Legal Studies (LES)


LES 201. Introduction to the American Political System. 3 Hours.

Designed to provide an introduction to the American political system for both majors and non-majors. Examines the role and function of governments in providing for a variety of public goods. In addition to examining the system's institutions and political behavior, special attention will be devoted to federalism and the role of the states. Course Information: Same as PSC 201. This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences (IAI Code: S5 900).

LES 202. Introduction to the American Legal System. 3 Hours.

Provides basic understanding of and introduction to the American Legal System including: the Illinois and federal courts systems and the concept of federalism. Emphasis on how the American legal system works, how it differs from other major legal systems, the basic elements of tort, contract, criminal and property law as well as basic criminal and civil procedure. Discussion will include current controversies. Course Information: Same as PSC 202. Will require participation in off-campus field trips beyond scheduled class time. This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

LES 276. Trial Advocacy: Criminal. 2 Hours.

This course is built around a simulated trial in which students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Students will develop trial advocacy skills, study courtroom procedures and etiquette, and learn substantive criminal and evidentiary law. Course Information: Same as PSC 276.

LES 277. Trial Advocacy: Civil. 2 Hours.

This course is built around a simulated trial in which students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Students will develop trial advocacy skills, study courtroom procedures and etiquette, and learn substantive civil and evidentiary law. Course Information: Same as PSC 277.

LES 303. American Law in Comparative Perspective. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the core concepts of American law in comparison with those of other traditions. The ideas central to American law are presented in their historical and intellectual contexts. These ideas are then contrasted to those abroad to provide a foundation in American law and its place among world legal systems. Course Information: Recommended: Lower division course in the American legal system.

LES 307. Law and Society. 3 Hours.

Introductory, interdisciplinary survey of the functions of law in society. Analyzes law, legal and social institutions, and legal theory, with special emphasis on issues of justice, fairness, and equality.

LES 333. ECCE: Sexual Orientation and Public Policy. 3 Hours.

Interdisciplinary examination of factual basis of majority ideas about sexual orientation, gender identity, or sexuality used to assign important legal rights and disabilities to lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Explores political movements and issues involved in the struggle for civil rights for sexual minorities. Requires an open mind. Course Information: Same as PSC 333, SOA 333, and WGS 333. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of U.S. Communities.

LES 334. ECCE: LGBTQ Law and Politics. 3 Hours.

This course examines the U.S. sexual minority community through the prism of politics and law. It explores the history and contemporary dynamics of the LGBT rights movement and investigates the ways in which dynamics in U.S. law politics have limited and advanced the movement. Course Information: Same as PSC 334, SOA 334, and WGS 334. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of U.S. Communities.

LES 351. The American Jury. 3 Hours.

Provides an interdisciplinary examination of the fascinating socio-legal institution that is the jury. Encourages critical analysis of how laypersons from different communities make legal decisions as well as the jury's history and role in both civil and criminal trials. Course Information: Same as PSC 351.

LES 352. History of American Law. 3 Hours.

Historical examination of the professional and constitutional development of law in the United States. Topics include the common-law legacy, substantive and procedural aspects of legal history, jurisprudence, the American lawyer, and the interaction of law with American society, thought, and politics. Course Information: Same as HIS 352.

LES 354. Philosophy of Law. 3 Hours.

Philosophy of justice, law and legal systems. Emphasizes origins, purposes and practices of legal institutions. Examines major legal theories about the nature of law and its place in political system. Course Information: Same as PSC 354.

LES 378. Mock Trial Competition: Criminal. 1 Hour.

In this course, students prepare for and participate in Mock Trial scrimmages and tournaments. Through academic competition, this course provides students with the opportunity to hone valuable skills, including critical thinking, active listening, public speaking, and teamwork. Course Information: Same as PSC 378. Prerequisites: LES/PSC 276 and permission of the instructor.

LES 379. Mock Trial Competition: Civil. 1 Hour.

In this course, students prepare for and participate in Mock Trial scrimmages and tournaments. Through academic competition, this course provides students with the opportunity to hone valuable skills, including critical thinking, active listening, public speaking, and teamwork. Course Information: Same as PSC 379. Prerequisites: LES/PSC 277 and permission of the instructor.

LES 380. Topics in Comparative Law. 3 Hours.

Examines how globalization, knowledge of the three major legal traditions affects different legal and political legal systems. Current legal issues will be studied in different legal cultures.

