Legal Practice and Ethics Courses
The courses listed below provide a taste of the Legal Practice and Ethics courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.
PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.
Abrams Environmental Law Clinic
Spring 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
Students in the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic work to address climate change, water pollution and legacy contamination and to protect natural resources and human health. Clinic students engage in a wide variety of activities to learn practical legal skills, such as conducting factual investigations, interviewing witnesses and preparing affidavits, reviewing administrative determinations, drafting motions, working with experts, arguing motions and presenting at trial or an administrative hearing, among other activities. The Clinic generally represents regional and national environmental organizations and works with co-counsel, thus exposing students to the staff of these organizations and other experienced environmental lawyers. In addition to litigation, the Clinic may also engage in legislative reform and rule-making efforts; students interested solely in that kind of work should notify the instructor before joining the Clinic, if possible. While it helps for students to have taken or be taking one or more of Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Evidence, or Intensive Trial Practice, these courses are not pre-requisites or co-requisites. A student should plan to enroll in the Clinic for two credits per quarter, although he or she may enroll for one, two or three credits per quarter after consultation with clinic faculty. Students need to take a substantive environmental law class at some point when they are in the clinic. They are not precluded from taking the class if they have not yet taken Environmental Law when they enroll in the clinic and are not able to do so their first quarter due to when courses are offered. Nonetheless, students do need to take an environmental law class (any of the main stand-up class, climate change, or international environmental law) at some point when they are in the clinic.
- Autumn 2016, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
- Winter 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
- Spring 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
- Autumn 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
- Winter 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
Accounting and Financial Analysis
Spring 2018, Philip Berger
This course is designed to quickly introduce you to (or, preferably, refresh your knowledge of) basic financial accounting [first two weeks of class] and then aims to aggressively increase your ability to be a highly sophisticated user of financial statements. After taking this course, you should improve your ability to determine a firm's accounting policy for a particular type of transaction and to determine how that policy choice affects its primary financial statements. You will also learn how to question whether these effects fairly reflect the underlying economics of the firm's transactions. Asking these questions involves an interplay between accounting, economics, finance, law and business strategy. You should therefore greatly improve your ability to use an accounting report as part of an overall assessment of the firm's strategy and the potential rewards and risks of dealing with the firm. It is REQUIRED that students registering for this course have a thorough exposure to accounting course work, at least at the level provided by the Booth course Financial Accounting (B30000). Fundamentals of Accounting for Attorneys (LAWS 79112 or 53260) does not provide a sufficient foundation for this course. Students who have not taken B30000, but feel they have taken an equivalent level of accounting coursework, must petition for a waiver from Professor Berger at Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spring 2017, Philip Berger
Advanced Civil Procedure
Autumn 2017, William Hubbard
This course examines salient features of major civil litigation from both a practitioner's and a policymaker's perspective. Broadly, these features fall into two categories: issues with forum and aggregation on the one hand, and problems with the collection and production of evidence on the other. Topics in the first category include class actions, multi-district litigation, and arbitration. Topics in the second category include electronic discovery, expert witnesses, and preservation of evidence. In addition, this course studies how the federal rulemaking process, statutes, and judicial decisions compete to define the procedures that govern civil litigation. The student's grade is based on a final examination with limited consideration of class participation.
- Spring 2017, William Hubbard
Advanced Contract Skills
Spring 2018, Joan Neal
This two-credit seminar will include a series of discrete topics to help students who want to become transactional lawyers hone more advanced contract skills (perhaps including pre-contract issue spotting, review of and issue spotting in more complex types of agreements, pros and cons of contract simplification, drafting of transaction-specific provisions raising complex business issues, etc.). Some classes will include guest speakers from practice (both law firm and in-house counsel). Contract Drafting and Review is a prerequisite for this seminar. Grades will be based upon class participation, preparation for guest speakers, and a series of weekly written homework assignments and in-class exercises. For the additional credit, students will need to get professor approval to either comment/mark up a complex agreement or write a 10-page paper expanding on one of the topics we cover in the class.
Advanced Contracts: Sales Law for A Modern Economy
Spring 2017, Lisa Bernstein
This class is an advanced contracts class that focuses on Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. It presents the material from a hybrid jurisprudential, transactional and litigation perspective in an effort to help students integrate what they have learned about contracts in theory, into the types of tasks that they will face as a transactional lawyer. For (almost) every class students will prepare a written exercise (about 2-4 pages) applying the material in the reading, these range from writing letters to clients, to lecturing the loading dock staff of a company, to researching the content of industry norms, to drafting contract clauses to deal with particular transactional realities. During the quarter students will do a mock appellate argument, a negotiation, and will draft a sales agreement. There is no exam. Written assignments and the final contract will count for 60% of the grade, the other 40% will be based on class preparation and participation.
Advanced Legal Research
Winter 2018, Sheri Lewis
The purpose of this seminar is to enhance students' knowledge of legal sources and to develop their ability to research the law. The seminar will cover the basic categories of legal research in depth and with a focus on practical skills and efficiency, including statutes, administrative law, legislative history, cases, and secondary sources. This seminar also will address a series of practice areas such as corporate and securities, tax, transactional, federal procedure, and intellectual property, focusing on the substantive resources and practical research skills for each. Upon successful completion of the seminar, students will expand their understanding of research resources in a variety of areas, will improve their skills in using legal research tools, and will develop extensive research knowledge in at least one area from their work on a final research paper. The seminar will be limited to twenty-five students with priority to third year students. To receive credit for this seminar, students must complete research assignments (30 percent of grade), submit a research paper on a topic approved by the instructor (60 percent of grade), and attend and participate in course meetings (10 percent). Students may earn either 2 or 3 credits for this seminar depending upon the number of assignments completed and the length of their final paper (minimum 20 pages for 3 credits; 10 pages for 2 credits). In the research paper, the student should extensively and comprehensively address sources for researching the topic, discuss successful and less useful techniques, and recommend research strategies.
- Autumn 2016, Todd Ito
- Winter 2017, Sheri Lewis
- Autumn 2017, Todd Ito
Advanced Legal Writing
Spring 2018, Elizabeth Duquette
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 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 Writing Project writing requirement. Legal Research and Writing is a pre-requisite. Advanced Legal Writing will not meet on March 27th. To make-up this class, a double class will happen on April 10th, so please plan to stay until 7:30 p.m. If you have a conflict, please contact Elizabeth Duquette."
- Spring 2017, Elizabeth Duquette
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Spring 2017, Michael Leroy
This is a class in the dispute resolution methods that attorneys often use in the practice of law. The class provides experiential simulations in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The class differs from most other law classes in the following ways: 1. Many classes teach a substantive body of law; this class, in contrast, is designed to teach a variety of lawyering skills. 2. In most classes, students participate strictly as individuals; in contrast, students in this class often interact in small group settings and simulations, and therefore, must listen to and cooperate with peers while working through their disagreements. 3. Many classes measure student performance once, at the end of the semester, through an issue-spotting exam; in contrast, this class requires brief reflection papers that are based on a combination of readings, group activities, and simulated exercises. 4. Most classes involve little or no role playing; in contrast, this class gives students the experience of being a negotiator, trial advocate, arbitrator, mediator, victim/complainant and defendant/respondent in an adversarial proceeding. The instructor will base simulations on cases from his private arbitration practice. Students will be required to sign and abide by a confidentiality agreement with respect to these sensitive materials.
Arbitration in the United States
Winter 2018, James Ferguson
This seminar focuses on arbitration 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 class 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). Final grade will be based on: a major paper and class participation.
The Board of Directors
Winter 2018, M. Todd Henderson and Eileen Kamerick
In this seminar, we will simulate nine meetings of a board of directors of a hypothetical company. Students will act as board members. Each week, the board will face a discrete issue of corporate governance. Students will take turns acting as the chair of the board, leading the board of directors though a discussion of the issues. The board will have one week leading up to each class to do legal and other research, to communicate amongst each other and with external stakeholders (played by the professors), and to prepare a presentation for the board and the CEO. The chair will present the case and run the meeting. The course will focus on the normal functioning of United States publicly listed companies, as well as on the duties of directors in times of crisis or significant change to the corporation. Grades will be based on class participation and out of class work. Instructor consent required. Prerequisite: Business Associations/Corporate Law.
Brief-writing and Appellate Advocacy Seminar
Winter 2018, Michele Louise Odorizzi
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.
- Winter 2017, Michele Louise Odorizzi
Business of Law
Winter 2017, Bruce William Melton
This seminar will focus our students' critical reasoning skills on their own chosen profession through an in-depth and interdisciplinary examination of the business of law. We will analyze the business, how it is changing, and professional development issues that all new lawyers should expect to arise over their long and varied careers. Classes will include guests with expertise in law firm management, client relationship skills, industry trends, and lawyer career development to prompt a robust and candid dialogue from a variety of perspectives. Reading materials will include selected articles, excerpts, and David H. Maister's influential Managing the Professional Services Firm. Grades will be based on short reaction papers.
