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Center for the Study of Law and Society

The Center for the Study of Law and Society (CSLS) is a research unit at the University of California, Berkeley. It is designed to foster interdisciplinary empirical research and analysis concerning the behavior of legal institutions, legal processes, and legal actors the relationship of legal and social change and the social origins and consequences of law. Founded in 1961, under the leadership of sociologist Philip Selznick, the center was instrumental in establishing sociolegal studies as a distinct, university-based academic discipline.

The Center's affiliated scholars in the 1960s, Philip Selznick, Sheldon Messinger, Jerome Skolnick, Jerome Carlin, and Caleb Foote, among others, were some of the “founding fathers” of the post–World War II “law and society” movement. CSLS-based scholarship focused on the interplay of legal values and social ...

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