Constance A. Browne
Clinical Associate Professor of Law
BA with distinction, University of Maine
JD cum laude, Boston College
Areas of Interest
Civil Litigation, Legal Writing & Research, Trial Advocacy
Constance Browne came to Boston University School of Law in 1982 as an instructor in the First-Year Writing Program and joined the full-time faculty of Clinical Programs in 1989. As an associate professor in the Civil Litigation Program, she supervises students who represent clients in special education, unemployment, divorce, disability and housing cases. She also teaches courses in lawyering skills, helping students to develop and polish their interviewing, counseling, negotiating and trial advocacy abilities. In addition to teaching in the clinical program, Professor Browne offers an advanced writing and editing seminar and a seminar in trial advocacy. She helped initiate the Student Trial Team Program and served as a faculty advisor for the School of Law’s Public Interest Law Journal from the publication’s inception until 1995.
Before coming to Boston University, Professor Browne was in private civil litigation practice for seven years. Her publications include “Absolute Veterans’ Preference in Public Employment: Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts et al. v. Feeney,” and “Title VII and the Equal Pay Act: Gunther v. County of Washington,” both for the Boston College Law Review.
Advanced Legal Writing and Editing Workshop (S): LAW JD 874
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.
FALL 2015: LAW JD 874 A1 , Sep 3rd to Dec 3rd 2015
FALL 2016: LAW JD 874 A1 , Sep 8th to Dec 8th 2016
Civil Litigation Program (C): LAW JD 861
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.
FALL 2015: LAW JD 861 A1 , Aug 31st to Dec 4th 2015
FALL 2015: LAW JD 861 B1 , Aug 31st to Dec 4th 2015
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 861 A1 , Jan 11th to Apr 21st 2016
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 861 B2 , Jan 11th to Apr 20th 2016
FALL 2016: LAW JD 861 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
FALL 2016: LAW JD 861 B1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 861 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2017
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 861 B2 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2017
Civil Litigation Program/Pretrial Advocacy: LAW JD 973
The program also includes a serious classroom component during which you learn the theories of practice for use in the field. Pretrial Advocacy is taught in groups of roughly 14 students and two clinical professors per group. Half of the classes are devoted to activities and simulations in which you role play with the skills that are taught. Students in the HEFD option take Pretrial Advocacy in the fall, while Students in the ERC fall option will take Pretrial Advocacy plus a "bootcamp" in Trial Advocacy. Please note that ONLY the HEFD and ERC section of Pre-Trial Advocacy will satisfy the Professional Responsibility requirement. GRADING NOTICE: HEFD & ERC sections do not offer the CR/NC/H option.
FALL 2015: LAW JD 973 A1 , Sep 1st to Dec 1st 2015
FALL 2015: LAW JD 973 B1 , Sep 1st to Dec 1st 2015
FALL 2016: LAW JD 973 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2016
FALL 2016: LAW JD 973 B1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2016
Civil Litigation Program/Trial Advocacy: LAW JD 974
The program also includes a serious classroom component during which you learn the theories of practice for use in the field. Trial Advocacy is taught in groups of roughly 14 students and two clinical professors per group. Half of the classes are devoted to activities and simulations in which you role play with the skills that are taught. Students in the HEFD option take Trial Advocacy in the spring. Students in the ERC spring option will take Trial Advocacy plus a "bootcamp" in Pretrial Advocacy.
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 974 A1 , Jan 12th to Apr 19th 2016
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 974 B1 , Jan 12th to Apr 19th 2016
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 974 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 974 B1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Effective & Ethical Depositions (S): LAW JD 958
The purpose of this seminar is to teach students how to take and defend effective and ethical depositions. The course involves both a simulated deposition component and a professional responsibility component. The seminar also satisfies the professional responsibility requirement. Simulated Deposition Course Component: Students will be divided into firms representing either the Plaintiff or the Defendants in a gender discrimination and defamation case brought by an attorney who has been denied partnership. The students will prepare and perform depositions of lay and expert witnesses and gather experience with obtaining and developing facts, preserving testimony, and the uses of depositions. Professional Responsibility Course Component: The simulated context offers the opportunity to explore several professional responsibility issues that arise naturally in deposition practice. These issues emerge largely because of the dual professional roles of an attorney: zealous representative and officer of the court. Some of the more timely issues involve proper witness preparation, improper witness coaching, inadvertent waiver of privilege, and abusive tactics. Writing and Performance Requirements: Each week students will write a short one or two page comment on the professional responsibility issues raised in class. At the end of the course, students will perform a videotaped deposition rather than take a final written exam. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may elect to use this course to fulfill the upper-class writing requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. GRADING NOTICE: This seminar 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.
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 958 A1 , Jan 11th to Apr 20th 2016
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 958 A1 , Jan 23rd to Apr 24th 2017