Legal Studies Courses Fall 2012

 Please check the Online Schedule of Classes (OSOC) (http://schedule.berkeley.edu) for the most up-to-date information.

R1B:   Racial Identity & the Law, Bruce, MWF 11am-12pm, 4 units, Area N/A

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

This course will examine three of the most important institutions in our lives (not necessarily in order of importance): school, work and family. We will read memoir and drama that recounts how individuals have experienced and understood changes to their legal rights within those institutions. To what extent have changes in the law been able to secure equality for members of minority groups? What kinds of costs have individuals borne in exchange for formal legal equality? To explore these questions, we will conduct a close examination of three case studies: school desegregation, women in the workplace, and the evolving legal status of same-sex marriage. In writing a series of essays, students will develop their ability to critically read and analyze the written word. A central focus of the course will be investigating the research process, and coursework will culminate in a research portfolio.

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Pomerantz,  M 10am-12:00pm, 2 units, Area N/A

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

We will read Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum, and consider not only the opinions of the Justices, but also why they hold those opinions. We will seek to discover the way in which courts use authority and craft law.

39E: Democracy, Equality, Frosh/Soph Seminar, Kutz, Tues 12-2pm, 2 units, Area N/A

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

In this seminar we will take up the question of why democracy and equality matter, as political ideals.  We will read some ancient (e.g. Plato), Enlightenment (e.g. Rousseau) and modern (e.g. John Rawls) writers, to try to get a fix on the meaning of these terms, and a understanding of their value.  The seminar will involve close reading and lots of discussion.   

100: Foundations of Legal Studies, Perry, MWF 12- 1pm, 4 units, Area I or II or III

This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical intro to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding questions of law and justice.

105: Foundations of Criminal Law, Dan-Cohen, MW 2-3pm, 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.

107: Theories of Justice,  Song, 4 units, Area I

This course explores three fundamental questions about the idea of a just society and the place of the values of liberty and equality in such a society:  (1)Which liberties must a just society protect? Liberty of expression? Sexual liberty? Economic liberty? Political liberty? (2) What sorts of equality should a just society ensure? Equality of opportunity? Of economic outcome? Political equality? Equality for different religious and cultural groups?  (3)Can a society ensure both liberty and equality? Or are these opposing political values?  We will approach these questions by examining answers to them provided by three contemporary theories of justice:  utilitarianism, libertarianism, and egalitarian liberalism. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of these theories, we will discuss their implications for some topics of ongoing political controversy that exemplify our three fundamental questions about liberty and equality: the enforcement of sexual morality, financing schools and elections, regulating labor markets, affirmative action, and abortion. We will conclude by examining issues of global justice and human rights.

145:  Law & Economics I,  Cooter, TTh 9:30- 11am, 4 units, Area I or III

This course uses the concepts and tools of economics to analyze problems in law, focusing on contracts, property, torts, and legal process. Students will be expected to apply the analysis to broad array of legal issues.

151: Law, Self & Society, Dan-Cohen, TTh 3-4pm, 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.

154: International Human Rights, O’Connell, TTh 3:30-5pm, 4 units,  Area I or II

This course considers how the practice of punishing crime can be understood in terms of the larger system of social life and cultural values in which punishment occurs. In exploring the social meanings of punishment, it examines some of the major historical changes in punishment that have been introduced in America and Europe since the 18th century.

155: Government & the Family,  Hollinger, TTh 9:30-11am, 4 units, Area III or 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.

163: Adolescence, Crime & Juvenile Justice (new title as of Fa12), Zimring, TTh 9:30-11am, 4 units, Area III or IV

This course examines the premises, doctrine, and operational behavior of juvenile courts, particularly in relation to the commission of seriously anti-social acts by mid-adolescents. Topics include the history of theories of delinquency; the jurisprudence of delinquency; the incidence and severity of delinquency; police response to juvenile offenders; the processes of juvenile courts and youth corrections; and reforms or alternatives to the juvenile court system.

170: Crime & Criminal Justice,  Perry, MWF 10-11am, 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, Brown, TTh 8-9:30am, 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.

180: Implicit Bias, Plaut, TTh 11-12:30am, 4 units, Area III

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,  Edelman, TTh 11-12:30am, 4 units, Area III or 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: Law, Politics & Literature, M. Shapiro, 4 units, W 4-7pm, Area II

This course will examine some key issues of politics through the close reading of a number of literary works.

190.2: Legal Theory Seminar,  Dan-Cohen, 3 units, 10am-12pm, 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.

190AC.3: Restorative Justice, Abrams/Frampton, M 3-6pm, 4 units, Area III or IV

This course will examine the theory and practice of restorative justice, with an emphasis on the ways that criminal justice systems implicate the emotions and the social integration of both victims and offenders.  The course will begin with a critical examination of the current focus of the criminal justice system on retribution and incarceration. It will explore the racially disproportionate effects of this system, a product both of governmental failures to recognize the continuing economic, social and psychological effects of slavery and Jim Crow, and law’s failure to look beyond a narrow, individually-oriented notion of discrimination. The course will also interrogate the ways that existing approaches function – at times, purposefully – to foster vengeance and contempt toward offenders as a social category, complicating the process of re-entry and reintegration.

H195A: Honors Seminar  Musheno, 4 units, W 10am-12pm, Area N/A

Students contemplating an Honors thesis must enroll in LS H195A 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 H195B) will complete a substantial research paper under the supervision of a faculty member.

To obtain a Course Entry Code for the Honors Seminar, please contact Lauri La Pointe (lauri@berkeley.edu) once your Spring/Summer grades have been posted officially to the transcript.

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 a 3.0 UC 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 Undergraduate Advisor for the requisite form.  Note: LS 199 can only be taken P/NP, but it is applicable towards the 32 upper division units in the major.

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