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
  • Current Issues in Patent Law

    LAWS 78003 - 01 (2 to 3) m, w, x
    This seminar addresses current issues in patent law from a doctrinal and policy perspective, such as what constitutes patent-eligible subject matter and why courts have drawn the line for patent-eligible subject matter where they have; statutory and judicial limitations on damages awards, such as apportionment and limitations on damages for foreign harms, including whether those limitations are economically sound; the doctrinal complications that inclusion of patented technology in industry standards introduces; divided infringement and inducement; and the justifications for patent rights (incentivizing innovation, encouraging innovators to publicize their inventions rather than keep them secret, and so on) and whether current doctrines are adequately tied to those justifications. Enrollment is limited to twenty-five students. A student’s grade is based on class participation and either a series of short thought papers for two credits, or a series of longer research papers totaling at least 20 pages, or a major research paper, both for three credits.
    Spring 2015
    Steven Cherny
  • Electronic Commerce Law

    LAWS 61802 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    This seminar focuses on both the technology involved in electronic commerce and the law surrounding the emerging field. Electronic commerce is growing at an exponential rate. As more of our daily commercial lives are lived through use of computers, decisions must be made: will existing law treat e-commerce no differently than any other kind of commerce, or must new laws emerge to take into account some of the radical new transactions and complications? The seminar will begin with an overview of the history and infrastructure of the Internet, setting the groundwork and providing students with a working knowledge of the terminology and technology they will likely encounter working in this legal field. Additional background discussion will involve the concept of regulation of the Internet, global vs. national perspectives on the law of the Internet, and conceptions of sovereignty. Topics will be dictated by the needs of the moment, but will potentially include electronic contracts, digital signatures, the application of traditional UCC doctrines such as the mailbox rule and the statute of frauds to e-commerce, Internet sales of highly regulated goods (such as alcohol, firearms, pharmaceuticals), the domain name system and its relation to trademark law, trade-related issues such as consumer fraud/protection and product disparagement, sales taxation, Internet and business method patents, digital cash/smart cards, digital checks, electronic securities law, Internet gambling, commercial privacy, and e-commerce in gray and black markets. Time permitting, we may also explore the relationship of international law to e-commerce, the effect of e-commerce concepts on commercial litigation, and export control laws involving cryptography. Enrollment is capped at 20. Topics not covered in the seminar will be suitable for papers. There is a short presentation on the same topic as the student's written paper - this counts for 20% of the grade.
    Winter 2015
    Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky
  • Employee Benefits Law

    LAWS 55503 - 01 (3) 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 required for this seminar.
    Autumn 2014
    Charles Wolf
  • Employment Discrimination Law

    LAWS 43401 - 01 (2 to 3) w, x
    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. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a final examination; students wishing to earn 3 credits for the class may write a 10-12+ page research paper in addition to the final exam.
    Winter 2015
    James Whitehead
  • Employment Law

    LAWS 43511 - 01 (2 to 3) w, x
    This course is designed to provide the student with an overview of the common law principles and leading federal and state statutes that govern the private-sector employment relationship. Among the topics to be covered are (1) the contractual nature of the employment relationship and the employment-at-will doctrine; (2) contractual, tort-based, and statutory erosions of the employment-at-will doctrine; (3) the contractual and common law duties and obligations owed by an employee to the employer; (4) wage and hour, child-labor, and employee leave statutes, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and (5) other employee protective statutes. This course supplements, but will not cover the topics presented in, the Law School’s courses in Labor Law (LAWS 43101), Employment Discrimination Law (LAWS 43401), and Employee Benefits Law (LAWS 55503), which are not prerequisites to enrollment. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students. The student’s grade will be based on a final examination. Students wishing to earn 3 credits for the class may write a 10-12+ page research paper in addition to the final exam.
    Spring 2015
    James Whitehead
  • 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. 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. The student's grade is based on class participation. 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. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic. The Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (or an equivalent trial practice course) is recommended for 3L's in the clinic.
    Autumn 2014
    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. 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. The student's grade is based on class participation. 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. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic. The Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (or an equivalent trial practice course) is recommended for 3L's in the clinic.
    Winter 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. 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. The student's grade is based on class participation. 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. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic. The Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (or an equivalent trial practice course) is recommended for 3L's in the clinic.
    Spring 2015
    Randall D. Schmidt
  • 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 then 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 2014
    Elizabeth Kregor, Salen Churi
  • EU Competition Law: With Special Emphasis on the Application of Advanced Topics in Antitrust

