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Undergraduate Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture

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Students from All Majors Invited To Apply by Oct. 7

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture invites Ohio University undergraduate students from all majors to apply for the Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture.

The certificate program brings together interdisciplinary coursework from African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology, English, History, Interdisciplinary Arts, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology, and other departments across the social sciences and humanities to provide students with intellectual training in a "law and society" perspective. It also provides opportunities for faculty mentoring through research projects, internships, study abroad, and career guidance.

Enrollment in the certificate program is a competitive process modeled after selection for law and graduate schools. Students with an overall GPA of 3.4 or above are eligible for 25 slots per year. Those who do not meet the GPA requirement may submit an optional essay explaining their qualifications.

Once accepted into the program, Law, Justice & Culture students enroll in LJC 2000: Core Course in Law, Justice & Culture, offered annually in the spring. They are required to take at least one LJC elective course outside of their majors to ensure that they are exposed to interdisciplinary perspectives. As they proceed through the certificate coursework, LJC students participate in the intellectual life of the Center and engage in practice-oriented learning opportunities such as internships and research projects, all dealing with issues of democratic governance, social justice, and human rights.

The program will be appropriate for students who plan to pursue professions in law, rights advocacy, justice administration, public policy, government, nonprofit organizations, and academic research and teaching.

For more information, contact Dr. Kevin Uhalde.

Program Overview

The Law, Justice & Culture Certificate program brings together interdisciplinary coursework from African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology, English, History, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology, and other departments across the social sciences and humanities relating to law’s formative and constitutive role in cultural, political, and social life. It also provides opportunities for faculty mentoring through research projects, internships, study abroad, and career guidance.

This certificate program provides students with intellectual training in a “law and society” perspective in the liberal arts. A law and society perspective refers to a particular interdisciplinary approach to the study of law in its societal context, focusing on the place of law in social, political, economic, and cultural life. A law and society approach does not simply define law as a system of rules, doctrines, and decisions, but rather views law as a set of institutional practices that have developed in relation to other social institutions, including cultural, economic, religious, kinship, and political systems. The law and society perspective foregrounds these modes of interdependence and seeks to describe them through empirical methodologies—through attention to law as it is actually practiced, in particular contexts, as an institutional domain of everyday life.

Admissions Information

Note: Apply by Oct. 7.

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture fosters and promotes this interdisciplinary perspective, with an emphasis specifically on the nexus of law, justice, and culture. For this reason, the certificate program approaches law as a social, political, and cultural phenomenon that is inextricably intertwined in questions of justice, inequality, governance, democracy, violence, and liberation.

Enrollment in the certificate program is a competitive process modeled after selection for law and graduate schools.  Students with an overall GPA of 3.4 or above are eligible for 25 slots per year.  During the fall application cycle, students are asked to submit an application essay as well as a current DARS report through the online application system on the Center website.  Those who do not meet the GPA requirement may submit an optional essay explaining their qualifications.

Career & Graduate School Opportunities

The Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture is appropriate for students who plan to pursue professions in law, rights advocacy, justice administration, public policy, government, nonprofit organizations, and academic research and teaching.

Essay Prompts for Application

The Law, Justice & Culture Certificate program provides students with undergraduate training in law and society studies. Through the program, students learn to think critically about law in relation to society, culture, politics and power, in U.S. and international contexts.

On the application form for the Law, Justice & Culture Certificate, students will be asked to write a 300-word essay in response to one of following prompts:

  • Read W.H. Auden's poem "Law, Like Love." Following Auden, how might we imagine law to be like love, and what are the implications of this relationship?
  • You have been appointed as chair of a special commission tasked with addressing any major issue dealing with law, justice, and culture in the United States. You must invite two of the following experts to join your commission: an author, an engineer, an economist, a lawyer, a psychiatrist, a social worker, a historian, a journalist, and a social scientist. (a) What issue would you choose, and why? (b) Which two types of experts would you choose, and why?
  • Identify a fictional book, movie, documentary, or television show that relates to law, justice, and culture. In your essay, interpret this item of popular media, with special attention to what it reveals about the relationships among law, justice, and culture.
  • Present an image that relates to law, justice, and culture. It could be a photograph that you have taken, or from another source; an artistic representation; or another image, object, or structure that evokes law. In your essay, interpret this image, with special attention to what it reveals about the relationships among law, justice, and culture.

Certificate Requirements

Required Courses

(9 hours)

  • POLS 2200 The Politics of Law
  • SOC 2600 Criminal Justice
  • LJC 2000 Core Course for Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture.

Elective Courses

(9 credits)

Students are required to take nine credits from the following list of courses that address law’s formative and constitutive role in cultural, political, and social life. In order to ensure that students receive interdisciplinary training in law, justice, and culture, the certificate requires students to take three courses at the 3000 or 4000 level distributed across two different programs.

  • AAS 3680 - African American Political Thought Credit Hours: 3
  • AAS 3691 - U.S. Constitutional Law: Pre-Civil Rights Movements Credit Hours: 3
  • ANTH 3530 - Anthropology of Violence and Peace Credit Hours: 3
  • ANTH 4250 - Ethnographies of Global Capitalism Credit Hours: 3
  • ANTH 4590 - Legal Anthropology Credit Hours: 3
  • ANTH 4620 - Human Rights, Law and Justice Credit Hours: 3
  • COMS 4604 - Responsibilities and Freedom of Speech in Communication Credit Hours: 3
  • ENG 3570 - Law and Literature Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4560 - The Just and Sustainable City Credit Hours: 3
  • HIST 3270 - Slavery in the Americas Credit Hours: 3
  • HIST 3520 - Roman Law & Society Credit Hours: 3
  • HIST 3521 - Medieval Law & Society, 500-1000 Credit Hours: 3
  • HIST 3531 - Vikings - Saxons - Franks: Western Europe, 476-1066 Credit Hours: 3
  • HIST 3715 - Sex, Crime and Deviance in Europe, 1200-1800 Credit Hours: 3
  • HIST 4536 - Eternal Rome: Piety and Power Credit Hours: 3
  • PHIL 4420 - Philosophy of Law Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4010 - American Constitutional Law Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4040 - Civil Liberties Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4210 - The Politics of Law and Sexuality Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4225 - Law and Colonialism Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4550 - International Law Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4555 - Transitional Justice Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4565 - International Human Rights Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4739 - Politics of Race Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4751 - Critical Race Theory Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4752 - The Politics of Intersectionality Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4753 - American Whiteness Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4754 - Black Political Thought Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4757 - Race, Violence and Human Security Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4770 - Legal Theory and Social Problems Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4902 - Special Topics in Law and Politics Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3320 - Access to Justice Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3600 - Criminology Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3620 - Ethics in Law, Crime, and Justice Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3630 - Juvenile Delinquency Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3640 - Police and Society Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3650 - Sociology of Mental Illness Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3660 - Punishment and Society Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3670 - Corporate and Governmental Crime Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3685 - Human Trafficking Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4610 - Crime and Media Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4620 - Sociology of the Courts Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4640 - Law in Societies Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4670 - Violence Against Women Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4680 - Crimes Against Humanity Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4710 - Gender and Justice Credit Hours: 3
  • SW 3602 - Social Welfare Policy Credit Hours: 3