantive values protected by criminal law, significance of actual harm, liability of groups and other collectivities
, and virtues and limits of the rule of law.
Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 107 Theories of Justice 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Major perspectives in social and economic thought, e.g., natural law, natural right, laissez faire, "possessive individualism," contractualism, pluralism, and social equality as they affect contemporary discussion of "higher law," fairness, civic competence, and distributive justice.

Theories of Justice: Read More [+]

LEGALST 109 Aims and Limits of the Criminal Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Analysis of the capacity of criminal law to fulfill its aims. What are the aims of criminal law? How are they assigned relative priority? What principles can be identified for evaluating the effort to control disapproved activities through criminal law?

Aims and Limits of the Criminal Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 116 Legal Discourse 1500-1700 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2010, Fall 2008, Spring 2008
This course focuses on the history of legal thought and discourse from the late medieval period to the Enlightenment. Topics to be considered include the relationship between legal thought and intellectual developments and the relationship between political and constitutional developments and legal discourse. Although the emphasis is on England, there will be some consideration of differences between English and continental European legal thought.

Legal Discourse 1500-1700: Read More [+]

LEGALST 119 Philosophy and Law in Ancient Athens 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2010
This is an introduction to important aspects of the philosophical and constitutional thought of classical Athens. We will pay particular attention to accounts of the origins of the Athenian legal system; criticisms and defenses of the democracy; arguments about the nature of justice, law, and legal obligation; and the context of the Athenian way of organizing trials, taxation, and administration. Readings from Aeschylus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato
, Lysias, Aristotle, and others.
Philosophy and Law in Ancient Athens: Read More [+]

LEGALST 132AC Immigration and Citizenship 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Summer 2015 First 6 Week Session
We often hear that America is a "nation of immigrants." This representation of the U.S. does not explain why some are presumed to belong and others are not. We will examine both historical and contemporary law of immigration and citizenship to see how law has shaped national identity and the identity of immigrant communities. In addition to scholarly texts, we will read and analyze excerpts of cases and the
statute that governs immigration and citizenship, the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Immigration and Citizenship: Read More [+]

LEGALST 138 The Supreme Court and Public Policy 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
This course examines a number of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions in terms of what policy alternatives were available to the Court and which ones it chose. Prospective costs and benefits of these alternatives and who will pay the costs and who gets the benefits of them are considered. Among the areas considered are economic development, government regulation of business, national security, freedom of speech and discrimination.
Readings are solely of Supreme Court decisions.
The Supreme Court and Public Policy: Read More [+]

LEGALST 139 Comparative Perspectives on Norms and Legal Traditions 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
This course is an introduction to the comparative study of different legal cultures and traditions including common law, civil law, socialist law, and religious law. A section of the class will be dedicated to the comparison of the colonial and post-colonial legal process in Latin America and in Africa.

Comparative Perspectives on Norms and Legal Traditions: Read More [+]

LEGALST 140 Property and Liberty 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course will explore the relation between property law and limits of liberty in different cultures and at different times. The course will cover theories of property law, slavery, the clash between aboriginal and European ideas of property, gender roles and property rights, common property systems, zoning, regulatory takings, and property on the internet. Readings will include legal theorists, court cases, and historical case studies.

Property and Liberty: Read More [+]

LEGALST 145 Law and Economics I 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015
The course will apply microeconomic theory analysis to legal rules and procedures. Emphasis will be given to the economic consequences of various sorts of liability rules, remedies for breach of contract and the allocation of property rights. The jurisprudential significance of the analysis will be discussed.

Law and Economics I: Read More [+]

LEGALST 146 The Law and Economics of Innovation 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2011
We will discuss how the creation of knowledge, artistic, literary, and musical works are supported in a competitive economy especially in the digital age. We will discuss intellectual property, copyrights, trade secrets, trade marks, and geographic indications, in historical and institutional contexts. We will consider the problems of competition that arise in the digital economy, such as Google Books, the Microsoft antitrust cases, and search advertising.

The Law and Economics of Innovation: Read More [+]

LEGALST 147 Law and Economics II 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2016 Second 6 Week Session
Law and Economics I is not a prerequisite for Law and Economics II. Students may take either or both courses. Government uses many mechanisms to influence the provision of goods and services. Economists and lawyers have developed a critique of these mechanisms which has prompted substantial reforms in recent years, e.g., deregulation in transportation. The course examines this critique.

