American Law

  • LAW AM 700: Introduction to American Law
    The class covers the basic structure and function of US legal institutions: the congress, the president, and regulatory agencies, and, especially, the federal courts. It examines the role of state law and state courts in the American system of federalism. The course also studies the American judicial processes of constitutional analyses, interpretation of statues, and development of common law. Some attention is paid to court procedures, including trial by jury. Finally, students study a few topics that are illustrative of the treatment of individual rights in American law, such as freedom of speech, anti-discrimination law, and protection of private property. The class grants two credits towards the American Law degree.
  • LAW AM 701: Professional Responsibility for International LLMs
    This course offers an approach to the lawyer's responsibilities to clients, the profession, and the public. Topics addressed will be problems of disclosure, conflict of interest, advertising, adversary tactics, competence, attorney fees, and fiduciary duties. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW AM 702: Property for LLMs
    This course exposes LL.M. students to the basic principles of real property law, including possession, ownership, rights in land, conveyances, estates, future interests, real estate contracts, easements, land use disputes, landlord-tenant issues, and land use controls, among others. The course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the essential doctrines of real property law for LL.M. students interested in taking a U.S. bar exam.
  • LAW AM 703: Evidence for LLMs
    This course provides LL.M. students with an overview of the substantive rules governing the admissibility or exclusion of evidence at trial. Subjects include competency of witnesses, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, the rule against hearsay and its exceptions, expert and lay opinion testimony, privileged communications, relevancy, procedural considerations, judicial notice, burden of proof, presumptions, form and type of objections, authentication, the best evidence rule and the use of demonstrative and scientific evidence. The course is designed to give students a fundamental understanding of evidentiary rules in anticipation of taking a US bar exam.
  • LAW AM 704: Research and Writing Seminar for LLMs
    This two-credit Legal Research and Writing seminar is required for LL.M. students in the American Law program and optional for students in the LL.M. programs in Banking and Financial Law and Taxation. It is specifically designed to introduce foreign lawyers to the basic principles of American legal writing. In small class settings and individual conferences, students receive guidance on drafting and editing memoranda and agreements. Their work is critiqued and rewritten. The research component of the seminar trains students to locate cases, statutes and secondary material through indexing systems and the latest computer technology. Research assignments are integrated into writing assignments -- exposing students to the methods of US legal analyses -- so that by the end of the term, students obtain the skills needed to write memoranda appropriate for submission to US law firms.
  • LAW AM 707: Advanced Legal Writing for LLM Students: The Essentials of Bar Exam Writing and Beyond (S)
    This seminar focuses on developing the critical lawyering skills needed to succeed on the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) of the Uniform Bar Exam -- and to succeed in the practice of law: the ability to analyze and apply relevant law to specific factual situations to perform a lawyering task in writing. As with the MPT, students will be assigned lawyering tasks, which may include writing a memorandum to a supervising attorney, a client letter, a persuasive memorandum or brief, a statement of facts, a contract provision, a settlement proposal, and the like. Students will work from source files containing facts and other material, and will receive a collection of legal sources with sufficient substantive information to complete the task. The class does not teach research skills or substantive law. Rather, it focuses on developing analytical and writing skills in the American legal tradition. The class will also expose students to specific writing approaches, outlining and issue spotting techniques, and time management strategies. Enrollment is limited to 14 foreign-trained lawyers enrolled in the American Law Program. **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 AM 708: Civil Procedure for LLMs
    This class introduces internationally-trained LLM students to the rules, standards, and values that govern the procedures used in civil cases in the federal district courts of the United States. Drawing from constitutional and statutory texts, and focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the class covers such civil litigation issues as: jurisdiction, choice of law, venue, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial motions, trial through judgment, joinder of parties and claims, and finality of judgments. The course will meet 1/13/2020-2/26/2020. A final exam will be scheduled for a Friday afternoon prior to spring break (date/time TBD).
  • LAW AM 709: Fundamentals of U.S. Constitutional Law for LLM Students
    This class provides an introductory level survey of U.S. constitutional law. Topics will include: the Constitution's impact on fundamental concepts of criminal and civil law; the delineation of spheres of power between the branches of the national government; the role of the judiciary and other institutions in interpreting and applying the Constitution; individual rights; substantive due process; theories of constitutional interpretation; and the practice and meaning of judicial review in a political democracy. Enrollment is limited to LLM students who obtained their law degree outside the U.S. and to students not currently enrolled in the JD four-credit constitutional law class.
