Note: All School of Law course numbers are preceded by the letter L in the myUDC (Banner) registration system.
|Civil Procedure I
|Civil Procedure II
|Constitutional Law I
|Constitutional Law II
|Law & Justice
|Lawyering Process I
|Lawyering Process II
|Legal Reasoning I
|Legal Reasoning II
|Business Organizations I
|Business Organizations II
|Commercial Law/UCC I
|Conflict of Laws
|Federal Tax/Tax I (Personal)
|Wills and Estates
|Advanced Criminal Procedure
|Advanced Legal Research
|Advanced Legal Writing
|Alternative Dispute Resolution
|Asylum & Refugee Law
|Civil Rights in the 21st Century Externship
|Civil Rights in the 21st Century Seminar
|Criminal Justice, Social Justice, and Community Justice
|Death Penalty Law/Wrongful Convictions
|Demonstration Law Seminar
|Entertainment Law Seminar
|Environmental Law & Policy
|Gender & Sexual Orientation
|Gender & Sexual Orientation Seminar
|Health Law Seminar
|Housing Law Seminar & Practicum
|Immigration Law Practicum
|Immigration Law Seminar
|Intellectual Property Law
|Intellectual Property Law Seminar
|International Human Rights Seminar
|International Law Seminar
|Introduction to Critical Race Theory
|Law Office Management
|Legal & Bar Success Foundations
|Mass Communications Seminar
|Race and the Law Seminar
|Race and the Law
|Race and the Law Practicum
|Reproductive Rights Seminar
|Rights of Persons with Disabilities Seminar
|Service-Learning Practicum & Seminar
|State & Local Government Law
|System Change: Theory & Practice
|Systems Change: Be a Changemaker
|Tax Practice & Procedure
|Veterans Benefits Law
|Veterans Benefits Law Seminar
|Women and the Law Seminar
|See the Student Handbook for complete degree requirements.
||Lawyering Process I (2 credits)
This course begins with an intensive look at the skills entering students need to learn faster and more effectively in the law school classroom. Students learn about the legal system, the lawyer's role in that system, case briefing, case and statutory analysis, case synthesis, class preparation and note taking. In addition, students complete several writing assignments that enable them to receive early critical feedback. The course provides an in-depth understanding of legal reasoning, research and writing.
||Legal Research (1 credit)
This course introduces students to basic principles and processes of researching statutory, administrative and case law at both federal and state levels. Students learn how to locate relevant law using both print and electronic formats, including use of legal encyclopedias, treatises, periodicals, and finding aids.
||Torts I (3 credits)
This is a survey of basic tort law, including topics such as intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, and causation.
||Civil Procedure I (3 credits)
This course focuses on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with particular attention to pleading, motions to dismiss and summary judgment, remedies, discovery, sanctions, and the effect of prior judgments on litigation.
||Criminal Law (3 credits)
In this course, students are introduced to topics that include mens rea and actus reus, the elements of common law felonies and misdemeanors, and the principal defenses to criminal charges.
||Contracts I (3 credits)
The required first semester Contracts I course covers key common law concepts including offer and acceptance, bargained for exchange, enforcement of promises on the theories of reliance and unjust enrichment, defenses to contract, conditions and terms, anticipatory repudiation and breach, and remedies. The course also introduces students to core competencies such as analyzing cases and applying narrow holdings to new facts.
||Law & Justice (1 credit)
This intensive one-week course is offered prior to the start of first year classes. The course addresses issues of justice, poverty law, affirmative action and other critical issues. At the conclusion of the Law & Justice Course, students provide 40 hours of community service in group or individual projects, under the supervision of faculty advisors.
||Civil Procedure II (3 credits)
This course focuses on the Federal Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure as they relate to appeals as well as joinder of parties and causes of action in complex litigation. It also focuses on jurisdiction and the meaning of completed adjudication. Prerequisite: Civil Procedure I.
||Criminal Procedure (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the individual rights created by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and to the enforcement of those rights by means of the exclusionary rule.
||Contracts II (3 credits)
In the second semester, Contracts II introduces students to analysis of statutory law through intensive study and application of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the primary law governing contracts for the sale of goods in the United States. The course also touches on Article 2A (Leases) and the Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Prerequisite: Contracts I.
||Lawyering Process II (2 credits)
This course continues the development of the legal reasoning, research and writing skills introduced in Lawyering Process I. Frequent writing exercises emphasize the kinds of research and writing tasks lawyers must do every day, such as client letters, opinion letters, office memoranda, pleadings, motions, contracts and briefs. Students also are given opportunities to develop their advocacy skills through the argument of a simulated motion exercise and their bargaining skills through a simulated negotiation exercise. Prerequisite: Lawyering Process I.
||Legal Reasoning I (2 credits)
Legal Reasoning is a first year, second semester course that explicitly examines the analytic processes needed to solve legal problems. The course focuses on components of legal argument and reasoning, including formulation, articulation, and synthesis of rules from statutes and cases; formulation of legal theories; categorization of facts in terms of concepts or language of the law; application of law and facts using analogical and deductive reasoning; and using legal principles, policies, and conventions to make persuasive arguments. This course is required for first year students with a grade point average below 2.5, but may be taken as an elective by others if seats are available.
||Legal Reasoning II (2 credits)
Legal Reasoning II is designed to help students refine and apply their research, analytical and legal writing skills. The course uses a problem-solving approach built around the substantive knowledge learned in first year courses. Weekly oral and written assignments include doctrinal outlines; short bar exam type essays; practice exam answers; and a short research memorandum. Class attendance and participation account for a significant portion of the grade. Specific competencies that will be addressed include Legal Analysis, Written and Oral Competency, and Legal Research. This course is required for second-year students with a cumulative first year grade point average below 2.5. If space is available, it is open to other upper level students with the permission of the professor. Interested students should attend the first class session.
||Constitutional Law I (4 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to the structure, text, history and application of the U.S. Constitution. The course covers the nature and scope of judicial review, legislative and executive power, and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
||Evidence (4 credits)
This course surveys key provisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, including relevance, hearsay, impeachments, and authentication of documents. It also looks at common law privileges. The course emphasizes conveying to students a functional knowledge of the rules of evidence.
||Professional Responsibility (2 credits)
This course examines the ethical problems implicit in the role of the legal profession in a democratic society governed by the rule of law. Topics include the lawyer-client relationship, duties to the court, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, delivery of legal services, and disciplinary rules and mechanisms. Students may take this course as a second- or third-year student.
