Politics and Law (PAL)

Politics and Law (PAL) Courses

PAL 2013. Introduction to Legal Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An introduction to legal studies from an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring historical and contemporary aspects of the content, operations, and effects of law in societies. (Formerly LGS 2013. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 2013 and LGS 2013.) Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

PAL 2623. Law and Society. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An examination of the nature of law, its role in sociopolitical systems, and the institutional components of legal systems. Theories and systems of law examined may include natural, constitutional, common, civil, customary, socialist, and theocratic law. May employ a comparative or historical framework for understanding the variety of institutional arrangements through which systems of law are implemented. (Same as POL 2623. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 2623 and POL 2623.) Generally offered: Fall.

PAL 3013. The American Legal Process. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An introduction to how the United States legal system is organized and functions. A broad overview of the system and its actors is combined with a focus on particular areas of the law such as domestic relations, personal injury liability litigation, criminal procedure, and alternative dispute resolution. (Same as POL 3013. Credit cannot be earned for PAL 3013 and POL 3013.) Generally offered: Fall.

PAL 3023. Legal Research and Writing. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Provides students with the opportunity to explore the modes and sources of legal research, both traditional and electronic. (Formerly LGS 3013. Credit cannot be earned for both LGS 3013 and PAL 3023.) Generally offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

PAL 3113. Minorities and the Law. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course examines the litigation, case law, legislation, and legal literature associated with African Americans and Mexican Americans in the United States. (Formerly LGS 3113. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3113 and LGS 3113.) Generally offered: Fall.

PAL 3213. Law School Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Basic introduction to the primary subject areas covered in American law schools. Topics generally include Property, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, Family Law, Constitutional Law, and Professional Ethics. Topic coverage may extend to corporations, oil and gas, tax, or other more specialized topics. The course will better prepare students for the anticipated coursework and subject matter for the transition to law school. (Formerly LGS 3213. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3213 and LGS 3213.) Generally offered: Summer.

PAL 3223. Judicial Politics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Topics may include political behavior of the major participants in the judicial process; the development of judicial institutions and processes; the political and administrative context of the judicial process; judicial-executive and judicial-legislative relations; and the impact of judicial decisions. (Same as POL 3223. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3223 and POL 3223.) Generally offered: Spring.

PAL 3313. The Supreme Court. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course examines the U.S. Supreme Court as a political and legal institution. Topics may include the colonial and English antecedents to the Supreme Court, its constitutional origins in the framing and ratification debates, major episodes in its development from the early republic to the present, its role within the federal judiciary, its impact on party politics and political culture, and its relationship to Congress, the executive branch, and the state courts. (Same as POL 3313. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3313 and POL 3313).

PAL 3323. Constitutional Analysis l. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An analysis of constitutional cases, issues, and modes of interpretation focusing on governmental powers. Provides students the opportunity to hone analytical, critical reading, and writing skills and to increase substantive knowledge of constitutional law. (Formerly LGS 3323. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3323 and LGS 3323.) Generally offered: Summer.

PAL 3333. Constitutional Analysis ll. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An analysis of constitutional cases, issues, and modes of interpretation focusing on the Bill of Rights, individual freedoms, and equal protection. Provides students the opportunity to enhance analytical, critical-reading, and writing skills and to increase substantive knowledge of constitutional law. (Formerly LGS 3333. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3333 and LGS 3333.) Generally offered: Summer.

PAL 3413. Regulatory Law and Enterprise. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course examines federal, state, and local administrative and regulatory engagement with Texan, American, and international enterprise. Students have the opportunity to explore law and policies affecting economic development, property, oil and gas, international trade, the Internet, and the environment. (Formerly LGS 3413. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3413 and LGS 3413).

PAL 3513. Trial and Appellate Advocacy. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Cultivates the practice of deliberative rhetoric with particular emphasis on its use in legal argumentation. Primary activity will be preparation for and participation in moot court, a simulation that involves arguing constitutional cases before the Supreme Court. Entails intensive study of case law. Course may be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

PAL 3533. State Courts: Judicial Decision-Making Practice and Procedure. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course will examine American trial courts and specifically the role of the Judge in dispensing and insuring justice in both civil and criminal matters. A constitutional analysis of judicial authority will be studied, including the court’s powers and limitations. A review of the role of the various instrumental components in the administration of justice will be studied from legal counsel, prosecutors, and probation officers and the impact each has in the outcome of cases before the court. Additionally, constitutional protections will be surveyed to provide an in-depth understanding of due process and equal protection under the law and the procedure of litigants and defendants during the trial process.

PAL 3583. Jurisprudence. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An inquiry into the nature of law and legal obligation with emphasis on relevant works of political philosophy and those of important jurists. Works covered in the course may represent natural law, positivist, realist, theocratic, and critical perspectives on law. (Same as POL 3583. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3583 and POL 3583.).

PAL 3813. Politics of Federal Justice Policy. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course examines the intersections of politics and legal institutions of the federal government. Consideration will be given to major historical and political developments mainly associated with policy decisions of the federal executive and the federal judiciary in carrying out constitutional and statutory obligations in civil and criminal enforcement, adjudication, and punishment. Special emphasis will be given to how federal justice policies are formed, implemented, and evaluated by presidents, Congress, and the federal courts in policy areas such as civil rights, privacy and surveillance, interstate and international criminal organizations, investigative practices, prosecutorial effectiveness, and civil and criminal penalties/sanctions. (Same as POL 3813. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3813 and POL 3813.).

