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Course Number: LAW7608

Department: Law (LAW)

This course contrasts critical-theoretic approaches to law (e.g., legal realism, critical legal studies, identity-based jurisprudence, socio-legal studies, transformative jurisprudence) with mainstream legal thinking. In part the course is an intellectual history of American law, and in part it addresses contemporary jurisprudence and legal theory. Drawing on students’ personal experience, the course also examines American legal education and the professional socialization of law students. A “big” question underlying the course is whether legal work is a medium in which one can pursue projects oriented toward political and social change. There is no prerequisite for this course, and no prior background in legal theory, history, or jurisprudence is needed. All students are expected to read the assigned texts very closely and participate in discussing them in class.

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