Note: Course descriptions are subject to change as individual professors develop their plans for each course.
Law 800: Basics of Accounting
Tom Croft, JD '79
Students will learn the basic skills involved in commercial accounting: how to read a balance sheet, how to classify debts and assets, etc. The course will include budgeting and accounting exercises designed to simulate real business scenarios.
Law 809: Litigation Strategy in the Corporate Context
Chris Hart, L ’05
Students will explore the role of the litigator in advising corporate colleagues and clients concerning the risks and benefits with pursuing a claim, including identifying the gateway and substantive issues, the most cost-effective approaches, and client business interests and goals. After reviewing a mock purchase agreement that ended in a dispute, students will be divided into two groups—one representing the buyer, the other the seller—and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their respective clients’ positions and propose a strategy, including the likelihood of success and potential recovery, to “the client.”Students will explore the role of the litigator in advising corporate colleagues and clients concerning the risks and benefits with pursuing a claim, including identifying the gateway and substantive issues, the most cost-effective approaches, and client business interests and goals. After reviewing a mock purchase agreement that ended in a dispute, students will be divided into two groups—one representing the buyer, the other the seller—and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their respective clients’ positions and propose a strategy, including the likelihood of success and potential recovery, to “the client.”
Law 814: Basics for the Finance Lawyer
Alexandra Johnson, T ‘99
This course will serve as a practical introduction to the practice of law and concepts related to a general commercial finance transaction. Students will engage in an article-by-article review of a sample loan agreement and hypothetical proposed transaction, thereby becoming familiar with the underlying concepts, the relevant business considerations and the types/structure of relevant documents, the interplay of contract provisions across an entire deal, and the underlying legal framework.
Law 816: Counseling & Creating a New Entity
Bryan McGann, LLMLE ‘15
Meet your new client—StryveTek. StryveTek is an innovative start-up looking to form a legal entity and get started pursuing the dreams of its founders. They’ve come to you for help. Where do you go from here? Students in Counseling & Creating a New Entity will learn to counsel a new entity from the initial phone call to the preparation of organizational documents. Discussion will cover the variety of legal entities available for business, social enterprise, and philanthropic purposes—corporations, LLCs, and nonprofit corporations—and the several legal disciplines involved in the formation of an entity (e.g., corporate, tax, and securities law). Students will work with real document forms to learn how to get StryveTek up and running!
Law 820-01: Deposition Practice and Strategy
Dan Katz, L ’83
Students will learn the basic nuts and bolts of taking and defending depositions: how to prepare for a deposition, how to formulate effective questions, what objections to raise and when, how to handle difficult witnesses and counsel, etc. Students will also learn how deposition strategy directly impacted the outcome of actual trials handled by Mr. Katz. Active student participation is encouraged.
Law 820-02 & -03: Deposition Practice (two sections)
Lily Farel, L ‘06; Paul Sun, L ‘89
Students will learn the basic nuts and bolts of taking and defending depositions: how to prepare for a deposition, how to formulate effective questions, what objections to raise and when, how to handle difficult witnesses, etc. Students will have the opportunity to participate in interactive deposition exercises focused on question technique, strategy, and content.
Law 822: Hearings Practice
Collin Cox, L ‘01
Students will consider strategies both for when to draft/offer motions in an ongoing litigation matter, and how best to draft and argue such motions in a hearing before a judge. During the course, students will participate in practical mock hearing exercises, with the opportunity for direct feedback on arguments and styles.
Law 825: Practice and Strategic Development of International Transactions: Investment in Latin America
Stuart Berkson and José Meirelles
This course explores the fundamental issues, strategic considerations, and principles inherent in transnational business transactions in Latin America and the role of the international attorney in structuring and implementing such transactions. Class time is devoted to a case study of a merger and acquisition transaction involving the purchase of a Brazilian entity by a US multinational corporation. The process of constructing an "international deal" is analyzed step by step, exploring all phases of the venture. Focus is given to recognizing and anticipating potential areas of conflict and evaluating the appropriate and legally viable measures available to address these issues.
Law 831: In-House Legal Practice
Gray McCalley, L ‘79, and Allen Nelson, T ‘86, L ‘89
Students in this course will (i) explore the role of in-house counsel as counsel and in-house counsel as a member of a larger commercial organization (publicly-traded company, large division of a publicly-traded company, large family-owned private company), (ii) gain an understanding of the skills that make counsel, but especially in-house counsel, effective, and (iii) apply these skills during a team assignment which will result in a presentation to “the client.” The focus of the course will be almost exclusively on the effective delivery of situation-relevant legal guidance within an organization versus examining the intricacies of a specific area of law. In the process students will be exposed to issues commonly encountered by in-house counsel, from determining who the client is to the organizational dynamics of providing legal guidance.
Law 832: Navigating Dangerous Waters: Internal Corporate Investigations
John Villa, T ‘70
In the modern corporate world, the discovery of potential criminal misconduct generates a whirlwind of activity and grave risk to the company and its senior management. This can begin with the decision whether to make a voluntary disclosure to the Justice Department, followed in many instances by an internal corporate investigation by outside counsel. The internal investigation may be followed by, or even conducted in parallel with, a federal grand jury investigation which presents an even more serious threat. This course presents the legal, ethical, and practical problems facing counsel who represent corporations in the conduct of internal investigations and the defense of federal criminal investigations.
Law 837: Legal and Policy Aspects of U.S. Civil-Military Relations
Charles Dunlap, Jr.
The seminar will address the Constitutional and statutory structure of U.S. civil-military relations, as well as contemporary issues relating to the role of the armed forces in policy debates, politics, and social issues. In addition, it will examine case studies that illustrate the tensions that can arise between the armed forces and the civilian leadership in a variety of circumstances. Methodologies and approaches for ensuring productive civil-military relations will also be discussed.
Law 844: The Counselor and the Client: The Corporate Context
Professor William Curtin T ‘92; Will Yavinsky, T ‘05
This six-hour course, taught over three sessions, is designed to introduce first-year JD students to the commercial, regulatory and institutional environment of contemporary business transactions, and the role of attorneys in advising and facilitating those transactions. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanisms, processes and personalities that accompany everyday commercial transactions and will be acquainted with the vocabulary used in business and other organizations. The purpose of the course is to provide a greater understanding of the business context in which lawyers function. The course is intended for all students whatever their ultimate focus and is not designed particularly for students who intend to practice corporate law.
Law 846: Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
Suzanne Katzenstein and Brian Zuercher
This course will explore some of the main legal and practical issues surrounding compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Drawing on recent judicial decisions, Deferred Prosecution Agreements, and the DOJ’s and SEC’s Resource Guide, students will explore topics that include: Who is a “foreign official;” what is “corrupt intent;” what constitutes a “reasonable and a bon fide expense;” when does the exception for facilitation payments apply; and what is the knowledge requirement for third parties. The course will offer practice-oriented exercises to introduce the nuts and bolts of FPCA compliance practice, including on conducting due diligence and performing risks assessments. Students will also discuss when to voluntarily disclose a potential wrongdoing, when to turn to outside counsel for third-party evaluation and when to keep investigations internal.
Law 848: Insurance Law
Richard Nicolaides, T’86
Students will become familiar with basic issues and concepts of insurance and insurance coverage. Insurance is a trillion-dollar per year industry and impacts in numerous ways on a broad range of commercial and litigation practices. Assignments and practical discussion items will include key concepts in identifying relevant insurance and related insurance coverage issues, understanding insurance policies and the role of insurance in litigation, as well as related risk transfer issues.
Law 853: The Way It All Works: Investing, Negotiating, and Operating in the Real World
Taught from the perspective of a private equity investor, CEO, and law school graduate, this course will provide students the “big picture” of how the universe of pension funds, endowments, limited partners, general partners, and other investors is interwoven, how money is organized, and how lawyers, accountants, and other consultants and advisors fit into the process of raising capital, selling a company, and conducting due diligence. Students will explore concepts such as valuation (assets vs. enterprise valuation), EBITDA, allocation of risk, hurdle rates, basic financial statement analysis, and other investment-related topics, with a focus on real-world insights into how these principles work in practice. Through a simulated deal, students will determine the price they want to pay for a hypothetical company and how best to quarterback the documentation to ensure the contract reflects the negotiated value.
Law 856: Investor-State Relations: An Arbitration Case Study
Isabella Bellera Landa L'14, and Brody Greenwald T '01
This course will introduce students to current controversies in international commercial and investment-treaty arbitration. Students will develop advocacy skills used by practitioners to resolve international disputes--and to shape the future of these global institutions.
Law 859: Current Problems in Antitrust Litigation
This course will explore, and bring together, several strands of reasoning in antitrust law and litigation: First, students will examine how antitrust law relies on broad principles whose formulation and maturation is developed inductively through common law techniques. Put more simply, antitrust doctrine is made through specific cases, i.e., the law comes litigation, it is not made by Congress or an agency promulgating regulations. Second, students will appreciate antitrust law’s elasticity which balances broad principles being applied to different industries whose economics may be very different. Third, students will understand why some of the greatest lawyers in the last century—Louis Brandeis (a famous antitrust plaintiffs’ lawyer), David Boies, John Paul Stevens, Patrick Lynch, and others—were antitrust lawyers: their abilities combined legal and factual rigor with creativity. Students will explore these strands by discussing five “problems” in antitrust litigation: (1) class certification (including the critical concepts of proving “classide” impact with “common” proof under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)); (2) making economic testimony understandable and persuasive; (3) antitrust in an era of standard essential patents (how do we apply antitrust principles to standard setting?); (4) the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act and Extraterritoriality; and (5) “Neo-Brandeisian”, a/k/a ‘hipster’ antitrust: Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple.
Law 860: Advising Clients on Use of Trademarks and Copyrighted Material
Lisa Simpson, T ’91, L ‘94
This course will focus on the practical application of trademark and copyright law. Using examples from actual disputes, we will discuss how to advise clients who present with questions about whether they can use a particular trademark or copyrighted work. The first phase of this course will focus on trademark and specifically likelihood of confusion and infringement analysis. After a brief overview of trademark law, we will divide into groups to discuss various real-life trademark disputes and develop a plan of advice and strategy for the client in those particular scenarios. The second phase of the course will focus on fair use in copyright infringement. Similar to trademark, we will start with a short introduction to copyright and the fair use analysis, followed by group break-out discussions about certain real world examples and whether the proposed use is a fair use.
Law 863: Life or Death: The Decision-Making Process in a Death Penalty Case
Students will follow how a major state attorney’s office handled death penalty eligible cases from the initial crime scene visit through the conclusion of the case. The course will use a specific case study – the 2009 Thanksgiving Day murders of four family members in Jupiter, Florida – to examine how charging decisions were made, including the legal criteria and other case-related issues. One of the exercises may include having students conduct a mock capital case review in a homicide case. The course also will discuss legislative and executive actions that influence how a prosecutor makes the decision to charge and/or resolve a capital case (including, as an example, the current and very public conflict between the Florida Governor and the State Attorney for the Ninth Circuit in Florida). Finally, the course examines the evolving law relating to jury and judicial decision-making in death penalty cases.
Law 864: Lawyer as International Development Professional
John Simpkins, L ‘99
This course will examine what it means to be a government lawyer working in international development, and provide a practical introduction to the role of attorneys in US development policy and programming. Students will gain an understanding of the global development ecosystem as well as explore specific issues of interest to US governmental actors through presentations, group exercises, and simulations.
Law 865: Designing Creative Legal Solutions
Casandra Laskowski and Libby Magee Coles, L’08
Can the law of tomorrow be better than the law of today? Good lawyers help their clients navigate risk. Great lawyers are creative problem solvers who tackle increasingly complex challenges faced by their clients and their communities. In this course, we’ll attack seemingly intractable legal problems to develop real, creative solutions. We are partnering with other law schools to tackle the issue of human trafficking, which we’ll explore from various stakeholder perspectives. We’ll build upon the design approach of IDEO, a global innovation firm committed to creating disproportionate impact through design, and—along with various community stakeholders—apply their basic approach to pressing legal challenges. Our goals will be to walk away with templates for real creative solutions for our community and real creative mindsets for ourselves.
Law 867: Leadership and Communication in the Law
Paige Gentry, L ‘13, and Elle Gilley, L ‘13
The practice of law functions through teamwork. To be successful and effective in this environment, a lawyer must be able to communicate, collaborate, and lead within her organization. Her success depends on the willingness of others to work with her, work for her, and mentor her. This course recognizes the importance of these internal relationships and aims to prepare students for the communication, teamwork, and leadership required of young practitioners. Through a combination of theory, case studies, and group exercises, students in this course will begin to develop (1) an understanding of their own communication and leadership styles and skills; (2) an understanding of the communication and leadership styles of others; (3) skills to identify how and when to manage up, manage down, and collaborate within a team; (4) skills to effectively manage and work with teams; and (5) best practices for navigating difficult conversations and team dynamics.
Law 868: Commercial Real Estate Transactions and Litigation: A Primer
Joe Creech, L ’04, and Brian Schwalb, T ‘89
Commercial real estate transactions and the litigation they spawn have historically been strong indicators of existing and future market performance. Whether practicing in the depths of an economic recession or advising clients at the peak of a market cycle, successful real estate attorneys must be adept not only at recognizing legal issues, but also at identifying key business concerns and the related pitfalls their clients are likely to face. This course will introduce students to the core types of real estate transactions practicing attorneys are likely to encounter, with a particular focus on how certain issues and relationships common in real estate transactions often lead to disputes and litigation. Real world case studies, as well as select break-out discussion sessions, will be utilized to identify and reinforce key business considerations and transactional/litigation strategy.
Law 869: Negotiating Domestic Violence Policies and Gender Inequality Reform in Professional Sports
Cari Grieb, L ‘06
This course will provide students with the opportunity to study two critical issues facing professional sports leagues and sports governing bodies: (i) inadequate domestic violence policies and (ii) gender inequality in respect of pay, working conditions and employment opportunities (i.e., coaching, scouting, league front office employment and team front office employment). At the conclusion of the first class, students will participate in a mock collective bargaining session, where they will negotiate domestic violence policies that improve upon the current policies in effect today. The second class will build upon the first, by having students examine barriers women have faced in the sports industry in terms of employment opportunities, adverse working conditions and pay parity with men. After doing a case study on the NFL and its sponsors’ diversity and inclusion efforts, students divide into teams to provide recommendations for improvement among different sports.
Law 870: Artificial Intelligence: Navigating the Evolving Legal Landscape
Lee Tiedrich, E ‘88
This course will begin with an overview of artificial intelligence, including the impact it is having on society and the economy as well as on the technology. The course also will focus on the emerging legal issues arising in connection with AI. We will examine the ongoing debates about AI ethics, governance and trustworthiness. In addition, we will examine emerging issues with respect to data and intellectual property rights. We will discuss strategies for managing the emerging legal issues, and students will have an opportunity to develop strategies for managing a hypothetical/mock AI product.
Law 871: Professional Communication for Lawyers
Students will discuss and practice different types of communication used in legal practice including 1) letter writing 2) e-mails 3) phone calls and 4) in-person meetings. The course will explore how to determine the appropriate mode of communication and how to improve your skills.
Law 872: CFIUS and Cross-Border Mergers & Acquisitions
Jeff Zhang, L’05
This course will examine, from a practitioner’s perspective, the evolving history of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and its functions, procedures, and expanded jurisdictions under the new FIRRMA legislation. For cross-border M&A attorneys, CFIUS has posed new challenges at the deal-structuring stage. Students will examine a few recent CFIUS cases involving buyers from Asia, and how deal lawyers can add “value” to the deal-making process by helping their clients navigate the CFIUS regime. The course will conclude with a few open-ended questions surrounding the constitutionality of the CFIUS regime and the justification of its extra-territoriality.
Law 873: Prosecutorial Ethics
Shane Stansbury and Jason Cowley
Justice Robert Jackson once observed that “[t]he prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America.” This course will examine the ethical obligations that accompany that influence. We will consider the prosecutor’s broad discretion at each stage of the criminal process, from the initiation of an investigation through trial and sentencing. We will examine the kinds of decisions that can lead to misconduct and consider how such misconduct might be remedied or deterred. We will also consider to what extent a prosecutor’s decisions are influenced by the interests of other parties (e.g., victims, investigating agents, the public) and what it means for a prosecutor to “seek justice.” Real-world case studies and simulations will be employed.