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Law and Other Disciplines

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 …

Anthropology and the Law Seminar

Course Description:

Law is often viewed (and taught) as an autonomous system of abstract concepts and precepts with its own logic, which can precind from other parts of a society.  Anthropologists such as Hoebel, Pospisil, and Nadar and some legal scholars such as Oliver W. Holmes have held that law can be properly understood only as an …

Black Lives Matter: Law and Culture

Course Description:

The idea of black lives mattering extends far deeper into the annals of the US legal system than merely an issue of police violence inflicted upon black bodies. This course aims to consider the myriad ways in which black lives and blackness itself have been defined within the US legal system as valueless, expendable, and …

Critical Race Narratives

Course Description:

This team-taught course will focus on the relationship between narrative and law by using critical race theory to examine how race in America is a narrative of property and power. By reading a number of essayists and several novelists, we will explore such questions as: Who owns the narrative of slavery? Who can tell whose …

Forensic Mental Health

Course Description:

Mental health issues are present in the legal system in many ways.  Through case law, students will learn historical and current approaches to issues of involuntary commitment, capacity for treatment, competency to stand trial, and sanity at the time of a crime.  We will focus on both federal and state standards and cases.  Civil rights …

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 and Genetics

Course Description:

This class provides an opportunity to examine the process by which law responds to rapid changes in scientific knowledge and technology and also the ways in which law affects the course of scientific development. In addition to gaining a perspective on this interaction between the development of law and science, the course aims to give …

Law and Social Science

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the use of social science evidence by legal practitioners and courts at all levels. Such evidence is used, for example, in cases involving issues of trademark infringement, obscenity, discrimination, identification of criminal offenders, potential jury prejudice, eyewitness reliability, sexual assault, self-defense, dangerousness, and the fashioning of remedies.  Despite its now …

Law, History, & Philosophy Seminar

Course Description:

This course examines the historical and philosophical background impacting law and legal institutions from early Greek and Roman sources to the Bible to American legal movements to current issues with technology.