The Diversification of Law and Society

Although Tech is known for its highly acclaimed technology and engineering majors, over the past few years, Law and Society (LAS) has become a popular major among students interested in the humanities. This year, the administration has made a drastic change to the structure of the Law and Society curriculum.

For the first time, Advanced Placement Psychology is being added as the third AP course that LAS juniors are required to take – a subject that was once reserved solely for those in the Social Science Research (SSR) major.

This change has received mixed reviews.

Richard Lubell, an AP Psychology teacher, defends this recent addition to the LAS major. He says, “Learning about issues of growth and development are useful tools.”

Lubell also believes that psychology intersects with issues in law. From the framework of the education system to the strict scrutiny of gender equality to the reason behind sex role stereotypes, understanding the human brain can be extremely helpful in formulating a deeper analysis of today’s political issues. Thus, many students enjoy the addition to the major.

Kamil Potaczala ’15 says, “AP Psych is the class I actually look forward to in the day. Having a great teacher guiding us through a psychological world really makes LAS great.”

However, students and teachers alike have expressed concerns towards the addition of another AP for LAS juniors, resulting in three AP classes just from the major. This is especially concerning for many students interested in taking AP English Language and Composition or an AP Math or Science elective junior year. 

Frank Dwyer, who teaches both AP U.S Government for juniors as well as AP Comparative Politics for seniors says, “It’s a great mix to have different disciplines in the major, but I can see some of the students are burdened. I’ve seen a lot of students for tutoring, more than in previous years.”

Despite this change, students have taken up the challenge and many are determined to do well.

Becky Chen ’15 says, “Having three APs is a lot of work, but I knew what I was getting myself into by picking this major so I can’t really complain about it.”

Although the LAS major has undoubtedly become more challenging this year, the access to an additional thought-provoking subject has driven many students to appreciate LAS even more, and gives them a nice change of pace from their other history and law based classes.

As an LAS junior, I can confidently say that having an extra AP has only motivated and encouraged each of us to work as hard as ever, and we are ecstatic to have been offered the opportunity to prove that our ambition to learn will go on without a hitch.

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