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 2015
    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. Regular attendance is essential. Through exercises and group critiques, students will learn to write more succinctly and effectively. Better writers make better lawyers. 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 requirements of the Writing Project writing requirement. Legal Research and Writing is a pre-requisite. NB: The first meeting of this class will be 6:10-8:10 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. All other meetings will be on Tuesdays, 4:00-6:00 p.m. The class will not meet Tuesday, March 31.
    Spring 2015
    Elizabeth Duquette
  • Advanced Topics in Corporate Reorganizations

    LAWS 43702 - 01 (2 to 3) +, m, w, x
    This seminar will explore emerging issues in corporate reorganization. We are principally interested in the ever-present tension between bankruptcy law and policy and the practical reality of managing a company’s business in Chapter 11. The seminar will address four broad topics: (i) asset sales and restructuring agreements, (ii) inter-creditor agreements and post-petition financing, (iii) the safe harbors for financial contracts, and (iv) cross-border insolvency. We will devote two seminar meetings to each topic. During the first, we will discuss case law and hypotheticals, academic and practice-oriented articles, and pleadings, briefs and orders from recent Chapter 11 cases. During the second meeting, we will invite a leading professional to join our seminar and discuss his or her perspectives on the topic that we are studying. Students will lead this discussion. If time permits, our group will join the professional for dinner after the seminar. Grades will be based on class participation (40%) and four short papers (60%). The papers are intended to prepare you to engage deeply in discussion with the invited professionals. Each paper should not exceed six double-spaced pages, should analyze and raise questions about an aspect of a topic that we are studying, and should be submitted no later than noon on the day when we are hosting a professional. Although there is no pre- or co-requisite for this seminar, we recommend that you have taken or are currently taking a course in bankruptcy law. The instructor is Judge Christopher Sontchi of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Students wishing to take the seminar for three credits must write an additional 10-12 page research paper.
    Spring 2015
    Douglas G. Baird, Christopher Sontchi
  • Advanced Topics in Criminal Law: Vice and Victimless Crimes

    LAWS 99004 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    This seminar will explore major topics in vice law, including: the philosophical foundations for punishing vice; the political economy and social history of vice law in the United States; drug crime; gambling; and prostitution. It will ask students to engage with both the law governing vice, and the philosophical as well as political debates about whether this is an arena of human activity in which the state has the right or duty to intrude.
    Spring 2015
    Genevieve Lakier
  • Advanced Topics in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy

    LAWS 78603 - 01 (3) +, c/l, m, r, w
    The topic for Winter 2015 is “Freedom and Responsibility, Contemporary and Historical.” We will begin by canvassing the major philosophical positions in the Anglophone literature on free will and moral responsibility over the past half-century, with readings drawn from some or all of P.F. Strawson, G. Strawson, R. Kane, H. Frankfurt, G. Watson, and others. In the second half of the seminar we will step back to look at the treatment of these same issues by major figures in the history of philosophy, including M. Frede’s A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought, as well as primary texts by some or all of Hume, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Sartre. The seminar is open only to philosophy Ph.D. students without permission and to J.D. students with a background in philosophy; others must seek instructor permission.
    Winter 2015
    Brian Leiter, Michael Forster
  • Advanced Trademarks and Unfair Competition

    LAWS 69902 - 01 (2 to 3) +, 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 2015
    Chad J. Doellinger, Uli Widmaier
  • Animal Law

    LAWS 46022 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    This seminar will survey the treatment of animals in the law. Students will explore the legal status of animals in a variety of contexts. Topics will include: the uses to which animals are put and scientific understanding of their capacities; the ramifications of the legal classification of animals as “property;” how the law impacts people’s relationship with companion animals; use of animals by industry, including agribusiness; current animal protection laws, state and federal, as well as efforts to reform such laws through legislation and litigation; “standing” and other problems of litigating on behalf of animals; developing theories on the economic valuation of animals; and the way the law regulates the dissemination of information regarding animals. The seminar will cover several different 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. Conducted in a discussion format centered around weekly reading assignments, the seminar 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. The grade is based on a series of short research papers.
    Autumn 2014
    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. The grade is based on a final written paper (80%) and class participation (20%).
    Winter 2015
    Christopher Fennell
  • Brief-writing and Appellate Advocacy Seminar

    LAWS 79905 - 01 (3) 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 2015
    Michele Odorizzi
  • Buyouts

