Access to Justice and Technology (LAW 671)
Studies repeatedly demonstrate that 80% of the legal needs of the poor in the United States remain unmet, despite existing federal, state, and volunteer programs that provide some civil legal services to low income people. The seminar will explore the parallel problems of lack of access to legal services by low income people, on the one hand, and the flood of underrepresented litigants appearing before state and federal courts, on the other. Barriers to access to the justice system will be examined and various solutions explored with special emphasis on the potential of the Internet and related technologies to improve access to justice. The seminar will be both experiential and experimental. You will visit courts and legal services offices to observe our current justice system in action. You will also be encouraged to write papers that explore innovative approaches to increasing access to justice.
Advanced Evidence (LAW 689)
This seminar examines advanced evidence concepts not covered in introductory Evidence or Trial Advocacy classes. Classroom discussion will focus on lesser known, frequently overlooked, and typically misapplied areas of evidence law intended to give you a leg-up on your adversary. Class will concentrate on the tactical and practical aspects of advanced evidence issues in both the civil and criminal setting. Among other topics, the seminar will address expert testimony, practical foundations, hearsay, how discovery affects evidence, and evidentiary issues in electronic discovery. Through the use of fact situations from reported decisions, we will develop a realistic and effective approach to evidence law, while exploring its strengths and weaknesses.
Advanced Legislative Advocacy (LAW 622)
This course will provide an opportunity for students to develop and implement a complete Policy Action Plan. This advanced course will focus on a thorough understanding of researching, understanding, and drafting legislation, as well as administrative rules and regulations. Students will select a topic to work on for the semester, which may be a continuation of the topic they addressed in the basic Legislative Advocacy course. Students will be expected to prepare a comprehensive policy review of their topic, with an in-depth analysis of the existing laws and regulations pertaining to the topic. Students will also be expected to develop a sophisticated research base for their topic, which will include drafting expert testimony on behalf of a researcher. Students will also complete research including legislative history, relevant policy makers, and agency officials and administrators. Prerequisite: Legislative Advocacy.
This seminar examines the tax and business planning aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including taxable and nontaxable transfers of businesses and real estate. Transactions covered include installment sales, earn-outs, options, technology transfers, reverse mergers and like-kind exchanges. Particular attention will be given to planning whether to use asset sales or stock sales, structuring financing for acquisitions and techniques for compensating investors. The seminar will also explore the taxation of partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies and their special application to corporate and real estate acquisitions.
Advanced Topics in Constitutional Law (LAW 665)
This seminar will focus on the role that is properly played by non-judicial institutions (primarily Congress and the President) in determining what the Constitution requires. For example: May the President elect not to enforce federal law because he thinks doing so would be unconstitutional? When Congress and the President formulate their positions as to what the Constitution means, are they limited to using the same reasoning that courts use, or may they take account of additional considerations? Our study will have the added benefit of clarifying the role that courts play in interpreting the Constitution. It also will shed light on what the Constitution "is," what role the Constitution plays in our democratic liberal regime, and how the Constitution changes over time. We will approach these issues by reading historical materials, constitutional jurisprudence, and several case studies. Possible topics include (1) national security issues, primarily the relation between the President's commander-in-chief powers and Congress' assorted war-making powers; (2) the constitutionality of secession; (3) the impeachment process; (4) executive privilege; and (5) equal protection. Students will be expected to write a paper. Prerequisite: Constitutional Law.
Advising Clients on Tax Matters (LAW 911)
This seminar focuses on communication in tax matters—with emphasis on written tax matters—and the governing statutes, regulations, professional and ethical standards, and case law. Topics covered will include letters, opinions, advocacy in administrative and judicial forums, and dealing with challenging clients. The seminar will involve role playing, teaming, and dealing with the complex and critical relationships in our tax system between the tax payer, the tax advisor, and the government. This seminar is for students interested in better understanding reading, writing, evaluating, and communicating in tax matters.
Animal Law (LAW 676)
Human beings share the planet with 4,500 other mammal species as well as 15,000 fish, 10,000 bird and 9,000 reptile species. Consequently, every society must define the relationship between these human and non-human inhabitants. Today, many people question the adequacy of laws arising from a tradition of human sovereignty and the piecemeal protection of animals. Increasingly, legislatures, government agencies and courts are being asked to define the rights of animals and, in turn, to redefine the relationship between humans and non-humans. This seminar will explore the evolving legal concept of animal rights and its application to different aspects of the relationship between humans and non-humans, including the human use of animals for research, food, commodities, sport, entertainment, prey and companionship. The seminar will include a review of federal and state civil and criminal statutes, case law, treaties and legal concepts derived from tort, contract and property law. The course will also explore how laws that are designed to preserve endangered animal species may be a model for a broad redefinition of the human-animal relationship.
Baseball, Law, and American Society (LAW 611)
This seminar explores the role of law in the development of professional baseball in the United States. We will examine the relationship between law and the national pastime from the birth of baseball as a business in the late nineteenth century through the enterprise of Major League Baseball today. Topics include: struggles over enforcement of player contracts; baseball's exemption from federal antitrust law; civil rights; player unionization; the fall of the reserve system; gambling; performance enhancing drugs; stadium construction and urban redevelopment policy.
