Spring 2022 Law-related Courses

Every semester, we provide this list of the amazing array of law-related and law-adjacent courses that might be of interest to students considering legal careers. Some of these courses are squarely focused on the law. Others are more in the nature of background learning that will help you more deeply understand the law and its place in our world. These 100+ courses can be found in over 30 different departments across 9 different colleges and schools at the University—and this is not even including the courses offered at the other four colleges (which are not listed here). It’s not just that the law touches every aspect of our lives and your studies, but that every area of study can support your eventual legal career. So think broadly as you consider which courses to take while you’re here at UMass, and rest assured that you will find something of value in every class you take, even if it takes years to figure out just what it might be.

There is nothing you MUST do as an undergrad in order to prepare for law school – no required classes or majors, no magic extracurricular activities.

Study what you love, pursue what you find meaningful, explore your interests.

You’ll find pages of info on undergraduate preparation for law school right here.

Beyond studying what you love, the most important things you can do in the classroom to enhance your eventual application to law school are the following:

  • Learn how to be a good writer – take classes in which you’ll write a lot and get good feedback on your writing.
  • Maintain a strong GPA.  Studying what you love will make this much easier.
  • Get to know your professors.  They’re an amazing resource, and the more they know about you, the better their eventual letters of recommendation can be.

Enrolling in law-related classes is NOT a prerequisite for getting into law school, but it may help you decide if law is the right path for you.

The list below can help you sample law in the classroom. This is NOT a complete list of all courses that touch on or provide background for understanding legal issues, only those most directly related to law (and policy, often). It is also limited to those classes offered this Spring. This list also does NOT indicate availability – classes may be full (check SPIRE).

This list is in addition to ALL of the courses in the Legal Studies major.

Did we miss a class you think should be on this list? Please let us know.

General Education classes (GenEd designation in parentheses)

AFROAM 133 – African-American History, Civil War-1954 (DU HS)

BIOLOGY 105 —Biology of Social Issues (BS)

COMM 209H – LGBT Politics and the Media (DU SB)

ECON 105 – Introduction to Political Economy (DU SB)

EDUC 101 – Introduction to Education: Schooling in the United States (SB)
EDUC 115—Embracing Diversity (DU I)

HISTORY 151—US History (HS)
HISTORY 154 – Social Change in the 1960s (DU HS)
HISTORY 170 – Indigenous Peoples of North America (DU HS)
HISTORY 265 – US LGBT and Queer History (DU HS)
HISTORY 373 – American Thought and Culture II (HS)
HISTORY 382 – City In Modern U.S. (HS U)
HISTORY 411 – History of Science Activism (DG HS)

HONORS 321H – Violence in American Culture (DU SB)
HONORS 322H – Criminal Law and Justice in the US (DU SB)

LABOR 201 – Women & Work (DU SB)
LABOR 280 – Labor & Work in the US (DU I)

NRC 185 – Sustainable Living: Solutions for the 21st Century (SI)

PHIL 105 – Practical Reasoning (R2)
PHIL 110—Introduction to Logic (R2)
PHIL 160—Introduction to Ethics (AT)
PHIL 163 – Business Ethics (AT)
PHIL 164—Medical Ethics (AT)
PHIL 170—Problems in Social Thought (SB)

POLISCI 101 – American Politics (SB)
POLISCI 203 – American Political Thought (HS)

PUBHLTH 129—Healthcare for All (DU SB)
PUBHLTH 389 – Health Inequities (DU SB)

RES-ECON 262 – Environmental Economics (SB)

SPP 190A – Water, Oil, and Blood: The Middle East in Global Policy (DG SB)

SOCIOL 103—Social Problems (DU SB)
SOCIOL 106 – Race,Gender, Class & Ethnicity (DU SB)
SOCIOL 201 – Women and Work (DU SB)
SOCIOL 224 – Social Class and Inequality (DU SB)
SOCIOL 242 – Drugs and Society (SB)
SOCIOL 244 – Sociology of Immigration (SB)
SOCIOL 245 – Race & Society (DU SB)
SOCIOL 262 – Globalization and Inequality (SB)

SRVCLRNG 293H – Learning through Community Engagement (SB)

WGSS 187 – Gender, Sexuality and Culture (DU I)
WGSS 286 – History of Sexuality and Race in the US (DU HS)

Upper-Level Classes (not Gen Eds)
NOT recommended for first years. Pre-requisites may apply and/or courses may be restricted to declared majors. Inquiries about exceptions should be directed to the instructor.

ACCOUNTG 371 – Individual Taxation
ACCOUNTG 472 – Corporate Taxation
ACCOUNTG 483 – CPA Law

AFROAM 293B – Seminar- The African Diaspora & the War on Drugs

ANTHRO 357 – The Afterlives of Slavery
ANTHRO 380 – Grassroots Community Organizing
ANTHRO 397L – ST-Leadership & Activism
ANTHRO 499D – Honors Thesis Seminar – Conquest by Law: The Use of Law to Subjugate and Marginalize in the U.S.

