LEGL - Legal Studies


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

LEGL 5000 Introduction to Legal Studies (3)

This course provides a background in the American legal system with emphasis on ethics, terminology, and legal analysis. Course content focuses on an overview of substantive areas such as torts, contracts, property, and criminal law.

LEGL 5100 Jurisprudence (3)

Students analyze major philosophies of law, including methods of justifying legal systems through natural law, legal positivism, and sociological jurisprudence. Contemporary writings on modern philosophies of law are also examined. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5260 Methods of Legal Research and Writing I (3)

This course is the first in a two-part writing program which is designed to develop the legal assistant’s research and writing skills, including those needed to write legal citations. Methods of Legal Research and Writing I introduces the student to the skills necessary for identifying, locating, and using legal resources, including: primary sources of statutory and case law, secondary authority, and research reference tools commonly located in a law library which are used to navigate the primary and secondary sources. In addition, students will be introduced to the process of computer-aided legal research. This class also explores the process of legal analysis through the incorporation of the results of legal research into legal argument and legal memoranda. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5270 Methods of Legal Research and Writing II (3)

This course is a continuation of LEGL 5260. Methods of Legal Research and Writing II is designed to build upon the research skills learned in Methods of Legal Research and Writing I and to enhance the paralegal student’s legal analytical and writing skills. The course includes several legal issue writing projects, at least two of which will combine both research and writing skills. Prerequisites: LEGL 5000 and LEGL 5260.

LEGL 5300 Ethics for the Legal Professional (3)

This course will focus on the ethical and professional responsibilities facing legal professionals. We will examine ethical considerations such as confidentiality, unauthorized practice of law, and conflict of interest, as well as the consequences of unethical behavior. In addition, students will be provided with frameworks for dealing with the moral dilemmas that legal professionals face. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5400 Anglo-American Legal History (3)

The student examines the history and development of the Anglo-American common law. Special topics include sources; procedural and substantive developments; and the roles of courts, lawyers, legislatures, and jurists. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5450 American Constitutional Law (3)

Students study legal constitutional principles. Emphasis is on access to the courts, growth of federal power under the Commerce Clause, due process and equal protection, and case law methodology. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5470 Civil Actions (3)

Course content focuses on a variety of civil law areas such as contracts, torts, evidence, property, corporations, tax, wills, and trusts. Students examine actions based on these areas of law. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5480 Criminal Actions (3)

This course is an in-depth study of all facets involving criminal law. Students will study the criminal court system from law enforcement investigations through criminal trials and correctional facilities. Students will also study United States Constitutional Amendments which deal with criminal law, as well as statutory laws involving crimes against persons and property. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5490 Advanced Topics in Law (3)

Current and significant issues in legal studies are examined. Course content focuses on selected topics, with emphasis given to new and emerging developments in the field. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: LEGL 5000 and LEGL 5260.

LEGL 5500 Professional Seminars (1-3)

Students participate in seminars designed to examine contemporary issues in legal studies. The professional seminar supplements the core and elective courses in the area of legal studies by focusing on issues of current and special interest. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs. Graduate students may apply a maximum of 3 credit hours of these seminars as electives to meet the credit-hour requirements for graduation. This course may not be completed by directed study. Prerequisites: LEGL 5000 and LEGL 5260.

LEGL 5501 International Trials: An International and Informed View (3)

This course will utilize the unique function of the Hague as a center of international trials by preparing students before they observe the trials and court proceedings to understand the basics of international law and the facts and issues that underpin the trials and related institutions they will observe. The procedural and substantive law that controls trials in the United States and in international law will be compared. Because this course depends heavily on the specific trial being conducted at the time of the course, it is impossible to present definite class agendas.

LEGL 5502 International Criminal Law: A Human Rights Perspective (3)

This course will offer a comparison between international law as viewed by most of Europe and as viewed by the United States. The impact of those two views of international law will be studied both in theory and as they apply to tribunals, governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations that are located in the Hague.

LEGL 5503 International Issues Related to Women and Children (3)

This course will explore issues relating to women and children from an international perspective. Special attention is directed toward comparing and contrasting law and policy on juvenile delinquency; women, children, and poverty; child labor; child soldiers; and child maltreatment.

LEGL 5504 International Jurisprudence and Law (3)

This course will study the historic background of international law and its formation and development, including the formation and enforcement of treaties; the role of the international courts; international human rights and the protection of individuals; conflicts in international law; and, if time permits, the law of the sea and international terrorism laws.

