Full year course – 4 credits This course replaces LAW & SOCIETY and AMERICAN ISSUES and is not open to students who have taken LAW & SOCIETY and/or AMERICAN ISSUES. Students may choose to enroll in this course in addition to a full year history course without going through the normal double enrollment process. This course explores some of the ways that the American legal system enters the lives of citizens and attempts to address pressing social problems. Topics include freedom of speech, criminal justice and the correctional system, race and Affirmative Action and locker searches in public schools. Students will learn about the balance between the desire of Americans to enjoy personal and societal freedoms, and the need for order, safety, and fairness. In addition, the class will consider some aspects of civil law, such as contracts or torts, and what it is really like to be an attorney or judge in America. Class time will be divided between discussion, lecture, films, oral or visual presentations, writing exercises, and the use of the school’s computer laboratories. Occasional field trips, such as a tour of the Billerica House of Correction and a mock trial are planned to enrich the curriculum . Students should expect to complete regular homework assignments, take tests and quizzes, and write essays of various lengths. This course features a strong emphasis on the development of skills in reading, writing, organization, and note-taking. (2-4)