Law, Justice, and Society Minor Requirements

2023 - 2024 Catalog

Law, Justice, and Society minor

A minor in Law, Justice, and Society requires completion of at least 20 credits from seven 3- or 4-credit courses, as follows. In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student must use at least nine (9) credits not also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor.

1. Introduction: LJS 101

2. Distribution: Take at least 14 credits from five courses, with at least one from each of the school lists below. No more than one 100-level course may be taken from these lists and at least one course must be at the 300-level. No single course may fulfill more than one of these requirements.

a. College:
ARTH 146
BIOL 160 (CHEM 160)
CLAS 341 (LJS 341)
CLAS 345 (LJS 345)
ENV 202
HIST 212, 310
JOUR 245, 280, 301, 303, 344, 399 (LAW 242)
LJS 230 (POL 230), 232, 296 (ENGL 296), 345
PHIL 242 (WGSS 242), 245 (POV 245), 247 (POV 247), 252, 254 (WGGS 254), 346, 348
POV 280 (LAW 691)
REL 220 (LAW 620), 222 (LAW 655), 246 (ECON 246), 335 (LAW 615), 381 (LAW 724)
SOAN 245 (POL 245), 246 (POL 246), 253 (POV 253), 268 (POL 268)
and when appropriate and approved in advance:
ENV 295
JOUR 295
LJS 295
MRST 110
PHIL 395
POV 295, 296

b. Williams School:
ACCT 256, 304, 358, 359
BUS 135, 346, 348, 349
ECON 246 (REL 246), 281
LJS 230 (POL 230), 232
POL 230 (LJS 230), 233, 234, 236, 245 (SOAN 245), 246 (SOAN 246), 268 (SOAN 268), 342, 385, 466
and when appropriate and approved in advance:
POL 180, 295, 380

c. Law School:
JOUR 399 (LAW 242); POV 280 (LAW 392); REL 220 (LAW 620), REL 222 (LAW 655), REL 335 (LAW 315), REL 381 (LAW 323); and when appropriate and approved in advance, LJS 295.
Law courses available for the LJS 295 option are LAW 201, 203, 210, 212, 214, 221, 222, 228, 237, 252, 256, 263, 264, 266, 269, 271, 284, 287, 289, 293, 302, 304, 306, 307, 316, 320, 327, 331, 340, 371, 383, 393, 412, 430

3. Capstone: After completion of all other requirements for the minor, take one of the following: LJS 395 or 396

  1. Introduction:
    • LJS 101 - Introduction to Law, Justice, and Society
      FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
      Credits3
      Prerequisitefirst-year, sophomore, or junior class standing

      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.


  2. Distribution:
  3. Take at least 14 credits from five courses, with at least one from each of the school lists below. No more than one 100-level course may be taken from these lists and at least one course must be at the 300-level. No single course may fulfill more than one of these requirements.

    • College:
      • ARTH 146 - Introduction to Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies: Problems of Ownership and Curation
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        Cultural heritage objects are powerful artifacts to own, display, and even destroy. But why? This introductory course explores the ways art and cultural heritage objects have been stolen, laundered, purchased, curated, and destroyed in order to express political, religious, and cultural messages. Case studies and current events are studied equally to shed light on practices of looting and iconoclasm. Some of the questions we consider: What is the relationship between art and war? Under what conditions should museums return artifacts to the country/ethnic group from which the artifacts originated? What role do auction houses play in laundering art objects? What nationalist agendas are at work when cultural heritage objects are claimed by modem nation states or terrorist groups?


      • BIOL 160 - CSI: W&L

        (CHEM 160)

        FDRSL Lab Science Distribution
        Credits4

        Same as CHEM 160. 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. No prerequisites. Appropriate for non-science majors. Additional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term.


      • CLAS 341 - Law, Litigation, and Justice in the Ancient World

        (LJS 341)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        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.


      • CLAS 345 - Introduction to Roman Law

        (LJS 345)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        Law is one of the most important legacies Rome has left behind--one that continues in importance to this day, not only for its historical interest, but as an excellent introduction to basic legal concepts that still function in modern legal systems. In this introductory course, we study the history of Roman law, particularly as it mirrored the largest developments in Roman constitutional history. We also study some of the most basic legal concepts of the person, family, property and obligations. We will also consider  criminal law, international law, and the role of rhetoric. We approach these matters both through case law and by reading ancient Roman treatises on law. 