||Property I (3 credits)
This required course is an introduction to the law of property. Topics include the acquisition of property, possessory estates, future interests, co-ownership, and marital interests.
||Constitutional Law II (4 credits)
In this course, students will examine the sources, history and applications of the major areas of constitutional law which involve our "rights and liberties." These areas of law include Equal Protection, Substantive Due Process and fundamental liberty interests, Procedural Due Process, and the First Amendment. The course uses a combination of methods, including a modified Socratic method, lectures, and class discussions; classes involve recitations by students of fact patterns, holdings, and implications of assigned case readings in give and take interchanges with the instructor.
||Property II (3 credits)
This required course is an introduction to the law of property. Topics include leasehold estates, landlord tenant law, land transactions, recording systems, and the law of servitudes, zoning, and eminent domain. Prerequisite: Property I.
||Torts II (3 credits)
Torts II continues the basic survey of liability for civil wrongs other than breach of contract. Students will study the reasons why and the circumstances under which courts will hold manufacturers and merchants liable for harms caused by products and services. The survey will also include study of such torts as misrepresentation, invasion of privacy, and civil rights violations. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations. Prerequisite: Torts I.
||Moot Court (2 credits)
This course covers the appellate process and continues the development of legal research, analysis, and writing skills begun in the Lawyering Process courses. Students are provided with a case on appeal and prepare a written appellate brief for one side. At the end of the semester, they present an oral argument in that case. Prerequisites: Lawyering Process I and II.
||1L Lab (0 credits)
1L Lab is a required non-credit, pass-fail course for first-semester 1L students. This course links the oral, written and legal analysis skills associated with the core competencies to the substantive law that is taught in first year courses. The lab sessions focus on skills needed for success in law school, including class preparation (reading and briefing cases and statutes, strategies for understanding legal terminology, note-taking and the importance of reflection; and exam preparation (synthesizing, preparing an outline and a problem-solving attack plan, and written communication skills such as responding to essay questions).
|Students are required to choose at least three courses from the following Core courses. See Section 3.4.2 of the Student Handbook for details.
||Business Organizations I (3 credits)
This course focuses primarily on the organization, operation, and dissolution of unincorporated business entities. It covers the basic legal and economic principles governing the law of agency-principal relationships, partnerships, limited partnerships, joint ventures and limited liability companies. NOT a prerequisite for Business Organizations II.
||Business Organizations II (3 credits)
This course continues the study of business relationships begun in Business Organization I. It focuses on the basic legal and economic principles related to the organization, operation, and dissolution of corporations, with a significant emphasis on issues and problems of closely held corporations and federal corporate law issues. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations. Business Organizations I is not a prerequisite, but is recommended.
||Administrative Law (3 credits)
This course examines the role of the administrative branch of government in the legal system. In particular, it explores the nature and scope of the power of administrative agencies and the restraints on administrative power imposed by the Constitution, statutes and the common law. Topics include the delegation of power to administrative agencies, administrative investigations, the right to be heard, formal and informal decision making processes and procedures, administrative adjudication and rule-making, and judicial review of administrative actions.
||Wills and Estates (3 credits)
This course examines the rules governing intestate and testate distribution of property and the execution, alteration and revocation of wills. The course also covers the creation of both public and private trusts, rights of beneficiaries, and responsibilities of fiduciaries. Students also are exposed to the modern alternatives of the living trust and the living will. Prerequisite: Property I.
||Commercial Law: Secured Transactions and Payment Systems (4 credits)
This course presents an integrated study of the law governing modern commercial transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code, with emphasis on non-sales related UCC subjects. It covers a variety of topics, including Articles 3 and 4 (negotiable instruments) and Article 9 (Secured Transactions). This course does not cover the sales-related subjects examined in Contracts II. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations. Prerequisites: Contracts I and II.
||Federal Tax/Tax I (Personal) (3 credits)
There are a multitude of circumstances that cause one to ask, what are the tax consequences of this transaction? Many of the questions and answers have social, economic, and political considerations. In this course, the tax system is studied with emphasis on basic concepts rather than computations. Significant attention is given to the public policy served by various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The course covers the taxation of individuals, including income, exemptions, deductions, gains and losses. Emphasis is given to reading the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations and applying the code to real life.
||Family Law (3 credits)
This course examines relationships of adults and children from political, economic, and social welfare perspectives. Students will analyze a wide variety of subject areas with a view towards understanding the balance between state involvement and the individual's or family's rights to privacy in the areas of domestic relations. The course surveys developments in the law relating to marriage, divorce, child custody and support, alimony, division of property, and other issues affecting familial relationships. In addition course materials address the relationships between children, adults and the state concerning domestic violence, child neglect and abuse, adoption, the foster care system, kinship care, reproductive rights, nontraditional family relationships, and new biomedical technologies. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations.
||Federal Courts (3 credits)
This course addresses the constitutional and statutory provisions--as well as the jurisdictional doctrines and concepts--that shape and limit the role played by the federal courts in the American legal system. Subjects covered include the origins of federal judicial review, Congressional power to curtail federal jurisdiction, limitations on the ability of the federal courts to enjoin state court proceedings, and requirements for U.S. Supreme Court review of lower federal and state court judgments. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations.
||Remedies (3 credits)
This course is organized as a case survey and study of various remedies available to those who have suffered wrongs for which others are held civilly liable. Students examine a range of topics: monetary remedies; the various means of measuring money damages; injunctive, declaratory remedies; and restitutionary claims and remedies. The course covers the availability of such remedies in a variety of tort, contract, and property contexts.
||Conflict of Laws (3 credits)
Three main areas are covered in this course: 1) jurisdiction; 2) choice of law; and (3) enforcement of judgments. Jurisdiction addresses the authority of the forum court to issue binding decisions against or for out-of-state parties. Choice of law concerns determination of which state's or country's laws must apply in a multi-state or international dispute. Finally, enforcement of judgment deals with the effect of a judgment rendered in one jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of that jurisdiction. These subjects are tested on many bar examinations and are also of practical importance in civil litigation practice.
|Students, please see Clinic Guidelines for each clinic's prerequisites, conflict of interest and student practice rules.
||Housing and Consumer Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
This clinic introduces students to civil and administrative litigation in the housing and consumer areas. Students act as counsel in administrative forums. Advanced students may appear in court. Students must be eligible for court certification.
