Courses and Requirements

The goal of Hamilton's Jurisprudence, Law and Justice Studies Program is to provide students with the analytical and empirical foundation to understand how the theory, practice and meaning of law stimulates civic engagement.

Although their prominence in the curriculum has varied throughout the years, courses engaging jurisprudence, justice and the examination of law in social life have had a place at Hamilton since the 1830s. The minor concentration in Jurisprudence, Law and Justice Studies (JLJS) establishes a curricular home for such courses, in keeping with the College’s liberal arts mission and with the goal of advancing a number of pedagogic aims.

As Woodrow Wilson observed in 1894, “Every citizen should know what the law is, how it came into existence, what relation its form bears to its substance, and how it gives to society its fiber and strength and poise of frame.* Understanding the theory, practice and meaning of law stimulates civic engagement and provides students with the analytical and empirical foundation to engage subjects ranging from legal decision-making and dispute resolution; policing, criminal justice and incarceration; political speech and action; to the use and meaning of legal discourse in the making of social policy.

A minor in Jurisprudence, Law, and Justice Studies consists of five courses: no more than three can be counted from either of the two listings--in Analytic Perspectives and Theory, and Substantive Areas.

Analytic Perspectives and Theory:
BIO 215 Genetics and Society
COM. 280 Conflict Mediation
ENG 129 Truth and Justice, The American Way
ENG 342 Written on the Wall: Twentieth-Century American Prison Writing
ENG 442 Booked: Prison Writing
GOV 365 Free Speech in American Political and Legal Thought
HIST/GOV 229 The American Founding
PHIL 380 Philosophy of Law
PHIL 460 Seminar in Ethics: Contemporary Theories of Justice
SOC 223 Law and Society
CPLIT 143 Literature on Trials

Substantive Areas:
COM 450 First Amendment: Freedom of Speech
GOV 224 International Law
GOV 225S Courts and Judicial Process
GOV 241 Survey of Constitutional Law
GOV 335 Seminar: Criminal Law
SOC 327 Race and the Law [F'2017]
SOC 373 The Constitution and Social Policy
WMST 225 Women, Law, Public Policy and Activism in the Contemporary United States

* 1894 Address to the American Bar Association, noted in: Albert E. Harum (1960) "The Case for an Undergraduate Law Elective in Liberal Arts." Journal of Legal Education 12: 422.

(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)

Contact Information

Jurisprudence, Law and Justice Studies Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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