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
  • Project and Infrastructure Development and Finance

    LAWS 42512 - 01 (2 to 3) +, m, w, x
    This seminar will be of most interest to students interested in financial transactions as the core of a corporate law practice. There are no pre-requisites. The emphasis in this seminar will be on financings of identified operating assets, principally industrial and infrastructure projects and transportation equipment. These financings will be distinguished from financings of ongoing corporate enterprises, and representative transactions will be studied in depth in order to develop and then focus on selected legal structuring and legal practice issues, including, for example, legal opinions normally delivered at financial closings. Because these financings in practice employ nearly the full range of financial products, from commercial bank loans to capital market instruments, credit supports and derivatives, collateral security, and equity investments, the issues discussed have relevance to a broad range of financial transactions. The class will be discussion oriented; there will be no exam and grades will be based on short papers and class participation. The readings will include selected cases, portions of treatises and academic journals, and rating agency and official publications. One or more guest speakers from the financial community are expected. Corporation Law is not a prerequisite, but is recommended. Students wishing to take the class for three credits must complete a substantial research paper. This option is available in limited circumstances only. Permission will be contingent on the student’s past experience, goals for the course, and topic suitability. Interested students should email the professor a brief statement of interest. Students wishing to meet the WP requirement must write a research paper. Enrollment is limited to twenty-five students.
    Autumn 2013
    Martin Jacobson
  • Public Corruption and the Law

    LAWS 68314 - 01 (2 to 3) +, 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 2014
    David Hoffman
  • Public International Law

    LAWS 72901 - 01 (3) c/l, r, w
    This course is an introduction to public international law, which is the body of law that nation states have jointly created for the purpose of governing their relations. The course focuses on the sources of international law, international institutions such as the United Nations, international adjudication, and various substantive fields of international law, such as the use of force, human rights, the treatment of aliens, and international environmental law. Grades will be based on class participation and an examination. A paper option is allowed for students who wish to write an SRP.
    Winter 2014
    Tom Ginsburg
  • 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.
    Winter 2014
    Nicholas Stephanopoulos
  • Public-Entity Bankruptcy

    LAWS 73705 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    Detroit’s recent petition for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief can be read as the coda to a dramatic yet idiosyncratic tale of economic decline. In many respects, though, the financial problems Detroit faces are similar to, if more pronounced than, the difficulties confronting many other towns, cities, and states. In this seminar we will explore the political and economic roots of public-entity financial distress, as well as the ways law seeks to prevent and mitigate its effects. Topics covered will include: the political and legal status of public entities vis a vis their citizens and creditors; the effects of mobility, voting rules, and interest-group politics on public spending and financing decisions; and the history and substance of Chapter 9. There is no prerequisite, but some working knowledge of corporate bankruptcy will be helpful. Grading will be based on a term paper, an in-class presentation, and regular participation.
    Spring 2014
    Vincent Buccola
  • 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.
    Winter 2014
    Christopher Fennell
  • Regulation of Sexuality

    LAWS 72201 - 01 (3) +, c/l, r, w
    This course explores the many ways in which the legal system regulates sexuality, sexual identity, and gender and considers such regulation in a number of substantive areas as well as the limits on placed on such regulation by constitutional guarantees including free speech, equal protection, and due process. Readings include cases and articles from the legal literature together with work by scholars in other fields. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short reaction papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Paper writers require permission of the instructor. Undergraduates require permission of the instructor. Constitutional Law I, III, and/or IV are recommended but not required prerequisites.
    Spring 2014
    Mary Anne Case
  • 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 are recommended as background; students who have not taken either course will require instructor permission. Grades will be based on class participation, including weekly short questions or comments posted to Chalk, and a research paper.
    Spring 2014
    Jennifer Nou
  • Religion, Law, and Politics

    LAWS 97521 - 01 (3) c/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. There are no prerequisites. Grades are based on a paper and class participation.
    Autumn 2013
    Sylvia Neil
  • Structuring Financial Instruments

    LAWS 71400 - 01 (2 to 3) +, m, 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 instruments 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 instruments 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 instruments 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 products or inventing new ones. The seminar will also include discussion of policy issues. No specific prerequisites, but introductory income tax strongly recommended, and knowledge of securities regulation, bankruptcy and accounting 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 2014
    Jason Sussman
  • The Federal Budget

    LAWS 52801 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    The budget sets the size and scope of government. It affects everything the federal government does. The United States is currently facing a budgetary crisis that will involve hard choices about government spending and taxation. This seminar will examine the federal budget process. It will start by examining the basic facts about the U.S. fiscal situation and budget, how the budget is calculated, and the process by which it is set. The seminar will then turn to central topics within the budget, such as taxation, health care, social security, and discretionary spending. Finally, it will consider budget reform proposals. Students will be expected to write a paper on a topic related to the federal budget.
    Autumn 2013
    Anup Malani, David A. Weisbach
  • The Roberts Court

