Legal Studies Courses Spring 2023

Check the schedule of classes for days and times:

R1B.1: Queer Legal History of the United States, Brianne Felsher, 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.**

Many people know about the Stonewall Riots, but queer history did not start (or end) in 1969! How did a trans aunt in 1886 win a child custody case? How did Victorians form legal queer marriages? What happened to Abraham Lincoln’s boyfriend? This class will explore topics in the queer legal history of the United States, such as: the history of crossdressing laws, slavery and queerness, trans history, the Lavender Scare, the history of queer marriage, and LGBT Supreme Court cases. We will also discuss how to do our own queer history research.

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.**

Recent Supreme Court decisions have addressed and modified numerous rights and liberties once thought to be protected by the Constitution. People differ on the effect of these decisions, which is fundamentally a debate regarding the basis for the Court to entertain and decide them, and what should be the role of the Court. Some have argued that the Court’s role includes finding and protecting fundamental, constitutional rights based on an evolving understanding of the meaning of individual freedom, liberty and equality. Others argue that the role of the Court is to apply the Constitution as written, and where the Constitution is silent, or "neutral," the resolution of any dispute or the extent of protection from governmental abridgment should be left to the people and their democratically elected representatives. This seminar will examine the role of the Supreme Court and the conflict between fundamental, individual, constitutional rights that should be immune from governmental interference, and the power of the people - the majority- to limit, modify and (perhaps) extinguish them. Topics we will address include individual sovereignty including abortion, LGBTQ+ rights (including marriage equality and gender identity), privacy and morality; the issues caused by acts of the secular government mandating equal treatment that abridged the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech- and what is speech; and limitations on expressions and opinions including "hate” speech and college speech codes. The class will be conducted primarily using the Socratic method. We will read important historical and current Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum. The prime focus of the seminar is to encourage students to develop and defend their own views and opinions regarding the relevant topics and to enhance their critical thinking skills.

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, Mark Leinauer, 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, Tomlins, 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 is a lecture course in political philosophy, focusing on liberal political theory which emphasizes the protection of individual freedom as against social demands, the maintenance of social and economic equality, and the neutrality of the state in conditions of cultural and religious pluralism.  By studying mainly modern authors, we will attempt to understand the importance of these goals and the possibility of their joint fulfillment. Attention will be paid to the work of John Rawls, to the problem of moral and political disagreement, and the relation between “ideal” thinking about justice and thinking about justice in conditions of racial, gender, and class hierarchies.

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?

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, Lisa Knox, 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.

135: Law, Judicial Politics, and Rights in Latin America,  Monica Castillejos-Aragon, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course introduces the study of comparative constitutional law in Latin America and will prepare students to acquire substantial training on the existing legal traditions in the world: the common law and the civil law systems.
We will study how political, social, and historical dynamics shape the work of state actors, such as the executive, legislative, judicial powers, as well as the legal profession, and civil society groups to mobilize legal and social change.

143: Law, Technology & Entrepreneurship, David Grewal, 4 units, Area III or IV

*** This course is also listed as Political Economy 100 Theories of Classical Political Economy. If you have taken Political Economy 100 already, do not take LS 143.***

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. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a thorough foundation for understanding the role that law plays in the construction and growth of entrepreneurial enterprises.

149: Law, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Bruno Meyehof Salama, 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 and Development, Bruno Meyehof 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 develpment – 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, & Society, Jonathan Simon, 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, Kristin Sangren, 4 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.

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.

170: Crime & Criminal Justice, Brittany Bilderback Arsiniega, 4 units, Area I

NOTE: Lecuture will be online, Discussion sections will be in person.

This course introduces scholarly frameworks for thinking about crime and criminal justice, and traces through case law and scholarship the evolution of these earlier conceptions into today’s policy debates. It examines the scope and nature of crime in the United States from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, focusing on the uses and limits of the criminal justice system. The course will introduce concepts of criminal process and the main elements of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and corrections. It will consider the main institutional features, problems, and critiques of the processes through which suspects are apprehended, tried, sentenced, and punished. Past and current trends and policy questions will be discussed.

172AC:  Decolonizing UC Berkeley, Nazune Menka, 4 units, Area II or V

This course seeks to engage students in a critical investigation of the origins of the University of California through a settler colonial lens, and with the aim of decolonizing the University’s narrative history. Decolonization is a process by which narratives, world views, cultures, and institutions, once erased by colonization are returned, respected, and honored. Drawing upon the work of the UC Berkeley Truth & Justice Project, this Course will explore the history of UC and its racial and colonial foundations. We will focus on decolonization and therefore center Indigenous and other racialized communities, discussing injustice in various communities and from various perspectives.

174: Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel, Michal Tamir, 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.

