Law Schedule of Classes

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215.9 sec. 001 - Legal Theory Seminar (Fall 2024)

Instructor: Hanoch Dagan  
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Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


Tu 3:35 PM - 6:15 PM
Location: Law 136
From August 20, 2024
To November 19, 2024

Course Start: August 20, 2024
Course End: November 19, 2024
Class Number: 32545

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 7
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 18
As of: 07/13 11:57 PM

Legal theory focuses on the work of society’s coercive normative institutions, such as courts, legislatures, and agencies. It studies the traditions of these institutions and the craft typifying their members, while at the same time continuously challenging their outputs by demonstrating their contingency and testing their desirability. In performing the latter tasks, legal theory necessarily absorbs lessons from law’s neighboring disciplines, such as philosophy, economics, and sociology. But at its best, legal theory is more than a sophisticated synthesis of relevant insights from these friendly neighbors, because of its pointed attention to the persistent jurisprudential questions regarding the nature of law, notably the relationship between law’s normativity and its coerciveness and the implications of its institutional and structural characteristics.

This course explores these features of law. We will begin by investigating law’s three constitutive components: its coerciveness, its normativity, and the institutional settings in which it is manifested. We will then turn to examine various modes of legal reasoning: the application of rules or standards, of abstract or contextual analyses; references to history and economic analysis; and reliance on rights. The last part of the course will be dedicated to exploring the role of law in society. We will then discuss law’s legitimacy and authority, the rule of law, the relationships between social norms and legal rules, and the different types of legal persons and of modes of legal work.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Legal Theory

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