+ 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
  • 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 2016
    Saul Levmore
  • Public Corruption and the Law

    LAWS 68314 - 01 (2 to 3) +, l, 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 2016
    David Hoffman
  • Public International Law

    LAWS 72901 - 01 (3)
    Public international law mainly focuses on the legal rules created by states to regulate their interactions in international politics. This course explores the formation, application, and enforcement of public international law in world without a centralized executive, legislature or judiciary. The general relationship between international law and international politics will be discussed along with a focus on the interaction between American law and international law. We will begin with the building blocks of the international system—sources of international law, the role of states as actors in international politics, and the relationship between domestic and international law—and move to an evaluation of substantive legal rules in areas such as human rights, the use of force, and international criminal law. Current events will be discussed, where appropriate, to provide additional background to the course.
    Winter 2016
    Daniel Abebe
  • Public Morality and Legal Conservatism

    LAWS 78605 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    This seminar will study the philosophical background of contemporary legal arguments alluding to the idea of "public morality," in thinkers including Edmund Burke, James Fitzjames Stephen, and Patrick Devlin, and the criticisms of such arguments in thinkers including Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Hart. We will then study legal arguments on a range of topics, including drugs and alcohol, gambling, nudity, pornography and obscenity, non-standard sex, and marriage. Non-law students are welcome but need permission of the instructors, since space is limited. We are aiming for a total enrollment of 30, of which up to 10 can be non-law students (no undergraduates), and the rest will be law students, selected by lottery. Non-law students should apply to both professors by December 1, 2015, describing relevant background, especially in philosophy.
    Winter 2016
    Martha Nussbaum, William Baude
  • 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.
    Spring 2016
    Nicholas Stephanopoulos
  • Race and the Criminal Justice System

    LAWS 69102 - 01 (2) c/l, m, x
    This seminar examines the intersection of race and criminal justice in the United States exploring many of the following topics: racial profiling in law enforcement, police accountability, community policing, prosecutorial discretion and misconduct, performance of defense counsel, jury selection, transfer of children to adult court, juvenile life without parole, mandatory minimums, drug law policy, and the death penalty.
    Winter 2016
    Randolph N. Stone
  • 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. Requirements for this seminar course include preparation of a research paper and thoughtful class participation. Writing for this seminar may be used as partial fulfillment of the J.D. writing requirement (SRP or WP).
    Winter 2016
    Christopher Fennell
  • Religion, Law, and Politics

    LAWS 97521 - 01 (3) c/l, 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.
    Spring 2016
    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 for four weeks (starting January 11 and ending February 4).
    Winter 2016
    Ariel Porat
  • Reproductive Health and Justice

    LAWS 46603 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar will examine the history and evolution of legal protections for abortion, contraception and other reproductive health care. We will look at state and federal constitutional, statutory and common law theories used to secure and protect these rights. We will explore current threats and growing barriers to access, including ever-expanding assertions of religious beliefs to limit access to reproductive health care. We will also look at advocacy strategies for addressing those threats and barriers. Grades are based on a final paper and class participation.
    Autumn 2015
    Lorie Chaiten
  • Residential Real Estate Development and the Law

    LAWS 44022 - 01 (3) l, 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).
    Winter 2016
    Todd Fishbein
  • Roman Law

    LAWS 47702 - 01 (3) e, m, r, w, x
    The seminar develops skill in analyzing legal problems according to the processes of the Roman civil law, in contrast with those of the common law, and does not purport to give a comprehensive treatment of its detailed workings. The material provides an outline of the sources and procedure of Roman private law, followed by an examination of the Roman institutional system, the basis of most modern civil law codes. Particular emphasis is given to property and to obligations (contracts and torts). No knowledge of Latin is required for the seminar. This class will be assessed via a series of short research papers. Because this is a 1L elective, it will be graded on the curve usually applied to courses (as all 1L electives are) and will not count against the seminar limit.
    Spring 2016
    Richard A. Epstein
  • Secured Transactions

