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 799: Tax Policy (S)
    This seminar will examine criteria used to make administrative and legislative choices in taxation: equity, efficiency, administrability and simplicity. As a particular focus, we will study some of the connections between a tax system and spending programs. PREREQUISITE: Introduction to Federal Income Taxation. 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, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 800: Local Government Law
    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.
  • LAW JD 801: Administrative Law
    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.
  • LAW JD 802: Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law (S)
    This seminar examines the Food and Drug Administration as an administrative agency combining law and science to regulate activities affecting public health and safety. Topics include testing and approval of pharmaceuticals and medical devices; food safety and nutritional policy; biologics and biotechnology regulation; cosmetic regulation; pricing of and reimbursement for drugs and devices; global aspects of pharmaceutical regulation, US and foreign patent issues, and FDA practice and procedure; jurisdiction and enforcement. A writing project involving research on food and drug issues will be required. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 14 students. RECOMMENDED COURSES: Health Law or Public Health Law, Administrative Law. 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, 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 803: Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
    This course focuses on corporate reorganization and corporate finance. We will study the legal requirements for reorganization plans under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, as well as the use of going concern sales outside of Chapter 11. We will study important doctrinal issues relating to reorganization of corporate groups, including substantive consolidation and equitable subordination. We will investigate avoidance actions in bankruptcy, including preferences and fraudulent conveyance, and the treatment of pre-bankruptcy contracts. Other topics include the financing of corporate debtors in bankruptcy and workouts and duties to creditors outside of bankruptcy. Finally, we will also introduce and ultimately master some basic tools of corporate finance--present value, expected value, and risk and diversification. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. PREREQUISITE: Business Fundamentals, Corporations.
  • LAW JD 804: American Legal History
    Selected topics in 19th- and 20th-century U.S. legal history. We will first explore the role of the legal profession in four public controversies: the authority of English common law after the American Revolution, slavery and racism, women's rights, and organized labor. We will then turn our attention to various methodologies for interpreting legal change: formalism, realism, law and economics, critical legal studies, and feminist jurisprudence. Readings (which will be plentiful) are drawn from primary sources (cases, speeches, and treatises) and secondary literature (articles and books). Students can either write a research paper or complete a take-home examination. Research papers may, but need not, fulfill the Writing Requirement.
  • LAW JD 805: Secured Transactions
    Many commercial and consumer financing transactions involve the creation of security interests in the borrower's personal property that are akin to mortgages of real property. (Indeed, much commercial activity involves the grant of a UCC Article 9 security interest, and the economic system depends on Article 9 to provide much of the law against which modern commerce takes place.) In a secured transaction, in the event of the borrower's default, the lender can foreclose on the collateral subject to the security interest to help liquidate the debt. While simple to describe, secured transactions and the rules that govern them can be complex. This course covers the basic secured transaction governed by Article 9 of the UCC. Topics covered will include creation and perfection of security interests, priority contests, and default. The course is an excellent precursor to Bankruptcy and often helpful when sitting for the bar exam. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE: Business Fundamentals. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 806: Prosecutorial Ethics (S)
    Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson once noted, "The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America." This seminar examines the unique role and power of prosecutors and their responsibility to ensure "that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer." We will study the ways in which prosecutors exercise their broad discretion and the ethical and practical considerations that affect those determinations. What duty does the prosecutor owe to a victim? To the police? To the public at large? How might those parties' interests conflict with a prosecutor's objectives and impact prosecutorial decisions? A major focus of this course will be the prosecutor's obligations to the accused and the various ways in which those duties are breached. We will examine the consequences of prosecutorial misconduct, the ways in which it may or may not be remedied, and to what extent it can be deterred. Other topics to be covered include the relationship between the prosecutor and the grand jury, conflicts of interest, selective prosecution, trial misconduct, prosecutorial immunity, mandatory minimum sentences, the use of confidential informants and cooperating witnesses, discovery of exculpatory evidence, post-conviction obligations, and wrongful convictions. Our study will draw heavily from historical as well as current events, and will include emphasis on the ways in which the role of the prosecutor is shifting. Students will engage in mock disciplinary hearings, playing the role of bar counsel in bringing allegations of misconduct against prosecutors or defending them against such claims. NOTE: seminar satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement. RECOMMENDED COURSE: Criminal Procedure, taken either prior to or concurrently with this seminar. GRADING NOTICE: This course 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 807: Business Immigration
    This course will provide an overview of business immigration law, with a particular focus on how various federal administrative agencies are engaged in shaping a complex, multidisciplinary immigration law ecosystem for employers. In addition to a substantive overview of nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications throughout the course, we will explore how immigration laws are informed by, and overlap with, other key areas such as corporate and securities law, employment and labor law and tax law. Topics will include entity formation of new businesses; visa challenges in entrepreneurship; immigration obstacles faced by multinational businesses; immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions; the intersection of business immigration with employment laws; enforcement trends targeted at employers; and the role of the IRS and tax laws in business immigration. We will also briefly review administrative law basics, explore the parameters of executive power in shaping business immigration law, and examine the plenary power of the President over immigration. Throughout the course, we will discuss how debates about outsourcing, unemployment and national security, among others, inform a complex national discussion about business immigration. We will also identify, examine and discuss core professional responsibility issues that arise in business immigration practice. There are no prerequisites for this course. There is no writing requirement, but there will be weekly quizzes and a final examination. Class attendance and participation are essential.
  • LAW JD 809: Learning From Practice Externship (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Students receive credit for working in the legal department of a non-profit, government agency, judicial placement, private company, or at a law firm. Placements may be paid or unpaid. Students may find their own placements that must be approved by the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office, or the Office has resources to help students identify and apply to suitable field placements based on their interests and career goals. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Learning from Practice: Seminar (JD 771).
  • LAW JD 810: Constitutional Law
    Considers selected issues concerning judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights.
  • LAW JD 811: Family Law
    This course offers a survey of family law, including case law, statutory law, and the role of constitutional rights in limiting governmental regulation of the family. This course will introduce students to law concerning a basic social institution: the family. Students will gain knowledge about how family law intersects with many other fields of law, such as contracts, constitutional law, criminal law, property, torts, public and social welfare law, as well as how social science informs family law. The course will focus on marriage (including the recognition of same-sex marriage), nonmarital families, divorce, pathways to becoming a parent, and the parent-child relationship. Topics include defining and regulating marriage; formal marriage; common law marriage; nonmarital couples, cohabitation, and alternatives to marriage; common law incidents of marriage and the transformation of the common law; domestic violence; traditional and "no fault" divorce; property division; spousal support; child support; child custody; adoption; and regulating parenthood. There will be a final examination. The teaching method is a combination of lecture and class discussion, along with in-class small group problem-solving exercises. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 812: Transaction Simulation: Pharma/Biotech Collaboration for Drug Development
    Practice Areas: Healthcare law, Intellectual Property and Strategy Transactions This course is one of the semester-long transaction simulations offered as part of the Transactional Law Program. Collaborative activity is essential to the biopharmaceutical industry due to the high costs and risks associated with drug development. In this course, students will learn how to read, draft, and negotiate collaboration agreements for new drug research, development and commercialization partnerships between biopharmaceutical companies. The course will begin with a brief introductory overview of (i) the biotechnology industry, with a focus on the importance of partnering for successful drug development and commercialization; and (ii) different forms of partnering agreements to develop a general understanding of the structure of such contracts. For the duration of the course, students will be assigned to teams to review, revise and negotiate the terms of a collaboration agreement for their clients, either a large pharmaceutical company or a smaller biotechnology company. Students will learn to think critically about whether certain provisions favor one party or the other, and ways to modify such elements through drafting changes. At the conclusion of the course, each team will be asked to present the key terms of the proposed collaboration agreement to their client's board of directors. Through regular out-of-class assignments, including substantial drafting assignments involving marking up term sheets, preparing issues lists, revising key sections of the collaboration agreement that will be negotiated and finalized by the student teams, and delivering board presentations, the course builds contract analysis, drafting, negotiation and strategic thinking skills students will need as they enter transactional law practice. The course also addresses various ethical issues that may arise in connection with these types of transactions and in transactional practice generally. The course grade will be based on individual participation, drafting assignments, and contributions to team efforts. Please note that no scientific background is necessary for this course as we will not be focusing on the scientific rationale for collaborations. CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 students. PREREQUISITE: Contract Drafting is recommended, but not required. NOTES: This course counts toward the 6-credit Experiential Learning requirement and also satisfies the Transaction Simulation requirement of the Transactional Practice Concentration. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. 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 course. Students who are on the wait list are required to attend the first class to be considered for enrollment. Because the course involves regular in-class exercises, some of which are done in teams, and class participation is a significant component of a student's final grade, regular class attendance is essential and thus the course cannot accommodate flexibility in attendance.
  • LAW JD 813: Contracts
    Legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable, elements of assent, standards of fairness and restrictions on bargaining processes, and tests for performance and breach
  • LAW JD 816: Corporations
    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. PREREQUISITE: Business Fundamentals.
