Current Students

History and Philosophy of Law

Please make your selection from the list below:

Advocacy and Adjudication (HIPH7512)

2 credits. Lecture.

Introduction to the judicial process and its many dimensions, including legal philosophy, jurisprudence, the common law, statutory and constitutional construction, precedent, decision making theory, burdens of proof, standards of appellate review and other concepts. In addition to our study of the adjudicative process, which is thoroughly covered by the required text, we will apply these principles to advocacy during our lectures and class discussions. The advocacy portion of the course will draw upon the practical experience of the adjunct professors as judge, law clerk and lawyer, as well as the valuable insights of our guest lecturers.

back to top

American Legal History (HIPH7502)

2 credits. Lecture.

This seminar will present a survey of American legal history. Readings and discussions will focus on the relationship between law and change in the economy and in conceptions of liberty. Most law school classes, quite naturally, describe the law as it is and include some discussion of policy based on general values such as efficiency or individual flourishing. In the process of discussing the law in these terms, we come to believe, subconsciously, that our legal system is natural or inevitable, subject to some relatively minor improvements. The study of history reminds us that the law is not, in fact, “just there.” Legal practices and beliefs can change, and have changed, suddenly and dramatically. This course looks at the development of modern legal doctrines from their sometimes very different early incarnations. The topics covered include aspects of property law, torts, contracts, labor law, criminal law, and race and civil rights.

back to top

Canon Law (HIPH7505)

2 credits. Lecture.

This course traces the law of the Church from its roots in Roman law to the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1983. Featured will be: the structure of the code; principles governing the making, applying, and interpreting of canonical norms; the sacramental concept of marriage; Church remedy for invalid marriages: annulment, other remedies; and related procedures and practice of tribunal. The course in Canon Law will be both cultural and practical, with background in Judaic and Islamic law, and comparisons to Common Law.

back to top

Catholic Social Doctrine (HIPH9513)

3 credits. Seminar.

As lawyers and as humans, we are all faced with two great questions: What does it mean to be human? And what makes for a just society in which humans can develop their full potential? Over the past century the Popes have published a large number of documents (mostly encyclicals) that attempt to answer those questions in the light of Christ's teachings and of natural law philosophy. They have explored a wide range of issues from the broadest questions of what rights derive from being human and what constitutes human flourishing to much more specific questions about the right to private property, the principles that should govern economic life, the role of work in human life and society, just wages, and international relations. The current Pope, John Paul II, has expanded and developed the thought of his predecessors adding to it many elements drawn from his own "personalist" philosophy. The ideas set forth in catholic social teaching have their ultimate roots in Christ's teaching and in the Christian tradition as it has developed over the past two thousand years. They are not, however, strictly speaking religious ideas. Rather, they constitute a largely philosophical answer to the most basic questions which underlie the law. As such, their interest and appeal is not limited to Catholics or even to Christians. In this seminar, we will read some of the major documents and discuss their implications for the legal order.

back to top

Chief Justice Hughes's Influence on the Development of New Jersey Law (HIPH9520)

3 credits. Seminar.

Note: Students can only apply either Chief Justice Hughes' Influence on the Development of NJ Law (HIPH9520), State Constitutional Law (PUBR9175) or New Jersey Constitutional Law (PUBR7906) towards degree requirements.

This seminar will focus on the jurisprudence of Richard J. Hughes who was Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1973 to 1978. During that time he authored many important decisions. Of particular note were: a number of opinions dealing with the area of school funding - an area of the law shich continues to perplex the state; the famous Quinlan decision in which the Court led the nation in considering issues relating to the right to die; American Trial Lawyers v. The New Jersey Supreme Court, asserting the court's control over the practice of law. Chief Justice Hughes wrote 27 majority opinions, 5 concurring opinions and 12 dissenting opinions. Richard J. Hughes was also the Governor of the State of New Jersey for eight years in the 1960s. During that time the legislature passed many new laws. The seminar will also look at man of those laws passed during Governor Hughes's terms, his influence on the passage of those laws and their continuing effect upon the state. There was a constitutional convention during Hughes's years as Governor. The seminar will analyze his influence on the constitutional convention and its continuing importance today. All students in the seminar will write a paper fulfilling the Advanced Writing Requirement. Students will also be partially graded on class attendance and participation.

back to top

History of Legal Thought (HIPH7515)

2 credits. Lecture.