175 – Access to Justice: Comparative & Historical Perspectives, Alexandra Havryshylyn, 4 units, Area III or IV

Access to justice is central to the mission of the courts.  Although the right to counsel is guaranteed to indigent defendants in criminal cases, many Americans still navigate critical civil legal issues without legal representation or assistance.  This course introduces the “civil justice gap,” or the unmet civil legal needs of Americans, as well as the laws and policies that have helped close the civil justice gap in California and beyond.  This course next examines some historic reasons for today’s civil justice gap and its disparate impacts on members of protected groups.  Drawing on international case studies, this course compares the pro bono approach prevalent in the United States to the legal aid approach prevalent in other countries.  During the semester, students will have opportunities to sharpen their critical reading and writing skills; learn to better express themselves orally; and develop and execute their own research project. 

As a result of this course, students can expect to be able to:

·      Define and measure the civil justice gap, identifying disparate impacts on members of protected groups;

·      Distinguish between the right to counsel in civil as opposed to criminal cases;

·      Explain historic reasons for today’s civil justice gap;

·      Compare access to justice projects in the United States to those in other countries;

·      Evaluate policies designed to close the civil justice gap in California and beyond.   

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: Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: Responding to State Violence, Julie Shackford-Bradley, 4 units, Area I or IV

How do people and communities envision and enact justice in response to state-sponsored and state-sanctioned violence? How have TRCs (Truth and Reconciliation Commissions) and analogous approaches taken shape in the United States, in response to state-sponsored violence, including “legal violence”? With South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a foundational model, this course will examine an array of community- based strategies for surfacing truths about historical harms, pursuing accountability through apologies and reparations, and restoring relationships, communities, artefacts, and lands. We will also address the many challenges that arise in establishing official commissions, reaching out to communities, and following through with recommendations, especially when working with the same governmental and political structures that perpetrated or enabled the violence, and when the violence is ongoing. The course will “think globally and act locally” by presenting examples of TRCs around the world and in the US, and engaging students in research on the possibilities of TRC approaches for the Berkeley campus and Bay Area.

190.2: Punishment in America, Kutz, 4 units, Area I or IV

This seminar will look at the theory and modern practice of criminal punishment in the United States: we will read and discuss materials from philosophy, history, law, anthropology, and sociology to discuss under what conditions state punishment could be justified, and how the American modern practice of mass incarceration does or does not meet those conditions. The substantive goal for this seminar is to give you an understanding of the problems of what is widely agreed -- across the political spectrum -- to be the human rights disaster of American penal policy, and enable you to engage in the project of its reform. A second, and equally important, goal is to help you learn or improve skills in careful classroom discussion of common texts, skill in interpreting complex materials, and practice in writing argumentative, conceptual papers. NOTE: This is an 'Art of Writing' course.

190.3: Comparative Criminal Justice Reform, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, 4 units, Area I

Modern criminal law has changed its face in the last decades. Plea bargains have become a common practice, pushing aside evidentiary hearings. The punitive-driven justice system has been characterized by critics as unfair, racist, inhuman both for offenders and victims, inefficient and expensive. New processes, models and approaches have emerged to address the various critiques: the adversarial model has been diluted by the inclusion of the victim as an acknowledged stakeholder in criminal proceedings; the role of the State as the sole authority for responding to crime has also been questioned, emphasizing the interest of the community in resolving conflicts; debate about the emotional effect of crime, and the resulting psychological needs of victims and offenders, has initiated reforms that promote apology and dialogue between victims and offenders; the growing awareness of the crisis of mass incarceration and distrust toward the legal system, has prompted rise in interest in problem-solving, therapeutic-oriented courts as well as in more radical initiatives inspired by the abolition movement. Using a comparative perspective, this seminar seeks to introduce the current American “multi-door” criminal justice system. We will examine a variety of punitive and non-punitive justice mechanisms that have proliferated in recent years as social responses for crime, including Arraignment Hearings, Problem-solving Courts, Restorative Justice processes, Diversion Programs, Community-based Interventions and even Social Media as an alternative arena for seeking justice. We will discuss the background for their emergence, explore their characteristics and look into their perils and promises. The students will take part in some experiential activities, such as conducting virtual observations of various criminal justice processes at the courtroom, exploring their traits, and comparing between their mode of operation and their goals as well as building a restorative justice circle. The seminar will also examine the influence of American criminal justice reforms and the deepening legitimacy crisis of mass incarceration on Israeli criminal justice system, and the ways Israeli criminal justice system embraced, as well as resisted and transformed American reforms in light of the specific history, culture and challenges of the Israeli context.

190.4: Therapeutic Criminal Justice, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, 2 units, Area I

Punitive justice is of the hallmarks of the carceral state. In the US, penal control has become the main social response to crime. However, during the last few decades some competing notions of justice have emerged and been applied in criminal legal systems. These notions include procedural justice, therapeutic-oriented justice, problem-solving justice, community justice and restorative justice. Using a comparative lens, this seminar will introduce a variety of therapeutic, restorative, and problem-solving mechanisms that have been developed and implemented in criminal justice systems both in US and worldwide. We will explore the potential of the criminal justice system, by adopting non-punitive notions of justice, to achieve goals that go beyond its classis, traditional goals, such as enhancing the well-being of its various stakeholders, empowering communities, restoring relationships between law breakers and victims, encouraging reconciliation, and providing holistic rehabilitation to law breakers. The seminar will address the tension between the criminal justice system’s traditional goals and the therapeutic-oriented goals, and discuss the question of whether the criminal justice system is the right setting to promote therapeutic goals.

