Education / Schools, Law Schools, Television, War on Terror, Weirdness

Best Law School Course Ever?

Fox 24 twenty-four Jack Bauer Kiefer Sutherland Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re not being sarcastic. This course, to be offered at Georgetown Law in spring 2008, sounds awesome. To the average law student, it’s probably way more interesting than securities regulation (or even ERISA — one of our favorite law school classes). [FN1]
From the GULC course catalog:

The Law of “24”
Professor W. Sharp
LL.M Course 853 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The award winning Fox Television drama series 24 explores America’s fictional response to international terrorism through the eyes of Jack Bauer, a U.S. counter-terrorism agent. Oftentimes without remorse or regard for the law, Agent Bauer is willing to do what has to be done when faced with the threat of kidnappings, assassinations, nuclear detonations, and bioterrorism on U.S. soil – despite traitors in his family, his unit, and the White House; partisan politics; sleeper cells; and hidden agendas.

This course provides a detailed understanding of a very wide-range of U.S. domestic and international legal issues concerning counterterrorism in the context of the utilitarian and sometimes desperate responses to terrorism raised by the plot of 24. Course requirements include active classroom discussion and a paper of approximately 25 pages.

If Jack Goldsmith’s new book is correct, it seems some members of the Bush Administration legal team might benefit from this class.
The instructor, adjunct professor Walter Sharp, sounds pretty badass. He’s a Naval Academy grad who currently serves as Associate Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs at the Defense Department. He previously served as Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pretty cool!
[FN1] We followed, with interest and amusement, this recent spirited commenters’ debate over whether you can get a “real” legal education at Yale. For those of you who care, we offer some thoughts on that subject after the jump.
The Law of “24” [Georgetown University Law Center]
Faculty bio: Walter Gary Sharp [Georgetown University Law Center]

Okay. It’s true that some Yale Law School professors have a (perhaps unfortunate) disdain for the more practical aspects of the law. It’s true that in some courses, you’ll start deconstructing the applicable legal doctrines before you even know what they are. It’s true that the YLS course catalog brims over with offerings that make “The Law of 24″ look as traditional as Civ Pro (typically titled “Law and _____”).
But what’s BarBri for (other than violating antitrust laws)? Yale’s bar passage rate hovers around 95 percent. Clearly Yalies are capable of learning black-letter law when they have to (as several commenters noted).
And rest assured that you can immerse yourself in black-letter law at Yale if you so choose. During our time at Yale, in addition to the required 1L courses, we took Bankruptcy, ERISA, Tax, Advanced Tax, Crim Law, Crim Pro, Antitrust, Sentencing (a full year), Complex Civil Litigation, Legislation, and several other “real,” rigorous classes.
Law school: It’s really what you make of it.

(hidden for your protection)

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