For students that are majoring in political science, PS 601: The Supreme Court’s Most Recent Term is a highly recommended class. Taught to around 20 students per semester by Prof. Ryan Owens, the course takes a deep dive into six interesting cases on the Court’s current docket. While the course is not offered in fall 2019, it is normally offered in the spring. Here are things you need to know before taking the 3 credit course:
You’ll improve your writing tremendously
Prof. Owens comes from a legal and research background, so he is a very strict grader when it comes to writing. Don’t let this scare you, though, he’s also a great teacher and gives detailed feedback on how to improve your writing!
You get a well-rounded look at the Supreme Court justices
On the first day of class, Prof. Owens went over some background on the Court as an institution as well as the justices currently on the bench. Additionally, throughout the course, you’ll hear the oral arguments for each case the class focuses on which allows students to get to know the personalities of each justice.
The final “exam” is an oral argument in the State Supreme Court chambers
This is probably the coolest part of the course. On the final day of the class, all of the students meet at the capitol and provide their oral arguments (if they were assigned the role of a litigator) or hear the arguments and make a decision (if they were assigned the role of a justice). It provides a great experience for public speaking and an inside look at the chambers.