Courses

  • LAW JD 705: Consumer Debt Practicum
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Students in the Practicum provide pro bono representation to low income defendants in small claims court on credit card collection matters. Students engage in client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, and oral advocacy including small claims trials, under the supervision of the clinic instructors. Students must be available to be at court on Thursday afternoons. In addition, there is a weekly seminar that covers substantive topics and skills development in areas related to the clinic work such as consumer law including Truth in Lending, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Massachusetts Consumer Cost Credit Act. NOTE: The Consumer Debt Practicum counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 709: Independent Proposal Externship: Fieldwork (C)
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Students receive credit for an externship done in conjunction with an independent study project. Qualifying placements include the legal departments of non-profits, government agencies, private companies, or law firms (working on pro bono projects only). Placements may be paid or unpaid. Students may find their own placements that must be approved by the Office of Experiential Education, or the Office has resources to help students identify and apply to suitable field placements based on their interests and career goals. Students receive 3-9 variable P/F credits for their fieldwork, as determined in consultation with their placement supervisors. 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: INDEPENDENT PROPOSAL EXTERNSHIP: PAPER (LAW JD 710).
  • LAW JD 710: Independent Proposal Externship: Paper (C)
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Students receive credit for an externship done in conjunction with an independent study project. Qualifying placements include the legal departments of non-profits, government agencies, private companies, or law firms (working on pro bono projects only). Placements may be paid or unpaid. Students may find their own placements that must be approved by the Office of Experiential Education, or the Office has resources to help students identify and apply to suitable field placements based on their interests and career goals. Students receive 3-9 variable P/F credits for their fieldwork, as determined in consultation with their placement supervisors. 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 toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: INDEPENDENT PROPOSAL EXTERNSHIP: FIELDWORK(LAW JD 709).
  • LAW JD 711: Judicial Writing (S)
    This course will focus on writing styles and formats unique to the judicial process, such as the bench memo and appellate majority and dissenting opinion. Classes will provide a general overview of the opinion writing function with emphasis on topics such as opinion structure, judicial writing style, the relationship between style and substance, the use of narrative and rhetorical techniques, and ethical considerations in opinion writing. Through a series of writing assignments and in-class exercises, students will learn to how to diagnose and revise difficult and unclear writing, acquire techniques for writing more economically, precisely and unambiguously, and hone their skills in structuring and organizing, analyzing, and writing persuasively. In analyzing judicial opinions and writing from the perspective of a judge rather than an advocate, students will gain a deeper understanding of the judicial process and will become better critical readers and users of judicial opinions. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 14 students. NOTES: This class 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 712: Legal Writing for Civil Litigation (S)
    This class is designed to give students experience in legal writing civil litigation. Over the course of the semester, students will work on the various stages of a federal court litigation from pre-complaint investigation through dispositive motions. There will opportunities to draft a variety of litigation documents, including complaints, discovery, motions, and memos. Students will complete multiple drafts of key documents and will meet individually with the instructor to discuss the drafts. Students will focus on using the facts to tell their clients' story and making persuasive, winning arguments. In class, students will discuss a range of strategic questions including developing viable causes of action, identifying critical facts, and using written discovery to obtain information. Additionally, students will participate in-class exercises designed to improve the students' skills in writing, fact-gathering and argument. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 14 students NOTES: This class does not satisfy the upper-class writing 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 713: Persuasive Writing (S)
    This seminar will focus on improving students' persuasive writing skills through a series of assignments and in-class exercises. Students will draft a variety of documents designed to persuade, including a statement of the facts and memos in support of motions. Some legal research will be necessary for these assignments, but the emphasis will be on writing, not on research. Students will complete multiple drafts of these documents, meet individually with the instructor to discuss the drafts, and engage in peer editing of their classmates' papers to improve their own writing skills. The class will also include discussions of persuasive writing strategies, comparisons of examples of good and bad persuasive writing, and in-class writing exercises. Students will be graded on the basis of their written work, their peer editing work, and on their classroom participation. There will be no final exam. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 14 students. NOTES: This class 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 714: Advanced Constitutional Law: Citizenship, Immigration & the Constitution (S)
