Feminist Legal Theory

Feminist Legal Theory

Course Number: LAW 759, ULWR
Course Credits: 3
This seminar uses gender as a lens to interpret the law and the experiences that women and men of all colors have with the law. We will begin by examining the theoretical presumptions and organizing principles of traditional feminist critiques of the law. Then, through examination of a variety of topics which have been of particular interest to feminist legal scholars, we will examine and critique the assumptions of feminist legal theory. Specifically, we will discuss legal aspects of work, motherhood, family life, sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual intimacy, rape, pregnancy, abortion, race, wealth, poverty and sexual orientation. Throughout the course, our examination is grounded by inquiring to what extent feminism and theories of gender, when applied to the law, accurately have met the needs of women and men. The course concludes with a study of the most recent contributions to feminist legal scholarship and the emergence of a “Third Wave” feminist jurisprudence. Grades will be determined on the basis of class participation, presentations and a final paper. There is no examination. Students have the option of writing (i) several short (2-3) page papers and a 12-15 page final paper or (ii) a single 25 page final paper. Enrollment limited to 15 students.
Feminism and the Law, Theory