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
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
  • State and Local Finance: Selected Topics

    LAWS 62202 - 01 (2) m, x
    This seminar looks at a variety of fiscal challenges facing state and local governments, and at the legal constraints on politically attractive solutions to these challenges. In past years, topics have included educational funding, pension funding, "welcome stranger" property tax assessment, eminent domain, tax nexus, and tax allocation formulas. The grade is based on a series of reaction papers and class participation.
    Spring 2015
    Julie Roin
  • Strategic Drafting

    LAWS 79914 - 01 (2) l, m, s, x
    Effective drafting requires not only clarity and precision, but also (a) an awareness of the fundamental principles of contract interpretation and (b) a consideration of the context and strategic objectives. In this seminar, we will discuss principles of contract interpretation and explore scenarios in which a lawyer may be called upon to draft/revise contracts and related documents. These scenarios may be informed by a variety of factors, including the objectives and leverage of the parties, the nature of the transaction, and the allotted resources (e.g., time, money) for drafting and negotiating. Through encountering these scenarios, students will develop the ability to draft strategically. Grades will be based on class participation, a series of short exercises, and a final exercise.
    Spring 2015
    David Finkelstein
  • Strategies and Processes of Negotiation

    LAWS 46702 - 01 (3) l, s, u, x
    Increasingly negotiation is part of the day-to-day life of managers. The aim of this class is to make students more effective negotiators. Students should leave the class with (1) a structured approach for preparing for and thinking about negotiations; and (2) a refined set of skills for carrying out negotiations. A central part of the class is an extensive set of negotiation simulations. These simulations take students through a variety of negotiations: single and multiple issue; two-negotiator and multiple-negotiator (coalitional); and internal (within organization) and external. In addition, the class includes a number of cases. Lectures, readings, and structured analytical exercises supplement the simulations and cases. The grade is based on a series of reaction papers and problem sets, class participation, and a final group paper. Note: The class will end at 11:30 a.m. on November 13 and 20.
    Autumn 2014
    George Wu
  • Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions

    LAWS 71401 - 01 (3) +, s
    This course covers tax, legal, and economic principles applicable to a series of interesting, complex, current entrepreneurial transactions, utilizing venture capital or private equity financing, including (1) new business start up, (2) growth equity investment in existing business enterprise, (3) leveraged buyout of private or public company (including going-private transaction), (4) use of flow-through tax entity such as S corporation, partnership, or LLC for variety of venture capital or private equity financed transactions, (5) devising equity-based executive compensation program, (6) private equity financed restructuring or workout (in or out of bankruptcy) for troubled over-leveraged enterprise and utilizing troubled company’s NOL after restructuring, (7) devising exit scenario for successful venture capital or private equity financed enterprise (such as IPO, SEC rule 144 sale, sale of company, or merger of company into larger enterprise), and (8) forming new venture capital, LBO, or private equity fund. Substantive subjects include federal income tax, securities regulation, corporate law, partnership law, LLC law, bankruptcy law, fraudulent conveyance law, and other legal doctrines, as well as accounting rules and practical structuring issues (including use of common and preferred stock, subordinated debt, convertible debt, convertible preferred stock, warrants, and options), all reviewed in a transactional context, and with discussion of their policy underpinnings and likely future evolution. No specific prerequisites, but introductory income tax strongly recommended, entity taxation desirable, and knowledge of corporate law, securities regulation, bankruptcy, and accounting helpful. However, the course book and the course book appendix contain adequate discussion and supplemental precedents for an understanding of the material covered by the course. Booth students do not require instructor consent in order to submit a registration request. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
    Spring 2015
    Jack S. Levin, Donald Rocap
  • Taxation of Corporations I

    LAWS 75801 - 01 (3) +
    This course examines income tax aspects of the formations, distributions, and liquidations of corporations. The focus is on transactional and planning aspects of the corporate tax. Prerequisite: Introductory Income Tax required except with permission of the instruction. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final examination.
    Winter 2015
    David A. Weisbach
  • Taxation of Corporations II

