LWP 6118. Historical Foundations of American Law. (3 Hours)
Explores American law and legal institutions in a historical context, examining the founding ideals and the era that shaped them. Includes an introduction to U.S. political thought and examines signature documents of the American republic, key works related to the founding of the United States, and places those topics within the current political landscape. Topics include the role of slavery, federalism, immigration, and foreign affairs in building the nation; the emergence of law as a distinct profession; and the rise of the political, administrative, and court systems. Analyzes the relationship between law and society and the importance of history in understanding modern legal developments.
LWP 6119. Current Law and Policy Debates: Our Nation’s Capital and Beyond. (3 Hours)
Explores important law and policy issues that are currently capturing the attention of our national policymakers, think tanks, and journalists. Topics may include, but are not limited to, civil rights and civil liberties; the right to privacy; policy issues such as healthcare, gun control, immigration, and education reform; and global issues including foreign policy, among others. Includes a residency in Washington, D.C.
LWP 6120. Law and Legal Reasoning 1. (2-3 Hours)
Introduces modes of legal reasoning used by lawmakers, focusing on the courts and their principal actors, attorneys, and judges. Offers students an opportunity to obtain the skills necessary to use legal resources and reasoning in academic and policy work. Expects successful students to understand basic legal concepts and terminology, the organization of the federal and state court systems, and how litigation moves through the courts; to understand the types of legal reasoning used in cases involving both common law and enacted/statutory law; and to be able to read and understand key legal documents, especially judicial opinions and litigation documents such as complaints and briefs. Offers students an opportunity to add to the literature review for their thesis by developing the ability to conduct legal research on their topic, including reviewing and briefing cases.
LWP 6121. Law and Legal Reasoning 2. (2-3 Hours)
Introduces modes of legal reasoning used by lawmakers and policymakers, focusing on legislature and current administrative state. Examines the way Congress and administrative agencies develop and adopt statutes and regulations and how interpreting institutions analyze and apply these laws. At the course conclusion, students are expected to understand the organization of legislatures at multiple levels; how bills are developed and move through legislatures; the impact of various stakeholders and politics upon the legislative process; the different types of legal reasoning used in lawmaking; and to be able to read and understand statutes and regulations. Offers students an opportunity to add to their literature review by developing the ability to conduct legal research on their topic and understanding the role of relevant agencies to their topic.
LWP 6122. Law and Legal Reasoning 3. (2-3 Hours)
Introduces the modes of legal reasoning used by lawmakers, focusing on the role of the executive branch in policymaking. Offers students an opportunity to obtain the skills necessary to use legal resources and reasoning in academic and policy work. Expects successful students to understand basic legal concepts and terminology; how the executive branch interacts with other branches and stakeholders; the role of the U.S. president on the policymaking process; and how presidents across different eras have advanced and driven policy agendas as part of the U.S. political system. Offers students an opportunity to add to the literature review for their thesis by developing the ability to conduct legal research on their topic and by reading about U.S. presidential administrations over time.
LWP 6123. Law and Legal Reasoning 4. (2-3 Hours)
Offers a theoretical and practical overview of modes of legal reasoning, jurisprudence, and the application of such reasoning in contemporary legal cases. Topics include, but are not limited to, legal formalism and textualism, legal realism and pragmatism, critical legal studies, the living constitution, originalism, popular constitutionalism, and constitutional debates. Offers students an opportunity to apply these theories to historic and current cases and may offer opportunities for students to make comparisons across varied forms of government.
LWP 6401. Law and Policy Concepts 1: The Policymaking Process. (3 Hours)
Introduces students to the basic structure of the political branches of government, as well as foundational theories of the policy cycle and policy theorists, types of public policy, and the dimensions of conflict in the creation and modification of public policy. Topics may include, but are not limited to, problem definition, policy heuristics, and policy decisions including street-level bureaucracy. Students engage in practical application of policy theory through course assignments e.g., to their own proposed thesis research area or case examples.
