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
  • Legal Interpretation

    LAWS 51602 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    Many challenges in law come from the difficulty of interpreting words—always incomplete, often old. This seminar explores different methods of resolving interpretive problems: "plain meaning," its cousin textualism; a search for intent ("original," presumed, or imputed); functional analysis; and so on. The seminar asks how the competing approaches to decoding texts stand up on different criteria, such as consistency with principles of democratic governance (including the contributions of public choice theory) and the philosophy of language. Constitutional and statutory interpretation receive approximately equal emphasis. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. The student's grade is based on a series of short research papers. Successful completion of this seminar qualifies for the fulfillment of the WP graduation requirement.
    Autumn 2014
    Frank H. Easterbrook
  • Legal Profession: Ethics

    LAWS 41003 - 01 (3) l, m, p, w, x
    This seminar will address ethical considerations raised during the practice of law, including strategic, practical, and moral considerations with which attorneys should be familiar. Students will need access to Selected Standards on Professional Responsibility, and Professional Responsibility, Problems and Materials (University Casebook Series), by Thomas D. Morgan and Ronald D. Rotunda, and reading materials provided during the course. Students will also need access to Westlaw and/or Lexis. We will also discuss additional material I will send by email. During class we will discuss both the rules and the ethical situations that lawyers face in a variety of situations. While I will expect students to read the rules and the casebook, this will not be a class where I ask students to recite the facts of cases and analyze them. There will instead be a greater focus both on rules lawyers need to know and on the ambiguities of how to handle particularly difficult issues lawyers may encounter in practice. I will teach this class as a participatory seminar. Students will be evaluated both on the basis of a paper of 20 pages in length on a topic relating to professional responsibility of the student's choosing and on participation. Attendance is mandatory. My practice and travel make me unavailable from time to time. I may hold makeups 2-3 times during the quarter. They will take place on Wednesday or Friday mornings at 8:00.
    Autumn 2014
    Adam Hoeflich
  • Life in the Law

    LAWS 99403 - 01 (2) m, w, x
    This seminar will explore the various definitions and valuations of life across diverse areas of the law. Readings will include seminal cases in reproductive rights, assisted suicide, right-to-die, and capital punishment. Background readings in related areas, i.e., scientific journals, papers, etc. will also be required. The seminar will discuss policy decision-making including actuarial analysis and social, medical and religious values inherent, implicit or ignored in the legal analysis. Students will be required to write three short papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation.
    Spring 2015
    Herschella G. Conyers
  • Litigating Financial Disputes

    LAWS 52523 - 01 (3) m, r, s, w, x
    This seminar will explore the practice, theory, and strategy of litigating financial disputes. These disputes include bankruptcy proceedings, shareholder derivative suits, securities fraud cases, white collar investigations, and suits alleging the breach of financial contracts. On the practical side, the seminar will explore the procedures for choosing and preparing financial experts to testify on valuation and other issues, interviewing and deposing executive officers and investment bankers, and common discovery issues that arise. On the theoretical side, we will explore critiques of the current systems of litigating these disputes and proposals for reform. In all areas, we will consider the strategic implications that lawyers must take into account both in litigating the disputes and in negotiating agreements in ways to avoid future disputes or reduce the risk of losing a dispute if one arises. In general, we will explore the overlap between litigation and transactional work that is at the heart of these disputes. For example, we will look at cases where litigation positions are used to facilitate leverage in transactions. The seminar materials will be a mix of court opinions, pleadings filed in actual cases, transactional documents, and academic articles. The grade is based on a series of short research papers or a final written paper.
    Spring 2015
    Anthony Casey
  • Litigation Laboratory

