Offerings

Key:
+ 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
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
  • Property

    LAWS 30411 - 01 (3) 1L, a
    This course, offered over two sequential quarters, provides an introduction to the legal relationships that arise out of or constitute ownership of property. Subjects covered may include, but are not limited to, such areas as the initial acquisition of rights in real and personal property, the nature of ownership of natural resources, the various types of concurrent and successive interests in land, and restraints on alienation. The course will also deal with the law relating to easements and covenants, landlord and tenant, and conveyancing. The student's grade is based on a single final examination. Participation may be taken into account as indicated in the syllabus.
    Winter 2014
    Lee Fennell
  • Property

    LAWS 30411 - 02 (3) 1L, a
    This course, offered over two sequential quarters, provides an introduction to the legal relationships that arise out of or constitute ownership of property. Subjects covered may include, but are not limited to, such areas as the initial acquisition of rights in real and personal property, the nature of ownership of natural resources, the various types of concurrent and successive interests in land, and restraints on alienation. The course will also deal with the law relating to easements and covenants, landlord and tenant, intellectual property, and takings. The student's grade is based on an in-class examination.
    Winter 2014
    Lior Strahilevitz
  • Property

    LAWS 30411 - 02 (3) 1L, a
    This course, offered over two sequential quarters, provides an introduction to the legal relationships that arise out of or constitute ownership of property. Subjects covered may include, but are not limited to, such areas as the initial acquisition of rights in real and personal property, the nature of ownership of natural resources, the various types of concurrent and successive interests in land, and restraints on alienation. The course will also deal with the law relating to easements and covenants, landlord and tenant, and conveyancing. The students grade is based on a single final examination. The student's grade is based on a single final examination at the conclusion of the Winter quarter.
    Autumn 2013
    Lior Strahilevitz
  • Prosecution and Defense Clinic

    LAWS 67713 - 01 (3 to 4) +, a, s
    The Prosecution and Defense Clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through: (1) a 2-quarter seminar taught by a former Assistant United States Attorney and a former Federal Defender; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor’s office or public defender’s office. The goal of the clinic is to enable students to gain hands-on criminal clinical experience, as well as to familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case, including ethical and social justice issues (such as race and poverty) routinely considered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts. The clinic provides students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice (through participation in courtroom exercises built around actual criminal cases), and hands-on experience through a clinical placement. Each student in the clinic is responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened placement program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the Winter and Spring quarters (January through May). Field placements will be formally supervised by coordinators within each program’s office, and the faculty instructors will monitor the student’s substantive work and performance in conjunction with the field placements. Students must comply with the clinical placement’s requirements regarding hours and assignments, which will be considered part of the course grade. In the clinical placements, students may be expected to research substantive criminal law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with court hearings and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), appear in court under the supervision of practicing attorneys. For additional information concerning placements, please see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/clinics/prosecutiondefense.
    Winter 2014
    Lisa Noller, Gabriel Plotkin
  • Prosecution and Defense Clinic

    LAWS 67713 - 01 (3 to 4) +, a, s
    The Prosecution and Defense Clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through: (1) a 2-quarter seminar taught by a former Assistant United States Attorney and a former Federal Defender; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor’s office or public defender’s office. The goal of the clinic is to enable students to gain hands-on criminal clinical experience, as well as to familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case, including ethical and social justice issues (such as race and poverty) routinely considered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts. The clinic provides students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice (through participation in courtroom exercises built around actual criminal cases), and hands-on experience through a clinical placement. Each student in the clinic is responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened placement program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the Winter and Spring quarters (January through May). Field placements will be formally supervised by coordinators within each program’s office, and the faculty instructors will monitor the student’s substantive work and performance in conjunction with the field placements. Students must comply with the clinical placement’s requirements regarding hours and assignments, which will be considered part of the course grade. In the clinical placements, students may be expected to research substantive criminal law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with court hearings and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), appear in court under the supervision of practicing attorneys. For additional information concerning placements, please see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/clinics/prosecutiondefense.
    Spring 2014
    Lisa Noller, Gabriel Plotkin
  • Public Choice

    LAWS 69001 - 01 (3) x
    This course focuses on the relationship between modern perspectives on voting and interest groups on the one hand and legislation and judicial interventions on the other. Public choice is essentially the science of collective decision-making, and it comes with several well developed tools of analysis. With these tools, and that perspective, we revisit the interactions between legislatures and judges, democracy's attempt to solve certain problems, and the roles played by a variety of legal doctrines and constitutional institutions (from takings law to line-item vetoes and to the meaning of precedents). As the course proceeds, we explore specific topics in law, such as the possibility of judicial vote-trading, the role of referenda in some jurisdictions but not others, and the role of precedent itself. Grades will be based on a final examination.
    Winter 2014
    Saul Levmore
  • Public Corruption and the Law

