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Law and Society

Overview of Program

The law and society major offers an interdisciplinary focus and includes fields such as political science, philosophy and sociology. It is a unique and distinc- tive program among American colleges. The major facilitates an understanding of the role and importance that laws and institutions play in our society. The major focuses on three broad areas of inquiry:

  • government, law and the legal process
  • social and political justice
  • historical and political foundations of law

The liberal arts education, practical knowledge and the hands-on experience acquired at Hood enables our graduates to succeed in law school, graduate school and employment in a range of law related careers. While the major can be used as preparation for law school, it is not intended solely as a pre-law program. The law and society major offers excellent preparation for careers in such areas as corrections, advocacy, law enforcement, public policy, civil rights organizations and all levels of government service. At the same time, students pursuing this program are well prepared for the academic rigor of law and graduate school. Students study from case based text books used in law schools, do extensive legal research and writing, and in one class participate in a moot trial court.

Real-World Experience

Students at Hood who major in law and society get practical, real world experience that enriches their academic study. They may attend a criminal appeals proceeding at a Frederick County Circuit Court, listen to a con- stitutional oral argument at the United States Supreme Court or attend congressional hearings on Capitol Hill to get a critical eye on emerging legislation and public policy. Law and society majors have done original research at the community level—one student did an in-depth analysis of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families law by measuring its impact on county recipients and another examined how the No Child Left Behind law applied to the Frederick County school system. Still another law and society major created the first-ever statistical analysis of crime for the Frederick County Police Department. In addition to these experiences and initiatives, students may also get Hood credit for attend- ing the Washington Semester Program at American University, where they can enroll in seminars and internships such as International Law and Organizations, Justice and Public Law.


Hood students are encouraged to complete internships to help prepare them for career and graduate or law school opportunities. Hood's loca- tion—less than an hour from the nation's capital, the Maryland state capital, and in the county seat of Frederick County—provides many outstanding options for real-world experience.

Law and society students have interned at such locations as:

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Frederick County Commission for Women
  • Maryland State's Attorney's Office
  • National Organization for Women
  • Montgomery County Department of Police
  • Victim-Witness Advocates Program
  • State of Maryland Division for Parole and Probation
  • Private practice attorneys
  • Frederick County sheriff's office
  • Children's Defense Fund
  • Center for Policy Alternatives
  • American Red Cross
  • State of Maryland Public Defender's Office
  • Alumnae and Alumni Success Stories

Graduates of Hood's law and society program have attended graduate and law schools at the following institutions:

  • Rutgers University
  • Northeastern University
  • American University
  • The Catholic University of America
  • College of William and Mary
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pittsburgh

Law and Society graduates hold a variety of prominent positions including:

  • Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Air Force
  • Circuit Court Judge, Washington County (Maryland)
  • Associate Judge, Frederick County (Maryland)
  • Attorney, Department of Justice
  • Attorney, Department of Defense
  • Assistant Legal Counsel, National Security Agency
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Trial Attorney, Legal Aid Society
  • Assistant State's Attorney, Frederick
  • Attorneys in private practice

Learn more about the major.