Juris Doctor

  • LAW JD 787: Transaction Simulation: Forming and Financing a Start-Up Business (for LLMs only)
    This course is a semester-long transaction simulation offered exclusively for LLM in American Law Program and LLM in Intellectual Property Law students. The simulated transaction is the formation and initial financing of a privately-held company in the software industry. The course will expose LLM students to the principal issues involved in counseling U.S.-based entrepreneurs as to their emerging businesses, including choice of entity and entity formation, equity compensation for founders and employees, intellectual property protection of company assets, capital raising through preferred stock financing, and negotiation of financing-related contracts based on industry-standard models. Through in-class discussions, homework assignments and graded writing assignments, students will simulate the work of both junior and senior practicing attorneys who counsel start-ups and their founders and investors. Students will review sample agreements related to start-up businesses such as formation and financing documents, draft and revise such agreements and conduct negotiations for the financing of an emerging business. While the simulation is based on a start-up transaction, many of the principles and concepts will be applicable to a broader range of business deals. The course grade will be based on homework assignments, class participation and graded writing assignments. CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 students. PREREQUISITE(S): Contracts and Corporations, unless otherwise waived by the instructor. Prior work experience in transactional business law is neither required nor expected. 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.
  • LAW JD 788: Contract Drafting
    This course is the foundational skills course within the Transactional Law Program. It teaches students basic principles and skills of drafting and analyzing commercial and transaction agreements, with a focus on recognizing, and addressing through contractual provisions, key business issues in transactions. Although the course will be of particular interest to students interested in a corporate or transactional law practice, since most practicing attorneys will need to work with contracts at some point in their career, the concepts and skills which the course conveys are applicable to virtually all practice areas and specialties. While the course utilizes lectures to introduce various contract concepts and techniques essential for drafting and reviewing commercial and transaction agreements, it requires that students complete in-class exercises and extensive 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. Grades will be based on the graded assignments, good faith completion of ungraded assignments, and class participation. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 12 students. NOTE: This class satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. 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 for a section are required to attend the first meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 789: Transaction Simulation: Forming & Financing a Start-Up Business
    This course is one of the semester-long transaction simulations offered as part of the School's Transactional Law Program. The simulated transaction is the formation and initial financing of a privately-held company in the software industry. The transaction will expose students to the principal issues in counseling entrepreneurs as to their emerging businesses, including key elements such as entity creation, duties of management and control among owners, equity compensation, intellectual property protection, capital raising through preferred stock financing, and financing-related contracts based on industry-standard models. Through in-class discussions and graded homework assignments, students will simulate the work of practicing attorneys (both junior and senior) who counsel start-ups and their founders on a day-to-day basis. The course grade will be based on three drafting homework assignments, contributions in class, and a group project focused on a self-selected current topic. CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 students. PREREQUISITE: Corporations. NOTES: This course does not satisfy the Upper-Class Writing Requirement. This course satisfies the Upper-Class Professional Skills Requirement and the Transaction Simulation requirement of the Transactional Practice Concentration. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. 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.
  • LAW JD 791: Intellectual Property and the Internet (S)
    This seminar will explore the ways in which the Internet has challenged both the theory and the law of intellectual property. Rather than broadly surveying the landscape, we will closely examine a cluster of topics that have especially challenged courts, legislatures, and theorists. Particular topics will be determined prior to the start of class, but might include: copyright law's treatment of intermediaries (such as YouTube, file sharing services, and online service providers); the obligations of auction sites and other online services to police trademark infringement by their users; the scope of fair use protection for user-generated content; and patent protection for Internet-related technologies and business methods. Grades will be based on a combination of written exercises (required each week) and oral presentations (required once for each student). Student participation is required, and will be taken into account in the grade for the course. In lieu of the short papers, it is possible to write a paper that satisfies the Upper-class Writing Requirement. PREREQUISITE: All students must have completed a core Intellectual Property course (Intellectual Property, Patent Law, Copyright Law, or Trademark Law). 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 793: Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants
    This course will examine the theory, practice, and interrelationship of trade secret law and the law of restrictive covenants, including laws governing the use and enforceability of noncompetition agreements. We will explore what a trade secret is, what it is not, how it differs from other types of intellectual property, and how something secret can constitute protectable property. We will investigate how trade secrets can be misappropriated, including misappropriation through one's memory; whether and in what circumstances trade secrets will be protected, including through the use of noncompetition agreements, nondisclosure agreements, and other restrictive covenants; the other purposes served by those agreements; and the strengths and weaknesses of the various laws governing the protection of trade secrets and the use of restrictive covenants. Depending on class interest and time, we may discuss related issues such as the current debate over the use of noncompete agreements and their putative effects on innovation. NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. 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 796: Climate Change Law and Policy (S)
