+ subject to prerequisites, co-requisites, exclusions, or professor permission
1L first year required course
a extends over more than one quarter
c/l cross listed
e first-year elective
l Lecturer-taught seminar/simulation class
m seminar
p meets the professional responsibility/ethics requirement
r papers may meet substantial research paper (SRP) graduation requirement
s meets the professional skills requirement
u simulation class
w may meet writing project (WP) graduation requirement
x offering available for bidding
(#) the number of Law School credit hours earned for successful completion
  • International Income Taxation

    LAWS 44601 - 01 (3)
    This course provides a survey of the income tax aspects of investments and business operations of foreigners in the United States and overseas investments and business operations of Americans. Though the principal focus of the course is on the U.S. tax system, some attention is paid to adjustments between tax regimes of different countries through tax credits and tax treaties. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
    Winter 2015
    Julie Roin
  • International Trade Law and Investment Law

    LAWS 48401 - 01 (3)
    This course focuses on two distinct areas of international economic law: international trade law and international investment law. The international trade section of the course will focus on the laws established by the World Trade Organization. This will include an in-depth analysis of the treaties, regulations, and case law that govern international trade. The international investment section of the course will focus on the regime of laws created by Bilateral Investment Treaties. The course will specifically cover the growth of this regime, the content of the agreements, investor-state arbitration, and proposals for reforming the system. By exposing students to both trade and investment law, this course will provide students with a foundation in two growing areas of international law. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
    Winter 2015
    Adam Chilton
  • Introductory Income Taxation

    LAWS 44121 - 01 (3) x
    This course provides an introduction to the essential elements of the federal income tax, with a special emphasis on issues related to the taxation of individuals. The topics covered include the nature, timing and measurement of income, the role played by "basis" in calculating gain (and loss) in transactions involving property, the boundary between personal and business expenditures, and the use of the tax system to provide behavioral incentives and disincentives. The course stresses the complex interactions between political and administrative concerns in the tax system. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
    Autumn 2014
    Julie Roin
  • Introductory Income Taxation

    LAWS 44121 - 01 (3) x
    This class provides an introduction to federal income tax law. Topics covered in this course include (but are not limited to) what constitutes income; deductions; the tax treatment of gains and losses; realization and timing; tax shelters. The class uses a combination of lectures, class discussion and problems, focusing on the application of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations, cases, and other sources of tax law. Policy issues underlying the tax law will also be analyzed. This class has no prerequisites. The grade is based on a final in-class examination and class participation.
    Winter 2015
    Dhammika Dharmapala
  • Islamic Law and Finance

    LAWS 80222 - 01 (3) c/l, l, m, w, x
    This seminar will provide students with an overview of the modern Islamic finance industry. We will review the basic sources of Islamic law and jurisprudence and consider the prohibitions on unjustified increase (riba) and excessive risk (gharar). We will explore the classical rules of Islamic contract and commercial law and their application in the modern context. The growth of the modern Islamic finance industry from the 1970’s to the present will be examined. The main Islamic financial products will be reviewed. We will consider legal questions in structuring transaction documentation. We will explore the ethical underpinnings of Islamic finance and the social justice questions highlighted by the intersection of religion and finance. Regulatory issues will be discussed. We will also consider the political environment in which Islamic finance currently operates. The seminar is intended to familiarize students with the essential legal framework of the rapidly emerging market for highly technical and sophisticated Islamic financial products. The grade is based on a final written paper and class participation.
    Autumn 2014
    Cynthia Shawamreh
  • Judicial Opinions and Judicial Opinion Writing

    LAWS 52003 - 01 (3) m, s, w, x
    For many graduates of this law school, their first job is as a judicial law clerk, usually in a federal court of appeals. A few graduates will eventually become judges. More important, many, many graduates will have a litigation practice. As law clerks or judges, they must learn to write judicial opinions. As practicing lawyers, they must learn to think like judges so that they will know how to communicate with them effectively, in briefs and at oral argument: something few lawyers know how to do. The seminar aims to teach law students how to think and write like judges, and so to equip them for a future as law clerks, judges, practicing lawyers--or all three. The grade will be based on a series of short research papers.
    Winter 2015
    Richard A. Posner
  • Jurisprudence I: Theories of Law and Adjudication

