Legal Studies Courses Spring 2020

Check the schedule of classes for days and times:

R1B: Democracy and the Police, Colin Christensen, 4 units, Area N/A

This course will explore the relationship between ideas about democracy and ideas about policing. In a contemporary moment in which civic life is haunted by the specter of policing killings and the waning of democratic institutions and ideals, this course will pursue a series of interrelated themes that question the extent to which the police, and policing practices, square with the ideals of a free and equal society ruled by the people. Throughout the course, students will be asked to analyze different theories of democracy and of policing, and will be required to write a series of short argumentative reading responses that assess the often competing sets of claims and demands that each of these projects entail. The course will incorporate a wide range of readings that include brief forays into democratic theory, foundational texts in law and society from thinkers such as Jerome Skolnick, Egon Bittner, and James Q. Wilson, governmental reports and policy proposals, and Supreme Court doctrine. If successful, the course will expose students to robust accounts of each major theme—democracy and the police—and, importantly, to a wide variety of different types of texts and their respective argumentative styles. Crucially, the course will focus on teaching students to dissect arguments and to identify what counts as evidence, what endows an argument with persuasive power, and how to weigh and balance the demands between two concepts that are often cast as irreconcilably inimical to each other but nonetheless necessary for a functional society.

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.**
There are two sections of 39D Spring 2019. Check the Berkeley Academic Guide Schedule for details.

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 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.

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.

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

Criminal law raises fundamental theoretical issues that have occupied philosophers over the years. In the course we will discuss a selection of articles that bring to bear such a philosophical perspective on important aspects of criminal law. Topics include justification of punishment, foundations of blame and responsibility, substantive values protected by criminal law, significance of actual harm, liability of groups and other collectivities, and virtues and limits of the rule of law.

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: Youth, Law & Space, Behnoosh Payvar, 4 units, Area I or II*********CANCELED***********

This course explores how implementation and interpretation of law affects youth, how space and its interaction with law create norms, and how space affects the context in which law operates. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to inquire about social space and its dynamics and transformations; power and politics; conflict in schools; alternative spaces; interactions; culture, arts and emergence of new ideas; and policing and urban space. We will bring examples from different countries and regions to the class including the United States, Asia, Europe, and Middle East to broaden our perspective on how interactions work in different contexts. *********CANCELED***********

123: Data, Prediction & Law, Marshall, 4 units, Area I or V

Data, Prediction, and Law allows students to explore different data sources that scholars and government officials use to make generalizations and predictions in the realm of law. The course will also introduce critiques of predictive techniques in law. Students will apply the statistical and Python programming skills from Foundations of Data Science to examine a traditional social science dataset, “big data” related to law, and legal text data.
***Note: students should complete Foundations of Data Science, or complete equivalent preparation in Python and statistics, before enrolling in this course.

132AC: Immigration and Citizenship, Carrie Rosenbaum, 4 units, Area II or IV

We often hear that America is a “nation of immigrants.” This representation of the U.S. does not explain why some are presumed to belong and others are not. We will examine both historical and contemporary law of immigration and citizenship to see how law has shaped national identity and the identity of immigrant communities . In addition to scholarly texts, we will learn to read and analyze excerpts of cases and the statute that governs immigration and citizenship, the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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.

138 001: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Ben Brown,  4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV or V (Check for day/time.)

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.

138 002: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Elizabeth Tejada,  4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV or V (Check for day/time.)

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.

147: Law & Economics II, Bruno Salama, 4 units, Area 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. 

149: Law, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Katyal, 4 units, Area III

Entrepreneurship plays an increasingly essential role in today’s global economy.  New companies and startups play valuable roles in the formation of new industry, also spurring established incumbent companies towards further growth.  This course is designed to explore the role of law in facilitating the development of entrepreneurial enterprises, paying special attention to the complex interaction between innovation and regulation.

