This seminar adds a new dimension to the law school curriculum offerings on public policy. Using the firearms issue as a case study, the seminar focuses on corporate responsibility, legislative responses to public health issues, litigation as a tool for social change, and the role of lawyers advocating for public health and safety. Students use a public health problem-solving paradigm to analyze gun violence issues, develop workable interventions, set policy priorities, and evaluate their effectiveness. Candidates for the Master of Social Work degree in the National Catholic School of Social Service can also register for the seminar.
The course provides additional in-depth analysis of core subject matter fields studied in the first year. In the context of third-party liability cases against gun manufacturers and dealers, students analyze negligence theory and theories of strict liability. In addition to providing the only law school classroom discussion of Second Amendment cases and theory, the seminar explores the constitutional limits on state and federal government legislation aimed at promoting public health and safety.
The course uses an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn elementary concepts of epidemiology and statistics, and how to use credible data to enhance a legal argument. Classroom exercises are designed to introduce students to the theory of incidence rates and the analysis of graphs and charts. The readings also include essays on ethical considerations in legislating public health and safety standards. Skills learned are important to all types of practice, including litigation. Grading is based on a final paper (80%) and classroom participation (20%). At the discretion of the instructor, this course may include a qualifying course paper that fulfills one half of the writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X - Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Limited enrollment. Faculty.