Complementary, Multi-Disciplinary, and Cross-Listed Courses
The courses listed below provide a taste of the clinical courses offered at the Law School. This list includes the courses taught in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 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.
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- Advanced Topics in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy
- Advanced Topics in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy: Marx's Phil. and Its 20th-Century Dev.
- Advanced Topics in Law and Computing
- Anthropology and Law
- Behavioral Law and Economics
- Big Problems
- Business Planning
- Capital Markets Transactions
- Communications and Advocacy for Lawyers
- Comparative Race, Ethnicity and Constitutional Design
- Competitive Strategy
- Crisis Communication: The Lawyer's Role in Advancing Client Interests
- Critical Race Studies
- Emotions, Reason, and Law
- Greenberg Seminars: Artificial Intelligence
- Greenberg Seminars: Cheating
- Greenberg Seminars: Corporate Scandals
- Greenberg Seminars: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the War on Drugs
- Greenberg Seminars: Effective Altruism
- Greenberg Seminars: Leadership from the Female Perspective
- Greenberg Seminars: Order Without Law
- Greenberg Seminars: Race and Capitalism
- Greenberg Seminars: Race and Public Health
- Greenberg Seminars: Resignations
- Greenberg Seminars: The Ethic of Aesthetics -- Examining the Interactions Between Law and Visual Art
- Greenberg Seminars: The Evil Corporation
- Greenberg Seminars: The Law of Space
- Greenberg Seminars: Rational Do-Gooding
- Greenberg Seminars: Women Lawyers in Film and Television
- Greenberg Seminars: Zealous Advocates in Movies
- History of the Common Law
- Introduction to Law and Economics
- Islamic Law
- Law and Literature
- Law & Political Economy
- Law, Society and Human Rights in Afghanistan
- Legal History of the Founding Era
- Legal Spanish: Public Interest Law in the US
- Managerial Psychology
- Modern Indian Political and Legal Thought
- Opera as Idea and Performance
- Philosophy of Animal Rights
- Project Finance in Emerging Markets
- Psychological Dimensions of Criminal Law
- Racism, Law, and Social Sciences
- Religious Liberty
- Roman Law
- The Internet Economy
- Workshop: Law and Economics
- Workshop: Law and Philosophy: Political Realism
- Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender
Advanced Topics in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy
Topic: NIETZSCHE AND THE HERMENEUTIC TRADITION
Hermeneutics, or the theory of interpretation, was developed in its modern form in Germany in the 18th- and early 19th-centuries by authors like Herder, F. Schlegel and Schleiermacher. Later in the 19th-century, there emerged what Ricouer subsequently dubbed a "hermeneutics of suspicion"-an attempt to reveal the hidden meanings beneath the surface meanings people express-in figures like Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In the first half of the seminar, we will give a close reading of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality as an exercise in the hermeneutics of suspicion, as well as consider in some detail Nietzsche's remarks on perspectivism and interpretation. In the second half of the seminar, we will then consider the historical background to this hermeneutics of suspicion in Romantic hermeneutics. We will also give particular attention to the development of legal hermeneutics in Savigny and then, much later, through the work of Gadamer. We will conclude by returning to the hermeneutics of suspicion, especially as illustrated by Marx. Open to philosophy PhD students without permission and to others with permission; those seeking permission should e-mail Leiter with a resume and a detailed description of their background in philosophy (not necessarily in the study of Nietzsche or hermeneutics). In the event of demand, preference will be given to J.D. students with the requisite philosophy background. (I) and (III) M. Forster; B. Leiter. This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages.
- Winter 2022: Brian Leiter and Michael N. Forster
The first half of the seminar will introduce major themes of Marx's philosophy-historical materialism, aspects of his economics relevant to his critique of capitalism, Marx's early theory of human nature and flourishing, and the theory of ideology (especially as applied to morality and law)-while the second half will consider the reception and development of Marx's ideas in 20th-century Continental European thought, with a particular focus on the theory of ideology (e.g., Lukacs, Gramsci, Sartre, Althusser) and the application of that theory to art and aesthetics (e.g., Adorno, Benjamin, Lifshits). (IV)Open to philosophy PhD students without permission and to others with permission; those seeking permission should e-mail Leiter with a resume and a detailed description of their background in philosophy (not necessarily in the study of Marx or Marxist philosophy). In the event of demand, preference will be given to J.D. students with the requisite philosophy background. (I) and (III) M. Forster; B. Leiter
This class requires a major paper of (6000-7500 words).
For SRP credit students will have to do additional work in consultation with the instructors.
- Winter 2023: Brian Leiter and Michael N Forster
This interdisciplinary seminar will bring together instructors and graduate students from Computer Science / Data Sciences and the Law School. The seminar's focus will be on topics where law and policy intersect with computer science. Such topics may include cryptography and encryption; electronic surveillance and criminal procedure; the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act; the law governing data breaches; redistricting and the US Census; deep fakes; GDRP, Europe's Digital Services Act and the CCPA; and international data transfers. Students will be evaluated on the basis of short bi-weekly reaction papers, class participation based on weekly assigned reading, and team projects that pair law students with computer and data scientists.
