First Amendment Seminar

This is a year-long seminar, with two credits in the Fall and one credit in the Spring. The Fall will be devoted to readings and class discussions. We will meet for two hours each week to talk about the history, theory, and doctrine of the First Amendment. The first ten weeks of the Fall semester will focus on freedom of expression. After exploring the original understanding as well as the leading modern theories of the First Amendment, we will debate how it should apply to a variety of contemporary issues, including flag-burning, pornography, hate speech, and funeral picketing. The last month of the semester will focus on the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, which provide that the government may not establish a religion or interfere with religious liberty. At the end of the Fall semester, students will select their paper topics. They will then write their seminar papers during the Spring. There will be a few class meetings and conferences with Prof. Heyman during the Spring semester, which will be scheduled around students' availability. Students will receive one grade for both semesters; assuming successful completion of the Fall component, a Pass will be recorded temporarily until a final letter grade is assigned at the end of the Spring semester. If you have any questions about this seminar, please contact Prof. Heyman at
(revised 4/11)

Course Information
Course #: LAW 616
Program: JD
Course Type: JD Seminar
Area of Study: Constitutional Law
Credit Hours: Two credit hours.