Class Actions (LAW 629)
This seminar offers a behind-the-scenes look at major class action litigation, covering how some of the nation's largest cases are prosecuted, defended, and ultimately settled. Topics include how class actions are generated and formed, litigation, legislative and media strategy, how class actions can potentially benefit consumers and companies, attorney's fees, and emerging issues.
Climate Change (LAW 627)
Our many and varied ways of using energy are the principal sources of the greenhouse gases that are affecting the world's climate. The seminar will examine the impact of energy on climate, and the impact of climate on energy; particularly the growing number of state laws and congressional proposals to mitigate climate change by changing the legal rules regarding the use of energy. (This course was formerly entitled "Energy and Climate.")
Comparative Tort Law (LAW 652)
Comparative law is important for at least two reasons. First, law and legal disputes are increasingly becoming more global, so that knowledge of other legal systems with different procedural and doctrinal structures, especially those based on the European civil law tradition rather than the Anglo-American common law tradition, as well as law promulgated by international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights, is becoming increasingly important to everyday legal practice. Second, studying how other legal systems deal with various substantive and procedural issues can provide useful insights for how those issues might be better dealt with in our legal system. The premise of this course is that the benefits of studying comparative law can be best obtained by focusing on a specific area of law, which however encompasses issues and doctrines that are fundamental to all of law. Tort law is such an area.
Constitutional History (LAW 903)
This course explores the history of the Constitution of the United States from the late eighteenth century through today. We will study the ways in which the Constitution has developed-its framing and ratification, the inclusion of the Bill of Rights and later amendments, subsequent judicial interpretations-in response to particular social and political circumstances. Through an examination of major episodes from American history, students will be exposed to central themes of constitutional development: the concept of a written constitution, judicial review, the balance of power between the central government and the states, the problem of slavery and racial equality, free speech, gender equality, and the role of law in shaping cultural norms. Although much of the course is dedicated to analyzing the ways in which the courts, particularly the United States Supreme Court, have interpreted and applied the Constitution, we will also give close attention to the efforts of individuals and groups outside the judiciary to shape the Constitution and define its role in American society.
Constitutional Law and Religion (LAW 644)
This seminar focuses on the role that religion plays, and should play, in American public and private life under the Constitution. Emphasis will be on the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment, with a fair does of the history necessary to understand this controversial subject. (This course was formerly entitled "Religion and the Constitution.")
Constitutional Torts/Section 1983 (LAW 648)
This seminar deals with the important subject of constitutional torts, specifically 42 U.S.C. ' 1983 and Bivens actions, whereby state, local and federal officials, as well as local governments, may be held liable in damages when they violate peoples' constitutional rights. Constitutional torts is a subject that is fascinating at both a theoretical and practical level. It raises deep issues of federalism and justice as well as real-world problems of how to make governments accountable to their citizens without undermining their effectiveness. Thousands of constitutional torts cases are filed annually, and they generate considerable controversy, e.g., Rodney King filed a section 1983 damages action against Los Angeles and certain of its police officers. Those who should take this seminar include persons who expect to do federal litigation of any kind, as well as any students who hope to clerk for federal or state judges or work for state and local governments. Not only does the seminar deal with constitutional law but it also addresses federal courts issues, damages and injunctive relief and attorney's fees, among other important subjects.
Copyright Law in the 21st Century (LAW 613)
This seminar will examine some of the major controversies and issues in copyright law, including (i) updating the Copyright Act for the digital world, (ii) the growth of user-generated content and remix culture, (iii) the role of intermediaries such as YouTube and Google, as in the Google Book Search settlement, (iv) how music file-sharing should be handled, and (v) whether fair use needs to be changed or clarified in some way so that the public can know in advance what constitutes a fair use. To enroll in this seminar, students must have completed Copyright Law, or be taking it concurrently; or receive the permission of the professor.
Critical Legal Studies (LAW 912)
Critical theory attempts to answer the age-old question, "what is law?," by asserting that law is the reflection of the political values of the dominant group within society. After a brief introduction to the more traditional theories of justice; such as natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism, students will take up the challenge of Critical Legal Studies. Subjects covered include an economic analysis of law; gender and sexual orientation; and critical race theory. Other possible topics include an evaluation of law and economics; the emergence of Sharia law; and the role of feminism in the 21st century.
Emerging Technologies (LAW 601)
Law and the legal system anticipate and also respond to evolutions in technology in ways that may enhance or inhibit development. This seminar examines these changes from an historical perspective, using the evolution of telecommunications technologies and regulations as a case study. It then examines current technological developments in sectors such as green energy, transportation, genetic engineering, and social networks in the context of disciplines from the lawyer's toolkit: intellectual property, business organization, contractual relationships, constitutional rights of individuals, and theories of liability. This seminar will emphasize how future lawyers can and should anticipate or envision future legal impacts--including legislation, litigation, and corporate governance—of emerging technologies. Each student will select a particular technology, describe what makes it emerging, and explain its anticipated legal impacts in a class presentation and seminar paper.
