About LSA

Our Mission


The Law and Society Association is an interdisciplinary scholarly organization committed to social scientific, interpretive, and historical analyses of law across multiple social contexts. For sociolegal scholars, law consists not only of the words of official documents. Law also can be found in the diverse understandings and practices of people interacting within domains that law governs, in the claims that people make for legal redress of injustices, and in the coercive power exercised to enforce lawful order. Sociolegal scholars also address evasions of law, resistance and defiance toward law, and alternatives to law in structuring social relations.

Although they all share a common commitment to developing theoretical and empirical understandings of law, our members have a wide range of specific interests and academic frameworks. This includes:

  • Contextualizing the place of law in relation to other social institutions and considering law in the context of broad social theories.
  • Understanding legal decision-making by individuals and groups.
  • Systematically studying the impact of specific reforms, compliance with tax laws, the criminal justice system, dispute processing, the functioning of juries, globalization of law, and the many roles played by various types of lawyers.
  • Describing legal systems and identifying and explaining patterns of behavior.
  • Using the operations of law as a perspective for understanding ideology, culture, identity, and social life.

Whatever the issue, the LSA is open to exploring the contours of law through a variety of research methods and modes of analysis.

Our Commitments

In pursuit of our core vision, the Law and Society Association is committed to:

Promoting the study of law as part of a liberal education and promoting the interdisciplinary study of law as part of a professional education
Bringing scholars together across disciplines, career stages, countries, regions, and theoretical and methodological traditions
Working to ensure dignity, diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-subordination, access and justice in LSA and in academia more generally
Assisting members, especially those in the early stages, in developing their academic careers
Supporting scholarly research and publishing in the field of sociolegal studies, broadly defined.
Recognizing outstanding sociolegal research and encouraging its production
Disseminating sociolegal research about important public issues to a broad array of audiences

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