Winter 2018, Keith Crow and Anthony Sexton
This seminar develops and applies the student's knowledge of taxation and corporate and securities law in the solution of a series of transactional problems involving typical steps in business formation and rearrangement. The problems include the formation of a closely held company; the transition to public ownership of the corporation; executive compensation arrangements; the purchase and sale of a business; and mergers, tender offers, and other types of combination transactions. Small-group discussions and lectures are employed. The student's grade is based on a final examination; students may earn an additional credit by writing a paper on a topic approved by the instructors. The student must have taken (or be taking concurrently) Business Organizations and Corporate Tax I or receive instructor approval.
Autumn 2017, Emir Kamenica
This course applies tools from microeconomics, game theory, industrial organization, and theory of the firm to analyze decisions facing firms in a competitive environment. The specific focus is on strategic decisions where each firm's profits depend critically on the actions chosen by its competitors. Classes combine case analysis and discussions with lectures. Topics include pricing, positioning, strategic commitment, firm structure, and entry and exit.
- Autumn 2016, Emir Kamenica
Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability
Spring 2018, Craig Futterman
The Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project (PAP) is one of the nation's leading law civil rights clinics focusing on issues of criminal justice. Through the lens of live-client work, students examine how and where litigation fits into broader efforts to improve police accountability and ultimately the criminal justice system. Students provide legal services to indigent victims of police abuse in federal and state courts. They litigate civil rights cases at each level of the court system from trial through appeals. Some students also represent children and adults in related juvenile or criminal defense matters. Students take primary responsibility for all aspects of the litigation, including client counseling, fact investigation, case strategy, witness interviews, legal research, pleadings and legal memoranda, discovery, depositions, motion practice, evidentiary hearings, trials, and appeals. A significant amount of legal writing is expected. Students work in teams on cases or projects, and meet with the instructor on at minimum a weekly basis. Students also take primary responsibility for the Clinic's policy and public education work. PAP teaches students to apply and critically examine legal theory in the context of representation of people in need. It teaches students to analyze how and why individual cases of abuse occur and to connect them to systemic problems, often leading to "public impact" litigation and other strategies for policy reform. Through our immersion in live client work, we engage fundamental issues of race, class, and gender, and their intersection with legal institutions. We instruct students in legal ethics and advocacy skills. And we seek to instill in them a public service ethos, as they begin their legal careers. Students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence, Criminal Procedure I, and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Constitutional Law III is also recommended.
- Autumn 2016, Craig Futterman
- Winter 2017, Craig Futterman
- Spring 2017, Craig Futterman
- Autumn 2017, Craig Futterman
- Winter 2018, Craig Futterman
Civil Rights Practicum
Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
In this practicum, students will engage in a range of research and analysis under the supervision of Prof. Huq, in relation to a number of active civil rights cases or other matters. Initial projects will include work on hate-crimes regulation. The aim is to cultivate experience in litigation and advocacy-related tasks in a real world setting, albeit without the structured format of a clinic.
- Autumn 2016, Aziz Huq
- Winter 2017, Aziz Huq
- Spring 2017, Aziz Huq
- Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq
- Winter 2018, Aziz Huq
Class Action Controversies
Autumn 2016, Michael Brody
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. Students may submit a major paper for three credits or a series of reaction papers for two credits. Class participation may influence the grade -- i will not reduce a grade for lack of class participation but in an unusual case I may increase a grade where I believe the student's class participation reflects greater understanding than may be indicated by the student's written submissions.
Closing a Deal: Structuring and Documentation of a Secured Loan Transaction
Winter 2017, Erin Casey
This seminar will cover the structuring, documentation and closing of a secured loan transaction from the perspective of the secured lender. As counsel for the secured lender we will first consider the best structure for the proposed loans and how both the organization and working capital needs of the borrowers and the underwriting and regulatory constraints of the secured lender influence this structure. We will next assess commitment documentation and syndication. The majority of our time will then be spent analyzing transaction documentation, progressing from the organization of the closing checklist to the negotiation of the credit agreement and finally to the perfection of liens. In this seminar we will discuss not only why transactions and documentation are structured the way they are and the meanings of standard credit document provisions, but also the practical implications for any commercial finance associate living through the transaction.
Communications and Advocacy for Lawyers
Winter 2018, Marsha Nagorsky
No skill is more important for a lawyer than communication, and this is especially true when lawyers are engaged in public advocacy. Students in this hands-on seminar will develop skills in writing and presentation geared toward advocacy. Students will take on the role of a spokesperson for an organization (non-profit, business, or law firm) and learn to advocate for that organization though writing op-eds, press releases, blog posts, and communications plans; preparing and delivering presentations and slide decks; and engaging through press conferences, media interviews, and crisis communications. Topics covered will include creating and adjusting communications based on audience and medium; writing persuasively, especially for non-legal audiences; communications plan development, media training, and public speaking with and without preparation. Students will be expected to speak regularly before the class and outsiders, write on a weekly basis, and edit each other's work. Students will be graded on quality of work product, participation in class, and improvement over the class time.
Spring 2018, Brian Murray
An advanced civil procedure class, this seminar will introduce students to complex civil litigation, and the various ways available in the federal system to aggregate multi-party, multi-issue, and multi-forum disputes. The class will cover both the theory of the various laws and devices used in aggregation, and also the practical aspects of how those laws and theories succeed (or not) in achieving fair and efficient disposition of disputes. Topics covered will include the various mechanisms for aggregating parties, including joinder, intervention, interpleader, and class actions; relevant venue and consolidation considerations, including multi-district transfer and consolidation; federal jurisdiction and preclusion rules that affect aggregation; and relevant choice of law issues.
Constitutional Decision Making
Spring 2018, Geoffrey Stone
Students enrolled in the seminar will work as "courts" consisting of five "Justices" each. During each of the first eight weeks of the quarter, each court will be assigned two hypothetical cases raising issues under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. All cases must be decided with opinion (concurring and dissenting opinions are permitted). The decisions may be premised on the "legislative history" of the Equal Protection Clause (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. Enrollment will be limited to three courts. Since the members of each court must work together closely under rigid time constraints, students must sign up as five-person courts. This seminar will not have regularly-scheduled classes (except for introductory and concluding meetings), but you should not underestimate the time demands. It is a very demanding seminar. If more than three courts sign up, I will select the participating courts by lot. To be eligible for participation in the seminar, students should send me an e-mail (email@example.com) by Monday, February 12, including the names and e-mail addresses of all five "Justices." This seminar will not have regularly-scheduled classes (except for an introductory meeting), but you should not underestimate the time demands. It is a very demanding seminar. If more than three courts sign up, I will select the participating courts by lot and I will email you by Wednesday, February 14, to let you know whether your court has been selected.
- Winter 2017, Geoffrey Stone
The Constitutional Rights of Minors from the Minors' Point of View
Winter 2018, Emily Buss
In this seminar, a small number of law students will collaborate with Professor Buss in teaching a course to high school students from the Woodlawn Charter School (and also possible from the Laboratory Schools) on students' constitutional rights in school. Each class will focus on a different case and related doctrine, and will engage the high school students in a discussion of a scenario that asks them to apply the doctrine to new facts. Topics will include student speech and religious exercise, drug testing and locker searches, procedural rights in the context of disciplinary actions, and race and gender discrimination, among others. Before each class students will read an edited version of a Supreme Court case and will prepare to discuss a case study. After each class the high school students will write a brief reflection piece. Each law student will be paired with two high school students, and will interact with those students in and out of class. Law students will check in with the high school students to assist with class preparation, and will review and comment on the students' reflection pieces. During class, law students will help facilitate the small group discussions. Law students will also submit brief weekly reports of their students' class participation and their out-of-class interactions. At some point in or after the quarter (the timing will be at the law students' discretion, within the time frame permitted under the school's paper policy), Law Student's will write a paper that discusses one of the topics we have covered, and that particularly draws on the high school students' perspective, shared in and out of class, to develop a theme relevant to the doctrine in question. Students interested in applying for this class should send a note of interest to Professor Buss firstname.lastname@example.org by October 6, 2017.
Contract Drafting and Review
Spring 2018, Joan Neal
This seminar will serve as an introduction to contracting drafting and how such drafting differs from other types of legal writing. We will start with the basic "anatomy of a contract," discussing the meaning, use and effect of various provisions. The seminar will address not only legal drafting issues, but also how to understand a client's practical business needs in order to effectively use the contract as a planning and problem solving tool. Students will draft and review specific contract provisions, and will learn how to read, review and analyze contracts with an eye toward both legal and business risk issues. Final grade will be based on: substantial out of classroom work, group projects, class participation.
- Autumn 2016, Joan Neal
- Winter 2017, Joan Neal
- Autumn 2017, Joan Neal
- Winter 2018, Joan Neal
Contract Law for LLM Students
Spring 2018, Douglas Baird
This course reviews the core ideas of the common law of contracts and the way they apply to modern commercial transactions. These ideas include the expectation damages principle, bargained-for consideration, promissory estoppel, offer and acceptance, mutual mistake, and excuse.
