Whether you’re a Legal Studies major looking to go into law school or someone just trying out new classes, Intro to Legal Process (LGST 10-01) is an excellent first exposure to the world of law and how we play a role in enacting justice. This class is taken by beginners, history buffs, and even people who work in the local justice system. The concepts you learn in this class will teach you how to be informed about your rights and responsibilities as members of our society.

1. Enroll early

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Lots and lots of people want to take the class, and many people end up being on the wait list. If this is an important class for your major or just for you personally, make sure that you keep track of your enrollment period and keep the class on your list. If you do end up being on the wait list, still show up to class! The professor will take that into account when spaces start opening up and people start dropping the class.

2. Show up to discussion

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As we start gearing up towards midterms, you’ll find that discussion section is a crucial way to go over concepts from class and answer questions about course material. The TA’s do a great job of trying to get student involvement and hear people’s opinions on important topics within the class. Not to mention that attendance is a big part of your grade!

3. Bring your textbook to lecture

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As much as it is a pain to lug your textbook to each class, it pays off during lecture to have your course material handy. During lecture, you can review your notes, reference court cases and amendments that relate to the cases we focus on, and even make more notes of your own if you’re inspired by the class discourse. It’s much easier to participate in class when you have a textbook to cite so that everyone is on the same page – literally.

4. Prepare Questions

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A large part of lecture is question time and class discourse, if you get Professor Patton, he likes to incorporate a Socratic seminar within almost every class. Having questions on hand will stimulate class dialogue and bring insight to any topics that you may be struggling with. If you’re shy, you can ask the professor or TA’s after class, and they can bring it up during the next lecture.

5. Stay informed on current events

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One of the best parts of class is the way that historical decisions can be mirrored by current events. Even though we are learning about things that happened decades, maybe centuries ago, these ideas and events are still relevant today. We can compare and contrast how much times have changed within our society at our nation’s conception, and marvel at the similarities of the Founders’ goals to our American Dream. For better or worse, our current events have been shaped by our predecessors, and law is their legacy that forms our current situation.

Intro to Legal Process will cause you to question your beliefs and grow as a person. It opens your eyes to issues within our communities and encourages you to be the person who works towards improvement. Even if you choose not to pursue a career in legal studies, taking this course can give you valuable perspective on the way that we as citizens can affect change.


Danielle Hsu


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