Statutory law is the dominant source of contemporary law, and it is the form of law that lawyers are likely to confront most often in almost any area of practice. It is also an area of vibrant intellectual debate, as scholars, Supreme Court justices, and others debate the methods and aims of statutory interpretation. In this course, students will learn and apply the methods of statutory interpretation, such as the use of legislative history and the canons of construction. The goal will be to prepare students to be lawyers who can effectively identify, craft, and assess arguments and counter-arguments on behalf of a client about how a statute should be interpreted. We will also spend some time on the theoretical debates about textualist, purposive and dynamic interpretation, for example, but primarily to inform students' ability to assess and make arguments about how a statute should be interpreted. No laptops in class, except when designated by instructor. Elements used in grading: Class participation (30%), two 5-7 page (single-spaced) memos involving research, one due mid-quarter and one due at the end of the quarter (35% each).
Instructors for this course (Past and Present)Jane S. Schacter