Legal Studies focuses on the factors influencing the development of law and justice, including legal institutions and the legal process, from a social science perspective. The courses deal with a wide variety of subjects, including philosophy of law, American legal history, non-western legal traditions, politics and law, the criminal justice process, property law, and economic regulation.
The UC Berkeley Library maintains a research-level collection in legal studies to support not only the department's teaching programs, but many other disciplines, interdisciplinary programs, and professional schools. Many of the Library's social science and humanities collections also inform legal studies research. The Library also maintains a basic Law collection and relies on the Law Library to maintain the research-level Law collection.
The Legal Studies and Law collection (Library of Congress Call # range K-KZ) is housed in the Gardner (Main) Stacks. The Reference Center and North Reading Room on the 2nd floor of Doe house reference collections in social sciences and government documents. Several subject specialty libraries including Social Research, Public Health, Education & Psychology, Ethnic Studies, Institute for Governmental Studies, and Business also possess collections highly relevant to legal studies.
The Law Library maintains a research-level legal collection of primary and secondary materials related to the study and practice of law and has strict access and circulation policies for non-UCB Law students. UCB undergrads are welcome to use the collection for research purposes only.
The Law Library welcomes undergraduate students who wish to use the law library collection for research purposes only. In order to apply for an access pass, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to explain your research needs using the law library collection.
Researching the law involves discovering judicial cases, statutes and codes, executive orders, congressional hearings, legislative history, administrative regulations and much more. Although many current resources are available for free online through government and other portals, the UCB Library provides databases and other tools which allow for more in-depth analysis and historical research. Use the databases and other resources on this guide to discover the law and the societal (historical, political, cultural, etc) influences on the law's development.