Annual 2020-2021 Class ScheduleTo read course descriptions, click on the course titles below.
To look up class meeting days and times please go to CAESAR.
Note that courses are subject to change.
|Law and Society (also SOCIOL 206)
LEGAL_ST 206-0-20 Law and Society (also SOCIOL 206)
Law is everywhere. Law permits, prohibits, enables, legitimates, protects, and prosecutes citizens. Law shapes our daily lives in countless ways. This course examines the connections and relationships of law and society using an interdisciplinary social science approach. As one of the founders of the Law and Society movement observed, "Law is too important to leave to lawyers." Accordingly, this course will borrow from several theoretical, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives (including sociology, history, anthropology, political science, and psychology) in order to explore the sociology of law and law's role. This course introduces the relationship between social, cultural, political, and economic forces on the one hand, and legal rules, practices, and outcomes, on the other. We focus on several important questions about law including: How do culture, structure, and conflict explain the relationship between law and society? Why do people obey the law? Why do people go to court? How does the legal system work? What is the role of lawyers, judges, and juries? How does law on the books differ from law in action? How do social problems become legal ones? How can law create or constrain social change?
|Legal Studies Research Methods (taught with SOCIOL 227)
|Robert L Nelson
LEGAL_ST 207-0-20 Legal Studies Research Methods (taught with SOCIOL 227)
Legal Studies Research Methods introduces students to research methods used in interdisciplinary legal studies, including jurisprudence and legal reasoning, qualitative and quantitative social science methods, and historical and textual analysis. The course is a prerequisite for the Advanced Research Seminar in Legal Studies, 398-1, - 2, and is intended to prepare students for the design of their own research project to be conducted in 398-1, -2. Through exposure to and engagement with interdisciplinary research methods on law and legal processes, the course will provide students with a deeper understanding of law in its historical and social context. The course will provide students with a set of research tools with which to conduct research on legal institutions. The course builds on content from Legal Studies 206, a prerequisite for 207. While part of the Legal Studies major sequence, the course will enrich the analytic skills of students from many fields who are interested in law or in interdisciplinary research methods. (Pre-Req: Legal_St 206 "Law & Society")
|Corporation in US Law and Culture
LEGAL_ST 276-0-20 Corporation in US Law and Culture
A corporation is its own person under the law, separate from those whom it employs or who may own its stock. How did this happen, and what does it mean for the humans who live and work alongside corporations every day?In this course, we will trace the evolution of the corporate person in the United States from the colonial era to the present. Our focus will be twofold: the evolving legal rights and responsibilities of the corporation, and the role that the corporate person has played in the American cultural imagination.
|American Immigration (taught with HISTORY 305)
LEGAL_ST 305-0-20 American Immigration (taught with HISTORY 305)
This course introduces students to the social, political, legal, and cultural history of immigration in the United States. In addition to exploring the history of southern and eastern European immigrants, it uses a comparative framework to integrate Latin American and Asian migrants into our understanding of immigration since the late nineteenth century. The course is an exploration of major themes in immigration history rather than a comprehensive examination. Issues students will consider include immigration law, acculturation, community, racial formation, victimization vs. agency, the transnational and international context of immigration, and competing notions of citizenship, among others.
|Political Theories of the Rule of Law (also POLI SCI 309)
LEGAL_ST 309-0-20 Political Theories of the Rule of Law (also POLI SCI 309)
Key documents and debates in the development of theories of law and jurisprudence. From Aeschylus to contemporary democratic and legal theories and major court cases on topics ranging from torture to Title IX.
|U.S. Refugee Policy & Localities (also POLI SCI 330)
LEGAL_ST 330-0-20 U.S. Refugee Policy & Localities (also POLI SCI 330)
|Constitutional Law I (also POLI SCI 332)
LEGAL_ST 332-0-20 Constitutional Law I (also POLI SCI 332)
This course investigates the structure of American government as laid out by the Constitution. It will also examine the many controversies over what, exactly, the Constitution means, who gets to decide, and how. We will discuss judicial review, the powers of Congress and the executive branch, and the relationship between the federal government and the states.
|Constitutional Law II (also POLI_SCI 333)
LEGAL_ST 333-0-20 Constitutional Law II (also POLI_SCI 333)
Consideration of US Supreme Court decisions dealing with civil and political rights, including equality, freedom of speech and religion, and criminal procedures.
|Psychology and the Law (taught with PSYCH 340)
LEGAL_ST 350-0-20 Psychology and the Law (taught with PSYCH 340)
|Constitutional Challenges in Comparative Perspective (also POLI_SCI 356)
LEGAL_ST 356-0-20 Constitutional Challenges in Comparative Perspective (also POLI_SCI 356)
Constitutional controversies and resolutions in liberal democracies. Constitutional traditions and governance, rule of law, legitimacy and authority in diverse societies, human rights, social transformation.