Entertainment Law (LAW 603)
This seminar will be organized around student papers exploring intellectual-property, contract, agency, business-organizations, and law-and-economics issues in the entertainment industries, with an emphasis on popular music, movies, television, theatrical works, and video games.
European Copyright Law (LAW 607)
This seminar, which will be offered in intensive format, covers European approaches to digital rights management, the exploitation of works in computer networks (P2P, databases, software, etc.), the scope of fair use, liability for infringements in the digital environment, and the enforcement of rights. It considers not just the present state of regulation but looks at future challenges as well. Available as a course or seminar. The class will meet from Monday, August 20 through Saturday, August 25, 2007.
Famous Trials in History (LAW 914)
This course will investigate some of the most famous trials in history, including the Scopes trial on the teaching of evolution, the Sacco and Vanzetti murder trial, and the Leopold and Loeb murder trial (including Clarence Darrow's argument against the death penalty). Professor Brill will begin the course with a multi-week investigation of the Sacco/Vanzetti case, its after-effects, and recent revelations about the case. Thereafter, students will be assigned, in teams of two, to prepare and present multi-media presentations of highlights from other significant trials, and the lessons learned from those trials that may have relevance for current cases. Grades for the regular course version will primarily be based on the quality of the presentations. The course may also be taken as a senior seminar, in which case the student will be required to write a draft and final version of a seminar paper, analyzing the significant issues raised in the case selected.
First Amendment (LAW 616)
This is a year-long seminar, with two credits in the Fall and one credit in the Spring. The Fall will be devoted to readings and class discussions. We will meet for two hours each week to talk about the history, theory, and doctrine of the First Amendment. The first ten weeks of the Fall semester will focus on freedom of expression. After exploring the original understanding as well as the leading modern theories of the First Amendment, we will debate how it should apply to a variety of contemporary issues, including flag-burning, pornography, hate speech, and funeral picketing. The last month of the semester will focus on the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, which provide that the government may not establish a religion or interfere with religious liberty. At the end of the Fall semester, students will select their paper topics. They will then write their seminar papers during the Spring. There will be a few class meetings and conferences with Prof. Heyman during the Spring semester, which will be scheduled around students' availability. Students will receive one grade for both semesters; assuming successful completion of the Fall component, a Pass will be recorded temporarily until a final letter grade is assigned at the end of the Spring semester. If you have any questions about this seminar, please contact Prof. Heyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harassment in Employment Law (LAW 637)
This seminar examines the development of, and still-open questions in, one of the newest and most complex areas of employment law. Students will write papers on one of a broad range of harassment-related topics.
Intellectual Property and Antitrust (LAW 620)
This class explores the overlap and apparent tension between intellectual property and antitrust laws. We will discuss how substantive antitrust law constrains owners of intellectual property rights. The class will not discuss how to obtain a patent or copyright (which is taught in substantive Intellectual Property courses); rather, we will determine when the acquisition, licensing, and/or enforcement of intellectual property rights may violate the antitrust laws. The class is designed and intended for: (1) students of intellectual property law who want to understand how antitrust law limits the exercise of intellectual property rights, and/or (2) students who have taken antitrust and want to study how this body of law operates in the context of intellectual property rights.
International and Comparative Antitrust (LAW 619)
During the last few years, the role of law in protecting economic competition from restraints ("antitrust law" or "competition law") has become an increasingly important factor in international business and in legal practice relating to international business. It is likely to become even more important as the globalization of economic activity advances. This course is designed to introduce students to this area of law and to the basic tools they will need to understand and provide legal services in it. We will examine U.S. antitrust law as it relates to transactional conduct. We will then look at antitrust law in Europe and, in a superficial way, other parts of the world. The final section of the course will deal with recent developments in international antitrust cooperation and with moves toward the development of a transnational antitrust regime.
With the upsurge of globalization, workers' advocates increasingly seek international sources for workers' rights. Reformers also look at labor and employment laws of other countries when they search for ideas on how to improve their national systems. As business expands around the globe, it is also requesting legal advice regarding foreign labor and employment laws. International and comparative labor and employment law is therefore more than an academic curiosity. It is becoming an important aspect of law practice. This course comprehensively develops labor and employment law in the context of international, transnational and comparative labor and employment laws important to the global economy. Sources of international labor and employment law surveyed include the International Labor Organization, rulings and standards that emerge from the labor side accord of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other free trade agreements, European Union law and global corporate codes of conduct. Comparatively, the course focuses on the US, Canada, Germany, and France. It also pays particular attention to China.