LES 401. Legal Research And Citation. 4 Hours.

Explores the principles of legal research into case, statutory, constitutional, and administrative law materials. Components of the course include an introduction to the kinds of law books, the use and patterns of law books, and the methods of finding and citing legal materials. Use of research tools such as digests, legal encyclopedias, legal periodicals, government documents, indexes, citators, treatises, and social science periodicals related to law is also stressed. Students are given training in and experience with computer-assisted legal research. Students write case briefs and are exposed to basic concepts in legal analysis. Course Information: Restricted to LES majors. Not for Freshman or Sophomore.

LES 404. Law and Inequality. 3,4 Hours.

Role of law and the legal system in creating, maintaining, and reducing inequality, with emphasis on race, class, and gender inequality in the United States. The relationship between law and the legal system and political/economic institutions and ideologies. Course Information: Same as PSC 421, SOA 425, and WGS 445.

LES 408. Media Law And Ethics. 4 Hours.

Examines media law and ethical decision-making from the standpoint of media producers, critics, and users. Case studies include obscenity and indecency, libel, privacy, advertising, conflict of interest, and rights of access. Lectures and discussions examine social and cultural contexts in which laws and ethical principles develop. Course Information: Same as COM 404 and PAR 404. Not intended for Freshmen or Sophomores.

LES 412. Making Mass Incarceration: Criminal Justice Policy, Past & Present. 3,4 Hours.

Today, the United States imprisons more of its citizens than any country in the world. How and why did we arrive in this era of "mass incarceration"? What, if anything, should we do to address this issue? These questions will serve as your guide as you read, think, discuss, and write about U.S. criminal justice policy in the past and present.

LES 413. Appellate Advocacy: Moot Court. 3,4 Hours.

In this course, students will study legal argumentation and prepare for, and participate in, the Model Illinois Government Moot Court Competition. In addition to completing assignments about legal reasoning and argumentation, students will examine and analyze the competition's fact pattern and will engage in role-playing simulations as lawyers and judges. Course Information: Same as PSC 414.

LES 414. American Constitution: Government Powers and Institutions. 3,4 Hours.

Introduction to federal constitutional law and constitutional theory. Considers the delineation of spheres of responsibility between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches and between the nation and the states.

LES 415. The Supreme Court and Judicial Politics. 3,4 Hours.

The place of the Constitution and Supreme Court in American policy, using both empirical and case materials. Focus on structure and powers of national government, with special emphasis on the Supreme Court as a policy-making institution. Course Information: Same as PSC 415.

LES 416. The American Constitution and Civil Liberties. 3,4 Hours.

Civil liberties constitutional law, with examination of the Supreme Court's role in the definition and development of civil liberties. Emphasis on Bill of Rights and Civil War Amendments. Course Information: Same as PSC 416.

LES 419. Environmental Law. 4 Hours.

Surveys the major federal statutes and regulatory schemes relating to environmental quality and analyzes and compares the contrasting approaches to regulation that have been used. Focuses on the interaction of law and policy and considers the role of Congress, the regulatory agencies, and the courts in defining and implementing environmental mandates. Course Information: Same as ENS 419, MPH 419, and PSC 419.

LES 420. National Security Issues and the U.S. Constitution. 3,4 Hours.

Provides an historical and contemporary examination of the issues of U.S. constitutional law raised during times of heightened concern about national security. Course Information: Same as PSC 420. Undergraduates are restricted to 3 credit hour sections; graduates are restricted to 4 credit hour sections.

LES 421. Law and Professional Sports. 3,4 Hours.

Explores how various bodies of law are applied to the sports industry. Analysis of intersection of sports with the law of contracts, employment, criminal justice, torts, and international law. Discussion of policy responses to challenges in sports such as drug use, behavior, and corruption.

LES 422. ECCE: Politics and Religion: Culture Wars. 4 Hours.

This ECCE course seeks to examine the multifaceted connections between politics and religion in the United States, although with a global perspective. Our goal will be to establish a dialogue on the issues that increasingly confront us about the proper role of religion in our public life. Course Information: Same as: HIS 422 and PSC 422. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of U.S. Communities.

LES 424. Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law. 3 Hours.

This class is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the development of law as it pertains to selected scientific principles and their application within the criminal justice system. Students completing this course should gain an improved understanding of the legal and scientific principles applicable to forensic evidence. Course Information: Same as CCJ 424.

LES 425. Business Law. 3,4 Hours.

