Course Descriptions

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Fall 2017 Class Descriptions

Immigration Clinic I (LWVL530)

Instructor(s): Sandra Wagner

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law, International Law, Public Interest Law

Students gain practical experience through interviewing, counseling, and representing clients with immigration-related problems. Students have the opportunity to assist clients with a range of immigration issues such as naturalization, lawful permanent residency, derivative citizenship, deferred action, and U-visa and VAWA for domestic violence and abuse victims. Students may attend U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews related to their client’s applications. Students may also attend and participate in community immigration outreach. Weekly meetings are held with the clinic supervisor and other interns to discuss immigration law, practical application and casework. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No Prerequisites.


Immigration Clinic II (LWVL531)

Instructor(s): Sandra Wagner

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): International Law, Public Interest Law, LLM in International Law

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. 

Insurance Law (LWGC525)

Instructor(s): Michael Kelly

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Prerequisite(s): Contracts

This survey course introduces the range of issues that surround insurance policies. The course emphasizes the business forces insurance companies confront and how those forces affect the drafting, interpretation, and regulation of policies. In addition to industry-wide issues, the course will address topics specific to several types of insurance, including property insurance, life insurance, liability insurance and reinsurance.

Intellectual Property Survey (LWIP550)

Instructor(s): Dana Robinson

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

This course provides a broad overview of intellectual property law. After discussing the policies underlying the protection of intellectual property rights, we will cover trade secret, patent, copyright, and trademark law, and related doctrines such as the right of publicity. These topics will be examined with a focus on new technologies, but a science or technical background is not required. This course provides a foundation for advanced intellectual property courses and is also appropriate for students who seek only a general understanding of intellectual property law. 

Note: May be applied as part of the six required credits for the Intellectual Property Concentration (JD).

International Asia-Pacific Commercial Arbitration (LWIC531)

Instructor(s): David Brennan

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Civil Litigation

This course is the study of international commercial arbitration that emphasizes the Asia/Pacific region’s practices and arbitral regimes. The study will use The Convention on the International Sale of Good (CISG) to study all facets of sales and trade in goods from contract formation, terms, obligations, performance, breaches, excuses and remedies. The study of arbitration clauses and the practices of the arbitral institutions in the Asia-Pacific region is a focus. The steps from initiating arbitration, appointing arbitrators, composition of arbitral tribunals, procedures including written and oral submissions and the scope and limits on evidence are all considered. The course will address the UNCITRAL Model Law for arbitration and compare it to Asia-Pacific arbitral systems including CIETAC, HKIAC, and CEAC. The substance, procedural and conflicts of law situations will be addressed. The course objective is to develop the capacity to be able to engage in arbitration processes in the Asia-Pacific Region for international commercial sales and trade disputes. The classes, materials and certain model problems will facilitate that objective. The class also builds the very different research approaches and skills required to determine issues under The CISG, including those from recognized international principles, writings of scholars, rules and guidelines together with principles from arbitral decisions. The course will be required for incoming 2L VICAM candidates and is also open to all other eligible students. The only prerequisite for this course is for JD students who should have completed all of the required first-year courses and be in their second year. The course will be letter-graded based on a final examination to be held in October.

International Business Transactions (LWIC533)

Instructor(s): Ralph Folsom

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law

This is an introductory course on international business law. The course book employed is problem-oriented, focusing student attention on practical problem solving. The course coverage is global, and may include problems related to international sales transactions, letters of credit, customs, import and export trade law, technology transfers across borders, foreign investment law, and international business dispute settlement. Grading is by final exam and midterm. 

This course will principally focus via lectures on the extensive law of the World Trade Organization, Brexit, and NAFTA and its "re-negotiation". 

Note: This is a required course for the International Law Concentration (JD).

International Contracts (LWIC537)

Instructor(s): Herbert Lazerow

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law

Legal aspects of contracts for the international sale of goods under the UN Convention. Topics include the applicability of the convention and its most important substantive provisions including contract formation, choice of forum, choice of law, warranties, risk of loss, excuse and dispute resolution.

