Courses

  • LAW JD 857: Intellectual Property
    This course explores how the law deals with the products of creative activity. The range of subject matter is large, embracing things as different as mechanical inventions and melodies; baubles and boat designs; catalogues, computers and cartoons. Among the areas of potential coverage are federal copyright law, federal trademark law, state law theories of unfair competition, trade secret law, patent law, state rights of publicity, and misappropriation. Also considered will be whether federal law should preempt the efforts of state judges and legislatures to regulate intellectual products.
  • LAW JD 861: Civil Litigation Program (C)
    The Civil Litigation Program gives students the opportunity to use their lawyering skills in all courtroom levels - from local trial and housing courts, to the state's Supreme Judicial Court, to the federal court. In fact, several landmark decisions by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court began as student-represented cases in the Civil Litigation Program. Students in the Civil Litigation Clinic choose from three options: *Housing, Employment, Family and Disability Clinic (HEFD) (full-year program) - The average HEFD clinic caseload over two semesters typically includes 4-5 cases in areas such as domestic relations, eviction defense, employment law and Social Security appeals. Other kinds of cases may also be assigned. *Immigration Rights Clinic (IRC) (full-year program) - The average IRC clinic caseload over two semesters typically includes two asylum or humanitarian/refugee related cases, and a significant research project. *Employment Rights Clinic (ERC) (one semester program, fall or spring) - Students will represent clients in unemployment compensation cases, and a possibility of working on wage and hour disputes, discrimination/sexual harassment cases, and Family Medical Leave Act cases. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE (HEFD & IRC OPTIONS): If you have not already done so, you must take Evidence during the first semester to satisfy the student practice rule. If you have already taken Trial Advocacy, you will still need to take the clinical section. It is closely integrated with your field work. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE (ERC OPTION): Spring ERC students must take Evidence and Professional Responsibility concurrently with the Employment Rights Clinic, or students must have already taken these courses. Fall ERC students must take Evidence concurrently, or have already taken this course. NOTE: This clinic satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement.
  • LAW JD 862: Client Counseling (S)
    The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with the opportunity to develop client counseling skills needed to deal with a wide variety of clients and their various problems. The focus of the seminar is on the way in which students are able to guide, listen, and counsel a client rather than on the correctness of the legal analysis. This seminar is designed for students to learn by engaging in mock client counseling interviews. Accordingly, much of the time will be filled with practice interviews and discussion of strategies for how to navigate client interviews and meetings. This class is designed for the "real world" and will also prepare students for the ABA client counseling competition. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. GRADING NOTICE: All students will be graded CR/NC/H. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 864: Government Regulation of Financial Services
    This course will compare the legal and regulatory frameworks for the four major types of financial institutions in the United States: banks, broker-dealers, investment companies and insurance companies. The course will identify the essential economic activities of each type of financial institution and, in so doing, provide the context within which students can understand the fundamental purposes that underlie the legal rules that govern in each area. This study will draw comparisons and contrasts among the different regulatory approaches that apply. The course will explore the different forms of regulation that govern financial institutions, including disclosure rules, prohibitions or restrictions aimed at potential conflicts of interest, limitations on activities, capital requirements, limits on risk taking, price regulation and corporate governance requirements. Attendance at the Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law's two-day program, "Financial Services Basics," is highly recommended. Contact their office to confirm dates and to register.
  • LAW JD 867: Health Law
    This course focuses on the organization, financing, and provision of medical care, including a number of provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Topics and themes include the economics of health insurance and managed care, regulatory responses to the market's perceived failures, medical tort law, access to care, consumer choice and patient autonomy, defining and assessing quality, and health care providers' conflicts of interest.
  • LAW JD 868: Moot Court
    The second component of the First Year Research and Writing requirement is participation in the J. Newton Esdaile Appellate Moot Court Program in the spring semester. Students conduct research, draft a brief and present a case in oral argument before a panel of moot-court judges made up of faculty, lawyers and students.
  • LAW JD 870: Patent Law
    The basic questions in patent law are: why should society permit the grant of an exclusive property right in information relating to an invention? Who should be given the right? What is the scope of the right? How should the right be enforced? What disclosure duties should be placed on the patent holder? We will concentrate on these legal issues without getting mired in discussions of the technical details of particular inventions. Students without a technical background are welcome and encouraged to enroll.
  • LAW JD 871: Trusts, Wills & Basic Estate Planning
    Examination of the rules governing intestate and testate distribution of property including formal requirements governing execution, alteration and revocation of wills; requisite elements of express trusts and requirements for their creation; resulting trusts and constructive trusts; special rules relating to charitable trusts and spendthrift trusts; rules concerning construction of wills and trusts; and general rules governing administration of decedents' estates and trusts. Short drafting assignments will be distributed throughout the semester. A special one-credit drafting supplement may be arranged for a small number of students to work with an adjunct instructor on longer drafting projects.
  • LAW JD 872: Financial Reporting for Lawyers
    Understanding financial statements and reports. The objective of the course is that students will be able to read and understand the four financial statements and the 10-k annual report. Emphasis is placed on understanding the nature and meaning of the reports, as well as the relationship to the underlying transactions. Other topics include: basic accounting principles, US GAAP versus IFRS, financial statement analysis, the relationship of the financial statement information to covenant documents, and accounting gamesmanship. RESTRICTION: Not open to students who have had more than one three-hour college course, or its equivalent, in accounting.
  • LAW JD 873: Civil Procedure
    Examines the structure and function of civil procedure and the requirements of due process of law.
