Courses

The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. Please refer to the published schedule of classes on the MyBU Student Portal for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times.

  • LAW JD 891: Antitrust & Health Care (S)
    The healthcare industry has been a leading target of antitrust enforcement over the past two decades, and most of that has focused on the conduct of pharmaceutical companies. The high cost of prescription drugs is one of the biggest public policy challenges of our time and is now an issue squarely in the cross hairs of federal and state antitrust enforcers. The cases that result feature the application of traditional antitrust principles, formed over the last century, to a unique industry with atypical economics, complex regulatory schemes, and extensive enforcement of patent rights. At every turn, courts and regulators must balance the need to promote price-reducing competition with the need to maintain incentives for massive private R&D investment. This seminar will serve as an introduction to those cases. It will focus on the most common antitrust matters that arise from the competition between branded and generic drugs. It will also survey other hot topics at the antitrust-healthcare intersection more broadly, such as hospital and health system mergers. The course will also serve to develop practical lawyering skills--including how to critically analyze precedent, how to frame and to communicate advice to clients when legal standards are uncertain, and how lawyers shape the law. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may use this class to satisfy the requirement either partially or in full. **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 892: Torts
    Principles of civil recovery for injury, including strict liability, negligence, and the intentional torts, with emphasis on the social, economic, and moral underpinnings of the doctrines.
  • LAW JD 893: Health Justice Practicum
    The Health Justice Practicum is a new one-semester, two-credit course enrolling a maximum of six students. Students will collaborate with frontline health care providers who serve marginalized populations on projects that require legal and problem-solving skills and where providers and/or patients have identified a systemic problem affecting patients' health and wellbeing. In Spring 2022, we will be collaborating with Project RESPECT, an integrated obstetrics, addiction medicine, and behavioral health clinic at Boston Medical Center that serves low-income pregnant and parenting people in recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs), especially opioid use disorders (OUDs). Project RESPECT providers have identified a problem in Massachusetts law that significantly harms low-income parents in recovery from SUDs and their children, disproportionately harming Black, Indigenous, or other people of color (BIPOC) families. Children born to women in evidence-based medication-assisted recovery (e.g., methadone treatment) must be reported at birth to the Department of Children and Families as if the mother were actively using drugs. Children born to BIPOC mothers are more likely than children born to white mothers both to be reported to child protection authorities and to be separated from their families as a result. The trauma of custody disruption has demonstrated serious effects on both recovering parents and child health and development. We will explore and advocate for possible legal and policy advocacy solutions to these issues--for example, changes in mandatory reporting laws and reformed child protection agency practices to eliminate discriminatory decisionmaking. Students will attend group meetings as well as work on research and advocacy. The project work will allow students to hone their research, analytical, writing, presentation, and problem-solving skills. Regular group meetings will deepen students' understanding of their projects by providing a broader context. Students will also meet individually or in teams with the faculty supervisor to discuss their project work. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 894: Trial Advocacy
    Graduate Prerequisites: EVIDENCE
    Graduate Corequisites: STUDENTS IN THE SECOND SEMESTER OF THEIR 3RD YEAR MAY TAKE EVIDENCE AS A CO-REQ.
    This course introduces the student to the structure of the trial process and the skills used by trial lawyers. The topics covered range from opening statements to closing arguments, including conducting direct and cross-examination of witnesses, making and meeting objections, introducing documents and discovery into evidence, and using hypothetical questions with expert witnesses. Students must perform simulated exercises and will try one or more civil or criminal cases before a jury. Visit the web for more information on the instructors. PREREQUISITE: EVIDENCE. Students taking TRIAL ADVOCACY in the second semester of their third year may take EVIDENCE as a COREQUISITE. Students who have taken a trial advocacy course as part of a clinic may not subsequently enroll in Trial Advocacy. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 12 students. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. NOTE: This course counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. 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 895: Youth and the Law (S)
    We will consider the way the law responds to the transition from childhood to adulthood across a variety of legal topics. We will consider the ways numeric age and conceptions of maturity influence responses to a range of issues. Topics may include: the treatment of youth in the criminal justice system; the rights of youth to familial or state support in obtaining housing and other material goods; the relationship between youth and commercial actors or other third parties ranging from the infancy doctrine to social media platforms; parental authority and responsibilities in healthcare and educational decision-making; the civic spheres of military service, voting, and jury duty; protective laws such as labor laws; and ages of privilege such as driving and access to alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. We will read together for the first portion of the course, opening class with a simple reading quiz in lieu of reaction papers. In the middle portion of the course, we will use fishbowl debates and other rapid team work to develop and unpack frameworks underneath youth law. In the final portion of the course, students will offer oral presentations of their research projects in light of the frameworks we develop. Evaluation will be based on preparation, class participation, quizzes, presentations, and a paper. UPPERCLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This seminar does not offer the CR/NC option.
