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
  • Elements of Business Law

    LAWS 42300 - 01 (3) e, x
    About half of all law students will become transactional lawyers of various kinds, but almost the entire first-year curriculum is focused on litigation. This course seeks to fill the gap by introducing key principles of transactional law and practice. It is a business-law companion to the "Elements of Law" course. The goals are: (1) to introduce certain foundational concepts and tools that will be useful for upper-level business-law courses; (2) to expose students thinking of summer jobs to what it is like to be a transactional lawyer; and (3) to provide an overview of business-law issues to students who do not plan on a transactional career. We will examine several specific transactions in detail, covering the background law and concepts, the transaction itself, and a discussion about the issues surrounding it. Some of these will be transactions where the lawyer's job is to expand the pie, and others will be where the job is to divide the pie. In all cases, we will discuss the role of the lawyer, tools of analysis (e.g., valuation, accounting, statutory and rule interpretation, etc.), and ethical issues that may arise. No business experience, economics training, or particular interest in business is required. Grades will be based on a mix of reaction papers, journal entries, exercises, and an essay.
    Spring 2016
    M. Todd Henderson
  • Elements of the Law

    LAWS 30101 - 01 (3) 1L
    This course examines certain issues that occur in many different areas of the law and considers the relationship between these issues and comparable questions in other fields of thought, such as moral and political philosophy, economics, and political theory. The subjects for discussion include the nature of, and justification for, reasoning from precedent; the meaning of such notions as consent, coercion, and voluntary choice; the decision whether to impose rules or allow discretion; the problems of interpreting statutes and other authoritative texts; and the objective or subjective nature of moral judgments. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
    Autumn 2015
    Lior Strahilevitz
  • Elements of the Law

    LAWS 30101 - 02 (3) 1L
    This course examines certain issues that occur in many different areas of the law and considers the relationship between these issues and related questions in other fields of thought, such as moral and political philosophy, economics, and political theory. The subjects for discussion include the nature of, and justification for, reasoning from precedent; the meaning of such notions as consent, coercion, and voluntary choice; the decision whether to impose rules or allow discretion; the problems of interpreting statutes and other authoritative texts; and the nature of moral judgments. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
    Autumn 2015
    David A. Strauss
  • Elements of the Law

    LAWS 30101 - 03 (3) 1L
    This course examines certain issues that occur in many different areas of the law and considers the relationship between these issues and comparable questions in other fields of thought, such as moral and political philosophy, economics, and political theory. The subjects for discussion include the nature of, and justification for, reasoning from precedent; the meaning of such notions as consent, coercion, and voluntary choice; the decision whether to impose rules or allow discretion; the problems of interpreting statutes and other authoritative texts; and the objective or subjective nature of moral judgments. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
    Autumn 2015
    Richard H. McAdams
  • Emotion, Reason, and Law

    LAWS 99301 - 01 (3) c/l, e, r, w, x
    Emotions figure in many areas of the law, and many legal doctrines (from reasonable provocation in homicide to mercy in criminal sentencing) invite us to think about emotions and their relationship to reason. In addition, some prominent theories of the limits of law make reference to emotions: thus Lord Devlin and, more recently, Leon Kass have argued that the disgust of the average member of society is a sufficient reason for rendering a practice illegal, even though it does no harm to others. Emotions, however, are all too rarely studied closely, with the result that both theory and doctrine are often confused. The first part of this course will study major theories of emotion, asking about the relationship between emotion and cognition, focusing on philosophical accounts, but also learning from anthropology and psychology. We will ask how far emotions embody cognitions, and of what type, and then we will ask whether there is reason to consider some or all emotions “irrational” in a normative sense. We then turn to the criminal law, asking how specific emotions figure in doctrine and theory: anger, fear, compassion, disgust, guilt, and shame. Legal areas considered will include self-defense, reasonable provocation, mercy, victim impact statements, sodomy laws, sexual harassment, shame-based punishments. Next, we turn to the role played by emotions in constitutional law and in thought about just institutions – a topic that seems initially unpromising, but one that will turn out to be full of interest. Other topics will be included as time permits. Open to all law students without prerequisite. Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. Assessment will be via a take-home exam or a substantial research paper. The class will not meet at the regularly scheduled time on Thursday, April 14, but on Friday, April 15, from 1:30 - 2:35 p.m. instead.
    Spring 2016
    Martha Nussbaum
  • Employee Benefits Law