- Spring 2017, Lisa Bernstein
Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic
Spring 2018, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
The Project provides law and social work students the supervised opportunity to represent children and young adults accused of crime in juvenile and criminal court. Representation includes addressing the social, psychological and educational needs of our clients and their families. In addition to direct representation, students are involved in policy reform and public education including work with coalitions on issues of juvenile life without parole, youth violence, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of conviction. Students will participate in case selection and litigation strategies. Students will be expected to do legal research and writing including drafting motions and memoranda on various legal issues, i.e. evidentiary questions, sentencing, etc. and brief writing. Additionally, students will do pre-trial investigation and fact development including interviewing clients and witnesses. 3L students who have taken a trial practice course will have the opportunity to argue motions and second chair hearings and trials. Policy work will include general research on issues, drafting statement and position papers and attendance at meetings. Corequisite: Evidence must be taken at some point that the student is in the clinic.
- Autumn 2016, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Winter 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Spring 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Autumn 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Winter 2018, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
Deals and Joint-Ventures: Contract Strategy Simulation
Autumn 2016, Gillian Hadfield
The goal of this course is to develop your ability to strategically analyze contracting problems, increase your knowledge of the business needs that drive contracting, and give you an opportunity to further your knowledge of contract law in the context of related areas of law. The emphasis is not on learning new doctrine per se but on putting analytical and legal concepts to work, developing judgment about how to isolate key issues, and working collaboratively to generate sound advice to promote a business client's objectives. The course involves working with a team on a series of case studies, each of which is based on an actual case drawn from the files of a major commercial law firm or a problem facing a real client. Case studies range across a number of industries that in the past have included mining, entertainment, technology, pharmaceuticals, and franchising and can be both domestic and international in structure. Situations include responses to a draft agreement, changes in a contract on renewal, structuring an agreement to support a time-sensitive multi-national deal that is contingent on many factors including foreign government approvals, advising on the enforceability of an arbitration provision, and advising a start-up seeking initial venture capital. Teams alternate roles as attorneys and clients. Attorney teams prepare and circulate documents to structure discussions with the client teams. There are no assigned caselaw or statutory materials; any caselaw or statutes a team feels it needs to analyze a problem come from the team's own research, including both contract and other areas of law "such as trade secret, jurisdiction, or agency"and the course thus gives students an opportunity to integrate their analysis of a problem across several areas of law as is the case for most real law problems.
Divorce Practice and Procedure
Autumn 2017, Donald Schiller and Erika Walsh
This is a simulation class providing exposure to the dynamic process of representing clients in dissolutions of marriage and issues related to them. The class will make you aware of the complexities arising whenever the ever changing family unit becomes divided. Topics are covered through an evolving case with you as a practicing lawyer. Issues include interstate and international parental kidnapping, determination of jurisdiction, domestic violence, restraining orders and injunctions, temporary and permanent parenting rights and responsibilities (custody and visitation), temporary and permanent maintenance (alimony), child support, the characterization of property and division of assets and liabilities, premarital and postmarital agreements, ethical issues, federal tax law affecting divorce and the effects of bankruptcy. The class will also discuss same-sex marriage, civil unions and issues unique to LGBTQ relationships. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and argue issues not only with instructors, but also with sitting Illinois Domestic Relations Court Judges, who will interact with the class. Readings will be drawn from case law, statutes, and Court approved forms used in contested proceedings. Two-thirds of a student's grade is based on preparation for and class participation, and one-third on an open book final exam comprised of essay questions.
Drafting Contracts: The Problem of Ambiguity
Winter 2018, Preston Torbert
This seminar is unique. It is a very interesting, very intellectual, and very practical learning experience. The main features are: 1. Students will learn some extremely useful tools for analyzing and drafting contracts. They will acquire them by an inductive process of reviewing many examples of ambiguity from case law, eminent legal scholars, and the lecturer's practice. They will learn to identify and eliminate ambiguity in drafting contracts. These tools are the creation of the lecturer and will give students unique practical skills that no other American law students (except the lecturer's prior students) have. 2. The course materials come from the in-house seminars for the firm's China Practice lawyers that the lecturer conducted for many years as a partner at Baker & McKenzie and that established the profession's best practices for China-related contracts. 3. The historical examples of ambiguity in the seminar are of human, as well as intellectual, interest. They show that ambiguity can lead to the hanging of an individual for piracy or treason, a damages award of more than U.S. $10 billion, and even a change in the course of World War II. 4. The seminar facilitates student learning. At the beginning of each class, an audience response system ("clickers") provides students immediate, comparative, and anonymous feedback on their understanding of the reading assignment. The course also allows each student to see what he or she has learned in the course by comparing his or her analysis of a specific contract for the first class and for the last class. This contract analysis, like the final exam, gives each student the experience of a practicing lawyer reviewing a contract. Grades will be based on a proctored final exam.
- Winter 2017, Preston Torbert
Spring 2018, Nicholas Stephanopoulos
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.
- Spring 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos
Entrepreneurship and the Law
Autumn 2017, Salen Churi, Elizabeth Kregor, Amy Hermalik
This seminar examines how the law and legal counsel influence innovation and entrepreneurship in the US, particularly by micro-enterprises. The seminar explores the position of the entrepreneur in society, in the economy, and in our constitutional framework, in order to analyze the entrepreneur's fundamental legal needs. We survey legal questions particular to start-ups, including strategies for structuring a business organization, financing, and protecting intellectual property. Assignments require students to research issues that apply to hypothetical and real start-ups and practice lawyerly skills like strategic planning, negotiation, drafting, and counseling. Students' grades will be based on active participation and several research and writing assignments.
- Autumn 2016, Salen Churi, Elizabeth Kregor, Amy Hermalik
Ethical Quandaries in Legal Practice
Spring 2018, Sharon Fairley
With the advent of 24-hour news cycles and the proliferation of social media, the practice of law, like many professions, is under increasingly intense scrutiny from clients, the public, the judiciary, regulators and peers. The attendant risk to the reputations of practicing attorneys remains sky high. This seminar will satisfy the professional responsibility/ethics graduation requirement. Through analysis of ethical issues that lawyers operating in the public and private sectors face on a daily basis, we will study the challenges, consequences and opportunities associated with the ethical practice of law. Pending confirmation, seasoned attorneys with public sector experience, private practitioners, in-house counsel and members of the judiciary will join portions of the seminar to discuss real world scenarios and provide insight into how attorneys can successfully navigate through today's ethical minefields.
Exoneration Project Clinic
Spring 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
The Exoneration Project is a post-conviction clinical project that represents people convicted of crimes of which they are innocent. Students working in our project assist in every aspect of representation including selecting cases, advising clients, investigating and developing evidence, drafting pleadings, making oral arguments, examining witnesses at evidentiary hearings, and working on all aspects of appellate litigation. Through participation in our project, students explore issues of error and inequality in the criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, the use of faulty scientific evidence, coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Exoneration Project is an intensive, rigorous experience designed for students who are committed to providing the best possible representation to deserving clients. Second-year students wishing to enroll in the Project are encouraged to take Evidence in their second year. Third-year students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Students are also strongly encouraged but not required to take Criminal Procedure I, and Criminal Procedure II. Students selected for this project will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs.
- Autumn 2016, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
- Winter 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
- Spring 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
- Autumn 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
- Winter 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
Federal Criminal Justice Clinic
Spring 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, James DuBray
The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal court. The FCJC is the first legal clinic in the country to exclusively represent indigent clients charged with federal felonies. We enter our federal district court cases at the time of arrest, take them to trial or guilty plea and sentencing, and then carry them through appeal and beyond. As part of our broader mission to promote fairness in the criminal justice system, we also take Seventh Circuit appeals and write amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. FCJC students may have an opportunity to interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients at the jail and out on bond; conduct and participate in bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; negotiate with prosecutors; and participate in case investigations. Students involved in appellate litigation write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and may conduct oral argument in the Seventh Circuit. The seminar component includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Evidence and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during 2L or 3L year. It is strongly recommended that students interested in joining the FCJC take Prof. Siegler's Criminal Procedure II course in Spring 2018 and take the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year (or another trial advocacy course). The FCJC is a year-long clinic and is typically only open to 3Ls. Any slots that remain after bidding closes will be opened to 2Ls. Students who want to learn more about the FCJC may contact Professor Siegler or Professor Zunkel for more information.
- Autumn 2016, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
- Winter 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
- Spring 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
- Autumn 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
- Winter 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, James DuBray
Federal Criminal Justice Practice and Issues
Winter 2018, Michael Doss
This practice-oriented course integrates instruction on federal pretrial criminal procedures and issues with student practice exercises overseen by the instructor. The course will cover federal criminal practice from investigation up to trial, utilizing examples from recent federal criminal investigations and cases. The course will provide opportunities for student performance to develop professional skills and understanding. In particular, the course will provide instruction on (i) federal investigations and related issues (including Grand Jury proceedings, witness immunity, and search warrants); (ii) corporate internal investigations; (iii) federal charging decisions; (iv) initial appearances following arrest and accompanying bail/detention hearings (v) discovery under the federal criminal rules; (vi) pretrial motions and practice; and (vii) plea agreements and hearings. Students will engage in periodic practice simulations related to the pretrial stages of a federal criminal case. For example, students will conduct mock witness interviews in the context of a corporate internal investigation, present motions and arguments seeking, and objecting to, pretrial detention, and present motions and argument seeking to exclude or admit evidence. The course thus will provide opportunities for oral and written advocacy focusing on federal criminal pretrial practice. Each class session will also include discussion of practical and strategic issues facing both the defense and the prosecution under real-world circumstances at each pretrial stage. A student's grade will be based on class participation and written and oral performance in the simulated practice exercises.
