Fundamentals of Law is a course that explores the laws that average Americans encounter during their everyday lives. The course begins by examining the roots of the American legal system from the Magna Carta through the Constitutional Convention and discusses the early government of the United States. Later in this course, students will explore the criminal law system. They will compare the federal criminal system to the state criminal system in addition to learning about crimes against people such as homicide, assault, burglary, and arson. Students will then study the roles of lawyers in criminal court cases. In the final units of this course, students will redirect their focus to learn about consumer laws, rights, and obligations. Contemporary issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, gang violence, online crimes, and same-sex marriage will be discussed.
Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills
- Identify how the American Revolution affected our laws.
- Explain what laws are and why they exist.
- Identify problems with the Articles of Confederation.
- Explore the relationship between the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
- Identify the three branches of the federal government.
- Examine advocacy and its place in a democracy.
- Describe the court system in Pennsylvania.
Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills
- Explore the objectives of criminal law.
- Explain the difference between crimes against people and crimes against property.
- Examine specific events of terrorist activities.
- Discover how to speak with a lawyer.
- Explore rights afforded to crime suspects.
- Explore police procedures.
- Explain the importance of the jury system.
Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills
- Examine the civil trial process.
- Identify the various kinds of torts.
- Examine the various ways to finance a car.
- Explore various ways to pay for higher education.
- Describe the different forms a contract can take.
Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills
- Examine the process of marriage and responsibilities of parenthood.
- Identify Miranda rights and interrogation regulations.
- Examine the consequences of alcohol and drug use and abuse.
- Examine the sentencing process of the juvenile justice system.
- Analyze the controversies surrounding same-sex relationships.
- This course is textbook free.