    LAWS 55503 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar will provide an introduction to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other federal statutes regulating employee benefit plans in the private sector. The seminar will cover many types of plans, including defined benefit pension plans, individual account retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), medical plans, other welfare benefit plans and executive compensation programs. It will provide a basic understanding of fiduciary standards governing plan administration and the investment of plan assets; minimum standards for benefits and funding; benefit claim dispute resolution procedures and standards of judicial review; federal preemption of state laws; and key issues which arise in ERISA litigation. The seminar is intended for students interested in a broader labor and employment practice; a mergers and acquisitions or general corporate practice; or a civil litigation practice. Although our primary mission will be to prepare students for the practice of law, we also will explore whether the law governing employee benefit plans is operating effectively and in accordance with its stated purposes. Students will be graded on class participation and on a series of short reaction and research papers. There are no prerequisites for this seminar.
    Autumn 2015
    Charles Wolf
  • Employment Discrimination Law

    LAWS 43401 - 01 (3) l
    This course deals with the problem of discrimination in the American workplace and the federal and state statutes that have been enacted to prohibit it. Primary focus will be on the major federal equal employment opportunity statutes (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act), the types of claims that are brought under these laws (disparate treatment, disparate impact, mixed motives, and retaliation claims), and the varying burdens of proof/persuasion, procedural prerequisites, and remedies provided by these statutes, along with current proposals for legislative change. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a final examination.
    Winter 2016
    James Whitehead
  • Employment Law

    LAWS 43511 - 01 (3)
    This course examines the evolving role of work and the nature and scope of legal regulation of the employment relationship. We will focus on the federal laws and common law doctrines that establish a structure of worker rights and obligations for non-unionized employees. Areas of concentration will include: statutory protection against discrimination in hiring, promotion, and termination, limitations on employer control of the terms and conditions of employment, and the development of common law protection from discharge.
    Spring 2016
    Zev Eigen
  • Employment Law Clinic

    LAWS 67113 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    Randall D. Schmidt and his students operate the Clinic's Employment Law Clinic. The Clinic focuses primarily on pre-trial litigation and handles a number of individual cases and class actions. In individual cases, the Clinic represents clients in cases before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission and seeks to obtain relief for clients from race, sex, national origin, and handicap discrimination in the work place. In the class actions, the Clinic represents groups of employees in employment and civil rights actions in federal court. Additionally, in its individual cases and law reform/impact cases, the Clinic seeks to improve the procedures and remedies available to victims of employment discrimination so that employees have a fair opportunity to present their claims in a reasonably expeditious way. To accomplish this goal, the Clinic is active in the legislative arena and participates with other civil rights groups in efforts to amend and improve state and federal laws. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty. The student's grade is based on class participation. It is suggested, but not required, that all students in the Employment Law Clinic take the Employment Discrimination Law seminar. It is recommended that third-year students take, prior to their third year, either the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop or some other trial practice course. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic.
    Autumn 2015
    Randall D. Schmidt
  • Employment Law Clinic

