Annual 2023-2024 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.
|Course #||Course Title||Fall||Winter||Spring|
|LEGAL_ST 101-6||First-year Seminar: Writings From Prison||Abigail Barefoot|
LEGAL_ST 101-6 First-year Seminar: Writings From Prison
Why are so many people incarcerated in the United States? How do various individuals experience life behind bars? What do people write while incarcerated and why? Students in this first-year seminar will engage with these questions through an exploration of the writings of incarcerated individuals about their prison experience and socio-legal scholarship. This course employs various types of writing, including autobiographies, poetry, letters, comics, and podcasts. By examining these texts, students will explore the genre of prison writing and the issue of mass incarceration. In addition, students will discover how writing can be a vehicle for civil disobedience, a tool of political consciousness, and a way to reimagine justice. A primary goal of this class is to sharpen students’ writing skills. We will balance reading assignments with various short writing assignments.
|LEGAL_ST 206-0-20||Law and Society (also SOCIOL 206)||Nicolette Bruner|
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_ST 207-0-20||Legal Studies Research Methods (also SOCIOL 227)||Robert L Nelson|
LEGAL_ST 207-0-20 Legal Studies Research Methods (also 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")
|LEGAL_ST 309-0-20||Political Theories of the Rule of Law (also POLI SCI 309)||Jacqueline Stevens|
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.
|LEGAL_ST 333-0-20||Constitutional Law II (also POLI_SCI 333)||Joanna Grisinger|
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.
|LEGAL_ST 360-0-20||Animal Law (also ENVR_POL 360)||Nicolette Bruner|
LEGAL_ST 360-0-20 Animal Law (also ENVR_POL 360)
Survey of laws, regulations, and cultural norms regarding nonhuman animals and animal ownership in the United States. History of animal protection movement, wildlife regulation, hunting and fishing rights, livestock care and slaughter, animal experimentation, anti-cruelty legislation, and companion animal law. Prerequisite: Legal_St 206-0 or Poli_Sci 230-0, or instructor approval.
|LEGAL_ST 376-0-20||The Crime Centered Documentary (also HUM, RTVF)||Debra Tolchinsky|
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.
|LEGAL_ST 376-0-20||Reality TV and Legal Theory||Nicolette Bruner|
LEGAL_ST 376-0-20 Reality TV and Legal Theory
For the past thirty years, reality television – a genre of programming that aims to give us a view into the “unscripted” actions of our peers – has been a dominant force in U.S. entertainment. Many of us watch these shows to relax, to turn off our critical thinking, and to immerse ourselves wholly into some manufactured drama and schadenfreude. Considered as a cultural text, though, reality television can illuminate some profound truths: about how we decide what is right and wrong, about the tension between written and unwritten rules, and whether anyone can simply be “here to make friends.”
In this course, we ask what reality TV can teach us about the nature of law. We’ll read and discuss key works in the philosophy of law from H.L.A. Hart, Lon Fuller, Ronald Dworkin, Scott Shapiro, and others, and then see how their ideas stand up to the test of shows like Survivor, The Bachelor, FBoy Island, Ink Master, and Bachelor in Paradise. By the end of the quarter, students will be able to explain the main currents of thought in legal philosophy with reference to elimination ceremonies, confessionals, alliances, and other fundamentals of reality TV gameplay.
|LEGAL_ST 376-0-21||Gender, Sexuality and the Carceral State||Abigail Barefoot|
LEGAL_ST 376-0-21 Gender, Sexuality and the Carceral State
This course explores the rise of the carceral state in the United with particular attention to ethnographic, sociolegal, feminist, queer, and transgender theoretical approaches to the study of prisons. The course centers on girls, women, and LGBT people’s experiences with systems of punishment, surveillance, and control. In addition, students will learn how feminist and queer activists have responded to institutions of policing and mass incarceration; investigate how they have understood prison reform, prison abolition, and transformative justice; and consider the political, ethical, and methodological concerns that policing, and mass incarceration raise.
|LEGAL_ST 394-LK-20||Lawyering: Education and Practice||Seth Meyer|
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.
|LEGAL_ST 394-LK-21||Human Rights & US Refugee Law||William Schiller|
6:00 pm - 8:50 pm
LEGAL_ST 394-LK-21 Human Rights & US Refugee Law
The objectives in this course are: 1) to learn about international human rights conditions and refugee law mechanisms in the United States, through ongoing research related to asylum claims that will be presented at the end of the quarter in a trial; and 2) to become familiar with the diverse work of refugee-related professionals, including individuals who perform documentation-gathering, advocate for legal and public policy, and provide health care for asylum-seekers in the United States. In this class, you will be introduced to fundamental tenets of international human rights law and its domestic counterpart, U.S. asylum law. You will build upon this foundation for the remainder of the course by researching two asylum claims involving refugees from two countries, which you will present in mock hearings at the end of the course.
|LEGAL_ST 398-2-20||Advanced Research Seminar II||Abigail Barefoot|
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.