Course Descriptions

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Fall 2018 Class Descriptions

Administrative Law (LWPP510)

Instructor(s): Michael Rappaport

4 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law, Employment and Labor Law, Public Interest Law, Health Law, Children's Rights

This course discusses the basic rules and principles governing federal administrative agencies. Subjects covered include the procedures governing administrative agencies, judicial review of administrative action, and presidential and congressional controls over agencies. The rules governing agencies are quite different from those that govern courts. Knowledge of these rules has become increasingly important, as many practitioners are now likely to spend more time dealing with administrative agencies than litigating in court.

Note: This is a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law and Public Interest Law concentrations (JD). This course may be applied as part of the nine required credits for the Health Law Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD), Public Interest Law Concentration (JD)

Advanced Legal Writing (LWGC505)

Instructor(s): Christopher Turnbow

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Writing OR Experiential
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation

Advanced Legal Writing is a one-unit course specifically designed to help students strengthen their fundamental legal writing skills. The class will help students master the skills needed to be a good legal writer, including: (1) Selecting active and powerful word choices; (2) Constructing paragraphs; (3) Using proper grammar and punctuation; (4) Creating a strong micro and macro legal structure; (5) Developing thesis and conclusion sentences; (6) Issue spotting; (7) Extracting, formulating, and synthesizing rules of law; (8) Crafting explicit factual comparisons; and (9) Revising, editing, and perfecting their work product. The class requires no outside research.

Agency Externship I (LWVL596)

Instructor(s): John Sansone

1-6 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Children's Rights

The Agency Externship Program provides students the opportunity to gain valuable clinical legal experience for academic credit with a government agency or non-profit organization during the fall, spring or summer semesters. (The externship program does not allow students to receive academic credit for working in a private law firm). Students may enroll in the Agency Externship Course for 1 - 6 units of credit and must work during the academic session for a minimum of 50 hours per credit (100 hours for 2 credits, 150 hours for 3 credits, 200 hours for 4 credits, 250 hours for 5 credits, and 300 hours for 6 credits). For purposes of the Agency Externship, the academic session is from the official start of classes to the last day of final exams. Any externship work outside this time period may be counted towards pro bono hours, but not academic credit.

Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; periodic discussion boards on legal practice topics; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an example of work product for professor review; and, satisfactory completion of work experience. The externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis. To review all the pertinent course resources, including course information, form, and helpful internet links, please see the handbook.

If you have been offered and have accepted a field placement, meet the eligibility requirements, agree to meet the course obligations and want to register for the Externship course, fill out the Field Placement Form. The Office of Career and Professional Development will then confirm your placement and instruct you on registering for the course.

Contact lawcareers@sandiego.edu with placement questions. Contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@sandiego.edu with academic questions.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Externship qualifies for a concentration., Handbook

Agency Externship II (LWVL590)

Instructor(s): John Sansone

1-6 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Children's Rights

Externship II students refine their skills, with a longer opportunity to specialize their training in a specific area. Externship II is limited to students who have previously worked at an Agency Externship placement. Please refer to Agency Externship I description for additional requirements. To review all the pertinent course resources, including course information, forms, and helpful internet links, please see the handbook.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Externship qualifies for a concentration., Handbook

Alternative Dispute Resolution (LWLP517)

Instructor(s): Scott Metzger

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law, Civil Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution: This course will offer students an opportunity to learn practice and procedure with respect to two increasingly prevalent alternative dispute resolution methods, arbitration and mediation. The majority of the course will focus on Federal and California state arbitration practice and procedure, including drafting arbitration agreements, enforcing them, arbitrators selection and ethics, arbitration practice itself, and enforcing and challenging arbitration awards. We will also cover mediation practice, including mediation methods, privileges and settlement enforcement procedures. The class will be graded on a HPLF scale. Grading will be based on class participation and no more than two written assignments.

Animal Law (LWGC510)

Instructor(s): Laurence Claus

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing

Animal Law is a study of the range of ways that law affects and protects animals. Topics to be discussed during the semester include how animals have been defined by courts and legislatures, interpretation and enforcement of federal and state animal welfare statutes, and liabilities connected with the guardianship/ownership of animals. We will also consider the ethical implications of using animals for experimentation and food. In addition to reading the materials and participating in class discussions, students will be required to write a substantial paper on an issue related to animal law.

Appellate Clinic (LWVL501)

Instructor(s): Michael Devitt, David Schlesinger, Candace Carroll

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence or concurrent enrollment, Professional Responsibility or concurrently, Crim Pro I or concurrent enrollment

The Appellate Clinic is a year-long clinic opportunity in which teams of students will enjoy the hands-on experience of litigating from start to finish an appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. During the fall semester, students will write an opening brief; and in the spring semester students will write a reply brief and participate in oral argument. Additional periodic classroom sessions held throughout the academic year will focus upon appellate procedure and persuasive written and oral advocacy. From time to time, class sessions will feature guest speakers such as judges and local practicing attorneys. Students will receive four credits (two in the fall semester and two in the spring semester) for successfully completing the year long Appellate Clinic. The Appellate Clinic is open only to third and fourth year law students; and students must have completed or take concurrently with the Appellate Clinic the following courses: Civil Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and Criminal Procedure.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Civil Litigation Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Civil Litigation Concentration

Artificial Intelligence and the Law (LWIP506)

Instructor(s): Thomas Smith

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing

Questions about artificial intelligence and law range from the mundane (Who is liable if a self-driving car causes an accident?) to the sublime (Is it possible to envisage a machine that is a judge or a legislator?). In this course, we will explore pressing questions that will soon be upon us, such as autonomous vehicle liability, and the legality of autonomous weapons under the laws of war. Then we will tackle broader issues, such as workers’ rights (or their absence) in an increasingly automated economy; whether (conscious?) AIs should be treated as legal persons; and whether “the rule of law” can or should survive our society’s encounter with machine intelligence. As we proceed, we will be forced to develop our own tentative answers to questions such as, can machines really be intelligent, or are they just cleverly programmed? And, is AI so dangerous that it should be regulated like nuclear and some biological technologies are? (Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking seem to think so.) Students will be required to prepare readings, attend the weekly seminars, and write a research-based paper. Enrollment is limited to 19 students.