  • LAW JD 874: Advanced Legal Writing and Editing Workshop (S)
    The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with the opportunity to improve their writing, editing and communication skills. Students will prepare a variety of practice related documents based on a single fact pattern. Some legal research will be necessary, but the emphasis will be on writing, not on research. Students will also have the opportunity to edit other students' papers, with the goal of improving their own writing skills. Actors will perform a scenario for the class, from which students will extract the pertinent facts. From this fact pattern, students will draft an inter-office memo, a letter or memo to a non-lawyer client, and a trial or appellate brief. Students will also engage in simulated client interviewing and counseling sessions, as well as a simulated meeting with a supervisor. Students will be graded on the basis of their written work, editing work on their classmate's papers and on their classroom performance. There will be no final exam. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills Requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. 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 875: Human Rights Lawyering (S)
    This seminar is designed to introduce students to the range of human rights advocacy, grounded in the history of human rights movements, the development of international human rights norms, and contemporary case studies. The seminar will also look at the role critical theory has played and continues to play in shaping the development of human rights. In addition to examining the law and theory that underlies human rights movements, students will engage in human rights research and simulations. The course work and final paper/project will require students to conduct research, develop strategic advocacy plans, and draft documents aimed at advancing particular human rights issues. There are no prerequisites, though an introductory course in international law would be beneficial. Class participation is mandatory. In lieu of mid-term or final examination, students will complete a final project / paper of their selection. An introductory class in International Human Rights is highly recommended, though not required. 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, 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 876: Property
    Conceptual analysis and underlying policy considerations in basic property law.
  • LAW JD 877: Civil Rights Litigation
    This course is about the enforcement of constitutional rights and other federal rights against government officials. The primary focus is on civil rights litigation in federal courts against state officials under the civil rights statutes passed in the wake of the civil war, including 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1981, 1982 and 1985. Under these statutes will look at which rights give rise to civil rights action and, to a much smaller extent, the scope of those rights. The kinds of cases include police brutality, unlawful searches and seizures and discrimination in government jobs. The issues that arise include many statutory questions, such as identification of proper parties to 1983 actions, and judge-make defenses, such as official and state immunities from damages actions and injunctive suits. We will also look at federalism and eleventh amendment limitations on congressional power and federal court remedial power in 1983 actions, although coverage of these issues will not be as thorough as in Federal Courts. The standards for holding local governments liable for damages will also be examined. Our major foray into the substance of constitutional rights will be with regard to the role of state remedies and defendant's state of mind for fourteenth amendment procedural due process violations. We will also look at substantive constitutional rights such as police brutality, medical care for prisoners and detainees, high speed police chases and other similar areas. There will also be some coverage of remedies against federal officials directly under the constitution and remedies against private individuals for civil rights violations. 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 878: THE COLOR LINE (S)
    This seminar traces the role of race and ethnicity in American law and social practice from the early colonial period to the present, including resistance to racial subordination and movements for reform. While the seminar will mainly focus on the experiences of Native Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans, we will also consider the reception of Catholic and Jewish immigrants, America's overseas empire, and the legacy of white supremacy. Readings will include Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror (revised edn., 2008) and a course pack. Seminar members will take turns initiating discussion of the readings. A term paper will be required on an approved topic. A complete and polished draft of the paper will be revised in light of comments received. (An expanded term paper, completed after the semester, can be the basis for satisfying the upper-class writing requirement.) ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 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 879: Advanced Legal Research
    In this class students will be exposed to how legal research functions in practice. The class will be structured like a legal workplace with students in the role of new attorneys completing research projects for senior attorneys. The research projects will be designed to highlight major legal research tools in both online and print formats. The projects will feature tasks like locating court documents, doing a legislative history, finding agency regulations and guidance, doing state specific research with practice series, researching an unfamiliar area of the law using secondary sources, as well as learning to use Lexis/Nexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law in a cost effective manner. The projects will require different output depending on the nature of the assignment from a short e-mail with the name of a case to a one-page memo highlighting recent developments in an area of law. The objective of the class is for students to become comfortable completing simple and complex research in a work setting. There will be several research projects throughout the semester and at least one oral exam. NOTE: This course does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This course satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement. This course meets January 22 through April 9.
  • LAW JD 881: Alternative Dispute Resolution
    The goal of this course is to improve your ability 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, and to a lesser extent, collaborative law, dispute resolution 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 short written assignments (1-2 pages) in which students reflect upon and analyze their performance in the exercises, as well as a longer paper due at the end of the semester. No final exam. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. NOTE: This course satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. RESTRICTION: Students may not enroll in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation (JD921).
  • LAW JD 883: Securities Regulation
    This course offers an introduction to federal securities regulation under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Using case studies involving familiar companies such Google and Facebook, we will examine how federal securities regulation shapes the process by which companies raise capital, whether in a venture capital transaction, an IPO or a public offering by a Fortune 500 company. We will also focus on the mandatory disclosure regime for publicly traded companies, the related topics of securities fraud and insider trading, and core concepts such as the definition of a security and materiality. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE: Corporations is suggested but not required. GRADING NOTICE: This course is NOT offered as CR/NC/H.
  • LAW JD 884: Research and Writing Seminar
    Small-group instruction in legal research and writing, with emphasis on developing legal research techniques, writing abilities, and legal problem-solving abilities. (Required First Year, fall semester.)
  • LAW JD 885: Research and Writing Seminar
    Small-group instruction in legal research and writing, with emphasis on developing legal research techniques, writing abilities, and legal problem-solving abilities. (Required First Year, spring semester.)