are the primary
academic activities of the program, aimed at honing your critical
speaking and writing skills:
be expected to read the assigned material carefully and analytically.
the Socratic method, we will analyze the major court decisions
religious liberty: what were the specific legal issues before the
what was its holding, what was its rationale and how did it change
Amendment law? One dictionary definition of the Socratic method:
by questions and answers, as adopted by Socrates in his disputations,
pupils either to a foreseen conclusion or to contradict themselves."
instead of lectures, is the standard method of instruction used in law
schools. While it is quite effective to help students develop their
thinking skills, it can be quite intimidating in the hands of
instructors. In this class, we will use a benign version of the
method, hopefully avoiding its menacing tendencies. Only if you come to
class unprepared will you likely feel ineffectual or distressed.
different from case analysis. For one thing, we will not be using the
method, which is strictly controlled and directed by the faculty
Second, in seminar we will be emphasizing issues, and hopefully
will be in control most of the time. Always come to seminar well
so that you can be in control.
writing will be required:
You will be required to maintain a notebook in which you "brief" each
case we read. "Brief" here does not mean a lengthy writing as in a
brief. To brief a case means to succinctly summarize each of the
preferably using one sentence for each: Who were the parties to the
What is the issue (legal question) involved? What was the holding
of the court? What was its rationale? In the law workshop, you will be
taught how to do a case brief.
as part of the Appellate Advocacy Project, you, your co-counsel, and
opposing counsel will present oral arguments on your case before a
of judges of the Evergreen Supreme Court. Your oral arguments will be
on the written arguments you will have made in your appellate brief.
will also have the opportunity to serve as a judge to hear your peers’
oral arguments and to render a decision in their case. This all may
scary, but by the time it comes for you to give your oral argument at
end of the quarter, you will be well prepared. This will be a
activity with lots of help along the way.
on Law and Religion. Each of you will be part of an online
(message board) discussion group (of 8 students). Your online critical
discussion will be based on readings assigned in Feldman's Law
Religion: A Critical Anthology. In the first workshop
you will receive specific technical instruction on how to use Web
the medium we will use to post critical comments and responses.
As part of the program's Appellate Advocacy Project, you will be
to write a formal appellate brief on an actual freedom of religion case
recently decided by the U.S. Courts of Appeal or a state supreme court
and reviewable by the United States Supreme Court. This appellate work
will be collaborative, with each student teaming up with another
to serve as "co-counsel" for either the petitioner or the respondent in
the assigned case. You will learn how to write the different components
of the brief in workshops throughout the quarter.
The final week of class there will be a written final examination. It
consist of an essay question and/or hypothetical case involving freedom
of religion issues. You will be asked to decide the case. Don’t try to
cram for this test; it won’t work. If you do your academic work well
the quarter, you will be more than ready to render a decision with
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