      • ENV 202 - Society and Natural Resources
        FDRSS1 Social Science - Group 1 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENV 110 and environmental studies major or minor

        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.


      • HIST 212 - Crime and Punishment in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        An exploration of the history of crime, law enforcement, and punishment during the period of 1200-1650. Our central project is to investigate the deep problems of writing history from a paucity of very biased sources: the criminal records of a world of the past. We begin with the central historical questions: What counted as criminal when, who defined it, and with what authority? What could count as proof of guilt? What constituted acceptable punishment (torture, imprisonment, spectacle executions, penance) and how did this change over time? What role did politics, religion, class, gender, or marginal status play?


      • HIST 310 - Seminar: Speech and Censorship in the Middle Ages
        FDRHU
        Credits3

        What is censorship, where does it happen, and why? To most U.S. Americans, the Middle Ages is an era known for Inquisition, book burning, and the brutal silencing of political and religious dissent. Yet, compared to more modern censoring institutions, the institutions of medieval Europe held much weaker powers of enforcement, different motives for censoring, and ambiguous technologies to do so. What and who could censor (or be censored) in a society without the printing press? Among other topics, we cover the public vs. private spheres; artistic liberty; religious vs. political concerns; gender; and the role of and limitations upon the modern historian investigating a censored past.


      • JOUR 245 - Landmark First Amendment Cases and Their Implications for Speech in the 21st Century
        Credits3

        Over the years, the courts have clarified when and how speech can, and cannot, be restricted by the government. This course helps you to understand the 1st amendment in context and the different forms of expressions that have helped shaped the 1st Amendment jurisprudence. For example, understanding why true threats and obscenity are not protected speech but provocative or offensive political opinions, and sometimes, hate speech is a protected category of speech. The course also focuses on the use of speech rights by diverse groups of people to achieve justice and equality .


      • JOUR 280 - Covering Courts and the Law
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteat least sophomore class standing

        Courthouses make the best beats by providing a window on what is important to the American people. This course introduces students to the U.S. court system, its players, language and impact on the public at large. Students learn how to identify newsworthy legal stories, read court documents, and make sense of them in order to write clear, compelling, fair and accurate news stories for mass audiences.


      • JOUR 301 - Law and Communications
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteat least junior class standing

        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.


      • JOUR 303 - Covering Great Trials in History: The Impact of the Press and Public on Justice
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        This class will provide an opportunity for you to explore crimes throughout history and discuss how society dealt rightly or wrongly with people who were accused of violating the values and norms of the time. Using the cases of people accused of spying, war crimes and mass murder, this course will explore the complexities of the conflict between the freedom of the press and the ideal of a fair trial. At the end of the term, you will be far more knowledgeable about what happens when the law, the press and the public collide in a perfect storm at a particular moment in history.


      • JOUR 344 - Ethics of Journalism
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteat least junior class standing

        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.


      • JOUR 399 - Contemporary Problems in Law and Journalism

        (LAW 242)

        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        A seminar devoted to the study of issues on the frontier of developments in law and journalism. Issues to be addressed include limits on the dignitary torts of privacy and emotional distress; limitations on public availability of governmental information; the impact of new technology on communications law; proposals for reform of libel law; and the role of reporters, editors and legal counsel in the news process.


      • LJS 230 - Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

        (POL 230)

        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits4

        Same as POL 230. 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."


      • LJS 232 - Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits4

        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.


      • LJS 295 - Topics in Law
        Credits2-4
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

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


      • LJS 296 - Topics in Law and Literature

        (ENGL 296)

        FDRHL Literature Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteWRIT 100

        A topical seminar in law and literature for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic is announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Satisfies requirements for creative writing or law, justice, and society minors and English major. May satisfy requirements in Africana studies or classics, when the topic is appropriate.


      • LJS 297 - Topics in Law, Justice, and Society
        Credits3-4

        An undergraduate topical seminar in law, justice and society for students at the intermediate level. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • PHIL 242 - Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

        (WGSS 242)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        Same as PHIL 242. 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


      • PHIL 245 - Poverty, Dignity, and Human Rights

        (POV 245)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        Same as POV 245. Is severe poverty a human rights violation? This course examines that question and others by means of an investigation of the main philosophical and religious debates about human rights. More broadly, the course provides students with the opportunity to examine our duties (individually and collectively) to those said to suffer from any human rights abuse. Questions considered include: Are human rights universal or culturally specific? What (if anything) grounds human rights? Are religious justifications of rights permissible in a pluralistic world? Is dignity a useful concept for defending and/or discerning human rights? Do we only have liberty rights (to be free of mistreatment) or do we also have welfare rights (to claim certain positive treatment from others)? What are the practical (moral, political. and legal) implications of identifying severe poverty as a human rights violation?


