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 864: Financial Regulation
    This course will survey the regulatory architecture of major U.S. financial institutions, including commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, and insurance companies. Understanding the regulatory framework surrounding financial institutions requires situating them within a rapidly evolving political, technological and global context. The course will explore various regulatory mechanisms, such as bank supervision, security disclosures, fiduciary duties, consumer protections, capital requirements, and risk monitoring. The design of these complex governance tools has important implications for the health and stability of the economy, and thus for society. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option. PREREQUISITE: Business Fundamentals.
  • LAW JD 866: SILC: Privacy, Security & Health Seminar 1
  • LAW JD 868: Moot Court
    The second component of the First Year Research and Writing requirement is participation in the J. Newton Esdaile Appellate Moot Court Program in the spring semester. Students conduct research, draft a brief and present a case in oral argument before a panel of moot-court judges made up of faculty, lawyers and students.
  • LAW JD 869: SILC: Privacy, Security & Health Seminar 2
  • LAW JD 870: Patent Law
    The basic questions in patent law are: why should society grant inventors a right to exclude others from using a patented invention? Who should be given the right? What is the scope of the right? How should the right be enforced? What disclosure duties should be placed on the patent holder? We will concentrate on these legal issues without getting mired in discussions of the technical details of particular inventions. Students without a technical background are welcome and encouraged to enroll.
  • LAW JD 871: Trusts, Wills & Basic Estate Planning
    This course explores the basic law surrounding the disposition of property at death: (1) overview of the estate planning process and the policy considerations regarding inheritance law; (2) the process by which property is distributed in the absence of a will (intestacy); (3) the law of wills, examining challenges to a will, formal requirements for the execution of a valid will, revocation, and construction; (4) will substitutes and planning for incapacity; (5) the law of trusts, including revocable and pour-over trusts, and creditor and beneficiary rights; (6) brief coverage of powers of appointment, perpetuities, spendthrift, and charitable trusts. This course does not address in detail tax-motivated estate planning.
  • LAW JD 872: Financial Reporting for Lawyers
    Understanding financial statements and reports. The objective of the course is that students will be able to read and understand the four financial statements and the 10-k annual report. Emphasis is placed on understanding the nature and meaning of the reports, as well as the relationship to the underlying transactions. Other topics include: basic accounting principles, US GAAP versus IFRS, financial statement analysis, the relationship of the financial statement information to covenant documents, and accounting gamesmanship. RESTRICTION: Not open to students who have had more than one three-hour college course, or its equivalent, in accounting. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 873: Civil Procedure
    Examines the structure and function of civil procedure and the requirements of due process of law.
  • LAW JD 874: Advanced Legal Writing (S)
    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. NOTE: This class counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 14 students. 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 (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 876: Property
    Conceptual analysis and underlying policy considerations in basic property law.
  • LAW JD 877: Civil Rights Litigation
    This course is about civil and criminal enforcement of constitutional rights and other federal rights against government officials. The primary focus is on civil rights litigation in federal courts against state officials under the civil rights statutes passed in the wake of the civil war, including 42 U.S.C. ? ?1983, 1981, 1982 and 1985 on the civil side and 18, U.S.C. ?? 242 and 249 on the criminal side. The criminal segment of the course will be taught by an Assistant United States Attorney in charge of the Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit and the Civil Rights Enforcement Team in the District of Massachusetts. Criminal issues include prosecutions of police officers for violating the civil rights of arrestees and hate crimes. On the civil side, we will examine the rights that give rise to civil rights action and, to a lesser extent, the scope of those rights. The kinds of cases include police brutality, unlawful searches and seizures and discrimination in government jobs. The issues that arise include many statutory questions, such as identification of proper parties to 1983 actions, and judge-make defenses, such as official and state immunities from damages actions and injunctive suits. We will also look at federalism and eleventh amendment limitations on congressional power and federal court remedial power in 1983 actions, although coverage of these issues will not be as thorough as in Federal Courts. The standards for holding local governments liable for damages will also be examined. Our major foray into the substance of constitutional rights will be with regard to the role of state remedies and defendant's state of mind for fourteenth amendment procedural due process violations. We will also look at substantive constitutional rights such as police brutality, medical care for prisoners and detainees, high speed police chases and other similar areas. There will also be some coverage of remedies against federal officials directly under the constitution and remedies against private individuals for civil rights violations. 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 879: Advanced Legal Research
    In this class students will be exposed to how legal research functions in practice. The research projects will be designed to highlight major legal research tools in both online and print formats. The projects will feature tasks such locating court documents, doing a legislative history, finding agency regulations and guidance, doing state specific research with practice series, researching an unfamiliar area of the law using secondary sources, as well as learning to use Lexis/Nexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law in a cost effective manner. Most classes will have an assignment and some will be longer projects such as a client letter, a research memo for a supervisor and all will include a research log. There will be an exam where the students must do several short research assignments with a research log. The objective of the class is for students to become comfortable completing simple and complex research in a work setting. NOTE: This class 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 881: Alternative Dispute Resolution
    The goal of this course is to improve students' ability to resolve disputes and to productively engage in conflict. In this highly interactive class, students will examine a variety of dispute resolution processes, other than traditional court adjudication, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, dispute system design and restorative justice. Over the course of the semester, students will engage in a series of exercises (i.e., role-plays) through which they can develop and hone their skills and approaches to dispute resolution. Discussion and short lectures will accompany the exercises, as appropriate. There will be short written assignments as well as a longer paper due at the end of the semester. No final exam. NOTE: This course counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. RESTRICTION: Students may not enroll in both Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation (JD921).
