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About this program

Legal Studies

Recognizing that law, legal processes, and concepts are integrally involved in political, social, environmental, economic, scientific, and other issues, Hampshire College has given legal studies a significant place in its curriculum.

Some students choose to focus primarily on law, while others include legal perspectives as a secondary focus, such as how the law interacts with their interests in philosophy, international relations, environmental studies, or community organizing.

Program content

Sample First-Year Course

Law, Identity, and Bioscience

This course introduces students to the ways in which law shapes our lives and how society and culture effect how we interpret and experience law. In addition to reading materials from sociolegal studies, science and technology studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies, we will look at primary case materials that involve issues of law, identity, and bioscience. We will use case narratives as a point of entry to ask how scientific evidence, especially in the realm of genetics, has come to differently intervene in questions of law and identity. What can such analyses of law and its broader cultural contexts reveal about the legal encoding of norms of bioscience, processes of race and gender, and understandings of heredity and kin relations? Topics include the legal rights of animals; race, genetic identities, social justice; and sexuality, kinship, and property.

Sample Courses at Hampshire

  • African Americans and the Politics of Reparations
  • Critical Bioethics
  • Citizenship, Freedom and the Good Life
  • Border Matters: Mexico & the U.S.
  • Constitutionally Queer: Law and Politics of Sexuality
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Environmental Policy in a Time of Globalization
  • Ethnography of Law, Science and Medicine
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
  • Human Rights Law and Culture
  • International Human Rights Tribunals
  • Law, Identity & Bioscience
  • Law and Society
  • Patriot(ic) Acts: Law and the Production of Difference
  • People Out of Place: Bodies, Borders and Documents
  • Politics of the Abortion Rights Movement
  • Science in the Courtroom
  • War on Terror: Exception or Business as Usual?
  • Women, Law and Sex in the Mediterranean, 1300-1800

Through the Consortium

  • Law & Conscience (UMass)
  • Punishment, Politics & Culture (AC)
  • Race, Place & the Law (AC)
  • Social Organization of Law (AC)

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.


Tuition fees per semester: $25,500

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About this institute

Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a small liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts that has been at the forefront of progressive higher education in the United States for over 50 years. Every Hampshire student designs a customized program of study in...

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Contact info

Hampshire College

West Street
01002 Amherst Massachusetts
United States of America

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Want to know more about Legal Studies? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.

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