Law and Economics II: Read More [+]

LEGALST 151 Law, Self, and Society 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2016
Contemporary moral and political philosophy has been increasingly interested in how conceptions of the self relate to various aspects of our social and political life. These issues have an important bearing on legal theory as well. Law is shaped by certain implicit assumptions about the nature of individuals and collectivities, while it also actively participates in forming the identities of persons and in structuring collective
entities such as families, corporations, and municipalities. This course will explore some theoretical approaches to this reciprocal relationship between law and the different social actors that it governs.
Law, Self, and Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST 152AC Human Rights & Technology 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
Scientific advances promise great increases in social good, but whether those advancements herald a better or worse world, depends on how scientific knowledge is applied. Applying scientific knowledge in the service of humanity is challenging, and requires an informed, deliberate method. Through lectures, discussions, case studies, and field research, students will gain an understanding of the international human rights framework, historical and social context for
contemporary human rights violations, insights into the role of race, gender, and technology in structural inequality, opportunities to work across disciplines on real-world design challenges, and experience assessing needs and designing for specific, selected human rights apps.
Human Rights & Technology: Read More [+]

LEGALST 153 Law and Society in Asia 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2015
This course offers a comparative perspective on law and legal institutions. Looking comparatively helps shed light on our own system and question what is “normal” or “natural.” From what it means to be a lawyer to notions of what is “just” or “fair,” courts and dispute resolution outside the U.S. can be both very different and, at times, surprisingly familiar. After an overview of concepts and classic approaches to the study of law and society
, the course will explore these differences and similarities in three Asian settings: China, Japan, and India. Topics include lawyers, illicit sex, and environmental protection, to see how each country’s history, political structure, values, and interests shape how legal issues are defined and play out
Law and Society in Asia: Read More [+]

LEGALST 154 Human Rights, Research & Practice 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course provides an overview of international human rights, including the field's historical and theoretical foundations; the jurisprudence of international human rights; empirical insights from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, history, and anthropology; and emerging trends in human rights practice.

Human Rights, Research & Practice: Read More [+]

LEGALST 155 Government and the Family 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011
How has the law constructed and deconstructed "family" relationships? What are the common law, statutory, and constitutional principles that affect the formation, regulation, and dissolution of families? How do these principles, as well as diverse cultural and social values, guide the state in determining marriage, family, and child welfare policies?

Government and the Family: Read More [+]

LEGALST 156 Bioethics and the Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2011 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2007 Second 6 Week Session
Law now plays a prominent role in medicine and science. Recent years have witnessed a major expansion of law's involvement. Law (statutory and court-made) articulates and interprets norms of conduct. This course will examine a number of topics where law and medicine intersect involving many of our most fundamental values including body, life, death, religion, reproduction, sexuality, and family. In each area
, we will include both traditional issues, like "right to die" and more current disputes such as physician assisted suicide.
Bioethics and the Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 157 International Relations and International Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2016 First 6 Week Session
This course will evaluate and assess modern theories of international law. We will examine the work of legal scholars and look to political science and economics to see how these disciplines inform the study of international law. We will also examine a host of fundamental questions in international law, including, for example, why states enter into international agreements, why states
comply with international law, and what kind of state conduct is likely to be influenced by international law.
International Relations and International Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 158 Law and Development 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
Focusing on developing countries, this course considers the relationship between legal institutions and rules--including informal and traditional ones--and development--defined by different actors by economic growth, education, health, or a wide spectrum of freedoms. It examines efforts by national leaders, international organizations, foreign aid agencies, and NGOs to "reform" law to promote development, along with the resistance and
unplanned consequences that often ensue.
Law and Development: Read More [+]

LEGALST 159 Introduction to Law & Sexuality 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
This course focuses on the legal regulation of sexuality, and the social and historical norms and frameworks that affect its intersection with sex, gender, race, disability, and class. We will critically examine how the law shapes sexuality and how sexuality shapes the law. Our subject matter is mostly constitutional, covering sexuality’s intersection with privacy, freedom of expression, gender identity and expression, equal protection, reproduction, kinship, and
family formation, among other subjects. We will study case law, legal articles, and other texts (including visual works) that critically engage issues of sexuality, citizenship, nationhood, religion, and the public and private spheres domestically and internationally.
Introduction to Law & Sexuality: Read More [+]

LEGALST 160 Punishment, Culture, and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls "penality") from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in the United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and
consequences of what some have called "mass imprisonment."
Punishment, Culture, and Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST 161 Law in Chinese Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
The course examines concepts that form the basis of the Chinese legal system, traditional theories and institutions of pre-1911 society, and the expression and rejection of the traditional concepts in the laws of the Nationalist period and the People's Republic.

