Skip to main content

Foundations in Law

Foundations in Law helps students understand why we live under the rule of law, and how laws are created, enforced, interpreted, and changed. The course enables students to examine diverse areas of law, including criminal, civil, constitutional, and international. It also explores civil rights issues and the role of advocacy, civics, and the media in our legal system.

Students are encouraged to consider these topics through several lenses:

  • Philosophical and Historical: Theoretical foundations of the legal system, and purposes and justifications of laws and social contracts.
  • Power and Fairness: How the law and legal systems can be used both to protect and oppress. The balance of different kinds of power within society is also explored.
  • U.S. Law and Law Enforcement: How laws are created, enforced, and interpreted. The relationship between law and public policy at the federal, state and local levels of government are also studied.
  • Advocacy and Policy: How individuals and groups, including young people, can take action to reform our legal system.
  • Career Exploration: What career paths exist in the legal and criminal justice systems, and how the pursuit of a particular profession can serve as a form of civic action.
  • Comparative Systems: How the U.S. legal system compares with legal and political systems, philosophies, and practices of other countries.