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 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
  • Amartya Sen

    LAWS 78604 - 01 (3) +, c/l, m, r
    Amartya Sen is, of course, a distinguished economist, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize. But he is also a philosopher whose philosophical thought informs his economic writings and who has long defended the importance of philosophy for economic thought. This seminar will study the philosophical aspects of his thought, not attempting to separate them from his economic contributions, which would be wrong, but attempting to focus on the specific contributions Sen has been able to make to economics in virtue of being a philosopher. We will begin by studying two distinct though related strands of his thought: work on choice, welfare, and measurement, and work on development. We continue with his influential critique of Utilitarianism on the nature of preference and value, and the importance of equality. We will then devote substantial time to The Idea of Justice, a major contribution to political philosophy. Finally, we will examine more recent writings on Indian rationalist philosophy and on religious identity. Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. Prerequisite: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation. This is a 500 level course. Ph.D. students in Philosophy and Political Theory may enroll without permission. I am eager to have some Economics graduate students in the class, and will discuss the philosophy prerequisite in a flexible way with such students.
    Autumn 2015
    Martha Nussbaum
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Critical Race Theory

    LAWS 69105 - 01 (3) +, r, w
    This class focuses on an intellectual and political movement called Critical Race Theory, a radical left position on race and law that emerged in law schools in the late 1980s. Critical Race Theory scholarship is unified by two major intellectual and political commitments. First, CRT scholars argue that liberal legal approaches to race, even and especially laws that demand racial neutrality, serve to reproduce white supremacy and racial inequality. For example, the civil rights laws of the 1960s narrowly focused on intentional discrimination and took off the table any legal remedy for structural processes like residential segregation, labor market segmentation and disparate public school financing. Second, CRT scholars argue that law should be used to advance a political commitment to racial empowerment and anti-subordination (for example, by broadly reading the equal protection clause to require a remedy for structural inequality). We will spend much of our time tracing the intellectual history of the movement by reading the key writings that formed the center of the movement. The course will explore the movement's central commitments, as well as its political split-offs, renegades, and disgruntled fellow travelers. In addition, we will explore the trenchant critique of identity politics developed by liberal and conservative scholars in the legal academy, and the debate over the movement's critique of merit. In the context of theoretical argument, specific topics to be covered will include: police brutality, affirmative action in education, hate speech and immigration reform. Students should have a basic understanding of equal protection in Constitutional Law. Con Law III is helpful in this regard. If you have not yet taken Con Law III, you should expect to read these cases on your own. Students will choose between writing a twenty-five page paper or three ten-page papers on topics of their choice. Students will also be asked to write short half-page reaction pieces to some portion of the course reading, to be submitted before class. Twenty-five percent of the course grade will come from class attendance and student participation in a vigorous and stimulating discussion. For a preview of the syllabus, see www.dariaroithmayr.com.
    Autumn 2015
    Daria Roithmayr
  • Emotion, Reason, and Law

    LAWS 99301 - 01 (3) c/l, e, r, w, x
    Emotions figure in many areas of the law, and many legal doctrines (from reasonable provocation in homicide to mercy in criminal sentencing) invite us to think about emotions and their relationship to reason. In addition, some prominent theories of the limits of law make reference to emotions: thus Lord Devlin and, more recently, Leon Kass have argued that the disgust of the average member of society is a sufficient reason for rendering a practice illegal, even though it does no harm to others. Emotions, however, are all too rarely studied closely, with the result that both theory and doctrine are often confused. The first part of this course will study major theories of emotion, asking about the relationship between emotion and cognition, focusing on philosophical accounts, but also learning from anthropology and psychology. We will ask how far emotions embody cognitions, and of what type, and then we will ask whether there is reason to consider some or all emotions “irrational” in a normative sense. We then turn to the criminal law, asking how specific emotions figure in doctrine and theory: anger, fear, compassion, disgust, guilt, and shame. Legal areas considered will include self-defense, reasonable provocation, mercy, victim impact statements, sodomy laws, sexual harassment, shame-based punishments. Next, we turn to the role played by emotions in constitutional law and in thought about just institutions – a topic that seems initially unpromising, but one that will turn out to be full of interest. Other topics will be included as time permits. Open to all law students without prerequisite. Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. Assessment will be via a take-home exam or a substantial research paper. The class will not meet at the regularly scheduled time on Thursday, April 14, but on Friday, April 15, from 1:30 - 2:35 p.m. instead.
    Spring 2016
    Martha Nussbaum
  • European Legal History

    LAWS 91901 - 01 (2 to 3) m, r, w, 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 2016
    R. H. Helmholz
  • Evolution, Neuroscience, and the Law

    LAWS 76603 - 01 (3) m, r, x
    This seminar critically examines the relationship between contemporary developments in evolutionary psychology, evolutionary game theory, neuroscience, genomics and the law. Although the legal academy has embraced many social scientific methodologies, it is still in the early stages of wrestling with how contemporary developments in the biological sciences bear on the law. Over the past several decades, a number of empirical and technological advances have, however, generated a veritable renaissance in the biological, evolutionary and neurobiological sciences. This renaissance creates new potential for cross-fertilization but also many dangers of misinterpretation, some of which the legal academy is poorly suited to address. To help bridge this gap, this seminar introduces students to several of the key developments that have generated this renaissance. Topics of discussion will include the evolution and neuropsychological underpinnings of cooperation, law, and the psychological attitudes that animate legal systems. Students will critically discuss the relationship between recent findings and other work in the study of human decision-making. Other topics for critical discussion will include the bearing that recent developments have on questions of freedom of the will, responsibility, the function of criminal punishment, race and the persistence of racial inequality.
    Spring 2016
    Robin Bradley Kar
  • Fair Housing

    LAWS 97312 - 01 (3) m, r, w, x
    This seminar will focus on the law and policy of fair housing, broadly construed. Significant attention will be devoted to antidiscrimination laws in housing, including the federal Fair Housing Act. We will also explore existing and proposed policies for improving access of lower-income people to housing. The dynamics of segregation and concentrated poverty will be examined, as well as the effects of zoning and other land use controls. Additional topics may include urban squatting, rent control, gentrification, subprime lending, the siting of locally undesirable land uses, and the use of eminent domain in “blighted” areas. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a research paper.
    Spring 2016
    Lee Fennell
  • Family Law

    LAWS 45001 - 01 (3) c/l, r
    This course will examine the state's role in recognizing and regulating personal relationships between adults and between adults and children. Throughout the quarter we will explore assumptions about family that underlie existing legal regulation, including assumptions embodied in constitutional law. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Paper writers require permission of the instructor; ADDITIONAL explicit instructor consent required for paper to be considered for SRP certification. Can be taken with Constitutional Law VII (LAWS 47101) with permission of the instructor. Undergraduates by instructor permission only.
    Spring 2016
    Mary Anne Case
  • Freedom of Speech in the Digital Age

    LAWS 40202 - 01 (3) +, m, r, w, x
    New communication technologies raise new and difficult questions about the meaning of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. This seminar engages those questions. It examines what freedom of speech means in the digital age and how the government can and should protect it. Topics covered in the seminar will include: search code and the constitutional category of speech; revenge porn; copyright and the Digital Copyright Millennium Act; network neutrality; video games; the right to record; and the First Amendment problems raised by mass government surveillance Students will be evaluated on the basis of their in-class participation, three short response papers, and a final essay. Constitutional Law II is a prerequisite for the seminar.
    Spring 2016
    Genevieve Lakier
  • Growth, Inequality, and the Welfare State

    LAWS 74102 - 01 (3) +, m, r, w, x
    This seminar will examine the dynamics that drive growth, the long-term evolution of inequality, and the concentration of wealth. In its institutional dimension, the seminar will analyze how the patterns of growth and inequality are correlated with the development of legal institutions (e.g., property rights, the law of contract, and the law of business organizations) and the welfare state. While the seminar will focus on cross-country analysis, special emphasis will be given to the study of growth and inequality in the United States. Topics will include: (i) economic theory background, (ii) patterns of growth, (iii) markets and contracts, (iv) torts and government insurance, (v) business organizations in incomplete markets, (vi) the minimal state and the provision of public goods, including infrastructure, education, and health care.
    Spring 2016
    Saura Masconale
  • Independent Research

    LAWS 49901 - 01 (1 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 2015
  • Independent Research

    LAWS 49901 - 01 (1 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 2016
  • Independent Research

    LAWS 49901 - 01 (1 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 2016
  • International Investment Law

    LAWS 96405 - 01 (2 to 3) r, w
    Foreign investment is a central feature of the world economy, and plays an essential role in economic development. It involves a transaction in which an investor in one country (“home state”) sends capital to another (“host state”). But in many cases the transaction is subject to what is called in economics a “dynamic inconsistency problem”, in which the host state’s incentives change once the investment is sunk, and it may want to renege on its promises to the investor. Furthermore, neither side is likely to want any disputes adjudicated in the courts of the other’s country. The global investment regime has arisen to help resolve these problems. The regime includes bilateral investment treaties (known as BITs) as well as multilateral agreements that are embedded in broader treaty structures, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Energy Charter Treaty. This course will introduce students to the operation of the investment law regime, with an emphasis on the tensions between home and host states, the impact of the regime on development outcomes, and the relationship between law and arbitration. There are no prerequisites.
    Autumn 2015
    Tom Ginsburg