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Course Application

Advanced Legal Reasoning: Modern Global Challenges

Professor Amy Kouznetsova

Call for more information 495-649-2273

Objectives:  Advanced Legal Reasoning is a skills-development course, designed to build on your logical  reasoning, cases analysis and practical problem solving skills, in the context of exploring important contemporary issues.

Methods: Students will study methods of reasoning through review and discussion of cases and articles addressing problems such as protecting the weaker classes, the right to kill and be killed, economic growth versus environmental protection, and state surveillance versus the right to privacy. The course will also explore issues related to the current pandemic such as rights to medical care, drug pricing, and how states make decisions to prioritize public health or economic concerns.  

This course will be taught using the Socratic method.  Socratic teaching is a combination of questioning and open discussion.  Each student is expected to engage orally with the professor and other students during class. 

Prerequisites:  This is an LL.M. level course.  Students who are not in the LL.M. program are admitted only upon Pericles’ determination that the student’s English level and knowledge of law are sufficient to complete the course work, and upon the permission of the Professor.

Grades: Grades will be comprised of in-class participation, multiple choice quizzes, a position paper discussing a self-selected issue facing your client, employer, city or national government, and a final exam.  The course will be recorded on your transcript as “Advanced Legal Reasoning.”


Tentative Topics and Schedule (this may change as the course is further developed):

Methods of Legal Reasoning and Creating Policy.  How do we develop laws?  Tradition, public opinion, and establishing moral principles that fit modern society.  Exploring law and economics.  Criminal retribution, remediation and rehabilitation.


Laws of Protection.  Legislative intent and drafting content-neutral laws.  The evolution of the right to contract.  Immigration and national protectionist policies.


Economic Growth and Wealth Inequality.  Are men worth more than women?  How do we establish the value of a profession?  What’s the right amount of wealth equality? The role of corporations in affecting public opinion and influencing policy makers.   Affirmative action and disadvantaged classes.  Corona virus issues:  Do you sacrifice 2% of the population to ensure the livelihood of others?

Life in the Age of Corona.  Who gets medical treatment, who doesn’t?  Who pays the price for broken contracts and economic slowdown? Government incentives to develop technology.  

Developing and Drafting a Position Paper.  Choosing a topic and making your best case.


The Right to Kill and Be Killed (Part 1).  Who has the right to kill and what exceptions have we made for this moral imperative and why (death penalty, self-defense, euthanasia)?  Is torture okay if it saves lives?


The Right to Kill and Be Killed (Part 2) The price of life.  How do we compensate family members for the loss of loved ones? Are some lives more valuable than others?


Position Paper Presentations and Discussion


The Right to Privacy (Part 1).   State surveillance, governmental benefits and personal choices. Legal issues related to facial recognition technology.  More on Corona:  Restrictions on movement and human monitoring (above the skin versus under the skin monitoring)


The Right to Privacy (Part 2).  Who’s in charge where there are no borders:  Internet governance and cryptocurrency.  The right to be forgotten.


Economic Growth and the Environment.    When is it okay to sacrifice the earth for human development? What happens when single countries make decisions about the natural resources within their borders when the whole world is affected?