- Spring 2023: Lior Strahilevitz and Aloni Cohen
This seminar for law students and graduate students in the social sciences will provide an introduction to the field of legal anthropology. We will address anthropological theories of the nature of law and disputes, examine related studies of legal structures in non-Western cultures, and consider the uses of anthropology in studying facets of our own legal system. By examining individual legal institutions in the context of their particular cultural settings, we can begin to make cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts. In so doing, we confront the challenge of interpreting and understanding the legal rules and institutions of other cultures while assessing the impact of our own social norms and biases on the analysis. Thus, our analytic and interpretative approach will require us to examine the cultural assumptions that underpin various aspects of our own belief systems and the American legal system. Requirements for this seminar course include preparation of a research paper (6000-7500 words) and thoughtful class participation. Writing for this seminar may be used as partial fulfillment of the JD writing requirement (SRP or WP).
- Winter 2023: Christopher Fennell
This seminar will explore a set of frontier issues at the intersection of law and human behavior, including people's conduct under risk and uncertainty; the commitment to fairness; social influences and peer pressure; extremism; adaptation; happiness; discrimination; and judicial behavior. Some discussion will be devoted to the uses and limits of paternalism. Grades will be based on class participation and a series of research papers totaling 6000-7500 words.
- Winter 2023: Jonathan Masur
- Autumn 2022: Jonathan Masur
- Spring 2022: Jonathan Masur
- Spring 2021: Jonathan Masur
- Spring 2020: Jonathan Masur
- Autumn 2019: Jonathan Masur
- Spring 2019: Jonathan Masur
- Autumn 2018: Jonathan Masur
- Spring 2018: Jonathan Masur
The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. Final grade will be based on the presentations and a companion paper (6000-7500 words).
Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2022: David A. Weisbach, and Anup Malani
- Spring 2022: David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- Spring 2021: David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- Spring 2020: David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- Spring 2019: David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
- Spring 2018: David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
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.
- Winter 2023: Keith Crow and Anthony V. Sexton
- Winter 2022: Keith Crow and Anthony V. Sexton
- Winter 2020: Keith Crow and Anthony V. Sexton
- Winter 2018: Keith Crow and Anthony V. Sexton
This course will delve into the major legal and practice issues presented by capital markets transactions conducted in the US, including initial public offerings, "shelf" offerings, private placements and offerings of high yield securities. Grades will be based on five substantial take-home written assignments (20-30 pages combined) and class participation.
Prerequisites: Securities Regulation (may be taken concurrently); Corporations / Business Organizations.
- Winter 2022: James Junewicz
- Winter 2021: James Junewicz
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, analysis, 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 a presentation and slide decks; and engaging through 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 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, with the majority of the grade coming from a final presentation and slide deck and a capstone communications plan.
- Winter 2022: Marsha Nagorsky
- Winter 2020: Marsha Nagorsky
- Winter 2019: Marsha Nagorsky
- Winter 2018: Marsha Nagorsky
Issues of multiracial democracy have come to the fore in recent years in the United States and many other countries. This seminar starts with the premise that our particular way of doing things is not the only one. It will review the comparative literature on racial and ethnic formation, stratification and conflict. It will focus on the role of constitutional design in exacerbating or ameliorating conflict. Readings will examine the politics of race and ethnicity in most other major regions of the world, along with theoretical accounts on what constitutional design can and cannot do. Students will pick a country to focus on as we work through the material. This class requires a major paper (6000-7500 words). Participation may be considered in the final grading.
- Spring 2023: Tom Ginsburg
We will apply tools from microeconomics and game theory to the analysis of strategic decision making by firms. Specific topics covered include the sources of industry and firm profitability, strategic positioning, sustainable competitive advantage, the boundaries of the firm, incomplete contracts, horizontal and vertical integration, strategic commitment, strategic cooperation, dynamic pricing, entry and exit, network effects, and platform markets. My goal in the class is to get students to think like an economist about firm strategy.
The course is designed for students who are already comfortable with microeconomics at the level of Booth's 33001 course, or most colleges' intermediate micro classes. The class will not require calculus but prior exposure to microeconomics concepts is important. Classes will combine case analysis and discussions with lectures.
