Professor Samuel D. Hodge, Jr.
Law is one of the most important forces that shapes and regulates conduct in both individual and societal settings. The legal system in the United States is unlike any other in the world and this course will examine the development, complexity and diversity of it. By establishing a framework that dictates the relationships between individuals and society, the law influences most aspects of life and creates social norms. The legal system is a work in progress; in more than 200 years, it has evolved to encompass waves of political, economic, and social change. Those who depart from established norms are subjected to a variety of punishments ranging from civil lawsuits to criminal prosecution. Understanding the American legal system—its history, structure, and conceptual basis—is essential to becoming a fully participatory member of society. Indeed, educated citizens should be aware of the ways in which the law is structured and impacts their lives in both an individual and society setting. Topics of this course will include the history and development of the law, the structure of the American government, and the types of laws that regulate behavior in both a public and private setting as well as the political, social, ethical, and economic forces that influence the changing nature of the law.
© 2017 Samuel D. Hodge, Jr. All rights reserved.