LS100PerryReviewQuestions - 1 This course is titled Foundations of Legal Studies It is an interdisciplinary liberal arts course not a narrow pre-law

LS100PerryReviewQuestions - 1 This course is titled...

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1.This course is titled Foundations of Legal Studies. It is an interdisciplinary liberal arts course, not a narrow pre-law school course. One foundational insight of legal studies as an academic field is that law is NOT merely what lawyers and judges do for their professional ends – instead, the legal studies or “law and society” view is that law is everywhere. This is also called the “constitutive” approach to law, a scholarly approach that looks at how law or “legality” is constitutive of virtually every domain of human social life. Please try to think of ordinary examples of this insight: if you personally hesitate to laugh at some offensive joke in your workplace, that hesitation might reflect your sense that people might have a “right” to a non hostile work environment (the veryconcept of a “hostile work environment” is only a couple of decades old). Think also about how “our” ordinary “common sense” about people’s rights has changed in recent memory. It used to be that people at Berkeley spoke of a “right” to smoke tobacco on the campus and now, instead, people assert their “right” to a smoke-free environment. As another current example, note that over the course of the last decade, consensual adult same sex relationships have changed from being legally categorized as criminal offenses in large parts of the U.S. to a very different legal landscape now where such relationships are protected by the U.S. Constitution. How can we as scholars study such socio-legal changes at both the micro and macro levels? 2.Please recall our first week’s discussion of the nature of “common law” case reasoning and of the “case method” in Anglo-American legal education – please remember the discussion of the film Paper Chase and Harvard law school’s “case method” illustrated byHawkins v. McGee (the “hairy hand” from New Hampshire in 1929, also discussed in our reading of Mertz Ch. 1) a.What are the diverse meanings of a “case” at the level of trial courts, and at appellate level courts, as well as in legal reasoning and legal education?

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