      • PHIL 247 - Medicine, Research, and Poverty

        (POV 247)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        Same as PHIL 247. 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.


      • PHIL 252 - Philosophy of Law
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        An examination of topics in the philosophy of law, such as the concepts of a law and of a legal system; Natural Law theory; legal positivist and legal realist theories of law; the nature of the relationship between law, morality, and religion; civil disobedience; rights in the U.S. Constitution; freedom of speech and pornography; abortion and the right to privacy; punishment and the death penalty; and different forms of legal liability. Readings include United States Supreme Court opinions.


      • PHIL 254 - Philosophy of the Family: Beyond Tradition

        (WGSS 254)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        This course considers philosophical issues raised by family as a social institution and as a legal institution. Topics addressed include the social and personal purposes served by the institution of family, the nature of relationships between family members, the various forms that family can take, the scope of family privacy or autonomy, and how family obligations, mutual support, and interdependency affect individual members of families.


      • PHIL 346 - Medical Ethics
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        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.


      • PHIL 348 - Legal Ethics
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        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.


      • POV 280 - Poverty Law

        (LAW 691)

        Credits3

        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.


      • REL 220 - Whose Law? Pluralism, Conflict, and Justice

        (LAW 620)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        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?


      • REL 222 - Law and Religion

        (LAW 655)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        Drawing on examples from diverse periods and legal cultures, this seminar addresses "law" and "religion" as two realms of life that have much shared history and continue to intersect in the modern world. Several important topics in comparative law and jurisprudence are covered, including authority and legitimacy, the relation between custom and statute, legal pluralism, church-state relations, and competing models of constitutional secularism. A selective survey of legal systems and practices rooted in particular religious traditions is followed by an examination of how secular legal systems conceptualize religion and balance the protection of religious freedom with their standards of equity and neutrality.


      • REL 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

        (ECON 246)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits4
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Same as ECON 246. Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.


      • REL 335 - Hindu Law in Theory and Practice

        (LAW 635)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        India produced one of the oldest legal systems in the world; one that offers some surprising contrasts with modern assumptions about the nature and scope of the law. Combining ethical and ritual obligations alongside rules for criminal and civil litigation, it was intended to cover every aspect of life, from personal habits to political institutions. The course begins with the ancient codes, Indian political theory, and documents from everyday legal practice in medieval times. The second half of the course begins with colonial-era British attempts to codify Hindu law; Hindu personal law in modern India; and the controversy over religion and secularism in the courts today, including the constitutional definition of Hindu; attempts to legislate against disapproved religious practices; and disputes over sacred spaces. We close with comparisons with legal reasoning about religion in America, Israel, and England, based on court cases.


      • REL 381 - Islamic Law in Society

        (LAW 724)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        This seminar introduces students to the Islamic understanding of shari'a (Path, "law") and its role in Muslim culture, history, and society. To be examined are: the key sources of law in the Qur'an and the model of the Prophet Muhammad, the early development of Islamic legal theories and institutions, the roles of these institutions in everyday life, and the struggle to re-imagine Islamic law and its place in contemporary Muslim communities. Case studies include the nature of political institutions, the rights and roles of women, and Islamic economics, courtroom procedure and the standing of shari'a in American courts.


      • SOAN 245 - European Politics and Society

        (POL 245)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        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.


      • SOAN 246 - Post-Communism and New Democracies

        (POL 246)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        Same as SOAN 246. 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.


      • SOAN 253 - Narrating Our Stories: Culture, Society, and Identity

        (POL 253)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        Same as POV 253. Use insights from sociology, anthropology, and the humanities, students uncover how cultural metaphors, socioeconomic inequalities, and global realities inform and shape our identities and experiences. By reading different story-telling formats, we work towards recognizing how the ways we tell our stories impact our ability to see new outcomes and reshape cultural scenarios for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We utilize the Inside-Out Model for class instruction and assignments.


      • SOAN 268 - Migration, Identity, and Conflict
        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteSOAN 102, POV 101, or POL 105

        Same as POL 268. This course focuses on the complex relationship between migration, political institutions, group identities, and inter-group conflict. The course is a hybrid of a seminar and research lab in which students (a) read some of the key social-scientific literature on these subjects, and (b) conduct team-based research making use of existing survey data about the integration of migrant populations into various polities.