    LAWS 75402 - 01 (2 to 3) 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 pre-2000 cases. Topics covered in recent years include the design of antitrust regimes, ordo-liberalism, two-sided markets, screening methods for cartels, dynamic competition, and behavioral economics. Cases covered in recent years have included the Commission’s decisions against MasterCard under Article 101 and Microsoft under Article 102. Grade will be based on a final in-class examination and an optional paper (to receive 3 credits).
    Spring 2015
    David Evans
  • Evolving Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets

    LAWS 94812 - 01 (2 to 3) m, w, x
    In this seminar we will consider the recent financial crisis that led to the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. The Act mandates broad changes to the regulation of financial institutions in the U.S. and requires numerous regulatory agencies to promulgate hundreds of new regulations. The seminar will concentrate on certain areas addressed by the Act and the ensuing rule-making process, which is still underway—paying particular attention to the causes of the crisis and its impact on the financial system. Our goal will be to critically assess whether these measures are likely to promote the stated objectives of the legislators, as well as the merits and feasibility of those objectives. For 2 credits, two short (10-12 pg.) papers; for 3 credits, one short and one long (approximately 20 pg.) papers. Each student also must make a class presentation on one of the paper topics.
    Autumn 2014
    Jim Foorman
  • Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

    LAWS 67513 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w, x
    The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal court. The FCJC is the only legal clinic in the country that exclusively represents indigent clients charged with federal felonies. We enter our federal district court cases at the time of arrest, take them to trial or guilty plea and sentencing, and then carry them through appeal and beyond. As part of our broader mission to promote fairness in the criminal justice system, we also take Seventh Circuit appeals and write amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. FCJC students interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients at the federal jail; conduct and participate in bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; negotiate with prosecutors; and participate in case investigations. Students involved in our appellate litigation research and write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and conduct oral argument in the Seventh Circuit. The seminar component includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Evidence and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during 2L or 3L year. It is strongly recommended that students interested in joining the FCJC as 3Ls take the Federal Sentencing seminar during 2L year and take the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year. The FCJC is a year-long clinic and is typically only open to 3Ls. Any slots that remain after bidding closes will be opened to 2Ls.
    Autumn 2014
    Erica Zunkel, Alison Siegler, Judith P. Miller
  • Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

    LAWS 67513 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal court. The FCJC is the only legal clinic in the country that exclusively represents indigent clients charged with federal felonies. We enter our federal district court cases at the time of arrest, take them to trial or guilty plea and sentencing, and then carry them through appeal and beyond. As part of our broader mission to promote fairness in the criminal justice system, we also take Seventh Circuit appeals and write amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. FCJC students interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients at the federal jail; conduct and participate in bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; negotiate with prosecutors; and participate in case investigations. Students involved in our appellate litigation research and write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and conduct oral argument in the Seventh Circuit. The seminar component includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Evidence and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during 2L or 3L year. It is strongly recommended that students interested in joining the FCJC as 3Ls take the Federal Sentencing seminar during 2L year and take the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year. The FCJC is a year-long clinic and is typically only open to 3Ls, who must put a minimum of 7 credits towards clinic work. Any slots that remain after bidding closes will be opened to 2Ls, who will receive a total of 3 credits in 2L year and must put 6 credits towards clinic work during 3L year.
    Winter 2015
    Erica Zunkel, Alison Siegler, Judith P. Miller
  • Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

    LAWS 67513 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal court. The FCJC is the only legal clinic in the country that exclusively represents indigent clients charged with federal felonies. We enter our federal district court cases at the time of arrest, take them to trial or guilty plea and sentencing, and then carry them through appeal and beyond. As part of our broader mission to promote fairness in the criminal justice system, we also take Seventh Circuit appeals and write amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. FCJC students interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients at the federal jail; conduct and participate in bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; negotiate with prosecutors; and participate in case investigations. Students involved in our appellate litigation research and write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and conduct oral argument in the Seventh Circuit. The seminar component includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Evidence and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during 2L or 3L year. It is strongly recommended that students interested in joining the FCJC as 3Ls take the Federal Sentencing seminar during 2L year and take the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year. The FCJC is a year-long clinic and is typically only open to 3Ls, who must put a minimum of 7 credits towards clinic work. Any slots that remain after bidding closes will be opened to 2Ls, who will receive a total of 3 credits in 2L year and must put 6 credits towards clinic work during 3L year.
    Spring 2015
    Erica Zunkel, Alison Siegler, Judith P. Miller
  • Federal Sentencing: Balancing Judicial and Prosecutorial Discretion

