The Judicial Research Initiative (JuRI)
at the University of South Carolina
Graduate Study in Public Law at USC
Ranked as one of the Top Five best programs in the nation in Judicial Politics and Public Law (click here for specific details), the University of South Carolina offers unique opportunities to individuals interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in the study of law and courts. In 2009, the Department of Political Science became one of a select few departments to establish a Ph.D. field dedicated to the study of judicial politics and public law. Students choosing to major (or minor) in this field receive training in both American Judicial Politics and Comparative Judicial Politics, and can specialize in either aspect.
Students receive comprehensive training from three nationally and internationally known scholars. Donald R. Songer, the Olin D. Johnston Professor of Political Science, specializes in U.S. federal courts and comparative judicial politics (most notably the Canadian Supreme Court). Kirk A. Randazzo, associate professor of political science, specializes in strategic judicial behavior, methodological issues, and comparative judicial politics (most notably issues of judicial independence). Lee D. Walker, assistant professor of political science, specializes in comparative judicial politics (most notably issues of legitimacy in Latin America) and political methodology. These scholars combine with a team of other top-notch individuals to provide comprehensive statistical and methodological training. For additional information (including program descriptions and application details) concerning the Ph.D. program in Political Science at USC, click here.
Select Publications by Graduate Students
One of the benefits of graduate study at the University of South Carolina is the opportunity to collaborate with other individuals (including faculty) on cutting-edge research projects. Historically, these opportunities have led to publications in highly respected journals across the discipline including the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Law & Society Review, the Justice System Journal and Judicature. Click here for a brief list of recent publications by graduate students.
Professional Conference Participation
In addition to the potential publication opportunities available to doctoral students in Judicial Politics and Public Law are the opportunities to present research at various professional conferences in Political Science. Historically, our students have been extremely active at these professional meetings. Click here for a brief list of conference presentations by graduate students.
Placement at Academic Institutions
Finally, it is important to note the outstanding record of achievement compiled by doctoral students in Judicial Politics and Public Law in terms of employment at academic institutions. Historically, our students have obtained employment at several prestigious colleges and universities including Michigan State University, the University of Texas, and the University of Georgia. Click here for a list of academic placements.