    LAWS 75901 - 01 (3) +
    This course surveys the taxation of reorganizations and other adjustments involving continuing businesses: mergers, asset and stock acquisitions and other similar shifts of ownership and control; recapitalizations; and divisions. Points of focus are the recognition of gain and loss and the survival and allocation of tax attributes (basis, earnings, and loss carryovers) in these transactions. Prerequisites: Taxation of Corporations I. Students' grades based on a final proctored examination.
    Spring 2015
    David A. Weisbach
  • Technology Policy

    LAWS 91311 - 01 (2 to 3) m, x
    This seminar will look at a mixture of old and new materials on technology and the law, with a special focus on the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. We typically read 2-5 recent books. Students write blog posts on the readings which will be posted on the class blog. Students will also comment on posts by other students. The blog postings do not fulfill one of the substantial writing requirements. By default, this seminar is 2 credits, but you can earn a thrid credit if you choose to write a meaningful additional independent study paper for 1 credit. The syllabus for the seminar is at http://picker.uchicago.edu/seminar/syllabus.htm and the class blog is at http://picker.typepad.com/picker_seminar/. The student's grade is based on class and blog participation.
    Winter 2015
    Randal C. Picker
  • Telecommunications and Internet Law

    LAWS 64702 - 01 (3)
    This is an introductory course looking at the regulatory regimes in the U.S. that apply to telephony (both wireline and wireless) and the infrastructure of the Internet. In particular, this course will explore the legal and policy history behind such regulation and the difficulty of classifying new technologies and applying the existing regulatory regimes to new technologies. This course will not cover mass media regulation (broadcast television and radio, or cable television). Grades will be based upon class participation, a few short reaction papers, and a final in-class exam.
    Spring 2015
    Joan E. Neal
  • The Chicago Journal of International Law

    LAWS 99903 - 01 (1) a, r
    The Chicago Journal of International Law, a biannual student-edited journal, is the Law School’s newest journal. It publishes short Comments and articles by students and scholars on matters of international law and foreign affairs. Students gain access to participate as a staff member via the Write-on Competition or via the Topics Access process. Each student is paired with a faculty member who supervises the writing of the comment. Students may receive three credits for their work in writing the comments. The comments may also satisfy the SRP graduation requirement. Please see the Student Handbook for additional details regarding the competition, credits, and the SRP. For more information on the journal, please visit http://cjil.uchicago.edu.
    Autumn 2014
    Tom Ginsburg
  • The Chicago Journal of International Law

    LAWS 99903 - 01 (1) a, r
    The Chicago Journal of International Law, a biannual student-edited journal, is the Law School’s newest journal. It publishes short Comments and articles by students and scholars on matters of international law and foreign affairs. Students gain access to participate as a staff member via the Write-on Competition or via the Topics Access process. Each student is paired with a faculty member who supervises the writing of the comment. Students may receive three credits for their work in writing the comments. The comments may also satisfy the SRP graduation requirement. Please see the Student Handbook for additional details regarding the competition, credits, and the SRP. For more information on the journal, please visit http://cjil.uchicago.edu.
    Winter 2015
    Tom Ginsburg
  • The Chicago Journal of International Law

    LAWS 99903 - 01 (1) a, r
    The Chicago Journal of International Law, a biannual student-edited journal, is the Law School’s newest journal. It publishes short Comments and articles by students and scholars on matters of international law and foreign affairs. Students gain access to participate as a staff member via the Write-on Competition or via the Topics Access process. Each student is paired with a faculty member who supervises the writing of the comment. Students may receive three credits for their work in writing the comments. The comments may also satisfy the SRP graduation requirement. Please see the Student Handbook for additional details regarding the competition, credits, and the SRP. For more information on the journal, please visit http://cjil.uchicago.edu.
    Spring 2015
    Tom Ginsburg
  • The Constitution in Congress

