Fall 2010 Legal Studies Courses

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution Frosh/Soph Sem Pomerantz 2 units, Area N/A

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

We will read several judicial opinions and seek to discover the ways in which courts use authority and craft law.

105: Foundations of Criminal Law   Dan-Cohen 3 units, Area I or III

Perhaps more than any other legal area, criminal law raises fundamental theoretical issues that have occupied philosophers over the years. This is not surprising in light of the obvious proximity between the enterprise of using state coercion to punish the guilty on the one hand and central concerns of moral and political philosophy on the other. In the course we’ll discuss a selection of articles that bring to bear such a philosophical perspective on important aspects of criminal law. The topics include the justification of punishment, the foundations of blame and responsibility, the substantive values protected by criminal law, the significance of actual harm, the liability of groups and other collectivities, and the virtues and limits of the rule of law.

138: The Supreme Court & Public Policy   M. Shapiro 4 units, Area III or IV

A policy, as opposed to legal, analysis of a number of earlier and recent Supreme Court decisions.

Warning: LS 138 was formerly LS 190. If you have already taken LS 190: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, this is the same course…don’t sign up for it again.

147: Law & Economics II   Cooter  4 units, Area I or III

Microeconomic theory will be applied to government and regulation. Topics include the economic analysis of constitutional law, administrative law, regulation, corporations, and environmental law.  To illustrate, the behavior of legislators who want to maximize the votes that they receive will be described and predicted.  Similarly, the behavior of regulatory agencies who seek to maximize their own budgets will be predicted. The best forms of regulation will be identified assuming that parties subject to it minimize the cost of compliance, as when corporations try to satisfy environmental controls at least cost.  Law &  Economics I (LS 145) is not a prerequisite.

151: Law, Self & Society Dan-Cohen 3 units, Area I

Contemporary moral and political philosophy has been increasingly interested in how conceptions of the self relate to various aspects of our social and political life.  These issues have an important bearing on legal theory as well.  Law is shaped by certain implicit assumptions about the nature of individuals and collectivities, while it also actively participates in forming the identities of persons and in structuring collective entities such as families, corporations, and municipalities.  This course will explore some theoretical approaches to this reciprocal relationship between law and the different social actors that it governs.

155: Government & the Family  Hollinger  4 units, Area III, IV

How has the law constructed and deconstructed “family” relationships? What are the common law, statutory, and constitutional principles that affect the formation, regulation, and dissolution of families? How do these principles, as well as diverse cultural and social values, guide the State in determining who may or may not marry, who may or may not become a legal parent, and the circumstances that justify State intervention in otherwise private and autonomous families to protect children against neglect or abuse? Should children have legal “rights” and, if so, to what and against whom? Special attention is given to the laws, policies, and current debates concerning marriage and domestic partnerships, child custody and adoption, and the public child welfare system. These issues are explored through a variety of readings in the law and the social sciences.

170: Crime & Criminal Justice  Perry 4 units, Area IV

This course examines the scope and causes of the crime problem in America, and the uses and limits of our criminal justice system in dealing with it. The class will look at recent trends in crime and at how our crime problem compares with that of other countries. Topics include the massive expansion of the American prison system in recent years and its effect on the crime rate, critical analyses of different theories of the causes of crime, strategies for preventing and controlling crime, death penalty, gun control, white-collar crime, and crime in the family.

177: American & Constitutional History   McClain   4 units, Area II

This course explores the history of American legal institutions and doctrine from colonial times to the present.  It deals both with the history of American constitutional law (through the study of major U.S. Supreme Court opinions) and with the development of certain important bodies of non-constitutional law, such as the law of property, the law of torts (civil wrongs), and criminal law.  In exploring how American law has developed over time the course may serve as something of an introduction to our current legal and constitutional order.

182: Law, Politics & Society   Feeley   4 units, Area III or IV

This course examines the theory and practice of legal institutions in performing several major functions of law: allocating authority, defining relationships, resolving conflict, adapting to social change, and fostering social solidarity. In doing so, it will assess the nature and limits of law as well as consider alternative perspectives on social control and social change.

184: Sociology of Law  Albiston   4 units, Area III, IV

This introductory course explores major issues and debates in the sociology of law.  Topics include theoretical perspectives on the relationship between law and society, theories of why people obey (and disobey) the law, the relationship between law and social norms, the “law in action” in litigation and dispute resolution, the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries in the legal system and in society, and the role of law in social change.  The course will examine these issues from an empirical perspective.

