Academic Programs

Requirements

The Litigation and Dispute Resolution Concentration brings together the areas of civil litigation, criminal litigation and alternative dispute resolution. This concentration capitalizes on the School's well known teaching and curriculum strengths in that students may study civil litigation, criminal litigation and alternative dispute resolution in a variety of forums - the classroom setting, the clinical sitting, and the externship setting. Accordingly, this concentration presents students with opportunities to choose courses, which match the students' areas of interest and learning styles.

Once students have decided to pursue a concentration, they should complete an Online Intent to Concentrate Form (also available in the Registrar’s Office). In the final semester, students will receive a Concentration Completion Form from the Registrar’s Office to show the course work and written work that satisfies the concentration requirements.

Program Requirements

A student may be certified as having completed the Concentration in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of seven courses and 21 credits from the following lists of courses and seminars in litigation and alternative dispute resolution law. The lists are updated annually to reflect changes in course offerings. The Concentration acknowledges that all students are required to take Civil Procedure (first year JD 873) and Constitutional Law (first year JD 810) as part of the general J.D. curriculum in addition to the seven courses and 21 credits.

  2. Satisfactory completion of a substantial written work on a litigation or dispute resolution law topic. This requirement can be satisfied by the same written work that satisfies the School's Upper-class Writing Requirement or by written work that satisfies the requirements of a course or seminar for which credit is given towards the Concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution. With the approval of the concentration advisor, this requirement may also be satisfied by written work completed in a context other than a course or seminar for which credit is given towards the Concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

    If the paper was done in a course, seminar, or for another purpose and the supervising professor is an adjunct (part-time) faculty member, then the faculty concentration advisor must review the paper and confirm that it satisfies the concentration paper requirement.

  3. Students must complete introductory courses in litigation and dispute resolution through satisfactory completion of all of the courses in one of the three options listed below.

    Option One

    1. Civil Litigation Program (Housing, Family, Disability or Immigrants' Rights) (two semesters):

      Clinic JD 861 - six credits
      Civil Litigation Program: Pretrial Advocacy/Professional Responsibility JD 973 - three credits
      Trial Advocacy JD 974 - three credits
      Evidence JD 831 - four credits

    Option Two

    1. Employment Rights Clinic (one semester)

      1. Field work - 3 credits
      2. Civil Litigation: Pretrial Ad./Pro. Resp. JD 973 if clinic is taken in the fall
      or Civil Litigation/Trial Advocacy JD 974 if clinic is taken in the spring - 3 credits for either course
      3. Effective & Ethical Depositions (S) JD 958; Professional Responsibility JD 984; Lawyering in the 21st Century (S) JD 972; Legal Externship/Legal Ethics (S) JD 925 (if also completed Legal Externship program); Legal Malpractice JD 912*; Globalization of the Legal Profession (S) JD 979*; Legal Ethics & CSR for Corporate Lawyers (S) JD 778*; or Prosecutorial Ethics (S) JD 806 if clinic is taken in the spring - 3 credits

    2. Evidence JD 831 - four credits

    3. If clinic is taken in the spring, also must take Alternative Dispute Resolution JD 881; Mediation: Theory & Practice JD 826 - 3 credits; or Negotiation JD 921 - 2 credits
    4. If clinic is taken in the fall, also must take Trial Advocacy JD 894 - 3 credits

Option Three

Track A:

  1. Criminal Practice Clinic (two semesters) (for 2L students starting the Clinic in the spring of their second year):

    Criminal Trial Practice I JD 982 (A1) - five credits
    Criminal Trial Advocacy JD 981 (A1) - three credits
    Professional Responsibility JD 923 (A1) - three credits
    Issues in Criminal Justice JD 920 (A1) - three credits
    Criminal Trial Practice II JD 913 (A1) - eight credits

  2. Criminal Procedure JD 819, or Criminal Procedure: Adjud. JD 820, or Criminal Procedure JD 821 - four credits

  3. Evidence JD 831 - four credits

Track B:

  1. Criminal Practice Clinic (for 3L students starting the Clinic in the fall of their third year):

    Criminal Trial Practice I JD 982 (A1) - five credits
    Criminal Trial Practice II/Prosecutors JD 899 - five credits or
      Criminal Trial Practice II/ Defenders JD 898 - eight credits

  2. Criminal Procedure JD 819, or Criminal Procedure: Adjud. JD 820 or Criminal Procedure JD 821 - four credits

  3. Evidence JD 831 - four credits

  4. Trial Advocacy JD 894 - three credits

  5. Effective & Ethical Depositions (S) JD 958; Professional Responsibility JD 984; Lawyering in the 21st Century (S) JD 972; Legal Malpractice JD 912*; Globalization of the Legal Profession (S) JD 979*; Legal Ethics & CSR for Corporate Lawyers (S) JD 778*; or Prosecutorial Ethics (S) JD 806 - three credits

Option Four

  1. Legal Externship Program (with a litigation or dispute resolution placement) JD 924 (A1, B1 or C1) - three credits and JD 925 (A1, B1 or C1)
    *In order for the Legal Externship Program to qualify as a course in this list, the placement must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor. Also, note that the class component (JD 925) is a legal ethics class.

  2. Evidence JD 831 - four credits

  3. Trial Advocacy JD 894 or JD 974 (if also completed Civil Litigation: ER option in spring) - three credits

  4. Alternative Dispute Resolution (JD 881 or JD 980), or Mediation: Theory and Practice (JD 826) - three credits; or Negotiation (JD 921) - two credits

Option Five

  1. Death Penalty Externship (Semester-in-Practice) - 12 credits OR
    Semester-in-Practice with a litigation placement * 12 credits OR Judicial Externship Program JD 735 (A1 or B1) and JD 736 (A1 or B1) OR Community Courts clinic and class (JD737 and JD738) OR Human Trafficking Clinic (JD 707 and JD708)
    [OR Immigration Detention Clinic; OR Government Lawyering Externship Program with a litigation placement; OR Health Law Externship Program with a litigation placement;  OR Independent Proposal Externship with a litigation placement]
    * Must be approved in advance by concentration advisor.

  2. Evidence JD 831 - four credits

  3. Trial Advocacy JD 894 - three credits

  4. Effective & Ethical Depositions (S) JD 958; Professional Responsibility JD 984; Lawyering in the 21st Century (S) JD 972; Legal Malpractice JD 912*; Globalization of the Legal Profession (S) JD 979*; Legal Ethics & CSR for Corporate Lawyers (S) JD 778*; or Prosecutorial Ethics (S) JD 806 - three credits

  5. Alternative Dispute Resolution (JD 881 or JD 980), or Mediation: Theory and Practice (JD 826) - three credits; or Negotiation (JD 921) - two credits

  1. To the extent that additional courses or credits are needed to complete the required minimum of seven courses and 21 credits, students must choose and satisfactorily complete non-duplicative courses or seminars from the following list. (If students are uncertain whether a course is duplicative they should consult with the Concentration Advisor and obtain prior approval).