    LAWS 42602 - 01 (3) 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.
    Spring 2015
    Scott Davis
  • 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, Malani, and Masur a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 21, 2014.
    Winter 2015
    Daniel Abebe, Anup Malani, Jonathan Masur
  • 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, Malani, and Masur a resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar no later than August 21, 2014.
    Spring 2015
    Daniel Abebe, Anup Malani, Jonathan Masur
  • Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking

    LAWS 47103 - 01 (3) 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. The grade is based on a final written paper.
    Winter 2015
    Virginia Kendall
  • Comparative Constitutional Design

    LAWS 50102 - 01 (3) c/l, m, r, w, x
    Recent constitutional reconstructions in the Middle East have called new attention to the problems of institutional design of political and legal systems. In this seminar we will examine the design and implementation of national constitutions. In particular, we will address the following questions. What are the basic elements of constitutions? How do these elements differ across time, across region, and across regime type? What is the process by which states draft and implement constitutions? What models, theories, and writings have influenced the framers of constitutions? In this seminar, we will review the historical roots of constitutions and investigate their provisions and formal characteristics. We will also discuss the circumstances surrounding the drafting of several exemplary or noteworthy constitutions, from various regions of the world. We will then examine particular features of institutional design in depth, and analyze the factors that make constitutions effective and enduring. The grade is based on a series of short research papers and a final written paper.
    Autumn 2014
    Tom Ginsburg
  • Computer Crime

    LAWS 68402 - 01 (2 to 3) m, w, x
    This seminar will explore the legal issues raised by computer crime. Topics will include: computer hacking and other computer crimes, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties in cyberspace, the law of electronic surveillance, the freedom of speech online, technological tools used to combat cybercrime, and international cybercrime. No previous experience is required. Our primary source will be a casebook: Orin Kerr, Computer Crime Law (3rd ed. 2012), which will be supplemented with additional materials as listed in the syllabus. Students are required to participate in class sessions, prepare short response papers, and write a paper on an approved topic. Students may opt to write a major research paper for three credits that may meet the WP graduation requirement.
    Winter 2015
    William Ridgway
  • Corporate Criminal Prosecutions and Investigations

    LAWS 66702 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    The criminal investigation and prosecution of large-scale corporate fraud is the hottest area 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, and prosecuting corporate crimes; reporting findings to clients and government authorities; strategic considerations for the prosecutor and defense lawyer in white collar criminal investigations; prosecutorial charging policies and decisions; pre-trial diversion and non-prosecution agreements; and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The class 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. The seminar will address legal and practical issues and concerns from the perspective of the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and in-house counsel. This is a three-credit class. The student's grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages) and class participation. Papers will be due on Monday, April 13, 2015, which is four weeks after final exams for the Winter quarter.
    Winter 2015
    Andrew Boutros
  • Corporate Governance

    LAWS 75001 - 01 (2 to 3) 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 2014
    Thomas Cole
  • 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) The debate on the impact of historical legal origins on stock market development 3) Legal and economic aspects of tunneling and other forms of self-dealing among firms with controlling shareholders 4) The evidence on the impact of corporate law and corporate governance reforms on firm value and stock market development 5) The distinctive context of corporate governance in China, including issues raised by the role of governmental entities as controlling shareholders 6) Regulatory dualism 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 9) The relationship between taxation and corporate governance 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. The grade is based on a substantial paper and class participation.
    Winter 2015
    Dhammika Dharmapala
  • Current Controversies in Corporate and Securities Law

    LAWS 52202 - 01 (3) m, w, x
    This seminar deals with the most important developments in U.S. (and to some extent global) corporate and securities practice during the preceding year. The seminar and discussions provide analysis of the legal, political, and economic implications of these Developments. Each student submits one paper and gives an oral presentation and analysis of another student's paper.
    Winter 2015
    Richard Shepro
  • Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

    LAWS 70708 - 01 (3) +, m, w, x
    This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a particular focus on challenges arising from acts of terrorism and other national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal and intelligence investigative tools (comparing Title III electronic surveillance with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ), application of constitutional principles to terrorism investigations and prosecutions (particularly the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the application of Miranda, Quarles and Corley decisions and certain state bar rules in that context), the President's war powers and congressional oversight (including discussions of drone strikes, law of war detention, and Presidential and Congressional authority to use military force), and in other select areas, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, and economic sanctions, and national security leaks. Each class will focus on a different topic, with advance reading assigned around each topic, and grading on the basis of two short reflection papers (3-5 pages each) and a final paper or legal brief (20-25 pages) on a select issue in criminal and national security law. Guest speakers will help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Pre-requisites: Criminal Law and Constitutional Law I.
    Winter 2015
    Patrick Fitzgerald, Michael Scudder