This class has a final exam and a required series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2023: Eric Budish
- Winter 2022: Eric Budish
- Autumn 2020: Eric Budish
- Autumn 2019: Eric Budish
During high-profile controversies, organizations must contend with multiple stakeholders, both inside and outside the legal system. Developments during a crisis are analyzed and influenced by employees, the media, elected officials, regulators, investors, advocacy groups and others. The collective opinion of these stakeholders - not simply the specific resolution of the legal issues - often determines the ultimate success of an organization's strategy. Individuals and organizations are often judged by these stakeholders on how well (or poorly) they responded to a crisis. Today's attorneys are often expected to go beyond their strictly "legal" responsibilities and assist the organization in protecting its reputation during these events. As Ken Frazier (CEO of Merck and its former general counsel) said: "Sophisticated clients don't want 'pure' legal advice, they want workable solutions to their problems…at the intersection of law, business, technology, politics and moral judgment. Smart clients expect their lawyers to help them find solutions." This course will explore how attorneys can provide broad crisis management advice to clients, rather than narrow legal counsel. The class will analyze the perspectives and motivations of different actors in a crisis and explain the intersection among legal issues, organizational goals and strategic communications. The course will use case studies, background readings, presentations, special guest speakers , and focused discussions to highlight the issues in effective crisis management. Students will also participate in hypotheticals and role plays where they may be asked to act as a lawyer, a crisis management advisor or the CEO as the organization determines its crisis response. The professors will also share experiences and lessons learned from their own work on high-profile matters for companies, universities, associations, and non-profit organizations. In addition to short in-class presentations and in-class participation, there will be a final memo. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2023: Tilden Katz and Roy Wentz
This course provides an introduction to critical race theory through reading canonical works by critical race scholars; it explores a selection of current legal debates from a critical race perspective; and it contextualizes critical race theory through the study of related movements in legal scholarship, including legal realism, critical legal studies, and social science research on discrimination and structural racism. We will attempt to identify the ways in which critical race scholarship has influenced, or should influence, legal research and law school pedagogy. Requirements for this course include thoughtful class participation and completion of a series of short papers (6000-7500 words).
- Spring 2023: William H J Hubbard
- Spring 2022: William H. J. Hubbard
- Spring 2021: William H. J. Hubbard
Emotions figure in many areas of the law, and many legal doctrines (from reasonable provocation in homicide to mercy in criminal sentencing) invite us to think about emotions and their relationship to reason. In addition, some prominent theories of the limits of law make reference to emotions. (Thus Lord Devlin and, more recently, Leon Kass have argued that the disgust of the average member of society is a sufficient reason for rendering a practice illegal, even though it does no harm to others. J. S. Mill and Herbert Hart argue against this view, but preserve a role for some emotions in the law.) Emotions, however, are all too rarely studied closely, with the result that both theory and doctrine are often confused. The first part of this course will study major theories of emotion, asking about the relationship between emotion and cognition, focusing on philosophical accounts, but also learning from anthropology, psychology, and psychoanalytic thought. We will ask how far emotions embody cognitions, and of what type, and then we will ask whether there is reason to consider some or all emotions "irrational" in a normative sense. We then turn to the criminal law and select areas of constitutional law, asking how specific emotions figure in doctrine and theory: anger, fear, compassion, disgust, guilt, and shame. Legal areas considered will include self-defense, reasonable provocation, mercy, victim impact statements, sodomy laws, sexual harassment, shame-based punishments, equal protection, the role of constitutions in warding off fear, shame, and stigma. Other topics will be included as time permits. Requirements: regular class attendance; an 8 hour take-home final exam OR, if special permission is given, a 20-25 page paper.
- Note: this course counts as a 1L elective for law students, and is open to all law students without prerequisite. Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. All other students may enroll without permission.
- Spring 2022: Martha C. Nussbaum
This seminar will explore the ethical and legal issues posed by the promise of artificial intelligence and autonomous machines. The materials will include fiction and non-fiction works that examine ethical and legal questions such as the consciousness, personhood, and culpability of autonomous machines as well as questions about how artificial intelligence may disrupt existing institutions in society. The seminar will meet at the professors' residence in Naperville in the afternoons of the following days November 6, January 8, January 29, February 19, April 16.
- Spring 2023: Anthony Casey and Erin Casey
- Autumn 2022: Anthony Casey and Erin Casey
- Winter 2023: Anthony Casey and Erin Casey
This seminar will explore legal, ethical, and procedural issues inherent in questions of cheating and rule breaking in contexts ranging from sports and academics to private career advancement. We will look at the nature of rules and difficult distinctions that must be drawn such as why some rules are expected to be broken while others are not. We will explore the line between artificial performance enhancement as cheating on the one hand and as positive personal improvement on the other. For example, we will look at the different treatment of performance enhancing drugs in athletics and in performance art. We will also explore how and when law and government should be involved in setting and enforcing rules. Graded Pass/Fail.
- Spring 2021: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
- Winter 2021: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
- Autumn 2020: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
The past few years have brought a wide variety of corporate scandals. Companies and their CEOs have misled investors about the efficacy of a key blood testing technology (Theranos), bribed state legislators to bail out nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants (First Energy), absconded or collapsed with millions of dollars of crypto assets (QuadrigaCX), made allegedly false corporate disclosures on twitter (Elon Musk), and done whatever it was that WeWork did. Some of these scandals, such as Theranos, involved clearly illegal behavior, and have resulted in criminal convictions. Others, such as WeWork, did not. Still others are just embarrassing. This Greenberg will explore the different dimensions of corporate scandals. Each week, we will discuss one high-profile scandal. We will use these examples to study fiduciary duties, disclosure laws, corporate conduct in the zone of insolvency, and other legal issues related to corporate misconduct. Reading and / or AV materials will be assigned before each class. The seminars will be held throughout the year.
Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter
- Spring 2023: Adriana Robertson and Joshua C. Macey
- Winter 2023: Adriana Robertson and Joshua C. Macey
- Autumn 2022: Adriana Robertson and Joshua C. Macey
We will explore a series of works on crime, politics, policing, and race, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore via the television show, "The Wire." We will focus particularly on the drug war - the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. We will also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
This Greenberg will meet on the following days at 7:00pm:
October 27, November 17, January 12, February 16, and April 13.
