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Introduction to American Legal Thought (2 cr)
This course will explore a variety of contemporary schools of legal thought, with an emphasis on their understanding of the nature of law and, where applicable, the appropriate objectives of law and law reform. The course will begin with an overview of the historical roots of today’s thinking, exploring Langdell’s orthodoxy, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ reaction thereto, and the highly influential legal realists. The course will then turn to its more central focus: the legal process school and the contemporary progeny of legal realism (e.g., law and economics, critical legal studies, law and feminism). The course will also expose students to a powerful new alternative to these popular schools of thought, namely the cultural study of law.

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