      • and, when appropriate and approved in advance:

      • ENV 295 - Special Topics in Environmental Studies
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENV 110 or BIOL 111

        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.


      • JOUR 295 - Topics in Journalism and Mass Communications
        Credits1-4

        Study of a selected topic in journalism or mass communications.


      • MRST 110 - Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Humanities
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3

        An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of the Medieval and Renaissance periods through the study of a particular topic. Recent studies: Elizabethan England, and Life and Death in Dante's Florence.


      • PHIL 395 - Seminar in History of Philosophy or Major Figures
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3-4

        May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.​ An intensive and critical study of selected issues or major figures in philosophy.


      • POV 295 - Child Abuse and Neglect Seminar
        Credits2
        PrerequisitePOV 101 or POV 103

        This seminar examines the response of the legal system to issues of child abuse and neglect. Attempts by courts and legislators to define abuse and neglect are reviewed and critiqued. The seminar also explores the legal framework which governs state intervention to protect children from abuse and neglect. Attention is paid to both state and federal law, including the federal constitutional issues which arise in many child abuse and neglect proceedings. Issues relating to the professional responsibilities of lawyers involved in abuse and neglect proceedings are examined.


      • POV 296 - Special Topics in Poverty Studies
        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3-4

        An intensive, in-depth examination of particular thinkers, approaches, policies or debates in the field of poverty and human capability studies.


    • Williams School
      • ACCT 256 - Federal Tax Policy and Planning in Today's World
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteACCT 100

        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.


      • ACCT 304 - Anatomy of a Fraud
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteACCT 100

        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?"


      • ACCT 358 - Individual Income Taxation & Financial Planning
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteACCT 100 and at least junior class standing

        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.


      • ACCT 359 - Taxation of Business Entities and Special Topics in Taxation
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteACCT 358

        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.


      • BUS 348 - Foundations in Business Law
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 100, 180, or 180A, and ACCT 100, and at least sophomore class standing

        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. Preference to BSADM, ACCT, or JMCB majors OR ENTR minors during the first round of registration. Students may not take both this course and BUS 346.


      • BUS 349 - Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in a Business Environment
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteat least sophomore class standing

        This course is designed to give students the abilities to negotiate successfully in a commercial environment and to create business solutions when a problem or dispute arises. Lectures, written materials, group projects, video, and role-play are utilized to explore the various theories of negotiation and types of dispute resolution, and to equip students with practical skills for forming and preserving business relationships and resolving business disputes as they occur. Preference to BSADM, ACCT, or JMCB majors, or LJS minors, during first round of registration.


      • ECON 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

        (REL 246)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits4
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major.


      • ECON 281 - Comparative Institutional Economics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 100, ECON 101, ECON 180, or ECON 180A

        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.


      • LJS 230 - Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

        (POL 230)

        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits4

        Same as POL 230. 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."


      • LJS 232 - Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits4

        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.


      • POL 230 - Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

        (LJS 230)

        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits4

        Same as LJS 230. 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.


      • POL 233 - Environmental Policy and Law
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 100, ECON 101, ECON 180, ECON 180A, or POL 100

        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.


      • POL 234 - Congress and the Legislative Process
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 100

        A review of the constitutional origins and historical development of Congress as a representative and deliberative institution. Course focus includes the relation between the President and Congress, bicameralism, congressional elections, congressional reform, legislative rules and procedures, and the policy process. The course follows the current Congress using C-SPAN and Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report.


      • POL 236 - The American Supreme Court and Constitutional Law
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 100

        A survey of the development of American constitutional law and a study of the role of the Supreme Court as both a political institution and principal expositor of the Constitution.


      • POL 245 - European Politics and Society

        (SOAN 245)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        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.


      • POL 246 - Post-Communism and New Democracies

        (SOAN 246)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        Same as SOAN 246. 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.


      • POL 268 - Migration, Identity, and Conflict

        (SOAN 268)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteSOAN 102, POV 101, or POL 105

        Same as SOAN 268. This course focuses on the complex relationship between migration, political institutions, group identities, and inter-group conflict. The course is a hybrid of a seminar and research lab in which students (a) read some of the key social-scientific literature on these subjects, and (b) conduct team-based research making use of existing survey data about the integration of migrant populations into various polities.


      • POL 342 - Seminar: Law and the Judicial Process
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 100 or POL 111

        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.


