English Seminars

Course Descriptions: Past and Present

The American Lawyer: Fact and Fiction

There is no shortage of depictions of the American lawyer in popular culture and the news media. In this class we will look at the popular representations of the American lawyer found in film, television, books, etc. and compare them with the realities of being a lawyer in America. We will then explore how the news media depicts actual lawyers by looking at news coverage ranging from the sensational, headline-grabbing court cases to everyday legal news events

Law and Social Change: From the Cold War to the War on Terror

This course looks at how law impacted the massive social changes that took place in the United States after World War II. Through the use of books, articles and films, students will be introduced to the red scare of the 1950s, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and the anti-war movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Students will then explore the similarities and differences between social upheavals of the past, which were arguably brought upon by government action, and today’s response to the government’s actions regarding terrorism.

Debating Controversial Supreme Court Cases

Courts in America have played an important role in shaping American society over the past 150 years. Rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court have led to war, civil unrest, and the detention of innocent individuals. However, the Court has helped shape society’s views on race relations, personal privacy and the rights of the criminally accused. Many of these landmark decisions remain controversial today. This course will look at several of the most important court decisions in American history. Students will look at the impact these ruling had, and continue to have, on American society, as well as explore the cultural context in which the rulings were made.

Conversation and Presentation Skills for Lawyers

This course seeks to give student in the University of Münster’s Foreign Law Program practice with using their English language skills as it relates to legal settings. In addition to group discussion on various legal issues, students in the class participate in a moot court.

Research and Writing Skills for Lawyers

This course seeks to improve the research and writing skills of students in the University of Münster’s foreign law program. Students are shown how to conduct legal research on the Internet and are given a brief introduction to using an American law library. Students are also required to draft case briefs.