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Essay on Law and Justice


Each student will write a three-page essay analyzing whether justice was served in a particular case.  The case does not have to have resulted in a trial (charges may have been dismissed or no charges may have been filed at all).  The essay will address the nature of the case and the outcome.  The student must then state his or her position on whether justice was served in that case.  Examples include the OJ Simpson trial, the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal, and the CU football sex scandal.  Students should back their opinion with facts or citations to the literature where possible.  Make it more than “I think justice was or was not served because . .  .” 

Research Paper


Each student will write a 9-12 page research paper on how law is used as an agent of social change.  Sample topics include school desegregation, gay marriage, affirmative action, abortion, the environmental movement, labor laws, and more.  The minimum requirements of this assignment are as follows:

  • The paper should discuss one way law has been used as an agent of social change.  It should outline the problem that existed prior to changes in the law and how those changes in the law attempted to resolve the problem.  The student should then assess how effectively those changes have been implemented.  In other words, did the shift in legal philosophy work to resolve the problem, did it fail, or did other unforeseen problems develop subsequent to the change.  The student should use a combination of news sources and academic sources.  Articles, books, and commentaries should be cited in addition to newspaper articles or historical accounts."


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