This course examines the application of law to various business transactions. The course examines business associations, business in the context of major legal fields such as criminal law, tort law, contract law, and property law. In addition, the course addresses the government regulation of business and related ethical concerns from a theoretical perspective.

LES 435. ECCE: American Political Thought. 3,4 Hours.

This course examines developments in political thought in the United States from the American Revolution through the end of the twentieth century. Particular attention will be paid to issues of political inclusion and exclusion on the basis of race, gender, and class/economic status. Course Information: Same as PSC 435. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of U.S. Communities.

LES 441. Poverty, Law, and Justice. 3,4 Hours.

Addresses questions concerning what poverty is and why it exists. Will consider historical and current welfare policies in the U. S. and their implications with respect to societal well-being, individual rights, and justice. Discussion of the intersection of race, gender, and poverty, and possible solutions to the problem. Course Information: Same as PSC 441, SWK 441, and WGS 441.

LES 446. Family Law. 3,4 Hours.

Topics include divorce, domestic violence, illegitimacy, adoption, child support and custody, parental control, abuse and neglect laws, issues affecting the elderly, domestic law reform, and the impact of the women's rights movement. Course Information: Same as HDC 446, SOA 454, SWK 446, and WGS 446. Not for Freshman or Sophomores.

LES 447. Sex, Law, and Power. 3,4 Hours.

Overview of gender as a factor in American law with particular emphasis on women's rights and legal issues concerning women, including constitutional standards, employment relationships, education, family, criminal processes, sexual harassment and reproductive rights among other issues. Course Information: Same as WGS 447.

LES 448. Juvenile Law. 3,4 Hours.

Laws and legal practices governing children and youth, particularly wards of the courts and juvenile offenders. Rights of children, youth services available, and institutional practices and laws governing juveniles. Course Information: Same as CCJ 428.

LES 449. Employment Discrimination Law. 3,4 Hours.

Development and implementation of anti-discrimination laws in employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, terms and conditions, benefits and pay, with respect to race, gender, disability, religion, and national origin, among others. Course Information: Same as PAD 452 and WGS 449.

LES 451. Law, Film and Popular Culture. 3,4 Hours.

Movies capture, distort and shape public perception about the law, lawyers and the legal system. A focused look at how movies reflect and influence popular culture of law today. This class combines viewing films and written and oral critiques of the films and the images of the legal system and the law which they convey.

LES 453. The Politics of Reproduction. 4 Hours.

This interdisciplinary, discussion-based course will provide a critical examination of political and ideological influences on women and reproduction. Readings will focus on such themes as: birthing practices, birth control, eugenics, race and sterilization, abortion, reproductive technologies, and the political economy of wombs in the world of adoption. Course Information: Same as PSC 453 and WGS 473.

LES 454. Law and Literature. 3,4 Hours.

This course explains important aspects of the law through close readings of literary texts. Through these texts, we will address legal theory, ethics and history, black letter law, legal controversies regarding race, gender, sexuality, and whether or not there is a moral obligation to obey the law. We will read several novels, short stories, and plays in addition to short excerpts from secondary sources such as legal cases, theoretical and philosophical texts and popular culture.

LES 456. Capitalism and the Law. 3,4 Hours.

This course explores capitalism as a creation of law. It considers how a variety of American legal institutions have demarcated what can be owned, what can be sold, and how economic power is to be distributed in a democratic society. It examines capitalism and the law from several disciplinary perspectives, and through the experiences of many different kinds of economic actors – including workers, debtors, property owners, welfare recipients, and reformers.

LES 462. International Law and Organizations. 3,4 Hours.

This course will examine the major principles and concepts of international law. Students will study the sources of international law, the purposes of international organizations, and affected issues such as security, peacekeeping, ethnic conflicts, human rights, and economic and social development. Course Information: Same as PSC 462. Undergraduates are restricted to 3 credit hour sections; graduates are restricted to 4 credit hour sections.

LES 463. Labor Law. 3,4 Hours.

Study of concepts and laws governing collective bargaining in both private and public sectors. Includes a thorough discussion of bargaining units, election procedures, unfair labor practices, and good faith bargaining.

LES 464. Introduction to Human Rights. 3,4 Hours.

Introduces human rights as a domestic and international phenomenon. Focus on cultural, economic, political, and social rights, and their implications for particular groups such as race, gender, age, religion, nationality, language, political affiliation, and disability status. Specific issues such as human trafficking will be explored through the lens of international law. Course Information: Same as CCJ 463 and IGS 464.

