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
  • Advanced Law and Economics: Theory and Practice

    LAWS 55401 - 01 (3) +, c/l, r, w
    This course examines theoretical and empirical work in the economic analysis of law. It will cover, among other things, optimal tort rules, models of contract liability and remedies, optimal criminal rules, settlement and plea bargaining, and models of judicial behavior. Students are required to be PhD students in the Economics Department, the Harris School or the Booth School, or law students. Students should have the equivalent of an undergraduate economics degree or have taken Economic Analysis of the Law in the Law School. The course will expect students to have Economics PhD-level math skills. Students will be required to submit 3-4 short research proposals related to topics covered in class. These proposals are sketches of original research that, once developed, could yield publishable academic papers.
    Spring 2016
    Anup Malani
  • Advanced Legal Writing

    LAWS 79901 - 01 (2) +, s, w, x
    This course will prepare law students for the working world by honing writing skills for briefs, memoranda, motions and contracts. We will discuss and practice the major principles of legal writing in plain English -- no jargon, no legalese, no anachronistic fluff. In addition to fine-tuning basic and more advanced writing skills, students will learn how to use their writing to win arguments, persuade clients and sharpen their own thinking. The class will function largely as a workshop where we analyze the impact of various writing styles. Through exercises and group critiques, students will learn to write more succinctly and effectively. Better writers make better lawyers. Regular attendance is essential. The course concludes with an eight-hour take-home examination, which determines the student's grade. Students must complete all assignments before the exam. This course satisfies the Writing Project writing requirement. Legal Research and Writing is a pre-requisite.
    Spring 2016
    Elizabeth Duquette
  • Advanced Topics in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy

    LAWS 78603 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    The topic for Winter 2016 is “Etiological/Genealogical Critiques of Concepts, Beliefs and Values.” If you had been brought up in a different family, or a different culture, your religious and moral beliefs would likely have been very different than they are—perhaps even your beliefs about the world around you. Should this fact bother us? Should the origin of our beliefs and values make us skeptical about them, or should it lead us to revise them? Historians and social scientists, from Marvis Harris to Ian Morris, have regularly proffered etiological/explanatory accounts and think they have debunking implications; recently, a number of Anglophone philosophers have begun to address variations on this question, including G.A. Cohen, George Sher, Sharon Street, and Roger White, among others. But interest in the etiology (or genealogy) of beliefs and values, and its significance, long predates these 20th-century writers. We will also give extended consideration to at least Herder, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche—time permitting, perhaps some others.
    Winter 2016
    Brian Leiter, Michael Forster
  • Advanced Trademarks and Unfair Competition

    LAWS 69902 - 01 (2 to 3) +, l, m, w, x
    This seminar addresses current issues in trademark law and their evolution since the latter half of the 19th century, such as trademark law's constitutional foundations; competing justifications of trademark rights (incentivizing manufacturers while lowering consumer search costs, fostering commercial morality, protecting property rights, vindicating speech interests, and so on); the reciprocal development of trademark doctrine and commercial practice; the interplay of trademark and First Amendment law; statutory and judicial limitations on trademark rights and those limitations' normative underpinnings; counterfeiting, contributory infringement, and the online marketplace; and the peculiar role (especially in light of other nations' practices) of federal registrations in the acquisition and maintenance of U.S. trademark rights. Enrollment is limited to twenty-five students. Previous or concurrent coursework or professional experience in intellectual property is recommended but not required. 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.
    Winter 2016
    Chad J. Doellinger, Uli Widmaier
  • Animal Law

    LAWS 46022 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar will explore the treatment of animals in the law. We will cover several areas of the law as they intersect with animal rights and animal welfare issues, including first amendment/constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law, torts, contracts, and consumer protection law. Topics will include: factory farming practices; religious exemptions to animal protection laws; standing and other challenges to litigating on behalf of animals; and evolving theories of economic valuation of animals. Conducted in a discussion format centered around weekly reading assignments, the course will allow students to explore the latest cases, legislation, and legal theories developing in animal law. All perspectives are both welcome and open to critique. Students will be asked to form teams and lead the discussion for a selected week's readings, and to submit a final research paper.
    Autumn 2015
    Roshna Bala Keen, Vince Field
  • Anthropology and Law

    LAWS 93812 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar for law students and graduate students in the social sciences will provide an introduction to the field of legal anthropology. We will address anthropological theories of the nature of law and disputes, examine related studies of legal structures in non-Western cultures, and consider the uses of anthropology in studying facets of our own legal system. By examining individual legal institutions in the context of their particular cultural settings, we can begin to make cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts. In so doing, we confront the challenge of interpreting and understanding the legal rules and institutions of other cultures while assessing the impact of our own social norms and biases on the analysis. Thus, our analytic and interpretative approach will require us to examine the cultural assumptions that underpin various aspects of our own belief systems and the American legal system. Requirements for this seminar course include preparation of a research paper and thoughtful class participation. Writing for this seminar may be used as partial fulfillment of the J.D. writing requirement (SRP or WP).
    Winter 2016
    Christopher Fennell
  • Arbitration in the United States