||Low Income Tax Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) provides students with hands-on experience representing taxpayers in disputes with the IRS regarding federal income tax liability before the IRS and U.S. Tax Court. Students represent low-income D.C. residents who are referred to the clinic by the IRS and non-profit and other advocacy organizations because the clients have no right to court-appointed attorneys and cannot afford to hire private counsel. The tax controversies include such matters as those in which the IRS challenges either the client's tax return or the failure of the client to file a return. The most common controversies involve a taxpayer who has claimed a right to the Earned Income Tax Credit or a low-income spouse whom the IRS is pursuing based upon the failure of the other spouse to pay taxes. The classroom work will include coverage of relevant tax doctrine. LITC faculty will provide doctrinal material and address the practical aspects of tax controversy cases in order to prepare students to interview and counsel clients and to represent them effectively in these cases. Participation as a student in the LITC will be good preparation for a poverty law practice, a general law practice, or future work in tax law.
||Juvenile Law Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
Students represent children in special education cases and in delinquency matters. Students handle all aspects of educational advocacy and a client's delinquency case; court-certified students make court appearances.
||Government Accountability Project (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
This clinic introduces students to the law and skills required to provide representation to government whistleblowers who expose waste, corruption, and fraud within the government and to obtain court ordered remedies against retaliatory firings, demotions, and transfers. The clinic involves students in work on administrative hearings, trials, appeals, congressional testimony, and media involvement.
||Legislation Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Legislation Clinic trains students to be effective legislative lawyers, who are skilled in working with text, law, policy, and politics to help achieve legislative or regulatory reform and develop thoughtful public policy. The Clinic’s seminar focuses on relevant substantive law, processes (such as how legislation is enacted and regulations are promulgated on the local and federal levels), ethics (such as system reform obligations, lobbying restrictions, and working with groups), and skills (such as client counseling, oral advocacy, legislative research, and drafting policy materials like talking points, bills, or white papers). The field experience complements the seminar component by providing students the opportunity to represent the community and community-based non-profit organizations under faculty supervision on employment, gender, and other social justice policy projects.
||Community Development Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Community Development Law Clinic focuses on transactional (or non-litigation based) advocacy skills. The clinic's clients are organizations involved in affordable housing development, small business development and community services, such as childcare. In their field work, students will serve in the capacity of corporate counsel to the clients, advising and assisting them in a wide range of concerns, which may include choice of entity, organizational structure, tax status, fiduciary duty of corporate officers and directors, regulatory compliance, government programs, financing and contractual relations. The clinic emphasizes transactional-based lawyering skills, including problem solving, client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, legal research and legal drafting. Trial practice skills are not addressed in this clinic. The clinic will also cover substantive law and policy related to the subject matter presented by the cases.
In the small business component of the clinic, students represent small D.C. business enterprises in need of free legal services. Students advise clients on business structures, prepare articles of incorporation, bylaws, advise clients regarding basic tax law, zoning, licensing requirements; and mediate business disputes.
||Immigration & Human Rights Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
Participants in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic will learn about the specialized area of immigration law and other areas of law (such as employment law and civil rights law) that frequently concern representation of noncitizens and immigrants’ rights more generally. Students will represent clients under the supervision of the clinic director and the graduate student instructor. In addition to attending the required twice-weekly seminar, students will meet individually with their supervising attorney and participate in case rounds.
Students may have the opportunity to represent clients at interviews with immigration officials and/or to litigate in Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, state court, United States District Court or the United States Court of Appeals, depending on the type of case assigned and the scope of representation. Assignments may include applications for Cancellation of Removal; challenges to indefinite detention, via either administrative review petitions or the filing of writs of habeas corpus; bond hearings for detained noncitizens (Joseph hearings); appeals of removal orders for detained noncitizens by the Immigration Court to the Board of Immigration Appeals and/or the Circuit Courts of Appeals; representation of low-wage immigrant workers with employment related issues, such as failure to receive minimum wage and unemployment compensation denials; and creating and conducting "Know Your Rights” presentations for noncitizen residents of the District of Columbia.
||Criminal Law Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Criminal Law Clinic is a one-semester clinic in which students participate in D.C. Law Students in Court Criminal Division, a unique consortium program with students from D.C. area law schools participating. Students in the Criminal Division represent defendants in misdemeanor cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court and juveniles charged with all but the most serious offenses.
Under the guidance and supervision of experienced trial attorneys, students are responsible for all aspects of client representation such as conducting fact investigation and legal research, writing and arguing motions, engaging in pretrial discovery, trying cases, negotiating plea agreements and assisting clients with probation revocations, where applicable. Through reading assignments, mock hearings, reflection, and actual representation, students learn how to develop a case theory and the skills needed for outstanding representation.
||General Practice Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The General Practice Clinic is a one-semester clinic in which student attorneys represent
low-income clients in such areas as family law, health, public benefits, and wills. Student attorneys use a range of legal skills on behalf of clients in settings that may include administrative tribunals and trial and appellate courts in the District of Columbia. Student attorneys represent low-income clients in two-person or three-person teams.
All students attend a seminar, which covers topics such as client-centered representation, interviewing, theory of the client, fact investigation, counseling, and negotiation. Student attorneys will share developments and issues in their cases with other students during
||Independent & Elective Clinics (1-2 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
Independent & Elective Clinics for one or more credits may be arranged based upon completion of an Elective Clinic form and approval by the faculty member and the Clinic Director. Tuition for any Summer Term Elective Clinics will be assessed on a per credit basis. Elective Clinics are in addition to the mandatory Clinics I and II and do not satisfy UDC-DCSL's two clinic requirement. Students should refer to the Student Handbook regarding enrollment of additional/non-required clinic credits.
|Elective courses may not be offered each year. See Section 3.4.2 of the Student Handbook for more information.
||Tax Practice & Procedure (2 credits)
The course is designed to develop analytical, advocacy and communication skills in order to represent clients who are involved in federal tax controversies. The topics include the organizational structure of the IRS, access to information, rulemaking, filing of returns and the statute of limitations, the examination and appeals process, the judicial process including the Tax Court and refunds, penalties, interest and additions to tax, collection matters, and the 1998 Restructuring Act.
