Constitutional Law Courses

Qualifying course offerings can change from semester to semester. For a complete list for the current academic year, check the student handbook or contact the Law School Registrar.


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  • Constitutional Theory , JURI: 4196 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course will investigate the history and theory surrounding the creation and ratification of the American Constitution. Attention will focus on the work of Madison, Hamilton, and other leading thinkers at the time of the founding. Areas of study will include the Constitutional Convention, the ratification process, and the activities of anti-federalist critics of the Constitution. Readings will be drawn from both original and secondary materials, with special emphasis placed on The Federalist Papers. Student responsibilities will include regular attendance at, thoughtful preparation for and active participation in class sessions. The major determinant of the student's grade will be work done in connection with a written project concerning the founding period, to be approved by the professor and presented to the class in the final weeks of the semester. The paper will be designed to satisfy the law school’s writing requirement.

  • Criminal Defense Practicum I , JURI: 5170S , Credit Hours: 3
    This course offers students an eye-witness, hands-on experience with the criminal justice system from the perspective of a public defender office. Students work with the eighteen attorneys in the Western Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office in Athens (a five minute walk from the Law School). Students assist with the entire range of legal representation of indigent clientsinterviewing clients, interviewing witnesses, conducting other aspects of factual investigation, drafting motions, negotiating pleas, and assisting with trials, drafting appellate briefs. This course is a pre-requisite to Criminal Defense Practicum II, in which students, supervised by a licensed attorney, can represent clients in all manner of court proceedings including jury trials. There are no pre-requisites for this course.  

  • Criminal Defense Practicum II , JURI: 4500S, 4501L , Credit Hours: 4-6
    This course is open only to students who have taken at least one semester of Criminal Defense Practicum I. Students in this course continue to work with individual attorneys in the Western Circuit Public Defender Office in Athens.  Placement in other PD offices in Georgia are available in the summer only. The Criminal Defense Practicum offers an immersion in the criminal justice system from the perspective of a public defender office. Attorneys in the PD office are full-time criminal defense lawyers and therefore are specialists. All of their work concentrates on criminal defense.  Students assist with all aspects of the representation, and under Georgia’s Student Practice Rule students handle preliminary hearings, bond hearings, pre-trial motion hearings such as motions to suppress, trials, pleas, sentencings and probation revocation hearings, and assist with all of the factual and legal investigation which is necessary to effective legal representation. There are no  pre-requisites other than Criminal Defense Clinic I, but Evidence and Criminal Procedure I are very strongly recommended, and a Trial Practice course or Mock Trial experience may be helpful. (4500 is the graded portion of the course, and 4501L is the pass/fail portion. Register for both when registering for this course.)   

  • Criminal Procedure I , JURI: 4460 , Credit Hours: 3
      A study of criminal process rights that apply during the interaction between law enforcement and individual suspects.  The emphasis is on the the privilege against self-incrimination, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, due process, the right to counsel and other rights that are implicated during the investigation, stop, arrest and interrogation stages of a law enforcement  investigation, typically prior to formal prosecution. 

  • Education Law , JURI: 5781 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course covers numerous legal and policy questions related to the American educational system. Relevant sources of law include the U.S. Constitution and state and federal statutes and administrative materials. Topics include school funding, school choice, student and teacher speech rights, policy debates, and others. The course will be conducted with an emphasis on developing practical lawyering skills.

  • Election Law , JURI: 4825 , Credit Hours: 3
    Examination of the law regulating our political process, and consideration of how those regulatory choices shape substantive policy outcomes. The course covers campaign finance regulation, redistricting, voting rights, and the regulation of political party primaries

  • Federal Courts , JURI: 4570 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course will focus on the structure, jurisdiction, and powers of federal courts. Coverage will include: development of the federal court system; selection of judges; the judicial power under Article III; justiciability and the case-or-controversy requirement (standing, ripeness, mootness, political questions); the Erie doctrine; federal common law; challenges to jurisdiction; federal question jurisdiction; diversity jurisdiction; venue and transfer; special problems of removal jurisdiction.

  • Law and Religion , JURI: 4833 , Credit Hours: 3
    The bulk of this course will focus on the history and judicial construction of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment. The course will also include a section exploring how several religious traditions approach the relationship between religion and law.

  • Media Law , JURI: 5576 , Credit Hours: 3
    Examines a variety of legal issues affecting the news media. After an introductory examination of traditional constitutional issues arising out of the First Amendment and a philosophical look at the justifications for free speech protection, the course explores how these traditional principles are balanced against competing interests not only in constitutional law but also in common law and statutory regulations. Issues dealt with include prior restraint, defamation, privacy, access to court proceedings, access to government meetings and documents, the reporter’s privilege, and intellectual property issues affecting the press. In addition this course addresses issues specific to electronic media, although it focuses on the communicative, as opposed to the administrative or regulatory aspects of this emerging area of law.

  • Prosecution I , JURI: 5150S , Credit Hours: 2
    This course teaches how the 4th and 5th Amendments guide and limit law enforcement officers when they search or seize citizens and when they conduct pre-arrest interviews or post-arrest (custodial) interrogations. Students will also learn practical skills including how to conduct a motion to suppress hearing and a Jackson-Denno hearing.

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