Legal Studies Courses Fall 2022

R1B.001: Health Law and the Politics of Care, Anna Zaret, 4 units, Area N/A 

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

This course teaches Reading and Composition under the substantive theme of U.S. health law and policy. Few issues are more perennially at the forefront of American politics than health care. Despite widespread discontent with the current system, structural reforms have yet to be achieved. The fragmented and largely privatized U.S. health care system stands in stark contrast to the national health programs that operate in nearly all comparable countries. Efforts to reform U.S. health policy and improve health equity have been structured around private markets and economic incentives. In this course, we will think critically about the legal and economic structures that make up the U.S. health care system. How did we end up with this structure of health law and policy in the U.S.? What values and assumptions are its foundation? Why do we conceive of health and health care in the ways that we do? What are possible alternatives? In addition to considering the broad structure of the U.S. health care system, we will also explore contemporary and historical social movements focused on the politics of health, including disability justice, reproductive rights, end-of-life decisions, and public health and policing.

R1B.002:  The Sanctuary Tradition in Law and Social Practice, Bonnie Cherry, 4 units, Area N/A

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

The debate over “sanctuary cities” in the United States has intensified over the last several years. Highly politicized, arguments for or against pro-immigrant state and local policies have fallen largely along liberal and conservative lines. However, the practice of providing sanctuary (legal, political, or religious) has endured for thousands of years and across cultures. In some cases, providing sanctuary to those who seek it is codified in law. In others, sanctuary is offered to those who seek refuge from the law itself.

This course will explore the history of the sanctuary tradition across legal, social, political, and cultural contexts and will ask one overarching question: what can the sanctuary tradition teach us about the boundaries of the law? The sanctuary tradition, both in place and practice, blurs the lines between sacred and secular, between sovereign state and citizen power, and allows us to ask the following sub-questions:

  • What does sanctuary look like? What are some shapes that sanctuary takes? What are the limits of the legal form in creating (or resisting) this space?
  • What does the sanctuary tradition say about cultural practices and how these practices shape (or resist) law, and vice versa?
  • What can we learn about legal consciousness and rights mobilization from looking at specific sanctuary movements?

Each week, we will develop our critical reading and composition skills while exploring sanctuary in the context of different areas of law. 

R1B.003: Law in the American Colonization of California, Kyle Deland, 4 units, Area N/A  

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

In this seminar students will explore histories of law in the American colonization of California with an emphasis on the period from 1840 to 1900. These decades saw tremendous legal change, often violent change. At the end of the Mexican-American War (1846-48), prominent American colonists claimed the land of “New California” as terra nullius, a place with no people or law – a “Promised Land” for the white race. In fact, over 150,000 Indigenous Californians and roughly 6,000 Spanish-Mexican settlers lived in the conquered lands that would become an American state in 1851. All these peoples had their own legal cultures and claims to the land. From the “lynch law” of the Gold Rush in 1849 to the 1856 Vigilance Committee to Chinese exclusion in 1882, we will analyze the many changes wrought by American imperialism. We will ask: What roles did law and lawyers play in American settler colonization? Was California a “lawless” place governed by violence or a “lawful” one organized by the rule of law? Could it be both? To answer these and other historical questions, students will research a topic of their choosing through primary sources like court cases, statutes, legislative records, treaties, and newspapers. 

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. Here(link is external) is an article about the course (video included).

88: Crime and Punishment: Taking the Measure of the U.S. Justice System, Dag MacLeod, 2 units 

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

NOTE: This Data Science Connector course is meant to be taken concurrently with Computer Science C8/Statistics C8/Information C8: Foundations of Data Science. Students may take more than one 88 (data science connector) course if they wish, ideally concurrent with or after having taken the C8 course.

100:  Foundations of Legal Studies, Simon, 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.

102: Policing and Society, Perry, 4 units, Area I

This course examines the American social institution of policing with particular emphasis on urban law enforcement. It explores the social, economic and cultural forces that pull policing in the direction of state legal authority and power as well as those that are a counter-weight to the concentration of policing powers in the state. Special attention is given to how policing shapes and is shaped by the urban landscape, legal to cultural.

103:  Theories of Law & Society, Prof. Mark Leinauer, 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.

125: Human Rights and War Crimes Investigations: Methods, Koenig, 4 units, Area I or IV

This seminar offers an introduction to the concept and practice of human rights research and investigations, with an emphasis on the collection and analysis of online open source information. In addition to lectures and readings, the course will engage students in the Human Rights Investigations Lab at Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center, an effort that supports the work of Amnesty International, the Syrian Archive, and a number of other organizations that are working to bring awareness to and collect evidence in support of international atrocity cases, including human rights law firms and international commissions of inquiry. In the seminar and lab, students will have an opportunity to engage in one or more real-world investigations.

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.

While there are no formal pre-requisites for this course, students are strongly encouraged to take Legal Studies 132AC before enrolling in this class. Knowledge of immigration law will be a great benefit in understanding the legislation, policy, and enforcement with which activists are engaging.

