Law and Public Policy (LPSC)

LPSC 1101. Introduction to Law. 4 Hours.

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 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 2301. Introduction to Law, Policy, and Society. 4 Hours.

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.

LPSC 2302. Global Human Rights: A Social and Economic Perspective. 4 Hours.

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 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 3303. Topics in Law and Public Policy. 4 Hours.

Covers special topics in law, policy, and society to fulfill students’ interests. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 3307. Understanding the Modern Supreme Court. 4 Hours.

Offers a historical overview of the Supreme Court’s role in American life, focusing on the 20th century. As a legal, political, and policymaking institution, the Supreme Court plays a central role in U.S. legal, political, and policy disputes. The justices possess a wide range of social, cultural, political, and economic views.

LPSC 3310. Law and Policy in the Nation's Capital. 1 Hour.

Offers students an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with attorneys in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors; witness hearings; and see the various ways law and policy are made in our nation's capital. Upon return, students write a reflective paper connecting some of the readings provided in advance (democratic theory, overview of each branch of government, adversarial legalism, law of agencies) to speaker(s) and events from the visit. May be repeated twice, based on annual unique theme.

LPSC 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 4304. Advanced Debates in Law and Public Policy. 4 Hours.

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 includes a class debate or interactive simulation. Specific topics vary each semester.

LPSC 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 5201. Law and the City. 4 Hours.

Examines key legal structures, court decisions, and social research to consider the ability of cities to make and implement public policies that directly affect the everyday lives of millions of people. American cities and their residents are frequently faced with similar legal and political questions. Topics include federalism, land-use planning and development, business regulation, gun control, school choice, public health, and climate adaptation initiatives.

LPSC 6313. Economic Analysis for Law, Policy, and Planning. 4 Hours.

Designed to familiarize master’s degree students with the essential ideas and methods of microeconomics and their application to a wide range of domestic public policy issues at the national, state, and local level. Emphasizes the role of program and management incentives in influencing behavior and policy outcomes. Focuses on understanding the ideas of microeconomic theory and applying them to a range of alternative public policy issues. Offers students an opportunity to develop a clear understanding of essential economic ideas and how the economic perspective can be applied to a wide range of public policy issues. Restricted to master’s degree students only.

LPSC 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 7215. Advanced Quantitative Techniques. 4 Hours.

Covers multivariate statistical models and their applications to social science data. The ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model and the assumptions underlying it are covered in detail, as are techniques for analyzing data when OLS assumptions do not apply, such as simultaneous equation models, time series models, and maximum likelihood techniques for limited and discrete dependent variables. This is an advanced course in quantitative techniques for graduate students in the social sciences.

LPSC 7305. Research and Statistical Methods. 4 Hours.

Examines the methods and assumptions of research conducted in policy and legal studies. Explores how to identify researchable questions; how to formulate a set of hypotheses; and how to design, develop, and carry out research projects, including a study of quantitative and qualitative techniques for analyzing data. Focuses written assignments on critiques of published articles in reference journals addressing comparative strengths and weaknesses inherent in any research approach.

LPSC 7311. Strategizing Public Policy. 4 Hours.

Provides a practical overview to crafting effective strategies for advancing public policy changes at the federal, state, and local level using a range of legislative, litigation, and other policy tools. Uses a series of case studies on a wide range of policy topics to understand and evaluate how different policy strategies evolve in the interplay between branches and levels of government. Takes an interbranch perspective on how policy is made and places particular emphasis on the role litigation and the courts play in policy making, an aspect of public policy formulation that is often downplayed or overlooked.

LPSC 7312. Cities, Sustainability, and Climate Change. 4 Hours.

Provides an overview of the various aspects of urban sustainability planning. Examines sustainability as an urban planning approach with both ecological and social justice goals. Covers sustainable planning and offers students an opportunity to understand it within the context of smart growth and the new urbanism. Focuses on the two areas in which cities can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions—the built environment and transportation. From there, the course examines planning efforts to reduce demand on water and sewer systems and to create employment in renewable energy and other “clean-tech” occupations. The course ends by placing urban initiatives in the context of state and national policy.

LPSC 7962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 7976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers a supervised reading and research activity with faculty supervision approved by a committee of the Law, Policy, and Society faculty. May be repeated without limit.

LPSC 9000. PhD Candidacy Achieved. 0 Hours.

Indicates successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive exam.

LPSC 9990. Dissertation Term 1. 0 Hours.

Offers dissertation supervision by members of the department.

LPSC 9996. Dissertation Continuation. 0 Hours.

Offers continued dissertation supervision by members of the department. May be repeated without limit.