Ph.D. Program (JSP)

Dean Edley and the JSP staff

makeagiftUC 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.


Alumni Milestones

Keramet Reiter (JD ’09, JSP PhD ‘12), Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine, received the 2017 Ruth Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology. This award recognizes outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of criminology by a scholar who has received his or her degree within the past five years. 

Shalini Satkunanandan (PhD ‘07), Assistant Professor of Political Science at UC Davis, received the 2017 First Book Award from the Foundations of Political Theory Section of the American Political Science Association for Extraordinary Responsibility: Politics Beyond the Moral Calculus (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Lynette Chua (PhD ’11), Associate Professor of Law at National University of Singapore, received the 2016 Article Prize from the Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK) for her article, “The Vernacular Mobilization of Human Rights in Myanmar’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Movement” (Law and Society Review 49:299–332, 2015).

Shoaib Ghias (JD ’12, PhD ’15) , an Associate at Goodwin Procter, received 2016 Aaron Wildavsky Award for the Best Dissertation in Religion and Politics from the American Political Science Association for his dissertation, “Defining Shari’a: The Politics of Islamic Judicial Review.”

Ashley T. Rubin (PhD ’13), Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto,  received the 2016 Article Prize from the Law & Society Association for her article, “A Neo-Institutional Account of Prison Diffusion.” (Law & Society Review 49:365-400, 2015)

Lynette Chua (PhD, ’11), Assistant Professor of Law, National University of Singapore, received the 2015 Distinguished Book Award from the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association for: Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights and Resistance in an Authoritarian State (Temple, 2014).

Gwendolyn Leachman (PhD ’14; JD ’11), Assistant Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received the 2015 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Law & Society Association for: “Institutions and Dominance within Social Movements: How Legal Strategies Shape the Agendas of Movements for Social Change”.

Hillary Berk (PhD ’13), Berkeley Legal Studies Postdoctoral Scholar at Berkeley Law, received the 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Law & Society Association for “The Legalization of Emotion: Risk, Gender, and the Management of Feeling in Contracts for Surrogate Labor”.

Mark Massoud (PhD ’08; JD ’06), Assistant Professor of Politics and Legal Studies, UC Santa Cruz, received the 2014 Herbert Jacob Book Prize from the Law and Society Association, for: Law’s Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge, 2013).

Richard Leo (PhD ’94; JD ’94), Visiting Professor of Law, UCLA, and Professor of Law, University of San Francisco, received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, Crime and Juvenile Delinquency Division, and the 2014 William J. Chambliss Lifetime Achievement Award, Law and Society Division, both from the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Kaaryn Gustafson (PhD ’03; JD ’97), Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law, University of Connecticut, appointed as Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine.

Lynette Chua (PhD, ’11), Assistant Professor of Law, National University of Singapore, received Honorable Mention, 2014 2nd Half Century Junior Scholars Essay Competition from the Law & Society Association Association, for “The Law and Society Association and Its International Future”.

Rosann Greenspan (PhD ’91), Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, received the 2014 Fellows Award from the Western Society of Criminology.

Tom Ginsburg (PhD, ’99; JD ’97), Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, elected in 2013 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Alexa Koenig (PhD, ’12) appointed to Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law.

Lynette Chua (PhD, ’11), Assistant Professor of Law, National University of Singapore, received the 2013 Article Prize, Honorable Mention, from the Law & Society Association, for: “Pragmatic Resistance, Law and Social Movements in Authoritarian States: The Case of Gay Collective Action in Singapore” (Law & Society Review 46: 713-748, 2012)

Kaaryn Gustafson (PhD ’03; JD ’97), Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law, University of Connecticut, received the 2012 Herbert Jacob Book Prize (co-winner) from the Law & Society Association, for: Cheating Welfare: Public Assistance and the Criminalization of Poverty (NYU Press, 2012).

Student Spotlight

Joel Sati received a 2018 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, which is national fellowship that honors high achievement by immigrants and children of immigrants who are selected on the basis of their potential to make significant contributions to American society, culture or their academic fields.