    LAWS 42201 - 01 (3) x
    This course deals with the many legal issues that come into play when there are collateralized loans for which the collateral is personal property. Students focus on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the Bankruptcy Code, and other related laws. This form of lending is central to our economy, and the applicable legal doctrines are ones that every corporate and commercial lawyer should firmly grasp. The course is a useful, though not absolutely essential, preparation for Bankruptcy and Reorganization: The Federal Bankruptcy Code (LAWS 73601). The student's grade is based on a proctored final examination.
    Autumn 2015
    Randal C. Picker
  • Secured Transactions

    LAWS 42201 - 01 (3) x
    Secured lending is central to our economy, and the applicable legal doctrines are ones that every corporate and commercial lawyer should grasp. Focusing primarily on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, students will learn about different forms of collateral, how security interests are created and perfected, and the remedies available to secured lenders. This course is a useful preparation for Bankruptcy and Reorganization courses, and will be worthwhile for students contemplating private practice in corporate, commercial finance or bankruptcy/workout groups. Grades will be based on a final examination. Open to MBA students.
    Winter 2016
    Erin Casey
  • Selected Problems in Complex Litigation

    LAWS 93603 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar addresses legal and ethical requirements, as well as strategic and practical considerations, around handling multidistrict litigation, including mass tort and complex class actions. Using materials from recent and current cases, the class will discuss topics such as early case assessment, coordination of multijurisdictional litigation, use of dispositive motions, the importance of expert testimony and mechanisms for resolving scientific disputes, resolution options, media coverage of MDLs and bellwether selection methods and trial of bellwether cases. Discussions will involve the Vioxx, Baycol, diet drug, Teflon, and Firestone litigations, among others. Expectations: This class will be taught as a participatory seminar. Students will not be expected to have already taken a complex litigation course, but should be willing to seek out answers to legal questions as they arise. Students will be evaluated on the basis of course participation and a written paper. Students will need access to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Manual for Complex Litigation Fourth ( eneral?openpage&url_r=/public/home.nsf/pages/470), the website of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (, and reading materials that I will email to students each week. Students also will need access to Westlaw and/or Lexis.
    Spring 2016
    Adam Hoeflich, Abby Mollen
  • Seminar on Behavioral Law and Economics

    LAWS 51703 - 01 (2) m, x
    This seminar will explore a set of frontier issues at the intersection of law and human behavior, including people's conduct under risk and uncertainty; the commitment to fairness; social influences and peer pressure; extremism; adaptation; happiness; discrimination; and judicial behavior. Some discussion will be devoted to the uses and limits of paternalism. Grades will be based on class participation and a series of short papers.
    Spring 2016
    Andrew M. Rosenfield
  • 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.
    Winter 2016
    George Wu
  • Structuring Financial Instruments

    LAWS 71400 - 01 (2 to 3) +, l, m, s, w, x
    This seminar introduces tax, legal, accounting and economic principles relevant to the structuring of complex financial instruments—from forwards, swaps and options to convertible bonds and other securities with embedded derivatives. Throughout the seminar, different products designed to achieve similar economic goals will be examined to highlight the significance of structuring choices and the range of techniques available. For example, there are various products that can be used to approximate the economics of buying an asset, without an actual purchase of that asset. The seminar will examine how these products are treated differently for tax, securities law, commodities law, bankruptcy, accounting and other purposes, notwithstanding their economic similarity. Students will develop the ability to optimize transactions by selecting among existing financial instruments or inventing new ones. The seminar will also include discussion of policy issues. No specific prerequisites, but introductory income tax recommended, and knowledge of securities law and bankruptcy law helpful. The seminar will be assessed via a) a series of reaction papers (2 credits) or b) via a full-length research paper (3 credits). Class participation and attendance will be considered.
    Spring 2016
    Jason Sussman
  • 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. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
    Spring 2016
    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 2016
    David A. Weisbach