Course Offerings

Spring 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Federal Tax Policy and Planning in Today's World

ACCT 256 - Bovay, John C. (Jack)

This course promotes thoughtful discussion and research of current topics in U.S. tax policy and planning. After an intensive introduction to basic federal tax concepts, each student writes a paper on a current federal tax topic.

Anatomy of a Fraud

ACCT 304 - Hess, Megan F.

This course examines the phenomena of financial statement fraud and discusses some of the key forensic accounting concepts and skills used to address this problem. Drawing on historical cases of financial statement fraud as well as the first-hand experience of the instructor, we search for the answers to questions such as: What causes executives to "cook the books"? What factors contribute to fraud? What can be done to prevent and detect it? How have regulations changed the landscape of corporate misconduct? What role do auditors, lawyers, employees, the media, and other stakeholders play?

CSI: W&L

BIOL 160 - Watson, Fiona L. / LaRiviere, Frederick J. (Fred)

This laboratory course is an introduction to the field of forensic science with a focus on the physical, chemical, and biological basis of crime scene evidence. A particular emphasis is on the analysis of trace physical (e.g., glass, soil, fiber, ballistics) and biological (e.g., hair, blood, DNA) evidence and forensic toxicology (e.g., drugs, alcohol, poisons). The laboratory portion of this course provides "hands-on" opportunities to analyze collected crime scene samples and to utilize some of the commonly used forensic laboratory techniques such as microscopy, chromatography, and spectroscopy. The course also introduces some of the legal aspects associated with collection and analysis of crime-scene evidence. Laboratory course.

CSI: W&L

CHEM 160 - LaRiviere, Frederick J. (Fred) / Watson, Fiona L.

This laboratory course is an introduction to the field of forensic science with a focus on the physical, chemical, and biological basis of crime scene evidence. A particular emphasis is on the analysis of trace physical (e.g., glass, soil, fiber, ballistics) and biological (e.g., hair, blood, DNA) evidence and forensic toxicology (e.g., drugs, alcohol, poisons). The laboratory portion of this course provides "hands-on" opportunities to analyze collected crime scene samples and to utilize some of the commonly used forensic laboratory techniques such as microscopy, chromatography, and spectroscopy. The course also introduces some of the legal aspects associated with collection and analysis of crime-scene evidence. Laboratory course.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295Q - Mackie, Arthur W. (Will)

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Spring 2022, LJS 295Q-01: Topics in Law and Legal Studies: Privacy and Security in the Cyber and Social Media World (3).  This undergraduate course addresses legal and ethical issues surrounding the proliferation of social media and cyber technology:  how law and society deal with developing and expanding communication and data technology; how to balance individual privacy rights and interests with those of society writ large; whether this 21st  century technological phenomenon can, and should, be left unchecked as part of private enterprise, and if so, what are the individual and societal costs; what role do existing and new laws play; and how do we balance intersecting individual rights and the larger interests of society, particularly with regard to law enforcement and national security?  Mackie.

Medicine, Research, and Poverty

PHIL 247 - Taylor, Erin P.

This seminar introduces students to central ethical issues in the provision of medical care and the conduct of medical research in the context of poverty. Specific topics include medical research on prisoners and the indigent; ancillary care obligations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); meeting the standard of care in LMICs; access to essential medicines; allocation of scarce medical resources; and compensated donation for organs or tissues.

Washington Term Program

POL 466 - Alexander, Brian N.

The Washington Term Program aims to enlarge students' understanding of national politics and governance. Combining academic study with practical experience in the setting of a government office, think tank, or other organization in Washington, it affords deeper insight into the processes and problems of government at the national level. A member of the politics faculty is the resident director, supervising students enrolled in this program while they are in Washington, D.C.

Winter 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Taxation of Business Entities and Special Topics in Taxation

ACCT 359 - Bovay, John C. (Jack)

This course begins by establishing a basic understanding of income tax laws as they relate to C corporations and flow-through entities (e.g., partnerships, s-corporations, limited liability corporations). The course includes modules on specialized tax topics such as international taxation, state and local taxation, taxation of investments, accounting for income taxes, and taxation of property.

Foundations in Business Law

BUS 348 - Youngman, Julia F. (Julie)

An introduction to the law governing the relations between individuals and businesses in commerce, with a focus on exploring issues faced by both established businesses as well as innovation-driven startups. Topics are selected from the law governing business torts, contracts, products liability, intellectual property, employment law, and government regulation of business. Additional selected topics may be chosen in accordance with the interest of course participants. Assignments apply legal theories and legal ethics to actual business disputes and hypothetical situations.

Foundations in Business Law

BUS 348 - Bowden, Nathan P.

An introduction to the law governing the relations between individuals and businesses in commerce, with a focus on exploring issues faced by both established businesses as well as innovation-driven startups. Topics are selected from the law governing business torts, contracts, products liability, intellectual property, employment law, and government regulation of business. Additional selected topics may be chosen in accordance with the interest of course participants. Assignments apply legal theories and legal ethics to actual business disputes and hypothetical situations.

