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Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

American Legal History

Course Description:

This course explores the history of American law from 1607 to the present.  Among the most important topics examined in depth are: the reception of the English common law in the original thirteen colonies; constitutionalism and the American revolution; the Federalist era; the law’s role during the antebellum period in promoting industrialization and slavery; the …


Conflict of Laws

Course Description:

Courts are often required to adjudicate cases that involve multi-state elements. For example, a contract may be made between an entity from New York and one from California to be performed in Ohio. A tort might occur involving citizens from different states, possibly in a third state. The course in conflict of laws explores how …


Critical Race Theory Seminar

Course Description:

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a dynamic and growing movement in the law, spirited by writers who challenge the prevailing racial orthodoxy and question comfortable liberal premises, in search of a new way of thinking about race and law. CRT begins with the insight that racism is a normal and ingrained feature of American society. …


Gender and the Law

Course Description:

This course explores the legal significance of gender in a wide variety of contexts, including employment, criminal and civil law, and laws governing family and sexuality. It is a survey course covering major state and federal cases and including some discussion of gender in comparative and international contexts. We will examine such topics as rape, …


Jurisprudence

Course Description:

Examination of fundamental questions structuring our legal system, including:how do we know what the law is? What are the proper sources and purposes of law? What is the relationship between law and justice?  What is the source of one’s duty to obey the law?  The readings and discussions examine multiple perspectives of legal theory, including natural law, …


Law and Economics

Course Description:

Why and when should property be privately owned? How can a legal system minimize the social costs of accidents? Should the state regulate pollution? If so, how? What is the socially appropriate punishment for a crime? Why do we even need the law of contract? What are the purposes of default rules? This course examines …


Law, History, & Philosophy Seminar

Course Description:

The history of American law and legal institutions, and their relationship to society, from the Reconstruction era through recent past.