Academic Programs

Law & Public Affairs

The Law & Public Affairs Major at Lasell has a professional focus, rooted in Connected Learning, that seeks to educate students by promoting self-expression, academic exploration and critical thinking in academic, civic, and career-relevant areas.

  • Law and Public Affairs is an interdisciplinary major that gives students the background to appraise and understand the American political and legal systems while examining how law permeates social, political, economic, and other institutions.
  • Lasell's distinguished faculty supports the success of students by linking academic expertise with professional experience.
  • Students are prepared to continue with graduate study in such fields as public administration, policy studies, management, political science, and law.
  • The Justice Studies Department offers a Fifth Year option to students to graduate with a Master's degree in Criminal Justice in their fifth year.

Request more information about the Law & Public Affairs Major:

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Office of Admission
Lasell College
1844 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, MA 02466

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CJ323 - Justice, Class, Race & Gender

This course explores issues unique to individuals of different classes, gender, and/or races or ethnic groups. The course focuses on these issues specifically in the context of the American criminal justice and legal systems. Issues of diversity relevant to all aspects of the criminal justice system are examined. Prerequisites: CJ 101, LS 101, PSYC 101 or SOC 101, Sophomore standing.

COM308 - Conflict Resolution & Negotiations

This course helps students to understand the theoretical assumptions, elements, and processes of interpersonal conflict and negotiation, to increase their ability to objectively analyze conflict situations, and to creatively and productively manage conflict. Alternative Dispute Resolution approaches to litigation for resolving conflicts such as mediation, arbitration, and negotiation are examined. Prerequisites: COM 101, LS 101 or BUSS 101; Junior or Senior standing.

COM310 - Political Communication

This course focuses on the complex ideas associated with the role of the press in a democracy. The nature and climate of our political processes, particularly elections, have changed dramatically in the past two generations, due in part to the extensive use and influence of the media. Also, media techniques and strategies used by government and political figures continue to change with the emergence of new technologies and the dominance of global media companies. Students learn how to think critically and analytically about the political press and how journalists and politicians frame public policy issues. This course looks critically at whether or not the American press is truly representative of the civic values of democracy, truth, and responsible citizenship. Prerequisites: COM 101 or POLS 101 or SOC 101.

ECON103 - Economics of Social Issues

This course examines a broad range of social issues from an economics perspective. Designed for non-business majors, the course provides an introduction to economic reasoning and to some basic economic concepts which are then used to analyze a variety of social problems. Possible topics include poverty, unemployment, agriculture, discrimination, crime, pollution, education, health care, social security, and third world development.

LS101 - Foundations of American Legal System(KP)

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the law. Students are introduced to the basics of the legal system in the United States including its organization and operation. The course covers major areas of legal practice and the legal principles that apply. Legal concepts are explained and legal terminology defined.

LS202 - Legal Research & Analysis

This course serves as an introduction to American constitutional interpretation. Topics to be covered include legal precedent, legal issues surrounding the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, the role of the Supreme Court as a political institution, and the Court’s interpretations of issues dealing with the Bill of Rights. Prerequisite: LS 101.

LS203 - Justice, Law & the Constitution

This course serves as an introduction to American constitutional interpretation. Topics to be covered include legal precedent, legal issues surrounding the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, the role of the Supreme Court as a political institution, and the Court’s interpretations of issues dealing with the Bill of Rights.

LS301 - Legal Writing & Reasoning

This course focuses on the development of fundamental skills necessary for successful legal writing that could assist in employment in a law office, such as drafting correspondence, developing various documents, and preparing legal memoranda. It looks at legal research, writing, and reasoning as a continuum, since the results of nearly all legal research must be submitted in written form. Legal writing is examined as a three step process. The steps consist of identifying the document’s purpose, audience, and constraints; developing a structure and draft; and editing and rewriting. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: LS 101 & LS202.

LS441 - Selected Topics in Justice & Law I

This fall portion of the Capstone course is designed to identify and discuss various legal and political issues in society today, including but not limited to issues of gender, race, and other relevant historical and contemporary political topics and movements. This first semester develops the student’s ability to research, write and debate current issues. This is a writing intensive and speaking across the curriculum course. Limited to Legal Studies and Law and Public Affairs majors. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

LS442 - Selected Topics in Justice & Law II

The spring semester of the Capstone course focuses on the process of producing a final legal research paper on one of the topics of the first semester. Students hone their research and writing skills culminating in the presentation of a final capstone project presentation. This is a writing intensive and speaking across the curriculum intensive course. Prerequisites: LS 441 and Senior standing.

LS443 - Justice Studies Internship & Seminar I

This course provides an opportunity for students to be in an individually arranged, college-supervised internship for 120 hours in the fall semester in a professional work setting related to their interest. Each student is monitored during the internship by the faculty advisor and attends a corresponding classroom seminar each week. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

LS444 - Justice Studies Internship & Seminar II

This course provides an opportunity for students to be in an individually arranged, college-supervised internship for 120 hours in the fall semester in a professional work setting related to their interest. Each student is monitored during the internship by the faculty advisor and attends a corresponding classroom seminar each week. Prerequisite: Prerequisites: LS/CJ 443 and Senior standing

POLS101 - American Government

This is an examination of the basic principles that form the foundation for the structure and practice of American government. The impact of the political system on the citizen is explored along with the central assumptions and concepts that serve as the basis for the field of political science.

POLS201 - State & Local Government

This course begins with the constitutional and legal basis for state and local government. The functions of the executive and legislative branches are examined. Governmental bureaucracy and budgetary processes are studied as well as political parties, interest groups, public opinion, and political reporting in the press.

POLS210 - Political Theory

In this course, central questions in political theory are addressed. What is justice? What is freedom? What is the state? What makes a government legitimate? Is there any general obligation to obey the state? The course also focuses on theories of modernity and communities, the evolution of liberalism and individualism, and the relationship between politics and economics. Readings range from the Greeks to modern thinkers. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

POLS320 - Policy Making & the Political Process

This course examines the dynamics of public policy-making in the United States at the national, state, and local levels. The course explores the factors influencing policy formation in a variety of areas: health, education, welfare, and urban planning. An analysis of how policy outcomes are evaluated is also covered.

SOC101 - Sociological Imagination (KP)

This course is designed to help students develop their ability to think critically about the world around them using the framework of sociology. Students explore the relationship between individual and society – how personal experience is shaped by social forces, but also how society is created and changed through individual interaction. The focus is on the interrelationships of groups, social organization, and social institutions such as education, religion, family, and the economic and political order.

SOC221 - Contemporary Social Problems

This course examines conditions and issues that result in tension and disorder. Examples are drawn primarily from American society include: labeling and social control of deviants, oppression of minorities, poverty, violence, ageism, and ecological concerns. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC335 - Social Policy

This course examines historical and contemporary factors influencing the making of social policy and introduces the student to processes used to identify and solve social problems. Special attention is given to the relationships of values to social policy and the impact of social policy decisions on the provision of social and human services. Approaches to the analysis of social policy are examined. Prerequisite: Any 200 Level Sociology course or permission by the department chair.