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Apply by March 15 for Master's in Law, Justice and Culture program on campus this fall

The M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture program — which focuses on critical analysis of law in relation to society, culture, politics and power — is accepting priority applications through March 15 for those interested in starting the on-campus program in Fall 2022.

The program is offered on campus and online, with an on-campus cohort starting each fall. The online program is now open now for Summer 2022 or Fall 2022 entry.

This master's degree is designed for anyone who deals with law academically or professionally - including individuals considering law school or Ph.D. programs or those in professions such as journalism, nonprofits, community organizing, advocacy, criminal justice, juvenile justice, social work, court administration, national security, probation and law enforcement, or regulatory agencies.

  • The Law, Justice & Culture degree:
  • Can be completed on campus or entirely online.
  • Offers research-driven teaching by faculty with national and global expertise in their fields.

Strengthens skills in analytical and conceptual thinking, legal and scholarly research and writing, ethical and public interest concerns, public advocacy, and active engagement with the challenges of law and justice in the 21st century.

How to Apply

Applicants need to have earned a bachelor's degree, but no GRE is required.

To apply, please visit this webpage.

On-Campus Program | Open for Fall 2022
  • Next on-campus cohort begins Fall 2022.
  • Application deadline is March 15. After that, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, as space permits.
Online Program | Open for Summer and Fall 2022
  • The Summer application deadline is April 1.
  • The Fall application deadline is July 15.
About the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture

“Law and society is a vibrant interdisciplinary field,” says Program Director Haley Duschinski, associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“As a law and society degree, the 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,” Duschinski said.

“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.”

Read about former M.A. students:

  • Abigail Mulligan, who is now working to help renters in need during COVID
  • Kristin Kelley, who studied violence in tribal nations
  • Lindsay Fetherolf, who got the tools she needs to analyze law and society in the online program
  • Aliyah Cole, who joined the master's program after earning her undergraduate degree at OHIO
  • Devin Ordich, whose undergraduate degree was in forensic chemistry at OHIO
  • Samantha Rommel, who found value and accessibility in the online program
  • Sara White, who was able to manage her schedule with online classes

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.

This webpage offers more information on the study abroad program on Human Rights, Law and Justice in Northern Ireland.

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

The online courses are all asynchronous. CLJC faculty have developed them in close consultation with Ohio University course design experts to maximize student learning and student engagement.

Through the program, students focus on topics in law and society including civil rights, human rights, reproductive rights, environmental justice, critical race theory, mass incarceration, prisoner re-entry, wrongful conviction, juvenile advocacy, sexual assault prevention and awareness, international justice, and international law, among other topics.

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,” Duschinski said.

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.

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,” Duschinski said.

This webpage provides more information about the faculty of the Center for Law, Justice & Culture.

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.

January 21, 2022
Staff reports