Legal Studies (LEST)

LEST 300 Foundations of Law

This course provides an introduction to the United States legal system, the different courts and their roles, and major areas of law such as contracts, torts, and criminal law. Students will develop an understanding of common legal terminology and begin to explore current legal issues. 3 credits.

LEST 304 Constitutional Governance

This course focuses on the roles of the state government, the different branches of the Federal government, and the balance of power among them. Students will examine individual Constitutional rights such as free speech, freedom of religion, and search and seizure. They will then compare and contrast select individual rights on a global scale. Students will also explore the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution, in regard to governmental powers and individual rights. 3 credits.

LEST 306 Business Organizations

This course focuses on the legal rights and responsibilities of business organizations in the United States. Students explore the most prevalent types of business organizations and the differences between them. Students also consider the major differences between public and privately held corporations and between limited and general partnerships. Additionally, students analyze the legal context of businesses activities and the distinction between principles of agency and fiduciary relationships. 3 credits.

LEST 320 Torts

From accidents to intentional assaults, when people sue one another, it is commonly within the realm of tort law. This course focuses on the tort system in the United States. Students will explore the most common types of torts, including negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts. Students will also consider the legal requirements and potential defenses for each tort. 3 credits.

LEST 322 Contracts

This course addresses general principles of contract law including formation, breach, defenses, and remedies. Students will examine principles of contract review and drafting with special attention given to issues that commonly lead to litigation. Additionally, students will explore the Uniform Commercial Code and its effect on contract rights. 3 credits.

LEST 324 Interviewing, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

This course examines the art and science of interviewing and negotiation with additional emphasis on alternative conflict resolution. Through the use of case studies and associated readings, students will explore the basic models of communication through interviewing, bargaining and alternative dispute resolution. 3 credits.

LEST 402 Litigation and Trial Advocacy

This course will provide a complete overview of a civil trial from the filing of a complaint through the appeals process. Students will explore, in depth, each of the trial stages. Topics include initiating and defending lawsuits, gathering information from clients and from the opposing sides, trial preparation, and post-trial procedures. Students will analyze legal situations and develop their own trial strategies. 3 credits.

LEST 403 Legal Research and Writing

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of legal research and writing, including the ethical implications involved in performing legal research and writing. Students will analyze the role that clear communication plays in the legal environment. Additionally, students will explore the various databases legal professionals utilize. 3 credits.

LEST 410 Employment Law

This course examines common legal issues that can arise in an employment setting. It explores sources of employment law and regulation, including the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It discusses common legal pitfalls such as discrimination in the workplace and wrongful termination. Finally, it leaves students with a better understanding of how to best protect the legal interests of both employers and employees on the job. 3 credits.

LEST 412 Intellectual Property

Prerequisite: LEST 300.

This course explores how the law assigns ownership interests to persons or entities in their artistic, academic, technological, or other creations. This course surveys the major categories of intellectual property to include copyright, trademark, and patent. Attention will also be given to the concepts of reverse engineering and independent discovery. Students will examine the history of intellectual property as well as the underlying public policy decisions, statutes, and court cases that form the basis of intellectual property law. 3 credits.

LEST 414 Transactional Law

This course provides an in-depth examination of the legal side of business transactions. Students explore the sales of goods and services and consider such issues as warranties, contracts, and payments. Legal topics such as consumer protection, product liability, and the Uniform Commercial Code are discussed. Emerging legal considerations in e-commerce are also explored. 3 credits.

LEST 416 Contemporary Legal Issues

Prerequisite or Corequisite LEST 300.

This course surveys a variety of timely legal issues that have significant legal, social, ethical, and political impact on the lives of everyday citizens. Students will examine the role of the courts in addressing unfolding social, cultural and political issues. In addition, students will confront and assess significant systemic issues facing the legal system. 3 credits.

LEST 418 Electronic Discovery and Legal Technology

This course will survey issues surrounding electronic discovery, including electronic discovery rules and case management systems in both civil and criminal litigation. Students will also assess confidentiality and ethical issues arising in the context of data management and other software-based technologies. Finally, students will analyze the use of technology and telecommunications in the courtroom. 3 credits.

LEST 420 Law Practice Management

This course provides the skill set needed to be a successful paralegal in a law office setting. Students will gain an understanding of business processes in a law office, including file management, legal fees, timekeeping, and client funds. Students will also focus on soft skills such as client relations, professionalism, and communication skills. 3 credits.

LEST 462 Ethics in a Legal Environment

This course provides an overview of the codes of ethics and ethical obligations encountered in a legal environment. Students will examine the model codes for attorneys and legal assistants. Students will also evaluate different ethical dilemmas, including the unauthorized practice of law, conflicts of interest, and breaches of confidentiality. 3 credits.

LEST 495 Legal Studies Capstone

Prerequisites: LEST 300; LEST 403; LEST 402.

As the capstone for the B.A. in Legal Studies, this course brings together student learning from all prior courses. Students will consider legal issues from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. They will be expected to set forth a method of systematically analyzing an unsettled legal issue and to ultimately construct a legally sustainable argument for the issue’s resolution. 3 credits.

LEST 499 Independent Study

Prerequisites: Instructor's approval and approval of petition.

Directed reading and/or research designed to meet specific needs of superior upper division students. 1-3 credits.