Robert G. Burdick

Director, Civil Litigation Program

Clinical Associate Professor of Law

BA, Harvard University
JD, Boston University

Areas of Interest
Civil Litigation, Legal Ethics
Contact
Biography

As director of the Civil Law Clinical Program, in which students represent clients in real-life cases, Robert Burdick comments, “It’s wonderful to watch students, who are just at the beginning of their careers, assume so much responsibility. They are fully aware of how high the stakes are for their clients, and they work very hard on their clients’ behalf.”

After joining the School of Law as a clinical instructor in 1975, Professor Burdick became acting director of the Legal Aid Program in 1977, and then its director in 1979. During his career, he has led significant litigation in a number of civil law areas involving anti-discrimination lawsuits, tenants’ rights cases and insurance company claim settlement practices. In addition, he has become a nationally recognized authority in the area of negotiation, leading training programs for the Washington State Legislature, Connecticut Legal Services and the Alaska Attorney General’s Office.

Recognizing the difficulty of teaching negotiation to law students, Professor Burdick has developed his own teaching model, which has been used to train School of Law students enrolled in the civil clinics. The model also has become the basis of an innovative negotiation “game,” which he uses to teach conflict resolution skills to middle school and high school students in the Boston area.

Publications
  1. Robert Burdick, Join Forces: A Leadership Negotiation Game, Negotiator Pro Company [A multidisciplinary negotiation game] (1996).
Courses

3 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
FALL 2015: LAW JD 861 B1 , Aug 31st to Dec 4th 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 861 A1 , Jan 11th to Apr 21st 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 861 B2 , Jan 11th to Apr 20th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
FALL 2016: LAW JD 861 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
FALL 2016: LAW JD 861 B1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 861 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 861 B2 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne

3 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 7:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne LAW 420
FALL 2015: LAW JD 973 B1 , Sep 1st to Dec 1st 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 7:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne LAW 420
FALL 2016: LAW JD 973 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 7:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne LAW 418
FALL 2016: LAW JD 973 B1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 7:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne LAW 416

3 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne LAW 418
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 974 B1 , Jan 12th to Apr 19th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne LAW 416
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 974 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 974 B1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
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