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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

Legal Ethics

The legal ethics curriculum enables students to choose from a variety of courses to meet the law school's legal ethics course requirement, including courses that focus on religious faith and law practice, as well as corporate, criminal, and public interest law practice.

Consult the course catalog for specifics. Recent elective courses offered at the School of Law include:

 
Law 2572. Christian Perspectives on Law
Christians historically have had widely differing views of law (ranging from disdain to devotion). This seminar will explore that range of views and wrestle with whether the Christian faith has anything special to say about what the law should be. It will explore Christian perspectives on a variety of legal topics, as well as the schools of legal thought that dominate legal education today.

 
Law 2622. Faith, Morality, and Legal Practice

Focuses on the question of “how can I be an effective lawyer and remain consistent with my ethical, moral and religious values?” This course explores general issues of morality of legal practice through the perspective of religious traditions and other value systems. In addition, it covers the rules of the legal profession that govern lawyers.


Law 1972. Human Rights

This course will address certain rights that should be afforded all people in order to assure that they are treated as “humans,” both in time of peace and war. Those rights may include human rights such as free speech, the right to worship, and the right to live as and where one wishes; political rights, such as the right to vote and to fair treatment in the courts; economic rights, such as the right to a minimum standard of living, and various other topics, such as torture and capital punishment. The course will also focus on domestic, regional, and international enforcement mechanisms.


Law 2162. Islamic Law

This course is designed to introduce students to the origins and sources of Islamic Law such as the Quran, Al Hadith (traditional), and Ijithad (jurisprudence). It will also review the application of Islamic Law in the present Islamic countries as the law of the land, or as adopted and incorporated in the laws of commerce, economics, personal status (marriage, divorce, inheritance) and obligations.


Law 2200. Jewish Law
This course provides a forum for students to explore the history, literature and process of Jewish law. No knowledge of Hebrew or prior study of Jewish law is required for the course. Following introductory classes on the sources and structure of Jewish law, the course will examine the dynamics of the legal system by looking at such areas as: biblical interpretation in civil and ritual law, capital punishment, self-incrimination, the duty of confidentiality, abortion, the interaction of Jewish law with other legal systems, and the application of Jewish law in the Israeli legal system. There will be an emphasis on comparative analysis, and course materials will include discussion of Jewish law in contemporary American legal scholarship. Grades are based upon a research paper, a draft of which each student will present to the class toward the end of the semester.

 
Law 1472. Law and Morality Seminar

A study of the relationship between law and morality. The seminar will explore whether the law is based on moral principles, whether it should be based on moral principles, and if so, how such moral principles should be derived. The course may explore civil disobedience, “victimless” crimes, capital punishment, regulation of abortion, racial and other forms of discrimination, sexual conduct and drug use, the duty to rescue, enforcement of promises, concepts of fault in tort law, the place of moral principles in martial dissolution, and whether the development of the moral character of its citizens is an appropriate end of government. Students will be required to research and write a paper.


Law 2108. Restorative Justice
This course explores the restorative justice movement, a systematic approach to criminal justice that emphasizes repairing harm caused or revealed by criminal behavior. Restorative justice incorporates aspects of alternative dispute resolution and civil law into criminal matters in furtherance of its overarching goals of healing and reconciliation. The course considers where the movement originated, how it has developed in the past twenty years, the opportunities and challenges it confronts, and specific ways in which it can be woven into and implemented as part of the criminal process.