Learning objectives for this class include, but are not limited to, the following: • Identification and use of/critical engagement with students’ previous knowledge about the law, variously inchoate, accurate, inaccurate, assumed, and learned/taught; • Know and understand (terminology, institutional organization, etc.) core facts about the structure and functioning of law and the judiciary in the United States including federal versus state law; distinctions between and among constitutional, civil, and criminal law; o Identify, summarize, and analyze the use of scholarly literature and arguments in supporting or challenging claims or normative beliefs about how law functions; • Know and understand core terms in the sociology of law/socio-legal studies; • Compare and contrast various theories of the relationship of law and society, including the origin and/or function of law, the relationship between law and power, and an associated ability to recognize and employ theoretical thinking especially with respect to the sociology of law; • Analyze how power and social structures impact the nature and functioning of law, and vice versa; • Recognize and employ key distinctions relevant to the sociology of law e.g. how systems and logics of law may be formal and/or informal, official and/or unofficial, legitimate and/or illegitimate; the distinct yet overlapping domains of law as sui generis, political/partisan, and policy, and, especially, claims about any of these as “the truth” from particular perspectives; how social institutions shape and are shaped by law; • Have an introductory appreciation of comparative and international law; i.e. elements that differ and/or are shared in legal systems in different countries and contexts; o Explain how comparative and international perspectives can illuminate understanding, critical engagement, substantive evaluation, and so on; • Develop an introductory ability to understand and apply legal reasoning; • Critical appreciation of the role of legal education in shaping the legal profession and influencing both legal and social elites; • Recognize different methodologies used in researching law and the sociology of law/law and society; • Distinguish among different bases for claims (e.g. empirical of different kinds, legal, normative/ethical, faith) and what constitutes credible evidence and/or argumentation to uphold or support these claims. • Integrate relevant contemporary news and events into the subject matter of the class. Learning outcomes for the Problem-Based Learning component in particular (though much applies to the course as a whole): • Develop and enhance problem-solving skills by learning to define, analyze, and develop informed solutions to socio-legal problems, including to identify how law shapes potential problems and solutions. • Develop and enhance evidence-based arguments about social issues, understanding the role of law in creating and/or changing social reality; • Improve written communication skills through writing for a variety of audiences about socio-legal issues; • Improve oral communication skills through the sharing of research findings with the instructor and peers.