The Law and Public Policy undergraduate minor gives students a thorough understanding of the US legal system, and how the law interacts with policy, politics and society. In the LPP minor core courses, students will have the opportunity to watch a criminal and/or civil trial, participate in a moot court before a panel of “judges,” and listen to speakers from both the public and private sector (for example, a superior court judge and assistant attorney general).
While the minor is well-suited for students interested in pursuing a career in law and/or policy, it is invaluable for students in any field of practice, as law affects all professions and facets of everyday life.
Why a Law and Public Policy Minor?
- Learn about how law and public policy affect your everyday life in ways large and small
- Debate some of the most important social issues of our time through a legal lens
- Develop important analytical and critical thinking skills
- Gain real-life experience through arguing a legal case in Moot Court
- Have fun in creative and interactive classroom environment
Important questions explored in Law and Public Policy courses:
- Where do our laws come from and who should decide what is “legal”?
- What is the role of the citizen in society?
- What are the limits to free speech and whose speech should be protected?
- What is the intersection between law and politics?
- What should be the boundary between government and individual privacy?
Important social issues debated:
- Medical marijuana use and federal drug policy
- Social networking and government surveillance
- DNA evidence and wrongful convictions
- Genetically modified foods
- Civil commitment of sexual offenders
Learn how law affects your everyday life and how you can use it to make positive changes in the world!
Course Requirements for the Minor
Information accurate as of August 2013. Requirements and policies subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Kathie Simmons at email@example.com or view the official undergraduate catalogue for a full listing of undergraduate level courses.
Students take two core LPP courses and then select three law related electives from an approved course list with at least one of the three from the list of electives offered by the LPP (see list below)
To declare the LPP minor, just fill out the Minor Petition Form and bring it to 310 Renaissance Park for approval.
CORE LPP COURSES
- LPSC 1101 Introduction to Law
Examines the role of law and society from a regulatory, constitutional, and judicial perspective, noting the role each of these has played in shaping the current legal framework in the United States. Introduces students to the relationship between law, societal organizations (both nongovernmental organizations and not-for-profit organizations), the private sector, and the separate branches of government (the judiciary, congressional, and executive branches). Provides students with the opportunity to learn to legally analyze judicial opinions, prepare legal memoranda, and present an oral argument before a “judge.”
- LPSC 2301 Introduction to Law, Policy and Society
Examines the relationship of society to its laws: how society creates changes in law or policy via societal pressure and social movements (such as the environmental, women’s rights, and corporate accountability movements); how law and policy affect individual rights and behavior; whether a society needs laws in order to function; the relationship between some branches of our government in effectuating social change; and some of the fundamental differences between societies governed by seemingly similar but pragmatically different laws, such as the right to a jury trial. Prereq. GPA of 3.000 or better.
- LPSC 3305 Law and the City
Considers questions such as the following: Can cities regulate private gun ownership, such as the Mayors Against Gun initiative, within the confines of the Second Amendment? When do green city initiatives, such as wetlands and water table preservation programs, regulate private property to an extent that regulation becomes constitutional “takings”? How can cities employ zoning regulation to further urban planning and economic growth? U.S. cities are the source of many legal controversies that are on the cutting edge of modern jurisprudence, covering a wide range of subject areas. Analyzes key legal opinions and social research to examine how law is developing at the urban level. Prereq. Sophomore standing or above.
- LPSC3302 Human Rights in the Global Economy
Explores the implications of globalization on international human rights law. Analyzes numerous sources of international law, such as the universal declaration of human rights and the international covenant on economic, social, and cultural rights. Examines free trade and its impact on civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Also explores the international mechanisms to resolve disputes and the impact of globalization on the rights of particular groups (e.g., women, children, and indigenous peoples).
- LPSC 3304 Advanced Debates in Law and Public Policy
Explores the evolving roles of the courts, the legislative process, and social movements through case studies of current controversies in law and policy. Topics may include sentencing disparities in drug crimes, the changing laws of internet use, funding of stem cell research, and safety on university campuses. Each case study will include a class debate or interactive simulation. Specific topics vary each semester. Prereq. LPSC 2201, LPSC 2301, and sophomore standing or above.
- LPSC 3306 – Law and Literature
Examines the role of literature in our understanding of the law and the legal system. Explores a variety of themes and delves into many of the policy questions currently facing society, such as the connection between literary writing and the legal system, the role of the lawyer, whether lawyers are heroes or villains, if we can really trust juries to find the truth, how to determine proper punishment for crimes, the role of government surveillance on society’s behavior, when the level of government control becomes too much, how society reacts to unjust laws, and what happens when law and justice are in conflict. Using literature, students have an opportunity to analyze current policy problems and assess potential solutions. Prereq. Sophomore standing or above.
- LPS U303 Topics in Law and Public Policy
Electives through other departments
As mentioned above, at least one of the three electives must be taken from the list of LPP electives. The other two can be taken in other departments including but not limited to African American Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Sociology and many others. Click here to download the complete list of courses that meet the elective requirements.