    LAWS 47411 - 01 (3) e, x
    An examination of classic jurisprudential questions in and around the theory of adjudication: the theory of how judges actually do decide cases and how they ought to decide them. These questions include: Do legal rules really constrain judicial decision-making? What makes a rule (or norm) a rule of the legal system? Are principles of morality legally binding even when such principles have not been enacted into a law by a legislature? (Relatedly, are there objective principles of morality?) When no legal norm controls a case, how ought judges to decide that case? Can there be right answers to legal disputes, even when informed judges and lawyers disagree about the answer? Are there principles or methods of legal reasoning that constrain judicial decision-making, or is legal reasoning essentially indeterminate, such that a skillful judge can justify more than one outcome for any given dispute? Is judicial decision-making really distinct from political decision-making of the sort legislators engage in? Readings drawn exclusively from major twentieth-century schools of thought - especially American Legal Realism (e.g., Karl Llewellyn, Jerome Frank), Natural Law (e.g., Ronald Dworkin, John Finnis), and Legal Positivism (e.g., H.L.A. Hart, Joseph Raz) - supplemented by other pertinent readings (from Leslie Green, Richard Posner, and the instructor, among others). No familiarity with either jurisprudence or philosophy will be presupposed, though some readings will be philosophically demanding, and the course will sometimes venture into (and explain) cognate philosophical issues in philosophy of language and metaethics as they are relevant to the core jurisprudential questions. Attendance at the first session is mandatory for those who want to enroll. Take-home essay exam.
    Spring 2015
    Brian Leiter
  • Juvenile Justice

    LAWS 60102 - 01 (2) m, x
    This seminar considers how our legal system should respond to crimes committed by minors. In particular, students consider the appropriateness of treating minors differently from adults in preventing, adjudicating, and imposing consequences for criminal behavior. Readings on adolescent development and urban sociology help inform discussions. The student’s grade is based on class discussion, and a series of short papers and/or blog posts. Enrollment is limited to 20. 8 seats are reserved for non-law students.
    Winter 2015
    Emily Buss
  • Kapnick Initiative Leadership Effectiveness and Development Lab I: Development

    LAWS 75710 - 01 (3) +, c/l
    This is the first of a two-course series that develops the self-awareness and effectiveness of the student (facilitator) at influencing, motivating, and developing people. The series is experiential in nature. Its two distinct components are: Development (LAWS 75710, see below) and Implementation (see LAWS 75711). Facilitators spend the Spring quarter developing self-awareness and the influencing, public speaking, facilitating, coaching and mentoring skills essential to leadership and to their ability to run the LEAD component of the Kapnick Initiative effectively in the Autumn quarter. Within their designated four-person squad, facilitators select specialties in order to devise and master the source material with the depth of understanding necessary to facilitate classroom discussions on key leadership topics. The Spring quarter will culminate in a ‘preview day’ where facilitators will have the opportunity to deliver their sessions before a live audience to help calibrate for the Autumn quarter. Students do not need to bid for this course. Interested students apply during Autumn quarter of their 2L year and undergo an extensive application process from which successful applicants are invited to participate. Students are assessed on both their ability to develop the requisite knowledge and skills to run the program and their effectiveness at doing so. A substantial component of the grade comes from feedback that facilitators are expected to give to and receive from other facilitators. Class attendance in both Spring and Autumn quarters is mandatory. Cannot be taken Pass/Fail. Numerical grade issued at the end of the Spring quarter.
    Spring 2015
    Stacey Kole
  • Kapnick Initiative Leadership Effectiveness and Development Lab II: Implementation

    LAWS 75711 - 01 (1) +, c/l
    This is the second of a two-course series that develops the self-awareness and effectiveness of the student (facilitator) at influencing, motivating, and developing people. The series is experiential in nature. Its two distinct components are: Development (see LAWS 75710) and Implementation (LAWS 75711, see below). The overarching mission of ‘Implementation’ is to deliver an outstanding development program during Autumn quarter for all the incoming first-year Law students (1Ls). The LEAD class is run by teams of four facilitators. Each facilitator team is responsible for the learning experience of one Bigelow section of 1L students. The Implementation phase starts during the Law School Orientation and lasts into Week 3 of the Autumn quarter, culminating with the successful recruitment of student facilitators to partake in the following year's program. Students do not need to bid for this course. Students registered for the Spring quarter course (LAWS 75710) will be automatically registered into this course. Students are assessed on both their ability to develop the requisite knowledge and skills to run the program and their effectiveness at doing so. A substantial component of the grade comes from feedback that facilitators are expected to give to and receive from other facilitators. Class attendance in both Spring and Autumn quarters is mandatory. Graded Pass/Fail. Pass/Fail grade issued at the end of the Autumn quarter.
    Autumn 2014
    Stacey Kole
  • Labor Law