LES 465. International Human Rights Law: Skills and Advocacy. 3,4 Hours.

This course aims at providing students with a background to international human rights law and the institutions that carry it out. While providing students with an overview of rights-based norms, the course will primarily focus on how work is undertaken promoting human rights, skills are necessary to undertake such work and opportunities for becoming involved. The course will combine discussions and exercises as well as notable speakers from international organizations carrying out rule of law functions.

LES 469. Learning to be a Lawyer. 3,4 Hours.

This course provides an overview of the U.S. legal profession and the historical, economic, and sociological forces that shape the profession and the practice of law. A central focus of this course is to examine the everyday realities of the practice of law and explore what it means to be a lawyer - a "professional" - in a variety of the many contexts in which lawyers work, including big firms, small firms, solo practices, and government law offices. Class readings, critical discussion, and taped interviews with practicing lawyers will examine such topics as the history of the American legal profession, the changing social structure of the bar, the business of practicing law, public interest and "cause" lawyering, the realities of legal ethics in everyday law practice, issues in the practice of law for women and minorities, and the future of legal practice and the legal profession.

LES 472. Research Methods for Legal Studies. 3 Hours.

Introduces students to social science research process as applied in law. Includes an examination of research methods and techniques used in the empirical study of law, such as survey, ethnography, content analysis, comparative and historical methods, among others. Students are exposed to works by legal scholars utilizing the law and society approach. Course Information: Prerequisites: C or better in LES 401. Not for Freshman or Sophomores.

LES 474. Law of Evidence. 3,4 Hours.

Basic study of rules of evidence for nonlawyers working in lawyer-support or investigatory situations that require basic evidentiary knowledge. Provides practical knowledge of problems faced in investigations with a view toward evidentiary sufficiency and possible admissibility in hearings or trials. Course Information: Same as CCJ 474.

LES 475. Government Regulations and Administrative Law. 3,4 Hours.

Administrative law and administrative agencies, the so called 4th branch of government, have a profound effect on everyone's daily lives. They dictate who, what, where, why and how things are done. This course will explore their impact on Federal and state governments and the American people.

LES 476. Immigration and the Law: The Regulation of World Travel. 3,4 Hours.

In this class students will address major themes in the relationship between global migration and law. Students will be introduced to the historical roots of travel and immigration, the development of U.S. immigration law, and current topics such as mass migration, refugees, trafficking in persons and the regulation of migrant labor. Students will have the opportunity to engage in thoughtful debate as well as practicing legal and analytical skills throughout the course.

LES 477. Criminal Procedure. 3,4 Hours.

Examines the rights of criminal defendants as set out in the U.S. Constitution and interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Studies procedures governing state and federal criminal justice systems and related public policies using court opinions, statutes, and case studies. Course Information: Same as CCJ 417.

LES 478. Substantive Criminal Law. 3,4 Hours.

Examines the elements of selected crimes, using both state and federal court cases and statutes. Topics include criminal responsibility, criminal liability, and criminal defenses. Particular attention paid to the Illinois criminal code. Course Information: Same as CCJ 418.

LES 480. Special Topics Seminar. 2-4 Hours.

Intensive examination of selected issues important to study of the legal system. Topics announced each time course is offered. Course Information: May be repeated if topics vary.

LES 488. ECCE: Conviction of the Innocent. 3,4 Hours.

A multi-disciplinary examination of the conviction of people for serious crimes who are likely to be innocent. Will examine policies that contribute to this system and explore alternative solutions that minimize the chances of convicting innocent people. Course Information: This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of U. S. Communities.

LES 489. Closing Seminar: Ethics and Current Legal Questions. 3 Hours.

A seminar for legal studies undergraduates in their final semester, providing an opportunity to build on research and writing skills and integrating the law and liberal arts. Students explore current social and legal problems, critically analyze solutions, and suggest appropriate alternatives. The content of the course varies from semester to semester.

LES 499. Tutorial. 1-8 Hours.

Intended to supplement, not supplant, regular course offerings. Students interested in a tutorial must secure the consent of the faculty member concerned before registration and submit any required documentation to him or her. Course Information: Credit/No Credit grading only. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) if topics vary.

LES 501. Introduction to Graduate Legal Studies. 4 Hours.

