Course Descriptions

Fall 2014 Class Descriptions

Administrative Law (Michael B. Rappaport)

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Children's Rights (JD)

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).
Additional Information:Environmental & Energy Law Concentration, Public Interest Law Concentration

Adv. Problems in Executive Branch Regulatory Policy & Law (Orde Kittrie)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

This course examines selected advanced administrative law and regulatory policy issues relating to executive agencies. Through readings and case studies, students will gain an advanced understanding of how government agencies do what they do, and of the rules and institutions that control them. The professor, Hugh Stevenson, is currently the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Deputy Director for International Consumer Protection.

The focus of the course will be on U.S. federal government agencies, with some comparisons drawn to state and European institutions. The class will consider the creation and structure of agencies, agency adjudication and rulemaking, as well as how agencies make policy, engage in regulatory enforcement, and operate internationally. In addition, the class will consider the various controls on government agency action, including judicial review; statutes governing government information access and use; and other limits on agency discretion. Guest speakers from the public and private sector will be invited to meet with the class to describe their experiences.

Case studies, some from the textbook, others from newsworthy events, will help students focus on the role of the lawyer in government agency decision-making and relations with other stakeholders. A final paper (of approximately 20 pages in length) and various in-class exercises associated with the case studies will be required. The final grade will consist of the following components: 1) final paper - 75%, 2) class participation – 25% (to include in-class exercises).

Note: This class is restricted to students admitted to the Washington DC Externship Program

Advanced Business Planning (Richard A. Shaw)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I or its equivalent, Corporations or its equivalent (at the JD level)

The course consists of a series of planning problems that arise in connection with the formation and operation of a corporation. Attention will be directed to the corporate law, securities law and tax law issues related to each event with emphasis placed on active class participation in problem solving and selection of alternative solutions. For each seminar meeting there will be ungraded homework assignments directed to issues raised with each problem. The final examination will consist of a 72 hour take-home examination and problem.

Note: This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students.

Advanced Civil Litigation (Michael J. Weaver, Robert S. Brewer Jr. )

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence

This course is designed to prepare students for advanced civil litigation practice, staring with the initial client engagement and continuing through trial to post-trial. Emphasis will be given to issue recognition, practical problem solving, tactics, and strategies at each stage. Topics will include: professionalism and ethics, identification and management of issues at the client engagement stage, early case review, advanced litigation dynamics, utilization of experts, settlement issues, trial preparation, trial execution, and post-trial issues. At the conclusion of the course, a successful student will have a sophisticated understanding of the techniques and strategies of high level civil litigators. Effective use of time, making decisions based upon the best available authority, and avoiding mistakes will be emphasized. Some attention will be given to how successful civil litigators manage stress and the physical and emotional demands of a thriving litigation practice. Students will be required to participate actively during the class, track time spent on projects, and prepare four working memoranda on selected subjects. Grades will be based primarily on the written assignments, but a portion of the grade will also be based on class participation and oral presentations. The class will be taught by an attorney with more than 39 years of litigation and trial practice. The class will also feature occasional guest lecturers from the bench and bar.

Recommended but not required: ADR, Mediation Skills, Negotiation, Pre-Trial Practice, Advanced Trial Advocacy and Federal Courts


Advanced Legal Writing (Janice L. Sperow)

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

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:Selecting active and powerful word choices; Constructing paragraphs; Using proper grammar and punctuation; Creating a strong micro and macro legal structure; Developing thesis and conclusion sentences; Issue spotting; Extracting, formulating, and synthesizing rules of law; Crafting explicit factual comparisons; and Revising, editing and perfecting their work product. The class will also include workshops on “The Secrets of Successful Legal Writing Students” and “How to Ace Your Final & Bar Exam Essays.” Students will learn through lecture, in-class exercises, outside-class exercises, workshops, one-on-one TA and Professor sessions and practice. The class requires no outside research. It will be graded H, P, LP and F. Students may only enroll in two of the following during their law school career: Advanced Legal Writing OR LWR III: Lit & Judicial Drafting OR LWR III: Legal Writing OR Legal Drafting. Students desiring to add the second class in this series must receive a signature on their add/drop form from the Office for JD Student Affairs, and provide the form to the Registrar's office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Agency Internships (John Sansone)

1-3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

The Agency Internship Program consists of a work component and a class component. The Agency Internship Program allows students to earn academic credit for working in a law related internship position. Students work a minimum of 60 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-3 credits. For the work component, students intern with a government agency or a nonprofit organization. During the school year, the internship employer must be in the civil field or criminal appellate law field. Students participate in primarily on-line class sessions involving small group discussions, prepare weekly summaries of their work and complete a writing assignment. If you have been accepted into an internship placement and want to apply for the internship course, fill out the Internship application. If you have any other questions contact Julie Remer, Assistant Dean, Career and Professional Development at or Professor Margaret Dalton, Faculty Director, Clinical and Placement Education at The internship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information:JD Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Alternative Dispute Resolution (Alan Schulman)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law (JD), Civil Litigation (JD), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG)

This course offers students an introduction to the skills required by lawyers representing clients in three primary alternatives to trial for resolving disputes between parties: negotiation, mediation and arbitration. The course begins with an overview of U.S. arbitration law, primarily through readings from judicial decisions and problem solving. Students will then engage in role-play exercises to learn negotiation and mediation skills by doing, being observed, and trying different styles.

Note: Students are strongly encouraged to take this course before taking courses in Negotiation or International Arbitration. There are limitations on concentration eligibility. Check the Civil Litigation Concentration (JD) and Employment and Labor Law Concentration (JD) web pages for more information.
Additional Information:Civil Litigation Concentration, Employment and Labor Law Concentration

Appellate Clinic (Michael Devitt, Candace M. Carroll, David Schlesinger)

2 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
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

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