The American Sociological Association (ASA) is the country's largest professional association of sociologists. It is the prime forum for sociologists working inside as well as outside the academia to disseminate pertinent information and keep up with recent events in society and sociology. The ASA publishes various sociological journals, a newsletter (Footnotes), and organizes a large meeting every year.
The ASA also houses various specialized sections, i.e. smaller groups of sociologists with similar theoretical, methodological, and/or substantive interests. Among these is a section devoted to the sociological study of law.
The sociology of law is a relative young but highly vibrant field in the discipline. It involves a commitment to linking the study of law with such core sociological issues as social change and stability, order and disorder, the nation-state and capitalism. Further, the sociology of law is committed to theoretically substantiated and methodologically sophisticated empirical investigations as the central means of studying the dynamics of law-in-society.
The ASA Sociology of Law Section provides a forum for intellectual and personal exchange among sociologists interested in the study of law, legal institutions, and law-related structures and processes. The Section sponsors two sessions and a series of roundtables at the ASA annual meetings, and offers various awards, including a best student paper award every year. It further provides an e-mail list for any announcements of interest to sociologists of law and offers a mentor program for junior faculty.
A central goal of the Section is to provide younger scholars, especially graduate as well as undergraduate students, with an intellectual community and connections that will be helpul in developing their careers.
Advantages of the Section for students in particular include:
Further information on the ASA can be found at http://www.asanet.org.