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 maintains a basic Law collection and relies on the Law Library to maintain a research-level collection.
The Legal Studies and Law collection (Library of Congress Call # range K-KZ) is housed in the Gardner (Main) Stacks. The undergraduate Moffitt Library also maintains a collection of core, high-use English language materials of particular relevance to the undergraduate curriculum. The Reference Center and North Reading Room on the 2nd floor of Doe houses reference collection in social sciences and government documents. Several subject speciality libraries including Social Reseach, 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.
Researching the law involves discovering judicial cases, statutes and codes, executive orders, congressional hearings, legislative history, administrative regulations and much more. Although many resources are available via open access online through government and other portals, the UCB Library has purchased several resources that permit more in-depth and historical research.