- Autumn 2022: Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
- Spring 2023: Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
- Winter 2023: Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
Professors Levmore and Roin and occasional Visitors. Entirely in-person at the professors' home. This Greenberg Seminar will explore ideas about the "efficient" or most effective ways to be other-regarding. The questions are economic, philosophical, and very personal. Should we earn money and give it away to good causes or work for a cause more directly? Should we choose careers that are self-fulfilling or that benefit others? Should law encourage corporations to be ESG (environmental, socially minded, and governance sensitive) oriented rather than shareholder wealth maximizing? Readings will begin with "The Most Good You Can Do" by Peter Singer (you might want to read it as soon as you know you're in the Seminar, and then further readings will be paid for and delivered to you by the professors. This Greenberg will meet on five of the first seven Wednesdays of the Winter quarter, from 6-8 or 7-9 pm depending on the weeks. Likely meeting dates are: January 5, January 12, January 19, January 26, February 2, but please hold on to February 16 and February 23 in case these are needed.
- Winter 2022: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
This is a year long seminar. We will read books and other pieces of writing by female chief executive officers, politicians, athletes, and other leaders in their industries, and discuss those pieces during each session. Discussion and readings may touch on topics such as how the female experience of leadership differs depending on industry, role, and characteristics of a woman's colleagues (for example, how the experience of a female general counsel of a professional sports team might be different from a female captain on an all-female athletic team), general perspectives on leadership styles, and others as determined throughout the year based on the ultimate readings selected. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2021: Emily Underwood and M. Todd Henderson
This Greenberg will explore the informal social ordering that takes shape in the shadow of the law and in law's interstitial spaces. We will begin with Robert Ellickson's influential book about how cattle ranchers in Shasta County, California settle disputes outside the governing property rules and in ways that deviate from them. Other topics may include: the informal IP of Roller Derby pseudonyms, extralegal agreements among diamond sellers, dispute resolution among tuna merchants, systems of social sanctions within prisons, and the use of textiles as informal property and currency among enslaved people, women, and others who lacked formal property rights. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Winter 2023: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
- Autumn 2022: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
- Spring 2023: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
This is a year long seminar. This Greenberg seminar will examine the relationship of ideas of race and American (and global) markets. We'll read historical and contemporary work on the relationship of race and capitalism. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2021: Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
Greenberg Seminars: Race and Public Health
This Greenberg seminar will examine the interaction of public health questions (broadly defined to include both the public health system generally and environmental determinants of health) and racial dynamics in the US and beyond. We will read five texts on different areas of this topic.
- Spring 2023: Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
- Winter 2023: Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
This is a year long seminar. When lawyers participate in politics at the highest levels-as counselors to the government, advisors to political leaders, and authors of sensitive policies-they can confront competing demands from the governmental institutions and leaders they serve, on the one hand, and the ethics of the legal profession or morality generally, on the other. But because the demands on these lawyers are frequently shaped by unprecedented events, it is not always clear just what legal ethics or morality require them to do. Prompted by these conflicts, lawyers across many political administrations have confronted calls to resign-claims that what the government has asked of them is incompatible with the professional requirements of being a lawyer or the demands of morality. This Greenberg will use case studies of high-profile government lawyers who have faced those calls to untangle this dramatic dilemma. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2021: Ryan D. Doerfler and Bridget A. Fahey
Greenberg Seminars: The Ethic of Aesthetics -- Examining the Interactions Between Law and Visual Art
The seminar explores ethical and legal problems that lie in the intersection of law and visual arts. The co-instructor, Laura Letinsky, is an artist and a Professor at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Topics include valuation of visual art, gender barriers in the art world, museological and related institutional practices and policies regarding ownership and sale of art, the manipulative uses of visual depiction in advertising, laws that prohibit visual recordings of animal agriculture, and more. Some background readings and films will be assigned prior to each meeting.
The seminar will meet five times during the Autumn and Winter terms, with the meeting alternating across the professors' homes. Each meeting will start at 7:30pm with a home cooked meal. Please block the following six dates: October 19, November 16 and 30, January 11 and 25, February 8.
Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Winter 2023: Omri Ben-Shahar and Laura Letinsky
This seminar looks at the depiction of corporations as evildoers in fiction. The course materials will include various films, books, and television shows where corporations play major antagonist roles. The seminar will ask whether the depiction is grounded in reality and how it reflects popular views of the role that businesses play in society. We will also explore legal themes related to corporate social responsibility, legal personhood, and corporate criminality while asking how these legal issues interact with the fictional depictions we study. The seminar will meet at 6:30 pm on January 11, January 25, February 8, and February 22. The time and date of the final meeting will be determined later. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the winter quarter.