ART-HIST 397V – Spec. Topics- Vexed Antiquities: Introduction to Challenges of Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century

CLASSICS 494SI – Slavery and Manumission in the Greco-Roman World

COMM 122 – Media Industries and Institution
COMM 226 – Social Impact of Mass Media
COMM 260 – Public Speaking
COMM 394EI – Performance and the Politics of Race
COMM 397SS – Youth, Democracy and the Entertainment Industry
COMM 494KI – News and Public Opinion
COMM 497GP – Special Topics- Internet Governance & Information Policy

COMP-LIT 482 – Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II

COMPSCI 365 – Digital Forensics

ECON 205 – Intermediate Political Economy
ECON 308 – Political Economy of the Environment
ECON 311 – Money and Banking
ECON 313 – Public Finance
ECON 333 – Income Inequality and Policy Alternatives
ECON 394CI – Economics of Cooperative Enterprise
ECON 394FI – Finance and Society
ECON 394LI – Law and Economics
ECON 397EL – Special Topics- Equity Lab
ECON 397WM – Seminar- Economics of Women, Minorities, and Work

ENGLISH 491RV – Seminar- Resistance & Revolution in 20th and 21st Century American Poetry
ENGLISH 491SA – Seminar- Amandla! South African Literature and Politics, Apartheid and Post-Apartheid
ENGLISH 491Z – S-Poetry of the Political Imagination
ENGLISH 492N – Seminar- Nature, Climate Change and Literature

FILM-ST 497SJ – Special Topics- Social Justice in Contemporary Lusophone Literature and Culture

GEOGRAPH 393C – Seminar- Geographies of Climate Justice
GEOGRAPH 497R – Special Topics- Rethinking US Environmental Policy

HISTORY 361 – Amer Revolution Era
HISTORY 368 – US Between World Wars
HISTORY 392E – Seminar- The U.S. in Latin America
HISTORY 396W – Independent Study- Navigating Washington
HISTORY 397AR – American Reconstruction & Reunion
HISTORY 397JL – Social Justice Lawyering
HISTORY 397RR – History of Reproductive Rights Law
HISTORY 397WR – Special Topics- Women and Revolutions
HISTORY 493M – Seminar- Policing in Modern America

HONORS 499DC – Honors Thesis- Debating Globalization Part 2
HONORS 499DG – Honors Thesis- American Struggles: Immigration and Mass Incarceration
HONORS 499DN – Women Organize for a Better World, Second Semester

INFO 203 – A Networked World

JOURNAL 290J – Journalism in Jail
JOURNAL 445 – Journalism and Law

MANAGMNT 260 – Intro to Law
MANAGMNT 362 – Law of Enterprise Organization
MANAGMNT 391E – Environmental Law
MANAGMNT 397W – Special Topics- Workforce Planning, Recruiting, & Selection

MIDEAST   HI190A – Honors Independent Study for Water, Oil, and Blood: The Middle East in Global Policy

MILITARY 402 – Military Leadership and Management

NRC 309 – Natural Resource Policy & Administration
NRC 310 – Community Forestry
NRC 490S – Sustainable Systems: Evaluating Local Solutions

NURSING 490M – Nursing, Social Change, and Health Justice

POLISCI 320 – Public Administration
POLISCI 356 – International Law
POLISCI 361 – Civil Liberties
POLISCI 391E – Seminar- Rules of War
POLISCI 392AP – Seminar- Activism, Participation, and Protest
POLISCI 394TI – Technology Power and Governance

PSYCH 297F – Special Topics- Forensic Psychology
PSYCH 391GC – Seminar- International Justice in the Age of Global Conflict
PSYCH 480 – Intellectual Disability: Concepts and Controversies

PUBHLTH 490J – Reproductive Justice

RES-ECON 397E – Special Topics- Economic Development and the Environment
RES-ECON 453 – Public Policy in Private Markets

SCH-MGMT 333 – Principles of Real Estate

SOCIOL 241 – Criminology
SOCIOL 292W – Labor & Work in the US
SOCIOL 330 – Asian Americans and Inequalities
SOCIOL 341 – Social Welfare
SOCIOL 342 – Deviance and Social Order
SOCIOL 346 – Communities & Crime
SOCIOL 385 – Gender and the Family
SOCIOL 395K – Domestic Violence
SOCIOL 397PA – Probation and Parole

SPP 320 – Public Administration
SPP 397N – Natural Resource Policy & Administration
SPP 597GP – Special Topics- Internet Governance and Information Policy

SPRTMGT 335 – Sport Law

SRVCLRNG 193 – Leadership and Service
SRVCLRNG 393TH – Tools for Democratic Change

STOCKSCH 182 – Principles of Pesticide Mgt
STOCKSCH 387 – Global Food Systems
STOCKSCH 397R – Social Permaculture: Building Resilient Communities and Organizations

WGSS 205 – Feminist Health Politics
WGSS 240 – Introduction to Transgender Studies
WGSS 293C – Seminar- Race, Sexuality, and the Law in Early America
WGSS 295D – Seminar- Democracy Works:  People, Power, Government
WGSS 295E – Seminar- Envisioning/Enacting Social Change
WGSS 340 – Critical Prison Studies

By Diane Curtis
Diane Curtis Pre-Law Advisor & Senior Lecturer Diane Curtis