    LAWS 67113 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    Randall D. Schmidt and his students operate the Clinic's Employment Law Clinic. The Clinic focuses primarily on pre-trial litigation and handles a number of individual cases and class actions. In individual cases, the Clinic represents clients in cases before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission and seeks to obtain relief for clients from race, sex, national origin, and handicap discrimination in the work place. In the class actions, the Clinic represents groups of employees in employment and civil rights actions in federal court. Additionally, in its individual cases and law reform/impact cases, the Clinic seeks to improve the procedures and remedies available to victims of employment discrimination so that employees have a fair opportunity to present their claims in a reasonably expeditious way. To accomplish this goal, the Clinic is active in the legislative arena and participates with other civil rights groups in efforts to amend and improve state and federal laws. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty. The student's grade is based on class participation. It is suggested, but not required, that all students in the Employment Law Clinic take the Employment Discrimination Law seminar. It is recommended that third-year students take, prior to their third year, either the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop or some other trial practice course. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic.
    Winter 2016
    Randall D. Schmidt
  • Employment Law Clinic

    LAWS 67113 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    Randall D. Schmidt and his students operate the Clinic's Employment Law Clinic. The Clinic focuses primarily on pre-trial litigation and handles a number of individual cases and class actions. In individual cases, the Clinic represents clients in cases before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission and seeks to obtain relief for clients from race, sex, national origin, and handicap discrimination in the work place. In the class actions, the Clinic represents groups of employees in employment and civil rights actions in federal court. Additionally, in its individual cases and law reform/impact cases, the Clinic seeks to improve the procedures and remedies available to victims of employment discrimination so that employees have a fair opportunity to present their claims in a reasonably expeditious way. To accomplish this goal, the Clinic is active in the legislative arena and participates with other civil rights groups in efforts to amend and improve state and federal laws. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty. The student's grade is based on class participation. It is suggested, but not required, that all students in the Employment Law Clinic take the Employment Discrimination Law seminar. It is recommended that third-year students take, prior to their third year, either the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop or some other trial practice course. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic.
    Spring 2016
    Randall D. Schmidt
  • Energy Law Seminar

    LAWS 45302 - 01 (3) l, m, x
    The Energy Law Seminar exposes students to current issues facing energy industry practitioners. Topics covered during the first half of the seminar include United States shale developments, international energy projects, the natural resources curse, energy finance challenges, and energy litigation/arbitration trends. The second half of the seminar consists of a West Africa simulation, in which student teams bid on real petroleum licenses in West Africa, engage in a multilateral negotiation with other teams to acquire and divest license interests, and then drill wells by rolling dice to determine which of the 50 petroleum prospects are discoveries. The grade is based on in-class participation (including presentations and simulation performance), negotiation sessions between class meetings, and written agreements/memoranda.
    Spring 2016
    Scott Gaille
  • Entrepreneurship and the Law

    LAWS 61902 - 01 (3) m, s, w, x
    This seminar examines how the law and legal counsel influence innovation and entrepreneurship in the US, particularly by micro-enterprises. The seminar explores the position of the entrepreneur in society, in the economy, and in our constitutional framework, in order to analyze the entrepreneur's fundamental legal needs. We survey legal questions particular to start-ups, including strategies for structuring a business organization, financing, and protecting intellectual property. Assignments require students to research issues that apply to hypothetical and real start-ups and practice lawyerly skills like strategic planning, negotiation, drafting, and counseling. This seminar is required for participation in the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, unless students make other arrangements with the Clinic instructors. Students' grades will be based on active participation and several research and writing assignments.
    Autumn 2015
    Elizabeth Kregor, Salen Churi
  • Environmental Law

    LAWS 46001 - 01 (3) c/l
    This course introduces students to the laws, policies and theories related to environmental protection in the United States. No environmental, engineering or science background is required, and it is not necessary to take Administrative Law before or during enrollment in this course. The course reviews different, and often competing, objectives related to the environment: development and use of natural resources, preservation of nature, protection of human health, economic efficiency, and distributional equity. The course explores in depth how the common law and the major federal environmental statues (e.g. the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, etc.) address these objectives. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
    Winter 2016
    Mark N. Templeton
  • Ethical Quandaries in Legal Practice

