Perspective Courses

Students must successfully complete one perspective course in order to graduate.

A perspective course is intended to introduce the student to a broad array of diverse viewpoints, to enhance cultural competency skills, and to foster critical engagement with the diverse needs of clients that students will serve as lawyers. This includes individuals and groups who may have traditionally been disadvantaged by operation of legal systems, historically disadvantaged groups, lawmakers themselves, those who seek fundamental change in the law, and others. It gives systematic, pervasive, and in-depth analysis of legal issues and institutions from one or more vantage points (perspectives) outside of society’s current lawmakers in one of three categories:

1. Perspectives from legal systems outside the domestic U.S. legal system (e.g., international law or comparative law perspectives);

2. Perspectives from people and groups who are not lawmakers, often critical perspectives on dominant U.S. legal institutions (e.g., critical race perspectives; gender perspectives); and

3. Perspectives from non-legal disciplines (e.g., economic analysis of law; legal history).

The Perspective requirement is the means by which all students develop the skills of cultural competence. All Perspective courses must include instruction in cultural competence skills, multiple opportunities for students to apply cultural competence skills with feedback from the instructor, and evaluation of every student on their mastery of cultural competence skills.

All Perspective courses must include one or more Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in the syllabus which describe specifically how diverse perspectives on or about area of law covered by the course will be addressed, how cultural competence skills will be developed and assessed, and how the students’ enhanced understanding of those perspectives will be measured.

A course meeting the perspective course requirement may be one designated by the faculty because of its course description and inherent content, or may be a particular offering of a course designated by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Perspective courses may be offered only for two or more credit hours. Perspective courses may also satisfy the writing requirement or the experiential requirement, but not both. The maximum enrollment for a Perspective course is 25 students, including students from other graduate and professional programs. Courses meeting the perspective requirement are designated on the class schedule every semester.