May 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

New M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture Offered On Campus, Online

CLJC students in Northern Ireland, in front of graffiti wall

Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences announces the new M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture focusing on critical analysis of law in relation to society, culture, politics and power, in the United States as well as other western and non-western legal traditions.

The program is the first M.A. in law and society in Ohio, and one of the few in the country. It can be completed in one year of study on the Athens campus or in two years of part-time study completely online.

​All students who enroll in the first online cohort in fall 2018 receive 30% off their entire tuition.​

About the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture

“Law and society is a vibrant interdisciplinary field,” says M.A. Program Director Dr. Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor of Anthropology.

“As a law and society degree, the new M.A. program draws on the analytic, interpretive, and imaginative tools of the liberal arts to shed light on the moral and political elements on law, and its meaning and significance in our everyday lives.”

“This is important training for anyone who deals with law academically or professionally – including people who are in careers that deal with law, as well as those who are considering law school or Ph.D. programs.”

The M.A. program includes core courses focusing on the theoretical traditions of law and society scholarship and the deep integration of theory and methods in this interdisciplinary field, and well as elective courses examining law from different disciplinary perspectives.

The program also offers an annual nine-day study abroad program focusing on human rights, law and justice in post-conflict Northern Ireland. This study abroad experience includes interactions with former combatants, human rights lawyers, ex-political prisoners, victims associations, and restorative justice practitioners, as well as visits to museums, former prisons, and non-governmental organizations.

The program emphasizes research-driven teaching and learning. All students must carry out graduate-level independent research by completing either a master’s thesis or a master’s research essay, with the option of a capstone research course.

The program also provides professional training in academic presentation and communication through its curricular and extra-curricular components.

The degree is housed within Ohio University’s Center for Law, Justice & Culture, an interdisciplinary teaching and research center focusing on law in relation to the social and political challenges of the 21st century.

Law and Society at Ohio University

“The Center for Law, Justice & Culture is an energetic community of students and faculty who are deeply committed to the study of law’s role in our contemporary world. We coordinate sociolegal studies at Ohio University,” says Duschinski, who is also Center director.

The Center supports academic training in law and society through interdisciplinary coursework and research as well as extra-curricular academic and professional development opportunities, including pre-law advising and programming.

It brings together perspectives from African American studies, anthropology, criminology, history, political science, sociology, and other related fields.

The center’s faculty are leading researchers with national and global expertise on diverse forms of law in contemporary, historical, and comparative contexts.

“We carry out empirical research on legal actors and institutions, rights claims and struggles for justice, the relationship between social movements and legal mobilizations, alternative jurisdictional and legal orders, and law’s coercive power and emancipatory potential,” says Duschinski.

Benefits of the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture

Individuals who have recently completed their undergraduate training with little professional experience may develop their academic and professional training by earning the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture. The degree is ideal for individuals considering a J.D. or Ph.D. degree.

For recent college graduates, the on-campus master’s degree option provides one year of graduate-level training in sociolegal theory, methods, research, and writing prior to applying to law school, doctoral programs, or starting their career.

The online program is especially beneficial for individuals working outside of the legal profession—but in fields affected by the legal system—who wish to develop greater understanding of law and justice issues for professional enhancement. This includes career professionals in areas such as journalism, nonprofits, community organizing, advocacy, criminal justice, juvenile justice, social work, court administration, national security, probation and law enforcement, and regulatory agencies.

For individuals working inside of the legal profession, including those with a J.D., the program strengthens skills in thinking and writing about complex social issues, advocating on social justice issues in more diverse ways, and broadening the applicability and marketability of their legal knowledge and experience beyond the legal field.

Individuals who have completed the J.D. and pursued legal careers may seek opportunities to further their educational training for career transitions as well as professional satisfaction. This includes individuals wishing to enter public policy, intelligence and security, advocacy and organizing, higher education, human resources, community development, and other alternative careers. It also includes professionals in career transition, such as those considering second career options.


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