- Spring 2023: Anthony Casey, Joshua C. Macey and Emily Underwood
- Winter 2023: Anthony Casey, Joshua C. Macey and Emily Underwood
Greenberg Seminars: The Law of Space
This is a year long seminar. This Greenberg Seminar will explore the law governing space programs and outer space, including issues involving the International Space Station, the Moon and other extraterrestrial bodies, lost astronauts, and any number of other topics. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2021: Jonathan Masur and Bridget A. Fahey
Effective Altruism is an important movement. In this seminar we will read books that favor saving human lives in the short and long run, but we will also question these goals and ask how and why we can do the most good after our law school experiences. Should we work hard and then donate money to good causes, or should we participate in a personal way? Should we care about the environment when it is at the sacrifice of caring about Malaria in parts of the world where people are suffering every day?
You must be free on Thursday evenings after 7pm (for 5 or 6 meetings) in the Autumn and Winter. We will be joined by Visiting Faculty, and we will have dessert or dinner at the Professors' home. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Spring 2023: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
- Winter 2023: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
- Autumn 2022: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
This Greenberg seminar examines the depiction of women lawyers and women law students in film and television. We will discuss a number of movies and episodes of television series - ranging from Adam's Rib to Legally Blonde. We'll critique the portrayal of gender and gender roles. We'll also explore the depictions of lawyers and lawyering more generally, with an eye toward what they tell us about public perception of the legal system. The seminar will meet twice in the Winter Quarter and three times in the Spring Quarter. We currently plan to require masking for the indoor meetings, with food to be consumed before or after the indoor meetings. When the weather permits, we hope to hold some of the meetings outdoors.
- Spring 2022: Emily Buss and Sarah M. Konsky
- Winter 2022: Emily Buss and Sarah M. Konsky
Zealous Advocates in Movies. We will review some of the lesser-known but classic movies in the history of films about lawyering, to discuss the decisions, judgment calls, and lawyering skills on display (or horribly lacking). When is a lawyer the hero and why? Examples include Inherit the Wind, Anatomy of a Murder, Legal Eagles, Philadelphia, A Few Good Men, and Saint Judy.
Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2022: Herschella Conyers, and Elizabeth W Kregor
- Winter 2023: Herschella Conyers, and Elizabeth W Kregor
A survey of the development of Anglo-American legal institutions. Among the subjects covered will be the origins and growth of the legal profession, the origin and use of royal writs, the growth of the court system and the nature of trials at common law, law reporting, and the development of the common law in the American colonies and the new Republic. This class has a final exam.
- Winter 2022: R. H. Helmholz
- Spring 2020: R. H. Helmholz
This class is an introduction to the economic analysis of law, an approach that has grown rapidly in the last thirty years and now exerts a profound influence on how law is taught and on how courts make decisions. The class will provide you with a set of tools for analyzing transactions and how they are shaped by legal rules, through systematic exposure to the economic way of thinking about law across a variety of legal contexts. These tools are intended to complement, not to challenge, the traditional doctrinal approach to law. The objective is to equip you to use economic reasoning in an informed and critical spirit to analyze cases and transactions of the sort you may encounter in practice. More generally, you should be able to understand and critically evaluate the use of economic analysis in legal scholarship, judicial opinions, and other legal contexts.
This course will have a final exam. Participation may be considered in the final grading.
The textbook is available at no cost at: https://lawcat.berkeley.edu/record/1127400?ln=en
You may also purchase a hardcopy version.
- Spring 2023: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2022: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2021: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2020: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2019: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2018: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Autumn 2017: Anup Malani
This seminar provides an introduction to the sources of Islamic law, its evolution over the centuries and its application in real-world cases. Although the focus of the seminar will be largely on the classical tradition, it will also introduce students to a variety of contemporary approaches to Islamic legal reasoning that guide the lives of Muslims today. Using a combination of historical and doctrinal approaches, the seminar will explore how Muslims over time have tried to understand God's commands laid down in the scriptures and how they have constructed from the rich sources of ethical speculations in Islam, bodies of positive, statutory law that reflect Islamic values. A significant part of the seminar will consist of several cases of the application of Islamic law in the contemporary Muslim world. We will cover case studies from Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and several other Muslim majority countries to highlight the continuous evolution of Islamic law and to underscore the diversity of interpretive approaches to Islamic legal reasoning that has created a diverse body of sacred rules. The goal of the seminar is to introduce students to the nature, scope and functions of Islamic law in the classical and contemporary contexts and to present a framework for understanding the institutional arrangements that apply existing Islamic law in the modern world and make fresh rulings in areas where Islamic law provides no guidance.
This seminar will require a series of short research papers. Participation may be considered in the final grading.
- Autumn 2022: Shamshad Pasarlay
This seminar explores the interdisciplinary field of law and literature. Literature is important for understanding law because it teaches a certain way of thinking -- one that emphasizes close reading of text, competing interpretations, and empathetic judgment. Law is important to understanding novels, plays, and short stories where they make assumptions about law or develop themes about the relationship of law, society, and justice. This seminar will explore these and related topics through novels, plays, and short stories. We will read Herman Melville's "Billy Budd," Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," Susan Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers," John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt," Nella Larson's "Passing," Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," Ian McEwan's "The Children Act," Kazuo Ishiguro's "Remains of the Day," Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," Ursula Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," and N.K. Jemisin's "The Ones Who Stay and Fight." There will also be secondary readings. We will address questions such as: What can literature and literary imagination bring to performance of legal tasks, including "telling stories" about facts and cases, or understanding the nuances of moral responsibility? What different or similar interpretative rules do lawyers and literary critics employ in construing a text? Can legal analysis bring new insight into the meaning of classic literature or offer compelling new critiques? Students will be graded on attendance, participation, and two research papers.