This course on the History of Legal Thought begins with ancient near eastern law (Hammurabi's Code and ancient Israel) and spends some time on the Greeks and Roman law. Then we turn our attention to the gift and barter economy, Aristotle and Aquinas, St. Francis, the idea of the corporation, property, contracts, criminal and international law and some modern approaches to legal thought. Original sources will be included in the reading with almost every topic.

back to top

Jurisprudence (course) (HIPH7501)

3 credits. Lecture.

Note: Students cannot apply both Jurisprudence (HIPH7501) and A Jurisprudence Seminar (HIPH9519) towards degree requirements.

This philosophy of law course will address fundamental questions including: what is law; what are the origins of law; how does law function in government and society; and how does law effect and define the individuals and groups in any society? Readings will be from primary sources: Aristotle, Plato, the Bible, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Abraham Lincoln, De Tocqueville, Martin Luther King, and contemporary commentators, supplemented by legislation and selected cases.

back to top

Jurisprudence Seminar, A (HIPH9519)

3 credits. Seminar.

Note: Students cannot apply both A Jurisprudence Seminar and Jurisprudence (HIPH7501) towards degree requirements.

This seminar will consider different definitions and perspectives of law, characteristics of different schools of jurisprudence with particular emphasis on conceptions of the nature and function of rules, the scope of judicial discretion in the interpretation and application of the law and the relationship between law and morality. The goal of the course is to demonstrate how a lawyer's legal philosophy, i.e., perception of the nature and function of law, whether held consciously or not, affects the lawyer's approach to the practice of law, deciding cases as a judge or the performance of other functions as a principle participant in the administration of justice. Students will be required to write a paper on the judicial philosophy of a State Supreme Court judge reflected in a study of a number of written opinions of that judge.

back to top

Law and Economics (course) (HIPH7510)

3 credits. Lecture.

Note: Students cannot apply both Law and Economics (HIPH7510) and Law and Economics Seminar (HIPH9523) towards degree requirements.

This course will examine a number of areas of traditional legal study using the theoretical approaches developed by the conservative "Chicago" and liberal "Yale" schools of law and economics. After a brief review of basic economics, it will examine topics from such areas as: tort, property, contracts, civil procedure, environmental regulation and bankruptcy. The course will also discuss some of the problems for democratic theory presented by "public choice" theory. The strengths and weaknesses of law and economics will be explored.

back to top

Law and Economics (seminar) (HIPH9523)

2 credits. Seminar.

Note: Students cannot apply both Law and Economics Seminar (HIPH9523) and Law and Economics (HIPH7510) towards degree requirements.

This course will critically examine a number of areas of traditional legal study using the theoretical approaches adapted from consumer welfare economics. After a brief review of basic economics, it will examine topics from such areas as: tort, property, contracts, economic regulation, and antitrust. The course will also consider the economic analysis of constitutional law and voting methods embodied in public choice theory. The strengths and weaknesses of law and economics will be explored. AWR paper or optional open book take home exam.

back to top

Law and Literature - Fall Semester (HIPH9510)

2 credits. Seminar.

A philosophical exploration of the legal, social, political, ethical, and moral challenges faced by lawyers as presented in a survey of literature, drama, film, scholarly writings, statutes, and judicial decisions. This course will provide an opportunity to think about the law in a new way, to have a robust discussion of the larger questions of law, lawyering, and life, and to read engaging works of fiction and non-fiction that challenge and inspire. Works include The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

back to top

Professional Responsibility (HIPH7504)

2 credits. Lecture.

NOTE: Students should consult with the Board of Bar Examiners in the jurisdiction where they intend to seek admission to the bar as to whether that jurisdiction requires sitting for the MPRE.

