Course Information

Course Number




Introduction to Legal Theory

Introduction to Legal Theory is a 3-credit lecture and discussion class with enrollment capped at 35. The course introduces students to a number of major themes in legal theory, focusing particularly on the history of legal thought and the way in which that history has affected court decisions, ideas of institutional competence, conceptions of the role of the state, attitudes towards economic regulation and the implicit messages of legal education. The goal is to help students who are looking for common theoretical themes in the material they have already covered in their first and second year classes. We will address theoretical movements such as legal realism, originalism, law and economics, and critical legal studies. The class requirements include regular attendance and a take-home final exam. No prior exposure to legal theory, philosophy or political theory is required.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.