Law and Justice (LAW)

LAW 140 Intro Seminar in Law & Justice 3 Credits

Introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of law and justice. The seminar is designed to enable students to think critically about legal issues, address legal problems from various viewpoints, and apply different types of theories of justice to analyze laws and legal institutions. Students will learn to examine law and legal issues from a variety of perspectives and approaches: anthropological, historical, literary, philosophical, political, psychological, and sociological. Open to freshmen and sophomores only.

LAW 150 Introduction to Forensics 3 Credits

Introduces students to principles of forensic science. Whether the issue is establishing paternity or cause of death, determining arson or liability, or deciding criminal guilt or innocence, collecting and evaluating forensic material is typically involved. Students will learn the meaning and significance of scientific evidence and its role in criminal investigations and civil and criminal trials. Students will learn how forensic scientists work, define a problem, collect data, and analyze results. Case studies, crime simulations and examination of criminal evidence will highlight the application of scientific principles.

LAW 204 Law, Literature, and Film in America 3 Credits

Focuses in an interdisciplinary manner on law and justice as represented in American literature and films. It analyzes novels, short stories, and selected non-fiction texts from the perspectives of literary criticism, social history, and cultural and American studies.

LAW 207 Criminal Justice Practice 3 Credits

This course explores the work and work settings of criminal justice practitioners and the work culture and organizational structure of various criminal justice agencies. Through case studies and projects students will examine types of and occupations related to criminal justice, assess new directions in these occupations, the effects of current laws and social policies on criminal justice careers, and consider the impact of social, economic, and technological changes on criminal justice agencies and practitioners.

LAW 210 Criminal Investigation 3 Credits

Approaches criminal investigation conceptually. Students consider the social issues involved in criminal investigation, as well as ethical and legal aspects of it. The course covers such topics such as the principles of criminal investigations, the rules and procedures of preliminary and follow-up investigations, the art of interrogation, recording of statements, confessions, and the collection and preservation of physical evidence at the crime scene. Emphasis is placed on the need for meticulous adherence to rules of law and ethical practices, as an investigation proceeds from initial actions to arrest, and eventual prosecution. The course also examines the methods used in scientific interpretation of evidence and the preparation of criminal cases for trials, as well as its role in today’s criminal justice system.

Prerequisite(s): LAW 150.

LAW 302 Crime & Justice in the Media 3 Credits

This course focuses on the impact of media on Americans’ perceptions and understanding of the extent and causes of crime, and the effectiveness and purposes of crime policy. It examines how criminals, types of crime, crime policies and the criminal justice system are portrayed in various media outlets, including film, tv, newspaper, and electronic/internet. It explores the historical and contemporary relationships between media representations of criminal behavior, crime as a social problem, and the nature of the criminal justice system and contrasts these to their social realities.

LAW 304 Women and Law 3 Credits

Explores the social, economic, political and cultural context of laws relating to women and gender, such as workplace discrimination, divorce and child custody and reproductive rights. It examines how such laws have changed historically and the impact such laws have had on women as well as on men and on American social institutions, such as the family, politics, and the workplace. The course also examines women in the legal profession and their impact on the practice of law and legal reasoning.

LAW 305 Trial Advocacy 3 Credits

Students will apply fundamental legal concepts and rules of evidence to specific cases. By engaging in trial simulations, students will evaluate various forms of evidence, identify legal principles and evidentiary rules that impact a criminal trial, learn about trial procedures, pursuit of case theories, and witness, exhibit and jury selection.

LAW 307 Criminal Justice Practice 3 Credits

This course will consider the ways criminal justice agencies and occupations are shaped by social, economic, political, technological and legal changes. Through case studies and projects students will examine the work, culture, and work settings of various criminal justice practitioners, assess the impact of social policies on criminal justice careers, and identify new directions in the field. Students will develop the reading and writing skills needed by an array of criminal justice practitioners.

LAW 308 Conflict & Conflict Resolution 3 Credits

Focuses on understanding the meaning of conflict and strategies for its resolution. The course examines the ways conflict functions in various social contexts including professional, community, family, education, and international relations. Traditional models of adjudication will be compared to alternative forms of dispute resolution. Students will be introduced to research on the practice and effectiveness of various forms of conflict and conflict resolution. Students will participate in various class exercises, including role-plays, simulations, and case studies.

