Course Details

Jurisprudence: Foundational Questions of Law and Lawyering

This course gives students an opportunity to ask the "big questions" about law. Are legal rules real or just a cloak for power? What does law have to do with justice? How have societies outside the contemporary US viewed law? What do the major, large-scale theories of law-e.g., "legal positivism," "natural law," "legal formalism," "legal realism," and "critical legal studies"-really mean? This course also gives students an opportunity to ask the "big questions" about being a lawyer. Can one be a zealous partisan and a moral person? Does the adversarial system do more harm than good? How can a lawyer's life be a worthwhile one-a life of flourishing, happiness, and meaning? We will address these questions philosophically but with an admixture of history and on-the-ground legal argumentation as well. Students do not need prior training in philosophy; the class materials and discussions are designed to speak to all.

Catalog Number: LAWSTUDY 601
Practice Areas: Law and PhilosophyPerspective viewpoint
Additional Course Information: Open to First Year Students,  Perspective Elective


Course History

Spring 2019
Title: Jurisprudence: Foundational Questions of Law and Lawyering
Faculty: Kleinfeld, Joshua (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 70     Actual: 10

Spring 2017
Title: Jurisprudence
Faculty: Kleinfeld, Joshua (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 14