Courses

  • 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.
  • LAW JD 954: Corporate Counsel Externship Fieldwork
    Graduate Prerequisites: HEALTH LAW OR PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. This is the companion fieldwork component for students enrolled in the Corporate Counsel Externship: Seminar. Students will work at legal offices of corporations in unpaid or paid placements. Students will receive 3-9 variable P/F credits for working at their placements. Each credit requires 50 hours of work over the course of the 13-week semester (averaging 4 hours per week). NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement.
  • LAW JD 955: Alternative Dispute Resolution for LLMs (S)
    The goal of this course is to improve the ability of internationally-trained LL.M. students to resolve disputes and to productively engage in conflict. In this highly interactive class, students will examine a variety of dispute resolution processes, other than traditional court adjudication, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, dispute system design and restorative justice. Over the course of the semester, students will engage in a series of exercises (i.e., role-plays) through which they can develop and hone their skills and approaches to dispute resolution. Discussion and short lectures will accompany the exercises, as appropriate. There will be a series of short written assignments (2-3 pages). No final exam. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students.
  • 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 class may be used to satisfy the Professional Skills requirement, the Professional Responsibility requirement, credits toward Experiential Learning requirement, or the upper-class writing requirement. This class may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. GRADING NOTICE: This class 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 class may be used to satisfy the Professional Skills requirement or the upper-class writing requirement (limited). This class may not be used to satisfy more than one 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 960: Economic Analysis of Health Care Law
    This course is designed to develop a basic understanding of microeconomics principles and how they can be used to explain the structure of health law, to solve problems caused by market imperfections, to diagnose problems caused by the law, to make powerful legal arguments in health law disputes and to structure contracts and deals in the health care and insurance industries. The course will begin with a discussion of broad economic rationales behind industry regulation. We will then explore regulations designed to address asymmetric information and agency costs, health care insurance regulation, and regulation of market power. We will apply microeconomic theory to analyze strategies for achieving efficient levels of access, quality and quantity through law. Students will also learn how to read, interpret and critique empirical studies at a basic level. Familiarity with the fields of economics and health care law is not required.
  • LAW JD 961: Housing Law (S)
    Over the last sixty years housing law has evolved in a number of significant ways. Where once a lease was primarily considered to involve a transfer of an interest in land, it is now considered to involve a relationship framed by contract principles. Consistent with this change, tort law involving rental property is moving from a traditional negligence standard to a more complex standard based upon a duty derived from the implied warranty of habitability. Courts must now determine whether landlords should be held strictly liable in tort for personal injury claims based on defective conditions, inadequate security, lead poisoning, etc. Where formerly a landlord had significant discretion over tenant selection and tenancy termination, a variety of state housing laws and federal/state anti-discrimination laws now place significant limits on the landlord's power and control over these tenancy relationships. Public housing and governmentally subsidized housing has generated much heated debate as well as litigation over such issues as development-based policing authority and the right to evict entire families based upon criminal conduct of one family member. Finally, during the past four years complex title, tenancy, consumer rights and community preservation issues have arisen in the wake of the foreclosure crisis that has swept the nation. This seminar will focus on the various legal, social policy, and practical issues emerging with respect to traditional tenancies, premises liability, public safety in public and subsidized housing, housing discrimination, environmental protection, and control of foreclosed property. Student classroom participation and papers are required. 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. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is frequently offered in alternating years. 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 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. NOTE: This class may be used to satisfy the 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; the law of asylum; the intersection of immigration law and criminal law; grounds of removal from the United States; relief from deportation, immigration court representation and access to justice; and the law of naturalization and derived citizenship. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 969: Law & Regulation of Cannabis (S)
    This seminar will examine the burgeoning field of law surrounding the use, sale, and production of cannabis. Possible topics include federal versus state power to regulate cannabis, the substantive criminal laws regarding cannabis, and a variety of other issues such as banking, tax, and environmental laws that impact the cannabis industry in the United States. GRADING NOTICE: This class 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 971: Too Much Pay? Executive Pay & Profits (S)
    Graduate Prerequisites: INTRO TO FEDERAL INCOME TAXATION OR PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
    There is a long running debate in the economic and legal literature as to whether corporate executive pay in the U.S. is excessive. This seminar will engage this debate and address similar and related questions: What does it mean for compensation, executive or otherwise, to be excessive? Are there differences, e.g., in agency costs, that cause extreme pay levels to be more problematic in some settings, e.g., the public corporate sphere, than others, e.g., entertainers and professional athletes? If pay is excessive, what harms follow? Are the harms simply psychic or are they also economic? We will also consider analogous issues arising with respect to profits generated in certain industries that are subject to high agency costs, e.g., prescription drugs or defense technology. Finally, even if pay or profits are deemed excessive and harmful, it is a separate question whether law provides promising remedies. Thus, we will also consider the pros and cons of various legal remedies including disclosure-based approaches, taxation, and more direct regulation. Students will prepare research papers and present them in the seminar. Although there are no prerequisites, students enrolling in the seminar should be prepared to engage seriously with the legal and economic literature on these topics. NOTE: This seminar does not satisfy 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 (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: Professional Responsibility Issues in Business Law Practice (S)
