Course Descriptions

Fall 2015 Class Descriptions

Labor Law (Richard A. Paul)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Employment and Labor Law (JD)

This course offers an introduction to federal labor laws that effect organization, negotiation, collective bargaining relationships, and enforcement of negotiated labor agreements in the private sector. The course will examine National Labor Relations Board rules and procedures, federal court jurisdiction, labor arbitration, the rights of individual union members, and the increasing reach of NLRB rulings into non-unionized workforces. The course will also consider somewhat different issues of labor law and regulation in the public sector. This course will not consider other employment laws, employment litigation, or alternative dispute resolution procedures that are covered in other classes offered by the School of Law or the employee benefits class offered by the Graduate Tax Institute. This class requires no prerequisite course work.

Note: This course may be applied as part of the nine required credits for the Employment and Labor Law Concentration (JD).
Additional Information:Employment & Labor Law Concentration (JD)

Law Journal Editing and Research (R.J. Pinto)

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

This course is offered only to students who are editorial board members of Law Review, International Law Journal, and Journal of Climate and Energy Law. This course provides students with an understanding of editorial and publication processes through faculty supervised training. Topics include editing, editorial research, article selection, and other aspects of journal operations. The course is taught by a USD faculty member who meets regularly with students, provides them with specific and individualized feedback on their contributions, and provides guidance on journal operations.  The first class meeting will be on Saturday, September 12 from 9:00-5:00pm.  Three additional Tuesday evening classes will be held from 7:30-9:20pm on September 29, October 20, and November 17, 2015.  This course has been approved for Fall 2015 only.  It has not yet been approved by the faculty for spring 2016 and there is no guarantee it will be offered.

Law of American Democracy (Laurence Claus)

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

In this seminar we will explore the following topics, with a focus on the American system of government: democracy and legitimate government; alternative democratic systems; the right to vote; the right to an equal vote; political parties; money in politics; the Presidential Election of 2000 and its aftermath; judicial remedies for defective elections; direct democracy; gerrymandering; the Voting Rights Act and the shift from s. 5 preclearance to s. 2 direct judicial challenges.This is a graded class, assessed by research paper. Success in writing the paper for this class will fulfill the written work requirement.

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, 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). Classes start on Tuesday, September 8 and end December 8, 2015.

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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