    LAWS 91563 - 01 (3) l, s, u, w, x
    This simulation class brings lawyers and students together to analyze and develop aspects of the lawyers’ ongoing cases. It allows good lawyers to use law students for collaborative help with open cases, and allows law students to learn litigation skills by working with the lawyers. A different lawyer with a different case will participate in most class sessions. Typically the lawyer will provide materials for the students to review before the class. During the class, students will discuss, argue, debate, and work with the lawyer to solve hard issues. Following each class, students will complete written materials analyzing and evaluating the problem. In classes when lawyers are not included, students also learn practical litigation skills through various advocacy exercises. Students will be graded based on active participation and their written materials.
    Winter 2015
    Catherine Masters, James A. Clark
  • Mental Health Advocacy Clinic

    LAWS 67013 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    Mental Health Advocacy teaches a variety of advocacy skills. With the permission of the clinical teacher, students may choose to focus on litigation, legislation, or both. Students engaged in litigation may interview clients and witnesses; research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to reviewing courts; conduct formal and informal discovery; negotiate with opposing counsel and others; conduct evidentiary hearings and trials; and present oral argument in trial and appellate courts. Students who have completed fifty percent of the credits needed for graduation may be licensed to appear, under the supervision of the clinical teacher, in state and federal trial and appellate courts pursuant to court rules and practices. Students engaged in legislative advocacy may research and draft legislation and supporting materials, devise and implement strategies to obtain the enactment or defeat of legislation, negotiate with representatives of various interest groups, and testify in legislative hearings. In addition to discrete advocacy skills such as cross-examination, discovery planning, and legislative drafting, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between individual advocacy tasks and the ultimate goals of clients, between litigation and legislative advocacy, and between advocacy on behalf of individual clients and advocacy for systemic change. Prior or contemporaneous enrollment in Law and the Mental Health System is encouraged, but not required, for all students. See the general rules for all clinical courses for further details concerning enrollment, including the rules governing the award of credit. There is a mandatory one-credit seminar component for this course which meets once a week during the Autumn Quarter. Mental Health Advocacy satisfies part of the writing requirement if substantial written work is completed. Student may enroll in this clinical course for between one and six quarters.
    Autumn 2014
    Mark J. Heyrman
  • Mental Health Advocacy Clinic

    LAWS 67013 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    Mental Health Advocacy teaches a variety of advocacy skills. With the permission of the clinical teacher, students may choose to focus on litigation, legislation, or both. Students engaged in litigation may interview clients and witnesses; research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to reviewing courts; conduct formal and informal discovery; negotiate with opposing counsel and others; conduct evidentiary hearings and trials; and present oral argument in trial and appellate courts. Students who have completed fifty percent of the credits needed for graduation may be licensed to appear, under the supervision of the clinical teacher, in state and federal trial and appellate courts pursuant to court rules and practices. Students engaged in legislative advocacy may research and draft legislation and supporting materials, devise and implement strategies to obtain the enactment or defeat of legislation, negotiate with representatives of various interest groups, and testify in legislative hearings. In addition to discrete advocacy skills such as cross-examination, discovery planning, and legislative drafting, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between individual advocacy tasks and the ultimate goals of clients, between litigation and legislative advocacy, and between advocacy on behalf of individual clients and advocacy for systemic change. Prior or contemporaneous enrollment in Law and the Mental Health System is encouraged, but not required, for all students. See the general rules for all clinical courses for further details concerning enrollment, including the rules governing the award of credit. There is a mandatory one-credit seminar component for this course which meets once a week during the Autumn Quarter. Mental Health Advocacy satisfies part of the writing requirement if substantial written work is completed. Student may enroll in this clinical course for between one and six quarters.
    Winter 2015
    Mark J. Heyrman
  • Mental Health Advocacy Clinic

