S Course Finder • Penn Carey Law

Course Details

Access to Justice (Harris)

Spring 2024   LAW 562-001  

« Back to Search Results

Faculty
Jasmine E. Harris

Professor of Law

jashar@law.upenn.edu
Additional Information

Skills Training
Expository Writing

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

No

Location

Class meets in person.

Meeting Times/Location
M 3:00PM - 5:40PM
Silverman Hall 240A

Category
First-Year

Credits
3.0

“Access to justice” holds multiple meanings in contemporary law and culture. It often means access to legal services (lawyers) to receive advice and representation to address unmet legal needs. It can also mean access to courts or adjudicative spaces (mediation, arbitration, subject matter specific courts such as mental health or drug courts) that exist as alternatives to court-based justice. Still access to justice can also include the legal decision-makers themselves, or the scope of their authority and expertise. This course surfaces and interrogates the meaning of access to justice as a historical and contemporary question. In doing so, students will engage with theoretical and doctrinal materials in law as well as review interdisciplinary materials such as quantitative and qualitative studies that help frame contemporary legal debates and underscore the stakes for both law and society. Students will also encounter different critical legal theories such as critical legal studies, law and political economy, and disability crip theory as potential analytical lenses to better understand existing law and, prescriptively, design law reform efforts.

The course meets weekly and will have a particular theme under the “access to justice” umbrella each class session from civil Gideon to abolition. Students will hear from speakers working in this area – academics, practitioners, non-lawyers, those with lived experiences as a way for students to negotiate the academic and doctrinal materials with the stakes of these debates. In terms of evaluation, there is no final exam. Instead, participation matters, and students will produce a series of shorter response papers over the course of the semester that are detailed and tied to specific questions about legal doctrine and its real-world impact. These shorter writing assignments will allow students the opportunity to practice different forms of persuasive writing including legal academic writing. There is no casebook for this course. Instead, readings will be provided through Canvas.

Course Concentrations

Constitutional Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of constitutional law; Perform legal analysis in the context of constitutional law; Communicate effectively on topics related to constitutional law; Demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law affects other areas of law.

Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.

Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.

Administrative and Regulatory Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of administrative and regulatory law and the administrative process, including the role of statutory authorization and work of administrative agencies; Perform legal analysis in the context of administrative and regulatory law; Communicate effectively on topics related to administrative and regulatory law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role administrative and regulatory law play in our legal system and in society as a whole.

Professional Responsibility and Ethics Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.

Equity and Inclusion Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Perform legal analysis in the context of topics related to equity and inclusion; Communicate effectively on the legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Demonstrate an understanding of how equity and inclusion are connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.