    LAWS 41017 - 01 (3) l, m, p, x
    Given 24-hour news cycles, macro-economic pressures facing many law firms, government entities and corporations, and the proliferation of social media, the practice of law is under increasingly intense scrutiny from clients, the public, the judiciary, governments, regulators and peers. The attendant risk to the reputations of practicing attorneys is much higher than it has ever been. This seminar will satisfy the professional responsibility/ethics graduation requirement. Through analysis of ethical issues that attorneys face on a daily basis, we will study the challenges, pitfalls, consequences and opportunities associated with the ethical practice of law. Additionally, we will examine the tension caused by attorneys' competing interests in: exercising independent judgment, serving as officers of the court, providing zealous advocacy and earning a living. Seasoned attorneys in private practice, in-house counsel and the judiciary will join portions of the seminar to discuss real world scenarios and provide insight into how attorneys can successfully navigate through today's ethical minefields. The grade assessment is: 30% class participation, 30% based on a research paper, 30% on a take-home final exam, and 10% on reaction papers.
    Spring 2016
    Joseph Alesia, Sharon Fairley
  • EU Competition Law and Economics

    LAWS 75402 - 01 (2 to 3) c/l, l, m, w, x
    The seminar provides an introduction to interesting and cutting edge topics in antitrust economics using European competition law as the backdrop for applying and discussing this. European competition law and its application by the European Commission have evolved rapidly since around 2000. The seminar focuses on this modern period and the evolving use of economics in the Commission decisions and court judgments. It does not provide an introduction to black-letter EU competition law or a discussion of old cases. The seminar also covers Chinese antitrust law and cases as well. Their law, which went into force in 2008, is based on elements of EU and US law and there are already several important cases. Grade will be based on a final in-class examination and an optional paper (to receive 3 credits).
    Spring 2016
    David Evans
  • European Legal History

    LAWS 91901 - 01 (2 to 3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar aims to give students an appreciation of the basic themes and most important events in European (as opposed to English) legal history. It begins with the Roman law formulated under the Emperor Justinian and moves forward to the 19th century. Among the subjects covered are Germanic law, the rise of legal science beginning in the 12th century, the nature of the ius commune, legal humanism, the reception of Roman law, the natural law school, and the movement towards Codification. In addition to the text book, students are expected to read one law review article each week and to share it with the class. They are permitted to write a research paper, but a final examination will also be offered as an option.
    Winter 2016
    R. H. Helmholz
  • Evidence

    LAWS 41601 - 01 (3) x
    An examination of the federal rules governing proof at trial. On many points, the rules of most states are the same or similar (New York and California have the most differences, though even they have significant overlap with the Federal Rules). There will be somewhat more lecture than in a typical course, in order to facilitate coverage of material. Even so, certain relatively minor or easy topics will not be covered (Burdens of Proof, Presumptions, Judicial Notice), and others will be covered only briefly (e.g., Privileges, Impeachment of Witnesses). Approximately two-thirds of the term will be devoted to the two central topics in the law of evidence: relevance and hearsay (including the hearsay exceptions). The student's grade is based on a proctored final examination.
    Winter 2016
    Brian Leiter
  • Evidence

    LAWS 41601 - 01 (3) x
    This course examines the law governing proof of disputed propositions of fact in criminal and civil trials, including relevance, character evidence, the hearsay "rule" and other rules of exclusion, and examination and privileges of witnesses. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
    Spring 2016
    John Rappaport
  • Evolution of Legal Doctrines

    LAWS 65302 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    Legal doctrines have life cycles. They are born and mature. Many doctrines fade and die. There is a form of natural selection among doctrines, with several candidates offering to serve the same function in different ways. This seminar looks at the maturation and replacement of doctrines, posing the question why some die and others survive. Scope is eclectic: the doctrines range from "separate but equal" under the equal protection clause to the "original package doctrine" under the commerce clause, from the appointment of counsel under the Sixth Amendment to the understanding of the Rules of Decision Act (that is, why Swift gave way to Erie). The premise of the seminar is that those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Autumn 2015
    Frank H. Easterbrook