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
  • 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 2014
    Anup Malani
  • Advanced Topics in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy

    LAWS 78603 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    The topic for Winter 2014 will be "Ideology." What makes some moral, political, economic, or legal ideas "ideological," in the pejorative sense associated with the Marxian tradition? How do facts about the genesis of an ideology bear on its epistemic warrant? What is the relationship between ideology and "false consciousness"? How can an individual be mistaken about his interests? What concept of interests is needed for the theory of ideology and false consciousness? We will use some aspects of contemporary economics as a case study for the theory of ideology. Readings from some or all of Hegel, Marx, Horkheimer, Adorno, J. Elster, R. Geuss, M. Rosen, G. Becker.
    Winter 2014
    Brian Leiter, Michael Forster
  • American Indian Law

    LAWS 80302 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar will consider two distinct bodies of law regarding the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States. First, we will study the law governing the relation between non-tribal law and tribal law. This is the law of treaties, federal jurisdiction, and sovereignty. The flavor for this part of the seminar will be international law, although with a decidedly American approach. Second, we will study the law within several prominent tribal areas. The Navajo Nation, for instance, has a court system that is roughly parallel to the American one, but with key differences for handling crimes, contracts, torts, and so on. The flavor for this part of the seminar will be comparative law, since we will compare how different legal rules develop in distinct but related legal systems.
    Spring 2014
    M. Todd Henderson
  • Canonical Ideas in 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 reaction papers on the readings, and each student will once during the term facilitate the class discussion of an article, drawing on their outside research to do so. 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 are expected to produce papers of publishable quality because the seminar’s ultimate goal is to prepare students for the process of entering the legal academy. 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 Abebe, Miles, and Strahilevitz a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 20.
    Winter 2014
    Daniel Abebe, Thomas J. Miles, Lior Strahilevitz
  • Canonical Ideas in 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 reaction papers on the readings, and each student will once during the term facilitate the class discussion of an article, drawing on their outside research to do so. 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 are expected to produce papers of publishable quality because the seminar’s ultimate goal is to prepare students for the process of entering the legal academy. 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 Abebe, Miles, and Strahilevitz a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 20.
    Spring 2014
    Daniel Abebe, Thomas J. Miles, Lior Strahilevitz
  • Comparative Constitutional Design Seminar

    LAWS 50103 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    In this seminar, we will explore the considerations and challenges in designing a constitution. The first part of this seminar draws on leading legal, economic and political theories to explore the origins of constitutions: why do countries adopt written constitutions? And what explains their constitutional choices? The second part of the seminar explores different substantive constitutional design topics, or the different ways in which constitutions deal with rights, checks and balances, and the protection of ethnic minorities. The last part of the seminar addresses potential implications of constitutional design choices. We draw on interdisciplinary research to explore an important puzzle in constitutional design: why do governments comply with their constitutional commitments? And to what extent can smart constitutional design aid compliance? Every student has to select one country and become an expert on this country’s constitution over the course of the quarter. In the class discussions, students will have to apply various constitutional design theories to their country of expertise, and bring insights from this country into the discussion.
    Autumn 2013
    Mila Versteeg
  • Comparative Legal Institutions

    LAWS 50101 - 01 (3) 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, especially for economic development. 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. The course will conclude with reflections on what a comparative perspective tells us about American legal institutions. Course grades will be given on the basis of a take-home written exam, with a small component for class participation. There is a paper option.
    Winter 2014
    Tom Ginsburg
  • Constitutional Decisionmaking

    LAWS 50202 - 01 (3) +, m, r, s, w
    Students enrolled in this seminar work as courts consisting of five Justices each. During each of the first eight weeks of the quarter, the courts are assigned several hypothetical cases raising issues under either the Equal Protection Clause or the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech and press. Each court must select in advance whether it will focus on equal protection or the First Amendment. All cases must be decided with opinions (concurring and dissenting opinions are, of course, permitted). The decisions may be premised on the legislative history of the amendment (materials on that history will be provided) and on any doctrines or precedents created by the Justices themselves. The Justices may not rely, however, on any actual decisions of the United States Supreme Court. The seminar is designed to give students some insight into the problems a justice confronts in collaborating with colleagues, interpreting an ambiguous constitutional provision, and then living with the doctrines and precedents he or she creates. Constitutional Law is not a prerequisite for participation in this seminar. Enrollment will be limited to three courts. Since the members of each court must work together closely under rigid time constraints, it is preferable for students to form their own complete courts. Students will complete a major research paper. First Meeting is on Thursday, March 27th from 12:30-1:30 in room C. Second Meeting is TBD.
    Spring 2014
    Geoffrey R. Stone
  • East Asian Law and Society

    LAWS 80901 - 01 (3) r, w
    This course will cover the East Asian legal tradition, primarily but not exclusively focusing on China and Japan. East Asia is well-known for its remarkable economic development in recent decades, but has also been the home of a long tradition of thinking about law in a way that differs from the assumptions of Western liberal democracy. The course begins by exploring this tradition, and then traces the history of legal institutions in the region, focusing on the encounter with Western legal systems beginning in the 19th century. We will then analyze the major institutions of criminal, civil and administrative law in postwar East Asia and their recent transformations. The focus of this course is not on particular areas of doctrine, but on the ideas and institutions that make East Asia distinctive. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam or research paper, at the students’ discretion.
    Autumn 2013
    Tom Ginsburg
  • Election Law

    LAWS 95903 - 01 (3) r, w
    This course examines the law, both constitutional and statutory, that governs the American electoral system. Topics covered include the right to vote, reapportionment and redistricting, minority representation, the regulation of political parties, and campaign finance. The course draws heavily from both legal and political science scholarship. It addresses constitutional provisions including the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, as well as key statutes such as the Voting Rights Act, the Federal Election Campaign Act, and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. Students will develop an understanding of not only election law doctrine, but also the theoretical and functional underpinnings of the American electoral system.
    Autumn 2013
    Nicholas Stephanopoulos
  • European Legal History