LEGL 5505 Constitutional and International Issues: Human Trafficking & Slavery (3)

This course will explore constitutional and human rights issues which arise as individual countries and the international community work to address issues and concerns involving slavery and human trafficking. Topics discussed include: trafficking in women and children; sexual exploitation; labor exploitation, i.e. domestic slavery, forced labor, bonded labor; racial discrimination; refugee issues/status; and other related topics. The mandatory on-site portion of this course is offered in Leiden, the Netherlands.

LEGL 5506 International Law and the Environment (3)

This course will explore the development of international law on issues related to environmental concerns, including the international lawmaking process, development of treaties and protocols related to regulation of national resources, waste management issues, environmental concerns relating to marine environments, laws related to freshwater resources; exchange of information among countries, and reporting and monitoring issues.

LEGL 5507 The Hague: Peacemaking Catalyst in International Conflict (3)

This course will explore The Hague’s pivotal role in preventing, resolving, and redressing international conflicts, with heavy emphasis on law enforcement and interpretation. Numerous law-related institutions that make The Hague their home will be explored, including international courts, international law-enforcement establishments, legal think tanks, international arms-control entities, and dispute resolution organizations. Pertinent documents and analysis by leading experts in the field will be studied, discussed, and analyzed, with an eye toward the future roles these entities may play in peacemaking.

LEGL 5508 Collision Course: A Critical Approach (3)

This course will lay a foundation for student understanding of basic international law principles. In addition to exploring the traditional topics of international law such as sources of international law, the role of states, and the management of international conflict, the course will consider the application of international law as applied outside of the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the effect of these often colliding views on human rights around the world.

LEGL 5550 Paralegal Clinical Studies (3-6)

The internship augments the legal studies curriculum by placing the student in a private or public organization under the supervision of an appointed internship supervisor. Application for placement should be made a term in advance of enrollment. Prerequisite: Completion of all other required courses in this major.

LEGL 5601 Professional Ethics in National Security Law (3)

This course exposes students to ethical codes and standards that apply to national security law and challenges students to apply them in a variety of professional and employment situations within the field of national security, including law and government. The course primarily focuses on United States' standards while acknowledging the transnational nature of national security law.

LEGL 5800 Computerized Legal Research (3)

This course will acquaint students with the fundamental concepts of locating and accessing legal information using computer technology. Prerequisites: LEGL 5000 and LEGL 5260.

LEGL 5850 Advanced Legal Writing (3)

This course is aimed at helping students attain a higher level of legal writing skills by focusing on the intellectual and physical discipline involved in creating a good written legal product. The course teaches students vital reasoning skills along with detailed instruction on the strategies students may use to write clearly and convincingly. Prerequisites: LEGL 5000, LEGL 5260 and LEGL 5270.

LEGL 5905 Intellectual Property Law for Paralegals (3)

This course is a survey of the four primary areas of intellectual property — patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. This course will focus on the paralegal’s role in securing and enforcing these rights. The content of this course is appropriate as a general overview for non-specialists, and a foundation course for those who intend to specialize in intellectual property. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5925 Patent and Trademark Law for Paralegals (3)

This is a substantive law course covering the federal patent statute (35 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), the federal trademark statute (15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.), and representative state trademark statutes. This course will follow the process of patenting inventions from prior art searching, to preparing and filing patent applications, to prosecuting patent applications and post issuance topics. Additionally, the course will address the process of selecting and protecting trademarks including pre-adoption searching, preparation and filing of applications, prosecution of applications, and issuance and maintenance of trademark registrations in the U.S. and abroad. The course will focus on the paralegal’s role in obtaining and maintaining patents and trademarks, including electronic filings. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5945 Copyright and Trade Secret Law for Paralegals (3)

This is a substantive law course covering the federal copyright statute (17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) and the federal and state statutes governing trade secrets and confidential information. This course will cover copyrightable subject matter, the exclusive rights afforded by copyright, ownership of copyright, and fair use. This course will cover the preparation and prosecution of applications for copyright registration and federal and state schemes for protecting and enforcing rights in trade secrets and other confidential information. Additionally, this course will examine the role of the paralegal in securing and enforcing copyright rights in works of authorship in the U.S. and abroad, and the paralegal’s role in securing and enforcing trade secret rights. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 5965 Computerized Intellectual Property Research for Paralegals (3)

This is a legal researching and writing skills course that will focus on searching strategies and databases in intellectual property contexts. This course will address both publicly-available and private databases for searching for prior art for patentability and validity purposes, trademarks and services marks for availability and clearance searches, and legal precedent to support application and enforcement efforts. Prerequisite: LEGL 5000.

LEGL 6000 Research and Writing Project (3)

The student is expected to synthesize and integrate the learning experiences acquired in legal studies and to evaluate the research and current topics relative to this area of concentration. Techniques used to accomplish these goals may vary. Prerequisite: Completion of all other required courses in this major.