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Is there any aspect of law that would relate to a Sociology background and allow me to live abroad?

By Edward Honnold

Q: I currently hold a B.A in Anthropology and a M.A. in Sociology. I am thinking about going back to school in the fall of 2002 for a law degree. I eventually want to live outside the United States. Is there any specific aspect of law that would provide me with this option and at the same time relate to my degrees?

A: Broadly speaking, the entire field of law relates to the subjects of anthropology and sociology, since laws represent an institutionalization of social mores and norms. However, I can think of few (if any) specific fields within the law that relate directly to either of these subjects, though the fields of human rights and consitutional law come to mind. Furthermore, a law degree is not highly transportable or useful overseas. There are limited numbers of U.S.-trained lawyers practicing in overseas branch offices of U.S.-based firms. International agencies (such as the various organs of the United Nations) do hire some lawyers, though strict nationality quotas in several international agencies make it difficult to hire U.S.-trained lawyers. I would encourage you to attend law school with an open mind and no fixed plan for what you will do with your law degree after graduation. Legal education provides a rigorous assimilation experience, and your professional and personal goals are likely to change significantly as you go along. Good luck.

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