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February 6, 2012

Oregon Law to offer first-ever undergrad courses

The law touches almost every element of daily life, from business to government and everything in between.  The increased complexity of federal and state regulations, and intricacies of conducting business, locally and internationally, makes legal knowledge increasingly important, even for those who don't ultimately practice law.

To keep up with our changing world, the University of Oregon School of Law is opening its doors to undergraduates this spring. This marks the first time the school will offer non-graduate courses.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 27, students may register for Introduction to American Law and/or Environment, Law and Policy. Each course serves to acquaint students with the concepts and vocabulary of the law, while offering a broad overview of the analytic skills required in the practice of law.

Oregon Law Dean Michael Moffitt noted that regardless of a student's career plans, classes in the law enhance any education by improving critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

"The skills learned through legal education strengthen one's ability to be a better engaged citizen, contributing to the economy and the community," Moffitt said. "We hope these courses will add value to our students' professional lives."

Introduction to American Law and Legal Studies:
This class provides an introduction to the American legal system and the methodology of American law. Students will gain an overview of the basic structure of our legal system. After this foundation, students are exposed to several substantive areas of law, including constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, environmental and natural resources law, torts and personal injury, contracts and business law, and family law.

Environment, Law, and Policy:
This course provides undergraduate students with an introduction to environmental policy and law, with an overview of the major themes and regulatory framework. Concepts covered include the history of environmental protection, scientific, market and societal concerns, the citizen toolkit, government regulation, and an overview of federal laws applicable to habitat and species protection, air and water quality, toxic substances, waste management and energy production. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have the skills to analyze current environmental issues and identify options for resolution.

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