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Law and Society Major

Law and Society is the study of the place of law in social, political, economic and cultural life. As an interdisciplinary liberal arts program, the proposed Law and Society major encompasses many diverse disciplines of study, among them anthropology, history, linguistics, philosophy, political science, and sociology. It introduces students to different facets of law and the role of law in society through the ages.

Laws are fundamental to any successful society. Throughout history, as communities and countries have struggled to create and nurture robust economies and higher standards of living for their citizens, social and legal institutions have been essential to their efforts. Law and Society is the study of how legal and social systems are interconnected, how people live and how law is woven into communities. Students gain an understanding of what happens when legal innovations and institutions succeed and when they fail.

This inter-disciplinary Major program is offered to candidates for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts. It is offered in conjunction with a major or a minor in a single discipline. In order to be awarded a B.A. with a Major in Law and Society, candidates must complete all the requirements of the B. A. (see Faculty of Arts – Degree Regulations in the MUN Calendar). Candidates should contact the Program Coordinator by June 1st if they intend to begin the program in the Fall semester admission and by October 1st if they intend to begin the program in the Winter semester to discuss the planning of their program.

As is the case with any inter-disciplinary program, it will be the students’ responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary prerequisites to complete the program.

Newsletter - Winter 2013

The Winter  2013 edition of the LWSO Newsletter is now online. View

New Course

Linguistics 3220 - Linguistics and the Law is an overview of the many relationships between linguistics and the judicial process. Topics to be covered include: the language of legal texts, trademark, copyright, treaties and contract law, and the Plain English movement; language use in legal settings (such as eyewitness testimony, jury instructions, and the language of lawyer-client interatcions); the legal disadvantages which language may impose on speakers of minority languages and non-standard dialects; the discipline of forensic linguistics (which deals with such issues as voice and authorship identification, and linguistic interpretation of advice). PR: LING 1100 or LING 2100 or LWSO 1000

Dr. Ray Critch, Manager of Academic Programs, LWSO

Welcome to Dr. Raymond Critch, who has assumed the position of Manager of Academic Programs in the Law and Society Program, Faculty of Arts. Dr. Critch is a graduate of Memorial University and Rothmere Fellow. He completed his law degree at the University of New Brunswick and completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. Currently, he teaches courses in the Department of Philosophy (including a course in the philosophy of law) and in the Law and Society Program. Dr. Critch is available to advise program students about course selection, program matters and issues related to careers, including in related areas.

You can contact Dr. Critch at:, or at 864-4796.

Upcoming Events

Watch the LWSO web site for information about upcoming program events in Winter, 2013.


Dr. Pat Dold
Coordinator of the Law and Society Minor Program
Faculty of Arts
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St John's, NL
A1C 5S7

Joan Butler
Administrative Assistant
Office: SN 4082
Telephone: 864-3322