  • LAW JD 817: Human Trafficking Clinic: Adv. Advocacy Seminar (S)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. In this seminar, students will further develop their trial advocacy and client counseling skills by participating in multiple simulations and a mock hearing. They will learn about comparative models to address human trafficking, and the challenges of a criminal justice framework to solving complex social problems. The course will focus on the lawyer's role in anti-trafficking work, given: (1) converging areas of law; (2) the emerging multi-disciplinary nature of legal work; and (3) tensions among the role of the client as both victim and defendant. Courses will focus on further developing students' competencies in the following areas: (1) strategic planning and decision-making; (2) client interviewing and counseling; (3) trial advocacy; (4) leadership and innovation; and (5) professional responsibility. Classes will focus on a wide range of topics, including: (1) oral advocacy; (2) direct and cross examination; (3) accompaniment and survivor-led advocacy; (4) legal advocacy and brief writing; (4) legislative advocacy; and (5) developing professional roles and self-care. NOTE: The Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 819: Criminal Procedure: Comprehensive
    This course surveys the constitutional rules that govern investigation, prosecution, and adjudication in the criminal process and derive primarily from the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments. Topics include police powers and limits in searches and seizures (e.g. stops, frisks, arrests, excessive force, profiling, and surveillance), police interrogations (Miranda), the exclusionary rule (the suppression of evidence obtained unconstitutionally), bail and detention, the right to counsel, the right to trial by jury, grand jury proceedings, prosecutorial charging and discretion, double jeopardy, discovery and exculpatory evidence, plea bargaining, jury selection, and the rights to a public, speedy, and fair trial. We will discuss policy and practical considerations as well as the governing constitutional doctrines, and classroom demonstrations will illustrate the course material. RESTRICTION: Students may not enroll in this section and Criminal Procedure: Constitutional (JD821) or Criminal Procedure: Adjudicatory (JD820).
  • LAW JD 823: Compliance Policy Clinic: Fieldwork (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to 1) students who have formally applied and been accepted to the Compliance Policy Clinic, a 6-credit, one-semester clinic; and 2) with instructor permission, students who have already completed one 6-credit semester in the Compliance Policy Clinic. The Compliance Policy Clinic prepares students to be effective compliance lawyers and leaders in the rapidly-expanding field of compliance lawyering: working across disciplines to translate complex, shifting legal requirements into effective systems that protect highly-regulated institutions from legal liability, reputational damage, and operational risk. The Clinic is designed to develop core skills and capacities that are transferrable across compliance practice contexts and substantive areas of law. Students lead the Clinic's work with private-sector, public-sector, and NGO partners/clients across a range of fields and industries as well as on systems-level projects in global anti- corruption law and other compliance topics with broad social impact. PRE/CO- REQUISITE: Introduction to Risk Management and Compliance. Additional courses that may be helpful to take before or at the same time as the Clinic: Corporations, Administrative Law, Professional Responsibility. NOTE: The Compliance Policy Clinic counts towards the 6-credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 825: Election Law and Voting Rights Reform
    This course examines the law that organizes democratic elections. After discussing the ideas and concepts that have influenced the development of the right to vote and the basic organizing structure of our election systems, we will explore a number of topics, including: (1) the role of political parties, (2) the disenfranchisement of black voters, (3) the passage and operation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, (4) the practice of felon disfranchisement, (5) the problems of racial and partisan gerrymandering, (6) the proper role of the courts, (7) special issues that arise in presidential elections, and (8) recent efforts to unduly influence or subvert elections. Throughout, students will learn to not only identify ongoing problems but also evaluate possible reforms. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 826: Mediation: Theory & Practice (S)
    This class will cover the theory and practice of mediation as a mode of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) used in various legal contexts. We will start by mastering the basic concepts and techniques of facilitated negotiations, and work our way, using simulations and role plays, through successively more difficult mediation scenarios. These scenarios will be set in various legal contexts such as commercial, family, criminal, and international disputes. We will work together to develop your individual mediation skills and to learn effective mediation advocacy and settlement valuation. Through lectures, exercises, simulations and classroom discussions we will focus on the theoretical underpinnings that guide the mediation process and the skills related to communication, problem-solving and professional judgment. We will explore the ethical and professional issues related to mediation as well as the legal and cultural constructs that shape mediation practice. Because this course is experiential, students are required to attend all sessions and to participate actively. NOTE: This class counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement. ** 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 waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.