Courses

  • LAW JD 839: First Amendment
    This course will begin with an examination of freedom of expression and freedom of the press and will then move to a study of freedom of religion -- the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. We shall cover issues such as the protection of political speech, sexualized speech (obscenity and pornography), symbolic speech and speech in public places in addition to issues related to press censorship, reporters' privilege and press coverage of trials. In the area of freedom of religion we shall review the evolving jurisprudence on the role of religion in the public sphere as well as the constitutional command to guarantee free exercise of religion. While studying the doctrines developed under the Bill of Rights, we shall also address theoretical questions such as the justifications for freedom of expression, the role of religion in American culture, the role of rights in constitutional democracy and the institutional question of judicial review.
  • LAW JD 841: Supervised Research & Writing
    Upper-class students may pursue a special research interest under the guidance of a full time faculty member, and earn one or two semester credits for a Supervised Research and Writing project (also known as an Independent Study). The study must involve a substantial investment of time and effort, and result in significant written work that reflects a high standard of legal scholarship. The student's final grade will be based solely upon written work submitted, and will be included in the student's average. NOTE: Students must register for Supervised Research and Writing directly with the Registrar's Office. You may not register via the Student Link.
  • LAW JD 842: International Business Transactions
    This course is designed to give students a broad overview of the law--domestic, foreign, and international--governing international business transactions. With the significant growth in international commerce and trade, and the forces of economic and social globalization, lawyers will increasingly confront international legal issues during their professional careers. This course will focus on the legal problems encountered in business ventures that cross national borders. Topics include formation of contracts, choice of law, financing the international sale of goods through letters of credit, regulation of international trade, the organizations and operations of the institutions of the World Trade Organization, foreign investment, international dispute settlement, and international transfer of intellectual property. RECOMMENDED COURSES: International Law.
  • LAW JD 843: Int'l Human Rights Clinic: Human Rights Advocacy (S)
    Students must apply and be accepted to the International Human Rights Clinic before they register for this course. This course will build on the first-semester clinic instruction (International Human Rights and clinic group rounds), focusing on developing skills directly tied to students' ongoing fieldwork. Classes will cover: interviewing and counseling institutional (non-governmental organizations) clients; designing and implementing human rights field research; ethical pitfalls and professional 'best practices' in human rights collaborations with international networks; advocacy within the UN machinery; advocacy within selected regional human rights mechanisms; and in-depth research workshops using comparative and foreign human rights research problems. The classes will be a combination of readings and discussion; simulations; student presentations; short papers and case rounds to discuss project work; and group and individual feedback on project development.
  • LAW JD 845: Constitutional History: Civil War & Reconstruction (S)
    This course will investigate the constitutional history of the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. We will explore legal and constitutional change from several different angles, including presidential leadership, legislative mandates, and judicial interpretation. We will also consider how society at large debated and helped to shape legal developments, paying particular attention to the themes of fluidity, contingency, and participation, and how law, society, and politics mixed during this period to set American legal development on paths that were not predetermined. Topics to be covered will include slavery, secession, Lincoln's constitutionalism, civil liberties and war powers, Lincoln and race, African Americans and the Union, the redefinition of American citizenship during Reconstruction, civil rights during Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow. Prior background in American history is not 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. **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 846: Historical Perspectives on Law, Constitutions and Culture (S)
    This workshop-format seminar examines the interplay of law, constitutions, and culture from an historical perspective. The heart of the seminar is student engagement with works-in-progress by leading scholars in the history, theory, and culture of law, broadly understood. The first three class sessions will be devoted to developing the intellectual tools necessary for reading and engaging with such papers. Starting in week 4 of the semester, the class format will alternate between workshop sessions and more traditional seminar sessions. During the five workshop sessions, an invited scholar will present a current scholarly work-in-progress for discussion. Students will read the speaker's paper in advance and prepare discussion questions for the seminar. During the other sessions, the class will meet as a normal seminar, during which we will discuss readings related to the workshop papers and legal history more generally. The written work for the seminar will consist of a series of brief, critical essays in response to a student-selected subset of the workshop papers. NOTE: This course is open to law students and to graduate students from other departments. A background in history is not a prerequisite. Graduate students from outside the law school may be able to receive 4 credits for this course. Please consult the professor regarding this 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 847: Federal Courts
    This course focuses on the statutory, constitutional, and judge-made doctrines that shape and restrict the powers of federal courts. In particular, it examines the relationships between the federal courts and the other branches of the federal government, as well as the relationship between the federal and state courts. Selected topics include standing and justiciability, congressional control of the federal courts' powers (such as the extent to which "enemy combatants" may be excluded from federal court), federal question jurisdiction, and state sovereign immunity from suit in federal and state courts. This course builds extensively on topics covered in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It is strongly recommended for students who plan on clerking (especially for a federal judge) or who expect to represent clients in federal court or in civil actions against government actors.
  • LAW JD 848: Democracy & the Rule of Law (S)
    This seminar will explore the history, origins, and principal theories of democratic government, with a particular focus on the meaning and role of the rule of law. Topics within this rubric may include social contract theory; U.S. Constitutional, parliamentary, and alternative forms of democracy; the economic, social, and cultural prerequisites for democracy; the role of social norms, ideology, and civic virtue in the functioning and persistence of democratic polities; conceptions of the rule of law and individual rights within the framework of majoritarian government; the influence of disparate power and wealth; democracy promotion and the putative emerging right to democratic governance in international law; contemporary challenges to democracy; and the future of democracy. Class participation, periodic reaction papers, and a term paper will be required. NOTE: A limited number of students will be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with this seminar. 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 850: Insurance Law
    The presence or absence of insurance is in many instances the single most important determinant of whether and how a tort or contracts action is litigated. This course focuses on both individual and commercial forms of insurance coverage. Students are introduced to the key insurance concepts of risk management, including the transfer, pooling and allocation of covered risks. Problems of contract interpretation, imperfect information, adverse selection and discrimination will be treated at length. Additionally, the class will take up issues particular to property, life, health, disability, liability and auto insurance. Finally, some time will be devoted to the state regulatory regimes designed to ensure solvency and profitability, and to the secondary market (i.e. reinsurance, and surplus and excess lines). A final exam is required.