    LAWS 50122 - 01 (2 to 3) m, r, w, x
    For much of American history, most important constitutional questions were resolved outside of the courts. Using the books by the late Professor David Currie as our guide, we will discuss a series of constitutional issues debated in Congress and the Presidency in the first century of the Constitution. Topics will likely include the organization of the judiciary and the executive branch; the powers of Congress; war and peace; and rights to free speech, religion and due process -- essentially much of the modern constitutional docket. The goal will be to understand the original arguments and also to assess their persuasiveness. Students will write several reaction papers to stimulate class discussion and a short research paper. Students may also get credit for an SRP by writing a more substantial version of the research paper. No prior constitutional law course is necessary.
    Winter 2015
    William Baude
  • The Evolving Relationship between the Federal Government and the States

    LAWS 97604 - 01 (3) c/l, m, w, x
    This seminar will examine the current legal parameters of federalism, with an emphasis on the policy considerations that affect and have changed the relationship between the federal government and the states. Each session will examine a separate substantive area and use case law as a starting point for a deeper discussion on how and why the rights of the states have expanded or contracted in any given area, in the context of other political and policy changes. In this Seminar, we will examine the fundamental principles of federal and States’ power, how conflicts between the two have been resolved, how and why there has been an expansion or contraction of States’ power in specific substantive areas, and what factors can explain or predict where States’ rights might be headed in the future. The topics to be assigned include: The Foundations of Federalism; Education (K-12); Elections and Voting Rights; Environmental laws; Health Care; the Legalization of Marijuana, and Regulation of Gun Control. Students will be expected to contribute meaningfully to the discussion, with questions and answers to be predicated upon assigned readings and independent research. The underlying question on each of the selected topics will be: why is the federal government active in this area ( or has been active in this area), and should it continue to be exclusively active, given the fundamental purpose of government and the current status of public policy, politics, economics and other relevant factors. Readings and resources will include case law, current news articles and commentaries. Guest lecturers who have been invited include practitioners and elected officials. Seminar requirements are engaged class participation (40% of grade) and a final paper (60% of grade) on a seminar-related topic of the student’s choice. Final papers should be 12-15 pages for 2 credits; 16-20 pages for 3 credits. The last session will be devoted to students’ presentation of their topics with a short summary of what their papers will address. This class does not count towards the seminars/simulations limit.
    Spring 2015
    Fay Hartog-Levin
  • The Grand Jury: History, Law, and Practice

    LAWS 51603 - 01 (2) l, m, x
    The grand jury is one of the least-understood institutions within the United States criminal justice system. A pre-constitutional institution with medieval English origins, the grand jury system that survives today is unique to the United States. Critics suggest that the grand jury has become an institution that is paradoxically both too powerful and obsolete, and that its independence and role as a safeguard of liberty has been compromised. In contrast, other proposals have sought to expand the grand jury’s authority to disclose its secret proceedings for national security purposes and to use grand jury evidence in parallel civil litigation. This seminar will examine critically the historical origin, development, and purposes of the grand jury. With this foundation, we will then devote most of the seminar to studying modern grand jury practice, including the law of secrecy and disclosure, parallel proceedings, the role of immunity and privileges, obstruction and false statement prosecutions, charging instruments, and the regulation of prosecutorial discretion. In doing so, we will consider the perspectives of counsel for witnesses or subjects, government prosecutors, and broader policy interests. Finally, we will consider reform proposals, alternatives to the grand jury, and how the institution may evolve. Grades will be based on response papers together with participation and practical exercises.
    Autumn 2014
    Mark E. Schneider
  • The Interbellum Constitution

    LAWS 90203 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    This seminar examines the legal and intellectual history of debates concerning American constitutional law and politics between the Revolution and the Civil War, approximately 1800 to 1860. Topics to be discussed include internal improvements, the market revolution, federal regulation of slavery in the territories, the role of the federal courts, and the development of a national culture. The grade will be based on a final written paper, a short in-class presentation, and class participation.
    Winter 2015
    Alison LaCroix
  • The Law and Ethics of Lawyering