The methodology will be lecture, and class discussion of court cases and problems assigned. The discussions will focus on the application of concepts and theories to practical real-world situations.
||Forensic Evidence (3 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
The objective of the course is to go beyond the rudimentary rules covered in the required survey course on the law of evidence in order to provide students with a more intensive focus on science and the legal process and to give them more in-depth knowledge of the scientific methodologies that have become a regular feature of current-day civil and criminal litigation, as well as the evidentiary principles that govern the use of scientific technologies in the courtroom. Click here for a detailed course description (in .pdf).
||Immigration Law (3 credits)
This course covers basic immigration law through the casebook method. Interwoven with the casebook approach is a substantial amount of lecturing devoted to the practical aspects of practicing immigration law. Historical perspectives relating to policies and legislation are provided. Depending on the semester, students enrolled in Immigration Law may have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum.
||Immigration Law Practicum (1 credit)
The Immigration Law Practicum is available to a limited number of students enrolled in the Immigration Law course. The goal is to allow students to gain practical experience applying the legal principles they learn in the classroom. To supplement students’ understanding of immigration law, students will attend a half-day orientation in addition to a professional training each month.
Each student participating in the practicum will have at least one assignment in each of the following areas: intake and interviewing, preparing applications, and research and writing. Over the course of the semester, students will spend an average of 2-3 hours each week assisting clients with immigration matters, including conducting intake, collecting evidence and preparing applications, preparing clients for their hearings, interviewing clients for personal statements, and drafting legal memoranda and court briefs. Students may also accompany the managing attorney to immigration hearings as appropriate.
The immigration law practicum offers students an excellent opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge of immigration law while providing service to low-income immigrant residents of Washington, DC. Enrollment in the practicum portion of the Immigration Law course is limited.
||Immigration Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This seminar provides a survey of immigration law to encourage critical thinking about what our immigration policies should be. Topics are presented primarily from a practitioner's perspective to provide a concrete understanding of the immigration process. These issues concern not only whom we should welcome but whom we should expel and the procedures by which the government seeks to remove them. Students will complete this seminar with an understanding of nonimmigrant visas, family-based and employment-based immigration benefits, and naturalization. Additional focus will be placed on humanitarian immigration programs such as asylum, the U.S. Refugee Program, and trafficking-related benefits. The syllabus and discussions may be adjusted to respond to current events, such as legislative developments regarding immigration reform, and the expressed interests of the students. The readings, exercises, and discussions are also designed to provide background and to generate ideas for the writing of an original paper. This paper will provide the student with an opportunity to undertake research, engage in critical legal thinking, analysis, and drafting. The completion of a paper, which can be certified for the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR), is a goal of the seminar.
||International Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will examine the nature and sources of international law, the law of treaties, the role of international law in municipal law, international dispute settlement, the status of individuals and states in international law, and the role of the United Nations and international organizations.
||Labor Law (3 credits)
Students will attain a basic familiarity with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Emphasis will be placed on the legal concepts that underlie the main provisions of the Act.
||Law Office Management (2 credits)
This course is designed to help soon-to-be solo practitioners and attorneys in smaller firms, bridge the gap between studying law and practicing law. The class is designed to cultivate proficiency in two practical areas of attorney development, which are typically learned over time rather than formally taught: (A) how to actually practice law, and (B) how to build and manage a law practice. The course covers topics such as how to get started, where to locate a law firm office, how to get your office equipped, how to secure clients, how to set fees, and detailed information about the nitty-gritty of running a small firm. While particularly relevant to solo practitioners and associates at small firms, the concepts discussed in this course will benefit new attorneys in all types of private and public sector organizations.
||Environmental Law (3 credits)
The goals of this course are to expose students to (1) the creation and development of environmental justice theory; (2) the major legal issues in environmental justice advocacy; and (3) case studies revealing the pros and cons and successes and failures of various approaches to environmental justice advocacy.
||Environmental Law & Policy (3 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course provides an introduction to the legal and policy issues of environmental protection and decision-making, including study of common law approaches to pollution control, and to the theories and approach to federal laws governing environmental regulation.
This is a survey course designed to give students a broad, practical understanding of some important federal environmental statutes and case law, and introduce students to the fascinating variety of important environmental challenges addressed by environmental laws, the difficult policy issues surrounding environmental problems, and the legal complexities of environmental regulatory and administrative schemes. Environmental laws can be extremely complex. No one person can master them all, nor can a single semester course provide a detailed review of all (or even very many) of the federal environmental statutes. This course, however, gives students the foundation by covering the "fundamentals” of environmental law. Students also will develop some critical analytical and research skills (such as analyzing problems and reading statutes) that are transferable to all areas of environmental law.
||Intellectual Property Law (3 credits)
This course will focus on the four core types of intellectual property: copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. The course will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of these bodies of law, their underlying policies, and their real-life applications. Technological advancements and public policy considerations that impact intellectual property law will also be discussed. The course also examines the substantive and procedural elements of infringement actions and their defenses.
||Intellectual Property Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This survey course will present an introduction to the four types of intellectual property: copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. The course will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of the bodies of lP Law, their underlying policies, and their real-life applications. Technological advancements and public policy considerations that impact intellectual property law will also be discussed. The course will also examine the substantive and procedural elements of infringement actions and their defenses.
||Entertainment Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will focus on legal and business issues faced by individuals and organizations working in art and entertainment fields and creative industries. The class will address complex legal issues influencing the information economy, providing an overview of copyright, trademark, contract, First Amendment, and tort issues that affect artists and arts organizations.
Contracts I and II are prerequisites. Enrollment is limited to twenty students. Students may work with the professor to write a seminar paper that will satisfy the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR).
||Advanced Criminal Procedure (2 credits)
This course follows the procedures of a criminal case from arrest to appeal. Particular emphasis is given to grand jury, joinder and severance, refinements of double jeopardy, and jury deliberation. Strongly recommended for third-year students only. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations. Prerequisites: Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.
||International Human Rights Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will examine the nature and sources of international human rights law; its interrelation to international law; the law of treaties; international conventions and covenants; and the role of the United Nations and international organizations in the protection of human rights. The syllabus and discussions may be adjusted to reflect current events shaping international human rights such as the detention of foreign nationals or death penalty issues. The culminating exercise of this course will provide the student with the opportunity to conduct research, legal analysis, critical thinking, and the drafting of a paper, which can be certified for the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR).*
||Alternative Dispute Resolution (3 credits)
This course will introduce and critically examine the theoretical and historical underpinnings of the major dispute resolution alternatives to conventional litigation and adjudication, with primary concentration on negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Through the use of written and experiential exercises, simulations, and role-plays, students will be exposed to the skills and practices employed in the implementation of these processes. Issues of ethics, law and policy that are implicated and involved in the choice and implementation of these alternative processes also will be examined.
