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LAW Modern American Legal Thought

A Broader View: General

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LAW 500

Modern American Legal Thought

Law School

Recommended for route(s):

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] A Broader View: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] as a Key Elective for those interested in Strategic Decision-Making : One of the best features of Stanford's academic calendar is the flexibility it provides to take a great many electives. For example, this course explores legal theories and what legal education should cover. Among the issues examined are what law really is (a set of principles or rules or policies) and whether courts simply apply the rules or set policies, as legislatures are empowered to do.

General course Description:

The course is a survey of the theories of law and adjudication that have been most important in this country since the Civil War, concluding with an introduction to presently significant schools of legal thought. The past schools of thought covered are Formalist Legal Science, Sociological Jurisprudence, American Legal Realism, and Legal Process. The more recent and still active movements include Law and Moral Philosophy, Law and Economics, Critical Legal Studies, Feminist Jurisprudence, Public Choice Theory, and Neo-formalism. The readings are drawn primarily from primary materials ¿ the important contemporary manifestos and critiques of the schools of thought studied, along with writings that involve their application or reveal their influence. Among the recurring issues treated are: How political is law? How objective? How much do and should courts legislate? Is law mostly rules? Principles? Policies? Decisions? How much should law be bound up with other intellectual disciplines? What should legal education be like?

Course Style: A Substantive/ Perspective course looks at law from an external or non-traditional standpoint.

Course Frequency: Offered once a year

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