Federal Criminal Practice
Spring 2018, Jared Hasten and Shannon Murphy
Federal Criminal Practice aims to expand students' knowledge of the scope and application of federal criminal law, and will challenge students to think and act as practicing prosecutors and defense attorneys. The course is taught by a lawyer at Winston & Strawn LLP who focus her practice on criminal law, including representation of individuals and companies in criminal matters and referrals to law enforcement agencies, and a lawyer who works in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. Among other things, the course seeks to prepare students to bridge the gap between law school and actual practice of federal criminal law. The course seeks to combine substantive content with practical considerations to help students start to think like a practitioner. The course includes lecture and discussion about significant topics in federal criminal law; guest speakers with prosecutorial, judicial, and private practice experience who will describe the application and implications of these topics; and practical exercises that will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their advocacy abilities both orally and in writing. The course will review four major areas of federal criminal law: (1) the role and scope of the federal criminal system; (2) federal narcotics prosecutions; (3) federal public corruption prosecutions including use of the mail fraud and honest services statutes; and (4) federal racketeering laws. Students will gain a working knowledge of relevant case law on these topics, and will also review and apply real cases prosecuted in federal courts in the Northern District of Illinois. Students will also hear from guest speakers on topics 2-4, who will also provide information about more general challenges and issues that they have observed or experienced in their own practices and will provide tips regarding the upcoming practical exercises, discussed below. To cover a spectrum of experiences, the speakers will be (1) a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois who also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for many years; (2) a current Assistant United States Attorney who is early in his prosecutorial career; and (3) a former Assistant United States Attorney who now focuses his practice on criminal defense work at a law firm. This course is unique in that it will incorporate a practical component, namely: writing and arguing a motion to suppress evidence and a sentencing position; conducting an opening statement; and presenting a short closing argument. For all exercises students will be divided evenly between prosecutors and defense attorneys. Students will complete two written and three oral exercises which, together with class participation, will provide the basis for each student's grade. Because of the practical component, the class size will be strictly limited to 12 students.
Fundamentals of Accounting for Attorneys
Autumn 2016, Philip Bach and Sean Young
This seminar will teach the basic fundamentals of accounting to better prepare you to recognize and understand financial business issues related to the practice of law. Topics include key accounting concepts, reading financial statements and financial statement analysis. The class sessions will include guest speakers presenting on current accounting topics such as Sarbanes Oxley, working with the SEC and forensic accounting (investigating accounting frauds). The class is designed for those who have never taken an accounting class and/or have little financial background. There are no prerequisites but you should not take this class if you have taken an accounting class before or if you have experience in finance or accounting. Grades will be based on homework, papers and a final examination.
Hopi Law Practicum
Spring 2018, M. Todd Henderson and Justin B. Richland
The Hopi Clerkship is a year-long opportunity for students to get first-hand experience with the complex challenges and unique opportunities present in the everyday work of contemporary tribal legal systems. Students will support the Hopi tribe in three distinct ways: (1) serving as law clerks to justices of the Hopi Appellate Court, doing legal research, writing bench memoranda, participating in the judges' conferences, and drafting opinions on live cases; (2) serving as law clerks to the criminal trial court judge, especially on matters related to the application of federal Fourth Amendment law to tribal police; and (3) serving as legal advisors to the Office of Cultural Preservation, working to support investigations and prosecution of Hopi cultural claims around the world in an attempt to return tribal patrimony. Students will do all their coursework and assigned casework at the University of Chicago with site visits to the respective Hopi legal institutions to attend oral arguments, present findings to Hopi tribal officials, and participate in judicial deliberations. In so doing, they will be directly involved in testing the socio-legal principles, theories and critiques they explore in class in the crucible of the work they do helping to lay the regulatory and legal foundations for Hopi tribal institutions. In this practicum, almost every project that a student will work on will involve important questions of first impression with respect to a wide variety of pressing, yet enduring sociolegal issues, including issues of constitutionalism (separations of powers, checks and balances, etc.), crime and punishment (criminal law enforcement and defendants' and victims' rights), civil procedure (due process, appellate procedure, motions and orders), private law (property, contract, family), pluralism (the role of Anglo-American vs. Hopi traditional norms, and alternative dispute resolution), among many others. Given the centrality of these issues to the philosophy, social science, and practice of law - whether in the context of indigenous self-governance and settler colonialism, or otherwise -we believe that there are few other opportunities like this one, where students will encounter, explore and work through, the profound governance and legal issues and discussions offered by the Hopi Clerkship. Co-requisite: American Indian Law
- Autumn 2016, M. Todd Henderson
- Winter 2017, M. Todd Henderson
- Spring 2017, M. Todd Henderson
- Autumn 2017, M. Todd Henderson and Justin B. Richland
- Winter 2018, M. Todd Henderson and Justin B. Richland
Housing Initiative Clinic
Spring 2018, Jeffrey Leslie
The Housing Initiative is a transactional clinic in which students provide legal representation to community-based housing developers, tenant groups, and other parties involved in affordable housing development. Students serve as deal lawyers, advising clients on structuring issues; negotiating, drafting and reviewing construction loan documents, construction contracts, purchase and sale agreements, partnership agreements, and other contracts; securing zoning and other governmental approvals; assisting clients in resolving compliance issues under the applicable state and federal housing programs; and participating in the preparation of evidentiary and closing documents. Some of our work also involves community organizing and legislative and policy advocacy around affordable housing and public housing issues. In addition to working on specific transactions and projects, students in the Housing Initiative Clinic meet as a group in a weekly two-hour seminar in autumn quarter, and in a weekly one-hour seminar during winter and spring quarters, to discuss the substantive rules and legal skills pertinent to housing transactions and to examine emergent issues arising out of the students' work. During the fall quarter seminar, returning clinic students need only attend the first hour; new students should attend for the full two hours. In the winter and spring quarters, all students should attend all the one-hour seminar sessions. Academic credit for the Housing Initiative Clinic varies and is awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty.
- Autumn 2016, Jeffrey Leslie
- Winter 2017, Jeffrey Leslie
- Spring 2017, Jeffrey Leslie
- Autumn 2017, Jeffrey Leslie
- Winter 2018, Jeffrey Leslie
Spring 2018, Salen Churi
- Autumn 2016, Salen Churi
- Winter 2017, Salen Churi
- Spring 2017, Salen Churi
- Autumn 2017, Salen Churi
- Winter 2018, Salen Churi
Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship
Spring 2018, Elizabeth Kregor and Amy Hermalik
The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, or IJ Clinic, provides legal assistance to low-income entrepreneurs who are pursuing the American Dream in spite of legal obstacles. IJ Clinic students develop practical skills in transactional lawyering while helping creative entrepreneurs earn an honest living, innovate, and build businesses that build neighborhoods. Students advise clients on issues such as business formation, licensing, zoning, strategic relationships, intellectual property protection, and regulatory compliance. Students become trusted advisors for their clients and have the opportunity to consult with clients on business developments; draft and review custom contracts; negotiate deals; research complex regulatory schemes and advise clients on how to comply; and occasionally appear before administrative bodies. Students may also work on policy projects to change laws that restrict low-income entrepreneurs. Policy work may involve legislative drafting, lobbying, and community organizing. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical staff. The seminar Entrepreneurship & The Law is a pre- or co-requisite unless a student has received special permission from the IJ Clinic instructors. A commitment of at least two quarters is required.
- Autumn 2016, Elizabeth Kregor and Amy Hermalik
- Winter 2017, Elizabeth Kregor and Amy Hermalik
- Spring 2017, Elizabeth Kregor and Amy Hermalik
- Autumn 2017, Elizabeth Kregor and Amy Hermalik
- Winter 2018, Elizabeth Kregor and Amy Hermalik
Intensive Trial Practice Workshop
Autumn 2017, Herschella Conyers, Randolph Stone, Craig Futterman
This is a required class for participation in the Exoneration Project Clinic and Civil Rights - Police Accountability Clinic. This class is strongly recommended for participation in the Employment Law Clinic, Criminal & Juvenile Justice Project Clinic; and Federal Criminal Justice Clinic. This class teaches trial preparation, trial advocacy, and strategy through a variety of teaching techniques, including lectures and demonstrations, but primarily through simulated trial exercises. Topics include opening statements, witness preparation, direct and cross examination, expert witnesses, objections at trial, and closing argument. Practicing lawyers and judges are enlisted to provide students with lectures and critiques from varied perspectives. The class concludes with a simulated jury trial presided over by sitting state and federal court judges. Open to 3L J.D. students only. Completion of this class partially satisfies one of the requirements for admission to the trial bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Students who have taken Trial Advocacy (LAWS 67603) or Trial Practice: Strategy and Advocacy (LAWS 91702) may not take this class.