    Climate change is the most important environmental issue of this century. It has generated major law and policy over the last several years, both in the United States and internationally, and presents significant legal and policy issues that remain unresolved. This seminar will examine the legal tools currently available to address climate change and possibilities for future action, as well as related policy challenges. The seminar first will consider the international context and review the history of climate change efforts on a global scale, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement. It will then focus on currently available U.S. authorities, including the Clean Air Act and executive branch powers. Because there is no statute that addresses climate change head-on, the seminar will consider the challenges presented when a major policy concern is advanced in the absence of a firm statutory foundation. Climate change also raises important issues of human rights, environmental justice, and international and intergenerational equity, which will be examined. Finally, the seminar will look to the future and pose questions concerning expectations for international cooperation, possible additional tools in current U.S. law, prospects for climate change legislation, and voluntary and market-based opportunities. There are no prerequisites. The grade will be based on class participation and papers. NOTE: This seminar does not 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 797: Law and War: Contemporary Issues (S)
    Does law continue to operate in times of war? This seminar will examine the knotty legal questions underlying current wartime debates, with a primary focus on modern conflicts facing the United States in the post-9/11 era. A complex architecture of international and domestic law governs states and state actors during wartime. Evolving threats, new technologies, and domestic politics have tested these legal frameworks, and the domestic and international laws of war continue to adapt to challenges to their relevance and viability. Topics for discussion may include, among others: Guantanamo detention, targeted killing and drones, interrogation and torture, humanitarian intervention in conflicts like those in Libya and Syria, and the scope of the U.S. President's constitutional and statutory authority to wage war. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with this seminar. RECOMMENDED COURSES: International Law. 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 799: Tax Policy (S)
    This seminar will examine criteria used to make administrative and legislative choices in taxation: equity, efficiency, administrability and simplicity. As a particular focus, we will study some of the connections between a tax system and spending programs. PREREQUISITE: Introduction to Federal Income Taxation. LIMITED WRITING OPTION: A limited number of students will be able to satisfy the writing requirement with a paper. ** 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 800: Local Government Law
    Local governments are considered the closest and most responsive form of government to the people. They are designed to create cities and towns that reflect the ideal of the residents' view of the ideal community. When all local government entities are taken into consideration, there are approximately 89,000 local government units in the country - including counties, municipalities, townships, special districts and school districts. Where do they get their powers? What are the limits? What should be the limits? This course provides a study of the law governing the powers and duties of local governments, mainly municipal corporations such as cities and towns. We look at the sources of municipal powers, the limits on those powers, the relationship between municipalities and the state including the relationship between state and local law, and the formation and expansion of municipalities. An important subject of study involves looking at various models of the relationship between the municipality and the state including home rule. We will also look at some issues in municipal finance and zoning power. Where possible, this course will focus on the intersection of local government law and important current events both locally and nationally. 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 801: Administrative Law
    This course will examine the nature and functions of federal administrative agencies and the legal controls on agency action. Agency action is situated and examined in its political and legal contexts. Topics include the status of administrative agencies in the constitutional framework of separation of powers including the non-delegation doctrine, the President's appointment and removal powers in light of the unitary executive, the constitutionality of the legislative and line-item vetoes, the constitutionality of agency adjudication, and the constitutional (and political) status of independent agencies; agency rulemaking and adjudication including the choice of procedural model and the procedural requirements of the rulemaking model; and the availability, timing and scope of judicial review of agency action including standing to seek judicial review and exceptions to the availability of judicial review. The course also examines different methods of policy analysis such as regulatory impact analysis and cost-benefit analysis. Additional topics include discriminatory enforcement, regulatory delay, judicial imposition of procedural constraints on agencies, the implication of private rights of action from regulatory statutes and the availability citizens' suits. Some attention may be paid to differences between state and federal separation of powers doctrines. GRADING NOTICE: This course will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 802: Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law (S)
    This seminar examines the Food and Drug Administration as an administrative agency combining law and science to regulate activities affecting public health and safety. Topics include testing and approval of pharmaceuticals and medical devices; food safety and nutritional policy; biologics and biotechnology regulation; cosmetic regulation; pricing of and reimbursement for drugs and devices; global aspects of pharmaceutical regulation, US and foreign patent issues, and FDA practice and procedure; jurisdiction and enforcement. A writing project involving research on food and drug issues will be required. RECOMMENDED COURSES: Intellectual Property, Administrative Law & Health Law. ** 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 803: Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
    This course focuses on corporate reorganization and corporate finance. We will study the legal requirements for reorganization plans under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, as well as the use of going concern sales outside of Chapter 11. We will study important doctrinal issues relating to reorganization of corporate groups, including substantive consolidation and equitable subordination. We will investigate avoidance actions in bankruptcy, including preferences and fraudulent conveyance, and the treatment of pre-bankruptcy contracts. Other topics include the financing of corporate debtors in bankruptcy and workouts and duties to creditors outside of bankruptcy. Finally, we will also introduce and ultimately master some basic tools of corporate finance--present value, expected value, and risk and diversification. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE: Corporations.
