Law / Legal Services / Criminology / Forensics

This is not just about being a lawyer, it is about everything that falls under the umbrella of law, justice (criminal, restorative, community, etc.), mediation, investigation, intelligence, and enforcement. It applies to many different communities, organizations, branches, bureaus, and spans a range of opportunities to be involved.

Welcome to the Law / Legal Services / Criminology / Forensics Community

This is not just about being a lawyer, it is about everything that falls under the umbrella of law, justice (criminal, restorative, community, etc.), mediation, investigation, intelligence, and enforcement. It applies to many different communities, organizations, branches, bureaus, and spans a range of opportunities to be involved.

If you are seeking information specifically about applying to law school, please see the UMass Pre-Law Advising website.

For more general information about the broader career fields in law and legal services, explore the resources below.

Sample Classes

Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:

  • Research – for careers in law firms you will need strong research and writing skills.
  • Critical thinking – you will learn to reflect upon and evaluate your own ideas and to analyze problems using evidence-based information.
  • Communication skills – you will learn to actively listen to others and to articulate your ideas in writing and verbally in a way that will help you achieve your goals.

Below are a few examples of relevant courses you might consider. We urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.

Check SPIRE for full course descriptions and availability. These are abbreviated descriptions, and details may change at the discretion of the instructor.  Courses may not be offered every semester.

Short-term Paid Project Work with Paragon One – Skill/Resume Builders

Has it been tough to gain experience and hence, build your resume during the pandemic?  Here’s a great way to get some experience and differentiate yourself.

Paragon One partners with employers to offer paid “externships” to students.  Externships are a …

By Carol Sharick
Carol Sharick Director of Career and Professional Development for Undergraduates, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Carol Sharick
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UMass Amherst to host MA Appellate Court: Students Invited to Attend

MA Appellate Court at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is once again hosting the state Appeals Court on campus as they hear 6 oral arguments. The Appeals Court is a court of general appellate jurisdiction, which means that the justices review …

By Rebecca Bell
Rebecca Bell Associate Director of Career and Professional Development for SBS Rebecca Bell
Read more »

Administrative Skills Aren’t Just for Admin Jobs—Here’s What Everyone Needs to Know (Plus a List of Examples)

As you look for jobs—particularly admin jobs such as executive assistant or office manager—you may see that employers are looking for administrative skills. And for good reason: Businesses can’t run without them. “Focusing on administrative skills can transform average companies …

By Regina Borsellino - The Muse
The Muse
Expert advice to answer your career questions.
Read more »

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Explore occupations by career categories and pathways and use real time labor market data to power your decision making.

First, choose an industry of interest, then filter for occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Access All Labor Market Insights here!

Explore Outcomes

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2020 was 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

  • First Destination
  • Top Employers
  • Starting Salary
  • Employment Locations
  • Top Universities
  • Degree Types
  • Fields of Study

First Destination

SBS graduates pursue a range of plans after graduation, including employment, continuing education, and volunteering/service, among others.  This graph depicts what recent SBS graduates tell us they are doing within six months after graduation.

Relevant Courses

LEGAL 465 – Globalization

LEGAL 465 – Globalization: The globalization of law, culture, and politics. Competing arguments about the meaning and effects of globalization.…

SOCIOL 347 – Corporate Crime

SOCIOL 347 – Corporate Crime: The rise of the “corporate actor” in terms of social organization and social policy, and concerning…

LEGAL 375 – Human Rights and Wrongs

LEGAL 375 – Human Rights and Wrongs: Introduction to humanitarian law. Topics include theory and history of international human rights law,…

POLISCI 228 – Weighing the Evidence

POLISCI 228 – Weighing the Evidence: What are the likely effects of proposed social policies? Should an environmental pollutant be…

ECON 394LI – Law & Economics

ECON 394LI – Law & Economics: The legal system as an economic system, where penalties and damages act as prices for…

LEGAL 252 – Law and Personal Freedom

LEGAL 252 – Law and Personal Freedom: The nature of freedom in the United States, focusing on constitutional guarantees founded in the…

LEGAL 293 – Race, Citizen, and the American Constitution

LEGAL 293 – Race, Citizen, and the American Constitution: The role that law and courts have played in shaping, defining, and constructing…

POLISCI 356 – International Law

POLISCI 356 – International Law: Development of basic rules of public international law. Evidence for law, international legal personality, jurisdiction, treatment…

SOC241 – Criminology

SOC241 – Criminology: Introduction to the study of criminology, definitions of crime, criminals and delinquents, demographics of crime and criminals, the work…

SOC343 – Hate Crime in America

SOC343 – Hate Crime in America: This class places hate crimes within the broader social and political context of intergroup antagonism (e.g. prejudice,…

STPEC 291F S – Prisons, Race & the Social Order

STPEC 291F S – Prisons, Race & the Social Order: This student-led colloquium will explore the racial, economic, and disciplinary roles…

Certificate in Criminology and Criminal Justice System Certificate

Prof. CJ Certificate Program Sociology Dept.
The Criminology and Criminal Justice System Certificate attracts students planning or continuing careers in the criminal justice system; from law…

Professionals In-Residence / Industry Experts

Cristina Sunkel

Professionals In-Residence / Industry Experts
  • Washington, DC
  • Independent Consultant

Student Success Stories

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