Course Offerings

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)

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.

 

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.

Spring 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.

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?

Genetic Engineering and Society

BIOL 150 - Ayoub, Nadia A. / Friend, John K. (Kyle)

Humans have manipulated genes for thousands of years to make better crops and to domesticate animals. But in the last century the ability to transfer genes from one organism to another ("genetic engineering") has dramatically changed our understanding of biology and our lives. In this course, we explore the nuts and bolts of genetic engineering and a small sampling of its applications, including developing drugs and vaccinations, enhancing crops, testing for genetic diseases, and genetic testing in the courtroom. These applications introduce ethical considerations for us to debate. In addition, we use molecular-biology tools to carry out our own genetic engineering projects with spider silk genes, which have potential for multiple medical and industrial applications. Students culminate the term by making a sales pitch to biotech companies to buy their spider-silk genes. Laboratory course.

Genetic Engineering and Society

CHEM 150 - Friend, John K. (Kyle) / Ayoub, Nadia A.

Humans have manipulated genes for thousands of years to make better crops and domesticate animals, but in the last century the ability to transfer genes from one organism to another (genetic engineering) has dramatically changed our understanding of biology and our lives. In this course. we explore the nuts and bolts of genetic engineering and a small sampling of its applications, including developing drugs and vaccinations, enhancing crops, testing for genetic diseases, and genetic testing in the courtroom. These applications introduce ethical considerations that we debate. In addition, we use molecular biology tools to carry out our own genetic engineering projects with spider silk genes, which have potential for multiple medical and industrial applications. The course culminates with students making a sales pitch to biotech companies to buy their spider silk genes. Laboratory course.

Special Topics in Environmental Studies

ENV 295A - Youngman, Julia F. (Julie)

This course examines special topics in environmental studies, such as ecotourism, the environment and development, local environmental issues, values and the environment, global fisheries, global climate change, tropical deforestation and similar topics of importance, which could change from year to year. This is a research-intensive course where the student would be expected to write a significant paper, either individually or as part of a group, of sufficient quality to be made useful to the scholarly and policy communities. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2021, ENV 295A-01: Special Topics in Environmental Studies: Nature and Natural Resource Protection Law (3). Prerequisite: ENV-110, BIOL-111, or instructor consent. "In the end we will conserve only what we love, [and] we will love only what we understand . . . ." (Senegalese engineer Baba Dioum). This interdisciplinary course is guided by the foregoing sentiment. We have entered a new geologic age - the Anthropocene - defined by humankind's pervasive impact and dominance over the natural world, threatening biodiversity and degrading the quality and availability of water, air, and other essential natural resources. Students will explore their relationship with nature, rationales and methods for protecting nature, and laws governing natural resource protection, with a particular focus on policies and efforts in the United States. We will explore concepts related to natural resource protection, sustainable development, and ecotourism through several lenses, including the biological basis for conserving biodiversity, the legal framework for protecting nature, and philosophical/ethical viewpoints. J. Youngman.  

 

Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

LJS 230 - Murchison, Brian C.

This course probes the origins, development, advantages, and disadvantages of the tripartite structure of the federal government, beginning with an examination of the background and text of Articles I, II, and III of the U.S. Constitution. We analyze structural explanations provided in the Federalist Papers, along with Classical and Enlightenment sources addressing the nature of political power, the problem of faction, the role of checks and balances, and the purpose of separated functions. In-depth analyses of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions trace evolving conceptions of legislative. executive. and judicial powers along with attention to the relevance of war and economic crisis to the authority and function of each branch. In discussions of landmark decisions, students compare the legal thought of a number of Justices--John Marshall, William Howard Taft, Robert Jackson, William Brennan, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia. We trace the creation of the so-called "fourth branch" of government--the administrative state-- and examine whether this "branch" can be reconciled with ideas of representative democracy and constitutional text. Students prepare and deliver two oral arguments based on assigned cases and write an appellate brief on a separation-of-powers topic.

Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division

LJS 232 - Simpson, Tammi R.

Designed for students with an interest in law school and/or an interest in the history of civil rights. An exploration of civil rights in the United States from the post-reconstruction period, civil rights from an activists' perspective, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, and civil litigation. The course includes a close examination of the work of the Civil Rights Division's Special Litigation Section which was instrumental in police misconduct matters involving, for example, the Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, police departments. We also examine the potential impact of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' final memo regarding consent decrees and how it will affect investigations of police departments.

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.

FS: First-Year Seminar

POL 180 - Rush, Mark E. / Kuettner, Paul R. (Dick)

First-year seminar.

Spring 2021, POL 180-01: First-Year Seminar: Minority Voting Rights and Gerrymandering (3).  Prerequisite: First-year class standing. This course introduces students to the history of voting rights discrimination against minorities in the United States with a particular focus on African Americans and gerrymandering. The course begins with a study of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how it has evolved through congressional amendments and Supreme Court decisions. We then investigate theories of minority representation and democracy. To place the theoretical aspects of the course into practical perspective, the class entails a lab component in which students learn to conduct basic spreadsheet and statistical analysis of data and use redistricting software (ArcMap). We will use Virginia elections and census data to produce alternative election maps of Virginia to demonstrate how we can make elections fairer, more competitive and create more opportunities for minority representation. Approved for Experiential Learning credit. (SS2) Rush and Keuttner.

 

Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

POL 230 - Murchison, Brian C.

This course probes the origins, development, advantages, and disadvantages of the tripartite structure of the federal government, beginning with an examination of the background and text of Articles I, II, and III of the U.S. Constitution. We analyze structural explanations provided in the Federalist Papers, along with Classical and Enlightenment sources addressing the nature of political power, the problem of faction, the role of checks and balances, and the purpose of separated functions. In-depth analyses of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions trace evolving conceptions of legislative. executive. and judicial powers along with attention to the relevance of war and economic crisis to the authority and function of each branch. In discussions of landmark decisions, students compare the legal thought of a number of Justices--John Marshall, William Howard Taft, Robert Jackson, William Brennan, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia. We trace the creation of the so-called "fourth branch" of government--the administrative state-- and examine whether this "branch" can be reconciled with ideas of representative democracy and constitutional text. Students prepare and deliver two oral arguments based on assigned cases and write an appellate brief on a separation-of-powers topic.

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.

Medicine, Research, and Poverty

POV 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.

Winter 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.

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 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.

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.

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 - Locy, Toni R.

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)

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 - 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 295B - Birkhoff, Neil V.

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 295C - Bond, Johanna E.

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 295D - Houck, Ramona (Mona)

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 Experiential Capstone: The Legal Clinical Experience

LJS 396 - Hellwig, Tammi M.

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. 

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

PHIL 242 - Bell, Melina C.

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society.

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.

Environmental Policy and Law

POL 233 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A study of major environmental laws and the history of their enactment and implementation. Discusses different theoretical approaches from law, ethics, politics, and economics. Reviews significant case law and the legal context. Emphasis is on domestic policy with some attention to international law and treaties.

Seminar: Law and the Judicial Process

POL 342 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A survey of legal theories and the problems of reconciling such theories with the realities of administering a legal system. The course draws upon readings from literature, philosophy, legal scholarship, and political science. Topics include the nature of law and justice, constitutionalism, the role and power of courts and judges, and the function of a legal system.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

WGSS 242 - Bell, Melina C.

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society