Jul 25, 2021  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
    
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

Law, Justice & Culture - MA


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Degree Title and Name:  Master of Arts in Law, Justice & Culture

Program Name and Number:  Law, Justice & Culture – MA4416 (Athens), MA4417 (Online)

Department/Unit:  Center for Law, Justice & Culture

Delivery Mode:  Athens Campus; Online

Term(s) of Entry:  Fall (Athens - MA4416); Fall, Spring, Summer (Online - MA4417)

Program Overview:  The M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture offers graduate training in law and society studies, an interdisciplinary field focusing on the foundations and structures of institutions of justice and law in specific contexts, including the US as well as other western and non-western legal traditions. The MA degree is housed within the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, with faculty drawn from anthropology, criminology, political science, sociology, history, African American studies, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, and law.

This M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture is the first of its kind in Ohio and is one of a few in the United States. As a liberal arts program, it provides a broad view of law’s place in society as well as a theoretical investigation of the fundamentals of law and how it operates in comparative social and historical contexts, emphasizing a context-driven approach to law as ideology and practice.

Students may complete the program across two semesters of full-time coursework on the Athens campus, or four to six semesters of part-time coursework entirely online. The courses focus on: the theoretical and methodological traditions of law and society studies; law and society perspectives across the disciplines; and training in legal research and writing. All students must carry out graduate-level independent research by completing either a master’s thesis or a master’s research essay. The program emphasizes professionalism in academic presentation and communication through its curricular and extra-curricular components.

Through the M.A. program, students develop their analytical and conceptual thinking, legal and scholarly research and writing, ethical and public interest concerns, public advocacy skills, and active engagement with the challenges of law and justice in the twenty-first century.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Graduates of this program will demonstrate:

  1. Understanding of a law and society perspective built upon a critical approach to law in relation to society, culture, politics and power (Core Knowledge)
  2. Basic knowledge of social science data collection methods and the analytic techniques that scholars use to evaluate their data (Research Methods and Analysis)
  3. Ability to carry out graduate-level academic research in law and society studies through project design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and representation (Independent Research)
  4. Professional skills necessary for ethical and engaged scholarship and practice (Professionalism)

Opportunities for Graduates:  The program prepares graduates for careers in research and policy centers, public institutions, advocacy organizations, private companies, and nonprofit agencies, as well as for J.D. programs, Ph.D. programs, and research positions in universities and public agencies.

Link to Program:  ohio.edu/cas/law-center/ma-law-justice-culture

Link to Program Handbook:  ohio.edu/cas/law-center/ma-law-justice-culture/requirements/handbook

Graduation Requirements:  [effective prior to spring 2020]

The program requires 34 credit hours (minimum) consisting of 10 hours of core coursework, 20 hours of elective coursework, and 4 hours of research. All students must complete a research requirement by producing a master’s thesis or a master’s research essay. There is no option for comprehensive exams. Students are expected to complete the degree through two semesters of 16-18 credit hours in residence, or four-six semesters of 4–8 credit hours per semester online.

Master’s degree students must take the following three core courses at the 6000 level:

  • LJC 6000: LJC Proseminar: This proseminar exposes students to law and society studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students learn the theoretical traditions of law and society scholarship through readings from different disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. (4 hrs)
  • LJC 6500: LJC Methods: This course addresses the methodological techniques employed for law and society research and considers how these methodological approaches relate to various theoretical frameworks. It focuses on empirical research and includes practical training on methods such as interviewing, participant observation, sampling, and ethics. (4 hrs)
  • LJC 6965: Legal Practice Workshop: This course introduces the research, writing, and analytical skills that legal professionals need in their legal practice, including the basics of legal research and legal reference for a variety of print and electronic media. (min. 2 hrs)

Students must also take elective courses from affiliated departments. Students may take 5000-level dual-listed courses and 6000-level graduate seminar courses. The elective courses—from African American studies, anthropology, criminology, history, political science, and sociology—employ interdisciplinary frameworks to examine law and legal institutions, their impact on society, and society’s impact on them. The elective courses are all designed and taught by faculty with the Ph.D. or J.D. degree.