LWP 6402. Law and Policy Concepts 2: Strategizing for Public Policy. (2,3 Hours)
Offers an overview of policymaking in the 21st century. Topics may include agenda setting, historical institutionalism, and interbranch perspectives of law and policy, as well as the interaction between state- and federal-level policy.
LWP 6403. Law and Policy Concepts 3: Policy Case Studies. (2-3 Hours)
Reviews how modern policy scholarship is applied to public policy challenges. Topics may include, but are not limited to, healthcare, criminal justice, environmental policy, labor policy, economic development, housing, or social welfare. Offers comparisons allowing students a broader perspective of issues that surround law and policy domestically in the United States and globally in other sovereign states.
LWP 6404. Evaluation Research. (2-3 Hours)
Introduces commonly used policy evaluation methods and tools. Offers students an opportunity to become familiar with the concepts, techniques, and practices of evaluation research; to learn how to read evaluation research critically; and to develop an appropriate evaluation plan for an ongoing program. Topics include outcome and impact evaluation, as well as cost-benefit analysis. May include opportunities to engage in the further development of the literature review for the doctoral thesis project, conducting a short policy analysis, and critical review of a policy evaluation.
Prerequisite(s): LWP 6424 with a minimum grade of C-
LWP 6410. Economics for Policy Analysis. (2-3 Hours)
Offers an overview of the use of various economic theories in policy analysis and the tools of public finance. Topics may include the theory of public choice; market failure; economic concepts of public and private goods; externalities; and theories of social welfare, political economy, behavioral economics, sources of revenue and expenditure, tax structures, and other contemporary efforts to incentivize private investment to support social goals. Offers students an opportunity to understand these theories and concepts and apply them to a range of public policy and legal issues.
LWP 6420. Quantitative Methods. (2-3 Hours)
Introduces students to quantitative research methodology, including techniques needed to explore the student’s doctoral thesis questions from a quantitative perspective. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to move from designing a quantitative study to data collection through analysis and interpretation of quantitative data. Topics include the basic logic of statistical inference, the manipulation and description of data, survey techniques, and secondary data analysis. Covers a variety of statistical techniques used within policy research to calculate descriptive statistics and techniques to evaluate the relationship between variables, such as crosstabs, t-tests, correlation, and regression analysis. Students apply these techniques through assignments and performing quantitative data analysis.
Prerequisite(s): LWP 6424 with a minimum grade of C-
LWP 6423. Qualitative Methods. (2,3 Hours)
Introduces students to qualitative research, including techniques needed to explore the student’s doctoral thesis questions from a qualitative perspective. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to move from design to data collection through analysis of qualitative data, as well as how one interprets and draws conclusions from qualitative data. Topics include qualitative data collection techniques, including in-depth group interviews, archival research, observation, and focus groups; coding qualitative data; and proper presentation of qualitative analyses and conclusions in formal academic writing such as the doctoral thesis. Students apply these techniques through assignments and performing qualitative data analysis.
Prerequisite(s): LWP 6424 with a minimum grade of C-
LWP 6424. Research Methods. (3 Hours)
Introduces students to systematic methods of inquiry in law and policy doctoral study. Covers qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods approaches to research. Seeks to immediately assist students in thinking through their doctoral thesis research question and the development of the research methodologies suited to answer their research question. Topics may include research design; logic of inquiry; data collection; data management, data quality, communication and dissemination of results, evaluation of evidence; qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods approaches for law and policy research and analysis. Offers a general introduction to research ethics and Institutional Review Board processes and policies.
LWP 6431. Political and Moral Ethics and Dilemmas. (2-3 Hours)
Examines the political and moral responsibilities of public policymakers in government by asking what governments should do—considering principles that guide good, just, legitimate public policy—and what political actors should do—considering the many and often competing obligations that guide them in contesting what is good, just, and legitimate public policy. Assignments focus on applications of theoretical concepts from scholarly readings in philosophy and political theory to practical issues of public policy. Expects students to research distinct political and moral scholars, make presentations of their research, and complete a term paper addressing these ideas and scholars as applied to their doctoral project.