|The Crime Centered Documentary (also HUM, RTVF)
LEGAL_ST 376-0-20 The Crime Centered Documentary (also HUM, RTVF)
In this course, we will view non-fiction and hybrid films that revolve around crime, criminal justice, and criminal court cases. Our emphasis will be on cases that are either mired in controversy and/or emblematic of wider social concerns. Readings will accompany viewings and experts will weigh in with legal, philosophical or scientific perspectives: What is accurately depicted? What is omitted? What is misrepresented? Concurrently, we will investigate the films aesthetically: How is the film structured and why? What choices are being made by the filmmaker in terms of camera, sound and editing and how do these choices affect viewers? Throughout the course, we will consider the ethics of depicting real people and traumatic events. We will also look at specific films in regard to their legal or societal impact. Assignments will include a series of short response papers and a substantial final project, which can take the form of either (up to the student) a final 12-15 page paper or an 8-12 minute film. The final should center upon a legal topic. Ideas include, but are not limited to: A comparison of two films depicting the same criminal case, a polished/edited interview with a person somehow connected to a crime, an investigation of a local court or legal advocacy center. Group projects (two people max) will be allowed.
|Sexuality, Technoscience, and the Law (also GNDR ST 390, SOCIOL 376)
LEGAL_ST 376-0-21 Sexuality, Technoscience, and the Law (also GNDR ST 390, SOCIOL 376)
Sexuality shapes the cultural, economic, political, and social organization of the U.S. The ways we define and think about sexuality are deeply entangled in science and technology, regulation and governance, and social practices of exclusion and inclusion. This course examines the complex relationships between sexuality, technoscience, and the law—including those that guide sexuality-related identities, meanings, and interactions; sexual citizenship; feminist and queer health movements; investigating and controlling sexual crimes; digital expressions of sexuality, privacy, and algorithmic justice.
LEGAL_ST 376-0-21 Animal Law
Animals, both domesticated and wild, inhabit an uneasy space in American law. On one hand, they are legally property—possessions of a human or a state. At the same time, many animals benefit from legal protections that we do not grant to a rock or a robot. How did we develop our patchwork system of protections over animals? How do we determine which animals are protected and which are left as unambiguous “things”? And is there any way to regulate a nonhuman animal as something other than property?In this course, we will survey the regulatory status of animals in US law, both for domesticated (livestock and companionate) and wild animals, developing a practical (rather than idealized) understanding of the US’s current legal framework. This course has no prerequisites and assumes only a basic understanding of the US legal system. In addition to students in legal studies, this course is relevant for students interested in wildlife management, agriculture, history, and veterinary science, as well as any students who simply want to think critically about their cats, dogs, and other nonhuman companions.
|Gender-Based Violence (also GNDR_ST 332-0-21, SOCIOL 376-0-1)
LEGAL_ST 376-0-22 Gender-Based Violence (also GNDR_ST 332-0-21, SOCIOL 376-0-1)
|Development of American Indian Law & Policy (also HISTORY 300-0-34, HUM 370-4-30)
LEGAL_ST 376-0-30 Development of American Indian Law & Policy (also HISTORY 300-0-34, HUM 370-4-30)
|Refugee Crises and Human Rights (also POLI_SCI 380, INTL_ST 390)
LEGAL_ST 380-0-20 Refugee Crises and Human Rights (also POLI_SCI 380, INTL_ST 390)
|Lawyering: Education and Practice
LEGAL_ST 394-LK-20 Lawyering: Education and Practice
Attorneys are central to American life and popular culture, but the profession is undergoing dramatic change. For years, the supply of lawyers has vastly outstripped the demand for legal jobs and the resulting lawyer bubble has grown. Meanwhile, those who land law jobs have different challenges: recent surveys report many attorneys' growing disenchantment with their work and dissatisfaction with their lives. This seminar will examine the profession's multidimensional crisis. What changes occur in attorneys, both individually and systemically, emerging from law schools and finding their roles in the legal realm? Why is working within the most lucrative big firms now regarded by many as the pinnacle of private practice? What other options are available? It will explore life after law school, examining the disparate places law graduates might find themselves. The course invites prospective law students to consider their potential places, as individual lawyers, in what remains a noble profession. It also invites those students in other undergraduate disciplines who may be curious about trajectories open to them in this post-graduate academic and, ultimately, career field.
|Advanced Research Seminar (Majors Only)
LEGAL_ST 398-1-20 Advanced Research Seminar (Majors Only)
Legal Studies 398-1,2 is a two-quarter sequence required for all Legal Studies majors. This seminar exposes students to a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to law and legal institutions; over two quarters, students will develop their own research paper on a topic of interest.
|Advanced Research Seminar II
LEGAL_ST 398-2-20 Advanced Research Seminar II
Legal Studies 398 is a two-quarter sequence (398-1 and 398-2) required for all Legal Studies majors. This seminar will expose students to a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to law and legal institutions; over two quarters, students will develop their own research paper on a topic of interest. During winter quarter, students will complete their research projects and present their projects to the class. Students will meet to discuss shared readings, will workshop their paper drafts with one another, will prepare oral presentations based on their research, and will meet individually with the professor and with the Graduate Teaching Fellows.