Law and Society is a program of study intended for the understanding of law in its historical and social contexts.

Through study of the evolution of law from ancient societies to our contemporary day, students are encouraged to see law as a dynamic institution shaped by historical forces and social values. Substantial emphasis is given to the study of such contemporary legal issues as human freedoms and civil rights, social responsibility, and the enunciation of citizen rights.

Law and Society as a field examines the legal environment of various institutional sectors in our society, including health care, the family, communications media, business enterprises, and the military. A minor in Law and Society is thus an excellent option not only for students bound for law school, but for those interested in a variety of professional careers.

For further information about Law and Society, contact Prof. Nehal Patel, Director, nehalp@umich.edu.

More about Law & Society

Law and Society was launched in 2003 by an interdisciplinary group of faculty and includes courses from such fields as Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, and Communications. The program examines law and legal institutions as part of society, and this broader scope makes it an ideal complement for many undergraduate majors, not just for students interested in attending law school or entering the legal profession.

Degree Requirements

In addition to its role as a source of research into the field of Law and Society, the Program offers an undergraduate CASL-wide minor. 

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

  • The Minor

    The Law and Society Minor is structured as follows:

    Two prerequisites
        one course from
         PHIL 233          Critical Thinking
         PHIL 234          Symbolic Logic
         PHIL 233          Symbolic Logic
    AND
         PHIL 240          Ethics

    Core course
         SOC 453          Sociology of Law 

    Four Track courses: Two from group A and two from group B

    Group A: Legal environments of industries and professions

    COMM 302, 403, 415; ENST 350; PHIL 442; POL 364; SOC 454, 456, 457; PDED 425; ACC 360; HRM 408; LE 452, 453.

    Group B: Structure and process of legal institutions

    ECON 325, 333, 385, 421, 481; PHIL 335, 445; POL 304, 312, 315, 316, 362, 363, 413, 414, 415, 4165; SOC 471.

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