Law and Justice Course Descriptions

(LAW-Designated Courses only; For course descriptions of other courses included in the Law and Justice curriculum, see general course catalog)

LAW 140 – Introductory Seminar in Law & Justice
Introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of law and justice. The seminar is designed to enable students to think critically about legal issues, apply theories of justice to analyze laws and legal institutions, and address legal problems from various viewpoints and disciplinary perspectives (such as anthropological, historical, literary, philosophical, political, psychological, and sociological). Restriction: Open to freshmen and sophomores only.
3 Credit hours

LAW 150 - Introduction to Forensics
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 204 - Law, Literature, and Film in America
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 210 - Criminal Investigation
Students consider the social issues involved in criminal investigation, as well as,ethical and legal aspects of it.  The course covers issues involved in criminal investigation from initial gathering of evidence at the crime scene through arrest and prosecution. Topics covered included study of as the nature of criminal investigations as a set of “principles, a “science” and an “art” entailed in investigation, interrogation, obtaining confessions, the handling and preservation of physical evidence, and the science and politics involved in interpretation of evidence and its presentation in criminal trials.
3 Credit hours

LAW 302 – Crime and Justice in the Media
Examines the ways crime, law enforcement, courts, punishment and the correctional system are presented in various media outlets.  It explores national differences as well as the historical and contemporary relationship between media representations of crime, the reality of crime, and public perceptions of crime. [Formerly LAW 405]
3 Credit hours

LAW 304 - Women and Law
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 305 - Trial Advocacy
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 307 - Criminal Justice Practice
This course considers the ways criminal justice agencies and occupations are shaped by social, economic, political, technological and legal changes. Through case studies and projects students 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.  (Formerly LAW 207)
3 Credit hours

LAW 308 - Conflict and Conflict Resolution
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 310 - Cyberspace Law and Policy
Explores the legal and policy concerns raised by the Internet, nationally and globally.  The course considers issues of legal regulation of the internet, and 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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 355 - Sports and the Law
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 BUS-355. Students may not get credit for both LAW-355 and BUS-355.
3 Credit hours

LAW 365 - The Rights of the Accused
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 395 - Selected Topics in Law & Justice
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 401 - Hate Crimes in the United States
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.
3 Credit hours

LAW 450 - Law and Justice Senior Seminar
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 the law and justice minor and open to others by permission of Director of the Law and Justice Program.
3 Credit hours

LAW 460 – Criminal Justice Senior Seminar
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 major seniors; open to others only by permission of the director of the Law and Justice Program.
3 Credit hours

LAW 490 - Law and Justice Independent Research
Allows students to design and carry out original research on a topic of their choice. Available to juniors and seniors in the law and justice minor. Proposals must be reviewed and approved by a faculty sponsor, and the Law and Justice Program Director. Proposals must be submitted for review at least four weeks prior to course registration.
1 - 4 Credit hours

LAW 491 - Law and Justice Internship
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. Permission of faculty sponsor and approval of the Law and Justice Program Director required. Prerequisites: 2.75 GPA and completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours. .
1 - 4 Credit hours

LAW 496 - Law and Justice Honors Thesis
Entails substantial research and writing on a topic selected by the student. Available to seniors in the Law and Justice Program (major or minors) who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a 3.25 GPA in the their Law & Justice curriculum. Proposals must be reviewed and approved by a faculty sponsor and the Law and Justice Program Director. Proposals must be submitted for review at least four weeks prior to course registration.
3 - 6 Credit hours