Law, Litigation, and Justice in the Ancient World

CLAS 341 - Crotty, Kevin M.

This course studies justice and law in the ancient world by looking at Greek and Roman philosophical texts about the nature of justice and law, and by considering actual legal cases from the ancient world. The course aims to show how litigation and theory mutually correct and inform one another, while also showing the inherent and continuing interest of ancient thought about law and justice. Students hear lectures, engage in in-class discussion, participate in an on-line discussion, moderated by the instructor, and write two research papers.

Comparative Institutional Economics

ECON 281 - Grajzl, Peter

Institutions such as laws, the political system, and cultural norms embed all social activity. They structure economic, political, and social interaction and as such play a central role in facilitating (or hindering) economic development. This course's objective is to explore from a broad perspective how institutions affect economic performance, what the determinants of institutions are, and how institutions evolve. We study examples from the existing capitalist economies, the developing and transition countries, as well as the more distant history. Because the study of institutions is necessarily an interdisciplinary endeavor, the course combines the approach of economics with the insights from law, political science, history, and sociology.

Law and Communications

JOUR 301 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

An examination of the development of First Amendment jurisprudence, the law of defamation, privacy, access, free press-fair trial, journalists' privilege, obscenity and pornography. The case study approach is used, but the emphasis is on the principles that underlie the landmark cases. This course can serve as an introduction to and preparation for further studies in communications law and/or the legal system in general.

Introduction to Law, Justice, and Society

LJS 101 - Belmont, Carlys E. (Beth)

Limited to juniors, sophomores, and first-years. An introductory seminar providing a broad, historically grounded foundation in concepts and frameworks of law, along with basic familiarity with a range of forms of law in practice. Beginning with general questions regarding the nature of law, students then move to a survey of American law, focusing on direct student engagement with landmark cases. The seminar concludes with attention to law in international and comparative settings. 

Introduction to Jury Advocacy

LJS 231 - Belmont, Carlys E. (Beth)

Graded Pass/Fail only.  Introduction to the jury system, federal rules of evidence, and trial practice. Participants are introduced to the legal, practical, and policy implications of jury advocacy in the United States, and put that learning into practice through role plays as both witness and advocate. Members of the intercollegiate mock-trial team are selected from those who complete the courses successfully.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295D - Murchison, Brian C.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295N - Pollard, Randle B.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Law, Litigation, and Justice in the Ancient World

LJS 341 - Crotty, Kevin M.

This course studies justice and law in the ancient world by looking at Greek and Roman philosophical texts about the nature of justice and law, and by considering actual legal cases from the ancient world. The course aims to show how litigation and theory mutually correct and inform one another, while also showing the inherent and continuing interest of ancient thought about law and justice. Students hear lectures, engage in in-class discussion, participate in an on-line discussion, moderated by the instructor, and write two research papers.

Law, Justice, and Society Experiential Capstone: The Legal Clinical Experience

LJS 396 - Boaz, Matthew S. / Youngman, Julia F. (Julie)

A capstone building upon the foundations developed in LJS 101 and the courses taken as electives for the LJS minor. The central element is participation within or alongside one or more of the Washington and Lee Law School clinics, each of which provides direct legal services to low-income persons in Virginia or West Virginia. The work is carried out with continual mentoring by faculty and third-year law students. Students document and reflect upon their work in writing throughout the term and submit a final oral and written presentation summarizing and reflecting on their experience. 

Medical Ethics

PHIL 346 - Taylor, Erin P.

An examination of the issues arising out of the human impact of modern biomedical research and practice. Specific issues are selected from among the following: abortion, contraception, death and dying, experimentation/research, genetics, in vitro fertilization, intellectual and developmental disabilities, public health/community medicine, science/technology, transplantation and patients' rights.

Legal Ethics

PHIL 348 - Cooper, Gregory J. (Greg)

An examination of the issues associated with lawyers' roles in society and their impact upon and obligations to the client, the court, and the legal profession. The course also addresses questions of the role and function of law and the adversary system.

European Politics and Society

POL 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Whose Law? Pluralism, Conflict, and Justice

REL 220 - Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

Society is made up of schools, corporations, religions, guilds, associations, tribes, etc., each defined by a set of more-or-less formal rules that apply in various ways depending on the status of each member. Individuals are thus subject to overlapping obligations and claims, so authorities often come into conflict. This is legal pluralism. This seminar explores the various ways in which such interactions can play out in a range of social, religious, and political environments, and how they can affect people of different statuses differently. Examples range from the Roman empire, the Middle East and South Asia, past and present, to the modern United States and Europe. In each case, we examine the ways in which legal status is defined in relation to the state, religious community, ethnicity or race, and social class. Given different, overlapping, conflicting claims to authority, rights, and obligations, how is justice to be defined, and how can it be served?

