Course Requirements and Track
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.
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)
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- pending approval, will be required of students accepted into the minor for the Fall 2017 cohort or later)
MLaw 305 is designed to engage students in the analysis of the effect of the law of 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 377: Legal Professions (3 credits- accepted in lieu of MLAW 305 if accepted into the minor prior to the Fall 2017 cohort.)
This course is designed to introduce you to the legal profession from various perspectives, including lecture, guest speakers, and possible simulations.
MLAW 388: Law and Society Internship (1-4 credits)
This is an online course is designed to compliment your internship experience. This courseoffers students the opportunity to enhance their education through practical skill building in the realm of law-related professionals.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 and practical professional skill development.
MLAW 404: Law and Society Capstone (3 credits)
The capstone course will be taken by all students and will help to culminate the minor experience. There will be a capstone project or research paper that will stem directly from the topics of the course, your seleced concentration, and your selected 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.
MLAW 304-Law and Social Inquiry (required)
MLAW 305^-Interpreting Law and Legal Institutions (required)
MLAW 388*-Law and Society Internship (required)
MLAW 388*-Law and Society Internship (required)
|MLAW 377***-Legal Professions (required)|
MLaw upper level electives offered (varies each semester)**
|MLaw upper level electives offered (varies each semester)**|
MLAW 404-Law and Society Capstone Course (required)
* 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.
***This course may be taken in lieu of MLaw 305 for all students accepted into the minor prior to the Fall 2017 cohort. It can serve as an elective course for all others. May be offered either or both semesters.
^This course is required for all students accepted into the minor for the Fall 2017 cohort or later.
Students will have an opportunity to pursue a track in Constitutionalism & International Law; Immigration, Race and Gender & Ethnicity; Crime & Punishment; or a student proposed track (must be approved by the department).
Constitutionalism & International Law
The concentration in Constitutionalism & International Law in society 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 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.
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