Courses

  • LAW BK 983: Central Banks, Commercial Banks, and Financial Markets
    This course introduces lawyers to the economics of financial markets and institutions. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of commercial banks, the Federal Reserve System, and monetary policy. Other topics include the characteristics of financial instruments (such as Treasury securities, corporate stocks and bonds, and secondary market mortgage-backed securities), how they are priced in the market, the factors determining the level and shape of the Treasury yield curve, and the relationship between commercial banking and the growth of the over-the-counter derivatives market. Course grades will be based on midterm and final examinations, and on written assignments.
  • LAW BK 987: Securitization
    Securitization and structured finance together constitute one of the most dynamic segments of the financial markets. Securitization involves the creation and issuance of securities backed by one or more assets which generate cash flows sufficient to fund the securities. Structured finance includes securitization as well as transactions in which securities are not issued, but which involve the often complex structuring of cash flows to achieve a desired tax, accounting or financial objective. These transactions often cut across many areas of legal specialization, including bank and thrift regulation, securities regulation, taxation, bankruptcy and insolvency, fiduciary law, real estate law and environmental law. This course examines a series of actual transactions to explore the sometimes contradictory ways that these various legal constructs impinge upon the structuring transactions. Examples include single-family mortgage pools, trade receivable securitizations and commercial mortgage securitizations. This course also explores some of the more cutting-edge securitizations of exotic asset classes such as legal fees, intellectual property and renewable energy assets.
  • LAW BK 988: Mergers and Acquisitions
    This course deals with key issues that arise in bank mergers and acquisitions. Business and transactional topics include: merger and acquisition strategies, deal structure and pricing, hostile takeovers and defenses, duties of directors, disclosure obligations, due diligence, mergers of equals, social issues, tax considerations, and accounting issues. Regulatory topics include: federal and state approval processes, regulatory considerations in the structuring of transactions, antitrust considerations, interstate banking issues, the Community Reinvestment Act, thrift and other nonbank acquisitions, Glass-Steagall and Bank Holding Company Act issues, and cross- industry transactions.
  • LAW BK 990: Government Regulation of Insurance
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), better known as health care reform, is the most important and controversial piece of federal social legislation of this generation. It is also basically an insurance regulatory statute. PPACA establishes a new and complex set of rules governing the operation of the health insurance industry, provides consumers with important rights with respect to access to medical care and imposes obligations with respect to health insurance on both businesses and individuals. The course will look at PPACA and the issues that surrounded its enactment--issues which continue to fuel debate over whether it should modified or repealed. This will be done as part of an examination of the regulatory rules that govern all of insurance industry?s products (annuities, auto, home owners? product liability, life insurance, etc). The course also takes a look at the insurance industry?s structure and financial performance and at the competitive interactions between the insurance, banking and securities industries. The impact on the industry of the financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting Dodd-Frank reform legislation will be reviewed.
  • LAW BK 991: Commercial Lending
    This course studies the legal problems involved in negotiating and documenting various types of commercial lending transactions ranging from short-term unsecured loans to secured and long-term financings. The process is followed from the initial identification of a lending opportunity to pre- commitment correspondence and commitment letters, through to the key documents required at closing. The major aspects of a loan agreement, including definitional provisions, representations and warranties, lending provisions, pricing, affirmative and negative covenants, and events of defaults are studied in detail in an effort to insure that each student understands the mechanics of a commercial loan agreement. Security interests in real estate and personal property are addressed. Loan syndications and the loan markets are examined. Issues relating to guaranties and subordination agreements are considered. Overviews of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and lender liability are provided. Provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act relating to financing transactions, legal lending limits, margin requirements, and usury are considered. A lecture and discussion format is employed. Reading assignments include relevant court decisions, articles, and actual transaction documents.
  • LAW BK 995: Consumer Financial Services
    This class presents an overview of the laws relating to traditional and innovative consumer financial products and services, including the impact of the new consumer protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank banking law on creditors and consumers. The course focuses on federal consumer financial laws governing installment, revolving, and real estate lending, credit and debit cards; and ATM networks, point of sale payment systems, home banking, stored value and prepaid cards; and other deposit and loan products and services. The course examines the design of retail financial products and considers operational issues, the regulatory framework, and consumer protection laws including The Consumer Financial Protection Act, Truth in Lending, Equal Credit Opportunity, Community Reinvestment Acts, and federal and state laws governing fair credit reporting, trade practices, usury, electronic funds transfers, and funds availability.
  • LAW JD 602: Lawyering Skills 1
    Provides training in legal research, legal writing, oral advocacy, client interviewing, and client counseling through simulations of real-world legal disputes.
  • LAW JD 603: Lawyering Skills 2
    Provides training in legal research, legal writing, oral advocacy, client interviewing, and client counseling through simulations of real-world legal disputes.
  • LAW JD 605: Business Fundamentals
    Introduction to Business Fundamentals is an online, self-paced, asynchronous program forming a required part of the JD curriculum. The curriculum consists of modules covering business basics, corporate finance and financial accounting, including the following subjects: capital markets; the basics of financial reporting; balance sheets; income statements and cash flow; business forms and organizations; financing organizations; discounting; and calculating risk, return and valuation. Assessment is based on multiple choice exams. Students may opt-out of the course if they score an 84% or better on the pre-course exam. A score of 70% or better on the post-course exam, following successful completion of the course, is necessary to meet the requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course awards no credits and is graded P/F. It is a graduation requirement for JD students. Students may enroll in the program for the fall, spring or summer semesters, but should complete the course by the conclusion of the fall semester of the 3L year.