International Bankruptcy (LAW 913)
This seminar is a unique multi-school class taught by weekly live lecture from St John's Law School in New York and simultaneously telecast to 12 other participating institutions nationwide, including Chicago-Kent. The seminar is offered under the auspices of the American College of Bankruptcy. The lectures are given by leading bankruptcy judges, practitioners and academics, and satellite classrooms will be equipped with live question-and-answer capability. Professor Walters will host the Chicago-Kent classroom, meaning he will contribute to the curriculum and be responsible for supervising and evaluating your seminar papers. Because of the need to synchronize with other participating law schools, the class will meet on Wednesdays from 5.30-7.30pm, commencing Wednesday January 23rd 2013, for the duration of the Spring semester. There are no prerequisites for the class, and while familiarity with basic U.S. bankruptcy law is useful, there will be an opportunity to study or review U.S. business bankruptcy law at an introductory level. The seminar offers an introduction to some of the jurisdictional problems that arise when international corporations become insolvent. International corporations typically have assets and subsidiaries in multiple jurisdictions. When financial distress occurs, a troubled corporation and its subsidiaries may therefore file for bankruptcy in several different jurisdictions with significantly different bankruptcy procedures. It is therefore essential that modern bankruptcy lawyers have at least a basic understanding of the distinctive features of foreign bankruptcy regimes. Additionally, even if a corporation and its subsidiaries file for bankruptcy in a single jurisdiction, the courts in that jurisdiction will often need the assistance of courts in foreign jurisdictions in order to protect the corporation's assets and consummate a successful reorganization or liquidation. It is therefore important for modern bankruptcy lawyers to understand the scope for international cooperation between courts and practitioners and the international legal instruments that seek to foster such cooperation. The first half of this class identifies the basic contours of the world's major bankruptcy regimes, including the laws of the United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Canada, and of various Latin American and Western European countries. During the second half, we study the major legal frameworks for international assistance and cooperation in cross-border bankruptcies (Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the European Union's Insolvency Regulation). We also discuss the opportunities for foreign nationals to use U.S. Bankruptcy Law (particularly Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code) to pursue a reorganization in the U.S. Instructors: Each class will be taught by one or more visiting instructors. Technical Aspects: The course will originate at St John's Law School and be telecast to 12 other schools across the U.S. Students at the other schools will be able to see and hear the instructor and ask questions in real time. Students will be evaluated and graded by professors at their institutions. At Chicago-Kent, students will work on a substantial research paper and a series of short (2-3 page) analysis papers.
International Criminal Law (LAW 675)
This seminar explores three principal areas: (1) international procedural mechanisms for enforcing national criminal laws (such as the extradition process and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties); (2) substantive international criminal laws (such as war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity); and (3) international criminal law issues that arise in doing business abroad (such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act). Particular attention will be given to international criminal law issues arising out of the Bosnian war (including the UN's establishing a war crimes tribunal). An introductory course in international law is strongly recommended as a prerequisite.
International Environmental Law (LAW 657)
This seminar examines the emerging legal regime that governs transboundary and global environmental degradation. Issues include customary restraints on state actions which injure another state or the global commons, international treaty regimes for ocean pollution, biodiversity conservation and global climate change mitigation, and the link between trade and environmental protection. The seminar also examines the ethical, economic and governance issues raised by international environmental protection.
International Human Rights (LAW 686)
The seminar involves both a definition of human rights as well as enforcement procedures for the implementation of human rights. The historical and philosophical bases of human rights are examined starting with the works of various thinkers from the diverse schools, particularly natural law, positivism, Marxism and the sociological school. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the later international covenants are looked at in terms of the influences of the various schools. The seminar addresses the question of whether there is agreement as to fundamental human rights. Recent developments and tensions in the field of human rights particularly since the increased membership of countries from the "third world" and socialist bloc countries are investigated. This is highlighted by focusing on the later two covenants of the United Nations, particularly the Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, which enlarges the scope of human rights to include welfare, cultural, and economic rights. Finally, the seminar focuses on the contribution of international and non-governmental organizations in the protection and implementation of human rights.
International Humanitarian Law (IHL), also known as the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) or simply the Laws of War (LOW), is a set of rules intended to limit the negative effects of war. The principle thrust of the law is to limit the methods of warfare (e.g., by banning certain weapons) and to protect people not engaged in combat, such as POWs, the sick and wounded, and civilians. This class will focus on the most important sources of IHL, which include the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their two protocols, the 1907 Hague Regulations, and various other rules contributing to the customary international law of armed conflict. Most of IHL applies only to international armed conflict. The class will also consider the special challenges raised by the application and adaptation of these rules to internal armed conflict and to the so-called "war on terror." Finally, the class will briefly consider the use of international tribunals as an enforcement mechanism. The course may be taken either as a seminar, requiring a seminar paper, or as a course with an exam.
International Labor and Employment Law (LAW 672)
This seminar will focus on how and why international labor and employment law have developed as a response to globalization, exploring intellectual foundations and surveying the latest developments in the field. The aim is to become conversant with key policy issues, and with the architecture of the main regimes of international labor and employment law, preparing students to provide well-rounded advice, arguments, and opinions on a set of issues at the center of contemporary debates over international economic integration. Topics will include the mutilateral system of worker rights (the International Labor Organization and international human rights conventions), the linkages between labor standards and international trade law, regional systems of worker rights (the European Union, the NAFTA), unilateral application of worker rights within the international system, litigating international worker rights in U.S. courts, and corporate social responsibility and private sector codes of conduct.
International Patent Law (LAW 687)
The management of large international patent portfolios (comprising patent applications filed in several jurisdictions), and an understanding of law and treaties affecting those portfolios, is fundamental to international patent practice. We will discuss the basics of filing and prosecuting patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), including issues that may arise when prosecuting a US application under the PCT. We will also consider other multinational patent treaties commonly used in foreign patent application filings that affect the management of international patent portfolios and US patents. We will take a comparative look at several aspects of U.S. and foreign patent laws, and will consider current controversies surrounding patents in the international arena—e.g., regarding access to medicines and the patentability of business methods and other controversial subject matter. Patent Law is a prerequisite. This requirement can be waived only with the permission of the instructor.
Intimate Partner Violence (LAW 630)
This seminar will explore issues of domestic violence and stalking and will include an overview of state and federal laws, best practices in the criminal justice field, lethality indicators, orders of protection, and the effects of domestic violence on the workplace. The seminar will offer students an opportunity to understand the complexity of the prosecution of domestic violence cases, and an understanding of how pervasive this epidemic is in our society. Topics include: the study of the profile of domestic violence victims; society's response to this issue; criminal justice response; philosophies of arrest and prosecution of domestic violence; threat assessment and management; orders of protection and employment law and domestic violence.
Investment Funds (LAW 668)
This seminar examines the regulatory, economic, and political issues surrounding the use of pooled investment vehicles, particularly hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and sovereign wealth funds. We will discuss the legal and business considerations that go into the formation of funds, paying close attention to the negotiations between investment advisers and the investors in their funds. Relatedly, we will examine the investment strategies of different investment funds, through leveraged buyouts, equity investments, and more sophisticated trades in derivatives. We will develop a familiarity with the Investment Advisers Act and the Investment Company Act, which are the key legal regulations governing these funds, as well as with the most current scholarly debates in this field. Prerequisite: Business Organizations. Securities Regulation is not a prerequisite but will be helpful.
Jurisprudence (LAW 608)
Many people submit to the law simply because they believe that the institutions administering it are just. But what if a law itself is unjust? The duty to obey law presupposes that laws are both consistent and just: because they sometime aren't, difficult cases arise in which appeals to a higher political morality become necessary if justice is to be served. But what is this higher political morality and what is its connection to the institutions we rely upon to do justice and protect our human rights as well as to the laws that are actually produced? Is this higher political morality the morality of our society or something broader? And, if it is something broader, how do we discover what it is? In this course, we will attempt to answer these and other questions by considering the relationship between legal and political philosophy, showing how the former is incomplete without the latter. Taking the problem of how to solve difficult cases as our point of departure, we will look at the inherent incompleteness of conventional theories of law with the idea of developing a meta-theory that would enable judges to decide difficult cases by drawing upon the best available theory of politics appropriate to the case's level of abstraction. By so doing, it is hoped that we will be able to produce resolutions for some kinds of controversial cases and open doors to the way we should think about others. It is also hoped that the course will provide an avenue for a broad critique of the way legal and political institutions operate including the way law schools educate and judges actually decide cases.
Law and Literature (LAW 677)
This seminar will explore issues related to Criminal Law and Justice by examining literature touching on those subjects. In the process, we will also spend some time considering how various literary and rhetorical techniques influence a piece's effect upon the reader or listener. We will review a variety of kinds of literature, possibly including novels, plays, short stories, poems, and screenplays (through viewing films). We will also read some more traditional legal texts, such as cases, statutes, transcripts, and legal scholarship on related themes. Students will be expected to carefully read each week's material before class and to demonstrate that reading through active participation in class discussion. Students' grades will depend upon class participation and a significant writing project or projects to be determined.
This seminar aims to provide students with interdisciplinary insights on international economic law as it deals with literature from non-legal disciplines, such as economics, political science, and sociology. The seminar will probe how non-legal disciplines investigate and understand legal phenomena in the area of international economic law, such as international trade law and international investment law. The seminar will also discuss whether and/or to what extent these non-legal analyses might complement legal analyses. Topics include trade negotiation, protectionist politics, regionalism, dispute settlement system, trade remedies, trade and climate change, and trade-related intellectual property rights.
Law and Psychology (LAW 906)
This course will explore the implications of recent social science research on human behavior for law and legal decision-making. In the past few decades, new discoveries in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and economics have challenged fundamental ideas about how people think and decide. We will consider their application to a variety of areas of the law including criminal and civil law and jury decision-making. Topics will include happiness and hedonic psychology, the role of emotion and reason in decision-making, creativity, risk assessment, and free will. Students in the seminar will write a substantial research paper. Students in the course will write a series of short (2–3 page) analysis papers.
Law of Nationbuilding (LAW 678)
International intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq have raised a number of questions about public international law, administrative law, and how best to create a legal framework for development of democratic institutions and market economies. Students will write papers on some aspect of law related to these nationbuilding challenges. The seminar will be integrated with the Nationbuilding IPRO, which will have students working on projects related to the political trusteeship in Kosovo, including promotion of tourism, resolution of legal issues related to privatization, compiling applicable law, especially pertaining to property and commercial transactions. (Note: IPROs are IIT Interprofessional Projects that draw students from various colleges and departments throughout the university.)
Law of Social Networks (LAW 907)
This seminar will address the legal issues raised by Facebook, MySpace, Reddit, and other social networks. The seminar will cover the application of privacy law, criminal law, legal ethics, employment law, school law, First Amendment law, defamation law, evidence law, intellectual property law, cyberlaw, and other precedents to social networks. Facebook currently has half a billion members. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest nation in the world. The seminar will ask: If Facebook were a nation, what should be its Constitution?
Law, Economics and Justice (LAW 628)
This course is a "capstone" course that will review basic doctrines covered in the first year courses (property, contracts, torts, criminal law, and procedure), and possibly other topics, with the purpose of exploring the extent to which those doctrines and areas of law can be explained, justified, criticized, or revised from the perspectives of economic efficiency and justice. Students who take the course should benefit from a more systematic analysis and review of the basic legal doctrines that form the foundation for most of the law, an understanding of basic (microeconomic) efficiency theory as applied to the law, a better understanding of the principles of justice and their application to various areas of the law, and an ability to recognize, employ and criticize efficiency and justice arguments in and outside the law.
Law, Markets and Globalization (LAW 917)
This seminar addresses various new legal issues arising under the current context of globalization, in particular after the recent financial crisis. It probes how nations have dealt with the unprecedented turbulences in the market through legal means and whether those legal responses have been both effective and legitimate. It deals with issues, such as international business, international trade, international regulatory cooperation (such as global competition law), and comparative law. No prerequisite is necessary.
This seminar will explore legal strategies for promoting economic and political development in emerging economies. The first part of the course provides an overview of the theories underpinning development policy and is intended to establish the necessary foundation and vocabulary for the rest of the course. The second part delves into various legal strategies for development with a focus on the discourse of property rights, rule of law, economic and social rights, and judicial reform. In the third and final portion of the course, students will scrutinize specific law and development projects funded by multilateral institutions such as the World Bank to assess their effectiveness in increasing the well-being of indigent populations living in the developing world.
Legal Rights of Children (LAW 646)
This seminar examines the increasing state intervention in family decision-making with regard to children. Among the topics included are: neglect, child abuse, dependency, child custody problems resulting from the dissolution of marriage, the rights of putative fathers to custody of children, adoption of children, guardianships, and children's rights in the mental health commitment process.
Low-Wage Workers (LAW 919)
This seminar will explore specific legal issues encountered by low wage workers, such as wage and hour violations, living wage efforts, workers compensation issues, the effect of the Affordable Health Care Act, and immigration-related concerns. The seminar will also explore representation of low wage workers and the special obstacles to traditional organizing under the NLRA.
This seminar explores the ways in which law and public policy—local, state, and federal—have shaped Chicago from the city's nineteenth century beginnings through today. Drawing on the analytical tools of local government law and urban history, we will examine the social, economic, demographic, and political development of the Chicago metropolitan area. Topics include: urban economic development; crime, policing, and the justice system; community organization and activism; the regulation of land use; urban renewal policy; the rise and fall of public housing; the persistence of racial and ethnic divisions; the civil rights movement in Chicago; city-suburb relations and regional planning efforts; transportation; city schooling; gentrification and urban redevelopment; the historic preservation movement; and local environmental policy. Throughout the seminar, we will consider, in both historical and contemporary perspective, the role of the city in the American legal system and the costs and benefits of localized governmental power.
Military Law (LAW 610)
This course involves a study of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It considers the UCMJ's past, present, and future. The military courts-martial system is compared with its civilian criminal justice counterpart. The required materials are furnished (without charge).
National Security Law (LAW 680)
This course addresses legal and policy issues associated with the U.S. government's national security activities and organizations, with a particular emphasis on legal issues regarding terrorism. Among the topics we will cover are the rules governing the President's use of military force, military detention, and targeted killing; military commissions and other vehicles for the prosecution of war crimes; the current debate regarding national security courts; the legal regulation of interrogation; and covert action and intelligence gathering. We will also discuss other current national security issues as they develop.
Patent Litigation (LAW 633)
Students will examine major issues of substantive law and strategy facing a lawyer involved with patent litigation. The class sessions will focus on the leading cases in emerging areas of patent law. Such areas include venue and transfer, protective orders, claim construction, infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, the scope of remedies available to a patent owner, and the role of a jury in deciding complex technological issues. The class will also address procedures for analyzing patent infringement disputes and for considering when, where and why to bring patent infringement lawsuits. Prerequisite: Patent Law.
Privacy in Employment Law (LAW 660)
This seminar focuses on the emergence in employment law of matters affecting the privacy rights of the individual employee in the private sector. Topics addressed include drug and alcohol testing, defamation, the tort of invasion of privacy (and its various forms), confidentiality of employee communications, including e-mail, employer rights of search and seizure, and employee surveillance and monitoring. Legislative developments and case law in the area will be the subject of discussion in each class.
Public Sector Employees (LAW 656)
This seminar will examine the constitutional, common law, and statutory issues arising in labor relations and collective bargaining between governmental units and public employees and their unions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the essential differences between labor relations and collective bargaining in government and that same process in the private sector. Seminar participants will be expected to write a major research paper on those differences, exploring whether they are substantial enough to warrant the adoption of private sector labor law concepts, and if so, to what extent.
Reproductive Technology (LAW 643)
Technologies related to diminishing or enhancing fertility (such as contraception, in vitro fertilization, cloning, artificial insemination, and surrogate motherhood) raise issues that cut across a variety of legal domains. This seminar will explore the constitutional, tort, and family law implications of the technologies and attempt to develop appropriate policies for their use.
Seventh Circuit Review: Honors Seminar (LAW 621)
This course is an in-depth investigation of the current term opinions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and their impact on contemporary jurisprudence. As part of the class, students will publish an on-line journal, tentatively titled the Seventh Circuit Review of Published Opinions. The Seventh Circuit Review will present and comment on current term published opinions in such areas of the law as civil and criminal procedure, administrative law, alternative dispute resolution, employment law, constitutional law, criminal law, tort, and contract. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive both a course grade and publication credit as a member of the staff of the Review. During the semester, students will identify cases to be included in the Review, prepare initial drafts for discussion of the assigned cases based on in-depth analysis of the cases and background research, edit case discussions, prepare final publishable drafts of case discussions, integrate individual case discussions into the online journal, and "defend" analysis at a semester-end roundtable. This is an honors seminar. To enroll, students must meet one of the following criteria: (1) cumulative GPA in previous legal writing courses of 3.5 and class rank at the time of registration within top 50% of class, (2) recommendation of Legal Writing 1and 2 professor and/or Legal Writing 4 professor, (3) Law Review membership, (4) Moot Court Honor Society membership, or (5) approval of course instructor. If more than 15 qualified students register for the course, enrollment will be determined by random drawing among the qualified students.
Sexual Orientation and the Law (LAW 651)
Despite important recent changes at the local, state, and national levels, and in some foreign countries and the European Union, to protect gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons (LGBT) from discrimination and to recognize same-sex relationships, society's attitude toward homosexuality and transgendered issues continues to be ambivalent. This is especially true in respect to marriage and child rearing, as we see in the current debates over same-sex marriage, but it is also found in the attitudes of states that fail to protect against public and private employment discrimination, and in the federal government's "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy to keep openly gay persons from serving in the military. This course/seminar will explore the possibility of finding a legal, philosophical or political framework for approaching LGBT issues by critically looking at various conceptions of homosexuality and society's purported justifications for affecting this behavior, against its broader concerns for guaranteeing social liberty and human equality. It will then apply this understanding to the interaction between gays and the criminal justice system; discrimination in public employment (including military service) and private employment; first amendment issues posed by gay teachers in public schools and universities; the legal problems faced in establishing same-sex relationships (especially marriage) in Massachusetts and elsewhere; and the legal problems gay people confront in matters pertaining to child custody and visitation rights. Central to the course will be locating possible interpretations for the Supreme Court's 2003 interpretation in Lawrence v. Texas, and its 1996 decision in Romer v. Texas. This particular area of the law is really several areas as they relate to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. LGBT have been a kind of exception to the way the law traditionally operates, and this exception cannot usually be made sense of in terms of traditional legal thinking. For this reason the course will engage a certain degree of theoretical abstraction to undersand, clarify and hopefuly improve the law in these areas.
Tax and Budget Policy (LAW 649)
This course will cover the following topics: the legislative process in enacting budgets and tax legislation at the State and Federal level; how tax egislation affects the budget process; the political and legal issues in the legislative process of tax and budget laws; the intended and unintended consequences of legislation (e.g., the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax); the relationship of tax and budget policy to social and economic issues (Social Security, Medicare, health care, pollution issues, poverty, housing); comparison of tax and budget policy in the U.S. to other countries; and issues of fairness and compliance in tax and budget policy.
The Challenge of Green Energy (LAW 922)
This seminar will take an interdisciplinary approach to the intersection of environmental and energy issues. It will introduce students to a variety of solutions to the problem of pollution from the energy sector. The course will start with a legal and technical introduction to the electricity grid, including discussion of federal/state jurisdictional issues, basic engineering concepts (taught with lawyers in mind) of the grid, and the basics of regulated and deregulated electric markets. The class will then address issues involving emissions and emission prevention, including the Clean Air Act (Title V and recent coal emission rules), renewable energy (including state incentives, Commerce Clause issues, and basic market design issues), and carbon capture/sequestration (including liability issues and state incentives). For their research papers, students will propose emission-reducing programs for a hypothetical state with a hypothetical electric market and evaluate the arguments for and against those proposals, including any unintended consequences.
The Corporation and the Constitution (LAW 650)
This course will investigate the origin in law of the corporate form and explore the challenges presented by the modern corporation, both from the standpoint of its legal structure as a business organization formed by law, and the rights and privileges afforded corporations under case law that interprets the corporation as a jural "person." Readings will be considered from colonial charters to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC (2010). There will be special emphasis on the contracts and commerce clauses of the Constitution, as well as the 14th Amendment. This course is not so much concerned with corporate responsibility as it is with corporate governance and accountability. We will explore the concept of limited liability, trace the evolution of legal personhood, examine the original public purpose requirement of the corporate entity as contemplated in law, and consider the role of public law in the world of the self-regulating market.
This seminar, prompted by the Supreme Court's blockbuster Second Amendment decision in Heller, deals with the history of guns and gun control in the United States. It also focuses on Heller itself, on McDonald (which applied Heller to states and local governments), and on the federal cases that are currently making their way to the Supreme Court. In addition, public opinion, the media and the roles of various organizations will be considered. Whatever your views on guns and gun control, you will find this seminar about a "new" and controversial constitutional right illuminating.
The U.S. Supreme Court (LAW 915)
This seminar will examine the work and institution of the Supreme Court of the United States with particular emphasis on the role that oral argument plays in the communication and decision processes of the justices. Our focus will be the 2010 and the 2011 Terms. Students will be required to: (1) present an in-class review of a case from the 2010 Term; and (2) present a preliminary report and write a major research paper on a single undecided case from the 2011 Term, including a prediction and justification for the vote of each justice.
Topics in Comparative Constitutional Law (LAW 624)
This course examines issues of constitutional design and adjudication in comparative perspective. We will compare various constitutional systems, focusing on the role and structure of constitutional courts, approaches to judicial review, the relationship between different branches and levels of government, and the constitutional protection of individual and group rights. Prerequisite: Constitutional Law completed or taken concurrently. (This course was formerly entitled "Comparative Constitutional Law.")
Topics in Cultural Heritage Law (LAW 623)
This course focuses on the claims of discrete cultural groups, nations, and indigenous peoples to both tangible and intangible forms of cultural property. It covers a range of topics including ownership of antiquities, protection of cultural heritage during times of war, repatriation of cultural property and art looted during war, historic preservation, cultural property of indigenous people, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expression. (This course was formerly entitled "Property and Culture.")
Topics in International Law (LAW 910)
This seminar will explore in depth several current topics in public international law, for example, human rights, the use of force, humanitarian law in a world confronted by terrorism and torture, international criminal law, protecting the environment including outer space and the polar regions, and the right to consular access by aliens in death penalty cases. The seminar is designed to provide students with a foundation upon which to think about and research these issues, and the way that domestic law is often implicated in the formation and reformation of foreign policy. Students will be expected to sign up to present their own assessments of the developing law in several areas, one of which will likely become the basis of their seminar paper. During the first three weeks of the course, the instructor will present a brief overview of the international legal structure--its sources and limitations, and how it operates—as well as a philosophical foundation for a system of human rights. The overall goal of the course is to get future international lawyers to think beyond doctrine as they seek to gain a better understanding of the relationships among law, policy, and politics in the ever-evolving field of international law.
Video Game Law (LAW 638)
This seminar will examine the varied legal issues that have spawned (and continue to spawn) in the video game space. Still a relatively new industry that continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, video games require lawyers to address substantive areas of law in new ways, particularly copyright and trademark law. The course follows a civilian approach to study persons in games, things in games, and how persons acquire things in games. Specific topics include: (a) special copyright considerations in video games, including fair use and DMCA protections; (b) games as entertainment products, and concerns of violent and mature content versus the value and protection of video games as speech under the First Amendment; (c) policing of video game content under self-regulation systems in the U.S. and Europe; (d) conflicts and compromises within the contractual relationships of game developers and game publishers; (e) the expanding role of gamers and their contributions to video games, such as through user-generated content, player communities, fan fiction, etc.; and (f) special legal challenges and controversies arising from online gaming and massively-multiplayer-online games (MMOs). Students will benefit from prior course work in intellectual property and other related topics, e.g., Copyright Law; Entertainment Law; Internet Law; or Trademarks and Unfair Competition, but these are not prerequisites. Students will be expected to write and present to the class a paper on a topic of their own choosing. Grading will be determined from the paper, presentation and class participation.
Water Resources Law (LAW 606)
This seminar examines the legal regime that governs the allocation and management of surface and ground water in the United States and on international rivers and aquifers. The class will cover the two basic allocation regimes in the United States -- riparian rights and prior appropriation -- and a variety of current topics. These include the capacity of the legal system to adapt to global climate change, the emergence of a human right to water, the impact of environmental laws on the right to divert water, the management of the Great Lakes, and the special rights of Indian Tribes.
Work and Family (LAW 623)
In this seminar, we will examine the problems of combining work and family from a variety of perspectives. We will discuss law governing the workplace, as well as the structure and culture of work. We will discuss the relationship between family law and work/family decisions and struggles, and we will also discuss the division of labor within families. In addition, the course will address work/family issues as they relate to class, welfare reform, single parent and non-traditional families, and the legal profession.