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755 - Law and Social Science
Professor: Tanya J. Poteet
Semester: 2010 Winter
Second Writing Requirement? Yes
Professional Responsibility? No
This course introduces the use of social science as a tool for legal analysis. The course will touch on aspects of many typical law school courses – criminal law, constitutional law, criminal procedure, and tort law – which social science research has examined. We start with the developments in American jurisprudence that legitimized the use of social science in the law. Then, we will examine the basic elements of legal methods and social science research methodology. You do not need a background in scientific methods or statistics; we will study methodology for the purpose of understanding the cases. For most of the semester, we will look at the substantive uses of social science in adjudication; how it is used: to resolve factual disputes; to make or change law, both constitutional and common law; as a general context or framework for deciding specific cases; and in planning the litigation of a case.
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