    LAWS 43101 - 01 (3)
    This course examines the statutory, administrative, and judicial law governing collective labor relations. The principal subjects are union organizing and collective bargaining, with particular attention to the National Labor Relations Act. Students consider the strategies adopted by labor groups, employers, and legal actors in response to evolving economic and social conditions. The course draws on historical and comparative perspectives to evaluate emerging alternatives to the existing labor law regime. The grade is based on a final in-class examination and class participation.
    Winter 2015
    Laura Weinrib
  • Land Use

    LAWS 61301 - 01 (3)
    Few areas of law have as immediate an impact on our lived environment than the law of land use. This course will provide a broad introduction to the theory, doctrine, and history of land use regulation. Topics will include zoning, homeowners’ associations, nuisance, suburban sprawl, eminent domain and regulatory takings. Throughout, we will discuss the ways land use regulation affects land use patterns, economic efficiency, distributive justice, social relations, and the environment. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
    Spring 2015
    Richard A. Epstein
  • Law and Politics: U.S. Courts as Political Institutions

    LAWS 51302 - 01 (3) +, c/l, m, r, w
    The purpose of this seminar is two-fold. First, the seminar aims to introduce students to the political science literature on courts understood as political institutions. In examining foundational parts of this literature, the seminar will focus on the relationship between the courts and other political institutions. The sorts of questions to be asked include: Are there interests that courts are particularly prone to support? What factors influence judicial decision-making? What effect does congressional or executive action have on court decisions? What impact do court decisions have? While the answers will not always be clear, students should complete the seminar with an awareness of and sensitivity to the political nature of the American legal system. Second, by critically assessing approaches to the study of the courts, the seminar seeks to highlight intelligent and sound approaches to the study of political institutions. Particular concern will focus on what assumptions students of courts have made, how evidence has been integrated into their studies, and what a good research design looks like. There is a REQUIRED PRELIMINARY MEETING for anyone interested in taking this seminar. It will be held on Wednesday November 12th, 12:15 - 1:20, in Law School Seminar Room F (feel free to bring your lunch). Enrollment in the seminar is strictly limited and any student who wishes to be considered for admission to the seminar must attend the meeting. This is a crosslisted seminar with enrollment split between law students and social science graduate students. If more law students wish to take the seminar than there are spots for law students then the professor will run a lottery to determine admission. Please contact the professor with any questions. If you are interested in taking the seminar but can not attend the meeting, please contact the professor before November 12th! There is a choice. Students can either write two 5-7 page analytic papers and complete a take-home final or they can write one 5-7 page analytic paper and undertake a substantial research paper. Papers may meet the substantial research paper (SRP) graduation requirement.
    Winter 2015
    Gerald Rosenberg
  • Law and Race

    LAWS 69104 - 01 (2 to 3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar explores the intersection of race with legal institutions in both historical and contemporary contexts. Given that the seminar is designed to culminate in a scholarly paper, much of the reading will consist of canonical law review articles and other forms of legal scholarship. Although students are welcome to address a wide range of paper topics, the assigned readings will include: jury nullification, racial profiling, racial tokenism, and critical race theory (and its discontents). Students will be evaluated upon class participation, and a short research paper (for two credits) or a full-length paper (for three credits).
    Spring 2015
    Justin Driver
  • Law and the Mental Health System

    LAWS 47001 - 01 (3) r, w
    The course examines the interrelationship between legal doctrine; procedural rules; medical, cultural, and social scientific understandings of mental disability; and institutional arrangements affecting the provision of services to the mentally disabled. Consideration is given to admission to and discharge from mental health facilities, to competency to consent to or to refuse treatment, to surrogate decision-making for those found incompetent, to the rights of those confined in mental health facilities; to discrimination against the mentally disabled, and to the rights of the mentally disabled in the criminal justice system. Grades are based on a final paper or a final take-home exam, and class participation.
    Autumn 2014
    Mark J. Heyrman
  • Leadership