    Administrative Law JD801
    Admiralty JD932
    Advanced Administrative Law JD863 *
    Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution JD955 *
    Advanced Civil Procedure JD721*
    Advanced Environmental Law (S) JD722*
    Advanced Legal Writing and Editing Workshop JD874**
    Advanced Trial Practice JD967
    Alternative Dispute Resolution JD881 (unless taken to satisfy Option 2, 4 or 5 above)
    Anatomy of a Mass Tort (S) JD902
    Appellate Advocacy: The Criminal Appeal JD969 *
    Attorney-Client Privilege JD812 *
    Business Bankruptcy*
    Civil Rights/Immigration Process (S) JD730 *
    Civil Rights Litigation JD877
    Classical English Rhetoric JD916*
    Community Courts JD737 & JD738
    Complex Litigation JD976*
    Conflict of Laws JD809*
    Constitutional Health Care Litigation JD977 *
    Criminal Procedure JD819
    Criminal Procedure: Adjud. JD820
    Criminal Procedure JD821
    Criminal Sentencing JD912*
    Current Issues in Employment Law JD906*
    Disability Law (S) JD749*
    Discovery: Theory and Practice (S) JD747
    Domestic Violence JD829 *
    E-discovery Law & Practice(S) JD795
    Effective & Ethical Depositions (S) JD958
    Employment Discrimination and Employment Law JD834
    Employment Law Practice (S) JD714 *
    Environmental Law (Adv.): Env. and Energy Law Practice JD812 *
    Equitable Remedies In a Federal System JD827*
    Family Law JD814
    Federal Civil Practice JD785
    Federal Courts JD836
    Federal Courts JD847
    Federal Criminal Justice JD787*
    Federal Habeas Corpus JD830
    Forensic Mental Health Issues for Lawyers JD962
    Globalization of the Legal Profession (S) JD 979 * (unless taken to satisfy Option 2, 3 Track B , or 5 above)
    Government Lawyering Externship JD728 & JD729
    Health Care Fraud & Abuse (S) JD726
    Homicide Investigations and Trials JD950
    Housing Law JD961*
    Immigration Law JD968
    Independent Study in litigation or alternative dispute resolution law**
    International Business Arbitration JD980
    Judging in the American Legal System (S) JD908
    Juvenile Delinquency (S) JD824
    Labor Arbitration Practice (S) JD713 *
    Labor Law JD851*
    Legal Malpractice JD912* (unless taken to satisfy Option 2, 3 Track B, or 5 above)
    Legal Writing for Civil Litigation (S) JD712
    Litigating Mental Health Issues JD996*
    Mediation: Theory and Practice(S) JD 826 (unless taken to satisfy Option 2, 4 or 5 above)
    Military Law JD 970*
    Negotiated Mergers & Acquisitions (S)
    Negotiation JD921(unless taken to satisfy Option 2, 4 or 5 above)
    Pretrial Advocacy JD956*
    Problems in the Study of Race & Litigation (S) JD823 *
    Prosecutorial Ethics (S) JD806 (unless taken to satisfy Option 2, 3 Track B, or 5 above)
    Remedies JD866
    Resolution of Transnational Disputes BK959***
    Responses to Massive Violations of Human Rights JD996 *
    Scientific and Expert Proof JD989*
    Sentencing JD929*
    Sex Crimes (S) JD947 *
    Supreme Court Decisionmaking JD955*
    Supreme Court 2014 Term (S) JD903
    Transnational Litigation JD896*
    Trial Advocacy (Advanced) JD945
    Trial by Jury JD941*
    Trial Evidence JD849*
    White Collar Crime JD854
    Writing Supplement to Family Law JD706
    Wrongful Convictions (S) JD837
    Wrongful Convictions Clinic JD828

* Not offered 2014-2015
** In order for these courses to qualify as a course in this list, they must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor.
*** Banking Law program course. Subject to availability, and must obtain approval of Banking program.

  1. Students who wish to receive a concentration credit for courses not listed above in satisfaction of any of the above requirements or to waive a concentration requirement may do so with the approval of the faculty concentration advisor. Approval for courses taken outside of the School of Law is limited to graduate-level courses in litigation and dispute resolution law. Such courses may include those taken in a School of Law overseas program, and courses taken at other law schools or in other graduate programs at Boston University or elsewhere. A maximum of two courses may be approved for any student under the provisions of this paragraph.

  2. Students who receive at least a 3.5 grade point average in School of Law courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the concentration will be certified as earning Honors in then Concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution. To be eligible for Honors, a minimum of 5 concentration courses comprising at least 15 credit hours must be in School of Law courses. In accordance with School of Law regulations only School of Law courses are included in calculating a student's grade point average, and only such courses will be used to determine whether a student has earned Honors in the Concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution. All Law courses taken that could be counted toward the concentration will be considered when determining honors, except if, by the end of the add/drop period, a student designates in writing to our Registrar's Office, a course or seminar to be taken that semester that the student does not want counted toward the concentration because that course/seminar is in addition to the minimum concentration requirements. This "opt-out" option applies only to courses in addition to the minimum concentration requirements.

  3. To ensure maximum flexibility for students in their future career decisions, transcripts of students who elect the Concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution will not reflect the concentration. Rather, the School of Law Registrar's Office will record completion of the concentration and the award of honors in the concentration, and will make available official documentation of these accomplishments at the student's request.