      • POL 385 - Seminar: Freedom
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 111

        An examination of differing conceptions of political and individual freedom in the modern world. We explore the political thought of thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Emma Goldman. Students analyze the meaning of freedom through novels and/or short stories, including the work of authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Franz Kafka. Key questions include the meaning and ends of freedom, its conditions, and connections between personal and political articulations of freedom.


      • POL 466 - Washington Term Program

        (counts as one 3-credit elective)

        Credits6
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        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.


      • and, when appropriate and approved in advance:

      • POL 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        Prerequisitefirst-year student class standing

        First-year seminar.


      • POL 295 - Special Topics in American Politics
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3-4

        A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level.


      • POL 380 - Seminar in Global Politics
        FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 105

        Examination of selected topics dealing with international and comparative politics.


    • Law School

      Law courses available to be taken by undergraduates are as follows (law course descriptions are available to view in the current School of Law Catalog). These courses are taken by undergraduates as LJS 295, using the registration process described in this catalog's academic regulations (see "Undergraduates Taking a Course at the Law School").

      • LAW 603 - Art Law Seminar
      • LAW 604 - Gender And The Law Seminar
      • LAW 607 - First Amendment Seminar
      • LAW 614 - Bioethics Seminar
      • LAW 621 - Child Abuse And Neglect Seminar
      • LAW 628 - Civil Rights Seminar
      • LAW 630 - Feminist And Queer Jurisprudence Seminar
      • LAW 637 - Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar
      • LAW 652 - Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar
      • LAW 656 - Critical Race Theory Seminar
      • LAW 664 - Cyber Security Seminar
      • LAW 669 - Election Law And Voting Rights Seminar
      • LAW 671 - Disability Law Seminar
      • LAW 680 - Introduction To European Union Law Seminar
      • LAW 683 - Mass Atrocities Seminar
      • LAW 693 - Privacy And Information Security Law Seminar
      • LAW 701 - Administrative Law
      • LAW 702 - First Amendment
      • LAW 712 - Sentencing Law And Policy
      • LAW 718 - Bankruptcy
      • LAW 720 - Intellectual Property
      • LAW 721 - Global Environmental Governance: Law, Economics and Policy
      • LAW 722 - Mass Media Law
      • LAW 727 - International Business Transactions
      • LAW 731 - Immigration Law
      • LAW 732 - Income Tax of Trusts and Estates
      • LAW 743 - Healthcare Law
      • LAW 745 - Adoption Law
      • LAW 763 - Death Penalty
      • LAW 766 - Decedents' Estates And Trusts
      • LAW 771 - National Security Law
      • LAW 789 - Family Law
      • LAW 793 - Federal Income Tax Of Individuals
      • The following cross-listed courses may also be taken for credit to satisfy the distribution requirement for a law school course for the minor:
         

      • POV 280 - Poverty Law

        (LAW 792)

        Credits3

        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.


      • REL 222 - Law and Religion

        (LAW 655)

        FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
        Credits3

        Drawing on examples from diverse periods and legal cultures, this seminar addresses "law" and "religion" as two realms of life that have much shared history and continue to intersect in the modern world. Several important topics in comparative law and jurisprudence are covered, including authority and legitimacy, the relation between custom and statute, legal pluralism, church-state relations, and competing models of constitutional secularism. A selective survey of legal systems and practices rooted in particular religious traditions is followed by an examination of how secular legal systems conceptualize religion and balance the protection of religious freedom with their standards of equity and neutrality.


      • REL 381 - Islamic Law in Society

        (LAW 724)

        FDRHU Humanities Distribution
        Credits3
        Prerequisiteinstructor consent

        This seminar introduces students to the Islamic understanding of shari'a (Path, "law") and its role in Muslim culture, history, and society. To be examined are: the key sources of law in the Qur'an and the model of the Prophet Muhammad, the early development of Islamic legal theories and institutions, the roles of these institutions in everyday life, and the struggle to re-imagine Islamic law and its place in contemporary Muslim communities. Case studies include the nature of political institutions, the rights and roles of women, and Islamic economics, courtroom procedure and the standing of shari'a in American courts.


  4. Capstone:
  5. After completion of all other requirements for the minor, take one of the following:

    • LJS 395 - Law, Justice, and Society Research Capstone
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteLJS 101, instructor consent, and declared as a LJS minor

      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.


    • LJS 396 - Law, Justice, and Society Experiential Capstone: The Legal Clinical Experience
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      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.