Sociology of Law


Course Code:
LAW 538
3 - 4
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


This course explores major issues and debates in the sociology of law. Topics include historical perspectives on the origins of law; rationality and legal sanctions; normative decision making and morality; cognitive decision making; crime and deviance, with particular attention to the problem of mass incarceration; the "law in action" versus the "law on the books;" organizational responses to law, particularly in the context of labor and employment; the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries; and law and social change with particular emphasis on the American civil rights movement. Special Instructions: Students are expected to attend a weekly TA-led discussion section in addition to lecture. Sections will be scheduled after the start of term at times when all students can attend. Paper requirements are flexible. Cross listed with the Sociology Department (Soc 136/236). See "Special Instructions" in course description above. Elements Used in Grading: Class participation, paper proposal, three short papers and a final paper (see syllabus for details).

Past Offerings

2015-2016 Winter

Sociology of Law LAW 538 Section 01 Class #16107

  • 3 4 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Lottery 20
    • 1L Winter Elective

Notes: Open to First-Year JD Students. R -Research Requirement for Law Degree.

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