    LAWS 50312 - 01 (1 to 2) a, m, r, w
    Co-taught by Professor Lee Epstein and Mr. Adam Liptak (Supreme Court correspondent of the New York Times) with Judge Richard A. Posner and Professor 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 seminar that will meet January 10-12, as follows: Friday, January 10, 2014: 9:00 a.m. noon; 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Saturday, January 11, 2014: 9:00 a.m. noon; 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Sunday, January 12, 2014: 9:00 a.m. noon We'll schedule two additional class sessions in the Spring quarter for paper presentations. The first one is scheduled on Friday, April 25th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room C. The second session has not been scheduled yet.
    Spring 2014
    Richard A. Posner, Dennis J. Hutchinson, William M. Landes, Lee Epstein, Adam Liptak
  • The Roberts Court

    LAWS 50312 - 01 (1 to 2) 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 Professor 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 seminar that will meet January 10-12, as follows: Friday, January 10, 2014: 9:00 a.m. - noon; 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Saturday, January 11, 2014: 9:00 a.m. - noon; 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Sunday, January 12, 2014: 9:00 a.m. - noon We'll schedule two additional class sessions in the Spring quarter for paper presentations. The first one is scheduled on Friday, April 25th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room C. The second session has not been scheduled yet.
    Winter 2014
    Richard A. Posner, Dennis J. Hutchinson, William M. Landes, Lee Epstein, Adam Liptak
  • The US-China Treaty Project

    LAWS 80806 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    The United States and China are engaged in the most important bilateral relationship of our era, yet the relationship remains random, fragile, and mistrustful. China’s rising influence threatens to change the global status quo, and the United States is understandably concerned. If these two giants learn how to collaborate, they could conceivably solve the world’s greatest problems. Alternatively, if they elect to contest each other at every turn, the result will be global instability and crisis. Unfortunately, the Shanghai Communiqué, which helped to open China forty years ago, is no longer sufficient as a guide; a new framework is needed. The world has grown less structured and more volatile, and the two nations are more competitive than ever. The risk of conflict is growing along with the volume of sensitive interactions. It is time for both nations to negotiate a new bargain that will guide and support the steady maturation of their high-potential, high-risk relationship. This seminar will advocate that the two nations develop a new, fifty-year treaty in the form of a strategic cooperation agreement. We will define the rationale and the case for action, draft major components of the proposed treaty, outline the pathway required for adoption, and transmit our end-product to foreign policy authorities in Washington and Beijing. Grading will be determined by class participation and by performance across three short papers. The first paper will examine best practices in bilateral treaty development; the second will focus on critical factors in the future United States – China relationship; and, the third will require drafting of key components for the proposed treaty.
    Spring 2014
    Tom Manning
  • Workshop: Constitutional Law

    LAWS 63612 - 01 (1) a, m, r, w, x
    This workshop, conducted over three sequential quarters, exposes students to current academic work in constitutional law and theory and other areas of public law. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers, at six to eight sessions to be conducted regularly throughout the academic year. Enrollment may be limited. This workshop may be taken for fulfillment of the Substantial Research Paper graduation requirement. Grading is based on a substantial paper (or two shorter papers) plus brief reaction papers on each of the workshop papers. As an alternative to writing a long paper, you may write two or more extended reaction papers (i.e., 10-12 pages) to the papers presented in the workshop. You have to get our approval in advance for this option. We encourage it if you find that you have a lot to say about some of the workshop papers. If you wish to receive Writing Project (WP) credit for this option, you must submit a draft of each of the two long response papers to us and satisfactorily incorporate our suggestions.
    Autumn 2013
    Aziz Huq, David A. Strauss
  • Workshop: Constitutional Law

    LAWS 63612 - 01 (1) a, m, r, w
    This workshop, conducted over three sequential quarters, exposes students to current academic work in constitutional law and theory and other areas of public law. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers, at six to eight sessions to be conducted regularly throughout the academic year. Enrollment may be limited. This workshop may be taken for fulfillment of the Substantial Research Paper graduation requirement. Grading is based on a substantial paper (or two shorter papers) plus brief reaction papers on each of the workshop papers. As an alternative to writing a long paper, you may write two or more extended reaction papers (i.e., 10-12 pages) to the papers presented in the workshop. You have to get our approval in advance for this option. We encourage it if you find that you have a lot to say about some of the workshop papers. If you wish to receive Writing Project (WP) credit for this option, you must submit a draft of each of the two long response papers to us and satisfactorily incorporate our suggestions.
    Winter 2014
    Aziz Huq, David A. Strauss
  • Workshop: Constitutional Law