- Autumn 2016, Herschella Conyers, Randolph Stone, Craig Futterman
Autumn 2017, Javier Rubinstein
This seminar provides a basic foundation in the law and mechanics of international commercial arbitration and international investment arbitration. It will give students an understanding of the substantive and strategic issues that frequently confront international arbitration practitioners. The Seminar covers, among other things, the crafting of international arbitration agreements, the relative advantages and disadvantages of ad hoc UNCITRAL-Rules arbitration and institutional arbitration (e.g., ICC, LCIA, CAS, ICSID). The seminar also addresses the rules of procedure that commonly govern international arbitration, including procedural issues that commonly arise in international arbitration, including the availability and extent of discovery, pre-hearing procedure, the presentation of evidence, and the enforcement of international arbitral awards. The Seminar also will cover the fundamentals of international investment arbitration, including the jurisdictional issues that commonly arise in investor-state arbitration and the types of treaty claims that are commonly asserted under international law. While there will be a fair amount of traditional lecture, the format of the Seminar will depend heavily upon active student participation. Students will be graded based upon the quality of their preparation for and participation in the Seminar, as well as the quality of a required paper. This Seminar will satisfy part of the lesser of the school's two writing requirements, if substantial research and written work is completed.
International Human Rights Clinic
Spring 2018, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli
The International Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, other substantive law, and multidimensional strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. The Clinic works with clients and organizational partners through advocacy campaigns, research and litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals. Working in project teams, students develop and hone essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency and strategic thinking. Some students may have the option (but are not required) to undertake international or domestic travel in connection with their projects during the Autumn, Winter or Spring quarter breaks. Students may enroll for up to three credits a quarter. New students should plan to take the clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter. Returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.
- Autumn 2016, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
- Winter 2017, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
- Spring 2017, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
- Autumn 2017, Claudia Maria Flores
- Winter 2018, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli
Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic
Spring 2018, David Strauss and Sarah Konsky
The Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic represents parties and amici curiae in cases before the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts. Students work on all aspects of the clinic's cases from formulating case strategy; to researching and writing merits briefs, amicus curiae briefs, and petitions for certiorari; to preparing for oral arguments. Students also conduct research on cases that may be suitable to bring to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the clinic's focus is the U.S. Supreme Court, the clinic may also handle cases in the United States Courts of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court. The clinic is supervised by Assistant Clinical Professor Sarah Konsky, Professor David Strauss, and members of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice group at Jenner & Block. U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice (LAWS 50311) is a required co-requisite for 2L and 3L students participating in the clinic. Students who have successfully completed a course covering content comparable to the U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice seminar may seek consent from Professor Konsky to waive the co-requisite requirement. If you have taken LAWS 50311 previously, no special approval is needed. Academic credit for the clinic varies and is awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty.
- Autumn 2016, David Strauss and Sara Konsky
- Winter 2017, David Strauss and Sara Konsky
- Spring 2017, David Strauss and Sara Konsky
- Autumn 2017, David Strauss and Sara Konsky
- Winter 2018, David Strauss and Sara Konsky
Judicial Opinions and Judicial Opinion Writing
Winter 2018, Richard Posner and Robert Hochman
For many graduates of this law school, their first job is as a judicial law clerk, usually in a federal court of appeals. A few graduates will eventually become judges. More important, many, many graduates will have a litigation practice. As law clerks or judges, they must learn to write judicial opinions. As practicing lawyers, they must learn to think like judges so that they will know how to communicate with them effectively, in briefs and at oral argument: something few lawyers know how to do. The seminar aims to teach law students how to think and write like judges, and so to equip them for a future as law clerks, judges, practicing lawyers--or all three.
- Winter 2017, Richard Posner and Robert Hochman
Kapnick Initiative Leadership Effectiveness and Development Lab II: Implementation
Autumn 2016, Stacey Kole
This is the second of a two-course series to develop the self-awareness and leadership effectiveness of the student facilitator to lead the Kapnick Leadership Initiative for the first-year Law students (1Ls). The series is experiential in nature. Its two distinct components are: Development (LAWS 43239) and Implementation (LAWS 43240, see below). The overarching mission of "Implementation" is to deliver an outstanding leadership effectiveness and development program during Autumn quarter for all the 1Ls. Each session for 1Ls is run by a team of four facilitators who are responsible for the learning experience of one Bigelow section. The Implementation phase begins with a Training Camp for the facilitators in early September followed by delivery to the 1Ls during the Law School Orientation and the first few weeks of Law School. The class ends with the successful recruitment of new facilitators for the following year's program.
Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic
Spring 2018, David Zarfes, Sean Kramer, Joshua Avratin
The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic provides students with a forum for working closely with legal and business teams at top-tier multinational companies, leading nonprofits, and smaller entrepreneurial startups. The primary goal of the Corporate Lab is for students to learn practical legal skills, both substantively, in terms of the corporate building blocks necessary to understand complex transactions and agreements, and professionally, in terms of implementing such knowledge efficiently and meaningfully within the context of a wide array of careers as lawyers and business leaders. This class mirrors the real world work experience of both litigators and corporate lawyers: students will receive hands-on substantive and client-development experience and will be expected to manage and meet expectations and deadlines while exercising a high level of professionalism. As a result, this class is likely to involve a significant commitment (with a substantial amount of work to be completed outside of class). Clients will include the following: Amazon, Baxter Healthcare, Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge (Spring Quarter), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, GE Healthcare, Honeywell, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, Northern Trust, Schreiber Foods, and Verizon Communications. Students will be required to sign nondisclosure agreements with participating clients. Corporate Lab students also will have the opportunity to negotiate a simulated transaction across the table from Northwestern Law students as part of the negotiation workshop component of the Corporate Lab (Autumn Quarter). Please note that (i) students are expected to remain in the Corporate Lab for a minimum of two consecutive quarters, (ii) students may not take the Corporate Lab for more than nine credits, (iii) LL.M. students may register by instructor permission only, and (iv) this offering will not count toward seminar restrictions. Student grades will be based upon participation in the classroom, appropriate attention to client services, collaborative efforts within a team environment, and quality of work product. For additional information, see the Corporate Lab website at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/corporatelab. 3 credits (Reduced 2-credit load with instructor permission.)
- Autumn 2016, David Zarfes, Sean Kramer, Joshua Avratin
- Winter 2017, David Zarfes, Sean Kramer, Joshua Avratin
- Spring 2017, David Zarfes, Sean Kramer, Joshua Avratin
- Autumn 2017, David Zarfes, Sean Kramer, Joshua Avratin
- Winter 2018, David Zarfes, Sean Kramer, Joshua Avratin
The Law and Ethics of Lawyering
Winter 2018, Clark Remington
This seminar, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, will consider ethical problems in the practice of law. We will work with a problem-oriented casebook and the ABA Model Rules. A substantial part of our class time will be devoted to the discussion of ethical dilemmas that have actually arisen in practice. Throughout the seminar there will be running as a kind of background to our discussions, some consideration of the question of just what motivates lawyers to be ethical when they are ethical. Topics will include lawyer liability, confidentiality, relationships between lawyers and clients, conflicts of interest, and lawyers' duties to courts, adversaries, and third persons. Enrollment will be limited to 20. Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation, a series of short written assignments, and an in-class final exam. Attendance is mandatory.
Law and Practice of Zoning, Land Use, and Eminent Domain
Autumn 2017, Thomas Geselbracht, Paul Shadle, Theodore Novak
This seminar is a multi-disciplinary, multi-partisan discussion of the balance between private property rights and governmental regulation in land use and development. We primarily address (i) the constitutional bases of private rights and public land use planning; (ii) eminent domain, takings and exactions (including impact fees and regulatory takings); (iii) current manifestations of local and regional planning and zoning, including City of Chicago zoning revisions; and (iv) legal procedures and practical strategies for obtaining public financial incentives, land use approvals, and "relief" for real estate development projects, both large and small. Our discussions are based on case law and our real world experience; active class participation by members of the seminar is essential. "Illinois Zoning, Eminent Domain and Land Use Manual" is used to provide practical answers to the issues presented in the seminar; other case materials are provided by the instructors upon registration. Grades are based on class participation and either a paper addressing a substantive topic or a proctored exam.
Lawyering: Brief Writing, Oral Advocacy and Transactional Skills
Spring 2018, Brian Feinstein, Diego Zambrano, Dorothy Lund, Emma Kaufman, Manisha Padi, Hiba Hafiz
This experiential class provides first-year students with a broad range of transactional and litigation-oriented lawyering skills including brief writing; oral advocacy; contract-drafting; and negotiation strategy. In preparation for this class, all first-year students must complete a specially-designed transactional module taught by members of the Law School's clinical faculty and focusing on a range of key competencies, including contract-drafting and negotiation strategy, among other areas. Students then move to developing their research and writing skills by drafting an appellate brief based on a factual scenario that mirrors real life cases encountered in day-to-day legal practice. During the brief-writing process, students will be introduced to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the basic rules of professional conduct that govern formal court submissions. After completing the brief, students will focus on developing their presentation skills and attend a lecture on oral advocacy by a federal appellate judge. The class culminates in the formal Bigelow Moot Court, in which students argue before a three-judge panel of law professors and distinguished attorneys who will provide students with (1) an opportunity for self-assessment, and (2) individualized feedback on their oral advocacy. Each of the experiential components of the Lawyering class - brief writing, oral advocacy, and the transactional module - builds upon the competencies that students have developed throughout the first-year legal writing program and provides them with an introduction to basic lawyering skills.