||State & Local Government Law: Legal and Policy Challenges in the Government of the District of Columbia (3 credits)
This course explores state and local government with an emphasis on the unique history and basis of the District of Columbia's constitutional status, and the District's still-evolving path to Home Rule. We will compare the role of states like Virginia and Maryland to the District's various roles as a federal agency, federal territory, a state-, county-, and city-level government, and as a social laboratory for Congress. We will focus on debates concerning the lack of voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District and for those federal territories, and the related civil rights issues, international law issues, and implications for democracy in the United States. We will also examine attempts to achieve District statehood, and the constitutionality of such proposals; ongoing debates over budget and legislative autonomy; whether and to what extent there should be federal control over local law enforcement issues; the need for, and limits of, ethics and campaign finance reform in the District, and finally, the implications of moving from an appointed to an elected Attorney General in the District of Columbia. The course grade will be based 70% on the final exam and 30% on the preparation for and quality of students' class participation.
||Non-profit Law (2 credits plus optional 1 credit practicum)
Non-profit Law is a survey of the law governing non-profit, tax exempt organizations and is also an introduction to the practice of non-profit law. From the doctrinal perspective, the course will focus on federal and state statutory law and regulations and case law that govern tax exempt organizations. In addition, the course will examine the role of the regulatory agencies, particularly the IRS, and the practical and strategic considerations for the lawyers that represent such organizations. The course also incorporates a consideration of the societal role of the non-profit sector and the policy implications for contemporary society. Students should leave this course with a comprehensive theoretical and practical vision of non-profit and tax-exempt organizations law and the role such organizations play in communities across this nation. Students enrolled in Non-profit Law for two credits have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum.
||Advanced Legal Writing (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will reinforce and deepen students' understanding of the research, writing and analysis "basics" gleaned from Lawyering Process and Moot Court, and it will require students to exercise critical thinking skills by engaging in substantial depth of analysis, reflection and revision through a series of discrete, rigorous writings.
Students will prepare writings such as letters to clients (or opposing attorneys or third parties), office memoranda, and court memoranda. The evaluation of these writings will focus upon principles of organization, analysis and style. The syllabus of the course may also incorporate significant amounts of drafting, including documents such as statutes and regulations, contracts, interrogatories, and wills. The class size will be limited to provide opportunities for individualized attention, meaningful oral and written feedback on assignments, and heightened peer interaction.
Some assignments will be rewritten, and some will be submitted in various forms, (such as outline, summary, first draft, and final draft). Students may also be required to submit research journals, although the journals will not necessarily be graded. The course will employ individual in-class exercises, collaborative group work, and role-playing. The rhetorical situation will also be emphasized, with students focusing on the audience, purpose, and tone appropriate to the different types of legal writing. Enrollment is limited to 15 students; preference given to third-year students. Prerequisites: Lawyering Process I and II, Moot Court.
||Mass Communications Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This seminar course explores issues in Mass Communications law. The course commences with an overview of the philosophical and constitutional foundations of free expression and examines areas such as defamation, privacy, various newsgathering and related torts, access to government information, and the role of media in a democratic society. Enrollment is limited.
||Criminal Justice, Social Justice, and Community Justice (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This seminar examines recent developments in criminal justice policy and practice. Seminar students will research and discuss issues such as restorative justice, specialty courts, victims’ rights, immigration enforcement, jury nullification, juvenile justice, community policing, indigent defense, "innocence projects,” the collateral consequences of incarceration, the role of prosecutors and defense lawyers, and other subjects that explore the impact of criminal justice policies on society. The course explores both the role of legal institutions in incorporating a vision of social justice, as well as examines the lawyer’s role as a social justice advocate within the criminal justice system. The goal is that by the end of the class each student should have an understanding of the developing issues in criminal practice as well as a solid grounding in the interaction between criminal law and public policy. Enrollment is limited. The seminar provides the opportunity to conduct research, legal analysis, critical thinking and reflection, and the writing of a paper that can be certified for the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR).
||Death Penalty Law/Wrongful Convictions (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
The course will examine the administration of capital punishment in the United States and the systemic problems that lead to wrongful convictions. The course will also examine policy reforms to prevent wrongful convictions creating a more fair and accurate criminal justice system.
||Employment Discrimination (3 credits)
The Employment Discrimination Law course exposes the student to the broad set of legal restraints that have been placed on an employer's basic personnel decisions (hiring, promotion, compensation, discipline, and termination).
||Veterans Benefits Law (3 credits comprised of a 2 credit seminar and a required 1 credit practicum)
This course covers the laws and procedures for helping veterans and their families obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For the practicum component, students will be placed with a major service organization (The American Legion, The Military Order of the Purple Heart or Vietnam Veterans of America) to work on administrative appeals or with the National Veterans Legal Services Program to work with staff attorneys on appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
|Veterans Benefits Law Seminar (2 credits)
This course is comprised of the seminar only and covers the laws and procedures for helping veterans and their families obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
||Race and the Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course analyzes the socio-legal construction of race in America. In addition, this course explores how race relates to the issues of: 1) equal protection: 2) education; 3) freedom of expression; and 4) crime. Finally, this course analyzes different responses to racism, including legal challenges and nonviolent resistance.
||Race and the Law (3 credits)
This course examines the political, economic and social history of racism and its impact on American law. Although the scope encompasses traditional areas (e.g. Reconstruction and Civil Rights), there is a substantial emphasis on modern and emerging paradigms including, but not limited to, the Prison Industrial Complex, Critical Race Theory and a Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Depending on the semester, students enrolled in Race and the Law may have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum.
||Race and the Law Practicum (1 credit)
The Race and the Law Practicum component provides an opportunity for students to pick a topic of their choosing and work with an organization or individual on a current or emerging issue. One goal of the field work is student application of theoretical knowledge to shape and influence pending or new legislation on the selected topic.
||Rights of Persons with Disabilities Seminar (2 credits)
The course provides an introduction to the body of law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. After preliminary sessions focusing on types of disabilities, the history of unequal treatment afforded individuals with disabilities, and legal definitions of disability, class sessions will examine the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other federal laws addressing disability discrimination in areas such as employment, education, public accommodations, transportation, housing, residential institutions, and access to medical services.
||Women and the Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course examines the relationship between sex and the law through multiple theoretical frameworks. It will survey the most significant legal and policy issues relating to gender such as employment, family, reproductive rights, sexual violence, sexual identity, and social justice. Students will be encouraged to examine scholarly disagreements about how the law should regulate women’s lives, and to create their own critical framework for analysis. Enrollment is limited to 15 students.