158: Law & Development, Bruno Salama, 4 units, Area III or IV

Focusing on developing countries, this course considers the relationship between legal institutions and rules – including informal and traditional ones – and development – defined by different actors by economic growth, education, health, or a wide spectrum of freedoms. It examines efforts by national leaders, international organizations, foreign aid agencies, and NGOs to “reform” law to promote development, along with the resistance and unplanned consequences that often ensue.

160: Punishment, Culture, and Society, Perry, 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.

161: Law in Chinese Society, Stern4 units, Area II

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.

170: Crime & Criminal Justice, Elizabeth Tejada, 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.

174: Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel, Roy Peled, 4 units, Area IV or V

The seminar will provide an introduction to the comparative study of constitutional law through the lens of Israeli constitutional jurisprudence – a jurisprudence built explicitly on the foundations of a variety of other constitutional systems, reflecting the diversity of approaches to constitutionalism.  Through this comparative framework students will learn basic constitutional theory as well as explore some of the major constitutional debates in Israeli contemporary law. The constitutional theory part of the course will discuss the formation of Israeli constitution in comparison with the structure of other constitutions such as the U.S. Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This framework will introduce the central notions of constitutionalism – the ideas that that constitutions can (and should) limit government; the role of the judiciary in interpreting and enforcing the constitution; and the importance of constitutional rights.  Among the constitutional debates that the class will explore are topics such as freedom of expression and freedom of association, equality, the right of human dignity, due process, social rights, freedom of occupation, freedom of religion etc. These topics will also be looked at from a comparative perspective drawing upon different constitutional regimes such as the Canadian Charter and the constitution of South Africa.

177: American Legal & Constitutional History, Brown, 4 units, Core (H)  or Area II or III or V

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.

184: Sociology of Law, Ginna Malemma, 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.

185AC: Prison (Big Ideas Course), Simon, 4 units, Area I 

NOTE: ***This is a cross-listed course with Legal Studies (185AC), Ethnic Studies (181AC), and Social Welfare (185AC).  Any of the three sections can be added and still count towards the major, but it is best to sign up for our section LS 185AC. If you do sign up under Ethnic Studies, or Social Welfare, it won’t be counted as a law-related course, so you can still take two law-related courses from other departments. Let me know if you have questions.***

Taking a broad inter-disciplinary approach, this course embraces the longue durée of critical prison studies, questioning the shadows of normality that cloak mass incarceration both across the globe and, more particularly, in the contemporary United States. While speaking very directly to the prison system, this course intends to reorganize the logics of an institution we commonly accept as the reasonable destination for those identified as “criminal”. This interdisciplinary project recognizes that we cannot possibly teach about the presence and persistence of punishment and prisons in contemporary American life without inviting conversation across time periods, genres, and geographies. This course thus explores a series of visceral, unsettling juxtapositions: ‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’; ‘citizenship’ and ‘subjugation’; ‘marginalization’ and ‘inclusion’, in each case explicating the ways that story making, political demagoguery, and racial, class, and sexual inequalities have wrought an untenable social condition.

*******CANCELED190.1: Human Rights Research,  Alexa Koenig &  Eric Stover, 4 units, Area I or IV*********CANCELED***********

This course will provide students with a theoretical and operational understanding of the modern online information environment and teach them how to find facts within it. It will provide them with the cutting-edge skills needed to research real-world events on the Internet and to debunk falsehoods online. At the heart of the seminar and practicum is the concept and practice of online open source investigation: the use of publicly accessible information on the Internet—including from social media—to power legal, journalistic and other types of inquiry. In addition to lectures and readings, students will be engaged in the Human Rights Investigations Lab (HRC Lab), where they will put their online investigation skills into practice in support of real-world legal and journalistic projects that respond to human rights abuses. The practicum will see participants working with a range of external partners in small student-led teams. The seminar and practicum will also address the need to fight disinformation, hate speech and other attempts to damage, disrupt or weaponize the public discourse. In the seminar and affiliated lab practicum, students will learn how to collect and authenticate information on war crimes and human rights abuses in a safe and effective manner, and will have an opportunity to engage in one or more investigations. The effort is being operated in partnership with Amnesty International, partner labs at several universities, and a range of civil society and journalism organizations who are conducting relevant inquiries.