This course is an introduction to the rules governing the lawyering process. It examines the legally imposed and conscience-imposed duties of members of the legal profession to clients, witnesses, opposing parties, governmental agencies and the public. It explores the economics of the legal profession and includes a detailed examination of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility and other related standards of proper conduct. Students planning to sit for the New Jersey Bar Examination must achieve a grade of "C" or better in the Professional Responsibility course as partial fulfillment of the requirements for application for admission to practice law. Students who receive a "C-", "D" or "D+" must sit for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) to be admitted to the New Jersey Bar.

back to top

Topics in Islamic Law and Jurisprudence (HIPH9500)

3 credits. Seminar.

This seminar will explore a series of important and timely issues in Islamic Jurisprudence and Law. After offering the students a brief overview of Islamic Jurisprudence, the seminar will address several discussion topics, including Charity, Jihad, Islamic Finance, Slavery, and selected topics in Islamic Family Law. Several invited guest speakers will address the seminar and students will be responsible for preparing an approved research paper in one of the topic areas.

back to top

Slavery, Human Trafficking and the Law (HIPH7522)

2 credits. Lecture or 3 credits. Seminar

The Miami Declaration of Principles on Human Trafficking (February 10, 2005) reports that 600,000 to 2,000,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually and millions more are trafficked within borders, even though slavery is now declared to be illegal in every nation on the planet. An estimated 27 million people toil under bondage-like conditions around the world. The declaration further asserts that human trafficking has become the third-largest source of profits for organized crime, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. In spite of the illegality of trafficking and its condemnation by a broad cross-section of influential governmental and non-governmental voices, the practice seems to be exploding, raising the haunting spectre that slavery, with all its ills, will once again become an accepted part of our daily lives. This course will cause the student to ask why this is so, why it is often hidden from view, and to consider the role of the law in exposing and combating this pernicious evil. After briefly considering the historical background on the global abolition of slavery and the rise of human trafficking , the seminar will give the student a thorough introduction to the international, regional, and domestic legal rules, principles, policies, and administrative practices that are relevant to current efforts by international organizations, states, and non-governmental organizations to put an end to human trafficking. The seminar will then review a broad variety of legal sanctions, investigative techniques, and enforcement strategies used to eliminate trafficking and related crimes, focusing on why some have been successful and others have not. Particular attention will be paid to the roles that immigration policies, corporate employment practices, and prosecutorial decision-making play in this process. Finally, the course will look at current policies and proposals designed to increase the protection and successful reintegration of victims of human trafficking.

back to top

Professional Responsibility for the Corporate Lawyer (HIPH7507)

2 credits. Lecture.

NOTE 1: Students should consult with the Board of Bar Examiners in the jurisdiction where they intend to seek admission to the bars as to whether that jurisdiction requires sitting for the MPRE.

NOTE 2: Fulfills the Professional Responsibility requirement

NOTE 3: Students cannot apply both this course and Professional Responsibility (HIPH7504) towards degree requirements.

 This course is an introduction to the rules governing the lawyering process, specifically from the perspective of the attorney practicing in the non-litigation setting. Lawyers' responsibilities have become particularly complicated post-Sarbanes Oxley. In-House counsel can encounter issues distinct from outside counsel; in and outside counsel face new challenges in working with corporate compliance officers, who may or may not be attorneys. Even the attorney-client privilege itself can be more complicated to understand in the in-house context. Like all other Professional Responsibility courses, this class examines the legally imposed and conscience-imposed duties of members of the legal profession to clients, clients' employees, opposing parties, governmental agencies and the public. It includes a detailed examination of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility and other related standards of proper conduct. Students planning to sit for the New Jersey Bar Examination must achieve a grade of "C" or better in Professional Responsibility for the Corporate Lawyer course as partial fulfillment of the requirements for admission to practice law. Students who receive a "C-", "D" or "D+" must sit for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) to be admitted to the New Jersey Bar.

back to top

Islamic Jurisprudence (HIPH7517)

2 credits. Lecture.

