Ph.D. Program (JSP)

Dean Edley and the JSP staff

UC Berkeley Law School's Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP) Program offers a unique interdisciplinary graduate program leading to Ph.D. degrees for students interested in:

  • The scholarly study of legal ideas and institutions from the standpoint of one or more of the basic disciplines, such as, history, economics, philosophy, sociology, or political science.
  • Policy analysis and applied research on law-related issues in such fields as criminal justice, poverty and discrimination, human rights, urban planning, and environmental protection.
  • Preparation for teaching legal studies in graduate and undergraduate curriculums.
  • Interdisciplinary preparation for teaching law.

Admission to the JSP Program does not require a juris doctor (J.D.) degree, and does not lead to a J.D. degree. Students may apply to both the law school's J.D. and JSP Programs; however, admission to one does not guarantee admission to the other.

Applicants have two options:

  • To seek admission to the JSP Program alone, leading to the Ph.D. degree without a J.D. degree.
  • To seek admission to both programs, leading, if admitted to both, to the J.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Completion of the first option normally takes about five years and completion of the second option includes an additional year or more.

A fundamental objective of the JSP Program is to focus the knowledge and perspectives of the social sciences and humanities on the analysis of law, legal discourses, legal institutions, and law-related policies. To this end, JSP's faculty includes scholars from economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.




Congratulations to the 2013 winner of the Associate for Law, Culture and the Humanities Austin Sarat Award. Alexandra Havrylyshyn, is a third-year Ph.D. student in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.  She holds a Master's in History from McGill University (Dean's Honour List), and is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral award.

Alexa Koenig has been appointed as Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law.

Gwendolyn Leachman
will be a postdoctoral fellow at the Williams Institute Public Policy Research at UCLA for 2012-13.

Jamie Rowen will be a postdoctoral research fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois.

Keramet Reiter will join the Criminology, Law, and Society faculty at University of California Irvine.

Wei Zhang
will be a Assistant Professor at Singapore Management University School of Law.

Previous Placements


JSP and Boalt graduate Tom Ginsburg has just become the first graduate of the JSP Program to be elected to AAAS. Tom is currently Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago Law School. While at JSP, Tom worked principally with Martin Shapiro and Harry Scheiber.

Shauhin Talesh, has the lead article in the most recent Law & Society Review: “How Dispute Resolution System Design Matters: An Organizational Analysis of Dispute Resolution Structures and Consumer Lemon Laws” (46:463-496, 2012)

David Louk has been selected to be a Policy Fellow with the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale for 2012-2013.       

Genevieve Painter
has been awarded the Canadian (SSHRC) Social Science and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship for 2012-2013.

Hillary Berk has been awarded a UC Dissertation Year Fellowship for 2012-2013 to complete her dissertation titled “Contracts, Surrogacy, and Emotional Labor: How Law Matters When Managing Relationship.”    

Alexandra Havrylyshyn was awarded the Edward Hildebrand Graduate Fellowship for research in Canadian studies for summer 2012, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellowship for 2011-2015.

Chase Burton
, a Legal Studies graduate and incoming JSP student, won the Law and Society Association 2012 Undergraduate Paper Prize for his paper "Spare the Cell, Spoil the Child: The History and Philosophy of American Juvenile Justice."

Helen Hartnell has been awarded a Fullbright Core Grant for research and teaching at the University of Helsinki, where she will be affiliated with the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Policy.

James Phillips has been named a 2012 John Marshall Fellow by the Claremont Institute.

Larisa Mann is an invited participant in the Western States Arts Federation Cultural Policy Symposium in April of 2012.

More Student Awards




Kristin Luker, Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, and Director, Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, has won the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University. The Cross Medal recognizes distinguished achievement in scholarship, teaching, academic administration, and public service, and has been awarded to a small number of outstanding Yale alumni.

Rosann Greenspan wins 2014 Fellows Award from the Western Society of Criminology.

Mini-Symposium on Bob Kagan at APSA. (more)

Kinch Hoekstra is one of only four 2013 recipients of the campus Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs.

Robert Cooter received a Honorary Ph.D., Universidad de San Martin de Porres, Lima, Peru, 20 June 2012.

Lauren Edelman and Catherine Albiston
(along with coauthors Linda Krieger, Scott Eliason, and JSP Graduate Virginia Mellema) received honorable mention for the W. Richard Scott Prize for Distinguished Scholarship on Organizations, Occupations, and Work for "When Organizations Rule: Judicial Deference to Institutionalized Employment Structures, 117 American Journal of Sociology 888 (2011).

Harry Scheiber
received the 2012 Berkeley Citation, the highest acknowledgment of scholarly achievement awarded by UC Berkeley. (more)

Catherine Albiston
will be a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto in 2012-2013.

Malcolm Feeley has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a semester in Australia, Fall 2012, where he will continue pursuing his work on prison privatization.

Lauren Edelman and Catherine Albiston
(along with coauthors Linda Krieger, Scott Eliason, and JSP Graduate Virginia Mellema) won the Law and Society Association Article Prize for "When Organizations Rule: Judicial Deference to Institutionalized Employment Structures, 117 American Journal of Sociology 888 (2011)."

Robert Kagan will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law & Courts section of the American Political Science Association at this year's annual meeting in September 2012.

Harry Scheiber is the 2012 winner of the Stefan A. Riesenfeld Award for his outstanding contributions to the field of international law. The award honors the memory of Riesenfeld '37, who devoted much of his life to the study and practice of international law, and recognizes a recipient who has shown commitment to the values and ideas he espoused.

Robert Cooter received the European Law and Economics Association Distinction Award for 2011.

Calvin Morrill and Lauren Edelman
(along with coauthors Karolyn Tyson and Richard Arum) won the 2011 Distinguished Article Award from the Section on the Sociology of Law of the American Sociological Association for: "Legal Mobilization in Schools: The Paradox of Rights and Race among Youth," 44 Law & Society Review 651 (2010).

Martin Shapiro received the Berkeley Citation, the highest acknowledgment of scholarly achievement awarded by UC Berkeley in 2011.