Spring 2014 Class Descriptions
Federal Courts (Steven D. Smith)
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD), Public Interest Law (JD)
This course is best described as advanced constitutional law focusing on the power of the federal courts, particularly with respect to the states and the other branches of the federal government. It is essential for anyone planning to clerk for a federal judge, or to perform public interest work in a variety of areas involving constitutional claims or governmental litigants. In practical terms, the materials concern who may bring suit in federal court, against whom, and under what circumstances. Specific topics include interpretation of Article III, justiciability (including standing and the "political question" doctrine), congressional power over the jurisdiction of the federal courts (including the extent to which civil rights suits and "enemy combatants" may be excluded from federal court), the immunities from suit enjoyed by state governments and public officials (such as police officers), and habeas corpus. Those interested may peruse Hart & Wechsler's The Federal Courts and the Federal System for a further indication of course content. Prior completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Constitutional Law II is very strongly advised. The course materials assume a working knowledge of due process, equal protection, and state actor doctrine.
Federal Tax Clinic (Richard Carpenter)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I
This is a hands-on clinical course for students who wish to develop tax controversy skills. Students working under the supervision of the Tax Clinic supervising attorney will represent low income taxpayers in resolving their tax disputes with the IRS. Students will learn client interviewing skills, how to interact with IRS personnel, and how to effectively resolve a client’s federal tax dispute. Students must also be available to participate in Tax Clinic Outreach presentations at various community locations and times. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. Prerequisite: Tax I.
Fundamentals of Bar Exam Writing ( Staff)
The course covers the fundamentals of bar exam essay writing and performance test writing. The first class is an introduction to bar exam components and topics. The next several classes focus on the details of essay exam writing and performance test drafting. Students will receive substantial feedback on their written work, and participate in small group sessions, self and peer review, and professor-student conferencing. Grading is on the H/P/LP/F scale. Students may be withdrawn from the course and/or given a failing grade for missing more than one class, failing to turn in any written assignments on time, or failing to complete any practice examination. 3L & 4E students only.
Note: As of November 14, 2013, open enrollment for this class is available to graduating JD students. No permission will be required.