Curriculum

Seminar in Children and the Law

L766 is taught by R. Levesque, Orenstein

This course examines the law#s response to the developmental understanding of childhood, with particular focus on distinguishing the rights of youth from those of adults. Much of our efforts center on understanding the myths and realities of legal doctrine governing childhood, particularly the transition to adulthood. To do so, students explore how the legal system responds to youth#s needs in a variety of social contexts and institutions (e.g., families, media, intimate relationships, schools, and religious institutions) and sociolegal systems (juvenile, child welfare, medical, mental health, and criminal justice systems). Supreme Court cases serve as our main texts, although students do consult empirical research and substantive areas of law in their writing projects. Students' grades are based on class participation relating to assigned readings as well as oral and written presentations describing the results of independent research projects.