    LAWS 75102 - 01 (2 to 3) m, r, s, w, x
    The divide between law and business is becoming increasingly blurred as clients look to their lawyers not merely for legal advice but also for leadership and results-focused solutions to complex business problems. Increasing competition, early specialization, and client cost constraints provide junior attorneys with few opportunities to develop the skills necessary to meet these increasing expectations. Through this highly intensive seminar, students will develop the judgment and practical skills necessary to become effective leaders and problem solvers, as well as an understanding of the theoretical foundations of effective leadership. Topics will include project management, strategic vision, forms of influence, and business leadership. Materials will include cutting-edge research, case histories, videos, and literature. Class sessions occasionally will include speakers who have played important leadership roles. The student's grade will be based on active and insightful class participation, reflection papers on assigned readings, and a final paper on an instructor-approved topic of the student's choosing (examples of potential topics include leadership in alliance formation, variations in governing board structures, performance consequences of executive succession, and leadership in outsourcing relationships). The seminar will require substantial out of class work and class participation will count toward the grade. Students will be developing leadership presentations and completing major projects outside of class. If there is sufficient student interest, there may be a follow-on leadership seminar offered in the Spring. A 2-CREDIT OPTION IS AVAILABLE WITH PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
    Winter 2015
    David Zarfes
  • Legal Elements of Accounting

    LAWS 79102 - 01 (1) +, s, x
    This mini-course introduces accounting from a mixed law and business perspective. It covers basic concepts and vocabulary of accounting, not so much to instill proficiency with the mechanics of debits and credits as to serve as a foundation from which to understand financial statements. The course then examines accounting from a legal perspective, including consideration of common accounting decisions with potential legal ramifications. It also analyzes throughout the reasons for and roles of financial accounting and auditing, as well as the incentives of various persons involved in producing, regulating, and consuming financial accounting information. The course will touch on some limitations of, and divergent results possible under, generally accepted accounting principles. Current cases, proposals, and controversies will be discussed. Attendance and participation will be very important. Grades will be based on a take-home final examination. Students with substantial prior exposure to accounting (such as students with an MBA, joint MBA/JD students, and undergraduate finance or accounting majors) may not take the course for credit. Students may not receive credit for both LAWS 79102 (Legal Elements of Accounting) and LAWS 79112 (Fundamentals of Accounting for Attorneys). Class will meet for nine sessions over the first three weeks of the quarter, as follows: Mon Jan 5 Tue Jan 6 Wed Jan 7 Mon Jan 12 Tue Jan 13 Wed Jan 14 Tue Jan 20 Wed Jan 21 Thu Jan 22
    Winter 2015
    John Sylla
  • Legal Interpretation

    LAWS 51602 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    Many challenges in law come from the difficulty of interpreting words—always incomplete, often old. This seminar explores different methods of resolving interpretive problems: "plain meaning," its cousin textualism; a search for intent ("original," presumed, or imputed); functional analysis; and so on. The seminar asks how the competing approaches to decoding texts stand up on different criteria, such as consistency with principles of democratic governance (including the contributions of public choice theory) and the philosophy of language. Constitutional and statutory interpretation receive approximately equal emphasis. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. The student's grade is based on a series of short research papers. Successful completion of this seminar qualifies for the fulfillment of the WP graduation requirement.
    Autumn 2014
    Frank H. Easterbrook
  • Legal Profession

    LAWS 41002 - 01 (3) p, x
    This course, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, will consider the law and the ethics governing lawyers. Among the topics that will be examined are the nature of the lawyer-client relationship, competency, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and some fundamental questions about who we are and what we stand for as lawyers. A student's grade is based on a final examination. This class will be capped at 50.
    Spring 2015
    Barry Alberts
  • Legal Profession: Ethics

    LAWS 41003 - 01 (3) l, m, p, w, x
    This seminar will address ethical considerations raised during the practice of law, including strategic, practical, and moral considerations with which attorneys should be familiar. Students will need access to Selected Standards on Professional Responsibility, and Professional Responsibility, Problems and Materials (University Casebook Series), by Thomas D. Morgan and Ronald D. Rotunda, and reading materials provided during the course. Students will also need access to Westlaw and/or Lexis. We will also discuss additional material I will send by email. During class we will discuss both the rules and the ethical situations that lawyers face in a variety of situations. While I will expect students to read the rules and the casebook, this will not be a class where I ask students to recite the facts of cases and analyze them. There will instead be a greater focus both on rules lawyers need to know and on the ambiguities of how to handle particularly difficult issues lawyers may encounter in practice. I will teach this class as a participatory seminar. Students will be evaluated both on the basis of a paper of 20 pages in length on a topic relating to professional responsibility of the student's choosing and on participation. Attendance is mandatory. My practice and travel make me unavailable from time to time. I may hold makeups 2-3 times during the quarter. They will take place on Wednesday or Friday mornings at 8:00.
    Autumn 2014
    Adam Hoeflich