LSJ 490 - CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND THE LAW
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to fundamental legal doctrines pertaining to children and their families with a dual focus on juvenile crime as well as child abuse and neglect. Throughout the term we will examine core tensions in the law’s approach to children and families and we will seek to understand how history, psychology, and social contexts shed light on the ongoing development of this relatively young body of law. Social justice implications in both domains will be highlighted as will opportunities to see “law in action” through field visits.
Overall Course Goals
- To orient students to key legal doctrines as well as constitutional protections pertaining to children and families.
- To provide the intellectual foundations for critical review and understanding of the premises, tensions, and contradictions that contribute to the formulation of law relating to children and families.
- To expose students to different modes of “law in action” and to reflect on the ways social justice issues are manifest in them.
- To further develop students’ analytic reading and writing skills.
The course includes a combination of short lecture, discussion, multimedia presentations, and field learning experiences. A primary focus is energetic engagement with course materials and assigned readings. The course is designed to provide opportunities for mutual engagement, critical reflection, and development of ideas.