- Spring 2017, Brian Feinstein, Ben Frunwald, Dorothy Lund, Michael Pollack, Diego Zambrano, Hiba Hafiz
Legal Elements of Accounting
Winter 2018, John Sylla
This mini-class introduces accounting from a mixed law and business perspective. It covers basic concepts and vocabulary of accounting, not so much to instill proficiency with the mechanics of debits and credits as to serve as a foundation from which to understand financial statements. The course then examines accounting from a legal perspective, including consideration of common accounting decisions with potential legal ramifications. It also analyzes throughout the reasons for and roles of financial accounting and auditing, as well as the incentives of various persons involved in producing, regulating, and consuming financial accounting information. The seminar will touch on some limitations of, and divergent results possible under, generally accepted accounting principles. Current cases, proposals, and controversies will be discussed. Attendance and participation will be very important. Grades will be based on a take-home assignment. Students with substantial prior exposure to accounting (such as students with an MBA, joint MBA/JD students, and undergraduate finance or accounting majors) may not take the course for credit.
- Winter 2017, John Sylla
Spring 2018, Barry Steven Alberts
This course, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, will consider the law and the ethics governing lawyers. Among the topics that will be examined are the nature of the lawyer-client relationship, competency, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and some fundamental questions about who we are and what we stand for as lawyers. A student's grade is based on a final examination. This class will be capped at 50.
- Spring 2017, Barry Steven Alberts
Legal Profession: Ethics in Government and Public Interest Legal Practice
Spring 2018, Lynda Peters
This seminar, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, will address the ethical rules and principles that govern government and public interest attorneys. Among the topics that will be explored is the challenge of defining who the client is in government practice. Time will also be devoted to exploring the nature of the attorney-client relationship, conflicts of interest, candor requirements and various other duties and obligations imposed upon government and public interest attorneys, whether they litigate cases or not. Real world scenarios will be used to illustrate the various ethical issues attorneys face each day. The class will meet once a week. A student's grade will be based upon the quality of in-class participation, a take-home final exam and a 10 page paper on a topic of the student's choosing in consultation with the Instructor.
- Spring 2017, Lynda Peters
Legal Research and Writing
Winter 2018, Brian Feinstein, Diego Zambrano, Dorothy Lund, Emma Kaufman, Manisha Padi, Hiba Hafiz
All first-year students participate in the legal research and writing program, which provides an introduction to the key tools and methods of lawyering. Students will develop several skills core to legal practice, including legal research, application of law to facts, and effective communication of legal reasoning and analysis through written work. The course work includes two major writing assignments: a fall "closed" and winter "open" memo. Both memos require students to identify relevant facts, weigh legal arguments available to each side, and assess which side is likely to prevail on each issue. All research required for the closed memo will be provided by the Bigelow Fellows. The open memo assignment requires students to research the relevant cases, statutes, and other sources of law using an electronic legal database. After submitting the final draft of their open memos, students will transition to the transactional module taught by members of the Law School's clinical faculty.
- Autumn 2016, Brian Feinstein, Ben Grunwald, Dorothy Lund, Michael Pollack, Diego Zambrano, Hiba Hafiz
- Winter 2017, Brian Feinstein, Ben Grunwald, Dorothy Lund, Michael Pollack, Diego Zambrano, Hiba Hafiz
- Autumn 2017, Brian Feinstein, Diego Zambrano, Dorothy Lund, Emma Kaufman, Manisha Padi, Hiba Hafiz
Winter 2018, Catherine Masters and James Clark
This seminar brings lawyers and students together to analyze and develop aspects of the lawyers' ongoing cases. It allows good lawyers to use law students for collaborative help with open cases, and allows law students to learn litigation skills by working with the lawyers. A different lawyer with a different case will participate in most class sessions. Typically the lawyer will provide materials for the students to review before the class. During the class, students will discuss, argue, debate, and work with the lawyer to solve hard issues. Following each class, students will complete written materials analyzing and evaluating the problem. In classes when lawyers are not included, students also learn practical litigation skills through various advocacy exercises. Students will be graded based on active participation and their written materials.
- Winter 2017, James Clark and Catherine Masters
Mental Health Advocacy Clinic
Spring 2018, Mark Heyrman
Mental Health Advocacy teaches a variety of advocacy skills. With the permission of the clinical teacher, students may choose to focus on litigation, legislation, or both. Students engaged in litigation may interview clients and witnesses; research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to reviewing courts; conduct formal and informal discovery; negotiate with opposing counsel and others; conduct evidentiary hearings and trials; and present oral argument in trial and appellate courts. Students who have completed fifty percent of the credits needed for graduation may be licensed to appear, under the supervision of the clinical teacher, in state and federal trial and appellate courts pursuant to court rules and practices. Students engaged in legislative advocacy may research and draft legislation and supporting materials, devise and implement strategies to obtain the enactment or defeat of legislation, negotiate with representatives of various interest groups, and testify in legislative hearings. In addition to discrete advocacy skills such as cross-examination, discovery planning, and legislative drafting, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between individual advocacy tasks and the ultimate goals of clients, between litigation and legislative advocacy, and between advocacy on behalf of individual clients and advocacy for systemic change. Prior or contemporaneous enrollment in Law and the Mental Health System is encouraged, but not required, for all students. See the general rules for all clinical courses for further details concerning enrollment, including the rules governing the award of credit. There is a mandatory one-credit seminar component for this course which meets once a week during the Autumn Quarter. Mental Health Advocacy satisfies part of the writing requirement if substantial written work is completed. Student may enroll in this clinical course for between one and six quarters.
- Autumn 2016, Mark Heyrman
- Winter 2017, Mark Heyrman
- Spring 2017, Mark Heyrman
- Autumn 2017, Mark Heyrman
- Winter 2018, Mark Heyrman
Merger and Acquisition Agreements
Spring 2017, Scott Davis
In this course we will examine certain issues that may arise in the negotiation of: (1) merger agreements in which the target is a public company; and (2) asset purchase agreements. For each type of agreement, we will begin with an examination of a model agreement and a discussion of significant issues that tend to be present. The members of the class will then have a simulated negotiation based on written hypothetical situations in which they will be attempting to reach an agreement and negotiate contractual language that would be part of the type of agreement at issue. In the simulated negotiation for each type of agreement all members of the class will be identified as counsel or a business representative for either (a) the buyer or (b) the target or the seller. The class will be divided into four groups, two (Group 1 and Group 2) for the buyer and two (Group 3 and Group 4) for the target or seller. Group 1 will negotiate with Group 3. Group 2 will separately negotiate with Group 4. Groups 1 and 3 will not communicate with Groups 2 and 4. Each student will be counsel to a party at least once. We will also have short discussions about negotiation ethics and about negotiating and drafting. Grades will be based on: (i) two three to five page papers describing the student's negotiating experience for each agreement, and what the student would do differently in the future; (ii) classroom performance; and (iii) the contractual language submitted for each agreement (or what they proposed if no agreement is reached). Some of the topics in this course will also be covered in Mergers and Acquisitions, but that course is not a prerequisite for this course and students may take both courses.
Modern Professional Responsibility
Autumn 2017, Mark Nozette
This course satisfies the professional responsibility requirement. It will explore a variety of legal, ethical and real-world issues commonly faced by modern lawyers in their daily practices. It will address the relationship among the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It will also focus on several noteworthy legal malpractice and securities claims in which lawyers and major law firms were involved. Course materials will include traditional texts and statutory materials, hypotheticals drawn from unreported matters, as well as the results of mock trials and jury focus groups in which the conduct of lawyers was at issue.
- Autumn 2016, Mark Nozette
Moot Court Boot Camp
Autumn 2017, Elizabeth Duquette and Lisa Noller
Moot Court Boot Camp has two components: oral advocacy and writing. The oral advocacy component will cover the basics of appellate oral argument. Students will receive two different cases and prepare and submit argument outlines in advance. During the workshop, students will gain hands-on experience by conducting multiple oral arguments before a variety of alumni and other practicing attorneys, judges, and faculty, who will provide feedback. The writing component will cover the basics of appellate brief writing. Students will prepare a short, written assignment that we will discuss and revise during class. We will focus on strong issue statements, effective headings, and powerful conclusions. We'll also explore sentence structure and word choice. Students will learn to define themes in their writing and carry them into the oral argument. Focused writing, we will learn, promotes successful oral advocacy, and vice versa. This class, which will meet for the weekend of October 28-29, is an optional supplement to the Hinton Moot Court Competition. One credit will be granted for the weekend course and an additional credit will be granted upon completion of two judged arguments as part of the Hinton Moot Court Competition. There are no prerequisites, but good faith participation in the Hinton Moot Court Competition is required. Students may receive credit for this class only once during their Law School career. The Moot Court Boot Camp is open to J.D. students only and is graded Pass/Fail.
Negotiating International Agreements: The Case of Climate Change
Winter 2017, Sue Biniaz
This seminar is a practical introduction to the negotiation of international environmental agreements, with a focus on climate change. Students will learn about the cross-cutting features of international environmental agreements and, through the climate change lens, explore the process of negotiating such agreements, the development of national positions, the advocacy of positions internationally, and the many ways in which differences among negotiating countries are resolved. The seminar will also examine the history and substance of the climate change regime, including, inter alia, the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, and the Paris Agreement, concluded in December 2015. Grades will be based on class participation and a series of short reaction papers. With permission of the instructor, students may receive three credits for the seminar by writing an additional 10-12 page research paper.