    LAWS 47602 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    The Supreme Court has dramatically changed the federal sentencing landscape in recent years, making federal sentencing the least settled and most dynamic area of federal criminal jurisprudence. This seminar examines the federal sentencing revolution in the context of the history of federal sentencing. We study the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and recent Supreme Court cases that try to define the Guidelines’ proper role in sentencing. A central focus of the seminar is the ongoing struggle to balance judicial discretion and prosecutorial discretion, and the fundamental tension this creates between the judiciary and the executive branch. The seminar also focuses on the debate over sentencing disparities. Reading materials are varied and include Supreme Court and lower court cases, the United States Sentencing Guidelines, law review articles, Sentencing Commission studies and reports, and Department of Justice internal directives. Various guest speakers will visit class, including a federal district court judge and an Assistant United States Attorney. Each student is expected to research and write a 20-25 page paper in response to a specific assignment. Students will be graded based on their written submissions and class participation. Second-year students interested in participating in the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic during their 3L year are strongly encouraged to enroll in this seminar, although it is not a prerequisite or corequisite for the clinic.
    Winter 2015
    Alison Siegler
  • Food and Drug Law and Policy

    LAWS 94501 - 01 (3) c/l, w
    This course explores legal and policy issues in the federal regulation of foods, drugs, medical devices, and other products coming within the jurisdiction of the FDA. It will examine substantive standards applicable to these products and procedural issues in the enforcement of these standards. It will also address the tension between state and federal regulation in this area, constitutional constraints on such regulation, and a variety of other issues relating to the development and marketing of regulated products. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final examination or major paper.
    Spring 2015
    Jack Bierig
  • Food Law

    LAWS 94503 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar will examine issues relating to food law and food policy. Topic covered will include: food safety, food labeling, food patents, corn policy, regulation of food quality, factory farming, obligations of food retailers, and more. Students will have to write an SRP paper and make a presentation in class.
    Autumn 2014
    Omri Ben-Shahar
  • Fourteenth Amendment Seminar

    LAWS 68304 - 01 (3) m, s, w, x
    The only reading for this seminar is some introductory material about the legislative history of the fourteenth amendment. At the beginning of the quarter, students will be assigned to "courts" and will receive three cases every two weeks to discuss and vote on. They will then produce as many majority, dissenting, and concurring opinions as appropriate. These opinions should rely solely on the fourteenth amendment, its legislative history, and the prior precedent of each "court." Thus, during the course of the semester, each "court" will develop its own, hypothetical jurisprudence. Once during the quarter, each court will be excused from writing opinions and will, instead, divide into two law firms that will brief and argue a case before another of the courts. Regular "events from the real world" will occur based on the opinions each court files. Students enrolling in this seminar should be aware of the following: 1. Part of the seminar grade will be based upon the opinions students sign whether or not they write them; 2. No feedback will be provided on the opinions during the quarter, but at the end of the seminar, students may select one or two opinions on which they will receive detailed feedback; 3. Many students find that the seminar is an intense experience, often involving many hours of intra-court discussion and negotiation over outcomes and opinions. The grade is based on a series of reactions paper and class participation.
    Spring 2015
    Louis Michael Seidman
  • Global Inequality

    LAWS 92403 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $47,000 and in Europe it is around $30,500, while in India it is $3,400 and in Congo, it is $329. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this class, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Students will be expected to write a paper, which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students are welcome but need permission of the instructors, since space is limited.
    Winter 2015
    Martha Nussbaum, David A. Weisbach
  • Health Law and Policy

    LAWS 78801 - 01 (3) c/l, w
    This course will explore various policies that underlie regulation of the provision of health care in the United States. We will begin with an examination of the principal government programs for financing the delivery of health care in America -- Medicare and Medicaid. This first third of the course will focus on how these programs seek to resolve the tension between controlling costs, promoting quality, and assuring access. We will next address other federal legislation affecting the delivery of health care, including the Affordable Care Act. We will then move to a consideration of policy issues relating to managed care organizations, including the functioning of these organizations and the impact of ERISA on their actions. Next, we will explore issues relating to the behavior of physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes. This exploration will focus on the impact of the antitrust, labor, and tax laws on these entities. The goal of the course is to expose the student to the conflicting law and policy issues that impact on the delivery of health in this country. The grade will be based on a final written paper or an in-class examination – depending on how many students enroll. (11/10/14 update: There will be not be an exam as too few students elected that option.) Class participation will also be taken into account.
    Autumn 2014
    Jack Bierig