Gain a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of law with a minor in Law and Society at HWS. From legal and political theory to environmental law, criminal law and prisons, the minor blends social science, environmental policy and humanities perspectives rarely seen at the undergraduate level.

Student SpotlightEden LaRonde '24

major: politics 
Minors: economics, law and society 

"My favorite course has been Civil Rights with Professor of Politics Paul Passavant. The class prompted us to examine the intricacies of jurisprudence and confront issues where social progress and law come into conflict. The interdisciplinary and engaging nature of the courses within the Law and Society program has greatly informed and encouraged my potential future in the legal profession." 


Experiential EducationApplying the Law

Attend guest lectures on prison reform hosted by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice or discover legal career opportunities in Washington D.C. during the Day on the Hill trip.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.



No Borders:Global Education

Study the ethics of law in Ireland or property rights in Hong Kong.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.


Belonging, Diversity and Equity

The Law and Society Program explores facets of belonging, equity and diversity through different lenses:

  • Constitutional history - take a critical look at narratives of slavery and empire, and explore the civic implications of how the past is remembered.
  • Philosophy of law, political thought and constitutional law - examine issues of justice, legitimacy, policing and protest.
  • Environmental and business law - think about ethics and law in the face of present challenges.
  • Prisons and incarceration - an up-close look at the society we are living and working in as students and citizens.


Learn how law impacts the different aspects of our lives.


Study the relationship between law and society and how law frames our perception of issues such as ownership and value and the problems of objectivity in interpretation.


Examine the relationship between moral responsibility and criminal responsibility, study some perennial problems in ethical theory and explore which forms of behavior control are morally justifiable responses to which forms of social deviance.


Study of the basic law of contracts with emphasis on agency, negotiable instruments, property and more.



Your Success
Eric Barnes and Scott Brophy advise students in the Seneca Room

Is Our Priority

OutcomesPre-Law Advising

Thinking about law school? Work with a dedicated faculty adviser and a career counselor from the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education to ensure your undergraduate experience aligns with your law school applications.

3+3 Accelerated Degree Program with Cornell University

HWS students can earn their bachelor’s degree at HWS and their law degree from Cornell University. The Law Early Admissions Program (LEAP) is a “3+3” joint degree framework that allows participating HWS students to complete their undergraduate and legal education in six years rather than the typical seven.



  • Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
  • CACI
  • CG Power Solutions USA Inc.
  • FAF Advisors, Inc.
  • Mercer
  • New York Mets
  • Orion Worldwide Travel
  • Planned Parenthood Health Systems
  • TGM Associates L.P.
  • UnitedHealth Group