C134 – Membership and Migration: Empirical and Normative Perspectives (Big Ideas Course), Irene Bloemraad and Sarah Song, 4 units, Area II or V
NOTE: ***This is a cross-listed course with Sociology C146M, Either of these two sections can be added and still count towards the major, but it is best to sign up for our section Legalst C134.***

We will explore questions about migration and membership in the contemporary world by drawing on empirical and normative perspectives. By “empirical,” we investigate what social science evidence tells us about the drivers of migration or the benefits of citizenship. By “normative,” we think through questions of what a society ought to do: what is the morally right, just, or fair thing to do about issues of migration and citizenship?

137: Equality Rights, Oppenheimer, 3 units, Area IV or V  

Comparative Equality Law uses a problem-based approach to examine how the law protects equality rights in different jurisdictions. The course will comparatively examine US, European, and other national, regional and international legal systems (including those of India, Brazil, Colombia, Canada and South Africa) and provide a global overview of legal protection from and legal responses to inequalities. The course covers 5 topic modules: Theories and sources of equality law; Employment discrimination law (race, sex, age, disability, LGBTQ+); Secularism, human rights and the legal rights of religious minorities; Sexual harassment/Violence; Affirmative action (race, caste, origin), and gender parity.

Note the odd times at which this course meets!
Comparative Equality Law meets on Tuesday mornings.
The class meets at 8am to 10am on Zoom which is 15:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) to 17:00 UTC. For most of the semester that’s 8am in Berkeley, but when we move from “daylight savings time” to “standard time” in November, 15:00 UTC becomes 7am in Berkeley. Because the course includes students and faculty from at least eight time zones in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia it is essential to set the course meeting time in Universal time instead of Pacific time. And, because most of our partner universities start their classes on the hour, we will not use “Berkeley Time”.

138:  The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky,  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.

142:  Monetary Law and Regulation, Bruno Salama, 4 units, Area III or V

This course surveys the history of US monetary law from its inception to the coming about of cryptocurrencies. We begin with a discussion of monetary affairs in colonial times and during the American Revolutionary War. We then examine the framework established at the Constitutional Convention. We cover the 19th century and New Deal Supreme Court cases that shaped US monetary law as we know it today. Finally we discusses contemporary legal dilemmas such as the regulation of bitcoin and stablecoins, the creation of central bank digital currencies, the workarounds of the US debt ceiling and the debate over the spectrum of the Fed’s legal authority. We conclude by revisiting some classic questions concerning the nature and functions of money.

145:  Law & Economics I, 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.

150:  Intimate Partner Violence, Mallika Kaur, 4 units, Area I or IV

This course will investigate the phenomenon of intimate partner violence (also known as family violence, or domestic violence), by studying empirical evidence; theories of violence; and the disparate impacts on different communities. Through a trauma-centered and intersectional approach, students will be positioned to assess and analyze the responses by our legal system to this persistent and prevalent social problem.

159: Introduction to Law & Sexuality, Sonia Katyal, 4 units, Area II or IV

This course focuses on the legal regulation of sexuality, and the social and historical norms and frameworks that affect its intersection with sex, gender, race, disability, and class. We will critically examine how the law shapes sexuality and how sexuality shapes the law. Our subject matter is mostly constitutional, covering sexuality’s intersection with privacy, freedom of expression, gender identity and expression, equal protection, reproduction, kinship, and family formation, among other subjects. We will study case law, legal articles, and other texts (including visual works) that critically engage issues of sexuality, citizenship, nationhood, religion, and the public and private spheres domestically and internationally.

160:  Punishment, Culture, & Society, Kristin Sangren, 4 units, Core (H,SS) or Area I or II

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment.” To gain some comparative perspective the course will also take up contemporary penality (or penalities) in Europe, South Africa, Central America, and Asia, as well as US penality and society at some earlier conjunctures.
In our analysis of penality, we will draw upon a range of social science theories with general relevance but with particularly rich application to the study of punishment. These theories provide the “tool kits” we will use to interpret and analyze multiplex implications of punishment and its relationship to changes in economic, social, and political relations associated with modernization and more recently the globalization of modern capitalism. The course will examine many examples of penal practices and the ideas associated with them including mass imprisonment, the death penalty, and restorative justice. In the last portion of the class we will examine the recent crisis in California’s juvenile prisons through the lenses both of different social theories and the examples of different national and historical penal patterns.

162AC – Restorative Justice, Julie Shackford-Bradley, 4 units, Area 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.

168: Sex, Reproduction, and the Law, Mark Leinauer, 4 units, Area II

This course examines recent American legal and social history with respect to reproductive and sexual behavior. We will consider two theoretical aspects of the problem: first, theories of how law regulates social behavior and second, more general theories about how reproduction is socially regulated. Armed with these theoretical perspectives, the course will then examine closely a number of legal/social conflicts, including sterilization, abortion and contraception.

173AC: 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.

Canceled ****181:  Psychology & Law, Plaut, 4 units,  Area II****Canceled

This course will examine the implications of cognitive, social, and clinical psychology for legal theory, policies, and practices. The course will analyze the psychological aspects of intent, responsibility, deterrence, retribution, and morality. We will examine applications of psychology to evidence law (e.g. witness testimony, psychiatric diagnosis and prediction), procedure (e.g., trial conduct, jury selection), and topics in criminal, tort, and family law.

