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Jurisprudence & Legal Theory

Full-time Faculty

Tracy Higgins Tanya Hernandez James Kainen  Thomas H. Lee 
Youngjae Lee   Robin A. Lenhardt Kimani Paul-Emile  John Pfaff 
 Benjamin Zipursky       

Numerous upper level offerings address perennial questions about the relationship among law, politics, and morality. The introductory course Jurisprudence provides students with a broad background in leading movements in American and English thought concerning the fundamental nature of law, the justification of coercion by the state, the legitimacy of legal systems, the relationship between law and morality, and the possibility of "objective" decision making by judges.

Courses in jurisprudence examine topics including natural law theory, legal positivism, and legal realism, up through contemporary debates in feminist theory, critical race theory, critical legal studies, and law and interpretation. Students who are especially interested in one particular approach to jurisprudence will find a variety of courses and seminars that aim to develop one school of jurisprudence or one "method" of legal theory intensively. Feminist Legal Theory and Race & The Law, for example, draw upon a wealth of contemporary legal theory that looks at the role of gender and race-based motivations behind what sometimes claims to be our neutral and unbiased law. They also draw upon substantive legal issues pertaining to race and gender and study the contribution that legal theory can make to trying to resolve those issues.

Upper Level Survey & Introductory Courses

Upper Level Courses in Specialized Topics

Additional Related Upper Level Courses

Related Subject Areas