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Mental Health Law: Forensics

It is estimated that nearly one-third of Americans experience a diagnosable mental disorder each year. This course is designed to provide law students with a working knowledge of the major areas of mental health and illness, as well as a basic understanding of legal issues affecting the practice of psychology and psychiatry. Basic concepts of clinical psychiatry and psychopathology will be highlighted throughout the course. We will also address legal issues that pertain to the needs and rights of individuals with a mental disorder and explore the delivery of mental health services, the regulation of mental health professionals, and the relationship between society and individuals with a mental disability. Whenever appropriate, landmark cases will be discussed and their impact in the practice of mental health delivery (i.e., psychiatry and psychology) and on the practice of law, will be discussed. nnThis course is intended to be interactive and while the core of the course is pre-determined, some of the content will be tailored to address interests and needs of participants. The structure of most sessions will begin with case presentations highlighting the day's topic, followed by a didactic portion from the instructor, ending with an interactive discussion between class members and invited panelists. nnGrades will be based on class participation, group participation in a mock deposition/trial, and a research paper for R credit- the topic for the paper is to be agreed upon between the student and the course director.nnElements used in grading: Class participation, attendance, group participation in a mock deposition/trial and final paper.


Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Joseph Bankman
José Maldonado