    In this seminar, we will examine constitutional questions concerning (1) the acquisition and loss of citizenship status, and (2) the privilege or right of entry into the United States. Specific topics will include birthright citizenship, derivative citizenship, immigration, naturalization, expatriation, denationalization, denaturalization, and citizenship in the United States territories. Throughout, we will consider the extent to which constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process apply in the fields of citizenship and immigration law. For example, is racial profiling permissible in the administration of our immigration laws? We will also examine how structural constitutional principles -- federalism and separation of powers -- shape American citizenship and immigration law. For example, did President Obama have the authority to issue the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" Executive Order, or does the Constitution require congressional approval for such policies? What role may state (as opposed to federal) officials play in the enforcement of our immigration laws? Although our readings will primarily focus citizenship and immigration in the United States, we will also draw on comparative and international law materials. Options for satisfying the writing requirement include one longer paper or three medium-length papers. 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 716: Construction Law
    This course will introduce students to the key concepts of construction law. The course takes students from pre-construction through project execution, and addresses the issues and conflicts that frequently arise during the construction process. Although portions of the course will address issues of contract law and dispute resolution, the course focuses on issues that are particular and unique to construction. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 717: Health Law Research
    Health law encompasses the engagement of the legal system with a large and dynamic segment of the U.S. economy. In this class, students will gain a familiarity with how to navigate the statutory and regulatory framework of health law, how to evaluate resources, and how complex and multi-part search strategies may be applied to research problems. Students will also gain a deeper understanding of databases beyond Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg, and of current awareness sources. Classes will combine instruction and hands-on exercises using print, electronic, and web-based resources. Students will be evaluated on several grounds, including class participation, regular assignments, and a short paper and presentation. NOTE: This class counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. NOTE: Students may not add this course after the first class has been held. ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: A student who fails to attend the first class or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the class. Students who are on the wait list are required to attend the first meeting to be considered for enrollment. Meeting Dates: February 27 to April 10, 2019.
  • LAW JD 719: Transactional Contracts: Drafting and Analyzing Transactional Agreements under U.S. Law (for foreign-trained LL.M. students)
    This course is for foreign-trained LL.M. students. It teaches students basic principles and skills of drafting and analyzing transaction and other business agreements under U.S. law, with a focus on recognizing, and addressing through contractual provisions, key business issues in various transactional contexts, including asset purchases and sales, intellectual property licensing and employment agreements. While the course utilizes lectures to introduce various contract concepts and techniques essential for drafting and analyzing transaction and other commercial agreements, it requires that students complete in-class exercises and homework assignments as a means of building basic drafting skills and a solid understanding of the structure and operation of contractual provisions in a business transaction under U.S. law. Grades will be based on the graded assignments, good faith completion of ungraded assignments, and class participation. CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 students. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 721: Conflict of Laws
    Question of jurisdiction, judgments and choice of law in events and transactions touching more than one nation or state. Contexts both (i) international and (ii) state-to-state within the United States, related to matters including contracts, commercial transactions, torts, and family law. Which courts will be competent to decide a dispute touching more than one state or nation? Which law will govern a dispute? Will some laws be deemed "mandatory" (lois de police) and thus not subject to choice-of-law clauses by the parties to a transaction? When a judgment rendered in one state or nation be recognized and enforced in other jurisdictions? What rule of res judicata and issue preclusion will apply in cross-border contexts? A comparative component, looking at non-United States traditions as well American approaches.