    LAWS 63612 - 01 (1) a, m, r, w
    This workshop, conducted over three sequential quarters, exposes students to current academic work in constitutional law and theory and other areas of public law. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers, at six to eight sessions to be conducted regularly throughout the academic year. Enrollment may be limited. This workshop may be taken for fulfillment of the Substantial Research Paper graduation requirement. Grading is based on a substantial paper (or two shorter papers) plus brief reaction papers on each of the workshop papers. As an alternative to writing a long paper, you may write two or more extended reaction papers (i.e., 10-12 pages) to the papers presented in the workshop. You have to get our approval in advance for this option. We encourage it if you find that you have a lot to say about some of the workshop papers. If you wish to receive Writing Project (WP) credit for this option, you must submit a draft of each of the two long response papers to us and satisfactorily incorporate our suggestions.
    Spring 2014
    Aziz Huq, David A. Strauss
  • Workshop: Legal Scholarship

    LAWS 78711 - 01 (1) a, c/l, m, r, w
    This workshop may be taken for a full year on only in the fall quarter. It is open to all students, JSDs and LLMs are welcome. Both versions count as 1 seminar. Students registered for the full year are required to either write a paper of publishable quality or revise a previously written paper for publication. The goal is to prepare students for the academic job market. Special attention is paid to topic selection, how to approach working on an original (not synthetic) project, and presentation skills. Students enrolled for the year will be expected to conduct themselves as they would if they were junior faculty members at a top law school, reading and commenting on the work of their peers. Optional lunches to discuss writing will be held throughout the year in the same format as the Faculty Round Table. The goal is to create a learning community that will provide students with the type of scholarly atmosphere the faculty here enjoys. There will be meetings on average every other week during Winter and Spring Quarters. The fall quarter only option is designed for several audiences: (1) students who want to decide if an academic career is for them; (2) students who wish to improve their skills as a public speaker; (3) students who want to improve their skills of critique while reading papers from a wide variety of subject areas; (4) and students who simply enjoy arguing about the law. Each week a young scholar present works-in progress and students play the role of the faculty in a faculty workshop. The class and the professor then provide feedback and suggestions to the presenter on aspects of both presentation style and the substance of the paper. The FALL ONLY version is graded on the basis of short reactions papers and class participation. The full year version may fulfill the WP or the SRP. May be taken concurrently with any other class or workshop. During Winter, the workshop is expected to meet the first four Weeks of the quarter; during Spring, the last four weeks of the quarter. The fall only version has short reaction papers that are not for the writing credit. The full year version is writing or revising a work to publishable form and if successfully completed fulfills the requirement. Grading is 60% written work, 40% participation.
    Winter 2014
    Lisa Bernstein
  • Workshop: Legal Scholarship

    LAWS 78711 - 01 (2) a, c/l, m, r, w
    This workshop may be taken for a full year on only in the fall quarter. It is open to all students, JSDs and LLMs are welcome. Both versions count as 1 seminar. Students registered for the full year are required to either write a paper of publishable quality or revise a previously written paper for publication. The goal is to prepare students for the academic job market. Special attention is paid to topic selection, how to approach working on an original (not synthetic) project, and presentation skills. Students enrolled for the year will be expected to conduct themselves as they would if they were junior faculty members at a top law school, reading and commenting on the work of their peers. Optional lunches to discuss writing will be held throughout the year in the same format as the Faculty Round Table. The goal is to create a learning community that will provide students with the type of scholarly atmosphere the faculty here enjoys. There will be meetings on average every other week during Winter and Spring Quarters. The fall quarter only option is designed for several audiences: (1) students who want to decide if an academic career is for them; (2) students who wish to improve their skills as a public speaker; (3) students who want to improve their skills of critique while reading papers from a wide variety of subject areas; (4) and students who simply enjoy arguing about the law. Each week a young scholar present works-in progress and students play the role of the faculty in a faculty workshop. The class and the professor then provide feedback and suggestions to the presenter on aspects of both presentation style and the substance of the paper. The FALL ONLY version is graded on the basis of short reactions papers and class participation. The full year version may fulfill the WP or the SRP. May be taken concurrently with any other class or workshop. During Winter, the workshop is expected to meet the first four Weeks of the quarter; during Spring, the last four weeks of the quarter. The fall only version has short reaction papers that are not for the writing credit. The full year version is writing or revising a work to publishable form and if successfully completed fulfills the requirement. Grading is 60% written work, 40% participation.
    Spring 2014
    Lisa Bernstein
  • Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender

    LAWS 63312 - 01 (1) a, c/l, m, r, w, x
    This workshop exposes students to recent academic work in the regulation of family, sex, gender, and sexuality and in feminist theory. Workshop sessions, to be held irregularly throughout the Winter and Spring quarters, are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers and University faculty. The substance and methodological orientation of the papers will both be diverse. The grade is based on a substantial paper or series of short reaction papers, with class participation taken into account. Substantial paper writers require permission of the instructor. Undergraduates admitted only with permission of the instructor.
    Winter 2014
    Mary Anne Case