190.5: Liberty, Equality, Privilege & the Constitution, Alan Pomerantz, 4 units, Area IV 

The course will examine current Supreme Court decisions that address the conflict between individual liberty and governmental mandated equality as informed by privilege. Specifically, recent Supreme Court decisions have addressed and modified numerous rights and liberties once thought to be protected by the Constitution, based on the Court’s current reasoning that when the Constitution is silent, or "neutral,"  the extent of protection from governmental abridgment of personal liberty and individual sovereignty should be left to the people and their democratically elected representatives.  Recent topics have included woman’s equality including abortion; LGBTQ+ rights including marriage equality and gender identity; the conflict between privacy and collective morality; religious exercise and state sponsorship of religious institutions; speech and expression; racial profiling; affirmative action; and voting. The class will be conducted primarily using the Socratic method. We will read important historical and current Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum. The prime focus of the seminar is to encourage students to develop and defend their own views and opinions regarding the relevant topics and to enhance their critical thinking skills.      

190.6: Family Policing & Defense, Meredith Wallis, 4 units, Area I, II

This class is on the law, practice and history of State removal of children to foster care, with family defense in California dependency serving as a case study. The course focus is not whether the system is good or bad, but what type of assumptions, familiar notions, and ways of thinking have contributed to family separation as an accepted practice for the protection of children and promotion of their well-being. Child welfare courts are considered non-adversarial—in fact they are called “collaborative”—and are technically civil (or at least quasi-civil), but the closest analog to the actual process is criminal law, i.e. adults receive charges from the State which, after adjudication, could result in the indefinite removal of a family member. Given this, the class would probably be primarily interesting to those looking to learn more about criminal defense in a parallel system, one which deals in managing risks, mostly those posed by poverty, substance use, and intimate partner violence. 

190.7: Mobilizing Human Rights Law in US, Roxanna Marie Altholz, 4 units, Area IV, V

This course explores what it means to be a human rights advocate in the United States, with an emphasis on the role of lawyers. The first part of the course will introduce students to the history and development of human rights principles and norms; provide an overview of the role of international, regional, and national institutions and non-governmental actors in enforcing human rights; and examine the historical, legal, and political context of the human rights movement in the United States. During a second set of classes, the course will introduce students to skills that are core to the practice of human rights, including research, oral advocacy, persuasive writing, and collaboration. The remainder of the course will examine real-world examples of human rights advocacy in the United States drawing on the experiences of guest speakers who are litigators, policy advocates, organizers, investigators, and government officials. Students will think critically about the promise and limitations of mobilizing human rights strategies in the United States by examining advocacy successes, failures, and dilemmas. Topics covered will include abortion, death penalty, indigenous rights, housing, gun violence, migrant’s rights, labor
rights, state violence, mass incarceration, structural racism, torture, and water.

190.8: Memory in Legal Principle & Process, Daniel Alexander Levy, 4 units, Area I

Human memory plays a key role in legal thought, institutions, and procedures. In a wide range of circumstances – evaluating the reliability of testimony, appreciating challenges to judges and jurors in learning and retaining information presented during a trial, assessing intent and culpability for plagiarism, or considering the admissibility of a plaintiff’s repressed memories – assumptions about the nature of memory play a vital role. This course will explore recent progress in the understanding of the nature and brain substrates of human memory. For each topic, the relevant basic cognitive psychology and neuroscience information will be introduced in non-specialist terms. We will then consider the implications of those insights for philosophical attitudes, legal processes, and societal institutions.

190.9: Forced Migration, Tilman David Jacobs, 4 units, Area IV, V

In the past century, increasing numbers of people around the world have been forced from their homes by interlinked factors, including persecution, armed conflict, human rights violations, natural disasters, development, and socio-economic deprivation. Are states obligated to provide protection to these “forced
migrants” and, if so, what exactly are they obligated to do and are there any limits? Forced migration places into sharp relief the question of how to balance the rights of sovereign states and their citizens against the claims of foreigners in need of support and safety. In 1951, the enactment of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees ushered in a new era of international protection for refugees, and, together with a constellation of other treaties formed what is known as the “International Refugee Protection Regime.” With the number of refugees, internally displaced persons, and other forced migrants worldwide reaching over 100 million for the first time in the post-World War II era, the international refugee protection regime is proving inadequate to protect the rights of displaced people. With the exception of the recent response to refugees from Ukraine, states are increasingly exercising their sovereignty to close their borders and detain or deport forced migrants, rather than offer them protection. This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to key concepts, narratives, and legal frameworks around the phenomenon of forced migration. We will critically examine legal and policy responses to population displacement in the international and domestic spheres, and explore some important aspects of forced migration, through both topical and geopolitical lenses.

190.10: 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.

H195B: Legal Studies Honors Thesis, Your 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. These units are designed for students who began the Honors Program in the Fall.

H195C: Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar, Morrill, 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.