    LAWS 91901 - 01 (2 to 3) m, r, x
    This seminar aims to give students an appreciation of the basic themes and most important events in European (as opposed to English) legal history. It begins with the Roman law formulated under the Emperor Justinian and moves forward to the 19th century. Among the subjects covered are Germanic law, the rise of legal science beginning in the 12th century, the nature of the ius commune, legal humanism, the reception of Roman law, the natural law school, and the movement towards Codification. In addition to the text book, students are expected to read one law review article each week and to share it with the class. They are permitted to write a research paper, but a final examination will also be offered as an option.
    Winter 2014
    R. H. Helmholz
  • Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation: Questions and Methods

    LAWS 51601 - 01 (3) +, c/l, m, r, w
    This seminar aims to combine methodologies in research on historical jurisprudence and in theoretical and computational linguistics, with a view to understanding the meanings of words and phrases in context. We will examine theories of textual meaning from legal studies and linguistics, including originalism, textualism, common law constitutionalism, and other methods that require the interpreter to have a theory of which written sources, and which words, count for purposes of determining constitutional meaning. The seminar will also introduce distinctions from formal semantics and pragmatics concerning the construction of meaning, and corpus-based modeling of lexical meaning. The seminar thus aims to acquaint students with these techniques, to apply them to several interpretive questions (e.g., those surrounding the Second Amendment), and to model how such research can be conducted for questions of the students' own interest. Third hour of course optional for Law students. 16 seats will be initially allocated to Law School students and 10 to Linguistics students. Law students wishing to enroll in the seminar should email a short statement of interest to both professors, including their background in relevant areas and the reasons for their interest in the seminar, by August 26. Linguistics students should email no later than December 17. A final paper will be required.
    Winter 2014
    Alison LaCroix
  • Housing and Development: Law and Policy

    LAWS 98903 - 01 (3) m, r, x
    In this seminar we will explore a range of issues concerning American housing law and policy. Topics will include the historical development of interventions in the housing market as well the economic justifications for these interventions. Regulatory and spending programs will be compared and contrasted. We will consider the current mortgage and mortgage foreclosure crisis and its implications for housing policy and law. In addition, we will discuss comparative advantages and disadvantages of government programs designed to stimulate supply and those geared to increasing demand. One class will also be devoted to issues of housing discrimination. We live in a wonderful laboratory for studying what does and does not work in housing policy. Therefore, where appropriate, we will draw comparisons and contrasts between housing laws and policies in Chicago and those of the nation as a whole.
    Winter 2014
    Michael H. Schill
  • Independent Research

    LAWS 49901 - 01 (1 to 2 to 3) +, r, w
    Second-year, third-year, and LL.M. students may earn course credit by independent research under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Such projects are arranged by consultation between the student and the particular member of the faculty in whose field the proposed topic falls.
    Spring 2014
  • Independent Research

    LAWS 49901 - 01 (1 to 2 to 3) +, r, w
    Second-year, third-year, and LL.M. students may earn course credit by independent research under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Such projects are arranged by consultation between the student and the particular member of the faculty in whose field the proposed topic falls.
    Autumn 2013
  • Independent Research

    LAWS 49901 - 01 (1 to 2 to 3) +, r, w
    Second-year, third-year, and LL.M. students may earn course credit by independent research under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Such projects are arranged by consultation between the student and the particular member of the faculty in whose field the proposed topic falls.
    Winter 2014
  • International Finance

    LAWS 48901 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    Today the volume of international financial flows far exceeds the volume of international trade. This seminar addresses the international regulatory aspects of U. S. domestic banking and security markets and contrasts them with foreign markets. The focus is on U.S., European, and other regulatory systems and the role of international financial institutions. In addition to introductory material on U.S. banking and securities regulation, foreign exchange markets, and the growth of Eurocurrency markets, two particularly current topics will be addressed: (1) international regulatory aspects of the recent international financial crisis and (2) changes in U.S. law made or under consideration to respond to that crisis. Special attention will be paid to the "Euro problem" and to Chinese financial markets.
    Winter 2014
    Kenneth W. Dam
  • International Human Rights Law

    LAWS 96101 - 01 (3) c/l, r, w
    This course is an introduction to international human rights law, covering the major instruments and institutions that operate on the international plane. It includes discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of human rights, the structure of the United Nations System, the major international treaties, regional human rights machinery, and the interplay of national and international systems in enforcing human rights. It will also provide an introduction to international relations theories: When and why do states commit to international human rights standards? And when does international human rights law actually make a difference on the ground? To illustrate these themes, the course will draw when possible on current international events covered in the media.
    Autumn 2013
    Mila Versteeg
  • Labor History and the Law

    LAWS 92103 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    This seminar examines the historical relationship between American workers and the law. It focuses on legal contests over workers’ rights in the courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings explore the ways in which law has shaped labor solidarity, class formation, and strategies for organization and resistance. They also consider the influence of organized labor and of labor law on mobilization for social change, including the movements for civil liberties and civil rights. The seminar concludes by exploring current trends in American labor relations, including recent efforts to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees.
    Autumn 2013
    Laura Weinrib
  • Law and Religion

    LAWS 97522 - 01 (3) r
    This course will cover the constitutional law of religion as well as related statutes, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and antidiscrimination laws. Topics will include free exercise accommodations, religious expression in public spaces, the relationship between religion and the state, and the significance of religious institutions. Grades will be based on a final in-class examination or a full-length research paper, plus class participation.
    Winter 2014
    Eduardo Peñalver