||Education Law (3 credits)
This course focuses on the laws that govern America’s primary and secondary schools (K-12) and higher education institutions (e.g., colleges and universities) and the interrelationship between these laws. Topics include campus safety issues and related efforts to protect freedom of expression and student privacy in that context, parameters of the right to equal educational opportunity and related efforts to increase equal access to education for all students, and rights of educators in the interrelated areas of labor relations, tenure, dismissal, and academic freedom.
||Health Law Seminar (2 credits)
This seminar examines pressing issues at the intersection of health care and law. The subject matter will touch on legal rights as well as bioethical and public policy concerns. Topics such as informed consent, health care access, surrogacy and fetal rights, and medical malpractice liability will be discussed. This seminar provides a foundational understanding of how health law and policy is formulated and the application of health law and policy in present practice. At the weekly meetings, the class will discuss selected cases in depth in order to gain a legal framework for addressing persisting challenges in the health care field.
||Gender & Sexual Orientation Under the Law (3 credits and opportunity for 1 additional credit practicum) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course examines the role and impact of Gender and Sexual Orientation in American law by employing a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates, inter alia, economics, history, anthropology, and sociology. Doctrinal themes include U.S. Constitutional issues, examples of topics likely to be covered are: gay marriage, adoption/family formation issues, and military service. The optional practicum component provides an opportunity for students to pick a topic of their choosing and work with an organization or individual on a current or emerging issue. One goal of the field work is student application of theoretical knowledge to shape and influence pending or new legislation on the selected topic.
||Gender and Sexual Orientation Under the Law Seminar (2 credits)
This course will focus on how the law treats issues concerning gender and sexuality. The doctrinal themes that will be explored include constitutional notions of privacy/liberty, equality and expression as applied to categories based on gender, sexuality and/or sexual orientation. For example, topics might include the right to sexual privacy (including access to birth control and abortion); discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation (including sodomy laws and same sex marriage); evolving theories of sexuality (including the rights of transgendered persons and intersexuals; transsexuals, and the gay gene); identity speech and the First Amendment (including the gay prom case and sexual harassment cases); military exclusions; and the privatization of family law and family formation. The course will examine the relationship between gender and sexuality, based on a multi-disciplinary approach informed by history, medicine, science and broader social and political theories.
||Reproductive Rights Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will offer students the opportunity to explore a wide spectrum of issues within the framework of Reproductive Justice. Reproductive Justice encompasses the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to parent. We will address dynamic topics in social justice, human rights, and civil liberties as they intersect with reproductive justice, such as racial and environmental justice; LGBTQ liberation; freedoms of speech, religion, and association; freedom from illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment; rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and equality; and birthing, parenting, and family formation rights.
||Whistleblower Law (3 credits)
This survey course is an introduction to the legal foundation for a social phenomenon known as "whistleblowing” – the exercise of free speech rights, to challenge abuses of power that betray the public trust. Employees exercising this freedom of speech this way have made a difference repeatedly in changing the course of history, and their impact is becoming steadily more significant. The course covers the cultural context for blowing the whistle; the extent of an ongoing revolution in whistleblowers’ legal rights; and the tactics for activists to turn whistleblowers’ information into power when challenging abuses of power.
Four decades ago whistleblowers did not have any viable legal rights, and were generally outcasts perceived either as traitors or unstable personalities. In 1959 the legal revolution began as corporate employees were first enfranchised to sue for damages in state common law when California courts established the "public policy exception” to the "at will” doctrine of employment law. Now 44 states and the District of Columbia recognize the public policy exception. In 1974 Congress enacted the first federal statutory whistleblower rights to protect employees in the nuclear power industry. Now there are 46 federal whistleblower statutes covering virtually the entire private sector. The Supreme Court began extending free speech rights to government employees in 1968, and Congress followed suit in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. In 2013 Congress unanimously passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act to solidify and expand those rights. Throughout this cycle, whistleblowers have become increasingly popular as they successfully challenged and sparked public campaigns stopping abuses of power by government and corporate bureaucracies. Their traditional stereotypes as traitors and kooks has been replaced by their new identity as profiles in courage who risk their careers to act as the public’s eyes and ears when the truth is covered up.
By the end of the class each student should have a solid understanding of this phenomenon, the legal right available to whistleblowers, and the tactics to maximize their impact by turning truth into power through partnerships between whistleblowers and activists.
||Housing Law Seminar (2 credits)
This is a 2-credit seminar that is designed to take a comparative law approach to exploring housing in the United States and Cuba. The purpose of this course is to teach students about an emerging or pressing area of housing law. In Spring 2017, prompted by Matthew Desmond’s timely and critically acclaimed book, Evicted, the seminar will query why there is no right to housing in this country and whether there should be. One of the goals of the seminar is to encourage the students to take a historical, comparative law and experiential approach to analyzing the United States’ and Cuba’s responses to the same problem – lack of housing. Further the seminar will interrogate why in the absence of sufficient affordable housing the U.S. government both federal and local has turned to criminalizing poverty and homelessness, in particular. This seminar will acknowledge that America continues to be plagued by many of the problems that the Cuban revolutionaries profess to have addressed in their revolution, including housing for all. And, in so doing, the seminar will seek to take lessons (both positive and negative) from the Cuban housing experience and devise a plan to apply those lessons to the United States’ affordable housing crisis. The seminar can be enhanced by a 1-credit, optional practicum that will take students to Havana, Cuba for a week during spring break.