- Autumn 2022: Richard Mcadams
This seminar will survey the recent "Law & Political Economy" ("LPE") within the legal academy. Meetings will involve readings of foundational texts and presentations of works in progress by outside speakers. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2022: Ryan D. Doerfler
This seminar will study the intersection between law, society and human rights in contemporary Afghanistan. It will begin with an introductory overview of Afghanistan's cultural landscape, ethno-religious diversity and modern history. Attention will then turn to tracing the genesis of the Afghan state, beginning with the emergence of modern Afghanistan in 1747, the stages of legal reform in the 1900s, and the trajectory of human rights developments. The seminar will spend a substantial amount of time on matters of current concerns, including the Taliban's first spell in power in the 1990s, legal developments over the past two decades (2001-2021), advances in human rights - particularly women's rights - and the legacies that these developments have left behind. Finally, the seminar will study the Taliban's recent return to power and how they approach the issues of law, society and human rights. Particular attention will be given to the Taliban's policies in human rights related matters and to discussing challenges that the Taliban may face as they try to impose these policies in a transformed Afghan society. The class will be of particular interest to students interested in Islamic law, development law, human rights law and comparative law. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Shamshad Pasarlay
This class explores the legal world of the late eighteenth century from the period just before the Revolution to the ratification of the Constitution. Among other topics, the class covers debates over the economic and political conditions that shaped the constitutional moment, and the implications of those debates for constitutional interpretation.
This course will have a final exam and required papers. Participation may be considered in the final grading.
- Spring 2023: Farah Peterson
- Spring 2022: Farah Peterson
- Spring 2021: Farah Peterson
This course brings students to high-intermediate levels in reading, speaking, and listening for the practice of public interest law in the US. Learners will build proficiency around relevant topic areas so that they can read, listen, explain, present and solicit information related to rights, procedures, legal actions, etc. Pre-requisite: one year of university-level Spanish or equivalent. To get on the waitlist, please email Professor Lear at email@example.com.
- Spring 2023: Darcy Lear
- Spring 2022: Darcy Lear
- Spring 2021: Darcy Lear
This course is about managing people - oneself and others. Successfully managing people requires an understanding of their thoughts, feelings, attitudes, motivations, and determinants of behavior. Developing an accurate understanding of these factors, however, can be difficult to achieve because intuitions are often misguided, and unstructured experience can be a poor teacher. This course is intended to address this development by providing the scientific knowledge of human thought and behavior that is critical for successfully managing others, and also for successfully managing ourselves.
Using a combination of lectures, discussions, and group activities, the course offers an introduction to theory and research in the behavioral sciences. Its primary goal is to develop conceptual frameworks that help students to understand and manage effectively their own complicated work settings.
The course is organized into two main themes: (1) the individual, and (2) the organization. The individual part of the course is concerned with issues related to individual behavior, such as how people's attitudes influence their behavior, how people form impressions of others, and how the choices people make are affected by characteristics of the decision maker and the decision-making process. The organization part of the course focuses on people's behavior within the context of an organization. It addresses how organizations can successfully coordinate the actions of their members. Topics of this section include effective group decision-making, persuading and motivating others, and the use of formal and informal power in interpersonal relations.
This class will have a final exam and required papers. Participation may be considered in final grading. Students will have an account with Harvard Business Publishing and will pay approximately $80.00 for the cases used in the class.
- Spring 2023: Ayelet Fishbach
- Spring 2022: Ayelet Fishbach
- Spring 2021: Ann L. McGill
This course will provide an introduction to microeconomics that will serve as a foundation for applying economics to law and current policy topics. We will cover supply, demand and market equilibrium; the incidence of taxes and subsidies; price and non-price allocation; efficiency and distribution; market structure and power; among other topics. The course will illustrate each of these concepts with application to the legal system, legal rules and legally salient policy, e.g., the market for lawyers, contract law, and crime policy. This course is different than a law and economics course in two ways. First, it spends more time teaching economics. Second, the goal is to enable you to apply economics beyond law to policies that lawyers may care about, e.g., supply of reproductive services, the distributive effects of loan forgiveness, and the effect of antidiscrimination law. This course will require students to be able to do some basic algebra and some elementary calculations.
This course will have a final exam. Participation may be considered in the final grading.
- Winter 2023: Anup Malani
India has made important contributions to political and legal thought, most of which are too little-known in the West. These contributions draw on ancient traditions, Hindu and Buddhist, but transform them, often radically, to fit the needs of an anti-imperial nation aspiring to inclusiveness and equality. We will study the thought of Rabindranath Tagore (Nationalism, The Religion of Man, selected literary works); Mohandas Gandhi (Hind Swaraj (Indian Self-Rule), Autobiography, and selected speeches); B. R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution (The Annihilation of Caste, The Buddha and his Dhamma, and selected speeches and interventions in the Constituent Assembly); and, most recently, Amartya Sen, whose The Idea of Justice is rooted, as he describes, both in ancient Indian traditions and in the thought of Tagore.
This is a seminar open to all law students, and to others by permission.
A major paper of 20-25 pages is required for this class.
- Winter 2022: Martha C. Nussbaum
Is opera an archaic and exotic pageant for fanciers of overweight canaries, or a relevant art form of great subtlety and complexity that has the power to be revelatory? In this course of eight sessions, jointly taught by Professor Martha Nussbaum and Anthony Freud, General Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, we explore the multi-disciplinary nature of this elusive and much-maligned art form, with its four hundred-year-old European roots, discussing both historic and philosophical contexts and the practicalities of interpretation and production in a very un-European, twenty-first century city. Anchoring each session around a different opera, we will be joined by a variety of guest experts, one each week, including a director, a conductor, a designer and two singers, to enable us to explore different perspectives.
The list of operas to be discussed include Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppaea, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Rossini's Barber of Seville, Verdi's Don Carlos, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Wagner's Die Meistersinger, Britten's Billy Budd, and Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Students do not need to be able to read music, but some antecedent familiarity with opera in performance or through recordings would be extremely helpful. REQUIREMENTS: PhD students and law students will write one long paper at the end (20-25 pages), based on a prospectus submitted earlier. Other students will write one shorter paper (5-7 pages) and one longer paper (12-15 pages), the former due in week 4 and the latter during reading period. PhD students in the Philosophy Department and the Music Department and all law students (both J. D. and LL.M.) may enroll without permission. All other students will be selected by lottery up to the number feasible given TA arrangements.
- Spring 2023: Anthony Freud and Martha C Nussbaum
A close study of some recent philosophical classics about animal ethics and animal rights, including Christine Korsgaard's Fellow Creatures, Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka's Zoopolis, and a manuscript of my own, Justice for Animals, that is due at the end of 2021. We will also read some of the recent work by scientists such as Frans De Waal, Mark Bekoff, and Victoria Braithwaite on animal cognition. A 20-25 page paper is required.
- Autumn 2021: Martha C. Nussbaum
This course will explore the principles of project finance and their application to projects in emerging markets, with a particular focus on emerging markets and Latin America. The class will include various case studies and will include the review of key credit agreement principles and a discussion of common legal issues that arise in the cross-border context.
The method of evaluation is based on Short presentations, short negotiating activities, anaylzing agreements, and written work (approx 4500-6000 words).
- Spring 2023: Jaime E. Ramirez
- Spring 2022: Jaime E. Ramirez
- Spring 2021: Jaime E. Ramirez
This mini-seminar will explore experimental work on psychological dimensions of criminal law theory and doctrine. Topics of discussion will include theories of punishment, elements of crime, and legal doctrines that impose and absolve criminal liability. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading. Pre-requisite: Criminal Law. This is a short class that meets on October 13,15,18,20, and 22.
- Autumn 2021: Avani Sood
The domains of racism, law, and the social sciences impact one another in myriad ways. At times, a system of racism is deployed through law, which in turn shapes questions asked in the social sciences. In other instances, the sciences articulate conceptual frameworks that lead to the creation of new forms of racism within society and law. Particular systems of racism have operated across a spectrum from incidents of overt violence to the daily impacts of implicit biases. Our readings and class discussions will consider a sample of case studies from across the globe in addition to past and present dynamics in the United States. Analyses of the social construction of racial and ethnic identities have facilitated studies of the ways in which social differences are created, maintained, and masked. Subjects to be addressed in this course include the interrelation of racial ideologies with other cultural and social dimensions, such as class, ethnicity, gender, political and legal structures, and economic influences. At an international scale, policy makers confront the challenge of balancing calls for multicultural tolerance with demands for fundamental human rights. We will also consider the related histories of biological, genetic, and epigenetic concepts of different races within the human species. This seminar includes a major writing project in the form of a seminar paper (6000-7500 words).
Participation may be included in the final grading.
- Winter 2023: Christopher Fennell
- Winter 2022: Christopher Fennell
- Winter 2021: Christopher Fennell
- Spring 2020: Christopher Fennell
- Spring 2019: Christopher Fennell
- Spring 2018: Christopher Fennell
This seminar will address the jurisprudence of, and contemporary litigation surrounding, religious liberty in the United States.
This class has a final exam that all students must take. Participation may be considered in final grading. Students who wish to earn a third credit must write an additional paper (approximately 2500 words). The additional paper may meet the WP requirement.
