Courses

  • LAW JD 950: Homicide Investigations and Trials: Theory and Practice (S)
    This seminar will focus upon the substantive law of homicide, as well as the practical aspects of actual homicide investigations and trials: crime scene interpretation; DNA analysis; autopsies and related forensic evidence; expert testimony, particularly in the area of psychiatry and criminal responsibility; jury considerations; ethical concerns; and the role of the media. Students will have the opportunity to study actual murder cases, visit local crime laboratories and courtrooms, and learn prosecution, defense, and judicial perspectives on various contemporary issues arising in murder investigations and trials. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 951: Comparative Law (S)
    This seminar is an introduction to comparative law's themes and methods. Accordingly, the seminar is organized in two parts. The readings selected for the first part present theoretical articulations and practical applications of the main methodological approaches relied upon by comparative lawyers. Participants will become acquainted with the "mechanics", as well as the broader implications, of the various ways of comparing: functionalism, structuralism, culturalism, postmodern neo-culturalism and critical comparative law. The materials discussed in the second part explore how these different methodologies play out in recent and heated comparative law debates. Participants will be asked to reflect over the common law-civil law dichotomy and its implications for the debate over the European Civil Code as well as for projects of harmonization, such as the World Bank's "Legal Origins" study; the circulation of legal rules and institutions and the export of constitutional models in Eastern Europe and Iraq; the ambiguous relation between US and European legal cultures and the debate over different ideas of "privacy"; the "West" and the "Orient" in family law reform. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 952: Copyright Law
    Copyright is one of the major legal regimes governing art, software, information, and entertainment, and its rules deeply affect how the internet operates. This course is a policy and skills-oriented study of federal copyright law. Much of copyright policy can be clarified by using some basic tools from economics and philosophy; these analytic tools will be taught during the course, and no prior knowledge is required. As for skills, the course focuses on two: how to tackle and master a complex set of interrelated statutory provisions, and how to articulate legal principles orally in a way that would be comprehensible to an untutored judge. Rather than having a predominant lecture format, the course puts student analysis at its center. The course will cover the exclusive rights granted to creators of "original works of authorship", the authorial subject-matters eligible for federal copyright, the nature of an infringement action, and defenses such as fair use. In addition, students will be expected to master at least one detailed, statute-governed topic such as duration (how long do rights over a given work of authorship remain in private hands before becoming free for all to copy) or the inalienable right of termination (how authors can retrieve their copyrights despite having signed contracts indicating that they have sold all rights). The course also examines some state rights, such as the 'right of publicity' and 'quasi-property rights against the misappropriation of data', for purposes of exploring how these state doctrines interact with, or are pre-empted by, federal copyright law.
  • LAW JD 953: International Intellectual Property (S)
    Graduate Prerequisites: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SURVEY COURSE OR LLM STANDING WITH IP EXPERIENCE.
    International law is increasingly important to domestic lawyers every day. This is as true in intellectual property as in any field. Regulation of intellectual property is a cornerstone in the globalization of trade and commerce. In order to harmonize intellectual property laws, more and more countries sign up to multilateral agreements regulating these laws. However, jurisdictional differences still exist and affect this process. This seminar examines international agreements and comparative laws on intellectual property and ways in which the intellectual property laws of the United States relate to those of other nations. Topics will include securing and enforcing rights in trademarks, copyrights and patents under international regimes and in various jurisdictions, and selected topics such as database protection, geographical indications, the interplay between intellectual property, international trade and culture, and Internet-related issues. The seminar is designed to afford students who intend to practice in IP an acquaintance with key international IP principles and policy issues. The seminar will impart understanding in these areas using materials such as treaties, cases and commentary. The seminar will treat international and European intellectual property separately, and will focus on the major international systems related to each substantive IP area. The seminar is open to students who have completed or are enrolled in an IP survey course, or to LLMs with some intellectual property experience. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 957: Law and Sexual Minorities (S)
    This seminar will consider the legal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens. In particular, the seminar will cover evolving family structures, privacy rights, the military, employment discrimination, and the tension between protecting the rights of victims of discrimination and those who discriminate. Students will write a research paper or an appellate brief and will prepare an oral presentation. Students may satisfy the upperclass writing requirement with their paper. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 958: Effective & Ethical Depositions (S)
    The purpose of this seminar is to teach students how to take and defend effective and ethical depositions. The course involves both a simulated deposition component and a professional responsibility component. The seminar also satisfies the professional responsibility requirement. Simulated Deposition Course Component: Students will be divided into firms representing either the Plaintiff or the Defendants in a gender discrimination and defamation case brought by an attorney who has been denied partnership. The students will prepare and perform depositions of lay and expert witnesses and gather experience with obtaining and developing facts, preserving testimony, and the uses of depositions. Professional Responsibility Course Component: The simulated context offers the opportunity to explore several professional responsibility issues that arise naturally in deposition practice. These issues emerge largely because of the dual professional roles of an attorney: zealous representative and officer of the court. Some of the more timely issues involve proper witness preparation, improper witness coaching, inadvertent waiver of privilege, and abusive tactics. Writing and Performance Requirements: Each week students will write a short one or two page comment on the professional responsibility issues raised in class. At the end of the course, students will perform a videotaped deposition rather than take a final written exam. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may elect to use this course to fulfill the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This seminar does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 959: International Business Agreements: Negotiating, Structuring and Drafting (S)
    This seminar will provide an overview of the private dimensions of negotiating and drafting international business agreements, and specifically on the contractual aspects. Students will gain hands on experience in structuring, drafting and analyzing various international business agreements and documents including global joint venture agreements and privatization provisions, sales, distribution and franchise agreements, international development agreements, share purchase agreements, letters of intent and technology licensing agreements. The design of the class will assist students in identifying critical legal issues and techniques likely to affect the outcome of international business negotiations including protecting against political, economic and legal risks. Emphasis will be placed on the important differences between international and domestic agreements from the American law perspective. Grades will be based on class participation and a final research paper. At the option of the student a final examination can be taken in lieu of a research paper. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 962: Forensic Mental Health Issues for Lawyers (S)
    Attorneys routinely deal with forensic mental health issues in the practice of criminal, tort, juvenile delinquency, child protection, civil rights, disability, employment and family law. Familiarity with the law alone is rarely adequate for effective advocacy in these areas of law when mental health issues arise. This course surveys the intersection between psychiatry and law with a focus on applications for legal practice. Topics include: competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, competence to be executed, involuntary civil commitment, child protection and divorce child custody, commitment of sexual offenders, mental health malpractice, emotional distress claims, and use of mental health expert testimony in the post-Daubert era. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 964: Patent Litigation
    This course will examine all aspects of U.S. patent litigation, beginning with pre-filing considerations such as standing, jurisdiction, and choice of law, and ending with the appeal. Particular attention will be given to pleadings, claim construction, discovery, and motion practice, as well as the methods of proving invalidity, unenforceability, and infringement. The course will also consider trial preparation techniques, trial practice, the role of technical experts, and the remedies available in patent cases. Students will be evaluated based on a writing assignment that will require drafting a litigation-related document, such as a claim construction brief or summary judgment motion, and a short final exam. No scientific or technical background is required to enroll in this course, and there are no prerequisites, although prior or concurrent exposure to patent law (such as through the Patent Law course or the Intellectual Property course) may be helpful.
  • LAW JD 967: Advanced Trial Practice (S)
    This intensive seminar takes an integrated approach to civil and criminal procedure, evidence, and trial practice to teach the current trial techniques at work in our courts. Taught at the United States District Court itself, the course involves in-court observations, specific critique of actual trial presentations, and seminar discussion of all aspects of procedure, trial preparation, evidence, and trial practice. A term paper on some aspect of the trial process is required. While neither evidence nor trial practice is a formal prerequisite for this course, they are recommended. The goal of the seminar is to enhance the quality of judgment, exposition, and fact-law teaching a lawyer exercises on behalf of the client in the trial environment. The first class meeting will take place at the Law School - Date/Time TBA. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 968: Immigration Law
    This class will cover the immigration laws of the United States, including the administrative and regulatory framework of the United States agencies charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws. The topics covered by this course include the power of the Congress to regulate immigration; the effect of politics on immigration policy; nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications and visa processing; the law of asylum; the effect of criminal acts on immigration status; grounds of removal from the United States; relief from deportation, immigration court representation; and the law of naturalization and derived citizenship. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 970: Representing Clients in Civil Actions (S)
    A family and a business struggle with a real death and a real lawsuit. The case is yours. Now what? In this seminar, students will represent opposing parties in a civil action based upon real events involving the death of a college student while on spring break in Mexico. Through discussion, role plays, simulations and out-of-class assignments, students will gain perspective on what's at stake when handling a serious and complex matter in the real world - from the first client meeting to settlement. The goal of the class is for students to learn the skills they need to be effective counsel in civil actions, including fact gathering, interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting a complaint, preparing interrogatories and responses, conducting depositions, evaluating the strength of a case, and preparing a settlement memoranda. Beyond developing important technical skills, students will develop their abilities to communicate effectively, evaluate options, make decisions, assess risk, exercise judgment, and counsel wisely - the real skills they will use every day as lawyers. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and written work. NOTE: This class satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 972: Lawyering in the 21st Century (S)
    The practice of law has changed dramatically in the last several decades and is expected to change even more in the not-too-distant future. Developments in global commerce and information technology are at the forefront of this change. The globalization of commerce has resulted in the globalization of law practice, making the regulation of lawyers more difficult and less predictable. Changes in lawyer regulation elsewhere in the world, such as the radical reforms recently enacted in the UK and in Australia (permitting the ownership of law firms by nonlawyers, including public investment, as well as the formation of multidisciplinary practices), are bound to have important implications for US lawyers. Even for lawyers whose practices remain primarily local, developments in information technology have resulted in new challenges, such as: 1) storing and protecting the confidentiality of electronic files; 2) regulating the quality of work outsourced to cheaper providers, including foreign lawyers; 3) regulating the provision of legal services through the internet; and 4) special issues concerning marketing and confidentiality that arise from the extensive use of social network sites. This seminar will explore the ethical issues raised by these changes in the practice of law, including issues concerning unauthorized practice of law, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, advertising and solicitation. A substantial research paper will be required. There are no prerequisites for this seminar. This seminar satisfies the upper-class professional responsibility requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. GRADING NOTICE: This seminar does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 973: Civil Litigation Program/Pretrial Advocacy
    The program also includes a serious classroom component during which you learn the theories of practice for use in the field. Pretrial Advocacy is taught in groups of roughly 14 students and two clinical professors per group. Half of the classes are devoted to activities and simulations in which you role play with the skills that are taught. Students in the HEFD (section A1) and IRC (section B1) options take Pretrial Advocacy in the fall. Students in the ERC fall option (section C1) will take Pretrial Advocacy plus a "bootcamp" in Trial Advocacy. Please note that only the HEFD and ERC section of Pre-Trial Advocacy will satisfy the Professional Responsibility requirement. The IRC section will not satisfy the requirement. GRADING NOTICE: HEFD & ERC sections do not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 974: Civil Litigation Program/Trial Advocacy
    The program also includes a serious classroom component during which you learn the theories of practice for use in the field. Trial Advocacy is taught in groups of roughly 14 students and two clinical professors per group. Half of the classes are devoted to activities and simulations in which you role play with the skills that are taught. Students in the HEFD (section A1) and IRC (section B1) options take Trial Advocacy in the spring. Students in the ERC spring option (section C2) will take Trial Advocacy plus a "bootcamp" in Pretrial Advocacy.
  • LAW JD 975: International Human Rights Clinic (C)
    The International Human Rights Clinic is part of BU Law's expanded practicum of offerings in international human rights that includes the Semester-in-Practice Program in Geneva and international pro bono project trips. The Clinic develops and expands on human rights projects including: representing international NGO's in advocacy in the UN Human Rights Council, the treaty bodies, the regional human rights organs (in the American, African, and European human rights systems); filing briefs and amicus briefs on international human rights law issues in US domestic courts; participating in universal jurisdiction claims in the US and other courts. The International Human Rights Clinic is a two semester commitment. Students earn 3 credits per semester for completing the clinic fieldwork. Fieldwork includes some combination of the following: amicus briefs on human rights issues; handling appeals in refugee and international human rights cases; working on research, investigation and advocacy on international human rights issues, partnering with domestic and international non-governmental organizations on the Guantanamo cases, habeas cases, Alien Tort Claims Act and other cases; working on research, advocacy and drafting submissions to the various treaty bodies at the UN and the Human Rights Council in Geneva; Working in partnership with the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR), focusing the health and human rights aspect of humanitarian cases. In addition to the fieldwork, students must take 2 seminar courses: International Human Rights (fall; 3 credits); and Human Rights Lawyering (spring; 3 credits). The clinic fieldwork is supervised by Professor Susan Akram. Professor Akram also teaches the two required seminar classes. To apply: Applications will be available on-line following the Open House. Applications will be due April 19
  • LAW JD 977: Health Care Reform & the Constitution (S)
    This seminar will examine the complex web of federal and state regulations that form the center of American healthcare policy and American healthcare reform, including but not limited to the Obamacare statute's new laws and regulations. The goal for the semester will be to determine the best balance of federal and state governance and the best balance of legislative, executive, and judicial governance for healthcare policy. The first half of the course will center on the considerations that guide constitutional divisions of labor between our national and state governments (uniformity interests, political diversity, state experimentation, interstate competition, and regulatory success (among others)), and the second half of the course will center the considerations that guide constitutional divisions of labor among the three branches of the federal government (expertise, political accountability, agency capture, and individual justice (among others)). We will also discuss the role that private markets can, do, and should play in distributing scarce healthcare resources. Specific topics will include the Obamacare individual mandate and Medicaid expansion, public healthcare financing, private insurance regulation, healthcare quality controls, healthcare privacy rules, and bioethical questions like reproductive rights and the right to die. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. RECOMMENDED COURSE: Health Law. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.**
  • LAW JD 980: International Business Arbitration (S)
    Legal dimensions of international business dispute resolution through binding arbitration. Treaty framework for determining validity of arbitration agreement and for recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards (New York Convention, Panama Convention, Washington Convention). Comparative approach (French, English, Swiss, and U.S. legal systems) to the influence of national law on international arbitration. UNCITRAL Model Law. NAFTA Chapter 11 and bilateral investment treaties. Special status of international commercial arbitration in national law. Major arbitral institutions and rules, including ICC, LCIA, AAA and ICSID. State contracts: Act of State and sovereign immunity. Expropriation claims. Delocalization and the influence of the arbitral seat. Arbitral awards as a contribution to lex mercatoria. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 981: Criminal Trial Advocacy
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to 2L students who have applied to and been accepted to start the Criminal Clinic in Spring 2015. Trial Advocacy is a three credit course which will meet once a week for two hours. It will focus on courtroom skills in the context of criminal trial litigation. NOTE: The Criminal Clinical Program satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement.
  • LAW JD 982: Criminal Trial Practice I (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have applied to and been accepted into the Criminal Clinical Program. The Fall section is restricted to 3Ls who will begin the program in Fall 2014. The Spring 2015 section is restricted to 2L students who will begin the program in Spring 2015. (Fall/3L section) Criminal Trial Practice I will meet in the first semester for two hours each week at the law school and will require students to be available one morning a week to be in court, from Monday through Thursday. The classroom component of this course will provide students an introduction to Massachusetts criminal procedure and basic instruction in lawyering skills such as case planning and investigation. Students in the program will be assigned to cases handled by senior members of the Prosecutor and Defender programs and will be expected to conduct tasks out of court such as legal research, fact investigation, witness interviews and preparation. One morning a week, these students will be in court observing and second seating the cases they have helped to prepare. After the completion of this course, students will be assigned to the Prosecutor or Defender component of the clinic and must register for the appropriate section in the following semester. (Spring/2L Section) Criminal Trial Practice I will meet in the second semester for three hours each week at the law school and will require students to be available one morning a week to be in court, from Monday through Thursday. The classroom component of this course will provide students an introduction to Massachusetts criminal procedure and basic instruction in lawyering skills such as case planning and investigation. Students in the program will be assigned to cases handled by senior members of the Prosecutor and Defender programs and will be expected to conduct tasks out of court such as legal research, fact investigation, witness interviews and preparation. One morning a week, these students will be in court observing and second seating the cases they have helped to prepare. NOTE: The Criminal Clinical Program satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement.