Fall 2024 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 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). If you’re really interested in a class that’s already full, reach out to the instructor to inquire whether an override of enrollment limits is possible.

This list is in addition to ALL of the courses in the Legal Studies and Public Policy majors. It is NOT the same as the list of law-related electives for 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 132 — African-American History 1619-1860 (DU HS)
AFROAM 236 — History of the Civil Rights Movement (DU HS)

ANIMLSCI  260 — Animal Care & Welfare (SI)

ANTHRO  205 – Power and Inequality in the US (DU SB)

ASIAN-ST  312 – Bridging Asia and Asian America (DG I)

ECON  121 – International Economy (DG SB)

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

GEOGRAPH  110 – Introduction to Climate Science (PS)

HISTORY 150 — US History to 1876 (DU HS)
HISTORY 151 – US History since 1876 (HS)
HISTORY 170 – Indigenous Peoples of North America (DU HS)
HISTORY  242H – American Family in Historical Perspectives, Honors (DU HS)
HISTORY  264 – History of Health Care and Medicine in the U.S. (DU HS)

JOURNAL  250 – News Literacy (DU SB)

PHIL  105 – Practical Reasoning (R2)
PHIL 110 — Introduction to Logic (R2)
PHIL 160 — Introduction to Ethics (DU SB)
PHIL  163 – Business Ethics (AT)
PHIL 164 — Medical Ethics (SB)
PHIL  166 – Environmental Ethics (SB)
PHIL 170 — Problems in Social Thought (SB)

POLISCI 101 – American Politics (SB)
POLISCI  162 – Introduction to Constitutional Law (SB)
POLISCI  181 – Controversies in Public Policy (DU SB)

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

SOCIOL 103 — Social Problems (DU SB)
SOCIOL 106 — Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity (DU SB)
SOCIOL  204 – Labor & The Global Economy (SB)
SOCIOL  222 – The Family (DU SB)
SOCIOL  224 – Social Class and Inequality (DU SB)
SOCIOL 242 – Drugs & Society (DU SB)
SOCIOL  244 – Sociology of Immigration (SB)
SOCIOL  316 – Environment and Society (DU SB)

SPP  181 – Controversies in Public Policy (DU SB)
SPP  208 – Defending Democracy in a Digital World (SB)
SPP  280 – Public Policy (SB)

SRVCLRNG  192 – Self-Awareness, Social Justice and Service (DU SB)
SRVCLRNG  293 – Learning Through Community Engagement (DU SB)

SUSTCOMM  225 – Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Equity (DU SB)

WGSS 187 — Gender, Sexuality and Culture (DU I)
WGSS  220 – Sustainability, Gender, and the Global Environment (DG SB)
WGSS  250 – Introduction to Sexuality and Trans Studies (DG SB)
WGSS  286 – History of Sexuality and Race in the US (DG HS)

Upper-Level Classes (not Gen Eds)

Prerequisites may apply and/or courses may be restricted to declared majors. Really want to take a class you’re not eligible for? Reach out to the professor — the worst that can result from a polite inquiry is an equally polite “Sorry, no.” But you’ll never know if you don’t ask!

ACCOUNTG  371 – Individual Taxation
ACCOUNTG  441 – Auditing
ACCOUNTG 472 — Corporate Taxation

AEROSPAC  441 – National Security Affairs and Preparation for Active Duty I

ANTHRO  215 – Forensics: Myth and Reality

ART  390R – This is the Remix

BCT  353 – Construction Project Management

CLASSICS  290X – Roman Law and Society

COMM  122 – Introduction to Media Industries and Institutions

COMPSCI  363 – Computer Crime Law
COMPSCI  563 – Internet Law and Policy

ECON 311 – Money and Banking
ECON 330 — Labor in the American Economy
ECON 333 – Income Inequality and Policy Alternatives
ECON  343 – Economics of Gender, Race and Work
ECON  346 – African Americans in the U.S. Political Economy
ECON  394EI – Economics and Ethics
ECON  499C – Honors Thesis- Social Values and Public Decisions: Philosophical & Economic Perspectives

ENGLISH  494SI – Literature and Social Justice

ENVIRSCI  213 – Introduction to Environmental Policy
ENVIRSCI  494JI – Social Movements and Environmental Justice

GEOGRAPH  342 – Environmental Geography and Sustainability
GEOGRAPH  420 – Political Ecology

HISTORY  268 – Women and the Law: History of Sex and Gender Discrimination
HISTORY  286 – Palestine, 1948
HISTORY  375 – US Constitutional History II
HISTORY  378G – Rape Law: Gender, Race, (In)justice
HISTORY  394EI – Human Rights & Energy in Eurasia

HONORS  499CC – Honors Thesis- Debating Globalization
HONORS  499CG – Honors Thesis- American Struggles: Immigration and Mass Incarceration
HONORS 499CQ – Honors Thesis – Conquest by Law

HT-MGT 320 — Hospitality and Tourism Law

INFO  203 – A Networked World

JOURNAL  445 – Journalism & Law

MANAGMNT  314 – Human Resource Management
MANAGMNT 361 — Contracts in Business Relationships

POLISCI  356 – International Law
POLISCI  394GI – Global Justice
POLISCI 499CD – Honors Thesis – Health and Health Care Inequality in the US

PSYCH  391CK – Seminar- Cultural Psychology and Social Issues

PUBHLTH  499N – Honors Project- Public Policy and Citizen Action

RES-ECON  363 – The Economics of Water Policy
RES-ECON 453 – Public Policy in Private Markets

SCH-MGMT 260 — Intro to Law
SCH-MGMT  333 – Principles of Real Estate
SCH-MGMT  350 – Professional Ethics in Contemporary Society

SOCIOL 241 – Criminology
SOCIOL  248 – Conformity and Deviance
SOCIOL  323 – Sociology of Law
SOCIOL  329 – Social Movements
SOCIOL  340 – Probation & Parole
SOCIOL  341 – Social Welfare
SOCIOL  346 – Communities & Crime
SOCIOL 349 – Race, Class, and Crime
SOCIOL  461 – Seminar on Race and Racism

SPP  590STF – Human Rights and Public Administration

SPRTMGT 335 — Sport Law

STOCKSCH  356 – Food Justice and Policy

WGSS  201 – Gender and Difference: Critical Analyses
WGSS  230 – Politics of Reproduction
WGSS  320 – Rape and Representation
WGSS  392W – Practicum-Teaching and Learning in Carceral Spaces
WGSS  393M – Seminar- Everything to Expect when You’re Expecting:  Confronting Pregnancy Loss
WGSS  395R – Seminar- Social Reproduction: Class, Race, Gender and Labor

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