Graduate Program in U.S., International & Transnational Law
Comparative Law (LAW 430)
This course examines the problems and issues that arise when a lawyer deals with foreign clients, foreign lawyers, or foreign law. It focuses on the differences in substance, procedure, methods, and ways of thinking between the United States and other countries, revealing the many ways in which the United States legal system is unique and evaluating the implications of this uniqueness. The course examines foreign laws and legal institutions and identifies ways in which lawyers can learn about and better understand systems other than their own and develop strategies for dealing with the effects of differences between systems.
This course provides an overview of American constitutional and procedural law, with an introduction to the U.S. judicial system, legal methodology, and government structure. The course is open only to exchange students and students in the LL.M. Program in International and Comparative Law.
This course is designed as a full-semester legal research and writing course for international students in the LL.M. programs, many of whom are non-native English speakers. The course exposes students to research materials and techniques commonly used in the U.S. legal system, and introduces students to various forms of legal writing including office memoranda, court filings (e.g., complaints, motions) client letters, contract and transactional documents, and academic legal writing. The students are expected to complete six major writing assignments, several legal research exercises and projects, and an oral presentation throughout the semester, and the professor provides comprehensive written feedback on each written assignment. Other aspects of writing are also covered such as language style, usage, and grammar, and legal citation.
This course is designed for students with a foreign legal education. The course covers all topics traditionally covered in a typical contracts course for JD students such as issues of contract formation, interpretation, breach, defenses, and remedies. Contract formation 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, commercial impracticability, unconscionability, 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 and the statute of frauds. The course examines both common law contract rules and the UCC. In addition to the conventional contract law topics above, this course also incorporates several short drafting exercises intended to demonstrate how contractual language is affected by the rules of contract law.