  • LAW AM 719: Transactional Contracts: Drafting and Analyzing Transactional Agreements under U.S. Law (for foreign-trained LL.M. students)
    This course is for foreign-trained LL.M. students. It teaches students basic principles and skills of drafting and analyzing transaction and other business agreements under U.S. law, with a focus on recognizing, and addressing through contractual provisions, key business issues in various transactional contexts, including asset purchases and sales, intellectual property licensing and employment agreements. While the course utilizes lectures to introduce various contract concepts and techniques essential for drafting and analyzing transaction and other commercial agreements, it requires that students complete both in-class exercises and out-of-class assignments as a means of building basic drafting skills and a solid understanding of the structure and operation of contractual provisions in a business transaction under U.S. law. Grades will be based on the graded assignments, good faith completion of ungraded assignments, and class participation. CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 students. 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 normally does not accommodate flexibility in attendance.
  • LAW AM 721: Effective Transactional Lawyering Skills (S)
    Successful transactional lawyers build their practices by adding value to their clients' transactions. In addition to having strong drafting and negotiation skills, they think creatively and strategically, more like skilled chess players than technicians. They are also effective, diplomatic communicators. This seminar teaches students how, as transactional lawyers, they can bring added value to a deal. Through role plays, simulations, in- class exercises and written assignments, students learn strategies for translating the concepts of a business transaction into legal documents. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the client's business and strategic objectives for a deal; identifying the risk and value issues that the client has not yet considered; structuring the deal; and negotiating and drafting the deal documents to achieve the client's goals. Note: Although strategic contract drafting is an element of the course, this is not a class dedicated to contract drafting. Instead, the focus is on how the various provisions of deal documents interact with each other to further a client's business objectives, and on how to work strategically to structure, negotiate, and draft the provisions to achieve those objectives. This class is open to foreign-trained LLM students in the LLM in American Law and Intellectual Property Law Programs. Prerequisites: contracts, unless otherwise waived by the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12 students.
  • LAW AM 785: International Due Diligence for LLMs
    Corporate law associates are often assigned "due diligence" projects in connection with transactional deals. They are asked to review a target's records and identify "anything that looks suspicious." Where to begin? This is a practical skills course that will assist LLM in American Law Program students in understanding international compliance and risk due diligence in cross- border transactions. Students will learn to identify and investigate the myriad "red flags" that can signal a target company's non-compliance with US laws governing global trade and anti-corruption. Through case studies and hands-on exercises and assignments, students will develop the lawyering skills needed to assess a target company's control framework (compliance programs), identify potential red flags of non-compliance, and advise management on the risks posed by a potential transaction. The focus will be on the compliance obligations of multinational enterprises pursuant to anti-corruption rules (primarily, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and U.S. trade sanctions (OFAC). Students may not also take "Compliance and Risk Management in Global Commerce." (JD 918)
  • LAW AM 787: Transaction Simulation (LLM): Forming and Financing a Start-Up Business
    This course is a semester-long transaction simulation offered exclusively for LLM in American Law Program and LLM in Intellectual Property Law students. The simulated transaction is the formation and initial financing of a privately- held company in the software industry. The course will expose LLM students to the principal issues involved in counseling U.S.-based entrepreneurs as to their emerging businesses, including choice of entity and entity formation, equity compensation for founders and employees, intellectual property protection of company assets, capital raising through preferred stock financing, and negotiation of financing-related contracts based on industry- standard models. Through in-class discussions, homework assignments and graded writing assignments, students will simulate the work of both junior and senior practicing attorneys who counsel start-ups and their founders and investors. Students will review sample agreements related to start-up businesses such as formation and financing documents, draft and revise such agreements and conduct negotiations for the financing of an emerging business. While the simulation is based on a start-up transaction, many of the principles and concepts will be applicable to a broader range of business deals. The course grade will be based on homework assignments, class participation and graded writing assignments. CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 students. PREREQUISITE(S): Contracts and Corporations, unless otherwise waived by the instructor. Prior work experience in transactional business law is neither required nor expected. 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. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW AM 795: IP Licensing in the Global Marketplace for LLMs (S)
    This course focuses on the major legal and practical issues related to intellectual property licenses in the global marketplace. Taught from the US practitioner's perspective, the class is specifically designed for foreign- trained lawyers who want to learn how to leverage intangible assets through intellectual property licensing transactions. We will cover patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret license agreements in a range of industries. Topics will include the scope and limitations of different licensing arrangements; crafting and interpreting licensing contract language; the relationship between licenses and transactions involving tangible assets; and licensing enforcement. We will explore the similarities and differences in licensing in the media, entertainment and technology industries; as well as licensing law and practice in foreign jurisdictions. In-class exercises and role plays will help students develop the practical skills needed to successfully draft and negotiate intellectual property licenses. PRE-REQUISITES (unless otherwise waived by the professor): Contracts; and either Intellectual Property (fall survey class) or the fall seminar, The Practice of U.S. Copyright and Trademark Law: Media and Entertainment Transactions. Enrollment is limited to 18 LLM in Intellectual Property Law and LLM in American Law 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.
