Law 555 - Legal Theory Workshop

Stephen R. Munzer

Stephen R. Munzer

Distinguished Research Professor of Law
B.A. Kansas, 1966
B.Phil. Oxford, 1969
J.D. Yale, 1972
UCLA Faculty Since 1982
Course Description:

The Legal Theory Workshop brings leading scholars from around the country to discuss their works in progress with law students , graduate students in philosophy, and interested faculty. All the papers will address legal issues from a theoretically informed perspective. The line-up of speakers and topics is quite diverse. This year's program is still being formed but past years have featured speakers on freedom of speech, intellectual property, art and the law, the formal structure of law, the relationship of law to morality, constitutional law, distributive justice (domestic and international), tax, contract, tort, theoretical topics in criminal law, the nature of political authority, equality and discrimination, charitable donations and distributive justice (a joint session with the Tax Policy Colloquium), legitimacy and political equality, and the treatment of state intentions in constitutional law.

The seminar will involve biweekly discussions with leading scholars, with intervening preparatory weeks for students to gain background in the relevant topic. Students will be expected to attend all sessions, participate regularly, and to write weekly critiques (in alternate weeks also a thorough revision of one of these critiques (2 pages double space).  

No prerequisites or prior background is necessary, but it would be very helpful if you have had at least one course in moral, political or legal philosophy before taking this seminar.  Students should be open to in-depth investigation of theoretical arguments about moral and legal issues and moral and legal structure. All law students are welcome and have the relevant preparation.  Graduate students in philosophy are also eligible to take this class.  Law students and graduate students in philosophy will be graded separately. Background will be supplied in the weeks in between speaker visits. The course is particularly well-suited to those students who want to explore more theoretical perspectives on law and morality and their use in legal and moral  arguments. This course may be helpful to those who plan to write law review comments or notes, to consider an academic career in law, or who plan to clerk, although none of these intentions are necessary to take, enjoy, or succeed in the course.  It is very much a skills course.  It will not satisfy the SAW requirement. The course also provides a nice opportunity to interact with faculty at UCLA in a congenial atmosphere and to meet faculty from other institutions.