190.2: Who Represents? Historical & Comparative Perspectives on Access to Justice, Alexandra Havrylyshyn, 4 units, Area III or IV

Legal scholars and practitioners alike acknowledge an access to justice crisis.  Although Gideon v. Wainwright guarantees indigent criminal defendants the right to counsel paid for by the state, we still have no nation-wide “Civil Gideon.” This seminar first introduces students to the origins of the access to justice problem, paying attention to disparate impacts along the lines of race, class, and gender.  It examines how the costs of legal services, and in turn of law school tuition, steadily rose in the last several decades. Drawing on both historical and comparative case studies, this seminar then encourages students to think creatively about who can represent individuals at law.  Law schools did not always have a monopoly over entry into the legal profession.  A variety of professionals provided legal services in colonial North America. Even in the antebellum South, slaves and free people of color employed both lawyers and non-lawyers to help them access the legal system.  Further inspiration comes from contemporary case studies outside North America and Europe.  Finally, students will have an opportunity to execute a guided research project on a historical, comparative, or contemporary aspect of access to justice that helps shed light on potential solutions today.

190.3:  Basic Legal Values, Dan-Cohen, 3 units, Area II

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.

190.4: 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.

190.5:  Constitutional Jurisprudence: Liberty/Equality, Alan Pomerantz, 4 units, Area IV or V

Personal liberty and inalienable rights have been a central tenet guiding our nation since the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The government was created to protect those liberties. But the founding documents were drafted by men of privilege who for decades occupied the important governmental and judicial positions of power. Accordingly, it was inevitable that the preservation of those privileges and the resulting inequities regarding race, the status of woman, sexual preference, gender and voting became imbedded. These inequities began to be addressed beginning with the Civil War, and accelerated after World War II when the federal government and the Supreme Court began to mandate equality at the expense of certain individual liberties and privileges. Recently, the trend has moved back towards protecting individual liberties and historic privileges at the expense of mandated equal treatment. But now the constitutional arguments are different and are based on religious freedom, individual morality, an expanded definition of verbal and “non-verbal” speech and prohibitions on government mandated speech and behavior. In the coming terms, the Supreme Court will be asked to re-examine issues regarding religious freedoms, race, health care, gender, abortion, and self identity through the lens of the developing emphasis on individual rights and privileges.
The course will address the evolution of the Supreme Court’s and federal government’s
activities in areas where liberty and equality are in conflict. The goal is to understanding the current political situation and the likely outcome of decisions the Court will be asked to make that implicate the inherent conflict between individual freedom and mandated equality.

190.7: Judicial Politics/Supreme Courts in Latin America, Monica Castillejos, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course introduces the study of comparative constitutional law and different justice systems in Latin America. The seminar also aims to study how political dynamics shape courts, the legal profession and civil society (including justice reforms and recent court decisions) and how courts, in turn, shape politics (including the social impact of institutional rules and decisions). To better understand how the legal system in Latin America functions, the instructor will introduce and discuss recent developments of the two main systems of law in the world (civil law and common law) and the primary theoretical approaches to understanding politics, judicial proceeding, and how domestic and international institutions and actors have interacted to consolidate democratic principles in Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Guatemala.

H195B: Legal Studies Honors Thesis, Supervising Professor, 3 units, can be counted towards the Area in which two courses are taken. 

Study of an advanced topic under the supervision of a faculty member leading to the completion of a senior honors thesis.

H195C: Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar, Edelman, 2 unit, Areas not applicable.

The goal of the seminar is to provide Honors students additional support as they conduct the research for and write their senior honors theses, and prepare presentations for the Spring Studies Undergraduate Research Conference. Honors students enroll in the two unit LS H195C seminar during the second semester of the Honors Program along with the three units of LS H195B.