About the Program in Law, Politics, and Society
The mission of the Program in Law, Politics, and Society is to provide outstanding interdisciplinary undergraduate education in legal and justice studies, contributing to student’s understandings of the intersections of law, politics, and society in myriad settings, in ways that enable them to develop as ethical members of their communities. An LPS education will contribute to Drake University’s Mission by providing a bridge between liberal arts and pre-professional education, and graduating students with global and multicultural understandings.
About the Program
The Law, Politics and Society program offers students an interdisciplinary perspective on the complex interactions of law, culture, economics, politics, and social structure. Situated firmly within a liberal arts education, the program does not treat law as a fixed, naturally given feature of social life, or as a professional practice reserved for specialists such as lawyers, judges, and legislators. Instead, the program understands law, as a pervasive part of everyday life, to be socially constructed and contested.
As LPS majors, students will take courses from a wide variety of departments and faculty at Drake, with ample opportunities to integrate their interdisciplinary learning into an understanding of the larger field of sociolegal studies. From introductory courses in the major, to small topical seminars on topics as diverse as constitutional interpretation, human rights and international law, and reproductive law and politics, students will encounter a range of ways to study and understand the complex interactions of law, politics, and society in a globalizing, multicultural, and dynamic world. They will take these understandings with them into internships and experiential learning opportunities, and later into jobs, graduate school, and professional education.
In this major students will:
- participate actively in their communities;
- read and understand legal texts, court decisions, and theoretical writing, and use those texts effectively to convey complex ideas and arguments in writing;
- know and articulate the difference between law as a professional practice and law as a topic of liberal arts inquiry;
- demonstrate awareness of how issues of justice, morality, authority, order, legitimacy, individualism, and community create tensions within ordered social life;
- explain how historical development and different cultural practices, social organizations, and political systems affect law and justice around the world;
- examine how factors such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and religion impact legal, social, and political life;
- deploy contemporary legal, critical, and interpretive theories in their own analyses of political, social, or legal events or situations.
Congratulations to the following LPS Students, who had papers nominated by LPS faculty for our inaugural Student Paper Awards, meant to recognize excellent work in lower and upper division Law, Politics, and Society courses.
- Hannah Armentrout: The Law as a Mechanism for the Defense of the Few: An Examination of Law and Justice
- Kathryn Bell: The DREAM Act: Redefining American Identity?
- Ashley Beisch: Adoption Gone Wrong: United States Parental Rights and Burden of Proof
- Natalie Hedberg: Monsters in the Media: The Inaccuracy of Law School Portrayal
- Domenic Lamberti: Sexual Orientation and Strict Scrutiny
- Taylor Monson: Enslaving the Future: Child Labor and its effects
- Colton Mormon: Perversion of Equality: Women and the Law
- Colton Mormon: Seven Day Scorcher: How Government Policy Creates Un-Natural Disasters
- Olivia O’Hea: Law School Promotes Success: The Legal Education Myth
- Olivia O’Hea: Social Control in My Life: Norms, Rules, and Laws
- Steven Schaaf: The Apotheosis of Violence in American Society: An Analysis of (non)-Violent and Violent Action in the Civil Rights Movement
Congratulations to Hannah Armentrout and Colton Mormon, for winning the inaugural LPS Paper Awards.