    A survey of the laws and ethical rules that govern and regulate lawyers in corporate and transactional practice. Topics may include client identification in forming and dissolving business entities, representing close corporations and partnerships, investing in clients (including taking stock in lieu of legal fees), negotiation, representing public companies, the role of in-house counsel, conflicts of interest, and the future of regulating legal services in the US and globally. Students will be given various forms of research and writing assignments, including practical exercises such as drafting a conflicts waiver on behalf of both a corporate client and a law firm. NOTE: This class may be used to satisfy the Professional Responsibility requirement or the upper-class writing requirement (limited). This class may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class 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
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Civil Litigation Program. Pretrial Advocacy is the companion fall classroom component for students in the Civil Litigation Program HEFD and fall ERC clinics. Pretrial Advocacy is taught in groups of roughly 14 students with two clinical professors per group. Classes are devoted to learning the theories of practice for use in the field, reinforced by activities and simulations in which students practice skills through role play. NOTE: Students who enroll in this component of the clinic may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement or the Professional Responsibility requirement. It may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 974: Civil Litigation Program/Trial Advocacy
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Civil Litigation Program. Trial Advocacy is the companion spring classroom component for students in the Civil Litigation Program HEFD and spring ERC clinics. Trial Advocacy is taught in groups of roughly 14 students with two clinical professors per group. Classes are devoted to learning the theories of practice for use in the field, reinforced by activities and simulations in which students practice skills through role play. NOTE: The Civil Litigation Program satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 975: International Human Rights Clinic (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the International and Human Rights Clinic. Students in the Clinic work on human rights projects such as: working with NGO's in advocacy in the UN human rights system or in regional organs (e.g. Inter-American and European human rights bodies); filing briefs on human rights law issues in US domestic courts; counseling individual clients with human rights claims and without recourse within a domestic jurisdiction. While the nature of the fieldwork varies from year to year, the clinic has previously partnered with domestic and international NGOs on the Guantanamo cases, habeas cases, and Alien Tort Claims Act cases; drafted submissions to UN treaty bodies; and worked on the health and human rights aspects of humanitarian crises. Students conduct legal and factual research, conduct outreach to partners and project strategy development, and may prepare amicus briefs on human rights issues and appeals in human rights cases. The clinic fieldwork may include international travel. In the fall, students attend a weekly course, arranged in accordance with the students' schedules, to gain a structured introduction to human rights practitioners' work. NOTE: The International Human Rights Clinic satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 976: Complex Litigation (S)
    On February 20, 2003 a heavy metal band set off pyrotechnics inside a crowded Rhode Island nightclub, igniting foam insulation on the walls. The ensuing fire and panic killed 100 persons and injured hundreds more, spawning civil litigation that lasted seven years. This interactive seminar, conducted by a BU Law alumnus who was a lead attorney representing plaintiffs in that litigation, explores the legal and ethical issues faced by attorneys in that case. While the factual context of this seminar is tort-based, emphasized skills will be useful for all future litigators. John Barylick's book, KILLER SHOW: The Station Nightclub Fire, America's Deadliest Rock Concert, is the seminar's main text and a jumping-off point for explorations of: legal ethics, civil procedure, plaintiff selection, defendant selection and liability theories, formal and informal discovery methods, mediation and formulation of a damages distribution plan. Audiovisuals include materials from the Station Fire case and mediations. Additional readings include sections of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Title 28 of the United States Code, law review articles and pleadings from the case. There will be a few short (2-3 page) assignments and in-class role-playing exercises, including depositions and mediation. There will be a final written assignment, rather than a final exam. NOTE: This class does not satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. This course satisfies the upper-class Professional Skills requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will 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 980: International Business Arbitration (S)
    Legal dimensions of resolution of cross-border economic disputes through binding arbitration. Treaty framework for determining validity of arbitration agreement and for recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards, in particular 1958 New York (UN) Convention and 1965 Washington (World Bank) Convention. Comparative approach, including reference to French, English, Swiss, and United States approaches to arbitration law, as well as the United States (UNCITRAL) Model Act. Investor-State proceedings pursuant to free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties. Influence of major arbitration rules, including ICC, LCIA, AAA and ICSID. Exploration of special issues arising from intellectual property arbitration and expropriation claims, including Act of State and sovereign immunity. Introduction to debate on "delocalized" arbitration, the role of the arbitral seat and the enforceability of awards annulled at the place of proceedings. Arbitral awards as a contribution to lex mercatoria and the "soft law" of dispute resolution. Comparison of business arbitration with issues related to consumer, employment and class action proceedings in the United States. 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 982: Criminal Trial Practice I (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Criminal Law Clinical Program. Criminal Trial Practice I is mandatory for students in their first semester of the Program. 2Ls take the course fall or spring, as determined in consultation with the Director of the Criminal Law Clinical Program upon acceptance to the Program. 3Ls take the course in the fall. The course consists of a fieldwork and classroom component. The classroom component provides students with an introduction to Massachusetts criminal procedure and basic instruction in lawyering skills such as case planning and investigation. For their fieldwork, students are assigned to cases handled by senior members of the Program and conduct tasks out of court such as legal research, fact investigation, witness interviews and preparation. Students spend one morning a week 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 and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 984: Professional Responsibility
    This course offers an approach to the lawyer's responsibilities to clients, the profession, and the public. Topics addressed will be problems of disclosure, conflict of interest, advertising, adversary tactics, competence, attorney fees, and fiduciary duties. NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-class Professional Responsibility requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.