Housing Law Seminar Practicum (1 credit)
This is a 1-credit practicum. The practicum will take the students to Havana, Cuba, during spring break to witness firsthand what a society without homelessness, evictions and foreclosures looks like. This intersession practicum will include three seminars taught by University of Havana faculty, seven site visits all touching on how citizens are housed in Cuba and three cultural activities. All of these activities are designed to embed students with residents of Havana, including lawyers, community activists, urban planners, urban farmers and entrepreneurs, whose professional and personal interests touch on the issues housing and community development in Havana. Students may only enroll in the practicum without taking the companion Housing Law Seminar with permission from the professor.
||Trial Advocacy (4 credits)
This hands-on course covers problem analysis and strategy as well as courtroom presentation. Students practice basic trial tasks of opening statement, direct examination, cross examination, offers of exhibits, objections, and closing argument in two mock trials and in weekly in-court sessions. They also practice use of tools such as refreshing recollection and impeachment by different methods. Enrollment is limited; preference is given to third-year students. Prerequisite: Evidence.
||Legal and Bar Success Foundations (3 credits)
This is a comprehensive course for graduating students in their final semester of law school. The course is focused directly toward driving student achievement on the bar exam by working to build critical exam skills. The course will be delivered in a series of focused lessons which include a brief refresher on a subject followed by a skills workshop on that topic. Students will learn through practicing essays and multiple choice exam questions, and will receive detailed written feedback on their answers.
||Service-Learning Practicum & Seminar (3 credits)
The Service-Learning Practicum & Seminar is a three credit course consisting of a seminar and a spring break service trip. The seminar will meet once a week before the spring break and several sessions after the spring break. All students who participate in the spring break service-learning trip will be asked to produce and conduct a school-wide "report back” session after the spring break experience. Students will also reflect on their service-learning experiences through journaling or making a video (either individually or as a team project).
This course is a spin-off from the School of Law’s original Katrina and Beyond: Disaster Prevention and Recovery, Social Justice and Government Accountability, which began ten years ago. On that first trip and several subsequent trips, law students and professors traveled to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans and subsequently the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to volunteer on humanitarian and legal assistance and recovery. Work in the Gulf Coast later focused on the impact of the BP oil spill disaster. The Service-Learning course has expanded our trips to experiences in stressed, traumatized. or historically under-represented communities, and not as much on a specific disaster. In recent years, UDC Law service-learning delegations have traveled to the Arizona-Mexico border and to the federal detention centers in Texas, assisting women and children immigrants from Mexico and Central America being held in these infamous centers. Other UDC Law delegations have worked with the Mississippi Center for Justice in the Mississippi Delta, Jackson, and the Biloxi-Gulfport area. While there, students have walked in the path of the major civil rights struggles and events. In 2014 we assisted in the organizing for the 50th-year commemoration of the historic civil rights Mississippi Freedom Summer. These practicums and their locations might change from year to year. But they will always be in areas where long-term social justice problems need addressing, whether from a recent disaster, man-made or natural, or due to a history of poverty and civil rights abuses.
Service-learning is a teaching and learning capstone experience that integrates meaningful community and humanitarian service with instruction and reflection, thereby enriching and deepening the learning experience. By combining hands-on social action with legal skills-learning and problem-solving, the course is like a short-term, concentrated, domestic legal Peace Corps for our law students. In the weekly Seminar sessions we will address different models of social justice lawyering, professional ethics, the role of lawyers in assisting traumatized and underrepresented communities, as well as specific legal topics that we will be working on during the practicum trips.
In spring 2017 we plan to have two practicum trips to separate parts of the country. One trip will be to the federal immigration detention center in Karnes City, Texas. Participants will assist immigrant families and engage in work on other humanitarian and legal projects that address the increasingly volatile and pressing immigration law struggles. The other trip will be to Mississippi, where participants will work with the Mississippi Center for Justice out of their office in Indianola, in the heart of the Delta. In addition, we will visit the historic Civil Rights trail sites from the state capital of Jackson, to the Delta, as well as historic stops on the Blues Trail. Expenses for students' hotel, airfare, local transportation and group meals are covered by private funding that supports the Law School's Service-Learning program. Enrollment is limited based on funding available and trip logistics. Generally, enrollment also is limited to 2Ls, 3Ls and 4Ls. If you have any questions or if you cannot enroll in the Seminar but would like to participate in one of the Practicum trips, please email Professor Susan Waysdorf (email@example.com), Professor John Brittain (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Professor Kristina Campbell (email@example.com).
||Advanced Legal Research (2 credits)
This course is intended to develop mastery of the lawyering skill of legal research. It will offer students an opportunity to gain hands-on, supervised legal research experience in class using and comparing a range of primarily digital legal research tools, as well as some traditional print sources. Before each class, students will view brief, online tutorials and complete an online legal research lesson. In class, under the guidance of instructors, students will perform legal research for problems and projects based on the subject matter of some of the law school’s clinics, including federal, state and D.C. law. The course reviews primary and secondary sources, legislative history, administrative law, practice materials, some specialized topical resources, and advanced training on Bloomberg Law, LEXIS and WESTLAW. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to evaluate alternative research resources and strategies, make choices that best suit a particular legal research situation, and develop efficient online research skills.
||Demonstration Law Seminar (2 credits)
The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” But like all other constitutional rights, the right to demonstrate is not absolute. This course will examine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of demonstrations, including public forum analysis, regulations of time, place and manner, rights of counter-demonstrators, permit systems, civil disobedience, demonstrations on private property, and more.
Enrollment is limited to twenty students. Preference will be given to upper-level students who have taken Constitutional Law I.
||Independent Study (1-2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
Students may register for Independent Study by submitting an Independent Study Registration Form and a detailed proposal for approval to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The proposal must describe the work that will be done, the material that will be studied, the means of evaluation, and the name of the faculty member who has agreed to supervise and evaluate the work and award the grade. A student may earn a maximum of four credits in independent study over the course of the Juris Doctor program and may register for a maximum of two credits in any one semester. See Section 3.6 of the Student Handbook for more information.
||System Change: Theory & Practice (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity for 1 additional credit*)
This seminar will focus on: (1) documented system failure with a particular focus on system failure for youth of color; (2) remedying system failure: theories and approaches; (3) from theory to practice: effecting system change in the Juvenile Justice system. When we look at those human service systems that have been created by government and foundations to rebuild community, we ask why do they fail? Why has the missing ingredient consistently been participation by the very groups we seek to benefit? Is there any validity to McKnight's critique of those programs and those professionals as "systems in need of need" which purport to fix a problem but actually are designed to produce continuous dependency in order to exact revenue?
At the cutting edge of social change, and dedicated to changing the way that professionals work in welfare and philanthropic institutions, Co-Production is the term applied to those practices undertaken by social welfare and human services institutions so that the clientele or community being served ceases to be mere passive consumers and instead becomes active partners, co-workers or "co-producers" in addressing a specific social problem. Co-Production, understood as a partnership between the Core Economy and the monetary economies, provides a corrective to service systems that fail to live up to their raison d'être. This course examines ways in which that partnership can be made operational to address critical social problems. Enrollment is limited to 12 students; preference given to third-year students.
||Externship (4 or 8 credits)
The goals of the externship program are to provide law students with expanded opportunities for 1) Developing and improving their legal skills; 2) Bridging the gap between legal studies and legal careers; 3) Exploring career areas of particular interest to them; and 4) Engaging in critical reflection, professional responsibility issues, and legal analysis.