Negotiating Merger and Acquisition Agreements
Spring 2018, Scott Davis
In this seminar the members of the class will negotiate certain issues that may arise in the negotiation of: (1) merger agreements in which the target is a public company; and (2) asset purchase agreements. For each type of agreement, we will begin with an examination of certain aspects of a model agreement and a discussion of some significant issues that may be present. The members of the class will then have simulated negotiations based on written hypothetical situations in which they will be attempting to reach an agreement and negotiate contractual language on the open points. In the simulated negotiation for each type of agreement all members of the class will be identified as counsel for either (a) the buyer or (b) the target or the seller. The simulated negotiations will begin in class, though they may need to be finished outside of class. We will also examine certain ethical issues that may arise in negotiations. Grades will be based on: (i) two three to five page papers describing the student's simulated negotiating experience for each type of agreement, and what the student would do differently in the future; (ii) classroom performance (including performance in the simulated negotiations); and (iii) the content submitted for each type of agreement (or what was proposed if the parties cannot agree on content). Some of the topics in this course will also be covered in Mergers and Acquisitions, but that course is not a prerequisite for this course and students may take both classes.
Negotiating Theory and Practice
Autumn 2016, Ian Solomon
This course offers students an opportunity to develop negotiating skills and strategies for application in all areas of personal and professional life. Students will be introduced to conceptual frameworks for understanding how agreements are reached or not reached, and they will have ample opportunities to practice negotiation in structured simulations and other exercises. Assigned readings and seminar discussions will consider contributions from law, game theory, psychology, and more. Students will be encouraged to develop their own tools and practices of inquiry to enable continued learning about negotiation beyond the limits of the quarter.
Spring 2018, Jeffrey Leslie and Jesse Ruiz
This class will introduce the theory and practice of negotiation across various contexts, including deal-making and dispute resolution. It will give students an organized theoretical framework for analyzing various parties' positions and crafting thoughtful strategies. Students will develop their practical skills and individual styles through a series of simulation exercises, which will be executed inside and outside of class and then discussed and critiqued. Exposure to different techniques, styles, and contexts will be used to teach students what works best for them. Grading will be based on a series of reaction papers and out of classroom work.
The New Jim Crow
Autumn 2016, Todd Belcore
While lawyers often use their skills to argue facts given the constraints of current law; they too rarely use their skills to actually create or change the laws that constrain them. This course hones students' ability to do both. Students will hone these skills as they learn about, and fight against, the "New Jim Crow," which refers to discriminatory laws, policies and practices that prevent people with criminal records, disproportionately men and women of color, from accessing basic necessities like employment and housing. With that lens in mind, this course will give students an opportunity to: 1 - Engage the men, women and youth impacted by the New Jim Crow in community and class settings; 2 - Research laws, policies, practices and pending legislation relating to the criminal justice system from across the world; 3 - Learn how to craft, draft, and present model legislation and policies designed to eradicate the New Jim Crow; 4 - Convert legal concepts into training materials that are easily digestible by lay-people and present them in a community setting; and, 5 - Write and present a 20-page research paper detailing the students' policy recommendation with appendices that include concise fact sheets relating to the model legislation presented.
Spring 2017, Todd D. Golub and Richard Lipton
A review of the principals of partnership taxation, with an emphasis on the tax consequences of the formation, operation and dissolution of partnerships. Matters discussed include the treatment of leverage, capital accounts, disguised sales, mixing bowls, anti-abuse rules and other aspects of partnership taxation. Prerequisite: Introductory Income Tax
Poverty and Housing Law Clinic
Spring 2017, Lawrence Wood
This clinic, conducted over two sequential quarters, exposes students to the practice of poverty law by giving them the opportunity to work on housing cases at LAF, the Midwest's largest provider of free civil legal services to the poor. Students may be be asked to attend administrative grievance hearings, represent tenants facing unwarranted evictions, and prevent landlords from performing lockouts or refusing to make necessary repairs. All students will be expected to interview clients, prepare written discovery, conduct research, and draft motions. In addition to working 12 hours a week at LAF, students will attend a weekly two-hour class to learn about subsidized housing programs, eviction actions, housing discrimination, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and housing.
- Winter 2017, Lawrence Wood
Autumn 2017, Lisa Hausten and Erin Kelly
This seminar will focus on litigation strategies and skills that are instrumental in the day-to-day life of a litigator, many of which are used in both the pretrial and trial phases of litigation. Students will get to interview witnesses, negotiate discovery disputes, take depositions, cross-examine witnesses and draft and argue motions in limine, in addition to learning to evaluate and develop facts and legal theories and study tactical moves to disarm the opposing side and narrow the case for trial. The seminar employs a variety of learning methodologies, including lectures, small group discussions, and participation in mock exercises with live witnesses. Students taking Pre-Trial Advocacy are also eligible to enroll in the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Because of the overlap in topics, students are ineligible for Pre-Trial Advocacy if they have taken or are currently enrolled in the Mental Health Advocacy Clinic. The student's grade is based on class participation, including participation in mock exercises, and written work product. Evidence is a prerequisite, but may be taken concurrently.
- Autumn 2016, Lisa Hausten and Erin Kelly
Private Equity Transactions: Issues and Documentation
Winter 2018, Mark Fennell and Stephen Ritchie
This seminar will examine from a practical perspective the issues and documentation arising in a typical private equity acquisition transaction. The seminar will follow this type of transaction through its various stages and provide students in-depth and practical experience with common deal issues and drafting contractual provisions to address those issues. The goal of the seminar is to help prepare students for the practical aspects of being a deal lawyer. Coursework will include reading acquisition contracts, cases and legal commentators and weekly written assignments (contract drafting and issue analysis). Grades will be based on class participation and the written assignments. Business Organizations and Contracts are prerequisites.
- Winter 2017, Mark Fennell and Stephen Ritchie
Professional Responsibility and the Legal Profession
Autumn 2017, Anna-Maria Marshall
This course provides a systematic treatment of the law of professional responsibility. The central goal is to understand how the rules of professional conduct guide lawyer conduct and shape the legal profession. Toward that end, we will begin by examining the lawyer's key duties to clients in different contexts, paying attention to differences based on what lawyers do (advocacy, advising, negotiating), where they work (law firms, corporate legal departments, government legal offices, public interest organizations, legal services groups), and what types of clients they represent (individuals, classes, organizations). Drawing upon case materials and problems, our emphasis will be on how lawyers define and resolve ethical problems while promoting their public duties in the real world of practice. We will pay special attention to the two foundational rules of professional responsibility (client confidentiality and conflicts of interests) and will consider how market changes and demographic shifts impact the lawyer's role. Overall, the course is designed to help you think critically about the challenges you will face in the profession you are about to enter and how you can best meet them in the pursuit of your professional goals.
- Autumn 2016, Anna-Maria Marshall
Professional Responsibility: Representing Business Organizations
Winter 2017, Martha Pacold, Mark Schneider, Daniel Feeney
This seminar concerns the rules governing the legal profession and practical applications of the rules, with a focus on representing business organizations. Materials will include the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and a casebook; we may also read supplemental materials from time to time. Grades will be based on an in-class final exam, several short response papers, and a class participation component. This seminar will fulfill the professional responsibility requirement.
Prosecution and Defense Clinic
Spring 2018, Lisa Noller and Molly Armour
The Prosecution and Defense Clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through: (1) a 2-quarter seminar taught by a former Assistant United States Attorney and a career defense lawyer; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor's office or public defender's office. The course will familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case as well as ethical and other social justice issues encountered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts. The clinic provides students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice, and hands-on experience through a clinical placement. Each student in the clinic will be responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened externship program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the winter and spring quarters. Examples include the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois or the Public Defender's office in any northern Illinois county. Students will comply with the clinical placement's requirements regarding hours and assignments, and may be expected to research substantive criminal law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with court hearings and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), appear in court under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Other components of each student's grade are: seminar classroom participation; trial practice exercises; journal entries; and, a 10-page practice paper or research paper. There is no final exam (in either quarter) and students will earn up to seven credits for the course, depending on the placement. Because of the practical component, the class size will be limited to twelve 2L or 3L students.
- Winter 2018, Lisa Noller and Molly Armour
Strategic Considerations in Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation
Spring 2018, Steven Feirson and Joni Jacobsen
This seminar will introduce students to the most important strategic considerations that lawyers encounter in today's highly sophisticated financial services litigation. The litigators (and corporate lawyers) who concentrate in this area must function in an environment where the stakes are high, leverage is critical, and "victory" is defined by the client, not the court. Accordingly, this seminar examines the critical questions faced in virtually every financial services litigation matter including: (1) which is the most favorable venue for this litigation, including consideration of how legal principles vary jurisdiction by jurisdiction; (2) how does Directors and Officers Liability insurance impact the litigation, itself; (3) strategic considerations relating to the composition of the board and use of special litigation committees; (4) how dispositive motions can be used to, at a minimum, best frame and limit the litigation; (5) how derivative and class certification mechanisms can be used to narrow or defeat claims; (6) how to use the timing and positioning of mediation to produce a favorable result for the client; (7) who of your pool of potential experts should be identified, on what topics, and when to maximize chances of success; and (8) what is jury research and what role does it play in making thematic and settlement decisions. To further the student experience, we will supplement our sessions by bringing some of the nation's top practioners in fields like jury research, D&O insurance, mediation and/or damage analysis to share their years of expertise drawn from real world situations. Grading will be based on class participation and two relatively short papers (under 10 pages) which will focus on discrete topics covered in class and in the reading assignments. Each paper will count for approximately 30% of your grade, and the remaining 40% will be based on class participation.
- Spring 2017, Steven Feirson and Joni Jacobsen
Strategies and Processes of Negotiations
Winter 2018, George Wu
Increasingly negotiation is part of the day-to-day life of managers. The aim of this class is to make students more effective negotiators. Students should leave the class with (1) a structured approach for preparing for and thinking about negotiations; and (2) a refined set of skills for carrying out negotiations. A central part of the class is an extensive set of negotiation simulations. These simulations take students through a variety of negotiations: single and multiple issue; two-negotiator and multiple-negotiator (coalitional); and internal (within organization) and external. In addition, the class includes a number of cases. Lectures, readings, and structured analytical exercises supplement the simulations and cases.
- Winter 2017, George Wu
Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions
Spring 2018, Jack Levin and Donald Rocap
This course covers tax, legal, and economic principles applicable to a series of interesting, complex, current entrepreneurial transactions, utilizing venture capital or private equity financing, including (1) new business start-up, (2) growth-equity investment in existing business enterprise, (3) leveraged buyout of private or public company (including going-private transaction), (4) use of both double-tax C corporations and flow-through single-tax S corporations, partnerships, or LLCs for variety of venture capital or private equity financed transactions, (5) devising equity-based executive compensation program, (6) private equity financed restructuring or workout (in or out of bankruptcy) for troubled over-leveraged enterprise and utilizing troubled company's NOL post restructuring, (7) exit scenarios for successful venture capital or private equity financed enterprise (such as IPO, series of SEC rule 144 stock sales, sale of company, or merger of company into larger enterprise), and (8) forming venture capital, LBO, or private equity fund. Substantive subjects include federal income tax, federal securities regulation, state corporate, partnership, and LLC law, federal bankruptcy law, state and federal fraudulent conveyance law, and other legal doctrines, as well as accounting rules (executive compensation and acquisition accounting) and practical structuring issues (including use of common and preferred stock, subordinated or mezzanine debt, convertible debt and preferred stock, warrants, options, and substantial-risk-of-forfeiture stock), all reviewed in a transactional context, and with discussion of their policy underpinnings and likely future evolution. No specific prerequisites, but introductory income tax strongly recommended, entity taxation desirable, and knowledge of corporate law, securities regulation, bankruptcy, and accounting helpful. However, the course book and the course book appendix contain adequate discussion and supplemental material so that the student can (with careful reading) adequately comprehend these topics. The grade is based on a final in-class examination. Instructor consent is not required for this course.
- Spring 2017, Jack Levin and Donald Rocap
Spring 2018, Jay Cohen
This class will focus on the trial phases of civil litigation. Simulated trial problems designed to promote knowledge of the litigation process and to afford individual experience in selected phases of trial practice will be employed to familiarize students with pragmatic tactical issues and solutions. Written trial materials will be used and instruction will by lecture, demonstration, and exercise (including a mini-trial). Students who have taken the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (LAWS 67503) may not take Trial Advocacy (LAWS 67603). An understanding of the Federal Rules of Evidence is preferred but not a prerequisite. Final grades will be based on class participation, performance during courtroom exercises and the mini-trial, and one or more written assignments. If students wish to earn 3 credits, they will also be required to submit a 15-page researched trial brief in connection with the final trial. Enrollment is limited to 16 students.
U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice
Autumn 2017, Sarah Konsky and Michael Scodro
This seminar will provide an in-depth look at the U.S. Supreme Court, with particular emphasis on the skills required to practice successfully in that forum. Students will not only discuss the Court as an institution, but they will also hone skills needed to navigate the certiorari process and to brief and argue before the Court. In addition to class participation, students will be graded on a legal brief (generally 15-25 pages in length) and on their performance in a moot court. Students interested in enrolling should email Mr. Scodro (email@example.com) and Professor Konsky (firstname.lastname@example.org), on or before September 1, a resume and short statement of interest explaining why they would like to enroll in the seminar. Students will be informed of their enrollment status by September 5.
- Autumn 2016, Sarah Konsky and Michael Scodro
World Bank Practicum
Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
This practicum involves preparing memoranda on various issues for the Legal Department of the World Bank under the supervision of Professor Ginsburg. Students work in small teams to analyze an array of policy and legal issues. Past topics have ranged from an analysis of sovereign wealth, to lending in post-conflict zones, to a study of remedies. The course is limited to a small number of students each quarter.
- Autumn 2016, Thomas Ginsburg
- Winter 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
- Autumn 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
- Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
Writing and Research in the US Legal System
Winter 2018, Elizabeth Duquette and Margaret Schilt
In this course, international LLM students learn research and writing skills essential to the practice of U.S. law. Students learn how to use these skills to win arguments, persuade clients and sharpen their own thinking. We discuss and practice the major principles of legal writing in plain English - no jargon, no legalese. The class functions largely as a workshop where we apply multiple research techniques and analyze the impact of various writing styles. Students meet individually with the instructor throughout the course. Regular class attendance is mandatory. Students must complete all assignments before the take-home examination, which determines the student's grade. This course is open only to LLM students and satisfies the legal research and writing prerequisite for the New York Bar exam.
- Autumn 2016, Elizabeth Duquette and Margaret Schilt
- Winter 2017, Elizabeth Duquette and Margaret Schilt
- Autumn 2017, Elizabeth Duquette and Margaret Schilt
Writing for the Judiciary
Spring 2018, Ashley Conrad Keller
This seminar is designed to closely replicate the actual responsibilities of a law clerk to a United States Supreme Court Justice. The first class will take the form of an interview. Prospective clerks will face a range of questions designed to test their approach to statutory and constitutional interpretation while gauging their familiarity with pending, recent, and seminal cases. (You will all be hired!) In subsequent classes, clerks will: (1) circulate and review cert-pool memos for actual, pending petitions for writs of certiorari. These memos help the full Court determine which cases to hear on the merits; (2) review merits briefs and write a bench memo to assist your Justice at oral argument and at Conference (where the Justices meet to resolve argued matters); (3) draft a judicial opinion assigned to your Justice (which may well entail a judgment or legal reasoning the clerk does not agree with); and (4) lead class discussion and debate for the cert-pool and merits cases for which the clerk took primary responsibility. Over the course of the seminar, each clerk will write three cert-pool memos, one bench memo, and one opinion. The seminar is aimed at students who have or seek a state or federal clerkship and those with a possible interest in clerking for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. A firm background in constitutional law is strongly recommended, and your open-minded Justice seeks applicants with a wide array of political and jurisprudential perspectives. Grades will be based on a combination of draft opinions, class participation, cert-pool memos, and bench memos. If you are interested in registering for the seminar, please submit a resume to Professor Keller by 5:00pm on Friday, March 2, 2018.
- Spring 2017, Ashley Conrad Keller
Young Center Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic
Spring 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights gives students the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with unaccompanied immigrant children who come to the United States without a parent or legal guardian to flee violence, abuse, and/or poverty. Students in the clinic draw upon international human rights law, immigration law, and children's rights, and child welfare law to support their advocacy. Unaccompanied immigrant children come to the U.S. from all corners of the world, on their own. They are apprehended, typically at the U.S./Mexico border, then detained and placed in deportation proceedings. Students serve the most vulnerable of these children, advocating for the best interests of each child on issues relating to care, custody, release, legal relief, and safe repatriation. Because there is no federal law that affords special protections to immigrant children, students enlist state child welfare laws and international human rights instruments to support their advocacy. The Clinic also offers opportunities in legislative and policy advocacy aimed at reforming the immigration system to better protect the rights of children. Each student is trained to serve as federally-appointed Child Advocate (similar to a guardian ad litem role) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained in the Chicagoland area. Students meet weekly with the child, and advocate on behalf of the child with federal officials, including ICE officials, immigration judges, and asylum officers. The Clinic admits both 2Ls and 3Ls. We strongly encourage enrollment in the Fall Quarter, and recommend taking this course for at least two quarters. We do not require students to speak a language other than English, but we encourage students who speak Spanish, French, Mandarin, Romanian, or American Sign Language to apply. Students who enroll in the clinic must: 1. Participate in a 2-day training in October 2017; and 2. Participate in weekly class meetings throughout the course. Please contact the clinicians below if you have any questions, or would like to request an accommodation: Jajah Wu at email@example.com, Kelly Kribs at firstname.lastname@example.org, Marcy Phillips at email@example.com, or Maria Woltjen at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit: www.TheYoungCenter.org
- Autumn 2016, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
- Winter 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
- Spring 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
- Autumn 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
- Winter 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu