Justice and Law Studies is an interdepartmental program designed to give students a background in and framework for understanding the ways that philosophers, legislators, and ordinary people think about justice, and the related ways in which societies marshal power and implement law. This liberal arts program provides tools to think and to argue critically about what justice might entail, how it works in practice, and how rules, aspirations, laws, and norms evolve over time and in different parts of the world.
To qualify for a Justice and Law Studies concentration, students must take two required courses and four electives. The required courses are the introductory course and the senior seminar, both of which are highly interdisciplinary. The introductory course explores the intersections between law and numerous disciplines or facets of society, including history, religion, economics, political science, anthropology, the arts, sports, and cyberspace, among others. In recent years the senior seminar has centered on law as depicted in works of fiction (novels and novellas, poems, short stories, and films). In some years, students may choose between two senior seminars. In addition to the two required courses, students must take four electives from a list that includes numerous courses spanning more than a dozen departments and programs.