Judicial Process and Behavior

POL 155 at UC Davis

Taught: Spring 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2019.

Judicial Process and Behavior is a social-scientific examination of the way that actors in the legal system (and particularly judges) make decisions. The course proceeds along two tracks. First, we study how judges’ personalities, demographic characteristics and preferences affect their decisions. Second, we study how institutional environments affect judges’ decisions. As part of this course, students develop a set of short policy memoranda. These memos are designed to help students apply academic research to real world problems. They also provide an important opportunity for them to develop a crucial professional skill: the ability to develop an argument concisely and clearly in a small amount of space.