  • LAW JD 607: Lawyering Lab
    The one-week intensive Lawyering Lab guides students to bring to bear legal concepts, core practice competencies and practical judgment to address simulated client problems and achieve a client's objectives within the bounds of the law --the essence of what clients hire attorneys to do. This is done through lectures to provide necessary background, but more importantly through interactive discussion and "hands-on" exercises--both in and outside of class- -that require students to actually do what lawyers do in solving client problems and achieving their objectives. This includes (1) determining the client's goals; (2) determining the legal constraints and opportunities that affect the client's ability to get what it wants; (3) determining the relevant facts; (4) identifying multiple options for action; (5) assessing the various options to generate possible recommendations, (6) counseling the client; and (7) negotiating and drafting agreements. Students work collaboratively to produce the kind of memos, analyses, and advice written by practicing lawyers. The deadlines for class assignments are tight, as they usually are for lawyers seeking to respond with immediacy to particular client problems. Through the expertise and guidance of the instructors, collaborative exercises with peers, and exposure to some of the day-to-day elements of lawyering, students in the Lawyering Lab learn about law and legal practice in a way that is exciting, innovative, and participant-centered. 1 credit, P/F.
  • LAW JD 694: Financial Institutions Self-Regulation (S)
    This seminar focuses on the ways in which financial institutions should prevent violations of the law. Therefore, the seminar covers: (i) Law, (ii) Institutional culture; (iii) Institutional internal preventive mechanisms. (iv) the role of the lawyer and compliance officers, and (v) how to resurrect failed institutional self-regulation (e.g., NASA). Time permitted, students will present their papers in class for comments. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may elect to use this course to fulfill the upper-class writing requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. ** 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 695: Military Law (S)
    Military law was traditionally viewed as a specialized code of justice reserved for members of the armed forces; this view if clearly outdated. While our starting point will be the history and current state of military law in the United States (especially the Uniform Code of Military Justice) we will look much further beyond -- into the role of the military among security agencies, post 9-11; the legal implication of extra-territorial military operations, with the challenge of the International Criminal Court; what it means to serve in the military -- recruitment, diversity, codes of conduct and sexual misconduct; private and speech, veterans affairs issues (including PTSD and homelessness) etc. While the seminar looks primarily at current U.S. law, I will seek to incorporate comparative, historical, economic and sociological insights. NOTE: This seminar does not 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 696: Globalization & The Constitution (S)
    This seminar will examine how globalization is reshaping U.S. constitutional law. Broad powers relating to U.S. foreign relations were historically allocated to the President. A functional imperative of traditional diplomacy and interstate conflict, this constitutional centralization justified anomalous doctrines of foreign relations relating to separation of powers, federalism, and individual rights. Globalization has enabled actors other than the President -- including Congress, the judiciary, the federal bureaucracy, state and local governments, corporations, and individuals -- to assume enlarged roles on the world stage. Globalization has also magnified the salience of international law and international institutions to U.S. constitutional law. This course will chart and interrogate this shift in various contexts -- including climate change, human rights, trade, and immigration -- in which constitutional law and norms are adapting to changed global realities. 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 698: Small & Mid-Size Firm Externship: Seminar
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is a 2-credit graded seminar that meets every week for 1.5 hours for those students doing fieldwork in small and medium-sized law offices. This seminar focuses on a range of topics unique to legal practice in small and medium-sized law firms, with a particular emphasis on developing the skills necessary for successful lawyering in this setting. Students will gain a foundational knowledge of smaller firms and learn how to cultivate mentors, seek and respond to feedback, obtain challenging assignments, and measure progress on professional development goals. Students will write reflective papers, make oral presentations, and complete other work as required by the instructor. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Small & Mid-Size Firm Externship: Fieldwork (LAW JD 699).
  • LAW JD 699: Small & Mid-Size Firm Externship: Fieldwork
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is the companion fieldwork component for students enrolled in the Small and Medium Law Firm Externship: Seminar. Students will work at legal offices of small and medium-sized law firms. 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. COREQUISITE: Small & Mid-Size Firm Externship: Seminar (LAW JD 698 A1).
  • LAW JD 700: Introduction to American Law
    The class covers the basic structure and function of US legal institutions: the congress, the president, and regulatory agencies, and, especially, the federal courts. It examines the role of state law and state courts in the American system of federalism. The course also studies the American judicial processes of constitutional analyses, interpretation of statues, and development of common law. Some attention is paid to court procedures, including trial by jury. Finally, students study a few topics that are illustrative of the treatment of individual rights in American law, such as freedom of speech, anti-discrimination law, and protection of private property. The class grants two credits towards the American Law degree.
  • LAW JD 701: Professional Responsibility for Int'l LLMs
    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. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 702: Property for LL.M. Students
    This course exposes LL.M. students to the basic principles of real property law, including possession, ownership, rights in land, conveyances, estates, future interests, real estate contracts, easements, land use disputes, landlord-tenant issues, and land use controls, among others. The course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the essential doctrines of real property law for LL.M. students interested in taking a U.S. bar exam. Meeting dates - 1/17/2018-2/26/2018.
  • LAW JD 703: Evidence for LLMs
    This course provides LL.M. students with an overview of the substantive rules governing the admissibility or exclusion of evidence at trial. Subjects include competency of witnesses, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, the rule against hearsay and its exceptions, expert and lay opinion testimony, privileged communications, relevancy, procedural considerations, judicial notice, burden of proof, presumptions, form and type of objections, authentication, the best evidence rule and the use of demonstrative and scientific evidence. The course is designed to give students a fundamental understanding of evidentiary rules in anticipation of taking a US bar exam. Meeting dates - 3/12/2018-4/23/2018.
  • LAW JD 704: Tutorial: Empirical Research on Competition
    In this tutorial we study empirical research techniques and participate in ongoing research on measures of industry competition and concentration and factors affecting those measures, including the role of information technology, regulation, and political activity. Familiarity with statistics or econometrics is recommended.