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

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

Calvin Morrill, Professor. Organizations, culture, social movements, education, youth, research methods.
Research Profile

Osagie Obasogie, Professor. Bioethics, policing and police use of force, race in law and medicine, constitutional law.
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.
Research Profile

Sarah Song, Professor. Citizenship, migration, race, feminist theory.
Research Profile

Rachel Stern, Professor. Courts, authoritarian states, globalization, China.
Research Profile

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

Emeritus Faculty

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

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

Robert Kagan, Professor. Law and political science.
Research Profile

David Lieberman, Professor Emeritus. History of legal ideas, legal theory .
Research Profile

Kristin Luker, Professor Emeritus. Sociology of law.
Research Profile

Daniel Rubinfield, Professor. Law and economics.
Research Profile

Harry Scheiber, Professor. Law and History.
Research Profile

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

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

Contact Information

Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program

The Law Building

Phone: 510-642-3771


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Assistant Dean

Jonathan Marshall

Phone: (510)642-3670


JSP Graduate Student Advisor

Eurie Nam

Phone: (510) 642-3771


LS Undergraduate Advisor

Lauri La Pointe

Phone: (510) 643-5823


Administrative Assistant III Processes payments, reimbursements, invoices

Yvette Cooper

Phone: (510) 642-4039


Program Assistant III Reception, LS course scheduler, eval management, deCal processing

Erika Espinoza

Phone: (510) 642-4038


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