    LAWS 96404 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar focuses on arbitration in the U.S. as a means of resolving both domestic and international commercial disputes. The seminar will explore the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration as compared to both mediation and litigation in the courts. The seminar will also address (among other topics) the nature and scope of arbitral jurisdiction; the nature of the arbitral process; the scope of discovery in domestic and international arbitrations; techniques of effective advocacy in arbitral hearings; the enforcement of domestic and international arbitral awards; and judicial review of arbitral proceedings. A major focus of the seminar will be a series of recent Supreme Court decisions in which the Court has limited the scope of judicial review of arbitral awards and clarified the ways in which arbitral agreements can limit liability (for example, by barring class actions). Finally, the seminar will examine international arbitration in the United States, including the U.S. enforcement of international awards and the conduct in the U.S. of arbitral proceedings involving foreign governments and private parties (“Investor-State” arbitrations).
    Winter 2016
    James R. Ferguson
  • Brief-writing and Appellate Advocacy Seminar

    LAWS 79905 - 01 (3) l, m, s, w, x
    This seminar will be devoted to the art of brief-writing and appellate advocacy. Topics will include how to select the best arguments, how to choose a theme and structure the facts and the argument, and how to write the brief in a way that it is clear, concise and persuasive on the first read. Grades will be based on two papers -- an opening brief and a reply.
    Spring 2016
    Michele Odorizzi
  • Buyouts

    LAWS 42602 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    In this seminar we will examine conflicts of interest in mergers and acquisitions, and especially in going private transactions in which publicly held companies are acquired by affiliates of private equity firms with the participation of the company's management or by controlling shareholders. Both types of transactions raise conflict of interest issues because some of the company's directors or officers, who are charged with protecting the public shareholders, may be accused of having interests adverse to those of the public shareholders. We will examine the methods that Delaware law has provided for dealing with these conflicts of interest and whether those methods are likely to be effective. We will also look at a variety of other issues raised by going private transactions, including why they occur, whether they are likely to be beneficial to shareholders in spite of the existence of conflicts of interest, the consequences to society of these transactions and certain conflict and other issues that can arise in transactions even if they are neither management nor controlling shareholder buyouts. Finally, we will examine the role of the lawyers and financial advisors who are involved in these transactions. Grades will be based on a paper and class participation. Some of the topics in this seminar will also be covered in Mergers and Acquisitions, but that course is not a prerequisite for this seminar and students may take both classes. Grades will be based on a paper and on class participation.
    Spring 2016
    Scott Davis
  • Canonical Ideas in American Legal Thought

    LAWS 57013 - 01 (3) +, a, m, w
    This year-long research seminar is the equivalent of a research colloquium in a PhD program. During the Autumn quarter, students will read, discuss, and critique some of the most influential law review articles from the twentieth century, as well as newer papers that extend and apply those canonical ideas to modern legal problems. The readings will consist of a healthy mix of public law and private law, and various scholarly methodologies. During the Autumn quarter, students will write short research papers on the readings. Students will also work with faculty to identify a topic for a substantial research paper. During the Winter quarter, the seminar will not meet in formal sessions, but each student will work on his or her research paper and will meet individually with the instructors to assess the paper’s progress. During the Spring quarter, the seminar will reconvene, and students will workshop their drafts (i.e., each student will circulate his or her draft in advance and answer questions from students and faculty). Students will receive an Autumn quarter grade based on the reaction papers, discussion facilitation, and class participation. Students will receive a separate grade for the Winter and Spring quarters based on the quality of their research papers and class participation. Every student must enroll for the entire year; students may not drop the class after the Autumn quarter. Students may only enroll with the permission of the instructors. Students interested in enrolling should email Professors Malani and Masur a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 29, 2015.
    Autumn 2015
    Anup Malani, Jonathan Masur
  • Canonical Ideas in American Legal Thought

    LAWS 57013 - 01 (2) a, m, r, w
    This year-long research seminar is the equivalent of a research colloquium in a PhD program. During the Autumn quarter, students will read, discuss, and critique some of the most influential law review articles from the twentieth century, as well as newer papers that extend and apply those canonical ideas to modern legal problems. The readings will consist of a healthy mix of public law and private law, and various scholarly methodologies. During the Autumn quarter, students will write short research papers on the readings. Students will also work with faculty to identify a topic for a substantial research paper. During the Winter quarter, the seminar will not meet in formal sessions, but each student will work on his or her research paper and will meet individually with the instructors to assess the paper’s progress. During the Spring quarter, the seminar will reconvene, and students will workshop their drafts (i.e., each student will circulate his or her draft in advance and answer questions from students and faculty). Students will receive an Autumn quarter grade based on the reaction papers, discussion facilitation, and class participation. Students will receive a separate grade for the Winter and Spring quarters based on the quality of their research papers and class participation. Every student must enroll for the entire year; students may not drop the class after the Autumn quarter. Students may only enroll with the permission of the instructors. Students interested in enrolling should email Professors Malani and Masur a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 29, 2015.
    Winter 2016
    Anup Malani, Jonathan Masur
  • Canonical Ideas in American Legal Thought

