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Course D.Law in the Political Arena - Revisited

Alumnae Continuing Education
Norris University Center
Thursday, Jan 9, 2020 at 12:45 PM (CT) to Thursday, Mar 12, 2020 at 2:45 PM (CT)

Course D. Law in the Political Arena - Revisited

Thursdays, 12:45-2:45 p.m.

Instructor: Mark Iris, Lecturer, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences

This course meets on Thursday afternoon beginning on January 9th.

There will be no class on January 30th.

In recent decades, the role of legal systems in the United States has changed significantly. In many ways, legal processes and institutions are now used to address a wide variety of issues which were previously addressed through other means or perhaps not addressed at all. This change has led to a growing “legalization” of our society. Much of this process takes place in settings outside the typical courtroom, settings little known and even less well understood by the public at large, often with little media coverage.

Jan. 9 Introduction to the U.S. Legal System

We will look at the organization and operations of state and federal trial and appeals courts. What basic principles do these courts share in common? How does a case reach the U.S. Supreme Court? What coping mechanisms have evolved to enable courts to keep pace with increasing work loads?

Jan. 16 Ruth Bader Ginsburg – On the Frontlines of Women’s Rights

Northwestern enrolled its first women students 150 years ago. As part of a year-long university recognition of notable achievements by women, this Alumnae lecture will examine highlights from the extraordinary legal career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her powerful advocacy for gender equality.

Jan. 23 Arbitration – The Supreme Court and Donald Trump Say Yes!

Mandatory arbitration has become widespread in many facets of American life. Without our awareness, we have effectively lost our right to go to court to seek redress for a host of wrongs. In the past year, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and presidential action, have further reinforced this trend to deny you your day in court.

Jan. 30 NO CLASS

Feb. 6 Law on the High Seas

Ah, the dead of winter in Chicago – the most pleasant time of year! Many people prefer to spend winter days soaking up the sun on a Caribbean cruise, but when things go wrong, passengers and crew members have to navigate some very rough legal waters.

Feb. 13 Misdemeanor Crimes: The Invisible Facet of the Criminal Justice System

Misdemeanor offenses, such as disorderly conduct, have attracted little attention from scholars and policy researchers, in part because the stakes, for an individual, seem minor, and the number of people impacted yearly is massive. Courts further enhance the invisibility of these cases. How can a trivial charge greatly impact a person’s life?

Feb. 20 Criminal Justice Reform

After 30-plus years of increasingly harsh criminal penalties, there is now serious discussion (and some modest action) to slow mass incarceration and undo some of its damaging consequences. What progress has been made? What obstacles remain?

Feb. 27 Wrongful Convictions

In recent years, there has been growing realization that the criminal conviction of a person who is actually innocent is more common than previously thought. How do these blatant miscarriages of justice occur? What reforms are evolving to address the problem?

Mar. 5 School Finance and the Courts

School districts vary widely in terms of funding. This in turn leads to vast inequalities in the resources available to educate children. How have state and federal courts dealt with the legal challenges to the inequitable provision of a crucial public service?

Mar. 12 Chicago Police Reform: An Update

The Chicago Police Department is now operating under a U.S. District Court supervised Consent Decree. How did this come about? What is a consent decree? Most importantly, what progress is the CPD making to meet the numerous reforms required by this decree?


Parking permit may be requested from this website.

See the event listed as Winter 2020 Parking - Optional


Information is subject to change. Full course and policy descriptions are available at www.nualumnae.org


***One ticket per class, per account.

Course Pricing

One nine-week course $190.00

Discounts for Multiple Registrations for an Individual

Individuals who register for multiple courses may receive discounts on each additional course after the first:

To register for two nine-week courses at the special price of $355.00, select the 2-Course Package.

To register for three nine-week courses at the special price of $520.00, select the 3-Course Package.

To register for four nine-week courses at the special price of $685.00, select the 4-Course Package.


Your email confirmation from Norris Box Office verifies your registration but it is not your entry to class. Be sure to bring your class entry card to each class as it must be shown to the proctors at the entry door. In order to guarantee seating for registered students, those without their card will be given a temporary entry card, but ONE time only. After that one time, a replacement card will be provided at a fee of $30.00.

Refund Policy: Before a refund can be issued, your course card must be returned and the cancellation fee must be purchased on this website. Send your entry card to Alumnae Continuing Education, P.O. Box 2789, Glenview, IL 60025.

Applicable Fees and Withdrawal Schedule:
If the withdrawal request is received prior to the first class, the refund of the original registration will be initiated only after the registrant purchases a $10.00 cancellation processing fee.

If the withdrawal request is received after the first class, but before the second class, the refund of the the original registration will be initiated only after the registrant purchases both the $10.00 cancellation processing fee and the $30.00 per diem fee, per course dropped.

If the withdrawal request is received after the second class, but before the third class, the refund of the original registration will be initiated only after the registrant purchases the $10.00 cancellation processing fee and $60.00 in per diem fees, per course dropped.


  • No refunds will be given after the second class.
  • Credits are not given for future classes.
  • A transfer at no cost to another class offered during the same quarter is an option provided there is space available.
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Packages including this event

Alumnae Continuing Education 2-Course Package
Alumnae Continuing Education 3-Course Package
Alumnae Continuing Education 4-Course Package

Ticket Options

Single Course Registration (Not Discounted)

Ticket TypePriceQuantity
General Public
$190.00
First Year
$190.00
Sophomore
$190.00
Junior
$190.00
Senior
$190.00
Graduate Student
$190.00
NU Employee
$190.00
NU Affiliate
$190.00
Non-Degree Student
$190.00
Kellogg Student
$190.00
Medical Student
$190.00
Law Student
$190.00
Garrett
$190.00
Seabury
$190.00
New NU
$190.00

Event Location
Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive Evanston, IL 60208

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