    LAWS 68314 - 01 (2 to 3) +, m, w, x
    This seminar will focus on how governments use the law to prevent and catch public corruption, how the law is sometimes used to protect public corruption, and how one should determine the optimal response to corruption and its consequences. We will examine the substantive criminal laws and sentencing schemes used in the best public corruption prosecutions, ranging from RICO and "honest services" fraud to bribery and extortion laws. We will also examine the laws that create, authorize, or prevent the most effective investigative tools used by law enforcement against public corruption, including wiretap laws and related privacy issues. We will study several key topics within public corruption law, including patronage, its effect on democratic institutions, and its status under the First Amendment; campaign finance reform and whether money in campaigns is protected speech or a corrupting influence (or both); and the relationship between transparency, online access to information, and corruption. We will also consider an economic analysis of public corruption, including questions about whether the level of democracy, and the pervasiveness of corruption in the culture, affect the cost-benefit analysis. Constitutional Law I and II are recommended pre-requisites. Students taking the class for 3 credits write one short reaction paper (or short research paper if appropriate), and one major paper. Those taking it for 2 credits write several short reaction papers.
    Spring 2014
    David Hoffman
  • Public International Law

    LAWS 72901 - 01 (3) c/l, r, w
    This course is an introduction to public international law, which is the body of law that nation states have jointly created for the purpose of governing their relations. The course focuses on the sources of international law, international institutions such as the United Nations, international adjudication, and various substantive fields of international law, such as the use of force, human rights, the treatment of aliens, and international environmental law. Grades will be based on class participation and an examination. A paper option is allowed for students who wish to write an SRP.
    Winter 2014
    Tom Ginsburg
  • Public Land Law

    LAWS 44501 - 01 (3)
    The law of federal lands and natural resources.
    Winter 2014
    R. H. Helmholz
  • Public Opinion, Public Policy, and the Law

    LAWS 69002 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar will explore the intersection of public opinion, public policy, and the law. To date, questions about whether and how public opinion influences public policy have been addressed primarily by political scientists. But these questions are also vital to several legal domains, in particular constitutional law and election law. In the constitutional law context, the mistranslation of public opinion into public policy may be evidence of a political malfunction that requires judicial intervention. In the election law context, one of the most important functions of elections is to align the preferences of the electorate with the policies enacted by their representatives. The seminar will tackle these complex and interesting issues through readings drawn from legal scholarship, political theory, and empirical political science. An effort will also be made to have outside speakers present papers once or twice during the quarter.
    Winter 2014
    Nicholas Stephanopoulos
  • Public-Entity Bankruptcy

    LAWS 73705 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    Detroit’s recent petition for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief can be read as the coda to a dramatic yet idiosyncratic tale of economic decline. In many respects, though, the financial problems Detroit faces are similar to, if more pronounced than, the difficulties confronting many other towns, cities, and states. In this seminar we will explore the political and economic roots of public-entity financial distress, as well as the ways law seeks to prevent and mitigate its effects. Topics covered will include: the political and legal status of public entities vis a vis their citizens and creditors; the effects of mobility, voting rules, and interest-group politics on public spending and financing decisions; and the history and substance of Chapter 9. There is no prerequisite, but some working knowledge of corporate bankruptcy will be helpful. Grading will be based on a term paper, an in-class presentation, and regular participation.
    Spring 2014
    Vincent Buccola
  • Racism, Law, and Social Sciences

    LAWS 54303 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar will provide an in-depth study of theories and methods for analysis of racialization in past and present societies. Analyses of the social construction of racial and ethnic identities have facilitated studies of the ways in which social differences are created, maintained, and masked. Subjects to be addressed in this seminar include the interrelation of racializing ideologies with other cultural and social dimensions, such as class, ethnicity, gender, political and legal structures, and economic influences. We will also consider the related histories of biological and genetic concepts of different races within the human species as part of the context of our study of racism operating within social processes. The seminar includes a major writing project in the form of a seminar paper.
    Winter 2014
    Christopher Fennell
  • Rawls

    LAWS 51003 - 01 (3) +, c/l
    This course will study John Rawls’s two great works of political philosophy, A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism, trying to understand their argument as well as possible. We will also read other related writings of Rawls and some of the best critical literature. Assessment will take the form of an eight-hour take-home final exam, except for those who gain permission to choose the paper option, who will write a 20-25 page paper. Undergraduate students by instructor consent only; must be requested by December 1.
    Winter 2014
    Martha Nussbaum
  • Regulation of Sexuality

    LAWS 72201 - 01 (3) +, c/l, r, w
    This course explores the many ways in which the legal system regulates sexuality, sexual identity, and gender and considers such regulation in a number of substantive areas as well as the limits on placed on such regulation by constitutional guarantees including free speech, equal protection, and due process. Readings include cases and articles from the legal literature together with work by scholars in other fields. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short reaction papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Paper writers require permission of the instructor. Undergraduates require permission of the instructor. Constitutional Law I, III, and/or IV are recommended but not required prerequisites.
    Spring 2014
    Mary Anne Case
  • Regulatory Interpretation

