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Legal Studies (LGS) Course Descriptions

Department of Political Science and Geography, College of Liberal and Fine Arts


LGS 2013  Introduction to Legal Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
An introduction to legal studies from an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring historical and contemporary aspects of the content, operations, and effects of law in societies.

LGS 3013  Legal Research and Writing
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
Provides students with the opportunity to explore the modes and sources of legal research, both traditional and electronic. CRJ 3613 Legal Research and Writing may be substituted for LGS 3013 in the LGS minor. (Same as CRJ 3613. Credit cannot be earned for both LGS 3013 and CRJ 3613.)

LGS 3113  Minorities and the Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
This course examines the litigation, case law, legislation, and legal literature associated with African Americans and Mexican Americans in the United States. (Formerly titled "Blacks, Chicanos, and the Law.")

LGS 3213  Law School Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
Basic introduction to the primary subject areas covered in American law schools. Topics generally include Property, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, Family Law, Constitutional Law, and Professional Ethics. Topic coverage may extend to corporations, oil and gas, tax, or other more specialized topics. The course will better prepare students for the anticipated coursework and subject matter for the transition to law school.

LGS 3313  Science and the Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
This course will examine contemporary issues involving science and law. Students will have the opportunity to explore these issues through examination of (a) the governing legal structure (statutory, administrative and judicial), (b) historical, cultural, and political perspectives, (c) public policy, and (d) their societal and scientific impact. Course may include local issues.

LGS 3323  Constitutional Analysis I
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
An analysis of constitutional cases, issues, and modes of interpretation focusing on governmental powers. Provides students the opportunity to hone analytical, critical reading, and writing skills and to increase substantive knowledge of constitutional law.

LGS 3333  Constitutional Analysis II
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
An analysis of constitutional cases, issues, and modes of interpretation focusing on the Bill of Rights, individual freedoms, and equal protection. Provides students the opportunity to enhance analytical, critical-reading, and writing skills and to increase substantive knowledge of constitutional law.

LGS 3413  Regulatory Law and Enterprise
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
This course examines federal, state, and local administrative and regulatory engagement with Texan, American, and international enterprise. Students have the opportunity to explore law and policies affecting economic development, property, oil and gas, international trade, the Internet, and the environment.

LGS 4013  Issues in Law and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013, LGS 2013 or LGS 2623.
Provides students with the opportunity to conduct research on selected issues associated with the law and society. May be repeated for credit when topics vary, with permission of the Director of the Institute for Law and Public Affairs.

LGS 4123  Legal and Philosophical Reasoning
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
An intensive analysis of selected philosophical texts focusing on law and justice. Students are challenged to develop critical reading and thinking skills by studying the texts of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Dworkin, Hart, and/or others who outline difficult arguments and unfamiliar ideas. Emphasis is placed on drawing reasoned conclusions, advocating positions, and expressing oneself in oral and written forms. (Same as POL 4123. Credit cannot be earned for both LGS 4123 and POL 4123.)

LGS 4133  Analytical Reasoning, Logic, Argumentation, and Law School Admission
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
This course provides students with the opportunity to develop and master techniques of focused reading, analytical reasoning, logic, argumentation, and the drawing of reasoned conclusions, placed in the context and modes of questioning appropriate to law school admission and education. Skills learned are relevant not only to law school, but also to developing and assessing arguments throughout college, career, and life.

LGS 4223  Torts
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
This course provides students with the opportunity to analyze American tort law. Topics may include negligence, intentional torts, affirmative defenses, and legal damages, as well as vicarious products and strict liability. Students should be prepared to read, brief, and discuss case law.

LGS 4233  Federal Courts
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: POL 1013.
An examination of the operations, procedures, holdings, and opinions of federal courts, designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain a sophisticated understanding of the role of the federal judiciary in our constitutional system.

LGS 4913  Independent Study
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: POL 1013; permission in writing (form available) from the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and writing under direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree. A maximum of 3 semester credit hours may be applied to the minor.

LGS 4933  Internship in Legal Studies
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: POL 1013; consent of internship coordinator.
Supervised experience relevant to legal studies within selected community organizations. A maximum of 3 semester credit hours may be applied to the minor.

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