  • LAW JD 896: Corporate Counsel Externship Seminar
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is a 2-credit graded seminar for those students doing fieldwork in Corporate Counsel offices that meets every week for 1.5 hours. The seminar will cover a range of topics and competencies essential to the day-to-day role of a lawyer in the corporate counsel offices of for-profit and nonprofit companies, such as: understanding the modern and future role of corporate counsel offices, on a global scale; exercising executive leadership; representing a business entity through its constituents; becoming both a trusted legal advisor and strategic business partner to the corporate client; upholding confidentiality and ethical standards; learning the client's business; understanding the role of regulatory compliance; communicating effectively in a business setting; managing priorities and crises; collaborating with multi-disciplined teams; and solving problems with workable solutions that enable the client's objectives. To maximize the students' growth over the semester, the seminar will also teach students how lawyers learn from practice, build strong supervisory and mentorship relationships, build cultural competence, reflect and self-assess, and set and measure progress on professional development goals. Students will write reflective papers, make oral presentations, and complete other work as required by the instructor. COREQUISITE: Corporate Counsel Externship Fieldwork (JD 954). NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement.
  • LAW JD 898: Criminal Trial Practice II/Defenders (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Criminal Law Clinical Program. Criminal Trial Practice II is for students in their second semester of the Program who have been assigned to the Defender section. Students represent indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses in either the Boston Municipal Court or the Boston Juvenile Court, handling felony and misdemeanor cases of increasing complexity under the supervision of the clinical professor. Students gain exposure to lawyering experiences such as investigation, interviewing, counseling and trial advocacy. Students must be available to be in court two full days a week, Tuesday and Wednesday. PREREQS: Evidence; Trial Advocacy or Criminal Trial Advocacy; Criminal Procedure (Comprehensive, Constitutional, or Adjudicatory). NOTE: The Criminal Law Clinical Program counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 899: Criminal Trial Practice II/Prosecutors (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Criminal Law Clinical Program. Criminal Trial Practice II is for students in their second semester of the Program who have been assigned to the Prosecutor section. Students serve as lead prosecutors in the Quincy District Court on behalf of the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, handling felony and misdemeanor cases of increasing complexity under the supervision of the clinical professor. Students are exposed to a wide variety of experiences, including investigation, interviewing, and trial advocacy. Students handle pretrial matters, litigate evidentiary hearings, and are assigned to conduct every phase of jury or bench trials. Students collaborate but serve as the lead prosecutors on their own cases. Case assignments are based upon an individual assessment of a student's progress and demonstrated competence. Students in the Prosecutor Clinic may choose to enroll for 5 or 8 credits. Students must be available to be in court two full days per week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday if enrolled in the fall, or two full days per week on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday if enrolled in the spring. PREREQS: Evidence; Trial Advocacy or Criminal Trial Advocacy; Criminal Procedure (Comprehensive, Constitutional, or Adjudicatory). NOTE: The Criminal Law Clinical Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 900: Economics of Intellectual Property Law (S)
    This seminar will explore the economics of intellectual property law. There are no prerequisites. The readings for the seminar will consist of Cass and Hylton, Laws of Creation (2013), and several cases and articles. The seminar will emphasize understanding the policy justifications for the major doctrines in intellectual property. The topics studies will include patent law, copyright law, trademark law, trade secret law, and the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 14 students. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may be used to satisfy the requirement. **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 901: Appellate Advocacy Program Director
    This class is restricted to third-year students who applied and were accepted as directors of the BU Law Moot Court programs (Stone and Albers). NOTE: This class may be used to satisfy the Upper-class Writing requirement.
