Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

Jurisprudence: Access to Justice

Jurisprudence: Access to Justice - Professor Darleen Ortega

  • Course Number: LAW-372
  • Course Type: Highly Specialized
  • Credits: 2-3
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description: This jurisprudence course explores Access to Justice taken to mean the individual right to be able to access a system of justice on impartial terms. A prominent thinker in this field frames Access to Justice as encompassing two broad aims. The “justice” aim is ideal and philosophic: this conversation seeks to define the nature of the good that all would enjoy in a legal system everyone could access equally. By contrast, the “access” theme is practical and resource-sensitive: this conversation seeks to identify and implement institutional arrangements that minimize exclusion and marginalization from the legal system. This course delves deeply into both themes, with special attention to two issues of growing significance: (1) access to civil (vs. criminal) justice and (2) enhancing access to justice given technological and other changes in legal services markets. The course is equal parts legal theory and empirical investigation of the US approach to access to justice. A background in philosophy isn’t required.

    The second half of classes will be co-facilitated by students.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Evaluation is based on a paper on a relevant topic of each student’s choice, subject to professor approval. Each student is expected to make a class presentation on the topic of his or her paper. Students who write a (30-40 page) paper that satisfies the Capstone criteria will be eligible for an additional 1-unit credit.
  • Capstone: very limited; pre-approval needed
  • WIE: no