Kenyon's concentration in law and society is an acknowledgment of the increasing importance within the best liberal arts institutions of programs that emphasize the study of law, legal institutions, and the legal profession. This program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive, coherent curricular structure within which to examine a plethora of law-related issues that emerge across disciplines and for which these various disciplines seek, if not to find the correct answers about law, to ask appropriate questions.
Students pursuing a concentration in legal studies will ponder the relationship between law and human behavior and the role of law in society. They will focus their work in three primary areas: philosophies of law, law as a social institution, and law and government. The program prepares students to undertake directed research in socio-legal studies under the mentorship of Kenyon faculty.
Students will begin their exploration of law in society with the Introduction to Legal Studies and conclude it with a Senior Seminar in Legal Studies, which will encompass a directed research project within a selected theme or topic.
Introduction to Legal Studies is a survey course that exposes students to a variety of disciplinary approaches to the study of law and legal phenomena. It is intended ordinarily for students who have attained at least sophomore standing and have had some exposure to the social sciences, usually through an introductory course. The Senior Seminar in Legal Studies is open to juniors and seniors who have taken Introduction to Legal Studies and at least two other courses counting toward fulfillment of the concentration requirements (or to students with permission of the director).
The concentration in law and society requires students to complete 2.5 units of specified "law and society" coursework. These units comprise the following: Introduction to Legal Studies (LGLS 110, .5 unit); a semester's work in a philosophy-of-law subject area (philosophy, political science, or history offerings, .5 unit); two courses in two different departments examining law as a social institution (1 unit); and the Senior Seminar in Legal Studies (.5 unit).