Law Schedule of Classes

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219.9 sec. 001 - Law and the Greek Classics (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Burt Neuborne  (view instructor's profile)
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 25, 2021
To March 15, 2021

Course Start: January 25, 2021
Course End: March 15, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 32083
Class Number: 32083

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 17
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 39
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

Attendance at the first class is mandatory

The seminar will explore links between the Greek Classics and contemporary legal issues. Among the areas we will discuss are: Was Socrates' conviction unjust? What are the limits, if any, to free speech? Should Socrates have escaped to resist an unjust conviction? How should a contemporary lawyer confront outcomes she deems deeply unjust? What are the essential elements of a just legal system? What role should conscience play in granting exemptions to the duties of citizenship?

We will read Plato's Crito and the Apologia; MLK, Jr, Letter from the Birmingham Jail; Aeschylus, "The Eumenides" (the birth of law); and"Antigone" (the birth of conscientious objection). No prior study of the Greek classics is required. We will read the plays aloud for the aesthetic joy of it before discussing the issues. Warning - I always get to play Creon - maybe in a Trump mask. I won't ignore the warts. We'll consider whether the misogyny that pervades the material disqualifies it as a serious source for modern legal discussion. We'll also look at the role of slavery and economic injustice in supporting Athenian democracy. I'll ask how we should use legal and aesthetic materials generated in such a climate. Hint - I'm extremely reluctant to throw the material away, but unwilling to whitewash the warts.

I have taught this material at Berkeley, NYU, and Stanford Law Schools.

Real-time attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: General Courses

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