Perspectives – 6040
This course, open to both first-year and upper-year students, is team-taught by faculty who approach the study of law and legal processes from three different disciplinary perspectives. The disciplines presented will vary from year to year. In Spring 2013, the faculty will include a comparative criminal law scholar, a law and economics scholar, and an empirically-oriented socio-legal (law and society) scholar. Each faculty member will introduce students to the methodological approach of his or her field. The course will focus on topics drawn from and building on the first-year curriculum, with each faculty member leading discussions on each of the two topics from the perspective of his or her discipline.The topics presented will vary from year to year. In Spring 2013, topics will be (1) criminal sentencing and (2) judicial ideology. The purpose of the course is to help students appreciate the complexity of the law through the study of legal rules and practices from competing and complementary perspectives and to help students better understand the connections among theory, legal rulemaking, and legal practices. There will be three evaluative assignments, one for each perspective covered in the course, which will be due at various points during the semester. Last year’s syllabus, when the course was taught by two of the same instructors using one of the same common topics, can be found at http://umn.edu/~kritzer/Perspectives.html. Note that due to the change in topics, there will be some substantial changes in readings. The first approach to be covered will be law and society, followed by law and economics, and concluding with comparative law.