LAW 310 Cyberspace Law and Policy 3 Credits

Explores the legal and policy concerns raised by the Internet, nationally and globally. The course considers issues of legal regulation of the Internet, and consider the debate about whether cyberspace can or should be regulated. Attention will be given to the applicability of principles of law and models of regulation. Topics addressed will include jurisdiction, freedom of expression, intellectual property, privacy protection, safety concerns, equal access, electronic commerce, and computer crime.

LAW 355 Sports and the Law 3 Credits

Examines the legal, ethical, economic, social and managerial issues related to sports. Topics include liability issues, contracts, employment discrimination, antitrust law, and constitutional law. Note: This course is cross-listed as SPT 355. Students may not get credit for both LAW 355 and SPT 355.

LAW 365 The Rights of the Accused 3 Credits

Analyzes the major substantive and procedural rights accorded to the criminally accused by the United States Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the right to counsel, confessions and self-incrimination, arrest, search and seizure. Students will learn to argue and write hypothetical case opinions.

LAW 395 Selected Topics in Law/Justice 3 Credits

Studies specialized areas of scholarship related to laws, legal institutions, legal or law- related occupations, and/or legal decision making. The course will provide an interdisciplinary examination of a selected topic. Topics vary and are listed in the course roster.

LAW 401 Hate Crimes in the United States 3 Credits

Provides an interdisciplinary exploration of hate crimes in the United States, its causes and consequences. It will examine the social, political, and legal issues that have shaped policies and laws designed to respond to hate crimes and assess their effectiveness. Debates about the nature of hate crimes and the special laws and sentencing provisions developed to deal with them will be discussed. Topics include hate crimes on college campuses, hate on the Internet, legal and constitutional issues, and criminal justice enforcement.

LAW 405 Crime & Justice in the Media 3 Credits

This course focuses on the impact of media on Americans’ perceptions and understanding of the extent and causes of crime, and the effectiveness and purposes of crime policy. It examines how criminals, types of crime, crime policies and the criminal justice system are portrayed in various media outlets, including film, tv, newspaper, and electronic/internet. It explores the historical and contemporary relationships between media representations of criminal behavior, crime as a social problem, and the nature of the criminal justice system and contrasts these to their social realities.

LAW 450 Law & Justice Senior Seminar 3 Credits

Draws on and develops students’ knowledge and understanding of law and legal institutions and applies it to a specific legal topic, method, institution, or controversy. Topics will vary. Students explore the social, political, ethical, and economic issues relevant to the topic. Students will be expected to contribute to seminar discussions and to complete projects related to the seminar theme. Required for seniors in law and justice minor and open to others by permission of the Director of the Law and Justice Program.

LAW 460 Criminal Justice Senior Seminar 3 Credits

Draws on and develops students' knowledge and understanding of crime, criminal law and criminal justice institutions, and applies these to a specific topic, method, institution, or controversy. Topics vary. Students will be expected to contribute to seminar discussions and to complete research projects related to the seminar theme. Required for criminal justice majors seniors; open to others only by permission of the director of the Law and Justice Program.

LAW 490 Independent Research & Study 1-4 Credits

Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision. Projects must be approved by the faculty member, department chairperson, and academic dean no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours; up to 12 semester hours of independent research and study may be counted toward graduation. Note that individual departments may have additional restrictions.

LAW 491 Internship in Law and Justice 1-4 Credits

Provides supervised work experience in an institution, office, or agency related to law or law enforcement, such as courts, prosecutor/defense attorney offices, private law offices, state agencies, and local police departments. Students are expected to apply and broaden the knowledge obtained from law and justice minor courses to their fieldwork experience.

Prerequisite(s): 2.75 GPA and permission of the Director of the Law and Justice program.

LAW 496 Honors Thesis in Law & Justice 3-6 Credits

Entails substantial research and writing on a topic selected by the student. Proposals must be reviewed and approved by the law and justice program committee. Proposals must be submitted at least four weeks prior to course registration.

Prerequisite(s): Seniors in the minor with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a 3.25 GPA in law and justice minor courses.