  • LAW JD 882: Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program: Core Lawyering Skills (C)
    THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. The seminar is the fall companion course for students enrolled in the Program. It provides a practice-oriented introduction to advocacy on behalf of indigent clients, including noncitizens and survivors of human trafficking. Students will develop a wide range of competencies with classes focusing topics including: (1) client interviewing and counseling; (2) case planning; (3) legal research and writing; (4) cultural competency; (5) legal story-telling and developing a theory of the case; (6) affidavit writing; (7) vicarious and secondary trauma; and (8) professional responsibility. Students will participate in class simulations, present in case rounds, and actively engage in facilitated discussions. There also will be two boot camp classes for students with specialized training in the following areas: (1) immigration law with a focus on asylum law and representing vulnerable noncitizens; and (2) human trafficking law with a focus on the protection framework in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and multi-disciplinary lawyering. 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 883: Securities Regulation
    This course offers an introduction to federal securities regulation under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We will examine how the securities laws shape the process by which companies raise capital through IPOs, public offerings, and private placements. We will also focus on the mandatory disclosure regime for publicly traded companies and the related topics of securities fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, and shareholder voting. We will study core concepts such as the definition of a security and materiality. Finally, we will spend significant time examining the role of the SEC and private shareholder litigation in policing the securities laws. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 885: Sustainable Finance
    Corporate scandals, systemic racism, Covid-19 and climate change have put environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues of corporations in the spotlight, and many investors and other corporate stakeholders believe that these issues have a financial impact. In addition, investors are becoming more and more focused on the impact of their investments on society and the environment. As a result, flows into strategies that consider ESG factors have been soaring, and impact investing has consolidated as an investment strategy that promises financial returns and solutions to tackle the world's problems. These investment strategies are evolving rapidly and asking lawyers and regulators to address novel issues and reconsider issues that seemed settled. In this course, we will discuss the role of corporations, non-profits, investment funds and development finance institutions (DFIs) in this context. We will analyze how these strategies affect fiduciary duties and disclosure requirements. We will examine the tools that are available to implement these strategies such as: blended finance, pay-for-success, public benefit corporations, sustainable bonds and active shareholder engagement. After completing this course, students will develop an understanding of the different sustainable investment strategies and players in the industry, become familiar with the typical legal issues that arise in the sustainable finance industry and with some of the tools that are being used. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE: Corporations. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 886: Law and Sports (S)
    This seminar will survey a range of legal issues presented by sports in America. There are no pre-requisites. However, students should be prepared to learn and apply basic principles of antitrust law and labor law. Intellectual property law, constitutional law, administrative law, anti-discrimination law, contract law and tort law also will be applied. Topics will include the legal, contractual, and economic relationship between professional sports franchises and the sports and entertainment venues in which they play, and the ownership of athlete identity and its utilization by athletes, teams, sponsors, and equipment manufacturers. The course also will treat the regulation of agent representation of athletes, the regulation of sports franchises and sports leagues. Grades will be based on client-directed writing and on oral class participation, including an advocacy presentation. There is no examination. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class 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, 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 887: Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
    Graduate Prerequisites: INTRO TO FEDERAL INCOME TAXATION
    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.
  • LAW JD 888: Immigrants' Rights Clinic: Adv. Advocacy & Trial Theory (C)
    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 skills by participating in multiple mock hearings and portions of simulated trials. In particular, this course will focus on developing students' competencies in the following topics: (1) witness preparation, including working with lay and expert witnesses; (2) oral advocacy, including direct/cross examination and opening and closing statements; (3) factual and legal research; (4) cross-cultural lawyering and implicit bias; (5) legal advocacy and brief writing; (6) basic negotiation; and (7) developing professional roles and identities. Students will also be introduced to the intersections between criminal and immigration law, and to law and organizing in the immigration context. 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 889: Introduction to Federal Income Taxation
    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.