Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction

Film and television interpretations of the US law system have captured the imagination of the American public, but how does the law really work? More specifically, how does it shape other social institutions and interact with other academic disciplines? Blending legal studies with social science, Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction, Second Edition, addresses these issues from a distinctive sociological point of view.

Renowned scholars Anthony Walsh and Craig Hemmens cover many important subjects including the origins of the law, the history and development of the American legal system, the sociology of law, court structure, and the difference between civil and criminal law. Updating coverage for the second edition, the authors also discuss many new topics (legal realism, distributive and procedural justice, the politics of law and the legislative process, restorative justice, and gay marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act).

An accessible, lively, and affordable overview of the law, its eventful history, and its sociological implications, Law, Justice, and Society, Second Edition, is ideal for introductory law and society courses in political science, sociology, and criminal justice and legal studies departments.


* Presents a brand-new chapter on the limits of social control and the law (Chapter 10)

* Covers gender, race, and comparative law (the only text in this market to cover all three)

* Integrates enhanced pedagogical features throughout (a detailed table of contents; chapter outlines; lists of key terms; lists of relevant websites; and new tables, charts, and graphics)

* Adds coverage of many new topics:
— John Rawls’s theory of justice (Chapter 1: Law: Its Function and Purpose)
— Environmental justice (Chapter 7: Civil and Administrative Law)
— Punishment philosophies (Chapter 9: The Law and Social Control)
— Social movements (Chapter 11: The Law and Social Change)

* Incorporates discussion of the Obama administration into Chapter 13: Racial Minorities and the Law

* Supplemented by a comprehensive Instructor’s Resource CD (available to adopting instructors), which contains a Test Bank and PowerPoint-based lecture slides

Customer Reviews
Most helpful customer reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
Introduction to the American Legal System
By Andrew Collins
In Law 101, the author attempts to explain major concepts found in American law and the legal system without going into the finer detail. He succeeds.

Major concepts covered in this book include constitutional law, basic rights, tort law, contract law, property law, and criminal law. Also covered are the litigation process in civil suits and criminal trials.

Each of these subjects covers a lot of things, but the author has managed to succinctly summarize each one into the major things that need to be known in order to understand each topic. He also brings in famous and important court cases that really show how the law is applied to different situations. From important cases such as Marbury v. Madison or Roe v. Wade to more infamous cases such as when a woman scalded herself after spilling hot coffee and was able to successfully sue McDonald’s.

Even with the amount covered in this book, it still is only the tip of the iceberg. It really opened my eyes to just how complicated the law can be especially when it comes to dispensing justice fairly.

I would recommend this book to those with an interest in learning about law and the American legal system. Although it will not turn you into a lawyer overnight, it will give a greater understanding of the major concepts of law and court cases often heard about in the news.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
complete & precise
By D. Gaudet
Outstandingly well written! It covers the first year law school courses. Well organized and very informative. Not written in “leagalease”. Essential reading for the non-lawyer needing a general knowledge of the law. I’m not a lawyer and have read several books on the general subjet of law. This book is far above the others in writing style, comprehensive, and the amount of info covered. I bought it as a “necessary” read, but was surprised at how well it is organized. A pleasant and informative read! I strongly recommend it

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
Not bad
By Emily M. Maher
This book is well organized and does a good job of explaining most of the concepts. The section on constitutional law is complicated by sentences that are long and twisting, double negation, and a lack of explanation for certain concepts. I found that I often needed to re-read paragraphs in order to understand what the author was saying and that if I wasn’t giving the book my 100% attention, I could not follow the author’s train of thought. Other than that section, however, I found this book to be an easy read and a good overview of the legal system and how it functions..

Comments are closed.