Legal Studies Courses Fall 2018

R1B: Law, Language & Culture, Abigail Stepnitz, 4 units, Area N/A

This is a four-unit course satisfying the second half of UC Berkeley’s Reading and Composition requirement. You should already have taken R1A. The course teaches skills in critical reading and effective writing. Our theme for the semester is law, language, and culture.  We will explore the law by studying the ways that average people, academics, lawyers and judges think, talk, and write about law and related topics such as legality, law enforcement, litigation and identity. We will read and discuss stories of law’s interaction with “everyday life,” the way language is used in legal spaces such as courtrooms, and think about how narratives can even resist law’s authority.  Each week we will read and write about law by drawing on an academic source, such as a book chapter or a journal article, a piece of accessible writing such as a newspaper article, a popular cultural source such as a podcast or blog, and a legal source, such as a court decision. Together we will see how understanding law as a social institution means recognizing that it doesn’t just happen in courtrooms or law schools, but all around us, and takes many forms, writing styles and “voices.”

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

NOTE: R1B courses must be taken for a letter grade.
**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Pomerantz, 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.

100: Foundations of Legal Studies, Marshall, 4 units, Core (H, SS)

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.

103: Theories of Law & Society, Lieberman, 4 units, Core (H, SS) or Area II

Surveys leading attempts to construct social theories of law and to use legal materials for systematic social theorizing, during the period from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century.  The course considers major discussions of such themes as the relationships between law, politics, society and economy; the connection between historical change and legal change; the role of law in the processes of social integration and social discipline; and the distinctive elements of legal ordering in the modern west.

107: Theories of Justice, Kutz, 4 units, Core (H) or Area II or III or IV

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.

109: Aims & Limits of Criminal Law, Perry, 4 units,  Area I

This course focuses on the analysis of the capacity of criminal law to fulfill its aims. What are the aims of criminal Law? How are they assigned relative priority? What principles can be identified for evaluating the effort to control disapproved activities through criminal law?

***Canceled***110.1: Dissent, Law & Literature, Meredith Wallis, 4 units, Area II or IV ***Canceled***

This class is about what it means to oppose the state’s law, and the narratives – in literature and elsewhere – that we use to justify this dissent. We will study the dichotomy between the social organization of law as meaning and as power: the ability of communities, on one hand, to generate legal meaning and commit to their own interpretations of the law, and the ability of the state, on the other, to select from among these interpretations and to back its interpretation with force.

133AC: Law & Social Change: The Immigrant Rights Movement, Abrams, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course will explore the relationship between social movements and the law (ie, statutes, administrative regulations, judicial decisions, and policies and practices of enforcement, at both state and federal levels), focusing on the movement for immigrant rights led and populated by undocumented activists. We will examine that movement as it has emerged both nationally and in the state of Arizona. We will ask how legal action has spurred the formation of a social movement, and how that movement has sought to influence, resist, and transform the law. We will study the ways in which the movement in Arizona has faced a distinctive legal landscape:  state legislation and state and local enforcement tactics have made the state almost uniquely hostile for immigrants, yet they has also enabled activists to use the federal courts and the Constitution as vehicles for change. We will also examine the ways in which the movement in Arizona has coalesced with a national movement for immigrant rights, as it has sought legislative and administrative goals: a path to legalization for DREAMers (undocumented youth), comprehensive immigration reform, and relief from deportations. We will finally consider how major changes in the leadership and direction of federal institutions with plenary power over immigration have demanded conceptual and tactical response from this movement, analyzing the transition between Obama and Trump administrations. The course will seek to answer two primary questions about the undocumented activists who are now at the center of this movement: first, how movement participants with no formal institutional role – and in this case, no formal legal status – have become confident and sophisticated legal claims-makers whose actions shape the law and its enforcement; and second, how those participants conceive law and legal institutions, and their own relation to them. The course will also be concerned with the role(s) of lawyers who collaborate with, assist, and work on behalf of the movement; we will consider how these roles may depart from conventional forms of legal representation.

138: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Emily Bruce,  4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV or V

This course examines a number of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions in terms of what policy alternatives were available to the Court and which ones it chose. Prospective costs and benefits of these alternatives and who will pay the costs and who gets the benefits of them are considered. Among the areas considered are economic development, government regulation of business, national security, freedom of speech and discrimination. Readings are solely of Supreme Court decisions.

