LEST: Legal Studies (Undergraduate)

LEST 1005  Introduction to Law & the Legal System  (2 Credits)  

This course introduces students to the structures, purposes and jurisdiction of state and federal courts and the roles of lawyers, lay persons, judges and jurors in civil, criminal, administrative and alternative justice systems. Rudimentary skills in briefing cases and legal research and analysis will be developed. This course was previously CHS-261102 Introduction to Law and the Legal System.

Attributes: Liberal

LEST 1996   in LEST  (3,4 Credits)  
LEST 1998  Individualized Studies in Legal Studies (LEST)  (1-8 Credits)  

Students have the opportunity to develop individualized studies with their mentor in Legal Studies (LEST). Please contact your mentor/advisor for more details.

LEST 2998  Individualized Studies in Legal Studies (LEST)  (1-8 Credits)  

Students have the opportunity to develop individualized studies with their mentor in Legal Studies (LEST). Please contact your mentor/advisor for more details.

LEST 3010  Medical Cannabis & The Law  (4 Credits)  

This study focuses on the evolution of law related to medical cannabis. Through an exploration of the criminalization of marijuana and the subsequent legalization of marijuana for medical use in some states as well as recreational use in others, students will have the unique opportunity to understand how the legal system operates in action, where law comes from, the purpose of law and how and why definitions of crime shift and change in society. Prerequisites: Students should have completed foundational studies such as Introduction to Law and/or have prior learning regarding the structure and function of law.

Attributes: Liberal

LEST 3015  Mental Health & The Law  (4 Credits)  

This course provides a broad overview of legal and policy issues related to mental illness and the areas in which mental disorder intersects with the law. Civil law concepts such as incapacity, civil commitment, deinstitutionalization, and community treatment are covered, as well as criminal law concepts such as incompetence and insanity. Expert testimony; issues of confidentiality; mandatory reporting; 'abuse excuses;' and mental illness in mitigation of criminal responsibility are analyzed. The treatment of mentally-ill incarcerated men and women, including rights to receive or to refuse treatment, is introduced. Legal and policy issues pertaining to community treatment, drug abuse and alcoholism, sex offenders, mental health courts, and the death penalty for the mentally disabled are also examined. Legal terms and relevant case law are studied; mental illness is defined and examined as a legal problem, and the broader policy issues implicated by mental disease and disorder are explored. This course was previously CHS-264514 Mental Health and the Law.

LEST 3998  Individualized Studies in Legal Studies (LEST)  (1-8 Credits)  

Students have the opportunity to develop individualized studies with their mentor in Legal Studies (LEST). Please contact your mentor/advisor for more details.

LEST 4005  Constitutional Law I: Institutional Powers & Constraints  (4 Credits)  

The U.S. Supreme Court interprets and resolves constitutional law disputes using very particular theories which have evolved over time. In this course, students learn legal analysis, using Constitutional Law as both case study and context. Students learn how to understand U.S. Supreme Court decisions using these theories of constitutional analysis. Emphasis is on analyzing and evaluating constitutional theories presented in cases addressing: separations of powers, federalism, and individual liberties (substantive due process and equal protection). The course begins with an in depth understanding of the circumstances surrounding the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Constitution. This discussion forms the basis of understanding for the rest of the course.

Attributes: Liberal

LEST 4010  Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties  (4 Credits)  

This study examines the rights and liberties provided by the U.S. Constitution, focusing on the Bill of Rights. Students examine major cases defining, expanding, and/or shrinking the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights with specific attention to the first, second, fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendments. Methods of judicial interpretation are explored as is the social context within which the disputes arose. Prerequisites: Students should have completed at least one prior study where they learned about briefing judicial decisions; e.g. Constitutional Law.

Attributes: Liberal

LEST 4015  Identity & The Law  (4 Credits)  

'Who am I?' is one of the fundamental questions we ask ourselves. Depending on where we come from - figuratively and literally - our answers to this question may be different than the answer those who look at us might have. And our answer to this question may change over time depending on what we learn about our DNA, our family history, our nation’s history and often how the legal system might define who we are based on any number of factors. Students examine how the law has influenced definitions of identity based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and other factors. The majority of readings come from U.S. Supreme Court case decisions and relevant analyses. Prerequisites: Students should have completed at least one legal studies study such as Introduction to Law or Constitutional Law prior to enrolling in this course. At least one study in sociology would also be a useful prerequisite.

Attributes: Liberal

LEST 4020  Theories of Law & Justice  (4 Credits)  

Defining "justice" and the role of law in insuring justice are not easy tasks. Understandings of justice and the law are embedded in ancient texts which serve as foundations of many religious and social traditions. Our current understandings of justice and the law are the result of critical approaches to jurisprudence, influenced by social and historical context of disputes. For purposes of this study, the student will focus on western notions of justice and the law in analyzing current world events. The central questions of this study include: What does justice mean in a particular context? How has the law been used to pursue justice in this context? Who are the beneficiaries of this justice? Who loses? Was justice served? Prerequisites: Prior coursework in law, sociology and philosophy will be helpful.

Attributes: Humanities Gen Ed, Liberal

LEST 4025  Women & the Law  (4 Credits)  

In this study, the student explores the evolution of constitutional law with a particular emphasis on the status of women in the United States. The student will study how the constitution has been interpreted to address issues of discrimination, marriage, divorce, pornography, gender identity and reproductive rights. Students will be introduced to such concepts as equal protection, liberalism and the tensions between a focus on difference and/or on equality. Students will also examine ways differences in how the law has treated women of color, immigrant women, poor women and white women. Finally, students will examine court decisions within historical and social contexts. Prerequisites: Students should have completed at least one Law-related course such as Introduction to Law and/or Constitutional Law. Introduction to Women's Studies and/or Introduction to Sociology are also useful prerequisites which will serve as good foundations for this study.

Attributes: Liberal

LEST 4998  Individualized Studies in Legal Studies (LEST)  (1-8 Credits)  

Students have the opportunity to develop individualized studies with their mentor in Legal Studies (LEST). Please contact your mentor/advisor for more details.