  • LAW JD 851: Labor Law
    Survey of modern labor management and union relations law in the private sector. Organization of workers and the representation process; collective bargaining; unfair practices, employer and union; negotiation and enforcement of collective agreement, including arbitration; regulation of strikes and lockouts. Administrative law and federalism principles will be treated. Employment discrimination and other individual employee protection laws are not treated in this course.
  • LAW JD 852: Mutual Funds (Investment Companies)
    Investment companies have become an important part of the financial system. This course is designed to familiarize students with the special laws governing investment companies: their creation, structure, corporate governance, operations (including the distribution of shares and the management of the portfolios), dissolution and, time permitting, taxation. In particular, the course will focus on the Investment Company Act of 1940 and on the practice in this area before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • LAW JD 854: White Collar Crime
    The past several years have witnessed an explosion in white collar criminal prosecutions: Arthur Andersen, Martha Stewart, Bernard Madoff and Jeffrey Skilling (Enron) to name a few. The purpose of this Course is to teach present-day "white collar crime" practice, including the elements of principal federal statutes and the special procedures followed by prosecutors. The course will review the theoretical bases of modern "white collar crime" prosecution, the major statutes in a prosecutor's "tool-box" (mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, bribery and extortion, obstruction of justice, RICO, and perjury) and procedural aspects of white collar crime (such as, grand jury process and sentencing). Students will learn significant and interesting recent cases and the prosecutorial and defensive techniques employed in white collar crime cases. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be familiar with the statutes, procedures, and methods of issue analysis employed by prosecutors and private lawyers in "white collar crime" practice. OFFERING PATTERN: This class not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule.
  • LAW JD 855: Land Use
    This course will provide participants with a detailed review of the law governing local, regional, and state-wide land use planning and land use controls. Strong emphasis will be placed on the legal and policy connections between land use planning, land use law, and natural resources protection. We will focus in detail on numerous traditional land use planning controls (zoning, subdivision control, and health regulations) but spend considerable time analyzing the legal issues involved in the use of more innovative land use regulations (transfer of development rights, exactions, impact fees, and development agreements). Participants will become well-versed in all aspects of local, regional, and state land use controls and permitting procedures for residential and non-residential development. Grades will be based on class attendance and a final examination. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • 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 858: International Trade Regulation (S)
    This seminar surveys the origins and development of the WTO, with emphasis on the WTO legal process and its interaction with US trade agencies. It covers the underlying philosophy of free trade and introduces the major legal disciplines under the WTO. It also deals with the social and political implications of free trade, and with some of the controversies concerning the future evolution of the WTO.
  • LAW JD 859: Immigrants' Rights Clinic: Fieldwork (C)
    Graduate Prerequisites: OR CO-REQ: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, COPYRIGHT, PATENT LAW, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
    In the Immigrants' Rights Clinic, students litigate cases on behalf of migrant clients, involving human rights abuses, child welfare, and release from detention. Students, working in pairs, assume the primary responsibility for multiple clients' complex cases, from start to finish. Students conduct client interviews, track down witnesses, speak with experts, develop documentary and testimonial evidence, write legal briefs, and ultimately conduct full hearings in court--in Boston's Immigration Court, as well as the Family and Probate Court. Students may also participate in "Know-Your-Rights" visits at local jails/detention centers. IRC professors prepare students for their cases through a weekly seminar class that integrates casework; weekly supervision meetings; and a mock hearing in the days before the real trial. Students will primarily work in clinic space at the BU Tower, and also have the opportunity to work at office space downtown at Greater Boston Legal Services. PRE-REQUISITE/CO-REQUISITE : If you have not already done so, you must take Evidence during the first semester to satisfy the student practice rule. NOTE: This clinic satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement, and will be counted towards the International as well as Litigation and Dispute Resolution Concentrations.
  • LAW JD 860: Fiduciary Law (S)
    With few exceptions fiduciary law appears in all legal subjects: contract, tort and property; trusts and estates, agency and partnership; corporation and securities regulation; criminal law, health law, and civil procedure. You cannot escape it. We learn snippets of the subjects in different contexts. This course offers a view of fiduciary law as a legal category, highlights its uniqueness and history, and predicts its future development or disappearance. We sample statutory and common law fiduciaries of various kinds and ask: When and why do fiduciary duties arise? Why so many different fiduciaries with similar, but different rules? Are family members, the clergy, and broker-dealers fiduciaries? What are the remedies for the breach of their duties? Is contract a good and simplified substitute to this mess? Can civil law and common law systems in the fiduciary law area be unified, as we move to, or already are in, a global business environment? Course reading materials are a manuscript in the making. Students' comments and contributions are very welcome. **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 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 two 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. *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 OPTION): 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. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. This course meets from 9/3/2015 to 10/8/2015. ** 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. The program will meet on August 25 to August 27, 2015. Admission is free but registration by 8/1/2015 is required. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.