Provides a common framework for graduate students in legal studies, focusing on such topics as history and philosophy of justice, law, and legal institutions. Course Information: Prerequisites: College course in American government.

LES 504. Graduate Seminar. 4 Hours.

A seminar for second-year graduate students that provides an opportunity to build on and further develop research, writing, and analytical thinking skills and to apply these skills to the resolution of a current legal problem(s) or issue(s) in such a way that the relationship of law to society and to social change is heightened. Seminar design varies with instructor. The final paper in this course will be reviewed by the Graduate Review Committee and will constitute the master's level project. NOTE: If the course requirements are not completed during the initial four-hour enrollment, students must register for LES 597 for zero credit hours (one billable hour) in all subsequent semesters until these requirements are completed. Course Information: Prerequisites: LES 587, or equivalent experience, and permission of instructor.

LES 512. Theories of Justice. 4 Hours.

This course will provide an introduction to a range of theories that consider the meaning of justice. The topics covered will include classics theories from the tradition of philosophical liberalism as well as contemporary critical theories, with a focus on how these frameworks conceptualize law and interpret legal issues.

LES 513. Seminar in Politics and Law. 4 Hours.

Exploration of inequality in the American political and legal system; nature and functions of law in general, given the economic and political organization of American society. Law and the legal system viewed from the critical perspective, including relationship between the legal system and justice, fairness, and equality. Issues of inequality, race, class, and gender will be stressed. Course Information: Same as PSC 513.

LES 519. Seminar in Courts and Policymaking. 4 Hours.

This graduate seminar focuses on courts as policymaking institutions and their relationship to other institutions. The wisdom, legitimacy, and efficacy of judicial policymaking will be explored, with a particular focus on courts and social policy. The extent to which courts can achieve social change is also addressed. Course Information: Same as PSC 519.

LES 522. Health Care Law, Patient Privacy, and HIPAA. 4 Hours.

Covers basic concepts in the law as it relates to health care with emphasis on the implications of the privacy requirements of the HIPAA law and it's privacy regulations. Students will review and address issues dealing with access to care, patient and provider rights and responsibility, the interplay of state and federal regulatory schemes and evolving legal issues related to delivering health care. Special emphasis will be placed on the impact the new HIPAA rules relating to access to patient records and privacy.

LES 523. Constitutional Theory and Interpretation. 4 Hours.

This course examines debates surrounding the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Various theories will be addressed and critically examined. Course Information: Same as PSC 523.

LES 524. Law and Social Movements. 4 Hours.

Explore social movements’ efforts to use law as a tool of social change. Examines how activists engage the courts and other law-making bodies to reform the law and broader political, social, and economic conditions. Key questions: Is litigation capable of producing meaningful change? What role do lawyers play in movements? How do courts shape movements? What are the limits and potential pitfalls of legal campaigns? Course Information: Same as PSC 524.

LES 525. Health Law. 4 Hours.

Introduce students to health law, patient/physician relationship, informed consent, the liability of health care professionals and health care institutions, structure of health care enterprises, life and death decisions and public health.

LES 554. Clinical Education. 1-8 Hours.

Work experience in a legal setting. Placement arranged and supervised by student's adviser or program's clinical educational instructor. Course Information: Credit/No Credit grading only. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours.

LES 587. Public Advocacy. 4 Hours.

Focus on skills, methods, and strategies of institutional advocacy. Students study the role and uses of effective advocacy, both written and oral, through structured readings and use of various advocacy techniques in a variety of posited situations. Topics of current interest that are allied to students' thesis research topics will be emphasized. Course Information: Prerequisite: LES 401, or equivalent course and LES 501.

LES 590. Thesis. 1-8 Hours.

NOTE: If the thesis is not completed by the time eight hours are accrued in continuing enrollment, students must register for LES 598 for zero credit hours (one billable hour) in all subsequent semesters until the thesis is completed. Course Information: Credit/No Credit grading only. May be repeated a maximum of 8 hours.

LES 597. Graduate Seminar Continuing Enrollment. 0 Hours.

Refer to the NOTE in course description for LES 504. Course Information: May be repeated.

LES 598. Thesis Continuing Enrollment. 0 Hours.

Refer to the NOTE in course description for LES 590. Course Information: May be repeated.

LES 599. Tutorial. 1-8 Hours.

Independent study, structured readings, or research in fields of legal studies and administration of justice. Course Information: Credit/No Credit grading only. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) if topics vary.