Law in Chinese Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST 162AC Restorative Justice 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Fall 2013
This course advances the claim that the criminal justice system is both a product and a powerful engine of racial hierarchy in American society, and that strategies of restorative justice, which have recently garnered attention in settings from prisons to middle schools, hold out promise as practices of racial justice. We explore this thesis by examining the ways in which criminal justice systems shape the emotions and social relations of victims, offenders
, and members of the larger community.
Restorative Justice: Read More [+]

LEGALST 163 Adolescence, Crime and Juvenile Justice 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course examines the premises, doctrine, and operational behavior of juvenile courts, particularly in relation to the commission of seriously anti-social acts by mid-adolescents. Topics include the history of theories of delinquency; the jurisprudence of delinquency; the incidence and severity of delinquency; police response to juvenile offenders; the processes of juvenile courts and youth corrections; and reforms or alternatives to the juvenile
court system.
Adolescence, Crime and Juvenile Justice: Read More [+]

LEGALST 168 Sex, Reproduction and the Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013
This course examines recent American legal and social history with respect to reproductive and sexual behavior. We will consider two theoretical aspects of the problem: first, theories of how law regulates social behavior and second, more general theories about how reproduction is socially regulated. Armed with these theoretical perspectives, the course will then examine closely a number of legal/social conflicts, including sterilization, abortion
and contraception.
Sex, Reproduction and the Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 170 Crime and Criminal Justice 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2014
Introduction to the etiology of crime and criminal justice administration. What is crime? What are the main features and problems of the process by which suspected criminals are apprehended, tried, sentenced, punished? Past and current trends and policy issues will be discussed.

Crime and Criminal Justice: Read More [+]

LEGALST 171 European Legal History 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2011
Most contemporary legal systems derive from one or the other of the two legal orders that developed in continental Europe and England over the course of the centuries. This course introduces students to some of the main features of the continental European or civil law tradition, a tradition that has its origins in Roman law. We will look at the English common law tradition, which began to diverge from the law of continental Europe in the middle ages, and
acquired its own distinctive character.
European Legal History: Read More [+]

LEGALST 173 Making Empire: Law and the Colonization of America 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
This is an intro to the origins, development, and expansion of European settlement on the North American mainland. We will concentrate on the impulses – commercial, ideological, and racial – that drove European colonizing; the migrations (voluntary and forced) that sustained it; and the political and legal “technologies” that supplied it with definition, explanation, and institutional capacity. We will pay attention to themes of sovereignty, civic identity, race,
and “manifest destiny” and will discuss how law provided both the language and technical capacity to transform territory into property, people into slaves, and the land’s indigenous inhabitants into “others” who existed “outside” the civic order of the American Republic.
Making Empire: Law and the Colonization of America: Read More [+]

LEGALST 174 Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course will provide an introduction to constitutional law using Israel as a case study. Topics include: Constitutionalism and judicial review, state neutrality and self-determination, minority rights, state and religion, Human Rights Law, the concept of “defensive democracy" and ban of non-democratic political parties, legal aspects of the fight on terror, freedom of expression, equality and anti-discrimination, social rights, and
constitutional limitations on privatization.
Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel: Read More [+]

LEGALST 176 Twentieth-Century American Legal and Constitutional History 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2015 10 Week Session, Summer 2015 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2013
Development of American law and the constitutional system in the 20th century. Topics include Progressive Era Regulatory policy, criminal justice and relations, freedom of speech and press, New Deal legal innovations, modern tort liability, environmental regulation, judicial reform, and federalism.

Twentieth-Century American Legal and Constitutional History: Read More [+]

LEGALST 177 Survey of American Legal and Constitutional History 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
Overview of American legal and constitutional history from colonial times to the present. Topics include colonial legal institutions, early constitutional history, history of the common law, business regulation, race and the law, history of the legal profession, and the modern constitutional order.

Survey of American Legal and Constitutional History: Read More [+]

LEGALST 178 Seminar on American Legal and Constitutional History 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2013, Spring 2010, Spring 2009
This course will provide advanced reading and independent research in the history of American law. Preference may be given to students who have taken 177.

Seminar on American Legal and Constitutional History: Read More [+]

LEGALST 179 Comparative Constitutional Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
An examination of constitutional decision-making in a number of countries based on selected high court opinions.

Comparative Constitutional Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 180 Implicit Bias 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Fall 2012
Implicit bias, automatic or unconscious stereotyping, and prejudice that guides our perception of and behavior toward social groups, is a fast growing area of law and psychology. Students will look at research in substantive areas of employment discrimination, criminal law, and questions regarding communications, voting, health care, immigration, property, and whether research findings showing unconscious gender, racial, and other biases can be used as courtroom
evidence to prove discrimination.
Implicit Bias: Read More [+]

LEGALST 181 Psychology and the Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2013, Spring 2012
This course will examine the implications of cognitive, social, and clinical psychology for legal theory, policies, and practices. The course will analyze the psychological aspects of intent, responsibility, deterrence, retribution, and morality. We will examine applications of psychology to evidence law (e.g. witness testimony, psychiatric diagnosis, and prediction), procedure (e.g. trial conduct, jury selection), and topics in criminal tort
and family law.
Psychology and the Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 182 Law, Politics and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Summer 2016 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2016
This course examines the theory and practice of legal institutions in performing several major functions of law: allocating authority, defining relationships, resolving conflict, adapting to social change, and fostering social solidarity. In doing so, it will assess the nature and limits of law as well as consider alternative perspectives on social control and social change.

Law, Politics and Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST 183 Psychology of Diversity and Discrimination in American Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
Course will examine concepts of race and culture, various understandings of and approaches to diversity found in the law, and the role of sociocultural structures in shaping the operation of antidiscrimination law and social policy. Topics include: psychology of desegregation, colorblindness and equal protection, affirmative action, stereotyping, sexism in the workplace, prejudice toward immigrants, social class and poverty.

Psychology of Diversity and Discrimination in American Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 184 Sociology of Law 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course explores major issues and debates in the sociology of law. Topics include theoretical perspectives on the relationship between law and society, theories of why people obey (and disobey) the law, the relationship between law and social norms, the "law in action" in litigation and dispute resolution, the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries in the legal system and in society, and the role of law in social change. The course
will examine these issues from an empirical perspective.
Sociology of Law: Read More [+]

LEGALST 185AC Prison 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
Taking a broad interdisciplinary approach, this course embraces the longue duree of critical prison studies, questioning the shadows of normality that cloak mass incarceration both across the globe and, more particularly, in the contemporary United States. This course thus explores a series of visceral, unsettling juxtapositions: "freedom" and "slavery"; "citizenship" and "subjugation"; "marginalization"
and "inclusion", in each case explicating the ways that story making, political demagoguery, and racial, class, and sexual inequalities have wrought an untenable social condition.
Prison: Read More [+]

LEGALST C185 Prison 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
Taking a broad interdisciplinary approach, this course embraces the longue duree of critical prison studies, questioning the shadows of normality that cloak mass incarceration both across the globe and, more particularly, in the contemporary United States. This course thus explores a series of visceral, unsettling juxtapositions: "freedom" and "slavery"; "citizenship" and "subjugation"; "marginalization" and "inclusion"
, in each case explicating the ways that story making, political demagoguery, and racial, class, and sexual inequalities have wrought an untenable social condition.
Prison: Read More [+]

LEGALST 187 Diversity, Law & Politics 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Summer 2004 10 Week Session
Dimensions of diversity at the heart of this course are perceptions of commonality and attributions of difference defined by race and immigration. Emphasis is given to contemporary law and politics in the U.S., but with an eye toward how the law and politics of the here and now is rooted in history. "Race" is broadly defined by concepts of identity, immigration, citizenship, class, ethnicity, and gender. "Politics"
is broadly defined both by a center stage of elite actors in government and the laws and policies they make and implement, and by the relevant contexts and audiences that define that stage, inclusive of elections, civic engagement, protests, political talk, and organizational behavior.
Diversity, Law & Politics: Read More [+]

LEGALST 189 Feminist Jurisprudence 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Summer 2013 First 6 Week Session
This course will explore the ways in which feminist theory has shaped conceptions of the law, as well as examine a range of feminist legal theories, including equality, difference, dominance, intersectional, poststructural, postcolonial theories. It will ask how these theories have shaped legal interventions in areas including workplace/educational access, sexualized coercion, work/family conflict, "cultural"
defenses, and globalized sweatshop labor.
Feminist Jurisprudence: Read More [+]

LEGALST 190 Seminar on Topics in Law and Society 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Advanced study in law and society with specific topics to be announced.

Seminar on Topics in Law and Society: Read More [+]

LEGALST H195A Honors Seminar 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course provides Legal Studies honors students with the opportunity to learn about the conduct of legal studies research, how to write an honors thesis proposal, and prepare for writing an honors thesis in the spring.

Honors Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST H195B Honors Thesis 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Study of an advanced topic under the supervision of a faculty member leading to the completion of a senior honors thesis.

Honors Thesis: Read More [+]

LEGALST H195C Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar 1 Unit

Terms offered: Spring 2017
The goal of the seminar is to provide students additional support as they conduct the research for and write their senior honors theses, and prepare presentations for the Spring Studies Undergraduate Research Conference. Students enroll in the one unit Legalst H195C seminar during the second semester of the Honors Program along with the four units of Legalst H195B.

Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar: Read More [+]

LEGALST 198 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Small group instruction in topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses. Topics may vary from year to year.

Directed Group Study: Read More [+]

LEGALST 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session
Enrollment restrictions apply. Consult the Legal Studies department for more information.

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Kathryn R. Abrams, Professor. Law, feminist jurisprudence, voting rights, constitutional law.
Research Profile

Catherine R. Albiston, Professor. Inequality, social change, law, employment, legal profession, public interest law, gender discrimination.
Research Profile

Kenneth A. Bamberger, Professor.

+ Robert Berring, Professor. China, law, contracts, Chinese law.
Research Profile

Robert D. Cooter, Professor. Economic development, constitutional law, private law.
Research Profile

Meir Dan-Cohen, Professor. Criminal law, legal philosophy, moral philosophy, organizations, bureaucracy.
Research Profile

Lauren Edelman, Professor. Work organizations, legal environments, civil rights laws, workers' rights.
Research Profile

Malcolm M. Feeley, Professor. Criminal law, punishment, social policy.
Research Profile

Kinch Hoekstra, Associate Professor. History of political, moral, and legal philosophy; ancient, renaissance, and early modern political thought.

Christopher Kutz, Professor. Criminal law, moral, legal and political philosophy.
Research Profile

Taeku Lee, Professor. Political science, discrimination, language, social movements, political behavior, identity, racial and ethnic politics, public opinion, survey research methods, social welfare policies, partisanship, stereotypes.
Research Profile

David Lieberman, Professor. Legal history, legal theory, comparative legal theory.
Research Profile

Kristin Luker, Professor. Social policy, jurisprudence.
Research Profile

Laurent Mayali, Professor. European legal history, comparative law, medieval jurisprudence, customary law.
Research Profile

Justin Mccrary, Professor. Statistics, law and economics, labor economics, business law.
Research Profile

Calvin Morrill, Professor. Sociology of law/social conflict, organizations, ethnography, social networks, social movements youth culture and conflict, urban schools, rights mobilization.
Research Profile

Dylan Penningroth, Professor.

Victoria Plaut, Professor.

Kevin Quinn, Professor.

Jonathan S. Simon, Professor. Punishment, social policy, risk, mass incarceration, reentry.
Research Profile

Sarah Song, Professor. Gender, race, citizenship, multiculturalism, immigration law and politics.
Research Profile

Rachel Stern, Assistant Professor.

Eric Stover, Adjunct Professor. Human rights, war, International Criminal Law, Forensic Sciences, International Criminal Justice.
Research Profile

Eric L. Talley, Professor. Economic analysis of law, corporate law, securities regulation, law and financial markets.
Research Profile

Christopher Lawrence Tomlins, Professor.

Leti Volpp, Professor. Citizenship, law and culture, identity (especially race and gender), immigration and migration, Asian American studies.
Research Profile

John Yoo, Professor. Constitutional law, international law, foreign affairs.
Research Profile

Franklin E. Zimring, Professor. Deterrence, capital punishment, imprisonment, drug control.
Research Profile

Lecturer

Jonathan Marshall, Lecturer.

Richard Perry, Lecturer in Residence.

Ben Brown, Lecturer.

Emily Bruce, Lecturer.

Rosann Greenspan, Lecturer.

Joan Hollinger, Lecturer.

Alexa Koenig, Lecturer.

Charles McClain, Lecturer.

Jamie O'Connell, Lecturer.

Alan Pomerantz, Lecturer.

James B. Rule, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Professor Emeritus. Antitrust, economic analysis of law, federalism.
Research Profile

Harry N. Scheiber, Professor Emeritus. American legal history, ocean law and policy, Law of the Sea (international law), federalism and state-federal relations, American constitutional development.
Research Profile

Barbara Shapiro, Professor Emeritus. Rhetoric, political and legal thought 1500-1700, intellectual and cultural history, 1500-1700, early modern legal and political discourse, science and society, Tudor and Stuart England.
Research Profile

Martin M. Shapiro, Professor Emeritus. Constitutional law, comparative law, European law.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Legal Studies Program

2240 Piedmont Avenue

Phone: 510-643-5823

Fax: 510-642-2951

Visit Program Website

Director, Legal Studies

Jonathan Marshall

2240 Piedmont Avenue

Phone: 510-642-3670

Fax: 510-642-2951

jdmarshall@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Academic Adviser

Lauri La Pointe

2240 Piedmont Avenue

Phone: 510-643-5823

lauri@berkeley.edu

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