Camille L Walsh
B CUSP 202
Introduction to the structure of the legal system. Covers how the United States legal system reflects and forms social values; resolves disputes; deals with criminal procedures; addresses torts and contracts; and examines the functioning of the Constitution. Offered: AWSp.
This course offers a broad introduction to the law of the United States, encompassing the courts, judiciary, bar, law enforcement, corrections and the many, many laypeople who participate in making and interpreting law in their everyday home, public and work lives. We will utilize the text of court opinions to understand what brought people into the courtroom, how legal principles are understood and translated, and what arguments about justice can be made on all sides of an issue. Students will regularly engage in debates, present ideas and arguments to their classmates, and collaborate with one another to locate information about their future career goals and intersections with law.
Student learning goals
Understand perspectives on multiple sides of complex legal questions and debates
Formulate questions and identify analytic tools to address a particular aspect of law
Work collaboratively to interview practitioners and gain experience with "law in practice"
Analyze key cases and problems in U.S. law
Communicate written and oral understand of key types of legal analysis and substantive law
Engage in debate and discussion on ongoing current legal issues
General method of instruction
This is primarily a discussion-based class, with a necessary amount of lecture and framing tools. Students will apply the law in various hypotheticals, sample cases and other scenarios to engender debate and discussion.
No prerequisites necessary.
Class assignments and grading
Students will engage in both gathering and applying knowledge about the law in this class, in projects designed to facilitate written analysis, interviewing skills, oral presentations and discussion and debate.
Grades will be assigned based on a range of assessments, including short weekly quizzes, analysis and response papers, participation and presentations, and a final exam.