The Law and Society Minor is an 18-credit, upper-level learning opportunity that is designed to complement a student’s major.  Candidates for the Law and Society Minor must complete all 18 credits with a grade of C- or better and must maintain an average of 2.0 for credits applied to the minor.  Please be advised that no more than six credits are to be included in the Law and Society Minor and the student’s major.

Required Courses

Of the 18 credits required for the minor, 12 credits must consist of the following courses:

MLAW 304: Introduction to Law and Social Inquiry (3 credits)

Updated Syllabus 

An exploration of the relationship between law and society from an interdisciplinary perspective. Major themes cover the impact of law on society, society on law and social change.

MLAW 305: Interpreting Law and Legal Institutions (3 credits)

Updated Syllabus 

An exploration of case law, statutes, and regulations separately and together in their social context.

MLAW 305 is designed to engage students in the analysis of the effect of the law on society as a whole. Students will apply theories and principles of Law and Society and other skills to analyze and dissect current and recent legal issues.  The students will utilize case studies and personal interviews to identify and examine legal issues, applicable law and theories, and existing solutions. Students will also be required to assess the respective solutions for efficiency and effectiveness, proposing alternatives when applicable. 

MLAW 388: Law and Society Internship (1-4 credits)

Updated Syllabus 

This online course is designed to compliment your internship experience. This course offers students the opportunity to enhance their education through practical skill building in the realm of law-related professions.This internship course consists of two separate experiences: your on-site field experience supervised by an employee of your site and your weekly online participation and course submissions. Students will combine reflection with practical professional skill development.

45 Internship Hours = 1 Credit Hour

135 or more Internship Hours = 3 Credit Hours

* For questions about hours and hour conversions, please reach out to mlawprograms [at] umd.edu 

MLAW 404: Law and Society Capstone (3 credits)

Updated Syllabus 

The capstone course will be taken by all students to culminate the minor experience. There will be a capstone project or research paper that will stem directly from the topics of the course and both the student's concentration and area of legal interest. Topics or themes may change.

Of the 18 credits required for the minor, 6 credits must consist of two upper level elective courses from a student’s chosen track:

Courses will be offered in wide variety of departments and programs.  Upper level courses may also be taken through UM Carey School of Law, within PUAF, or at any of the UMD-DC consortium schools, subject to the Department’s approval. Students taking upper level courses will be required to take prerequisites as required.

Tracks

Students will have an opportunity to pursue a specific track based on their academic interest.  

Constitutionalism & International Law

The concentration in Constitutionalism & International Law focuses on relevant and important constitutional, human and civil rights topics in a domestic and international context. It also focuses on civil and criminal law institutions, legal processes and contexts in the constitutionalism and rights fields of law. It introduces students to international frameworks for rights, specifically international tribunals, human rights, discrimination in education, employment and government contracts, disability law, the death penalty, gay marriage, the Dream Act, and more. Students also gain a critical appreciation for such concepts as social justice, equality, fairness and power. Finally, students also gain writing and presentation skills as a practitioner in law without necessarily being on track to become a lawyer.

Immigration, Race and Gender & Ethnicity

The concentration in immigration, race, gender and ethnicity introduces students to immigration and immigrants as they deal with social and legal institutions. It focuses on the lives and experiences of immigrants from different regions around the world and different ethnic and racial groups. It also provides students with skills for understanding political, social and cultural aspects of law in the context where race and ethnicity intersect.

Crime and Punishment

The concentration in crime and punishment integrates a rigorous academic approach to various aspects of crime and criminal law. It introduces students to criminal law institutions, process and real world cases. The crime and punishment concentration helps to prepare students for careers in the law, government, business and the nonprofit world.

Individually designed track

A student may propose a track to the department if his/her legal interests are specific and do not fall within the existing minor tracks. Students should be prepared to provide the specific area of the law that they would like to focus on and potential upper level elective courses that may be available to them in order to meet the minor requirements.

 

Sample Upper Level Elective Courses

*for completion of the minor, 6 credits must consist of two upper level elective courses 

MLAW315: Citizenship and Naturalization in America (2 credits)
MLAW358F: Selected Topics in Law and Society; First Amendment: Free Speech, Religion, and the Constitution (3 credits, elective)
MLAW358T: Selected Topics in Law and Society; Tackling Trafficking: The Legal System's Responses to Human Trafficking (3 credits, elective)

MLAW358X: Selected Topics in Law and Society; Introduction to Constitutional Law (3 credits, elective)

MLAW378F: Special topics in Law and Society; Land, Shelter, and Social Justice (3 credits, elective)

MLAW378J: Special Topics in Law and Society; Bioethics and the Law (3 credits)

MLAW388: Law and Society Internship (1-4 credits, required)

MLAW411: Appellate Advocacy 2 (3 credits)

Learn more about perquisites and the schedule of courses. 

* Students are only required to complete one internship. The internship course is offered every semester because a student may complete the internship during any semester or summer from admission into the program until graduation.

** MLaw electives are courses taught by faculty of UM Carey Law and/or University of Maryland, College Park on legal topics. These courses are generally only available to students in the Law and Society program.

 

Upon completion of the law and society minor, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in basic law and society concepts
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the legal process (how law making and interpretation pertain to regulatory and administrative issues)
  • Demonstrate oral and written skills related to legal argumentation
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and research skills
  • Critically analyze the role of law in terms of its historical, political, economic and social context
  • Demonstrate proficiency in interpreting and understanding the pragmatic approach to the law
  • Demonstrate proficiency in their legal field of choice and make the connection to their selected track
  • Map the legal and political environment (institutions and decision making actors) in Washington

A call to all students interested in immigration law and working with immigrants and refugees. Please consider enrolling in MLAW315 this fall for 2 credits to learn the fundamentals of naturalization case law, theory, and history.  Last year, 16 MLAW students in partnership with 8 law students from UMD law, completed 17 naturalization applications. As an outcome, approximately 27 people are likely to become U.S. citizens. 

 

The process for students starts with MLAW315, the fall class. Be part of this incredible opportunity to learn about and then apply immigration law by helping eligible immigrants apply to become citizens. 

 

Comments from Students who took the Class:

 

Lindsay Marino: Throughout the process of preparing for this workshop I truly think my mindset on life changed . . . [T]his process is something I will never forget and am truly grateful that I was able to experience it. Working one on one with a family and being a part of their journey to becoming a citizen was indescribable.

 

Chase Berry: As an undergraduate student who intends to go to law school, tangible experience is hard to come by, in any field. Most companies or institutions that are looking for a young adult with legal experience will almost always just find a law student instead, since they possess a greater level of expertise. So, being able to tell any employer or school that I have already gotten my hands on [immigration forms such as] the N-400, I-912 and generally submerged myself in the world of immigration law will certainly allow me to advance myself in an ever-more competitive applicant pool. However, the benefits of this experience do not simply end at what I can put on my resume. 

 

Alice Salomon Morales: As a Spanish speaker, I was further motivated because I understand the impact that language barriers have on immigrants and their families so I felt that it was my duty to break down those barriers to help facilitate a complicated but important step in the naturalization process. Because of my personal connection to the immigrant community, the thing I was looking forward to the most was engaging with the workshop participants . . . Through this, I was able to build more confidence and improved my oral communication skills which will be very helpful in my professional career.

Last modified
08/28/2023 - 11:10 am