Abigail Stepnitz received a 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Award.

Gabe Beringer, Shikha Bhattacharjee, and Abigail Stepnitz each received a 2018 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award to recognize excellent undergraduate teaching.  Fewer than 10% of the GSIs teaching on the Berkeley campus receive this award.

Brittany Arsiniega, Benjamin Chen, and Melissa McCall each received a 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award to recognize excellent undergraduate teaching.  Fewer than 10% of the GSIs teaching on the Berkeley campus receive this award.

Johann Koehler received a 2016 Teaching Effectiveness Award (TEA).

Johann Koehler received the 2016 Young Scholar Award from the European Society of Criminology, given in recognition of work by a scholar under the age of 35.

Chase Burton, Alan Kluegel, and Asad Rahim each received a 2016 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award recognize excellent undergraduate teaching.  Fewer than 10% of the GSIs teaching on the Berkeley campus receive this award.

Ayako Hirata received the 2016 Graduate Student Paper Prize from the Law & Society Association for her paper, “Regulation in-Between: How Does Inter-Office Interaction Matter for Street-Level Regulatory Enforcement?”. 

Tobias Smith received a 2015 Teaching Effectiveness Award (TEA).

Johann Koehler, Tobias Smith, and Cait Unkovic each received a 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award to recognize excellent undergraduate teaching.  Fewer than 10% of the GSIs teaching on the Berkeley campus receive this award.

Benjamin Chen and Li Zhiyu received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Phanor J. Eder Prize in Comparative Law from the American Society of Comparative Law for the paper, “Who May Sue the One-Party Dominated State?”.

Shoaib Ghias received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Phanor J. Eder Prize in Comparative Law from the American Society of Comparative Law for the paper, “Mentions Defining Shari’a: Stoning and the Politics of Islamic Judicial Review”.

Hannah Laqueur’s research on drug decriminalization appears in Law & Social Inquiry.  To see the article, go to: Link

Cait Unkovic’s collaborative research (with Ian Ayers) on policies for overcoming barriers to reporting sexual assault appears in the New York Times. Link

Ryan Copus and Hannah Laqueur’s research on the association between crime rate drops and sporting events profiled in the Chicago Sun-Times. Link

Johann Koehler received the 2014 Graduate Student Paper Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Critical Criminology, for: “The Development and Fracture of a Discipline: Legacies of the School of Criminology at Berkeley.”

Genevieve Painter received a 2014 Teaching Effectiveness Award (TEA)

John Bliss, Lauren Goldsmith, and Sarah Ludin each received a 2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award to recognize excellent undergraduate teaching.  Fewer than 10% of the GSIs teaching on the Berkeley campus receive this award.

Kelsey Mayo awarded a 2014 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant and a 2014 National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship to support her dissertation, “Law and Institutional Competition in Charter School Authorization”.

Gwendolyn Leachman (PhD ’14; JD ’11), currently a Sears Law Fellow with the Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA Law, will begin in fall 2014 as Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and Affiliate Faculty Member in the Department of Sociology.

Veena Dubal (PhD ’14; JD ’06) accepts 2014-16 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clayman Institute for Gender Studies, Stanford University.

Ayako Hirata, Winner, 2014 2nd Half Century Junior Scholars Essay Competition from the Law & Society Association, for “Academic Networks Beyond National Borders”.

Genevieve Painter, Honorable Mention, 2014 2nd Half Century Junior Scholars Essay Competition from the Law & Society Association Association, for “The LSA at 50: Overcoming the Fear of Missing Out on the Next Occupy”.

Genevieve Painter received a 2014 Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship to support her dissertation, “Indigenous Women’s Rights versus Self-Determination: A Genealogy of the Conflict”.

Alexandra Havrylyshyn received the 2013 Austin Sarat Award for the Best Graduate Student Paper from the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, for “We Contest Her Status for Her: Resisting the Legality of Slaveryin the French Atlantic (1740).”

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.”

David Louk named a 2012-13 Policy Fellow, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University.

