Course Spotlight: Communication Law


Above: Cameron Ramaekers uses his laptop to prepare for the next round and pass his teammates notes as they debate in the two rows in front of him.


Assistant Professor Fred Lamer teaches Communication Law and Ethics. In the class, students are taught about laws and precedent cases related to their field of study including copyright, advertising, reporter’s privilege, obscenity, libel suits and more. Arguably the most fun part of the course is the debates. The class is distributed a court case prompt, broken down into plaintiff and defendant sides and given nearly two weeks to prepare. During the debate, groups of five students take turns facing their opponents to argue the issue while citing court cases and laws.

What the Instructor Says…

“The law debates require an investment in research time and group collaboration – two important academic activities. It’s fun to watch students argue from informed positions. Tempers can sometimes flare. I love it.”

– Fred Lamer, assistant professor from Detroit, Mich. teaching for his 31st year at Northwest

What the Students Say…

I always love the Lamers’ classes. Fred has so much advice and so many stories that he can always keep the class and the material interesting. The debate challenges students to think outside the box. Knowing the history and laws behind mass media, along with how those laws and cases are in effect today, is important for all of us.”

– Cassie Lowell, journalism and public relations major from Concordia, Kan.

For more information about Communication Law and Ethics or when it is offered, email Fred Lamer at or ask your advisor.


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