  • LAW JD 724: Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic. The Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic is a full-year clinic that provides students the opportunity to perform work for real clients on a variety of matters typically encountered by entrepreneurs in launching new business ventures, such as choice of entity, capital structure, equity allocation and compensation, intellectual property ownership and licensing, financing and employment arrangements. Students will also learn, through their first-hand client work, the ethical rules of professional responsibility regarding entity representation, including identification of the client, identifying potential conflicts of interest, and advising clients and associated persons as to the nature and implications of the attorney-client relationship. In addition to their fieldwork, students attend a weekly seminar that develops concepts and skills to support their fieldwork. The seminar features substantive lectures, student-led discussions and guest speakers, and students present and discuss their ongoing client matters. The clinic meets for two semesters, with more advanced seminar topics and increased responsibility for cases occurring in the spring semester. PRE/CO-REQUISITE: Corporations. Students are also strongly encouraged to take Contract Drafting and some intellectual property coursework (the IP survey course and/or other subject-matter-specific courses). NOTE: This clinic counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 725: Technology & Cyberlaw Clinic: Fieldwork (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Technology and Cyberlaw Clinic. The Clinic provides counseling and guidance to assist MIT and BU students with laws and regulations that relate to their innovation-related academic and extracurricular activities. The clinic provides counseling in areas of technology law including data privacy and security, intellectual property, computer crimes, regulatory compliance, and public records laws. Representation of clients can include client counseling, negotiation with third parties, and, if capacity allows, litigation and other dispute resolution. The fieldwork may also include presentations to MIT and BU students and faculty about areas of law that are implicated in independent research and innovation. PRE/CO-REQUISITE: a course in one of the following three areas: (1) intellectual property (either an IP survey course or other core IP course such as patent, copyright, or trademark); (2) privacy (including information privacy seminar); or (3) cybersecurity. NOTE: The Technology & Cyberlaw Clinic counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 726: Health Care Fraud and Abuse (S)
    This seminar will use a practical, case-study approach to some of the issues arising in the complex world of health care enforcement and compliance. With emphasis on the procedural mechanisms of the False Claims Act and the substantive law of the Anti-Kickback Act, the Stark I and II laws, the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and the government's remedial authorities, the seminar will explore how prosecutors, defense attorneys, whistleblowers, and compliance officials inside health care companies approach their work and advise their clients. The seminar will explore the relationships between regulated industries (e.g., pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, medical device companies) and government insurance programs (e.g., Medicaid and Medicare), why these relationships generate billions of dollars every year in fraud, and how the interested constituencies are approaching these issues. 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: 12 students. 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 731: Critical Race Theory (S)
    This seminar explores the utility of Critical Race Theory to the study of law. Specifically, this seminar analyzes the centrality of the law in constructing and maintaining -- as well as dismantling -- racism, racial inequalities, and race itself. The latter part of the seminar will consist of a sustained analysis of Critical Race Theory as it speaks to issues of gender and reproduction. Students will write a research paper; with the permission of the instructor, this paper may satisfy the upper-class writing 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 733: Intellectual Property Law Research
    Intellectual property is a multi-faceted area of practice where it is especially important to be able to keep up with current developments. Students will become familiar with practitioners' tools as well as learning the role of legislative history, sources for securing intellectual property rights and patent and trademark searching. Legal information and technologies are constantly changing, and firms are constantly licensing new databases. Become familiar with the specialized tools used by lawyers in intellectual property practices. Classes will combine instruction and hands-on exercises using major print, electronic, and web based resources for intellectual property law research. NOTE: This class satisfies the upper-class Professional Skills requirement and counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. NOTE: Students may not add this course after the first class has been held. ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: A student who fails to attend the first class or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the class. Students who are on the wait list are required to attend the first meeting to be considered for enrollment. This course meets January 16 through February 20, 2019.
  • LAW JD 734: Judicial Externship Seminar
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students simultaneously enrolled in the Judicial Externship: Fieldwork course. The seminar focuses on teaching the substance and skills related to being a successful judicial extern. Topics include judicial ethics, legal research, judicial process, opinion drafting, judicial selection and recusal, and judicial decision-making. Students keep reflective journals chronicling their educational experience and reactions to the practice of law observed at the field placement. Please note that the course is scheduled to meet for seven two-hour class sessions, every other week. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Judicial Externship: Fieldwork (JD 735). GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 735: Judicial Externship: Fieldwork (C)
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Students receive credit for working in chambers for a judge in the state or federal court system. The assignments handled by an extern are similar to those handled during a post-graduate clerkship. Students may find their own judicial placements that must be approved by the Office of Experiential Education, or the Office will match the student with a judge. Students receive 4-9 variable P/F credits for their fieldwork, as determined in consultation with their placement supervisors. 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 toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Judicial Externship: Seminar (JD 734).
  • LAW JD 739: Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal (C)
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Through the Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal students develop their own proposal to spend a semester working full-time for credit at an externship placement, local or away from Boston. Qualifying placements include the legal departments of a non-profit, government agency, private company, or at a law firm (working on pro bono projects only). Externships may be paid or unpaid. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal Paper (JD 740).
  • LAW JD 740: Semester-in-Practice: Independent Paper
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students enrolled in the Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal course. Students work with a faculty supervisor in designing their own reading list, writing a 15-20 page research paper, and submitting seven 4-6 page bi-weekly journals. NOTE: Students who enroll in this component of the externship may count the credits toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement or the Upper-class writing requirement. It may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal (JD 739).