    LAWS 57013 - 01 (2) a, m, r, w
    This year-long research seminar is the equivalent of a research colloquium in a PhD program. During the Autumn quarter, students will read, discuss, and critique some of the most influential law review articles from the twentieth century, as well as newer papers that extend and apply those canonical ideas to modern legal problems. The readings will consist of a healthy mix of public law and private law, and various scholarly methodologies. During the Autumn quarter, students will write short research papers on the readings. Students will also work with faculty to identify a topic for a substantial research paper. During the Winter quarter, the seminar will not meet in formal sessions, but each student will work on his or her research paper and will meet individually with the instructors to assess the paper’s progress. During the Spring quarter, the seminar will reconvene, and students will workshop their drafts (i.e., each student will circulate his or her draft in advance and answer questions from students and faculty). Students will receive an Autumn quarter grade based on the reaction papers, discussion facilitation, and class participation. Students will receive a separate grade for the Winter and Spring quarters based on the quality of their research papers and class participation. Every student must enroll for the entire year; students may not drop the class after the Autumn quarter. Students may only enroll with the permission of the instructors. Students interested in enrolling should email Professors Malani and Masur a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 29, 2015.
    Spring 2016
    Anup Malani, Jonathan Masur
  • Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking

    LAWS 47103 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge. The seminar will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases. The seminar will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims. The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall.
    Winter 2016
    Virginia Kendall
  • Class Action Controversies

    LAWS 93602 - 01 (2 to 3) l, m, w, x
    The purpose of this seminar is to discuss and understand the rules applicable to class action litigation, the major doctrinal and policy issues that influence class action litigation, and the strategic, ethical, and practical considerations class counsel and litigants face in class action litigation. We will address class certification, notice, settlements, attorneys fees, collateral attack of class judgments, and due process considerations in class cases. There is no case book. Instead, each week I will assign cases and other materials for you to read and for us to discuss.
    Autumn 2015
    Michael Brody
  • Comparative Legal Institutions

    LAWS 50101 - 01 (3) c/l, e, r, w, x
    This course is designed to examine a range of legal institutions from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It is not a traditional course in comparative law, in that it focuses not so much on particular rules of substantive law but on the structure of different legal systems and the consequences of those structural differences for law and society. In particular, we will focus on the economic impact of legal traditions. Readings will be drawn from legal and social science literature, including works from anthropology, economics, political science and sociology. The course will explicitly cover non-Western legal traditions to an extent not found in conventional comparative law courses. Furthermore, American institutions are explicitly included in the comparison: this is not simply a course in foreign law.
    Spring 2016
    Tom Ginsburg
  • Construction Law

    LAWS 44032 - 01 (3) +, w
    Construction contracts are among the more complex types of legal arrangements, involving multiple actors (governments/regulatory agencies, developers/owners, purchasers or off-takers, contractors, subcontractors, equipment suppliers, sureties, insurers and financing parties) and multiple areas of the law (contracts; torts; real and personal property; insurance; employment, safety and environmental rules; complex forms of dispute resolution). The course will provide an introduction to the legal aspects of the construction process, including the relationships between and the risk allocations among the members of the construction team, as well as the resolution of disputes which arise out of the design and construction of heavy industrial and commercial projects. As one example of heavy construction, we will study one or more models of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contracts for electric power generation plants, and look at the effects of project financing and the “bankability” requirements for such project contracts. Prerequisites: Contracts and Torts.
    Autumn 2015
    Thomas Vega-Byrnes
  • Corporate Criminal Prosecutions and Investigations

    LAWS 66702 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    The criminal investigation and prosecution of large-scale corporate fraud and corruption are among the hottest areas of focus for prosecutors and the criminal defense bar. This seminar is designed for students interested in learning about the various aspects of uncovering, investigating, defending, prosecuting, and resolving corporate criminal matters, including those arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The seminar will address legal and practical issues and concerns from the perspective of the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and in-house counsel. Among other topics, students will learn about: (i) foundational principles of corporate criminal liability; (ii) the whistleblower frameworks under the Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act; (iii) conducting internal investigations as well as government investigative techniques and tools; (iv) strategic considerations for the prosecutor and defense lawyer in white collar criminal investigations; (v) prosecutorial and SEC charging policies, including creating incentives to encourage voluntary disclosure and cooperation; (vi) pre-trial diversion, including deferred and non-prosecution agreements; (vii) compliance monitors and the monitorship process; (viii) the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; and (ix) proposals for corporate criminal reform. The seminar will introduce students to this multi-faceted area of the law, and expose students to real-world considerations involved in advising corporate clients and their officers, directors, and employees. This is a three-credit class. The student’s grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages) and class participation. Papers are eligible to satisfy the writing project (WP) requirement and will be due four weeks after final exams for the Winter quarter.
    Winter 2016
    Andrew Boutros
  • Corporate Governance