  • LAW JD 804: American Legal History
    Selected topics in 19th- and 20th-century U.S. legal history. We will first explore the role of the legal profession in four public controversies: the authority of English common law after the American Revolution, slavery and racism, women's rights, and organized labor. We will then turn our attention to various methodologies for interpreting legal change: formalism, realism, law and economics, critical legal studies, and feminist jurisprudence. Readings (which will be plentiful) are drawn from primary sources (cases, speeches, and treatises) and secondary literature (articles and books). Students can either write a research paper or complete a take-home examination. Research papers may, but need not, fulfill the Writing Requirement.
  • LAW JD 805: Secured Transactions
    Many commercial and consumer financing transactions involve the creation of security interests in the borrower's personal property that are akin to mortgages of real property. (Indeed, much economic activity involves the grant of a UCC Article 9 security interest, and the system depends on Article 9 to provide much of the law against which modern commerce takes place.) In a secured transaction, in the event of the borrower's default, the lender can foreclose on the collateral subject to the security interest to help liquidate the debt. While simple to describe, secured transactions and the rules that govern them can be complex. This course covers the basic secured transaction governed by Article 9 of the UCC. Topics covered will include creation and perfection of security interests, priority contests, and default. There are no PREREQUISITES for this course. It is an excellent precursor to a course in Bankruptcy as well as to sitting for the bar exam. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 806: Prosecutorial Ethics (S)
    Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson once noted, "The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America." This seminar examines the unique role and power of prosecutors in the United States and their responsibility to ensure "that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer." We will study the ways in which a prosecutor exercises discretion -- in deciding what charges to bring (or whether to bring them at all), in conducting trials, in recommending punishment -- and the ethical and practical considerations that affect those determinations. What duty does the prosecutor owe to the victim? To the police? To the public at large? How might their interests conflict with prosecutors' objectives and impact their decisions? A major focus of this course will be the prosecutor's obligations to the accused and the various ways in which they are breached. We will examine the potential consequences of prosecutorial misconduct, the instances in which it may or may not be remedied, and to what extent it can be deterred. Students will engage in mock disciplinary hearings, playing the role of bar counsel in bringing allegations of misconduct or defending prosecutors against such claims. Throughout the semester we'll refer to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Model Code of Professional Responsibility, and other rules that govern the conduct of all lawyers while scrutinizing others that bind prosecutors but not defense attorneys. Other topics to be covered include the relationship between the prosecutor and the grand jury, conflicts of interest, selective prosecution, trial misconduct, prosecutorial immunity, mandatory minimum sentences, the use of confidential informants and cooperating witnesses, discovery of exculpatory evidence, post-conviction obligations and wrongful convictions. Our study will draw heavily from historical events such as the Duke Lacrosse rape allegations, the Clinton/Lewinsky and other political scandals, and the prosecutions of O.J. Simpson and other celebrities, as well as more recent events such as the Boston Marathon bombing, the Dookhan drug lab scandal, and the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. NOTE: This seminar does not satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement. While there are no required prerequisites for taking this course, students should be prepared that some basic principles of Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Trial Advocacy will necessarily be a focus of some of our discussions. 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 810: Constitutional Law
    Considers selected issues concerning judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights.
  • LAW JD 812: Contracts for LLMs
    This course will use the case method to examine legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable, elements of assent, standards of fairness and restrictions on bargaining process, and tests for performance and breach. Designed for students preparing to sit for the bar, this course will focus on those areas emphasized on the multi-state, New York, and Massachusetts bar exams.
  • LAW JD 813: Contracts
    Legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable, elements of assent, standards of fairness and restrictions on bargaining processes, and tests for performance and breach
  • LAW JD 814: Family Law
    This survey course will provide an introduction to the legal regulation of the family. The course will focus on the legal regulation and response to both adult and adult-child relationships. Topics covered will include: cohabitation; marriage; civil union; divorce and dissolution of relationships; the financial consequences of divorce including property division and alimony; premarital agreements; the laws governing non-marital relationships; family mediation; child custody, visitation, and parenting plans; child support; paternity; assisted reproductive technologies; and adoption. The course will also cover the interaction between families and the state in related areas of law including employment law and education law. There will be a final examination as well as in-class drafting and negotiation exercises.
  • LAW JD 815: Corporations for LLMs
    Course about the legal structure and characteristics of business corporations. Topics include the promotion and formation of corporations; the distribution of power between management and shareholders; the limitations on management powers imposed by state law fiduciary duties and federal securities laws; shareholder derivative suits; capital structure and financing of corporations; and fundamental changes in corporate structure, such as mergers and sales of assets. The course serves as a PREREQUISITE to advanced courses.