This course introduces the student to the history, sources and methodology of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence (The Shrari'a). The student will gain a basic familiarity with the four primary sources of the Shari'a: The Holy Qu'ran, the Sunnah (precedent) of the Prophet Muhammad, the Doctrine of Ijma' (Consensus), and Qiyas (methods of analogical reasoning used by Islamic jurists). The seminar will use a historical perspective, tracing the development of the Islamic Science of Jurisprudence (Usal-al-Figh) and the four Sunni "Schools of Law" from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (632 A.D.) down to the present day. Topics considered will include: the Opening and Closing of the Gate of Ijtihad (independent legal reasoning); the Ottoman legal reforms; ancient and modern practices of Islamic tibunals and legislatures; Islamic legal education, and the role of the legal treatise in the Islamic legal system. Consideration will also be given to topics in Shi'a Jurisprudence and other issues of contemporary interest, including freedom of expression, the status and role of women in Islam, and relations between the Islamic State and the individual.

back to top

Constitutional and Political Issues in Education Reform (HIPH9525)

3 credits, Seminar

Certain minority groups continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in law schools and the legal profession, as well as in institutions of higher larning and leadership in general. Moreover, there continues to be great inequality in the achievements among different racial groups in K-12 education in the United States. This seminar will analyze the history of litigation surrounding race and inequalities in educational opportunities and outcomes. The seminar will challenge participants to explore ideas of race in the American consciousness, and examine the effect of different ideas regarding race on the law regarding education. Three main strategies of educational equality litigation will be explored through federal and state rulings, as well as critical scholarly articles. The seminar will also explore recent legislative approaches to equalizing educational outcomes through concepts such as choice, assessment standards and merit pay. All views regarding race will be respected, but each participant will be challenged to offer sound reasoning to back up any assertions made. Ultimately, in class participation and writing, participants will be asked to creatively consider the concrete outcomes of approaches of litigation and policy, and relate them to underlying ideals in regard to the continuing complex issues of race in America.

back to top

European Legal History (HIPH7509)

3 credits. Lecture.

Note: Students cannot apply both this course and History of the Western Legal tradition (HIPH 7506) towards degree requirements.

Diversity within unity has become the central theme in Europe after the end of communism.  The European Community has made it possible to speak once again in terms of legal unity.  Much earlier, Europe shared a great degree of legal unity through the civil law of Rome and the canon law of the western church.  Together with feudal law, these texts provided a common law for Europe, called the ius commune, which spread during the Middle Ages from Bologna to France, Germany and Spain, making trade easy and shared values a given.  Partly through the upheavals of the various religious reformations and wars in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries and the decline of the Christianized version of natural law philosophy, Europe broke up into factionalized groups with nation states embodying their national laws in codes during the 19th century.  More than nostalgia for lost unity was at stake.  Two world wars followed.  Then a more reflective Europe revived natural law in the European Court of Justice of the European Community.  The history of earlier European legal unity has once again become an exciting area for learning and comparison with these new achievements in Europe.  Reading representative legal texts, the class will explore the story of these origins, including merchant law, marriage laws, and equity as well as the deeds of great individuals. 

back to top

Legal Malpractice (HIPH8501)

2 credits. Lecture.

The course is a survey of every aspect of legal malpractice form both a theoretical and practice perspective. Students will be exposed to the leading cases from different jurisdictions in the United States as well as New Jersey case law. The aim of the course is to enhance students' understanding of the connection between good ethics and good practice. Focus is on the connection between professional ethics and legal malpractice and the practical problems confronting a lawyer bringing or defending legal malpractice claims which include: the determination of the standard of care, vicarious liability, the necessity of expert witness testimony, and the scope of compensatory and punitive damages. Part of the course will be devoted to practical skills training which includes: the drafting of pleadings, notice to produce documents, taking depostions of a lawyer defendant and expert witnesses; and drafting requests for jury charges and settlement negotiations.

back to top

Law and Literature - Spring Semester (HIPH9510)

2 credits. Seminar.

