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 Rights in Education: Equality, Speech, and Religion , JURI: 3980 , Credit Hours: 2
    This course will introduce students to students’ and teachers’ constitutional rights and obligations in the education context.

  • Constitutional Theory , JURI: 4196 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course will investigate the history and theory surrounding the creation and ratification of the American Constitution, as well overarching themes and principles that have guided the development of constitutional law over time. Attention will focus in part on the work of Madison, Hamilton, and other leading thinkers at the time of the founding. Areas of study also will include various thematic approaches brought to bear by the Supreme Court as it decides constitutional cases. 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 on a topic approved by the professor and an oral presentation on that topic made to the class. Written work for the course will be designed to satisfy the Law School’s capstone writing requirement. Previous, or at least concurrent, enrollment in Constitutional Law II is recommended for students in this course.

  • 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. Also, on the first Saturday of the semester and other times by arrangement, new students enrolled in Criminal Defense Clinic I participate in an orientation session. Please make sure you are available on the first Saturday of the semester if you enroll in CDP I.  

  • 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.

  • First Amendment Clinic , JURI: 4200S, 4201S , Credit Hours: 2
    The First Amendment Clinic defends and advances the rights of free speech, press, assembly and petition via direct client representation and advocacy, particularly on behalf of individuals or organizations who may not otherwise have access to counsel with First Amendment expertise.  The Clinic also serves as an educational resource for organizations, journalists, students, government employees, and members of the public regarding issues of free expression, open access, and protection of newsgathering and reporting.  The clinic will provide law students with the opportunity to learn substantive areas of First Amendment law and develop concrete lawyering skills in the context of Constitutional litigation.  Such skills may include any combination of: client interviewing, case evaluation and research, negotiating with opposing parties, drafting pleadings and discovery requests, taking and defending depositions, participating in discovery and settlement conferences, identifying and coordinating with experts, motion practice, and oral advocacy.  In addition, students in the Clinic will have the opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding of the First Amendment.  This may include developing presentations to bring issues of free speech, press, petition, and assembly rights to non-lawyers; drafting writings that contribute to the public debate on matters implicating First Amendment freedoms; and helping to educate public officials and private citizens about the importance of protecting free expression and newsgathering.  The weekly seminar component of the clinic provides the opportunity to examine topical legal and legislative developments and debates relating to the rights of free speech, press, petition, and assembly.  The seminar also provides students with litigation skills training and will periodically be used to conduct “case rounds,” allowing students to discuss and collaboratively problem-solve issues related to their client work.  This is a one-semester clinic and is awarded 4 credits (2 graded and 2 pass/fail).

  • 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.