Faculty Profiles

Seana Shiffrin

Seana Shiffrin

Professor of Philosophy
Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice
B.A. UC Berkeley, 1988
B. Phil. Oxford, 1990
D. Phil Oxford, 1993
J.D. Harvard, 1996
UCLA Faculty Since 1996

LAW 555 - Legal Theory Workshop

The Legal Theory Workshop brings leading scholars from around the world to discuss their works in progress with law students, graduate students in philosophy, and interested faculty.   All the papers will address legal issues from a theoretically informed perspective or theoretical issues relevant to the understanding of law.  The seminar will involve biweekly discussions with leading scholars, with intervening preparatory weeks for students to gain background in the relevant topic.  Students will be expected to attend  all sessions, participate regularly, write a handful of short reaction papers (1-2 pages) and complete a longer analytical paper involving little research (12-15 pages) at the end of the term about one of the subjects covered in class. Students who wish SAW credit may elect to write a somewhat longer paper.  

This year's program includes a highly distinguished list of speakers whose work addresses the formation of trust relationships between criminals, criminal law, freedom of speech, property, the justification of the state and judicial review.  The list of speakers is available at http://www.law.ucla.edu/centers/interdisciplinary-studies/law-and-philosophy-program.
 
No prior background is necessary, but students should be open to in-depth investigation of theoretical arguments about legal issues and legal structure. All law students are welcome and have the relevant preparation.  Background will be supplied in the weeks in between speaker visits.  The course is particularly well-suited to those students who want to explore more theoretical perspectives on law and their use in legal arguments.   It may be helpful to those who plan to write notes, to consider an academic career in law, or who plan to clerk, although none of these intentions are necessary to take, enjoy, or succeed in the course.  The course also provides a nice opportunity to interact with faculty at UCLA in a congenial atmosphere and to meet faculty from other institutions.  The course satisfies one of the Core requirements for the Law and Philosophy Specialization.