The Berlin Working Group on Socio-legal Studies (Berliner Arbeitskreis Rechtswirklichkeit – BAR) was founded October 2001 by a small group of young lawyers and social scientists who did not feel that their socio-legal research interests were adequately represented within their own disciplines, and who felt the need for more interdisciplinary socio-legal research and projects in Germany than currently exist.
Partly inspired by the activities of the Law and Society Association, which offers events for young scholars such as the Graduate Student Workshop during its Annual Meetings, the BAR specifically addresses Master’s students, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and tries to offer a communication platform for their socio-legal research. The BAR cooperates with the existing socio-legal academic community and intends to supplement their work and activities.
Since 2003, the BAR has organized a number of socio-legal graduate student conferences and workshops and has co-organized the conferences of German language associations for the Sociology of Law.
The BAR consists of an organizational core group in Berlin and members in Germany and several other countries. The BAR aims at creating a network of scholars and practitioners who look beyond black-letter law to explore the various interconnections between law and society.