This course is an introduction to legal research; fundamentals of legal writing; and fundamental analysis of treaties, customary law, and other sources of law. This course will provide an overview of current research techniques in the field of legal systems and research. Students will learn and apply professional writing skills in the early research paper drafting process and will incorporate techniques outlined in the course.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
As the world continues to become more interconnected, the ability to understand different legal systems becomes increasingly more valuable. This course is designed to introduce the student to the foundational principles upon which legal systems have developed and grown. The student will examine the purpose, function, and historical development of different types of legal systems.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe the major characteristics of several legal traditions that appear around the world.
- Explain how different legal traditions manifest in various societies.
- Compare and contrast the characteristics of various legal traditions.
- Analyze a society that contains multiple legal traditions simultaneously.
- Identify and analyze the benefits and challenges faced by various legal traditions, and propose a solution to at least one of those challenges.
- Demonstrate proper legal citation style.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are a collaborative learning experience. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. The thread must be between 400–600 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, integrate biblical principles, and include at least 1 scholarly source in addition to/other than the textbook/course material and the Bible, cited in Bluebook format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be between 200–400 words and contain at least 1 scholarly source cited in Bluebook format.
Research Essay Assignments (4)
The student will write 5–6 page research essays in current Bluebook format that focuses on legal systems. Each research essay assignment must include at least 5 additional scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook and the Bible. Research essay assignments should be submitted in Word or PDF document format.
Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the Modules: Weeks in which it is assigned, as well as prior readings identified in the relevant assignment instructions. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 18–25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 60 minute time limit.
Note: LL.M students must add an additional 2500 words of writing in their final paper. This is a Pass/Fail component of this assignment. This is not required of the JM students.