184: Sociology of Law, Kristin Sangren, 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.

190.1: Fundamental Rights under the Constitution, Alan Pomerantz, 4 units, Area IV

This course will examine the evolution of the Supreme Court’s treatment of the conflicts between individual liberty and governmental mandates of equal treatment. We will begin by examining the historical legal, social and cultural support and acceptance of unequal treatment of people based on certain inherent characteristics including race, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, towards the Court’s support of governmental mandates of equal treatment at the expense of individual liberty and freedom of choice, to the current trend permitting individuals and governmental institutions to “opt out” of non-discrimination laws based on newly developed and reinterpreted constitutional theories.

190.2: Comparative Constitutional Law, Shapiro, 4 units, Area V

An examination of constitutional decision making in a number of countries based on selected high court opinions.

***Canceled***190.3:  Intro to International Criminal Law,  Monica Castillejos Aragon, 4 units, Area II or V ***Canceled***

Description TBD.    

190.4:  Gender, Religion and Law, Masua Sagiv: The Case of Isreal, 4 units, Area II or IV

The course will explore the intersection of gender, religion, and law in Israel, as manifested in social movement activism through law and society. The course will illustrate and reflect upon different strategies and spheres for promoting social change, by examining core issues involving gender, religion and law in Israel: religious marriage and divorce, gender equality in the religious establishment, spiritual leadership of women, free exercise of religion (at the Western Wall and Temple Mount), conversion, and segregation in education. Spheres of activism to be covered include parliament, state courts, alternative private initiatives and courts, and social media.

190.5: Human Rts & Civil Rights Israel, Michal Tamir, 4 units, Area II or IV

Human rights in Israel have evolved in a unique way. Since the establishment of the State, the Supreme Court recognized and developed the rights through the interpretation of laws. For example, when the Supreme Court was required to rule on the authority of the Minister of the Interior to close a newspaper by virtue of a so-called “Press Ordinance,” it developed the freedom of expression and the conditions for its violation. All rights have evolved as relative rights that can be balanced with other rights and interests, and an explicit statute could have infringed upon them. In 1992, Israel underwent a “constitutional revolution” with the enactment of two Basic Laws focusing on protecting human rights. Some of the human rights are enshrined explicitly in the Basic Laws and other rights were interpreted by the Supreme Court as arising from “human dignity.” Today an explicit law cannot infringe upon rights and it is necessary that it also meet the requirements of the Basic Laws. 

190.7: Law and Natural Language Processing, Ilya Akdemir, 3 units, Area V

We interact with law all the time, whether we realize it or not. And much of what is considered law is also mediated via text, from legislative enactments and judicial opinions, to even such seemingly trivial things as receipts in stores and “STOP” signs on the road. “Law” and “text” are inherently
interlinked. One can probably imagine that legal text data is abundant. And indeed, at this moment in time, the seeming plethora of legal text data invites computer scientists, data scientists, and natural language processing practitioners (NLP) to explore such a textually rich domain with the help of the
newly developed NLP tools and models. On the other hand, the monumental successes in the realm of NLP and text analytics are in turn inviting researchers from the legal and other domains to use these novel NLP tools in their own research. Thus, at this critical juncture, an examination the NLP
tools in light of the unique domain-specific aspects of legal text data and law as a discipline generally must be made.

The course will focus on practical text analysis and NLP as it applies to the legal domain. It is intended to be an intermediary bridge between practical textual analytic techniques explored in courses like Data 100 and LS 123, and more advanced NLP techniques covered in courses like INFO 159/259.
Students will be required to utilize Python programming skills to examine legal text data. The “law” part of the course indents to critically examine what makes legal text data fundamentally distinct from text data in other domains. The “NLP” part of the course will explore the various NLP techniques and the costs and benefits of using these NLP techniques in legal text analytic research. The NLP track will approach two primary approaches – (1) the still widely utilized classical non-machine learning methods (eg: discrete word frequency statistics, dictionary methods, concordances, etc.), and (2) machine learning and deep learning methods (such as word embeddings, text classification etc.).

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

Students contemplating an Honors thesis must be enrolled 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 Opportunities’ then ‘Honors Program’ on the Legal Studies website.

deCal Courses - (more info here)

Contact student facilitators for more information about their course. 

LS 198.1 - Criminal Psychology Decal
# 23399 | 1 Unit | SOCS126 Mon 6:30PM-7:59 PM
Student facilitators: Claire Sebree, Delaney Degner -,

LS 198.2 - British Parliamentary Debate deCal
# 23400 | 1 Unit | WHLR204 Wed 6:30PM-8:29PM
Student facilitators: Diane Chao, Jennifer Yang, Karen Chen -,,

LS 198.3 - Pre-Law deCal
# 23401 | 1 Unit | 9Lewis Fri 12:00PM-2:00PM
Student facilitator: Alice Lin -

LS 198.4 - Copwatch deCal
# 23402 | 2 Units | 2032VLSB Mon 5p-6:30p
Student facilitator: Shellie Wharton -