The Program distinguishes between “disciplinary” and “topical” fields of specialization. At least one of the two fields of specialization must be a “disciplinary” field. A student’s choice of fields is usually governed by several considerations, including such important matters as intended career-paths and anticipated dissertation topics. All students are strongly advised to consult early and widely in their planning of fields.
Students should aim to complete their field exams by the end of the fall semester of their third year in the program. This timetable enables them to take their qualifying exam before the end of their third year of graduate study, in conformity with the program’s expectations. (For students concurrently enrolled in the JSP and JD programs, the qualifying exam is expected to be completed before the end of their fourth year of study in the JSP Program.) 学生们 who advance to candidacy in a timely manner receive a “Normative Time” fellowship that covers in-state fees and a fully year of stipend.
The Program offers five disciplinary fields of specialization: economics and law; history and law; philosophy and law; political science and law; sociology and law. Other fields can be custom prepared in consultation with faculty. The faculty whose primary teaching and training fall within a given discipline are responsible for determining the scope and content of the relevant disciplinary field. This standardly involves such matters as the topics and bibliography taken to be central to the particular field; methodologies and scholarly approaches adopted by scholars in the field; classic literatures and debates serving to help constitute the field.
学生们 preparing a particular disciplinary field take the relevant “foundation” course, followed by a sequence of more advanced seminars and classes. The amount and appropriate combinations of advanced course-work are determined collaboratively by the faculty sub-group responsible for the field. In most cases, this course-work will involve at least 2-3 classes additional to the JSP “foundation” course, and will likely include classes outside the law school.
The relevant “foundation” course and specified advanced seminars constitute the principal program of training for a given disciplinary field. Each year members of the JSP faculty present brief introductions and overviews of the five disciplinary fields. These presentations are designed to aid students in their choice of fields and in later course planning.
In many cases, a topical field will focus on a general topic (such as “dispute resolution” or “children and the law”) which is treated by various areas of the law and to which various policy objectives have been defined for the law. In other cases, a topical field will consider a well-established sub-discipline or area of academic specialization (such as “political theory” or “criminal justice”). Topical fields also can take the form of more conventional “field studies” (such as “law and society” in some geographic region, or “law and society” in a particular cultural tradition).
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Topical fields normally will be examined by two faculty members, at least one of whom must be a member of the JSP core faculty. In some cases, a student’s preparation of a given topical field may involve extensive study with a faculty member outside the JSP or Law School faculty. In special circumstances, the Graduate Adviser can give permission for a topical field to be examined by a single member of the JSP faculty.
Decisions concerning the scope and content of a given topical field, and concerning the course work necessary for its preparation, are made by the field examiners in consultation with the Graduate Adviser. The Student Affairs Officer maintains a list of past topical fields, which new students can usefully consult. 学生们 seeking to undertake a topical field not previously recognized in the JSP program need the approval of the Graduate Adviser, who consults with other members of the JSP core faculty over the feasibility of the proposed field.