Legal Studies (LS)

LS500: Legal Methods and Process

This course introduces students to the legal system. This course will examine why the government exists and the United States system of constitutional government. The course will analyze the roles of Congress and the executive branch of government in the legal system as well as the roles of the courts and federalism in modern society. Explanations of the influences of political parties and public policy on the legal system will be presented. Additionally, course content will illustrate the importance of civil liberties and civil rights.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS501: Ethics and the Professional

This course will explore the concept of normative ethics and morality and its relationship to the professional while examining the concepts of ethics in the legal, social, and political environments. The focus will be on general ethical principles, application of ethical principles, examination of ethical leadership, and the determination of fundamental and common values in society that govern societal institutions.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS502: Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing

This course focuses on reading, analyzing, and applying the law found in a variety of legal sources including cases, statutes, administrative rulings, and journal articles. Topics will include methods to analyze cases to determine the facts, issues, analysis, and holdings of a case as well as determining the meaning and purpose of statutes, legislative enactments, and administrative rulings. You will engage in a variety of legal writing, including case briefs, memoranda, and opinions, and will engage in computerized research and develop skills in writing as well as proper citation of legal materials.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS503: Jurisprudence and Legal History

This course will provide you with a view of the sources and historical development of legal principles as well as the philosophical foundations of American legal principles. You will develop an understanding of significant trends in American legal history as well as current trends in development of law and the philosophy of the law that is the underpinning of many public policy actions.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS504: Applied Research in Legal Studies

This course teaches a scientific approach to solving social problems using experimental research methods. You will practice project planning, data analysis, and program evaluation. You will learn the process of putting together an independent research project on a legal or policy-related issue and create a concise problem statement leading up to a problem-solving plan. You will apply academic research tools for constructing literature reviews that culminate with a prospectus, or basic proposed plan, that lays forth the methods of their investigation. By the end of the course, you will have acquired an additional research tool that will affect your professional goals and prospects. This course lays the groundwork for the second level applied research course.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: Third to last term

LS506: Understanding Civil Responsibility

This course explores the resolution of private disputes between citizens and institutions in society. You will study the methods established by society for the measure of appropriate conduct in personal and institutional relationships. You will also study the process provided for the resolution of those disputes and the remedies in place in society for the violation of those measures.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS507: Understanding Criminal Responsibility

This course explores the processes of establishing individual responsibility for violation of individual societal standards of behavior and the remedies for violations of those standards. You will study the scope of criminal law, including criminal jurisdiction, the essential elements of crimes, and personal crime, including personal property. You will also examine the law of the use of force as well as public order crimes.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS508: Family and the Legal System

In this course you will learn about family law and work with contracts, including prenuptial, postnuptial, annulment, separation agreements, and parenting plans. This course will also cover the financial aspects such as alimony and child support. Finally, you will be introduced to the intake process, discovery, and division of property.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS509: Contracts as Private Law

This course will deal with the concept of the contract as a tool in a society of individuals to establish private law through agreement. You will study basic elements of the contract including offer and acceptance, damages, and restitution as well as the relationship of the contract as a foundational aspect of societal institutions and organization and the philosophical underpinnings of the contract as an interface between law and society.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS510: Intellectual Property

This course will explore various intellectual property protections including patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret; the desirability of providing such monopolistic protections, and their impact upon society. The course will further explore how these protections impact and relate to content creation, distribution, and storage in digital media space. You will be introduced to ownership, infringement, and licensing issues related to these property rights, and to the interrelationship between these issues and emerging digital media technologies.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS526: Academic and Professional Writing for Graduate Students

Writing effectively and accurately is a necessary skill in the academic and professional worlds. Academic and Professional Writing for Graduate Students is designed to prepare you for the demands of academic and professional writing in your coursework, professional career, and final capstone research paper. You will learn to communicate complex material clearly to a wide variety of expert and nonexpert readers; write for the kinds of audiences that you will encounter as professionals and who rely on the words on the page to make meaning. This course will introduce basic elements of academic and professional writing at the holistic and sentence level. You will gain an understanding of audience and purpose, as well as the graduate research, writing, and formatting process. Emphasis is placed on citing and quoting primary materials, writing organizational strategies, grammar, editing, and usage so that you perfect your writing skills.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

LS602: Comprehensive Exam Capstone

As a final step in the Master of Science in Legal Studies, students may choose the nonthesis option and successfully complete a comprehensive exam. This comprehensive exam incorporates the program outcomes of the Master of Science in Legal Studies program. This exam is designed to carefully assess a student's overall learning in the program. Successful completion of the exam allows both student and faculty to measure and acknowledge a successful learning experience for the student.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: Last term

LS698: Applied Research

In the second of two courses in applied research, you will develop the tools of reflective inquiry and collaborative practice. You will continue to engage in an analysis of current issues and acquire the basic steps in the social science research process: developing research questions, determining research design, collecting data, and analyzing data. You will examine the challenges involved in this practice for professionals in the legal system. In addition, you will complete the design of the applied research plan that they initiated in LS504.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS504