Required Doctrinal Courses
Civil Procedure (LAW 258)
A study of basic restrictions upon the procedural systems of both the federal and state courts, and various aspects of civil litigation in the federal system. The course focuses on the requirements of due process as a limitation upon the personal jurisdiction that courts may exercise over defendants and on the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts imposed by Article III and congressional legislation. The course also addresses pleadings, challenges and amendments to pleadings, pretrial discovery, adjudication without trial, and other procedural issues.
Constitutional Law (LAW 275)
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental law of the United States as set forth in the Constitution and developed primarily by the United States Supreme Court. It addresses Supreme Court review, separation of powers, federalism, and the protection of individual rights under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. Specific topics include the Commerce Clause, race and sex discrimination, abortion and the right to privacy, and the concept of state action. These topics are explored in the context of the historical and theoretical foundations of American constitutionalism, including the role of the Supreme Court in American government and the controversy over different approaches to constitutional interpretation.
Contracts (LAW 251)
A study of issues of contract formation, interpretation, breach, defenses, and remedies. Contract doctrines such as "consideration" and "offer and acceptance" and modern deviations from the traditional model are presented, as are various defenses to the prima facie case of contractual obligation. These include the traditional defenses of duress, misrepresentation, mistake, impossibility, and frustration. The contract remedies of monetary damages, specific performance, rescission and reformation are also explored. Among the other issues that may be studied are the parol evidence rule, the statute of frauds, and the rights of third party beneficiaries.
Criminal Law (LAW 257)
A study of the general principles of criminal liability, including the justification of punishment, general concepts of act and fault, principles of justification and excuse, the significance of resulting harm, and accountability for acts of others. Certain specific crimes, such as murder and manslaughter, are also examined. Modern statutory developments provide a significant focus for study.
Legislation: Process and Interpretation (LAW 206)
This course provides an introduction to the creation, implementation, and interpretation of statutes. Topics addressed in the course include: how a statute works its way through the legislative system; the roles that different institutions play in a statute's passage, interpretation, and enforcement; alternatives to our legislative processes; the ways in which statutes embody public policy; theories and doctrines of statutory interpretation; and the role of courts in the interpretive process.
Professional Responsibility (LAW 415)
This course is designed to prepare students to recognize and deal with ethical issues in the practice of law. Topics investigated include: conflicts of interest, actual and potential, and the limits on representation required; confidentiality in the context of an adversarial system; lawyers' responsibilities as advocates in and out of the courtroom; ethical problems encountered by corporate and government lawyers; special problems facing prosecution and criminal defense lawyers; advertising and solicitation; and admission to the Bar. Actual and hypothetical problems are analyzed in light of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, subjecting both sets of rules to critical analysis.
This course is designed to introduce students to real-world professional responsibility dilemmas faced by lawyers representing business organizations, engaging in transactional practice or working as in-house counsel or as compliance personnel. From the organization-as-client rule to Upjohn warnings and beyond, ethical issues are more common, relevant and subtle than one might think. Moreover, appropriately resolving professional responsibility questions is crucial to both individual career success and the reputation of the legal profession as a whole. Through a variety of teaching techniques, including simulations, this course will give students the opportunity to explore these issues with their practical ramifications and will seek to arm students with the tools and knowledge to tackle tough ethical questions with confidence. Business Organizations is a prerequisite. This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility graduation requirement.
The ground rules of ethical advocacy are key to becoming an effective and respected litigator. This problem-based class will allow you to practice advocacy skills while learning about the Rules of Professional Conduct and other ethical issues that govern your practice. Using a problem all semester, you will learn and practice skills including: client and witness interviews, preparing your client or witness for depositions, preparing and presenting actual conflict waivers, conducting direct and cross examinations, presenting opening and closing statements, and handling other ethical issues, for example what to do if a witness or your client lies in a matter before a tribunal. The semester will conclude with an actual trial conducted by the students. Class will meet twice a week with a portion devoted to presentation of course materials, by lecture, video and film clips, and class discussion of the assigned reading. The remaining portion of each class will be devoted to role play exercises by the students. Our objective is for you to learn while enjoying the experience, doing it yourselves with our guidance. Taking this class will satisfy the graduation Professional Responsibility requirement.
Property (LAW 261)
An introduction to the law of property. Topics include: the meaning of ownership, including the right to exclude and the right to use reasonably; methods of acquiring ownership; the division of ownership into present and future interests; landlord and tenant law; multiple ownership; non-possessory interests and private arrangements for the control of use.
Torts (LAW 253)
An introduction to the basic principles of liability for harm caused to the person or property of others. The basic topics covered include the general elements of the plaintiffs prima facie case (legal injury, tortious conduct, actual causation and proximate causation), the various types of tortious conduct (intentional negligence, etc.), the relevant privileges and defenses that can be raised by the defendant (e.g. defense of self or others, contributory negligence, and consent or assumption of risk), and the underlying principles or policies justifying and limiting liability. Additional topics may be covered, such as various types of traditional strict liability (e.g. liability for nuisances and ultra hazardous activities), an introduction to modern products liability, vicarious liability, immunities, types of damages and other remedies, and allocation of liability among multiple responsible parties.