- Autumn 2022: Ryan Walsh
The seminar develops skill in analyzing legal problems according to the processes of the Roman civil law, in contrast with those of the common law, and does not purport to give a comprehensive treatment of its detailed workings. The material provides an outline of the sources and procedure of Roman private law, followed by an examination of the Roman institutional system, the basis of most modern civil law codes. Particular emphasis is given to property and to obligations (contracts and torts). No knowledge of Latin is required for the seminar. This class will be assessed via a series of short research papers. Because this is a 1L elective, it will be graded on the curve usually applied to courses (as all 1L electives are). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Richard A. Epstein
- Spring 2021: Richard A. Epstein
- Spring 2019: Richard A. Epstein
- Spring 2018: Richard A. Epstein
The Internet is contributing to economic growth that exceeds the pace of the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. The Internet is transforming the global economy, creating enormous value for founders, firms, investors, and consumers. Today, the seven most valuable public companies in the world-- Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Tencent, and Alibaba- all compete in the Internet Economy. At the same time, there is also an unprecedented number of so-called Unicorns, start-ups valued at more than a billion dollars, trying to disrupt these platforms and ecosystems, as well as every other sector of the economy. The emergence of these highly funded private companies alters the structure and dynamics of the market in seismic ways. This seminar seeks to explore many of the most important historical and current trends and themes in the Internet and technology economy and ecosystem. We will explore the incentives of the major constituencies in the ecosystem, including firms (and the difference in incentives between founders, managers, employees), investors (the difference between private and public market incentives), consumers, and politicians, and other constituents. We will examine the overall structure and competitive dynamics of firms within the overall Internet economy, focusing on critical horizontal and vertical markets. To aid in our discussion, we will explore a range of business and legal concepts, with a specific focus on how decision-makers apply (or not) these concepts in real life. Specifically, we will explore concepts related to corporate finance, competitive strategy, economics, and behavioral economics, psychology, and history. We will also explore the legal and policy structure, foundation, and issues that serve as the backdrop for the Internet economy. Evaluation will be based on a paper (10-15 pages) and short weekly class preparation (2 credits). Students may earn 3 credits by doing an extra short assignment.
- Autumn 2021: Jared Earl Grusd
- Autumn 2020: Jared Earl Grusd
This workshop, conducted over three sequential quarters, is devoted to the intensive examination of selected problems in the application of economic reasoning to a wide variety of legal questions. Workshop sessions will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty. In addition to workshop sessions, which occur approximately every other week, there will be discussion sessions, which will serve as opportunities for students to engage in in-depth, informal discussion of topics in law and economics with the instructor. Students may either write reaction papers across all three quarters, or write a single major paper of 6000-7500 words (students interested in academic writing in law and economics may use the latter option to develop their ideas). Students enrolled in the workshop receive three credits with either method of evaluation; one in Autumn, one in Winter, and one in Spring. Participation may be considered in final grading. Please note that the Workshop is open to anyone to attend on a non-registered basis. Only law students can take it for a grade (i.e., everyone else takes it P/F)
- Spring 2023: Adriana Robertson
- Winter 2023: Adriana Robertson
- Autumn 2022: Adriana Robertson
- Spring 2022: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2022: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Autumn 2022: Dhammika Dharmapala
- Spring 2021: Lee Fennell and Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2021: Lee Fennell and Dhammika Dharmapala
- Autumn 2020: Lee Fennell and Dhammika Dharmapala
- Spring 2020: William H. J. Hubbard and Lee Fennel
- Winter 2020: William H. J. Hubbard and Lee Fennel
- Autumn 2019: William H. J. Hubbard and Lee Fennel
- Spring 2019: Todd Henderson and William H. J. Hubbard
- Winter 2019: Todd Henderson and William H. J. Hubbard
- Autumn 2018: Todd Henderson and William H. J. Hubbard
- Spring 2018: Omri Ben-Shahar and William H. J. Hubbard
- Winter 2018: Omri Ben-Shahar and William H. J. Hubbard
- Autumn 2017: Omri Ben-Shahar
The Workshop will introduce and asses "political realism," both its history (in figures like Thucydides and Machiavelli) and its contemporary manifestation (in writers like Bernard Williams and Raymond Geuss), often framed in reaction to the approach to political philosophy associated with John Rawls. Alison McQueen (who will be speaking at the Workshop) characterizes political realism in terms of four central ideas : (1) politics is a distinct realm, with its own norms; it is not simply applied moral philosophy; (2) "politics is agnostic or conflictual," a fact that arises from various possible causes: "human nature and the limits of rationality, competing identities and interests, and value pluralism"; (3) "the requirements of order and stability" take priority "over the demands of justice," precisely because the former cannot be taken for granted and are difficult to maintain; and (4) realists reject approaches to politics that "fail to take seriously the psychological, sociological, and institutional constraints on political action." Workshop sessions will explore and complicate this picture of political realism, as well as try to assess the merits of this as a position in theorizing about politics; connections with legal realism in jurisprudence will also be discussed. Speakers will include Alison McQueen, William Galston, Matt Sleat, Enzo Rossi, Alex Worsnip, and the instructors, among others. This class requires a major paper (6000-7500 words). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2023:Brian Leiter and Carlo Burelli
- Winter 2023: Brian Leiter and Carlo Burelli
- Autumn 2022: Brian Leiter and Carlo Burelli
This workshop exposes students to recent academic work in the regulation of family, sex, gender, and sexuality and in feminist theory. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers and University faculty. The substance and methodological orientation of the papers will both be diverse. Students have the option of writing a major research paper for SRP or WP credit (6000-7500 words) or short reaction papers commenting on the works-in-progress presented.
- Winter 2023: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2023: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2022: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2021: Mary Anne Case
- Winter 2021: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2020: Mary Anne Case
- Winter 2020: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2019: Mary Anne Case
- Autumn 2018: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2018: Mary Anne Case
- Winter 2018: Mary Anne Case