PAL 3843. Campaign and Election Law.. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course examines the laws that govern elections in the United States. Topics include the constitutional and legal issues arising from campaign finance regulations, political party organization, election administration, and redistricting as well as the constitutional and statutory protection of voting rights. The course may also consider these issues in comparative perspective. (Same as POL 3843. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3843 and POL 3843.).

PAL 3853. Immigration Law. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Examines the legal framework of immigration and citizenship in the United States. Topics include the history and development of immigration and citizenship policy, the constitutional and international law foundations of immigration regulation, the structure and operation of federal institutions that regulate immigration, the role of state and local governments in enforcing immigration policy, and the legal processes that adjudicate immigration cases. (Same as POL 3853. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 3853 and POL 3853).

PAL 3863. Contracts. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An introduction to contract law, including topics such as offer and acceptance, consideration, contracts enforceable without consideration, defenses to enforcement of contracts, terms of contracts and their interpretation, performance and breach of contracts, remedies for breach, third-party beneficiaries, and assignments. (Formerly LGS 3868. Credit cannot be earned for both LGS 3863 and PAL 3863).

PAL 4013. Issues in Law and Society. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: PAL 2013 or POL 1013. Provides students with the opportunity to conduct research on selected issues associated with the law and society. May be repeated for credit when topics vary, with permission of the Director of the Institute for Law and Public Affairs. (Formerly LGS 4013. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4013 and LGS 4013.) Generally offered: Spring.

PAL 4123. Legal and Philosophical Reasoning. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. An intensive analysis of selected philosophical texts focusing on law and justice. Students are challenged to develop critical reading and thinking skills by studying the texts of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Dworkin, Hart, and/or others who outline difficult arguments and unfamiliar ideas. Emphasis is placed on drawing reasoned conclusions, advocating positions, and expressing oneself in oral and written forms. (Formerly LGS 4123. Same as POL 4123. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4123 and POL 4123 or LGS 4123.).

PAL 4133. Legal Analysis and Argumentation. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course provides students with the opportunity to develop and master techniques of focused reading, analytical reasoning, logic, argumentation, and the drawing of reasoned conclusions, placed in the context and modes of questioning appropriate to law school admission and education. Skills learned are relevant not only to law school, but also to developing and accessing arguments throughout college, career, and life. (Formerly LGS 4133. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4133 and LGS 4133).

PAL 4153. Law and Literature. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Examination of fundamental questions of political theory as treated in works of literature. Topics may include authority, law and discretion, the individual and the community, church and state, criminality, and the nature of freedom, especially as these issues emerge in different political orders. Potential works include Greek tragedy and comedy. Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, Robert Penn Warren, Walker Percy, Saul Bellow, and others. (Same as POL 4133. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4153 and POL 4133.).

PAL 4213. Great Controversies in Politics and Law. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: POL 1013 and PAL 2623. This course will examine a legal and political controversy of great importance, either current or historical. Topics vary and are chosen by the instructor. Examples may include Slavery, Abolition, and Reconstruction; Framing and Ratification of the Constitution; Religious Free Exercise; Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience; Presidential War Powers and Congress.

PAL 4223. Torts. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. This course provides students with the opportunity to analyze American tort law. Topics may include negligence, intentional torts, affirmative defenses, and legal damages, as well as vicarious products and strict liability. Students should be prepared to read, brief, and discuss case law. (Formerly LGS 4223. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4223 and LGS 4223.) Generally offered: Spring, Summer.

PAL 4233. Federal Courts. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. Designed to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the role of the federal judiciary in the American constitutional system. Topics may include the constitutional framework and institutional development of the federal courts; their interaction with administrative agencies and state courts; and questions arising from the power of judicial review. (Formerly LGS 4233. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4233 and LGS 4233.).

PAL 4323. Administrative Law. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: POL 1013. A survey of those aspects of public law of particular relevance to public administration, analyzing such problem areas as the delegation of authority; formal accountability; open records and confidentiality; and responsiveness to democratic value in decision making. (Same as POL 4323. Credit cannot be earned for both PAL 4323 and POL 4323.) Generally offered: Spring.

PAL 4911. Independent Study. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) of the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College in which the course is offered. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

PAL 4912. Independent Study. (0-0) 2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) of the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College in which the course is offered. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

PAL 4913. Independent Study. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) of the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College in which the course is offered. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree. (Formerly LGS 4913).

PAL 4933. Internship in Politics and Law. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: POL 1013 and consent of internship coordinator. Supervised experience relevant to legal studies within selected community organizations. A maximum of 6 semester credit hours may be earned through the internship. A maximum of 3 semester credit hours may be applied to the minor. (Formerly LGS 4933).

PAL 4953. Special Studies in Politics and Law. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: POL 1013. An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Studies may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

PAL 4973. Senior Seminar in Politics and Law. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: POL 1013, POL 2703, and 15 semester credit hours in PAL or POL coursework, or consent of instructor. Course involves guided, intensive study of a selected topic. Primary emphasis is on supervised research on various aspects of the topic. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Enrollment is limited to juniors and seniors majoring in Politics and Law or Political Science.

PAL 4993. Honors Thesis. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade point average of 3.0 at UTSA, a 3.5 grade point average in the major, and recommendation by a member of the Political Science and Geography faculty. Supervised research and preparation of an honors thesis. Enrollment limited to candidates during the last two semesters. To enroll, contact the Department Undergraduate Advisor of Record for additional information. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval.