Courses

  • LAW JD 925: Legal Externship Program: Legal Ethics
    The Legal Externship is a one-semester clinical program. Students are required to apply and be accepted to the program before they may register. The weekly seminar is required of all Legal Externship participants. An integral part of the externship, this two hour weekly seminar examines legal practice and the ethics of lawyering. The seminar requires students to write a paper and make a class presentation. In addition, each student keeps a weekly journal chronicling their educational experience and reactions to the practice of law observed at the field placements. NOTE: The seminar satisfies the Law School's professional responsibility requirement. COREQUISITE: Legal Externship Program: Fieldwork (JD 924). GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 926: Public Health Law (S)
    Traditional public health is rapidly transforming itself from state programs to prevent disease in populations (e.g., vaccinations and newborn screening) to federal and international efforts to more broadly promote the "right to health." This problem-oriented seminar enables students to answer questions about health risks as such questions typically arise in practice -- in all their complexity and without preassigned doctrinal labels. It covers contemporary examples of the seven deadly sins -- anger, gluttony, lust, sloth -- plus drugs, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, biobanks, epidemics, bioweapons, and surveillance. The seminar offers a systematic framework for identifying and controlling health risks, drawing on theories of risk perception, cognitive reasoning, and empirical evidence. Students analyze and compare the applicability and effectiveness of different legal strategies to control risks, such as criminal and civil prohibitions, mandatory product standards, tort liability, mandatory data collection, biometric testing, conditions of employment, marketing restrictions, quarantine, and taxation. Emphasis is on the different scope of laws (state, federal and international) regulating personal behavior and laws regulating products and commercial activities. A writing project to develop a legal strategy to address a contemporary risk to health is required. This seminar is open to law students, SPH graduate students and advanced public health majors. As it originates in the Law School, it will follow the Law School's calendar and time schedule. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement in this seminar. **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 927: International Law
    This course will offer a basic survey of contemporary international law. It will teach students the minimum that every lawyer should know about the major issues of public international law and policy that influence current events and modern legal practice. It will also provide a foundation for those interested in further study of particular topics covered. We will consider both the historical "law of nations" and post-World War II developments, which have shifted the fulcrum of the system from an exclusive focus on the rights and duties of states inter se to a broader focus on all the diverse participants in the contemporary international legal process: not only states but intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, insurgents, multinational business enterprises, terrorist and criminal associations, and individuals. Specific topics will include: (i) the history, nature, sources and efficacy of international law; (ii) the establishment, transformation and termination of states and other actors, including international institutions and, in particular, the United Nations; (iii) the domestic incorporation of international law, with a focus on key concepts of U.S. foreign relations law; (iv) the allocation among states of jurisdiction to prescribe and apply law, as well as jurisdictional immunities; (v) human rights, the laws of war, and international criminal law; (vi) the allocation of control over and regulation of the resources of the planet, including the law of the sea, territory, the environment, and the global economy; and (vii) the use of force. The role of power in the international legal system will be candidly acknowledged--and the problems and opportunities it presents explored. Current international events will be woven into the curriculum as appropriate. Examination. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 931: Private Equity and Venture Capital Transactions (S)
    This seminar introduces students to the business and legal issues prevalent in private equity and venture capital deals and highlights the significant role that lawyers play in effecting these transactions. The seminar will begin with an overview of the private equity and venture capital industries, an introduction to investment transactions and will proceed through all aspects of the life of an investment from inception to exit. It will address how investment funds are formed and the legal and financial considerations present when those funds invest in private companies. We will examine deal terms and structures, pricing and corporate finance issues, and the management of deal risk. It will also highlight the due diligence process, stockholder relationships, fiduciary duties and securities laws considerations, and liquidity events. Theoretical readings will be balanced against practical articles and commentary, recent court decisions and model deal documents. The seminar will be highlighted by guest lectures by private equity and venture capital investment professionals. Grades will be based on a final exam, short pre-class exercises and class participation. PREREQUISITE: Corporations (May be waived with an instructor's permission.) NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course 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 934: Affordable Housing Law Externship: Fieldwork (C)
    Through the Affordable Housing Externship Program, students receive credit for an externship done in conjunction with the Affordable Housing and Community Development seminar (JD935), taught by Mr. Peter Freeman. Students receive 3 credits (C/NC) for performing 150 hours of fieldwork (about 12 hours per week), and 3 credits (graded) for the weekly seminar. The solutions to the ongoing problem and challenge of providing affordable housing and sustainable community development in our nation's cities and towns will occur only through the interdisciplinary efforts of lawyers, community groups, financial institutions, architects, engineers, planners and governmental agencies (at the local, state and federal levels). The Affordable Housing Externship Program provides opportunities for students to interface directly with the players mentioned above. "Learning the law" in this field is therefore enhanced immeasurably. The externship component offers the opportunity for students to experience how various laws, tools and programs come together in the real world to achieve the goal - project by project and case by case - of providing affordable housing and sustainable community development. Boston has a great wealth of public and non-profit housing and community development agencies, each providing a great experience for students. Students must submit an application for the Externship by April 15. Please contact Mr. Freeman for more information about specific placement possibilities.
