All students take two 3-credit courses. The courses have no prerequisites. To orient students on Scots laws and institutions, the program includes several field trips and guest speakers.
Administrative Law: A Comparative Perspective
This course will examine the structure of the United States government’s administrative state and how it fits within our system of separated powers with checks and balances, drawing upon comparisons with Scotland’s governmental systems. Topics may include: the appointment and removal of executive officers, the non-delegation doctrine, the rulemaking process, judicial review of agency actions, introductory aspects of constitutional interpretation as they relate to the administrative state, and the outsourcing of government functions to private contractors. We will also discuss current events that illustrate the continuing significance of the American regulatory state from a comparative perspective.
Law and Economics: A Comparative Perspective
In recent decades, legal scholars and judges have increasingly relied on economic analysis to assess a wide-ranging legal doctrines, lawmaking processes, and institutions. Familiarity with Law and Economics is often critical to effective advocacy. This course will take a somewhat unusual approach. Many introductory courses focus exclusively on neoclassical economic analysis of the common law. We will take a broader view of both the relevant tools and applications, combining neoclassical analysis with public choice methodologies and applying these concepts to private and public law. We will begin with a non-mathematical introduction to price theory, which will provide the basis for a neoclassical survey of the common law doctrines of Tort, Contract, and Property, in addition to Criminal Law and the Judicial Process. We will then introduce the various public choice tools—interest group theory, social choice theory, and elementary game theory—that are essential in analyzing public law doctrines and lawmaking institutions. Although this course is designed for students with no prior exposure to economics, students who have a background are most welcome. The only prerequisites are a curious mind and a willingness to challenge conventional thinking. We promise to explain the very minimal equations (or inequalities) that are presented in the text in clear, simple, and lawyerly prose. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, short writing exercises, and a final exam (no math is required for any of this).