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

Chase Burton (Legal Studies BA ’11) received the 2012 Undergraduate Paper Prize from the Law and Society Association, for: “Spare the Cell, Spoil the Child: The History and Philosophy of American Juvenile Justice.”

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.

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

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

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

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.

More Student Awards

Faculty & Staff News

Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Position Announcement

Entry-level Application: click here.  
Lateral Application: click here.

Dylan Penningroth received a 2018 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship for his excellence in research contributing to the humanities and related social sciences.

Lauren Edelman has been awarded the highest honor in the Law & Society Association, the 2018 Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Award for empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society.

Lauren Edelman’s Working Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights received the 2018 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association, the 2017 George R. Terry Book Award from the Academy of Management, the 2017 Distinguished Book Award from Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association, and an Honorable Mention for the 2017 C. Herman Pritchett Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.

Robert Cooter received the 2018 Ronald H. Coase Medal from the American Law and Economics Association (ALEA).  The Coase Medal is the highest honor given by ALEA and awarded bi-annually in recognition of major career contributions to the field of law and economics. 

David Lieberman received the 2017 Berkeley Faculty Service Award, which honors a member of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate for outstanding and dedicated service to the campus, and whose work has significantly enhanced the quality of the campus as an educational institution and community of scholars.

Lauri La Pointe received a 2017 Excellence in Advising Award for Outstanding Individual Advising, which is a campus-level award that recognizes the positive impact of undergraduate advisors on student learning, performance, engagement and the many contributions that make a culture of advising excellence on the Berkeley campus.  

David Lieberman received the 2017 Berkeley Faculty Service Award, which honors a member of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate for outstanding and dedicated service to the campus, and whose work has significantly enhanced the quality of the campus as an educational institution and community of scholars.

Jonathan Simon received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime and Juvenile Delinquency Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems

Lauren Edelman received the 2017 Stan Wheeler Mentorship Award from the Law & Society Association.

Yvette Cooper received a 2016 Spotlight Award in recognition for a staff member who contributes and provides inspiration to others through their consistently excellent performance.

Lauri La Pointe received a 2016 Spotlight Award in recognition for Outstanding Service to Berkeley Law.

Jonathan Simon received an honorary doctorate in 2016 from the Université Catholique du Louvain (Belgium) for two decades of path-breaking scholarship on “crime and penal justice in contemporary governance.”

Christopher Tomlins was elected in 2016 as an Honorary Fellow of the American Society for Legal History. This is the highest honor the Society confers and recognizes distinguished historians whose scholarship has shaped the broad discipline of legal history.

Catherine Albiston received the UC Berkeley Graduate Division’s 2016 Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award.

Kinch Hoekstra received the 2016 UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Faculty Mentor Award.

Lauren Edelman (with co-authors Linda Hamilton Krieger and Rachel Kahn Best) received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Article Award from the Law & Society Association, for the article, “When ‘Best Practices’ Win, Employees Lose: Symbolic Compliance and Judicial Inference in Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Cases”.  (Law & Social Inquiry: 40:843-879, 2015)

Catherine Albiston and Victoria Plaut, together with Susan Carlson (Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, UCOP) and Kim Shauman (Sociology, UC Davis), received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation for their study, “Recruiting STEM Faculty: A Systematic Analysis of the Faculty Hiring Process at Research Intensive Universities.” The study investigates the conditions, processes, and social contexts that generate or mitigate gender and racial/ethnic disparities in STEM faculty hiring. It will use a unique dataset on ladder-rank faculty hiring across the ten research-intensive universities in the UC system to test hypotheses about how gender and race/ethnicity influence applications for faculty positions, evaluation of applicants, and outcomes at multiple stages in the faculty hiring process.

Kinch Hoekstra has been appointed as the Carlyle Lecturer at the University of Oxford in the 2016-17 academic year.  Under the appointment, he will deliver a series of lectures on the history of political thought. The Carlyle Lectures represent one of the world’s most distinguished lecture series in this field.  Past lecturers include Charles Taylor, Mark Lilla, Judith Shklar, and (not least) Jeremy Waldron.

Margo Rodriguez received a 2015 Berkeley Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Award for exemplifying sustained, exceptional performance as Programs Manager of the JSP, Legal Studies, and Center for the Study of Law and Society and Graduate Student Affairs Officer for the JSP doctoral program.

David Lieberman delivered the 2015 Maurice and Muriel Fulton Lecture in Legal History at the University of Chicago Law School. He spoke on: “Courts, Democracy and Jeremy Bentham.”

Malcolm Feeley has been awarded the highest honor in the Law & Society Association, the 2015 Harry J. Kalven, Jr Award for empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society.

Kristin Luker has been awarded the 2015 Simon and Gagnon Award from the American Sociological Association for career contributions to the field of sociology of sexualities.

Calvin Morrill was elected 2015-17 Secretary of the Law & Society Association.

Malcolm Feeley has been awarded the 2015 Paul Tappan Award from the Western Society of Criminology, the Society’s highest honor, for outstanding contributions to the field of criminology.

Jonathan Simon has been awarded the 2015 Western Society of Criminology Fellows Award, awarded to a person generally associated with the Western region who has made important contributions to the field of criminology.

Christopher Tomlins joins JSP faculty. Professor Tomlins is widely regarded as one of the leading American legal historians in the United States, and one of the most highly regarded scholars working at the intersection of Law & Society, and Law & Humanities.

Rachel Stern received 2014 Herbert Jacob Book Prize, Honorable Mention, from the Law and Society Association, for: Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence (Cambridge, 2013).

Justin McCrary appointed Director, Social Science Data Laboratory (D-Lab), University of California, Berkeley.

Jonathan Simon appointed Director, Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley.

Calvin Morrill appointed Associate Dean and Chair of Jurisprudence and Social Policy.

Kevin Quinn elected President of the Society for Political Methodology for 2013-15.

Frank Zimring has been awarded the highest honor in the Law & Society Association, the 2013 Harry J. Kalven, Jr Award for empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society.

Kristin Luker received the 2013 Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University. The Cross Medal recognizes distinguished achievement by Yale Alumni in scholarship, teaching, academic administration, and public service.

Kinch Hoekstra received 2013 UC Berkeley campus Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Student Instructors.

David Lieberman to be 2013-14 Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton University.

Robert Kagan received 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association (more).

Robert Cooter received 2012 Honorary Doctorate from the Universidad de San Martin de Porres, Lima, Peru.

Lauren Edelman and Catherine Albiston (with co-authors Linda Krieger, Scott Eliason, and Virginia Mellema, PhD ’06, JD ’87), receive the 2012 W. Richard Scott Prize for Distinguished Scholarship, Honorable Mention, in Organizations, Occupations, and Work from the American Sociological Association, for: “When Organizations Rule: Judicial Deference to Institutionalized Employment Structures (American Journal of Sociology 117: 888-954, 2011).

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

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

Lauren Edelman and Catherine Albiston (with coauthors Linda Krieger, Scott Eliason, and Virginia Mellema, PhD ’06, JD ’87) receive the 2012 Article Prize from the Law and Society Association, for: “When Organizations Rule: Judicial Deference to Institutionalized Employment Structures (American Journal of Sociology 117: 888-954, 2011).

Harry Scheiber received the 2012 Stefan A. Riesenfeld Award for outstanding contributions to the field of international law. The award honors the memory of Riesenfeld (JD ’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 2011 European Law and Economics Association Distinction Award.

Calvin Morrill and Lauren Edelman (with coauthors Karolyn Tyson and Richard Arum) receive the 2011 Distinguished Article Award in the Sociology of Law from the American Sociological Association, for: “Legal Mobilization in Schools: The Paradox of Rights and Race among Youth” (Law & Society Review 44: 651-694, 2010).

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

Jonathan Simon received 2010 Michael J. Hindelang Prize from the American Society of Criminology, for: Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (Oxford, 2007).