Course Code:
LAW 681Q
Law Mandatory P/R/F


Lawyers are charged with prosecuting and defending the civil and criminal failings of others. In client counseling and transactional representation, we are charged with helping our clients avoid failure. And as professionals, we are enjoined to avoid failures ourselves. So we spend our careers in and around failure – anticipating it, reconstructing it, and seeking to prevent and remedy it. This seminar explores the human experience of failure in both legal and non-legal settings. What are the circumstances (structural and cognitive) that appear to lead to personal, professional, legal, political, and moral failures? How does the law shape social understandings of what failure is? What kinds of failures appear to support the belief that failure is (almost always) avoidable, and thus the fault of individuals who experience failure? Why do other failures seem inevitable? What is the narrative structure and allure of representations of failure as a condition of success? How are failure and the harms that flow from the experience of failure remembered or forgotten by individuals and groups who cause failure and those who attempt to redress it? Sources for the seminar will range from cases dealing with professional malpractice and cultural histories of professional ideology to poetry, constitutional history, theories of creative destruction, and responses to mass atrocities. Spring Quarter. Class meeting dates: Five evening sessions to be determined by instructor in coordination with enrolled students. Elements used in grading: Class attendance at all sessions and class participation. DISCUSSIONS IN ETHICAL & PROFESSIONAL VALUES COURSES RANKING FORM: To apply for this course, 2L, 3L and Advanced Degree students must complete and submit a Ranking Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.

Past Offerings

2016-2017 Spring

Failure LAW 681Q Section 01 Class #33913

  • 1 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 10

Notes: This class section has been cancelled!

2015-2016 Spring

Failure LAW 681Q Section 01 Class #46134

  • 1 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 10
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