Law and Social Work Minor

The emerging intersection of law and social work provides an opportunity for connections between social work practice and broader struggles to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. The minor in law and social work will provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to integrate expertise from both the Social Work and Law disciplines examining subjects including the interworking of major social welfare programs, law as an evolving social institution, the lifecycle of a case in court, and the fundamentals of legal analysis.


Practitioners with this minor will gain the knowledge needed to advocate for social justice reform at the micro, mezzo and macro levels in subjects such as criminal justice, policy and community practice, child welfare, aging, health, mental health, and housing. With an emphasis on the relationship between law and social work practice, graduates will develop the skills needed to utilize these interdependent fields.

Program requirements

  • Admission to the Wayne State University School of Social Work
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Course Requirement:
    • 3 Law courses (3 credits each)
    • 3 Social Work courses (2 - 3 credits each)


  1. Submit the Law & Social Work Minor Application for Provisional Approval form
  2. Meet with the BSW Program Director (email for an appointment) 


Geoffrey Jones, LLMSW
Academic Services Officer II

Norma Love-Schropshire, DSW, LMSW
BSW Director and Lecturer


Students are required to take a total of 6 courses, 3 from each discipline. Please note *SW 4710 - Social Welfare in the United States: Current Programs, is already a required part of the BSW program curriculum and will count towards both the BSW and the Law and Social Work minor.

  • Law in Social Context

    LEX 5000 - Law in Social Context (3 cr)

    This course presents law as an evolving social institution, introducing basic concepts of law along with the fundamentals of legal analysis.  It covers several substantive areas, with a particular focus on property in both its traditional common-law form and in its newer statutory contexts (like intellectual property).  What does it mean to own something?  What makes someone a legal owner of something?  What kinds of things can be owned, what things can’t, and why?

  • Law and Harm

    LX 5010 - Law and Harm (3 cr)

    This course continues on with the basic concepts of law and the fundamentals of legal analysis, giving in-depth attention to the fields of tort and criminal law and using them to examine how law conceives of, regulates, and adjudicates questions of harm.  When can you sue a person or a group for harming you?  On the street or in a business, what makes something a crime, and why do we prosecute and punish crimes the way we do?

  • Legal Procedure

     LX 5020—Legal Procedure (3 cr)

    This course examines the lifecycle of a case in court.  It discusses how a lawsuit begins with the filing of a complaint and how it ends in a judicial order, and it covers everything else that happens along the way—with special attention paid to things like negotiation and settlement.  This course introduces legal concepts like “due process of law,” and explores the procedural similarities and differences between civil cases, criminal cases, and administrative proceedings.  

  • Social Work and Law

    SW 6500 - Social Work and Law (2 cr)

    Study of the relationship between law and social work practice. Emphasis on understanding the legal processes, the relationship and interdependence of law and social work practice and the knowledge and skill needed to help integrate law into social work practice. 

  • *Social Welfare in the United States: Current Programs

    SW 4710 - Social Welfare in the United States: Current Programs (3 cr)

    Description and analysis of major social welfare programs in the United States.

    *Note: This course is already a required part of the BSW program curriculum and will count towards both the BSW and the Law and Social Work minor

  • Social Work Elective

    Students will select one course from the following list:

    • SW 5720 - Social Services for Older Adults (3 cr)

      • Identification, description and analysis of the problems associated with aging; development of social work services to address these needs. 

    • SW 5755 - Introduction to Child Welfare (3 cr)

      • Introduction and overview of child welfare services and practice with focus on a wide range of Issues related to children and youth in care and those in need of protection from abusive and/or neglectful caretakers and environments. 

    • SW 6100 - Child Welfare and Social Systems (3 cr)

      • Knowledge base for Child Welfare practice within the context of mental health, education, juvenile justice and other social systems with a significant focus on the social problems of domestic violence and substance abuse. Core case management intervention skill sets utilized for effective child welfare practice will be taught.

    • SW 6535 - Youth, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (3 cr)

      • Provides an in depth understanding of the causes and implications of youth involved in the juvenile justice arena, focusing on assessments and social work interventions in a transcultural, multisystem context. 

    • SW 6585 - Introduction to International Social Work (3 cr)

      • ​​​​​​​Introduction to global social work practice and international social welfare systems including discussion of global topics such as international adoption, immigrant populations, and human trafficking.