  • LAW JD 902: Wrongful Convictions Practicum
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Wrongful Convictions Practicum. Students have the opportunity to enroll for one semester or as a full year course (two semesters in same academic year). Students work on the cases of prisoners who claim an unjust result after either trial or plea. Practicum students assist with screening new applications from prisoners seeking relief, and aid the instructor in representing one to two incarcerated clients. Students review attorneys' files, pleadings, transcripts of trials and other court proceedings, and judicial decisions with the goal of identifying potential areas of investigation and legal research that may lead to a motion for a new trial or other post-conviction relief for an incarcerated client. Students will also meet with these clients and potentially with witnesses. In addition to this case field work, students meet in weekly seminars with the instructor. NOTE: The Wrongful Convictions Practicum counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement.
  • LAW JD 903: Supreme Court Decisionmaking (S)
    This course will focus on cases that are currently on the docket of the Supreme Court across the range of the Court's subject matter. In the first week of class, we will read a set of pending certiorari petitions and vote as a class on whether we would grant the petition. (Petitions and background readings will be available on the course website.) Each student will be responsible for writing a brief memorandum in one case on whether the Court should grant the petition. Thereafter, each week, the class will read materials in preparation to discuss one or two cases pending on the merits, including its lower court opinion, the briefs from each party and selected amicus briefs. Prior to each class session, each student will be responsible for writing a brief memo (no more than a paragraph or two on each case) briefly stating how they would decide the case or cases for that week and why. Students will also be responsible for drafting one 20-25 page Supreme Court opinion and one 3-5 page dissenting opinion (either from their own opinion or someone else's) to be distributed to and discussed by the class. NOTE: Students registered for this seminar are encouraged to choose a case from the Court's docket during Fall Semester and take the lead on writing the opinion in that case. Students who do not choose a case in advance will be assigned one at the first class meeting. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may be used to satisfy the requirement; two drafts and research on secondary sources is required. GRADING NOTICE: This course 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.
  • LAW JD 905: Entertainment Law (S)
    This seminar will focus on the varied legal and business doctrines that influence the practice of entertainment law. Some of the primary topics include copyright and trademark protection and enforcement; defamation and freedom of speech; privacy and publicity rights; social media; licensing and merchandising entertainment properties; and other general contractual relations within the entertainment industry. The course will also examine the practical aspects of entertainment law, such as client counseling and negotiations and contract drafting. There will be no final exam. Grades will be based upon papers and class participation. NOTES: This class may not be used to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. GRADING NOTICE: This class 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 907: Representing Life Sciences Companies: Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (S)
    Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals are two of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., and the legal issues that arise in connection with representing them are complex and evolving. This seminar will focus on the transactional, intellectual property, and regulatory legal issues that challenge lawyers working with clients in these industries. We will begin with an overview of these industries, including a basic review of the sciences underpinning them (intended for non-scientists). We will then delve into complex legal issues such as licensing, collaborations, and consortium building; academic-industry interactions; the drug and biologic regulatory approval process; issues arising in clinical trials; and legal issues arising in the manufacture and distribution of life sciences products. If time permits, we will also examine the medical device industry and the ways in which that industry differs from the biopharmaceutical industry. In lieu of an exam, students will prepare a 25 page, journal-worthy article addressing a legal topic of the student's selection. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may use this class to satisfy the 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. ** 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 908: Writing for Legal Change (S)
    This seminar explores the professional role of judges, both state and federal, in our American legal system. It invites analysis of the distinctive features of our judiciary, its multiple roles in legal determinations under stare decisis, in statutory interpretation, in fact finding (both at trial and in other contexts), in the many interactions with the direct democracy of the American jury, in administration and case management, and in contacts with the legislative and executive branches. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The first class meeting will take place at the Law School (Date/Time TBA), while the rest of the class will be conducted at the United States District Court. ** 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 911: The Courts & the LGBT+ Movement (S)
