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. For Spring 2014, the three perspectives will be comparative law, law and economics, and empirically-oriented law and social science. 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. The topics for 2014 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. The course grade will be based on three written assignments, one for each perspective covered in the course, each of which will be due as the relevant section of the course is completed. A preliminary version of this year’s syllabus can be found at http://umn.edu/~kritzer/Perspectives-Syllabus-2014.pdf. Note that the syllabus is still preliminary and is subject to change.