Course - Law


Recommended Courses:

Family Law, Criminal Law, Education Law, Immigration Law


Basic Course Objective:  This course is designed to acquaint law students with some of the principles, conflicts and policy choices in selected areas of Juvenile Law.  This is not a survey course in Juvenile Law where students might expect to cover a large number of topics.  Rather, we are planning to focus on a few discrete topics as illustrative of the difficult questions that challenge the law of children.


Course Structure:  Each week, we will examine a different and challenging problem in Juvenile Law.  Like Jeopardy!, the class is in the form of a question.  The first four weeks will be on topics chosen by the professor.   The remaining topics will be chosen by the class [with professor input].  


For each topic, there will be an overview followed by a class discussion of a focused issue.  For most classes, we will have the assistance of a guest expert who regularly works in the field and who deals with the problem under discussion.   Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions.  Students will be asked to help prepare and/or design the discussion of a particular topic.


In the past, the class has examined problems such as:


Is it better to be in a good foster home or with poor birth parents?


When should a Child Protective Services Worker be able to remove a child from her parents??         


Should we treat juvenile delinquents as special cases or as little adults?                   


Can you fix a substance abusing parent?                


Is success in school all about property values?


Are court processes therapeutic or destructive for kids?   


Should we arrest kids who fight in school?


Is your gang a better family than the one you were born into?


Should an unmarried teenager be allowed to keep her child?


Are Indian children different from other kids?


Should a child have a voice in who gets custody?


Should a child be allowed to refuse medical treatment?


Should we hold parents accountable for what their kids do?


Should the police be allowed to search and question children?


Should foster parents have a say in whether or not a child returns home?


Should we let some kids live on their own?


What should we do with citizen children when their immigrant parents are being deported?



Materials will be posted on forums throughout the semester. 

Course Format

We meet once a week to discuss the issue of the week. The professor will provide advance reading materials. Students will prepare a presentation and discussion with the assistance of the guest expert.  

Written Assignments

Students will be required to post weekly reactions on the class listserv.  

Type of Exam

No final exam. 

Basis for grading

Each student will be expected to prepare a 15 to 20 page research paper and to take responsibility for at least one class session per semester and one posting per class. 

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