International Human Rights (LWIC543)

Instructor(s): Dustin Sharp

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, LLM in International Law, Public Interest Law

In the brief span of 60 years, the idea of human rights has grown tremendously. What began as a marginal utopian discourse has today arguably become “the dominant moral narrative for thinking about world affairs.” At the same time, rights remain controversial and contested, and gaps in enforcement of human rights norms are conspicuous. This course examines the actors, organizations and ideas behind these developments, as well as the vast challenges we face today in attempting to enforce human rights norms globally. The course begins by examining the philosophical and political bases for the international human rights idea, probing the ongoing debate over universality, culture, and human rights. Aspart of this inquiry, we also examine the normative pillars of international human rights law. In the second part of the course, we will analyze various dimensions and challenges of human rights enforcement, including the main United Nations and regional human rights systems, prosecutions and transitional justice, the advocacy work of NGOs and human rights activists, and the new concept of the “responsibility to protect,” or R2P. In the final part of the semester, we will engage in a more in-depth examination of several distinct human rights issues, including torture and women’s rights. In all this, the course aims to provide students with knowledge of human rights at the level of intellectual theory and discourse, as well as a realm of concrete, “real world” action, controversy, and struggle. The final course grade will be based on a written paper, an oral presentation, and several short assignments.



International Negotiation (LWIC548)

Instructor(s): Allen Snyder

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Civil Litigation

The course will include specific materials and skill-building exercises on cross-cultural aspects of the bargaining process. Participants will include lawyers from other nations who are enrolled in USD's LLMC program, and upper class American JD students. Four-tier Pass/Fail grading.

Note: There are limitations on concentration eligibility. Check the Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD) and Civil Litigation Concentration (JD) web pages for more information.
Additional Information: Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD), Civil Litigation Concentration (JD)

International Taxation (LWTE539)

Instructor(s): Dennis Lilly

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation, International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Taxation, LLM in Business and Corporate Law
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This basic course in international taxation will focus on the principles relating to the taxation of foreign persons (individuals as well as legal entities) by the United States and the U.S. taxation of income received by U.S. individuals and entities from activities abroad. Topics will include principles of international tax jurisdiction; rules relating to the source of income and deductions; the foreign tax credit; Section 482 and transfer pricing; foreign currency translations; international double taxation treaties and an introduction to controlled foreign corporations.

International Trade & Investment (LWIC558)

Instructor(s): Ralph Folsom

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): International Law, LLM in International Law

This course will analyze the key legal and policy issues relating to international trade and investment, with particular emphasis on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Additional topics include aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union, and U.S. laws relating to international trade and investment. Substantial emphasis will be placed on matters of current interest and controversy, including the global explosion of free trade agreements, the relationship between the United States and China, and efforts to develop protections for investment, labor and the environment. The grade will be entirely based on a research paper suitable for USD written work requirements.

Interviewing & Counseling (LWLP535)

Instructor(s): Franco Simone

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Recommended Class(es): Trial Advocacy

This course provides advanced training in the skills of client interviewing and counseling. The first part of the course is devoted to learning the specific micro-skills that make up effective interviewing through readings, demonstrations and role-plays. The second- part focuses on the counseling dimension of lawyer-client relationships. In addition to classroom preparation and activities, students will interview actual clients in various locales, including the USD Legal Clinic, the San Diego County Law Library Clinic, and several senior citizen centers. Ethical issues unique to interviewing and counseling are emphasized. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Intro to US Law (LWGC530)

Instructor(s): Michael Devitt

2 credit(s), Letter Graded

Introduction to United States Law is a required course for Master of Comparative Law students. No other students may enroll. This course comparatively introduces distinctly American approaches to law, lawyering and legal processes. Special emphasis is placed on the common law tradition.

Note: This course is for LLMC students only.

IP Externship (LWVL532)

Instructor(s): Ted Sichelman

3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

This course places students at local law firms to provide primarily pro bono legal assistance to local individuals (inventors, artists, musicians, and others) and tech and media companies in the areas of patent prosecution, patent searching, trademark prosecution, filing of provisional and utility patents, intellectual property litigation, intellectual property transactions, and related areas (including copyright and trade secret law). Students will be supervised by attorneys at local law firms as well as the professors. The course will begin with 5-6 weeks of class sessions covering the core practical aspects of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret law. In the boot camp, students will be given sample office actions and draft responses, as well as IP litigation pleadings, motions, and discovery. Students will also perform sample patent and trademark searches and discuss and analyze sample real-world problems. There are no scheduled classes during the remainder of the semester; instead, students will work with clients and supervising lawyers each week, and meet one-on-one with the professors on a regular basis. An application process will be used to select students for the course. Students who registered for the IP Clinic or Technology Entrepreneurship Clinic (TEC) in previous academic years may not apply for the course for 2017-2018.

The course application can be downloaded here and is due by Friday, April 21. 

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Intellectual Property Concentration web page for more information.