In recent years, scholars from many fields and academic institutions have grown increasingly interested in the place of law in social, political, economic and cultural life. Scholars, teachers, and practitioners in law, sociology, political science, psychology, anthropology, economics, and history as well as in other related areas, have turned their attention to the study of socio-legal phenomena.
The academic community at UBC has been long involved in the development of this emerging field. UBC is home to a lively, diverse, and vibrant Law and Society community encompassing established scholars, junior academics, and students in many disciplines. Since 1993, Green College, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts have hosted a Law and Society lecture series featuring speakers from across Canada and around the globe. UBC participants in the series have included faculty members, graduate students, staff, and undergraduate students from many departments. In 2001, UBC Press launched its Law and Society Book Series under the General Editorship of Dr. W. Wesley Pue. The 50th title in the series was published in autumn 2008. Exploring law as a socially embedded phenomenon from a range of disciplinary approaches, this series has now become one of the most vibrant and prolific venues for monographs and edited collections engaging questions of law and society in North America, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere.
In early 2007, because of growing interest in law and society teaching and research, faculty at UBC began exploring possibilities for expanding the current Law and Society program at UBC. Under the leadership of Dr. W. Wesley Pue (then Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Law, currently Vice Provost Academic Resources), a core group of faculty working on issues of Law and Society met to discuss the prospect of developing synergies in law and society teaching at UBC. These explorations were premised on the understanding that the conventional division of law from society creates false dichotomies in thinking, scholarship, educational practice, and in our understandings of social life.
The result was the establishment in 2009 of the interdisciplinary Law and Society Minor in the Faculty of Arts, under the original chair, Professor Daniel Vickers, Head of the Department of History at that time.