Legal Studies

Welcome to the Legal Studies Program at UMass! We are the oldest undergraduate law and society major in the country and the only one offered at a public university in New England. Students majoring in Legal Studies are exposed to a wide array of courses that focus on the interrelationship between law, politics, and society in American, foreign, and international contexts. Our faculty are some of the best teachers and researchers in the nation and are experts on areas like human trafficking, judicial decision making, immigration, legal policymaking, alternative dispute resolution, the right to privacy, transitional justice, and many others.

Undergraduate program options include a Bachelor’s degree and letters of specialization.

Welcome to the Legal Studies Community

Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of law and society. The major is housed in the Department of Political Science within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. There is no minor in Legal Studies. There are five Letters of Specialization available to Legal Studies majors. The purpose of this multifaceted program is to develop the study of law within a liberal arts framework and to explore the myriad ways in which law is connected with other disciplines pertinent to an understanding of society.

Legal Studies is an education about law as a social and political product, whereas law school is education in rules and procedures. The critical, social scientific approach of the program encourages students to investigate and develop their attitudes toward law, politics, and society within the context of a growing literature of Legal Studies and related disciplines.

Legal Studies also examines law and society from the perspective of other cultures. The department encourages study abroad to expand cross-cultural understanding in an increasingly global legal community.

Paid Fall Internships with the new SBS On Campus Internship Program – deadlines approaching

SBS majors are encouraged to apply for a paid fall internship as part of the exciting new donor funded “SBS On Campus” Internship Program.  Interns in a variety of SBS offices will spend the fall semester assisting in the …

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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Virtual Student Federal Services Internships – Apply Now!

The Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) is a nine-month remote internship (10 hours/week) for U.S. citizen students, college-level and above, who would like to make a real difference in the work of the U.S. government. Since 2009, thousands of eInterns …

By Odessa Burkett
Odessa Burkett Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development Odessa Burkett
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Learn more about our SBS in DC interns, and follow their summer adventures on Instagram!

Check it out, here.

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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Featured Resources

Research Opportunities

The Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) at UMass helps students (and alumni who are not currently in grad school) …

The CHC provides a diverse community of academically talented students at UMass Amherst with extensive opportunities for analysis, research, professional …

UREP is designed to partner advanced undergraduate political science and legal studies majors with faculty for hands-on, one-on-one research experiences.

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