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Law, Letters, and Society

Justice John Paul Stevens at the University of Chicago
Former Supreme Court Justice of the United States John Paul Stevens at a fall 2011 discussion co-sponsered by the Law, Letters, and Society Program at the University.

The program in Law, Letters, and Society (LLSO) is the University of Chicago’s selective interdisciplinary major in the social sciences. It is organized around the study of law broadly construed. Our students develop a uniquely diverse set of analytical skills through a series of required LLSO courses and by designing their own focus fields within the major, which allows them to take courses across the College’s curriculum as they study a particular theme or question in depth. In their final year, all students produce a BA thesis that builds upon the skills and knowledge that they have gained in the program. LLSO’s commitment to undergraduate research means that it also seeks to cultivate student involvement in the research life of University faculty. While many LLSO graduates pursue careers in law a significant number do not. LLSO majors have successful careers in government, journalism, business, and academia, among other industries.

The organizing premise of the program is that while law operates with its own logic, it is a tool of social organization making the study of “society” and “letters” central to the understanding of law and its practice. The interdisciplinary aspect of the program makes it an ideal place for students to explore their curiosity. In the words of the Founding Director of Law, Letters, and Society, Dennis Hutchinson, “One of the attractions of the program is that it’s not regimented, it gives bright, curious people flexibility to explore and develop interests.”

All students are invited to apply to LLSO in the winter quarter of their second year. LLSO does accept transfer student applications.

LLSO is Interdisciplinary and offers Specializations in the filter options on the Areas of Study page.