Many great works of literature involve legal issues and by reading these works, we can learn to think about the law and our lives as lawyers more broadly and more deeply. But it is also true that as law students and lawyers we have probably acquired more knowledge and experience about law than any other subject and we can use this knowledge to better understand the works and thoughts of the greatest writers. For this course, we will read six small works: The Stranger by Camus; Antigone by Sophocles; The Apology of Socretes by Plato; The Book of Judges in the Bible; Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare; and Billy Budd by Herman Melville.  We will also read essays by Martin Heidegger and Leo Strauss concerning the relationship between literature and law in the formation of societies and cultures.

back to top

Race, Ethnicity and the Law (HIPH9517)

3 Credits. Seminar.

American society has generally thought of race in terms of only two constituent racial groups, Black and White.  This seminar explores the limitations of the Black/White paradigm and confronts issues of particular salience to groups falling outside these narrow racial classifications.  It analyzes how the english-only movement, discrimination against immigrants, and gender bias intersect to marginalize and exclude Ltinos and Asian Americans, among others, from the political process.  The seminar will confront difficult questions such as: Is race legally and/or socially constructed?  How should a person's race/ethnicity be defined?  Are lighter skinned members of minority groups better able to assimilate than darker skinned members?  Is assimilation a desirable goal?  Particular emphasis will be placed on the notion of Latinos and asian Americans as foreigners and the obstacles to building coalitions between different racial and ethnic groups.

back to top

Professional Responsibility (Summer Session) (HIPH7504)

2 credits. Lecture.

This course examines the ethical rules governing lawyers and their application to various situations commonly occurring in legal practice. Students will participate in simulation exercises that require them to analyze and employ the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility and related standards of proper attorney conduct. The course will also include demonstrations and discussions of ethical problems, as well as lectures. Because the course will be taught in a compressed, seven-class format, students are expected to familiarize themselves with the Model Rules in advance of the first class. There will be short quizzes on the Rules during the first and last days of class. Students planning to sit for the New Jersey Bar Examination must achieve a grade of "C" or better in a Professional Responsibility course to avoid having to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). Students planning to apply for bar admission in another state should consult with the Board of Bar Examiners of that jurisdiction to determine whether they must take the MPRE.

back to top

Law and Morality (HIPH9504)

3 credits. Seminar.

This seminar is an introduction to ideas about the nature and function of law. Alternative conceptions of law and different schools of legal philosophy will be explored. Particular emphasis will be given to the differences between Natural Law, Legal Positivism, and Legal Realism. Some consideration will be given to the contemporary Law and Economics, Feminist and Critical Legal Studies movements. The major themes of the course are: (1) The different concepts and conceptions of the nature, function and meaning of law; (2) The relationship between legal, ethical and political theory; (3) The role of rules, principles, doctrines and standards in the adjudicatory process; and (4) The problem of discretion in legal decision making. The major goals of this course are: (1) to stimulate thought about the nature, function and ultimate justification for law; (2) to acquaint students with the fundamental questions that are at the core of the legal process; (3) to provide students with an appreciation of the value of legal theory for evaluating the merits of legal argument and legal decisions; and (4) to encourage students to expand their vision of the role of law and lawyers.

back to top

English Legal History (HIPH7503)

3 credits. Lecture.

The course examines thirteenth century property law and civil procedure, including the rise of equity; it also examines the Tudor treason trials, and the rise and fall of freedom of contract together with the history of the legal profession.

back to top

Military Law: Responsibilities, Rights, Benefits and Challenges of the American Armed Forces 1758-2008 (HIPH7508)

2 credits. Lecture.

This course is intended to ground the student in the history and tradition of a separate military law for members of the armed forces. The course also includes a review of veterans benefits. Each session will contain specific legal concepts relevant to the subject matter. The student may expect to have a broad appreciation for the importance of a separate law and procedure for the armed forces and veterans.

back to top