LWP 6450. Public Policy Theory and Practice 1. (2,3 Hours)
Offers a practical and theoretical overview of how legislation and public policy are initially developed at the federal, state, and local levels, using a range of research and policy tools. After developing the technical aspects of a public policy proposal, those working for policy change face an array of strategic and tactical decisions about where and how to intervene in the complicated system of actors and institutions that establishes and implements public policies. Examines a wide range of policy topics to understand and evaluate how different policy strategies evolve in the interplay between branches and levels of government.
LWP 6451. Public Policy Theory and Practice 2. (2-3 Hours)
Focuses on crafting effective strategies for advancing and passing concrete public policy changes at the federal, state, and local levels. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, health policy, education policy, jobs and economic policy, national security policy, immigration policy, and housing policy. Expects students to analyze policy change options and evaluate which strategies are most likely to produce desired changes. Offers students an opportunity to develop a theory-based and pragmatic framework for developing effective strategies to achieve desired policy change across a broad spectrum of issues and at all levels of government.
LWP 6452. Public Policy Theory and Practice 3. (2-3 Hours)
Focuses on the passage and implementation of public policy changes at the federal, state, and local levels. Guest experts lecture and initiate class discussions. Expects students to analyze policy change options and propose strategies to produce desired policy changes. Selected students are asked to lead and moderate class debates. Offers students an opportunity to develop a theory-based and pragmatic framework for developing effective strategies to achieve and implement desired policy change across a broad spectrum of issues and at all levels of government. Students may also be asked to examine ideas and proposals related to their doctoral theses.
LWP 6500. Doctoral Research Design 1. (2,3 Hours)
Builds upon prior courses in the methods sequence. Offers students an opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills in research methodology and design. Students refine and add to the literature review and law and policy review conducted in prior course work and utilize their updated literature review to refine their design for their thesis research project for their selected topic area and to define the research methodology. By the end of the course, successful students are expected to have a doctoral thesis project proposal in their topic of interest, be ready to defend the proposal, and have prepared their IRB application for review in alignment with university requirements.
LWP 6501. Doctoral Research Design 2. (2-3 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to continue to develop the doctoral thesis project; to refine the doctoral thesis proposal and IRB application completed in Doctoral Research Design 1; to defend the doctoral thesis proposal with the thesis committee; and submit the IRB application. In addition, offers students an opportunity to deepen the narrative around data analysis, ethical considerations and theoretical frameworks, and begin to build the doctoral thesis. Explores in-depth relationships with data collection, management, and analysis in alignment with standards of rigor.
Prerequisite(s): LWP 6500 with a minimum grade of C-
LWP 6502. Doctoral Research Design 3. (2-3 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to continue to develop the thesis project in the data collection, analysis, and reporting phase of the research. Continues in-depth exploration of data: collection, management, analysis, and handling of ethical concerns and standards of rigor. Offers students an opportunity to explore the conclusions that are possible from the results of their data collection and analysis. Introduces concepts of display of qualitative or quantitative data for the purpose of communicating data findings in the thesis and best practices in academic writing and presentation of data.
LWP 6503. Doctoral Research Design 4. (2-6 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to continue to develop the thesis project, including finalizing data analysis and reporting of results and conclusions from research. Expects students to work toward a complete five-chapter dissertation (or accepted alternative) that will be edited and submitted for publication in the university dissertation repository. Students prepare for the culminating activity of the thesis defense and disseminating findings through scholarly channels.
Prerequisite(s): LWP 6502 with a minimum grade of C-
LWP 6962. Elective. (1-4 Hours)
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.
LWP 6995. Project. (1-4 Hours)
Focuses on in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. May be repeated without limit.
LWP 7962. Elective. (1-4 Hours)
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.
LWP 7994. Thesis Continuation—Part Time. (0 Hours)
Offers continued thesis supervision by members of the program. May be repeated up to three times.