    LAWS 51604 - 01 (3) +, m, r, w, x
    This seminar will explore whether regulatory texts warrant interpretive theories distinct from those applicable to statutes, and what those approaches should entail. Relevant topics will include the institutional differences between agencies and Congress; judicial doctrines regarding an agency’s interpretation of its own rules; and the extent to which agencies should interpret regulations differently than courts. Administrative Law or Legislation and Statutory Interpretation are recommended as background; students who have not taken either course will require instructor permission. Grades will be based on class participation, including weekly short questions or comments posted to Chalk, and a research paper.
    Spring 2014
    Jennifer Nou
  • Religion, Law, and Politics

    LAWS 97521 - 01 (3) c/l, m, w, x
    This seminar examines the conceptualization and realization of religious liberty and the separation of church and state. We explore philosophical precepts and historical contexts, review the state of the law, and address current controversial issues. There are no prerequisites. Grades are based on a paper and class participation.
    Autumn 2013
    Sylvia Neil
  • Remedies

    LAWS 41401 - 01 (2)
    The way in which the law responds to violations of rights is no less important than the way in which those rights are allocated. The law of remedies determines the law's response to violations of rights, and in so doing, it delineates their boundaries and gives them legal meaning. Hence, the study of the law of remedies is closely related to the study of the substantive law, each field shedding light on the other. This course focuses on remedies in Contracts and Torts, referring to the goals of the substantive law to better understand the remedial law. It explores the law of damages in both Contracts and Torts and covers topics such as: restitutionary damages; probabilistic recoveries; the relationship between damages and non-legal sanctions; evidential damage; and liquidated damages. The course also covers the remedies of specific performance in Contracts and injunction in Torts and compares and contrasts these remedies with monetary ones. Some of the defenses available to both the breaching party and the wrongdoer, such as mitigation of damages and comparative fault, in Torts and Contracts will also be discussed. This mini-course meets during the first four full weeks of the quarter only (starting September 30 and ending October 24). A student's grade will be based on a 3-hour take-home exam.
    Autumn 2013
    Ariel Porat
  • Residential Real Estate Development and the Law

    LAWS 44022 - 01 (2) m, x
    This seminar will guide the student through the twists and turns of a residential real estate development from land acquisition through warranty on the residential unit. We will also examine: rezoning and improvement of the land; governmental agreements and regulation; the joint venture; the contractual relationship with the buyer; and the homeowner's association. All the while, focusing on the myriad of legal issues a developer's attorney encounters along the way. We will study how the law of contracts, real property and land use play an integral role in the residential real estate development. Course materials will include documents from actual transactions such as the acquisition contract, the municipal development agreement, the limited liability company operating agreement, the declaration of covenants, the lot sale and construction agreement and the plat of subdivision. In addition to these materials, coursework will include analysis of state statutes, municipal ordinances and relevant case law. We will take a hands-on approach to the law of residential real estate development and the transactional documents which effectuate these developments. Coursework will include negotiation and drafting exercises where students will gain real life, practical experience in confronting the issues that arise in the context of these developments. Enrollment will be limited to 12 students (as well as an even number of students). Grades will be determined on the basis of: class preparation, attendance and participation (1/4); class exercises and written assignments (1/4); and an open book final exam (1/2).
    Autumn 2013
    Todd Fishbein
  • Risk Management and Policy Decision-Making

    LAWS 73914 - 01 (2) m, x
    Challenges of risk identification, assessment and management are pervasive – in business, politics, and personal life – as shown by the highly disruptive events spreading since 2007 from the capital markets through all sectors of the global economies. This seminar will examine sources of bias, avoidable errors and misapprehension in risk-related decision-making processes, models, assumptions and behaviors. Focus will be on the importance of “black swan” events – the unpredictable and highly consequential. We will also address the significance of risk issues to regulatory and legislative initiatives, and the complexities in achieving desirable and effective policy decisions and solutions. Readings will be taken from a broad selection of multi-disciplinary sources. Grading will be based on class participation, short written assignments, and a take-home exam.
    Autumn 2013
    James Peterson
  • Secured Lender Remedies and Workout Transactions

    LAWS 71404 - 01 (2) m, s, x
    Starting first by discussing the parameters under which a borrower company must typically operate under its secured loan facility, this seminar will focus on the remedies available to secured lenders when that borrower defaults and the various workout transactions that may ensue, either before bankruptcy or as a bankruptcy alternative. Remedies will be viewed from the perspective of the secured lender's counsel, including negotiation and documentation of forbearance agreements, consensual turnovers and UCC sales of assets and equity, as well as exercise of pledged equity voting rights.
    Spring 2014
    Erin Casey
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