    The seminar will examine the role of the courts in both enabling and hindering the remarkable social/political/cultural shifts that have made it possible for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to participate more fully in our common life while being as open as they choose about who they are, creating for many of us a changed landscape impossible to have imagined a just a few decades ago. The First Amendment will be a primary focus, although the questions posed will inevitably spill over into considerations of the Due Process and Equal Protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. Our perspective will be critical, recognizing evolving openness in the courts where it appears and at the same time calling out the conscious, unconscious and systemic bias that continues to pervade the law. The plan is to begin with the unlikely emergence of the First Amendment as a friend to LGBT+ folk in the otherwise hostile legal landscape of the Fifties. Then, we will track how, fertilized by the African-American civil rights and feminist movements of the Sixties and early Seventies, the right to speak burgeoned into the right to participate openly in civic venues that were formerly off limits. We will look at how, and to what extent, the role of the state as guardian of gender conformity lost much of its power to impede openness and equality for people who had historically been regarded as simply beyond the pale of community. We will examine the "red lines" that queer people were forbidden to cross, like the scouts, the military, athletics, parenting and marriage; and the extent to which those lines have eroded or become more rigid. We will assess the "blowback," such as the spate of laws forbidding discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the schools; laws targeting transgender individuals; and the increasing use of the First Amendment to create exemptions to public accommodation laws. Finally, we will think together about the advantages and possible drawbacks of the strategies employed to advance equality for LGBTQ+ folks as these strategies relate to the larger struggle for human liberation and for the fostering of an environment that makes it easier for the planet and its inhabitants to thrive. To help facilitate this discussion, one or more sessions will, if feasible, include practicing attorneys working in this area of the law. There will be final paper in lieu of an examination. Grades will be based on the paper and class participation, including weekly response papers to the material covered in our weekly sessions. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may use this class to satisfy the requirement. **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 912: American Constitutional History (S)
    This seminar will investigate constitutional history, from the years leading to the American Revolution through the early twentieth century, from several different angles, including presidential leadership, legislative mandates, and judicial interpretation. We will also consider popular constitutionalism and how society at large debated and helped to shape constitutional interpretation and development. Topics to be covered will include the constitutional impact of the break with Britain, the Founding of the Republic, Civil War era constitutionalism, the redefinition of American citizenship during Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, constitutional law in the industrial Republic, and changes in the rights of the individual and developments as to federalism during the time period covered in this course. No prior history background is necessary. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may use this class to satisfy the requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is frequently offered in alternating years. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. **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 913: Hospital Law
    This course focuses on the highly regulated industry of health care, but with attention to the law applicable to hospitals and health systems. The course will review Federal and State statutes, regulations, as well as case law relevant to hospital organization, responsibilities and liability, credentialing, fraud and abuse laws and compliance oversight. The course is intended to develop competencies in understanding health care and health care insurance laws and regulations as they pertain to hospitals, developing familiarity with the reimbursement (particularly Medicare & Medicaid), regulatory compliance and enforcement issues facing hospital counsel. In addition, it is expected that students will demonstrate legal analysis and reasoning, problem-solving and communications skills required for work in a hospital/health care setting. Through understanding core health care law principles, students will learn the foundational legal, structural and business aspects of the modern hospital complex. Understanding how hospitals fit into the broader health care environment of payors, physicians, patients, regulators and other health care providers, law students will be able to appreciate the challenging dynamics affecting the health care system and the role of the hospital, often at the hub of activity, both in terms of current practice, but also health care delivery system reform. After completing the class, students will have been exposed to the key health care-related legal issues facing hospitals that hospital counsel and other health care lawyers need to know. Additionally, recognition of these stressors will be important training for lawyers in other disciplines interacting with hospitals, such as labor and employment law, intellectual property, antitrust, criminal defense, environmental, corporate, employee benefits, tax, etc. Course materials include a case book, primary source documentation, and guest lectures from in-house and outside counsel representing hospitals.
  • LAW JD 917: Queerness & the Law
    This course explores the interactions between gender, sexual orientation, and the law in the United States, historically and contemporaneously. Over the course of the semester, students will gain a critical understanding of how doctrines of positive rights, conduct, privacy, and equal protection have shaped views on gender and sexual orientation across time, and how the latter have likewise shaped the former. Looking through the lens of modern legislation, litigation, and the lived experiences of LGBTQ people in the United States, students will develop their own theories of law regarding gender and sexual orientation--theories of law that will hopefully be applicable throughout their careers as legal professionals. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement.
  • LAW JD 918: Compliance and Risk Management in Global Commerce
    This course covers U.S. laws governing global trade and finance. We will also explore sections of the UK and EU regulations. We will examine the compliance obligations of multinational enterprises pursuant to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering, Sanctions, export controls, and cryptocurrency laws and regulations. Key focuses of the course will be the extraterritorial scope of U.S. laws, and techniques for mitigating legal risk in transnational business operations. Students will learn how to: 1. Identify and assess legal risk in transnational trade and financial operations; 2. Build compliance programs that effectively mitigate such risk; 3. Manage interactions between multinational enterprises and U.S. enforcement agencies; and 4. Present professionally and effectively to various audiences about these risks.