140:  Property & Liberty, Ben Brown, 4 units, Area II or III

The course will explore the relation between property law and limits of liberty in different cultures and at different times.  The course will cover theories of property law, slavery, the clash between aboriginal and European ideas of property, gender roles and property rights, common property systems, zoning, regulatory takings, and property on the internet. Readings will include legal theorists, court cases, and historical case studies.

145:  Law & Economics I, Prof. Bruno Salama, 4 units, Core (SS) or Area III

This course introduces economics as a tool for analyzing, evaluating and interpreting the legal framework that underpins a market economy. The first part examines the most basic legal foundations of markets, namely property, contract, corporate, tort, administrative and criminal law. The second part introduces relevant topics in the regulation of markets. It covers a few conceptual questions (the role of efficiency considerations in law and policy, the concept of regulations and the role of courts, and the dilemma between growth and distribution) as well as applied topics such as insurance, bankruptcy, labor, family, antitrust, and intellectual property law.

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

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.

***CANCELED***161: Law in Chinese Society, Stern, 4 units, Area II***CANCELED***

This course examines the legal system of China, from its cultural basis to the implications for modernization and China’s participation in the international community.  Philosophy, drama, and art will be used to understand the culture and major historical periods which influenced China’s legal traditions and key concepts.  The 20th century will be reviewed in some detail, including the Republic both on the mainland and on Taiwan, and the People’s Republic in both the Maoist and current eras, leading to examination of current legal practices in both Taiwan and mainland China. ***CANCELED***

163: Adolescence, Crime & Juvenile Justice, Zimring, 4 units,  Area I

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, 4 units, Area I

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.

173: Making Empire: Law & the Colonization of America, Tomlins, 4 units, Area II or V

This is an intro to the origins, development, and expansion of European settlement on the North American mainland. We will concentrate on the impulses – commercial, ideological, and racial – that drove European colonizing; the migrations (voluntary and forced) that sustained it; and the political and legal “technologies” that supplied it with definition, explanation, and institutional capacity. We will pay attention to themes of sovereignty, civic identity, race, and “manifest destiny” and will discuss how law provided both the language and technical capacity to transform territory into property, people into slaves, and the land’s indigenous inhabitants into “others” who existed “outside” the civic order of the American Republic.

180: Implicit Bias, Plaut, 4 units, Area IV

Implicit bias—automatic or unconscious stereotyping and prejudice that guides  our perception of and behavior toward social groups—is one of the fastest growing areas of law and psychology.  It also lies at the heart of one of the raging debates in American Law: whether the results of psychological studies showing the operation of unconscious gender, racial, and other biases can be used as courtroom evidence to prove discrimination.  Students will be introduced to cutting edge research that bears not only on the highly relevant substantive areas of employment discrimination and criminal law, but also on questions regarding other legal contexts, such as communications, voting, health care, immigration, and property.  Students will learn how implicit bias works, how to interpret and use empirical research findings from psychology, how to understand the major critiques of implicit bias research, and how to understand courts’ use of implicit bias findings. Remedies to implicit bias will be discussed throughout the course.

184: Sociology of Law, Kitty Calavita, 4 units, Core (SS) or Area 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.

190.2: Law, Politics & Literature, Shapiro, 4 units, Area II or V

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

190.3: Law & Society in Iran, Behnoosh Payvar,  4 units, Area II or IV

This course will explore the relationship between law, norms and social change in the context of a legal system which has religion of Islam as its main reference. During the course, we will review basic features of Iranian legal system, criminal law, family law, role of courts, social organization of law, and using interdisciplinary approach we will address topics as norms and modern society, gender perspective of Islamic legal system,
technology and social change. Exploring the legal system background in Iran offers the opportunity to study how traditional ways of restoring justice were suddenly replaced by a modern judiciary and the proceeding implications. The class will examine the role of media and technology in social change, addressing values, norms, perceptions and interactions that take place in a modern society, and how these changes interact with the legal system that is based on traditional Islamic percepts. The course will also cover the gender perspective that is incorporated in the Islamic legal system, and how men and women are seen and perceived by the law.

190.4: Legal Theory Seminar, Dan-Cohen, 3 units, Area II or IV

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.

H195A:  Honors Seminar, Edelman, 5 units, Area N/A

Students contemplating an Honors thesis must enroll in the first half of the program with 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 3.5  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 apply for the Honors Seminar LS H195A for Fall, please refer to the application info under ‘Research’ then ‘Honors Program’ on the Legal Studies website.



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