Course Descriptions

Fall 2014 Class Descriptions

Law and Socioeconomics (Lynne L. Dallas)

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

Law and Socioeconomics studies the interrelationship between law and economic/social processes. It is interdisciplinary and draws on a variety of economic approaches (not only neoclassical economics) and other social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science. It offers students an interdisciplinary, values-based approach to public policy that is designed to take into account the power implications and distributional effects of laws and stresses the importance to effective regulation of attention to historical context, philosophical beliefs, culture, existing institutions, working rules, and sources of power. Students write a paper for this seminar.

Legal and Constitutional Challenges in the Middle East (Iddo Porat)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law (LLMC), International Law (JD), International Law (MSLS)
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I

The Middle East is in turmoil. The course will focus on the ways the legal systems of countries in the Middle East face the challenges of the region with a special focus on constitutional law. The legal systems of the region face the following challenges - first is the tension between traditionalism and progress, which is reflected amongst others in the highly contentious relationship between state and religion in the countries of the region. Second is the issue of constitutional change, and constitutional revolution - the Arab Spring has saw the downfall of regimes and the rise of new ones, a process usually accompanied by constitutional conventions, and sometimes, as in Egypt, with multiple constitutional conventions. Iraq is another example of constitutional design and constitutional change. Third are issues relating to security threats and the fight against terrorism, and fourth are issues of multiculturalism and ethnic and cultural diversity. Israel, shares all these challenges but in different ways owing to its own special place in the Middle East. A special emphasis will be given in the course to Israeli law and Israeli constitutional law. Your final grade will be based on a final exam plus class presentations.

Legal Drafting (Elaine Edelman)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)

Transactional drafting is a skill used in most areas of law. It refers to the process of composing documents to formalize agreements and settlements between parties. This course will train students to be comfortable with the drafting process, which includes expressing agreements and settlements in language that will benefit clients, and composing documents that contain this language in a form that will maximize favorable interpretation in court. The course emphasizes both cooperative and individual drafting work. Each week in class, students will learn about selected components of the process, draft a document or exercise requiring the use of that component, and receive feedback on that day’s drafting activity. Students will have weekly individual homework assignments that reinforce that week’s skill. One or more attorneys whose practices include drafting work will appear in class to give students practical feedback on their work. Grades will be based on individual weekly written homework assignments and an end-of-semester individual drafting project, and are subject to the upper class curve requirements. 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.)

Legal Writing & Research I (Staff)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

Legal Writing and Research (LWR) I is the first part of a two-semester program introducing students to the tools lawyers use to analyze, research, and frame legal positions and communicate them in predictive office memoranda. Students practice and actively learn legal writing and research skills by creating multiple drafts of office memoranda and conducting both print and computer-assisted legal research. The course is offered in small sections with very low student-faculty ratios so that faculty may provide individualized and frequent feedback on student work. Required for first-year students.

Legal Writing & Research, LLMC (Gail Greene)

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded

This course, which is offered only to students in the LLM in Comparative Law program, focuses on providing students with: (1) a broad overview of the structure of the U.S. legal system; (2) techniques for successful research , writing and practice of law in the U.S. courts; (3) an introduction to the objective analytical skills that promote success in coursework and in the profession; (4) an introduction to persuasive writing techniques; and (5) techniques for success in class and examinations. The course has a very low student-faculty ratio and faculty carefully review each student’s research and writing assignments. Students are provided opportunities to meet with their professor and revise their written work.

Legislation (Mila Sohoni)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD), Children's Rights (JD)

The course examines the increasingly important role of statutes in the American legal system. A substantial part of the course will discuss statutory interpretation - an essential tool for lawyers that is not sufficiently covered elsewhere in the curriculum. The course will also address various aspects of the legislative process, such as campaign finance, lobbying, initiatives and other forms of direct democracy, and term limits.

Legislative Advocacy & the Law (Orde Kittrie)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

This course is designed to teach students legislative lawyering and advocacy skills. These skills include identifying and assessing issues susceptible to being addressed by legislation; analyzing and selecting legislative options for addressing such issues; drafting statutory and other legislative materials; and developing a coalition-building and media strategy for advocating adoption of the proposed legislative solution. Readings and guest speakers will focus on advanced and problem-focused discussion of such topics as Congressional powers, legislative process (including the functions of legislative committees), relevant ethics issues (including the regulation of lobbying), Presidential vetoes and signing statements, statutory interpretation, as well as case studies in successful legislative advocacy campaigns.

Students will be required to draft a set of written materials which will include a final paper containing analysis of a problem susceptible to being addressed by legislation, discussion of potential legislative options for addressing it, selection of a preferred option, and strategies for advocacy (including coalition-building and media). Students may also be require to draft and submit some or all of the following: proposed statutory language; draft legislative history (report language, colloquies, Congressional Record statements); talking points; fact sheets; and testimony. The final grade will consist of the following components: 1) written assignments - 80%, 2) class participation – 20% (to include assigned class presentations).

This class is required for students attending the Washington D.C. Externship Program.


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

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