Partner School: College of Communication

Program Length: 7 semesters

The growth of new communications technologies has created a need for lawyers with special training in the technological, marketing, and legal changes brought about by a wide spectrum of new media. Recognizing the dramatic impact of these changes, the School of Law and the College of Communication offer a unique program that allows students to acquire a law degree and a master’s degree in mass communication, in only three-and-a-half years—one year less than if each degree were pursued separately.

Potential employment opportunities for graduates of the program include in-house counsel positions for communications technologies companies, service with government agencies concerned with communications law, and positions with private law firms having a communications law practice. The program also provides a solid grounding for future journalists who wish to report on legal affairs.

Program Requirements

Required Law School Courses (4)

4 credits

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.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 801 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Colin S. Diver

4 credits

Antitrust law regulates the competition between business firms in unregulated markets (and in varying degrees in regulated markets, where it supplies a benchmark standard). Thus, all privately owned economic entities are subject to or affected by the antitrust laws (federal or state), ranging from the largest multinationals to self-employed individuals, e.g., lawyers. Antitrust law constrains business behavior that injures the competitive process, encompassing such topics as price fixing, boycotts, monopolization, mergers, price discrimination, distributorship limitations and similar trade restrictions. Antitrust analysis is increasingly economic in its orientation and therefore economic analysis will form a vital part of the course. Supplementary economic readings are suggested for students without previous economic background (and for others who may wish to refresh their knowledge).

SPRG 2017: LAW JD 838 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Keith N. Hylton

Suggested School of Law courses:

4 credits

Copyright is one of the major legal regimes governing art, software, information, and entertainment, and its rules deeply affect how the internet operates. This course is a policy and skills-oriented study of federal copyright law. Much of copyright policy can be clarified by using some basic tools from economics and philosophy; these analytic tools will be taught during the course, and no prior knowledge is required. As for skills, the course focuses on two: how to tackle and master a complex set of interrelated statutory provisions, and how to articulate legal principles orally in a way that would be comprehensible to an untutored judge. Rather than having a predominant lecture format, the course puts student analysis at its center. The course will cover the exclusive rights granted to creators of "original works of authorship", the authorial subject-matters eligible for federal copyright, the nature of an infringement action, and defenses such as fair use. In addition, students will be expected to master at least one detailed, statute-governed topic such as duration (how long do rights over a given work of authorship remain in private hands before becoming free for all to copy) or the inalienable right of termination (how authors can retrieve their copyrights despite having signed contracts indicating that they have sold all rights). The course also examines some state rights, such as the 'right of publicity' and 'quasi-property rights against the misappropriation of data', for purposes of exploring how these state doctrines interact with, or are pre-empted by, federal copyright law. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 952 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 11:00 am 12:15 pm 4 Wendy J. Gordon
Fri 10:30 am 11:45 am 4 Wendy J. Gordon

3 credits

This course covers the foundations of corporate finance. It starts with the concepts of time value of money, discounting, and present value. With that background it then considers the major financial decisions made by corporate managers. Topics include the valuation of financial assets and liabilities, criteria for making investment decisions, business valuation, relationships between risk and return, portfolio theory, market efficiency, capital structure choice, and cost of capital. GRADING NOTICE: Professor Sims's section will not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 985 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 2:10 pm 3:40 pm 3 Kathryn Griner
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 985 B1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 9:00 am 10:30 am 3 Theodore S. Sims

4 credits

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. GRADING NOTICE: The CR/NC/H option is not offered in Professor Walker or Professor Tung's sections.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 816 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 4 Stephen G. Marks
FALL 2016: LAW JD 816 W1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 8:30 am 10:30 am 4 David I. Walker
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 816 M1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Stephen G. Marks

4 credits

A basic survey course, covering the federal courts and their conduct of litigation concerning business regulation, environmental protection, and civil rights. This course picks up where the first year course in Civil Procedure leaves off and complements other courses on modern regulation and legal institutions: e.g., Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Labor Law, Conflict of Laws, and Constitutional Law. Topics include the prerequisites for gaining access to the federal district courts and the United States Supreme Court, the relationship between the federal courts and state courts, and "abstention" doctrines governing the exercise of federal judicial power. Especially recommended for students who plan to practice with firms that represent clients subject to federal regulation, to pursue careers with federal or state agencies and departments, or to handle constitutional, civil rights, or other public interest litigation.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 836 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 11:00 am 12:15 pm 4 Larry Yackle
Fri 10:30 am 11:45 am 4 Larry Yackle

Var credits

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.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 857 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 8:30 am 10:30 am 4 Michael J. Meurer
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 857 G1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 2:15 pm 3:40 pm 3 Paul R. Gugliuzza

4 credits

The income tax is a pervasive feature of life in the United States and lawyers encounter tax issues in virtually every field of practice. This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of the federal income tax, and its impact on a wide range of matters, including employment, tort claims, divorce, retirement, and especially business activities and investments of all types. Topics include: the concept of income, determination of gross income, allowance of deductions and the determination of taxable income, identification of the taxpayer, taxable periods and timing, the determination of gain or loss (including realization and recognition) from dealings in property, the concept of income tax basis, and the process of change in the tax law. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 889 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Alan L. Feld
FALL 2016: LAW JD 889 S1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 9:00 am 10:30 am 4 Theodore S. Sims
Fri 9:00 am 10:15 am 4 Theodore S. Sims
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 889 W1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 9:00 am 10:30 am 4 David I. Walker
Fri 9:00 am 10:20 am 4 David I. Walker

2 credits

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.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 800 A1 , Sep 12th to Dec 5th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Robert A. DiAdamo

3 credits

Federal income tax considerations have major implications for planning in the corporate area. This course focuses on income tax issues in transactions between corporations and shareholders, including distributions, exchanges, reorganizations and capital contributions. PREREQUISITE: Introduction to Federal Income Taxation. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2017: LAW JD 887 A1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 10:45 am 12:15 pm 3 Alan L. Feld

3 credits

Secured Transactions explores the "how-to's" of asset-based lending and, particularly, the way in which a lender or seller of commercial goods on credit protects its rights in the debtor's collateral under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The subject matter is approached from the perspective of practice skills in representing a lender and a commercial debtor. Students are responsible for case and problem recitation, as well as problem solving in a team environment.

SPRG 2017: LAW BK 972 A1 , Jan 20th to Apr 28th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Fri 10:00 am 2:30 pm 3 Karol K. Sparks

Required College of Communication Courses (8)

4 credits

This course introduces students to using new media tools as a source and vehicle for creating expression and media communication. Students will acquire building blocks for design thinking and hands-on skills to successfully communicate ideas using media technology. Students will experience the design process: ideation to execution. Topics on Media Technology, interface design, information architecture, and interaction design will be covered. 4 cr, either sem.

FALL 2016: COM CM 510 A1 , Sep 12th to Dec 12th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 9:00 am 12:00 pm 4 COM
SPRG 2017: COM CM 510 A1 , Jan 25th to May 3rd 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Wed 6:30 pm 9:15 pm 4

4 credits

The history, practices, business models and technologies of contemporary mass media. Topics include mass media?s forms, content, audiences and social effects; the state and fate of the printed word; the ups and downs of the Internet; media consolidation and the growing movement toward synergy; the future of independent media; and ethical and moral issues created by new technologies and old economic pressures. 4 cr, 1st sem

FALL 2016: COM CM 704 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 11:00 am 12:30 pm 4 COM

4 credits

Course prepares students for careers in an environment of constant technological development and institutional change. Provides an overview of current and near-future developments in telecommunications; a theoretical base and exercise in systems analysis for assessing the potential uses and importance of these technologies in media-related institutions; and consideration of legal, regulatory, and social issues which these technologies and their uses may raise for telecommunications and media industries and society in general.

SPRG 2017: COM CM 514 A1 , Jan 19th to May 3rd 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
TBD TBD 4

4 credits

Serves as introductory graduate level writing course. Exposure to a variety of off and online writing formats in communications including: news releases, e-pitches, blogs, features (off and online), microsites, websites, brochures, broadcast PSA?s, slide shows, videos, off and online writing (including social media) strategies, editing, and interview techniques. Extensive writing and rewriting. Develops comprehensive writing skills for public relations, mass communication and advertising majors. 4 cr, 1st sem

FALL 2016: COM CM 707 A1 , Sep 8th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Thu 6:00 pm 9:00 pm 4 COM
FALL 2016: COM CM 707 B1 , Sep 12th to Dec 12th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 6:00 pm 9:00 pm 4 SED
FALL 2016: COM CM 707 C1 , Sep 12th to Dec 12th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 9:00 am 12:00 pm 4 COM
FALL 2016: COM CM 707 D1 , Sep 12th to Dec 12th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 3:00 pm 6:00 pm 4 COM

  • Four Electives

Additional Requirements

Master’s thesis or professional project.

It is possible to satisfy both the LAW Upperclass Writing Requirement and the COM thesis requirement with one paper if the paper is of sufficient magnitude. Prior approval must be obtained from the student’s advisors at both the School of Law and the College of Communication.

Admissions Requirements

Students must separately apply to, and be accepted by, both the School of Law and the College of Communication (COM). Ordinarily, students apply to the College of Communication before or during their first year of law school, and begin the MS program part time during their second year of law school.

College of Communication Admissions Requirements:

Application
One essay (must be new)
May use Law School recommendations
LSAT score

Contact Information

T. Barton Carter, Professor, Communication & Law
College of Communication
617-353-5007
comlaw@bu.edu

Gerry Muir, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
School of Law
617-358-1800
gmuir@bu.edu