Graduation Requirements:  [effective spring 2020]

The program requires 32 credit hours (minimum) consisting of 12 hours of core coursework, 16 hours of elective coursework, and 4 hours of research. All students must complete a research requirement by producing a master’s thesis or a master’s research essay. There is no option for comprehensive exams. Students are expected to complete the degree through two semesters of 16 credit hours in residence, or four-six semesters of 4–8 credit hours per semester online.

Master’s degree students must take the following three core courses at the 6000 level:

  • LJC 6000: LJC Proseminar: This proseminar exposes students to law and society studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students learn the theoretical traditions of law and society scholarship through readings from different disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. (4 hrs)
  • LJC 6500: LJC Methods: This course addresses the methodological techniques employed for law and society research and considers how these methodological approaches relate to various theoretical frameworks. It focuses on empirical research and includes practical training on methods such as interviewing, participant observation, sampling, and ethics. (4 hrs)
  • LJC 6965: Legal Practice Workshop: This course introduces the research, writing, and analytical skills that legal professionals need in their legal practice, including the basics of legal research and legal reference for a variety of print and electronic media. (4 hrs)

Students must also take elective courses from affiliated departments. Students may take 5000-level dual-listed courses and 6000-level graduate seminar courses. The elective courses—from African American studies, anthropology, criminology, history, political science, and sociology—employ interdisciplinary frameworks to examine law and legal institutions, their impact on society, and society’s impact on them. The elective courses are all designed and taught by faculty with the Ph.D. or J.D. degree.

Culminating Experience:  After completing both LJC 6000 and LJC 6500, students must complete graduate-level research under faculty supervision through a research course. The research course options require students to demonstrate the integration of theory and methods throughout all phases of law and society empirical research including project design, data collection, data analysis, and research presentation. The research options include:

  • LJC 6800: Capstone in Law, Justice & Culture is a faculty-led course that systematically guides students through the process of independent empirical research. LJC 6800 culminates in a master’s research essay to be evaluated by the faculty instructor in accordance with the program’s established evaluation rubric for major papers.
  • LJC 6940: Independent Research in Law, Justice & Culture provides the opportunity for students to pursue independent research under close supervision of a faculty member. This may involve research on one aspect of the faculty supervisor’s broader research project. LJC 6940 culminates in a master’s research essay to be evaluated by the faculty supervisor in accordance with the program’s established evaluation rubric for major papers.
  • LJC 6950: Thesis in Law, Justice & Culture provides the opportunity for students to pursue independent thesis research under close supervision of a faculty committee, including one primary faculty advisor. LJC 6950 culminates in a master’s thesis to be evaluated by the faculty committee in accordance with the program’s established thesis criteria.

All of the graduate research options culminate in a final written scholarly analysis: either a master’s research essay or a master’s thesis. The master’s research essay is a work of publishable quality and length, written as an extension of work done through the program, but researched and reshaped to meet professional standards of scholarly publication. The thesis is a carefully argued work of scholarship that represents a novel contribution to law and society studies in the arts and sciences.

Admission Requirements:

All applicants must have completed the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation into the program.

Applicants for the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture must submit the following application materials to the Graduate College:

  • Application forms
  • Curriculum vitae or academic resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Two academic letters of recommendation. Applicants who have been working in professional careers for three or more years may provide professional or academic letters of recommendation or reference that speak to your intellectual characteristics, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and ability to effectively communicate.
  • Statement of purpose. Please submit a personal statement of 1,000 words or less describing your background, interests, plans for graduate study, and career aspirations. The statement should include a discussion of some experiences and ideas that have shaped those interests, plans and aspirations, and why OHIO’s MA in Law, Justice & Culture the right program for you to pursue graduate study. This is one of the most important parts of the application, and considerable care should be taken in crafting it.
  • Optional writing sample. The writing sample should represent your very best academic work, regardless of the topic, and it should demonstrate your capacity for clear expression, close reading, skilled observation, critical thinking and the creative, rigorous interpretation of empirical data.
  • English Proficiency. Non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting official test scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores are not accepted. See the Graduate College webpages for minimum proficiency scores.

International Students:  Enrollment in MA4416 (Athens) permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program. Enrollment in MA4417 (online) does not permit full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 cannot be issued based on admission to this program.

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