The Director of the Externship Program places students with judicial, governmental, or non-profit entities and teaches a weekly tutorial throughout the semester. The Director works closely with field placement supervisors to ensure that students receive valuable substantive experience, effective supervision, and appropriate academic evaluation.
In the field placement component of the program, students spend a minimum of 200 hours (4 credits) or 400 hours (8 credits) at the externship site. Students may not receive a salary, stipend, or other form of compensation from the externship site.
In the contemporaneous tutorial component, students examine the broader social, political, economic, and policy-related ramifications of the work they are doing in the field as well as a variety of issues connected with the practice of law, including the role of lawyers in shaping public policy, the practice of public interest law, and the diversity of legal careers. Students in the tutorial are graded on the basis of class participation and attendance, written assignments such as journals of action and legal memoranda, and class presentations.
Externship is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. This course may not be taken concurrently with Clinic. Prerequisite: Successful completion of three semesters of law school.
||Legal Drafting (2 credits)
Legal Drafting is a turbo course that is scheduled in an intensive format over two full weekends, which is a particularly effective way to master the complex skills required for drafting. Whatever type of law a student eventually practices, drafted documents will be at the heart of their legal practice. Litigators will sue to overturn or uphold a contract, and will draft settlement agreements, which are particularly risky types of contracts; corporate attorneys will spend their lives drafting deals and corporate regulatory documents; government attorneys will draft regulations and statutes; employment attorneys will draft employee handbooks and employment contracts. Indeed, there is no attorney who does not need to have mastered legal drafting, which is entirely different from the legal writing and analytical skills used for litigation documents.
This course focuses on two parallel skills — (1) mastering the drafting principles that are common to all documents, both transactional and other types, and (2) learning how to draft various transactional documents. Procedurally, each written assignment will be preceded by an in-class role-play where each student will represent one party to the negotiation. The role-plays constitute the negotiations that would occur in the real world of document drafting; each student-attorney will then draft a document that memorializes their negotiated deal. Students will draft documents that cover a range of transactional drafting forms, as well as sub-documents that are components of or precursors to the major documents, specifically: a contract, complex boilerplate clauses for the initial contract, a settlement agreement, and an LLC Operating Agreement.
||Systems Change: Be a Changemaker (1 credit)
Many students graduating from the School of Law will have the opportunity in their careers to be change agents designing intervention strategies that go far beyond individual representation. As professionals, these graduates will need tools to understand what system change entails. They will need frameworks to orient their actions, and experiential learning to make them more effective as change agents, to become skilled at adaptive and innovative change to meet those challenges. Three interconnected elements of change will form the core framework of this turbo course of systems change for change makers: the first is a Strong Purpose statement by which you will set and deepen your commitments; the second is the Strategic Possibilities from which you will establish and continually modify your plans of action; and the third element is the Significant Players with whom you will connect, partner, and interact to leverage resources and opportunities for change. With those as the three core elements, we will emphasize tools and tactics that will include story-telling, systems mapping, co-production as a set of base principles, and TimeBanking as a way to value what all can bring. Since power and influence shape our society so profoundly, we will consider power and its different faces – and which of those faces you will want to engage. Finally, we consider personal qualities and skills that you will call on as the means for effective action.
||Introduction to Critical Race Theory (1 credit)
This course is an introductory survey of critical race theory, which is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to critiquing the law and legal systems. Critical race theory is distinguishable from conventional liberal thought about race, in particular, by its “deep dissatisfaction” with the traditional dialogue surrounding civil rights laws. It is here that we will spend most of our time together.
Some critical race scholars would argue that the current law surrounding civil rights, first initiated in the 1960’s and 1970’s, relied on a “social compact around racial justice and racial power.” And that America agreed to embrace racial justice as long as racial power would continue to be treated as rare and aberrational rather than systemic. Liberal race reforms then acted to legitimize the basic myths of American meritocracy. And it is this flaw, some critical race theorists argue, that continues to haunt the country even in the face of our civil rights laws. This counter-narrative is not easy to accept when we have all been taught the opposite as a society throughout our cultural and legal history. The oppressed and the oppressor, the traditional liberal and the conservative are all taught racism is rare and our laws are fair. This is precisely why social justice oriented law students are well served by having even a basic understanding of critical race theory. The hope is that through this introduction students will reset their frame regarding what can and should be done under the law to bring about change.
The course seeks to go about facilitating this introduction between student and critical race theory in three primary ways. First, the course will introduce students to the tenets and terminology of CRT. Second, the course will help students examine how those tenets might operate on our laws. Third, the course will offer students multiple opportunities to practice drafting narratives and counter-narratives informed by and in light of the CRT tenets.
||Asylum & Refugee Law (1 credit) (RALWR Opportunity for 1 additional credit*)
With all the focus on asylum seekers and refugees in the headlines — who is a refugee? How do you apply for asylum? How easy is it to be granted asylum? What are the laws and policies governing our system of protection for people who cannot return to their countries?
This course covers the international and domestic refugee law regime, with a focus on asylum law in the United States. The course will trace the history and development of the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, the 1967 Protocol, and the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980. Students will become familiar with the key actors in the asylum and refugee law arena, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the U.S. Congress, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, and the federal courts. Students will gain an understanding of the refugee definition as interpreted in the U.S. This course prepares students for clinical work, employment and internship opportunities within the U.S. government and the NGO community and/or the representation of asylum seekers in pro bono or private practice.
||Civil Rights in the 21st Century Externship/Field Placement (4 or 8 credits)
Gain great legal experience, build your resume and inspire your career choice. Opportunities include: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, International Human Rights Law Group, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, EEOC, National Women's Law Center. Externship students must attend a weekly tutorial. Students may add the Civil Rights in the 21st Century Seminar for 2 additional credits.
||Civil Rights in the 21st Century Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
Share the foresight of a renowned civil rights leader. Weekly two-hour seminars address the most pressing social issues of today-and tomorrow. Topics include: racial profiling, racism and the death penalty, voting rights, equal protection of gays and lesbians, immigrant detention/asylum, and rights of children and people with disabilities. May be taken independently of the Externship.
* See Section 1.5 of the Student Handbook for information on the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR) and Applied Legal Writing Requirement (ALWR).