    LAWS 75001 - 01 (2 to 3) +, l, m, w, x
    Through the production of goods and services, innovation, employment and occasional misbehavior, publicly-held corporations in the U.S. exert an enormous impact on the lives of individuals and the economy in general. How (and how well) corporations are governed greatly influences what that impact will be. Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant increase in the attention given to corporate governance by investors, lawyers, academicians, politicians and the press. This seminar will provide students with a deep understanding of applicable legal, regulatory and market influences on corporate governance, an appreciation for the historical development of the current system of governance and insights into current “hot” issues and the continuing evolution of governance. We will discuss critical issues such as for whose benefit is a corporation to be governed and what is the proper balance of decision-making authority between owners and managers. There will be a heavy emphasis on the role of counsel to the enterprise as a whole and on the practical aspects of advising officers and directors, including the coordination of multi-disciplinary teams. Corporations and securities law courses provide highly desirable background, but are not prerequisites. Grades will be based upon: a final take-home exam (2 credits), or a final take-home exam plus a 10-12 page research paper (3 credits), or a full-length paper (3 credits). In all instances, class participation will also be taken into account. Enrollment will be limited to 25 students; MBA students from Booth will be welcome.
    Autumn 2015
    Thomas Cole
  • Corporate Governance in China

    LAWS 80804 - 01 (3) l, m, w, x
    Good corporate governance is essential to building an effective and stable capital market. China, which leads the world in economic growth, still lags in corporate governance and its capital markets remain underdeveloped as a result. Despite a plethora of new laws and regulations, compliance remains problematic and transparency inadequate – and board and management practices still vary widely across state-owned enterprises, publicly-listed companies, and privately-held firms. Furthermore, appreciation for ethical behavior, which is regarded as the bedrock of good governance and central to reform, is proving difficult to institutionalize. Given the growing volume of Chinese investment activity, the potential impact of a corporate collapse, and the risk of contagion spreading between Chinese and Western capital markets, corporate governance in Chinese companies is becoming an important concern not only for China but for investors and regulators worldwide. This seminar will review the current state of corporate governance in China, compare Chinese practice to Western practice, examine recent high-profile failures, and highlight reform efforts. The seminar will be highly interactive and include extensive discussion of case studies. During the class, students will also learn-by-doing when they role-play a major governance crisis scenario, expressing the attitudes and behaviors of corporate executives, board directors, and regulators. Grading will be determined by class participation and performance across three short papers. The first paper will involve a comparison of Chinese and Western corporate governance methods; the second will focus on a recent case and provide analysis and commentary; and the third will require generation of a detailed, hypothetical governance crisis scenario, which will compete for inclusion in a monograph of future scenarios to be published later in the year.
    Spring 2016
    Tom Manning
  • Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

    LAWS 75006 - 01 (3) +, m, r, w, x
    This seminar provides an overview of recent developments and scholarship relating to corporate governance, primarily from a “law and finance” perspective. It particularly emphasizes the context of developing and transitional economies and other jurisdictions without a long tradition of strong corporate and securities law and enforcement. Topics to be covered include: 1) The emerging markets context, the distinctive legal and governance issues raised by firms with controlling shareholders, and the legal and institutional preconditions for stock market development 2) Legal and economic aspects of tunneling and other forms of self-dealing among firms with controlling shareholders 3) The debate on the impact of historical legal origins on stock market development 4) The evidence on the impact of corporate and securities law reforms on firm value and stock market development, introduced through country-level studies of major recent reforms in Korea, India and Russia 5) The distinctive context of corporate governance in China, including issues raised by the role of governmental entities as controlling shareholders 6) Regulatory dualism, as exemplified by Brazil’s Novo Mercado, and the regulation of hostile takeovers in emerging markets 7) The causes and implications of the phenomenon of international cross-listing 8) The role of public and private enforcement of securities law in stock market development While some background in areas such as corporate and securities law would be helpful, there is no formal prerequisite for the seminar. Some readings from the “law and finance” literature will be interdisciplinary in approach, and some undertake statistical analysis. However, no background in finance or statistics will be assumed. Rather, the emphasis will be on understanding the implications of the readings for law and policy.
    Winter 2016
    Dhammika Dharmapala