  • LAW AM 812: Contracts for LLMs
    This course will use the case method to examine legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable, elements of assent, standards of fairness and restrictions on bargaining process, and tests for performance and breach. Designed for students preparing to sit for the bar, this course will focus on those areas emphasized on the multi-state, New York, and Massachusetts bar exams. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW AM 814: Introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code: Sale of Goods and Secured Transactions
    This is a six-week class intended to provide international LLM students with an introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), the model code developed for the purpose of harmonizing the varied commercial and contract laws in the United States. The course will begin with an overall survey of the UCC, including its purpose and coverage. Students will then focus on two important articles of the code -- Article 2 and Article 9. Article 2 governs the sale of goods by merchants or professional sellers and addresses such matters as offer and acceptance, consideration and contract formation, modification, repudiation, breach of contracts, and the "battle of the forms." Article 9 governs secured transactions -- business transactions in which a debtor grants a security interest in personal property to a creditor in order to ensure repayment of a debt. This article addresses such issues as creating and giving notice of a security interest in property, and resolving conflicts among creditors claiming interests in the same property. The class will use a variety of learning methodologies, including readings, lectures, small group discussions, and role-plays. The class has no pre-requisites. Enrollment is limited to 40 LLM in American Law Program students. Students may not also enroll in LAW BK 972 or LAW JD 805.
  • LAW AM 815: Corporations for LLMs
    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. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW AM 891: Negotiation for LLMs (S)
    Whether you are a litigator, dealmaker or in-house counsel, your performance will turn in large part on your ability to negotiate effectively. The goal of this course is to improve your effectiveness as a negotiator. Students will engage in a series of negotiation exercises (i.e., role plays) through which they can develop and hone their skills and approaches to negotiation. Discussion and short lectures will accompany the role-plays, as appropriate. There will be short written assignments (3-5 pages) as well as a longer paper (12-15 pages) due at the end of the semester. No final exam. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 12 students. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option. RESTRICTION: Students may not enroll in Negotiation for LLMs (JD891) and Negotiation (JD921) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (JD881). **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 AM 892: Legal Interviewing & Client Counseling for LLMs
    This is a practical skills seminar designed to introduce LLM students to the theory and practice of legal interviewing and client counseling. Through a combination of classroom discussion, readings, reflective writing, simulations and role-plays, students will learn the skills and techniques lawyers use to help clients make sound decisions. These include: identifying and obtaining relevant facts; effectively formulating questions; actively listening; identifying legal problems; clarifying client needs and objectives; formulating potential strategies; assisting clients in evaluating options; and communicating difficult information to clients, in litigation and transactional contexts. This course will provide opportunities for experiential learning, allowing students to develop and practice interviewing and counseling in real- world contexts. Enrollment limited to 18. **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 AM 893: Effective In-House Legal Counsel (S)
    This course will introduce internationally-trained LLM students to the roles and responsibilities of in-house legal counsel. Students will investigate the skills and characteristics that contribute to successful and effective practice as an in-house counsel and explore the similarities and differences between in- house legal practice and outside legal practice. Topics covered during the course will include: the relationship between in-house counsel and his/her client; in-house counsel's role in adding value to his/her organization; advising and counseling clients; fact gathering and investigation; managing an in-house legal practice; selecting and managing outside counsel; and the ethical challenges of in-house counsel. This will be a hands-on course focused on practice skills development. In role plays, students will step into the shoes of in-house counsel to address a variety of situations in which an in- house counsel would be expected to act. ** 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 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 AM 894: Civil Trial Advocacy for LLMs (S)
    If you want to develop the advocacy skills of a US trial lawyer, watching re- runs of Boston Legal or The Practice won't be enough. You need hands-on training. This course introduces LLM students to the structure of the jury trial process in the United States and the core skills used by trial lawyers. The seminar will give students first-hand exposure to the full range of trial advocacy skills, 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. Throughout the term, students will try their hands at using these skills through simulated exercises and role plays. At the end of the semester, each student will perform as counsel in a simulated "mock" civil trial before a jury. Limited to 12 LL.M. in American Law Program 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.