    LAWS 41014 - 01 (3) l, m, p
    This seminar, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, will consider the law and ethics of lawyering. Working with materials from a leading casebook, the ABA Model Rules, and supplementary readings, we will devote considerable attention to the question: What does the law that governs lawyering say that I should do. Topics will include conformity to law, corporate fraud, confidentiality, and conflicts of interest. At the same time, we will explore the gap between what the law of lawyering says I should do and what I (all things considered) might think I should do. What different kinds of reasons can a lawyer have for doing or not doing what the law of lawyering says should be done? Enrollment will be limited to 20. Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation, a series of short written assignments, and an in-class final exam. Attendance is mandatory.
    Winter 2015
    Clark Remington
  • The Legal and Social Implications of the War on Drugs

    LAWS 98704 - 01 (2) m, x
    The seminar will survey the War on Drugs from President Richard Nixon’s declaration in 1970 that drug abuse was “public enemy number one in America” to present. It can be argued that no development in recent times has had a greater impact on our criminal justice system than the War on Drugs. It has led to the passage of increasingly harsh laws and a resulting explosion in our prison population. More Americans are arrested for a drug offense each year—approximately 1.5 million in 2011—than for any other category of crime. Approximately half of all inmates in federal prison have been convicted of a drug crime. Meanwhile, the War on Drugs has raised significant constitutional issues, and has led to seminal Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment decisions. The seminar will begin by examining arguments for and against drug prohibition and the proliferation of new drug laws in the 1970s and 1980s. We will then discuss the enforcement of these laws and its effect on civil liberties. After that, we will discuss appropriate punishment for drug offenses, law enforcement techniques in drug cases, and rationales for legalization and harm reduction strategies. Throughout the quarter, we will focus on the social implications of the War on Drugs, including issues of race, gender, public health, mass incarceration, and resource allocation. Readings are varied and will include cases, law review articles, legislation, statutes, and policy papers. Each student is required to write a series of reaction papers over the course of the quarter. Grades will be based on those papers, as well as class participation.
    Spring 2015
    Erica Zunkel
  • The Life and Times of the Warren Court

    LAWS 50313 - 01 (3) +, c/l, m, r, w, x
    This seminar will explore the historical and constitutional dimensions of the Warren Court. It will examine the Court's decisions in such areas as racial discrimination, voting, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, criminal procedure, and privacy. The focus will be not only on the decisions, but also on the historical, political, legal, and cultural factors that shaped the Warren Court's work. We will also examine several of the Justices as individuals as well as the Warren Court's legacy. Each student will write several short papers during the course of the quarter. Upper-level History undergraduates with consent of instructors.
    Spring 2015
    Geoffrey R. Stone, Jane Dailey
  • The Roberts Court

    LAWS 50312 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    Co-taught by Professor Lee Epstein and Mr. Adam Liptak (Supreme Court correspondent of the New York Times) with Judge Richard A. Posner and Professors Dennis Hutchinson and William M. Landes also participating, this seminar will examine the contemporary Supreme Court. Topics include the Court's membership; its procedures for selecting cases for review; the role of lawyers, law clerks, and journalists; and doctrinal developments in several areas of the law. This is a special seminar that will meet on: Friday, April 10, 2015: 9 am-Noon; 2-4 pm Saturday, April 11, 2015: 9 am-Noon; 2-4 pm Sunday, April 12, 2015: 9 am-Noon In April or May, we will hold a session for student paper presentations
    Spring 2015
    Richard A. Posner, Dennis J. Hutchinson, William M. Landes, Lee Epstein, Adam Liptak
  • The University of Chicago Law Review

    LAWS 99901 - 01 (1) a, r
    The Law Review publishes articles and book reviews by leading scholars along with Comments written by students. In addition to participating in the editing and publication of legal scholarship, staff members have the unique opportunity to develop their own skills as writers and scholars. Students gain access to participate as a staff member via the Write-on Competition (which includes a Grade-on component) or via the Topics Access process. Each student is paired with a faculty member who supervises the writing of the comment. Students may receive three credits for their work in writing the comments. The comments may also satisfy the SRP graduation requirement. Please see the Student Handbook for additional details regarding the competition, credits, and the SRP. For more information on the Law Review, visit http://lawreview.uchicago.edu.
    Autumn 2014
    Tom Ginsburg