    LAWS 67013 - 01 (1 to 3) +, a, s, w
    Mental Health Advocacy teaches a variety of advocacy skills. With the permission of the clinical teacher, students may choose to focus on litigation, legislation, or both. Students engaged in litigation may interview clients and witnesses; research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to reviewing courts; conduct formal and informal discovery; negotiate with opposing counsel and others; conduct evidentiary hearings and trials; and present oral argument in trial and appellate courts. Students who have completed fifty percent of the credits needed for graduation may be licensed to appear, under the supervision of the clinical teacher, in state and federal trial and appellate courts pursuant to court rules and practices. Students engaged in legislative advocacy may research and draft legislation and supporting materials, devise and implement strategies to obtain the enactment or defeat of legislation, negotiate with representatives of various interest groups, and testify in legislative hearings. In addition to discrete advocacy skills such as cross-examination, discovery planning, and legislative drafting, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between individual advocacy tasks and the ultimate goals of clients, between litigation and legislative advocacy, and between advocacy on behalf of individual clients and advocacy for systemic change. Prior or contemporaneous enrollment in Law and the Mental Health System is encouraged, but not required, for all students. See the general rules for all clinical courses for further details concerning enrollment, including the rules governing the award of credit. There is a mandatory one-credit seminar component for this course which meets once a week during the Autumn Quarter. Mental Health Advocacy satisfies part of the writing requirement if substantial written work is completed. Student may enroll in this clinical course for between one and six quarters.
    Spring 2015
    Mark J. Heyrman
  • Project and Infrastructure Development and Finance

    LAWS 42512 - 01 (2 to 3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar is focused on the development and project financing of infrastructure facilities. These transactions feature a wide variety of commercial agreements and financial instruments, legal and financial structuring, and a significant role for lawyers. Public private partnership structures will be examined. Representative transactions, principally in the energy, transportation and public infrastructure sectors, will be selected for analysis and discussion. Infrastructure projects such as these provide a convenient vehicle for discussion of contractual provisions, structuring parameters, financial analysis, and legal practice issues common to a broad range of business and financial transactions. The classes will be discussion oriented; grades will be based on short papers, a case study and class participation. There are no pre-requisites, although basic corporation law would be helpful. The readings will be taken from textbooks, professional journals, and actual commercial and financial contracts. A speaker from the financial community with a wide range of experience is expected. Students wishing to meet the WP requirement must complete a research paper. Enrollment is limited to 25 students.
    Autumn 2014
    Martin Jacobson
  • 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 2015
    David Hoffman
  • 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. The grade is based on a final written paper.
    Winter 2015
    Nicholas Stephanopoulos
  • Racism, Law, and Social Sciences

    LAWS 54303 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar will provide an in-depth study of theories and methods for analysis of racialization in past and present societies. Analyses of the social construction of racial and ethnic identities have facilitated studies of the ways in which social differences are created, maintained, and masked. Subjects to be addressed in this seminar include the interrelation of racializing ideologies with other cultural and social dimensions, such as class, ethnicity, gender, political and legal structures, and economic influences. We will also consider the related histories of biological and genetic concepts of different races within the human species as part of the context of our study of racism operating within social processes. The seminar includes a major writing project in the form of a seminar paper. The grade is based on a final written paper (80%) and class participation (20%).
    Winter 2015
    Christopher Fennell
  • Regulatory Interpretation

    LAWS 51604 - 01 (3) +, m, r, w, x
    This seminar will explore whether regulatory texts warrant interpretive theories distinct from those applicable to statutes, and what those approaches should entail. Relevant topics will include the institutional differences between agencies and Congress; judicial doctrines regarding an agency’s interpretation of its own rules; and the extent to which agencies should interpret regulations differently than courts. Administrative Law or Legislation and Statutory Interpretation is a prerequisite (both are recommended); students who have not taken either will require instructor permission. Grades will be based on class participation, including weekly short questions or comments posted to Chalk, and a research paper. Please note that the last day of this seminar will be held on Wednesday, May 13th. A makeup session will likely be held on Monday, April 13th from 6-8pm, but may change depending on schedule availability.
    Spring 2015
    Jennifer Nou
  • 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 theories used to secure and protect these rights. We will also explore current threats and growing barriers to access, including ever-expanding assertions of religious beliefs to limit access to reproductive health care. Grades are based on a final paper and class participation.
    Spring 2015
    Lorie Chaiten
  • 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 2015
    Richard A. Epstein
  • 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 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 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