European Politics and Society

SOAN 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Fall 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Individual Income Taxation and Financial Planning

ACCT 358 - Bovay, John C. (Jack)

This course focuses on the tax and non-tax factors to consider when managing personal/family financial affairs. Topics include tax-subsidized savings and investment vehicles, deductions, and credits for individuals and families, executive compensation and fringe benefits, real estate ownership, and intergenerational giving.

Foundations of Business Law: Accounting Focus

BUS 346 - Bowden, Nathan P.

An introduction to the law governing the relations between individuals and businesses in commerce, with a focus on legal concepts tested by the CPA exam and recommended for students who plan to take that exam or pursue a career in accounting. Topics include the law governing torts, contracts, sales of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code, agency, the formation and operation of business associations, government regulation of business, and legal ethics. Assignments apply legal theories and legal ethics to actual business disputes and hypothetical situations.

Foundations in Business Law

BUS 348 - Youngman, Julia F. (Julie)

An introduction to the law governing the relations between individuals and businesses in commerce, with a focus on exploring issues faced by both established businesses as well as innovation-driven startups. Topics are selected from the law governing business torts, contracts, products liability, intellectual property, employment law, and government regulation of business. Additional selected topics may be chosen in accordance with the interest of course participants. Assignments apply legal theories and legal ethics to actual business disputes and hypothetical situations.

Society and Natural Resources

ENV 202 - Kahn, James R. (Jim)

A foundation in the natural sciences for environmental studies students, this course emphasizes understanding how socio-economic conditions are studied to inform and shape environmental policy. Local, regional, and global environmental case studies are considered.

Law and Communications

JOUR 301 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

An examination of the development of First Amendment jurisprudence, the law of defamation, privacy, access, free press-fair trial, journalists' privilege, obscenity and pornography. The case study approach is used, but the emphasis is on the principles that underlie the landmark cases. This course can serve as an introduction to and preparation for further studies in communications law and/or the legal system in general.

Ethics of Journalism

JOUR 344 - Colon, Aly A.

A study of the moral issues arising from the practice of modern journalism and communications. Includes examination of philosophical and theoretical foundations of ethics, the place and role of journalism in the larger society, and moral choices in the newsroom. Topics include: First Amendment freedoms, privacy, confidentiality of sources, conflicts of interest, cooperation with law enforcement, free press/fair trial, photojournalism, and issues of accountability.

Introduction to Law, Justice, and Society

LJS 101 - Youngman, Julia F. (Julie)

Limited to juniors, sophomores, and first-years. An introductory seminar providing a broad, historically grounded foundation in concepts and frameworks of law, along with basic familiarity with a range of forms of law in practice. Beginning with general questions regarding the nature of law, students then move to a survey of American law, focusing on direct student engagement with landmark cases. The seminar concludes with attention to law in international and comparative settings. 

Introduction to Jury Advocacy

LJS 231 - Belmont, Carlys E. (Beth)

Graded Pass/Fail only.  Introduction to the jury system, federal rules of evidence, and trial practice. Participants are introduced to the legal, practical, and policy implications of jury advocacy in the United States, and put that learning into practice through role plays as both witness and advocate. Members of the intercollegiate mock-trial team are selected from those who complete the courses successfully.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295A - Baluarte, David C.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295E - Murchison, Brian C.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295F - Vinayagamoorthy, Kishanthi (Kish)

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295G - Seaman, Christopher B.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295H - Hasbrouck, Brandon

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295I - Donovan, Bernadette M. / Engle, Matthew L.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295J - Monaghan, Jessine A.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Topics in Law and Legal Studies

LJS 295K - Drumbl, Mark A.

Courses available for credit include seminars and upper-level electives, but excludes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law, Evidence, clinics, practica, and externships.

Law, Justice, and Society Research Capstone

LJS 395 - Rush, Mark E.

This capstone builds upon the foundations developed in LJS 101 and the courses taken as electives for the LJS minor, emphasizing interdisciplinary exchange and education. It incorporates peer-to-peer learning, including opportunities for students to educate each other on topics and issues from their selected research topics and major disciplines. The central element is a significant independent research project. This project is carried out with continual mentoring by a faculty member. Students document their research in a formal paper and in an oral presentation summarizing their research results.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

POL 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of transition from Communism in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Cases of successful and unsuccessful transitions to civil society, pluralist democracy, and market economy are examined. The comparative framework includes analysis of transition from non-Communist authoritarianism and democratic consolidation in selected countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.

Poverty Law

POV 280 - Shaughnessy, Joan M.

Historical and contemporary policy debates about poverty in the United States. Topics include the constitutional treatment of poverty, as well as the legal and policy treatment of questions of access to specific social goods, such as housing, health care, education, and legal services. Coverage of those topics include a look at the federalism dimensions of the legal approach to poverty in the United States. We also examine the intersection of the criminal justice system and poverty and touch on international perspectives on poverty.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

SOAN 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of transition from Communism in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Cases of successful and unsuccessful transitions to civil society, pluralist democracy, and market economy are examined. The comparative framework includes analysis of transition from non-Communist authoritarianism and democratic consolidation in selected countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.