Our courses treat law as a historically evolving and culturally specific enterprise in which moral argument, interpretive practices, and force are brought to bear on the organization of society.
Welcome to Amherst College!
A major in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought consists of a minimum of nine courses, for students in the classes of 2021 and 2022. For students in the classes of 2023 and 2024 the minimum requirement is ten courses.
** A student who would graduate in 2021 but takes time off and graduates in 2021E would need 9 courses.
If the student graduates in 2022, they still would need 9. If they became a 2022E they would need 10.The Department of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought (LJST) does not administer a placement examination or otherwise determine what a student’s first course in LJST should be. We generally recommend that students who wish to study law with us begin by taking any of the several 100-level courses we offer. Prior to graduation, LJST majors are required to take LJST 103 (Legal Institutions), LJST 110 ( Intro to Legal Theory) and LJST 143 (Law’s History). But it is not a matter of department policy that any of these courses be a student’s first course in LJST.
Legal Science Fiction
Consider how the speculative imagination approaches topics such as civil rights, reproduction, privacy, and property, and analyze texts and films alongside legal cases and theories of justice.
What's So Great About (In)Equality?
Engage a range of debates within political philosophy and legal theory, including the legal dimensions of class inequality in contexts such as labor law, welfare and poverty law, education and criminal justice.
Interpretation Law & Literature
This seminar will examine contemporary theories of interpretation as they inform legal and literary understandings. Readings will include works of literature, court cases and contributions by theorists of interpretation.
The Nasser Hussain Prize
The Nasser Hussain Prize honors the memory of a beloved member of the LJST faculty (pictured here) whose work embodies a humanistic conception of law in the liberal arts. It is given annually to a graduating senior.