  • LAW JD 935: Affordable Housing Law (S)
    The seminar will combine a focus on: 1) public policy issues related to the goals of creation of affordable housing in the context of community revitalization; and 2) real-world implementation strategies that have been successfully used to achieve these goals. Analyzing the roles of government agencies, non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, and private businesses will be a key part of the seminar. In lieu of a traditional exam or term paper, students will engage in field research and investigation of real community projects as part of semester long case studies, where they will work with lawyers, government officials, developers and grass-roots advocates involved with the projects. The relative utility of traditional legal techniques (such as land use planning devices, zoning, easements, revolving trusts, leasehold covenants and financing) will be carefully analyzed; the policies and impact of federal, state and local laws, including federal and state affordable housing financing programs and the Community Preservation Act in Massachusetts, will be examined; and possible new approaches will be considered. By incorporating real-world projects into the seminar, it is hoped that the interface of law, economics, planning, design, and construction disciplines will enable the problems to be analyzed from a variety of perspectives reflecting a client's and a community's practical concerns. 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. CLINIC OPTION: A limited number of students may apply to enroll in the Affordable Housing Law Externship Program (JD934). See the Clinical Programs website for more information. ** 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 936: International Development and Project Finance (S)
    Capital-intensive public and private development projects throughout the world, including large-scale infrastructure, transportation, energy, agriculture, technology and environmental projects depend upon project financing as the primary funding mechanism. Understanding and resolving the political, legal and financial risks associated with the planning and implementation of these projects, and often in emerging and unstable economies, is the critical first step in developing project finance opportunities. The seminar will combine theory and practice and focus on the negotiation and structure of actual project finance and concession agreements and transactions and the minimization of exposures and risks associated with these transactions. Each step of the project finance process will be analyzed, including the rationale and sources for the project finance, the legal framework for the project finance, the organizational and governance structure, risk allocation and mitigation and dispute resolution. An interdisciplinary analysis from the legal, finance and public perspective will be used to assess the views that investors, lenders, designers, contractors, governmental participants, citizens and other stakeholders bring to an infrastructure project. Several of the world's largest and most complex civil engineering and infrastructure mega projects including the English Chunnel, the Chad Cameroon Pipeline, the Dabhol Power Project and Boston's Central Artery Tunnel Project will serve as models for analysis of project finance and risk. A final research paper will be required in lieu of an examination. 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. GRADING NOTICE: This course 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 937: Legislative Policy & Drafting Externship (C)
    Legislative Policy & Drafting Externship is a one-semester clinical program. Students are required to apply and be accepted to the program before they register. Accepted students will work with a Senator or Representative in the Massachusetts Legislature for 3-9 ungraded credits. The program matches second-year and third-year students with Senators and Representatives at the Massachusetts State House. Interns may draft legislation; evaluate testimony; participate in planning meetings with legislators and staff; research questions of law and fact for proposed legislation; observe legislative strategy sessions and negotiations; attend floor debates and committee meetings. COREQUISITE: Legislative Policy & Drafting Externship: Seminar (JD 938). NOTE: This program satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement.
  • LAW JD 938: Legislative Policy & Drafting Externship: Seminar
    The Legislative Policy & Drafting Externship option is a one-semester clinical program. Students are required to apply and be accepted to the program before they register. The American Legislative Practice seminar will cover subjects that affect the legislative process including: constitutional interpretation by legislatures, theories of representation, legislative organization and rules, lobbying, legislative oversight powers, and legislature-executive agency relationships. The seminar component counts for three graded credits. COREQUISITE: American Legislative Practice: Interns/Fieldwork(JD937).
  • LAW JD 940: Law & Economics Workshop (S)
    The Law and Economics Seminar is a research workshop. The first three class sessions will focus on selected basic topics in law and economics, including methodology commonly used in law and economics scholarship. In the following class sessions, outside speakers (typically faculty members from other institutions) will present their current work in the field. The specific topics considered will vary depending on the interests of the speakers, but the general focus will be the application of economic concepts and tools to legal and regulatory issues. Students are responsible for preparing short weekly memoranda that respond to the presented papers. 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.
  • LAW JD 941: Corporate Governance (S)
    This seminar will address corporate governance issues from an historical as well as current perspective. In addressing the legal framework of corporate governance for the modern U.S. corporation, we will consider the implications for corporate governance posed by different players, including investors, independent directors, corporate management, employees and other stakeholders. Throughout our discussions, we will seek to take into account the roles played by courts, legislatures, and regulatory bodies, as well as the challenges and responsibilities of lawyers who advise their clients in various settings. In addition to discussion of legal academic writings, cases and relevant laws, we will engage in a number of role-playing exercises in class. For example, students may be called upon to play various roles in a simulated annual meeting of shareholders involving a campaign to withhold votes to elect a company's board chairman or to play the role of legal advisers to independent directors of a company's board who are called upon to negotiate the compensation of the company's chief executive officer. There is no exam in this course. Each student will be required to write one short paper (up to 5 pages) that will cover a topic for a given class and will be responsible for leading (or co-leading with one or more other students) the discussion on that topic for a substantial portion of that class. In this regard, the student or students responsible for leading the discussion in a given class will also be asked to identify and post an additional reading for that class. Each student will also be required to write a longer paper of publishable quality due at the end of the semester. The professor will consult with each student at the outset, when a research topic is chosen, and during other stages of the research and writing process. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. PREREQUISITE: Corporations. RECOMMENDED: Securities Regulation (either prior to or concurrent with this course.) 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. ** 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 942: English Legal History
    This course will cover the history of the common law in England from the late twelfth century to the time of the American Revolution. We will study the development of the legal profession, its doctrines, and its techniques in five areas: procedure, criminal law, property, contract, and tort. The readings emphasize primary sources, and students will give presentations in teams on historical documents handed out in class. Students can either write a research paper or complete a take-home examination. Research papers may, but need not fulfill the Writing Requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule.
  • LAW JD 943: Comparative Legal Practicum (C)
    Please contact the Clinical Programs Office for more information.
  • LAW JD 945: Trial Advocacy (Advanced)
    The purpose of this course is to enable students to further develop the skills acquired during the basic trial advocacy course and to introduce them to issues that are not generally addressed at the basic level. Those issues will include motions in limine, impaneling a jury, trial notebooks, effective use of experts, trial technology, preserving the record for appellate purposes and further developing direct and cross-examinations skills. This will be accomplished by using the entire case file used by counsel in a 1992 murder trial, Commonwealth v Fuller in Essex County, MA. The class will be divided into two teams: a prosecution team and a defense team. The case is evenly weighted so no team will have a built-in advantage. Each team will work together to address the issues facing that team. There will be plenty of opportunity for individual in-class demonstrations of various trial skills, including writing and arguing motions in limine, direct and cross examinations of an expert, etc. The students will learn that much of trial advocacy involves "brainstorming" the issues with one's peers, particularly during the early stages of a case. Accordingly, the course will be frontloaded with group discussion of the various issues facing the trial lawyer before the first juror is impaneled. The final exam of this course will be a mock trial of a case, one that is much more compact than the Fuller case. This trial will provide an excellent opportunity for the students to demonstrate the complete range of their trial skills. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option NOTE: This class satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. *** A student who fails either to attend the initial meeting of Trial Advocacy (Advanced), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the registrar, will be administratively dropped from the section. Students who are on a wait list for a section are required to attend the first section meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 946: Criminal Law
    Examines the basic principles of substantive criminal law, including the justifications for punishment, the essential elements of offenses, mitigating and exculpating defenses, and different forms of criminal liability.
  • LAW JD 947: Sex Crimes (S)
    Over the last few decades, the public has become increasingly concerned about sexual crimes. In addition to harsher punishments, several civil, collateral consequences have become common such as indefinite commitment and registration. This class will explore how sexual offenses are dealt with in the criminal justice system and the underlying reasoning for the heightened attention, including morality, statistical data, and psychological/scientific evidence. We will discuss the limitations, if any, that govern collateral consequences such as indefinite civil commitment and registration (e.g. Constitutional restrictions, scientific uncertainty). The class aims to challenge preconceived notions of sex crimes and sex offenders through case law, guest speakers, academic literature, and real life scenarios. NOTE: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course 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 948: Immigrants & the Law: The Regulated Immigrant(S)
    Recent census data informs us that there are approximately 40 million immigrants living in the United States. About 11 million of these immigrants are undocumented or otherwise in the country illegally. The rest of the country remains divided on their feelings regarding the immigrant population, with about half believing that immigrants "strengthen the country because of their hard work and talent, while 41% [believe them to be] a burden because they take jobs, health care and housing." (Information in this paragraph obtained from Most Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, but Citizenship is More Divisive (Pew Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.), Mar. 28, 2013.) This course will investigate the life of an immigrant in American society from a legal perspective. Students will learn how immigrants, both documented and undocumented, interact with various sections of the American system. The goal is to assess various ways in which an individual's immigration status affects access to important rights and benefits accorded to citizens and analyze the legal rationale for existing limitations. We will examine these issues through the use of law review articles, court cases, existing and proposed legislation, newspaper articles, empirical studies, and governmental and private organizational position papers. Topics may include an investigation of an immigrant's access and limitations in primary and secondary education, public benefits, the court system, employment, voting, as well as modes of immigration policing by both federal immigration authorities and state police. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course 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 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. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.