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Lecture 1

LS 101 Lecture 1: Module 1 - Introduction to Legal Concepts

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Legal Studies
LS 101
Patrick Watson

Module 1: Introduction to Legal Concepts: Functions of the Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Administrative Law Introduction: law permeates all forms of social interaction and represents a complex and extensive system of social control Traditional vs. Complex Societies: small traditional societies: homogeneous; able to function wo laws traditional societies: informal mechanisms of social control; norms enforced by praise, criticism, shame, ridicule, gossip, ostracism; religion plays a significant role complex societies: heterogeneous; formal mechanisms of social control laws: (1) established by a political body (2) enforced by threats of punishment or coercion (3) enforced by persons or agencies who are authorized to do so laws: formal written in public documents governmental mechanisms of social control symbolizes use of power Role of Lawyers: concern themselves with resolving problems and disputes on behalf of their clients look for weaknesses in the opponents case and attempt to gain a victory on behalf of their client occupy intermediary position between clients and legal system only a small proportion are involved in actual litigation (lawsuits in courtroom) sociologists take a balanced approach to problems, be objective as possible, and seek the truth Judges: highest authority in the courtroom has his own private chamber enters a separate entrance, enters the courtroom last, hisher entrance is formally announced, and everyone is required to rise when told to Functions of the Law: 1. Laws are Required to Maintain Social Control and Social Order 2. Laws Help in Dispute Resolution 3. Laws are Instruments of Social Change 4. Laws Uphold Rights and Privileges and Define Duties and Obligations 5. Laws Communicate Moral Standards The Ideological Function
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