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Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

  • Legal History: American Legal Education

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam

    A research paper will be required rather than a final examination.
    This seminar is designed for students…

  • Financial and Legal Needs of Low and Moderate Income Households

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam: No Exam The seminar will examine the opportunities and perils in consumer financial services available to low and moderate income households. We…

  • Statutes and Justice

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam The principal controversy in modern statutory construction is the debate between purposivists and textualists. But these opponents in fact…

  • Competing Values: Freedom, Equality, Property, & Democracy

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam This reading group will cover a variety of current and enduring questions involving fundamental issues of freedom, equality, property,…

  • Contractual Interpretation

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: JD: Contracts or permission to waive from the instructor. LLM: No prerequisite. Exam Type: No Exam This reading group explores the problem of contractual…

  • (Dis)illusionment for Young Lawyers

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam You’ve heard from or about young lawyers, doctors and other professionals who are “disillusioned.”  In the reading group we’ll…

  • Constitutional Law: Money and the Making of American Capitalism

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam: In Class According to one of the framers, the “soul of the Constitution” was the clause allocating authority over money.   Over the…

  • Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None. Exam Type: Any-Day Take-Home This is one of the basic courses in American Constitutional Law. It focuses primarily on Equal Protection and Due…

  • Legal Profession – The New Market for Personal Legal Services: Ethical and Professional Challenges

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam Whether in solo, small firm or not for profit legal aid offices, new modes of serving clients of modest…

  • Private Law Workshop

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: Admission is by permission of the instructors. Students who wish to be considered for the seminar should submit a CV to Henry Smith (hesmith@law.harvard.edu).

  • Animal Law

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: There are no prerequisites, and 1L students are welcome in the class. Exam Type: One Day Take-Home Students will be evaluated on the basis…

  • Reproductive Rights and Justice

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam The course materials and discussions span constitutional law, the political and legislative processes, and health law. Course topics…

  • Disability Rights Law

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam This course encompasses many aspects of disability rights, laws, and policies, with particular emphasis on the Americans with Disabilities…

  • Law and Neuroscience

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam This seminar examines cutting edge and even controversial linkages between law and neuroscience. We seek to highlight neuroscientific basis…

  • Mass Incarceration and Sentencing Law

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam This course will first put 20th century sentencing law in sociological and historical context. It will examine the history,…

  • Originalism and Its Discontents

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: (A) One prior course on American constitutional law, and (B) one prior course on constitutional law, federal courts, administrative law, jurisprudence, or legislation /…

  • Advanced Topics in Jewish Law: The Law of Magic

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: This seminar will be by permission of the instructor, who strongly prefers that students have a background in advanced study of Jewish legal material.

  • The Jurisprudence of Excellence

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: No special background is required. Cross-registrants are welcome. Anyone seeking information about this course should feel free to contact Professor Scott Brewer at sbrewer@law.harvard.edu.

  • Class and Racial Justice

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam This reading group will focus on questions about how the idea of “racial justice” is related to “class.” When,…

  • The Crisis Facing Democracy

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam This reading group will examine contemporary challenges facing American democracy. Each week will consider a different challenge facing American…

  • Conceptions of Legal Entities

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: A prior or parallel course in corporate law at HLS or elsewhere, or prior experience in matters relating to the corporation or other business…

  • Advanced Readings in The Thirteenth Amendment

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam This course focuses on the Reconstruction Amendments, directing the core of its readings and class engagement to the Thirteenth…

  • Race and the Law

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type:One-Day Take-home This course will explore the role of race and ethnicity in American legal jurisprudence and history. Areas of focus will…

  • Law and Literary Theory

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: None We will read and discuss narrative theory, literary criticism and short works of fiction in the context of American legal…

  • Knowledge As Power in Law and Science

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: By permission. Interested students should send one of the faculty a short statement of interest. Exam Type: No Exam

    Evaluation is a…

  • Natural Law and Positive Law

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam. There will be no paper or exam, and class will be graded credit/no credit. We will look briefly at…

  • Advanced Issues in Administrative Law and Theory

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: Admission is by permission; applicants should submit a resume and a short (1-2 paragraph) statement of interest and relevant background (combined into 1 PDF)…

  • Law and Inequality Workshop

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam In this course we will explore concepts of inequality from a range of disciplinary perspectives. We will also consider…

  • Comparative Law: Why Law? The Experience of China

    January 30, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: Any Day Take-home This course uses the example of China as a springboard for asking fundamental questions about the nature of…

  • Jurisprudence: Legal Ideals

    January 27, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: Last Class Take-Home The liberal ideal of legality yields both formalization of law (law as formal rules or doctrines) and idealization…

  • Theories About Law

    January 27, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam

    There will be two short papers in lieu of an examination. One will be assigned midway through…

  • Race, Class, Policing, and Punishment

    January 20, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam The virtually unprecedented overall rate at which we lock people up in this country, combined with the extreme concentration…

  • Legal Profession – The New Market for Personal Legal Services: Ethical and Professional Challenges

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam Whether in solo, small firm or not for profit legal aid offices, new modes of serving clients of modest…

  • Constitutional Law: First Amendment

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: Any Day Take-Home This course is one of the basic courses in the field. It addresses the Freedom of Speech, the…

  • Sex Equality

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: Any Day Take-Home (open book), or 3 short papers throughout the term for lottery-selected group of students who apply. The relation…

  • Economic Analysis of Law

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: In Class What effects does law have? Do corporations pollute less, market safer products, and adhere more often to their…

  • Contemporary Dilemmas in Dispute Resolution

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam This reading group will explore situations and applications that challenge core principles in negotiation, mediation, and dispute systems design…

  • Power: Ethics, Means, Ends

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: Any-day take-home, or paper in lieu of exam option also available What is power? And what principles, if any, constrain it’s…

  • Individuality?: Virginia Woolf vs. Social Justice and Law

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam We’ll read two great novels by Woolf published almost a century ago – Mrs. Dalloway and To The…

  • Critical Race Theory

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisite: None Exam Type: No Exam This course will consider one of the newest intellectual currents within American Legal Theory – Critical Race Theory. Emerging…

  • Transgender Law & Politics

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam An intensive examination of the legal, social, and political issues raised by the status and treatment of transgender persons,…

  • Introduction to Islamic Law

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam This course will survey core concepts in Islamic law (sharia) in historical and comparative modern contexts. Popular perceptions of…

  • Law and Philosophy Workshop

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam This workshop will examine new ideas at the intersection of law and philosophy. The workshop will meet weekly and…

  • Ethics, Economics and the Law

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam Explores controversies about the use of markets and market reasoning in areas such as organ sales, procreation, environmental regulation,…

  • Evidence

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None. Exam type: In Class We rely on judgments about evidence throughout our personal and professional lives. These judgments include the evidence supplied by…

  • Public International Law

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: One-Day Take-Home This is an introductory course to public international law. The first part of the course provides a classical foundation…

  • Critical Theory in Legal Scholarship

    January 19, 2023

    Prerequisites: None Exam Type: No Exam Class participation will be expected and will be considered in grading. Students may write 5 short response papers.  The…