190.1: Legal Theory  Dan-Cohen  3 units, Area I

In this seminar we’ll discuss a number of texts that cover a wide range of issues in the theory of law. Roughly speaking, they fall into two main categories. Some of the readings look at law from the outside, posing the question, what is law and what is the source of its authority? The answers proposed concern the distinction between natural law and positivism, and the relationship between law and morality. The other set of readings adopt an internal perspective, focusing primarily on theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of substantive legal issues. The aim is to identify salient ideas and values that shape legal discourse and inform legal policy. Enrollment is restricted.

To receive permission to enroll, email Professor Dan-Cohen (mdancohen@law.berkeley.edu) and include your major, any philosophy coursework you’ve done, and a short statement of interest in the course. He will email you back with either a Class Entry Code that allows you to register via TeleBEARS, or a message to put yourself on the waitlist. If you are instructed to put yourself on the waitlist, you will be notified during the first class meeting if you will be admitted into the course.

190.2: Basic Legal Values  Dan-Cohen  3 units, Area I

Although everyone agrees that law promotes some values, what these values are is often unclear and controversial. This is increasingly the case the more we come to recognize cultural diversity and moral pluralism faced by the law. In this seminar we will examine a number of values that have been advanced within the liberal tradition, such as well-being, autonomy, and dignity, and consider their potential role in shaping or explaining a wide range of legal disputes. The seminar will divide into two parts. In the first, we’ll get acquainted with these values in the context of the two main strands in liberal moral theory – utilitarianism and Kantianism – and consider some general issues concerning the meaning of these values and their interrelationships. The second part will consist of student presentations on specific substantive topics in which the general issues discussed in the first part arise. Enrollment is restricted.

To receive permission to enroll, email Professor Dan-Cohen (mdancohen@law.berkeley.edu) and include your major, any philosophy coursework you’ve done, and a short statement of interest in the course. He will email you back with either a Class Entry Code that allows you to register via TeleBEARS, or a message to put yourself on the waitlist. If you are instructed to put yourself on the waitlist, you will be notified during the first class meeting if you will be admitted into the course.

LS 190.3: Law, Rights & Minorities  Bruce, 3 units Area III

The goal of this course is to provide a personal perspective on discrimination and the law. Through memoir and film, supplemented by legal documents and critical writing, we will meet people who fought for and lived through a changing legal landscape–from legalized segregation and discrimination on the basis of race and gender, through the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement, to the affirmative action era and its decline.  We will end by examining the experience of today’s LGBT individuals in the legal fight over same-sex marriage.  In the process, we will explore the give-and-take between individual identity and the legal system.

198: Honors Seminar  Musheno, 2 Units, P/NP

Students contemplating an Honors thesis must enroll in LS 198 in the Fall of their senior year, which is aimed specifically at preparing them for the task. The seminar will cover such important subjects as selecting a thesis topic that is both interesting and capable of investigation within the limits of a single semester, developing and implementing an effective research strategy, and completing the writing.  UCB GPA 3.3  Legal Studies GPA 3.5 required.

During the following Spring semester, students who continue with the Honors Program (LS H195A) will complete a substantial research paper under the supervision of a faculty member.

For more info or to obtain a Course Entry Code, please contact Lauri, the Undergrad Advisor.

199: Independent Study 1-4 units, P/NP

Legal Studies 199 is open to officially declared Legal Studies Seniors with a 3.0 GPA in the major and 3.0 UCB GPA.  Independent study is a research paper the student produces under the direction of a faculty member.  In order to enroll, the student must develop a proposal and find a Legal Studies faculty member who is willing to serve as director.  Ideally, the student should have already taken at least one course from the faculty member in the area which s/he wishes to research.  The student should submit a written proposal to the faculty member outlining the scope and length of the research project s/he would like to do.  A general guideline is one unit of credit per ten pages of text in the final research paper, up to a maximum of four units. The consent of the supervising faculty member should be secured prior to the first week of the semester. Once a student has secured faculty permission, the student should see the Lauri for the requisite form.  Note: LS 199 is P/NP only, but will count towards the 32 upper div units for the major.

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