Course Descriptions

Spring 2014 Class Descriptions

Land Use Clinic I (Susan Quinn)
LWVL535

2-4 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG)

The Land Use Clinic provides students with the opportunity to become involved in land use and land development issues. Students are placed with government agencies, elected officials or attorneys in private practice. Most placements are with the City of San Diego and include the City Attorney’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, and City Council offices. Students work under the supervision of an attorney. Student work usually focuses on local issues including the procedures for siting cell phone towers, the regulation of adult entertainment and cardrooms, reviewing environmental documents, attending community meetings and issues involving affordable housing. The weekly two-hour classroom component covers the basic statutory and regulatory framework of land use law and procedures. In addition to the class students are required to attend one local community planning group meeting. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No prerequisites.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration

Land Use Clinic II (Susan Quinn)
LWVL536

1-4 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG)

The Land Use Clinic provides students with the opportunity to become involved in land use and land development issues. Students are placed with government agencies, elected officials or attorneys in private practice. Most placements are with the City of San Diego and include the City Attorney’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, and City Council offices. Students work under the supervision of an attorney. Student work usually focuses on local issues including the procedures for siting cell phone towers, the regulation of adult entertainment and cardrooms, reviewing environmental documents, attending community meetings and issues involving affordable housing. The weekly two-hour classroom component covers the basic statutory and regulatory framework of land use law and procedures. In addition to the class students are required to attend one local community planning group meeting. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No prerequisites.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration

Latin American Law & Institutions (Horacio Spector)
LWIC559

2 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), International Law (JD)

Over the last decade Latin America has been one of the fastest growing regions in the world, with foreign demand and investments boosting an unprecedented pace of prosperity and social inclusion. Though growth has declined since the global crisis, Latin America’s huge potential is awaiting a new trend of rapid expansion. American lawyers have a key role to play in the development of business strategies in the region, but training alertness is advisable. In fact, common law education is not self-sufficient for understanding the subtleties of Latin American law, and many American corporations and investors face difficulties for lack of expert counseling concerning domestic legal risks and problems.

The general goal of the course is to allow students to start becoming bijural by training them to communicate well with Latin American peers. We plan to achieve this goal by training students in various areas of Latin American variety of Civil Law: the Civil Law tradition in Latin America, constitutional law, human rights in national and Inter-American law, agrarian reforms and Indian peoples’ rights, civil and commercial codes, civil law remedies, civil procedure, and business law. Besides practical and professional concerns, the course will also be a rewarding intellectual experience, as students will progressively understand that there are few universal legal truths and that legal reasonableness is to a great extent relative to culture and historical accident.

We will focus on Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico (unincorporated US territory), and other Latin American and Caribbean nations. We will not assume that students have a command of Spanish or Portuguese, though some idiomatic background is obviously advantageous. Each student will be required to write a research paper of 20 pages in length in English. Successful completion of this course satisfies the written-work requirement.

Law & Politics of Educational Policy Development (Frank R. Kemerer)
LWPP556

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD), Children's Rights (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Education Law or, Child Rights and Remedies or, Special Education and the Law

Educational policy development at the local and state level is a complex and convoluted process. To give a limited number of law students and graduate education students an inside look on how educational policy is formulated, the School of Law and the School of Leadership and Education Studies co-sponsor this seminar under the auspices of the Center for Education Policy and Law (CEPAL).

The seminar this semester will focus on three key areas of education law and policy in the context of California traditional public schools, charter schools, and community colleges:

Finance reform, accountability, and faculty unions School reform through charters, vouchers, and tax creditsDigital/blended learning in education delivery

Two field trips will be conducted during the semester. The one-day Bay Area field trip will include discussions with professors, researchers, and litigators at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education and Stanford Law School. The class also will meet with the legal counsel and the director of professional development for the California Teachers Association in Burlingame.

The one-day Sacramento field trip will feature discussions with elected and appointed policymakers in the state legislature and education agencies. Student travel will be funded through CEPAL. Of the eight class sessions, three will be devoted to student presentations and one to a debriefing following the field trips. As this is a writing course, a research paper on a topic of the student’s choice related to educational policy development and a class presentation based on the paper are required.

Note: Enrollment is limited. Prerequisite: One of the following: LWFC 530 Education Law, LWFC 520 Child Rights and Remedies, LWPP 578 Special Education and the Law, an internship or clinical work related to these areas. The seminar is offered on selected Thursday nights from 4:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m.

For further information, contact Prof. Kemerer at fkemerer@sandiego.edu or 619-260-7789.

Law of American Democracy (Laurence Claus)
LWPP560

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD)

The seminar will explore the ways in which our Constitution and legislation implement the principle that democratic government is based on the consent of the governed. It will begin by examining democratic structures that differ from our own. It will then consider our federalism and the bicameral structure of our federal government; our system of legislative representation; the electoral college and selection of the President (including the election of 2000); the role and regulation of political parties and our two-party system; campaign finance (money and politics); proposals for electoral reform, including term-limits; the function of judicial review in a democracy, including judicial selection; and direct democracy at the local level, particularly in California. This class will fulfill the written work requirement.

Legal Drafting (Elaine Edelman)
LWGC563

2 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills

Transactional drafting is crucial to the legal profession. It refers to the process of creating documents to formalize agreements between parties. This course trains students to be able to use the process comfortably. You will learn to structure agreements, and express them in clear and concise language that will benefit clients and maximize the likelihood of favorable interpretation. The course emphasizes both cooperative and individual drafting work. Each week in class, you will focus on selected components of the drafting process, and prepare a document or exercise requiring you to practice what you learn. You will receive immediate feedback on that day’s drafting activity, and written comments on individual weekly homework assignments. Visits by attorneys who draft contracts in their practice will provide a view of how the legal profession depends on this skill. This class will use various types of contracts that touch on various areas of substantive law: contracts for the sale of goods, business or property (contract law, commercial transactions); residential and commercial leases (landlord-tenant and real estate law); settlement agreements (torts); employment, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements (employment law); retainer agreements (legal ethics); intellectual property rights (intellectual property); corporate acquisitions (corporations, securities law); entertainment contracts (entertainment law); vendors’ contracts (sports law). Grades are based on the scores on individual weekly assignments. 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 office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Legal Writing & Research III: Legal Writing (Elisa A. Brandes)
LWGC559

2 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills

Legal Writing III: Legal Writing is designed for students seeking to improve their legal writing skills. Students will write a client letter and legal memoranda based on a closed universe of cases. At least one assignment will require a mandatory conference and re-write. In addition, students will complete a series of short assignments focused on grammar and paragraph organization. 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 office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Legal Writing & Research III: Litigation & Judicial Drafting (Linda C. Beresford)
LWGC561

2 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills

Legal Writing & Research III: Litigation and Judicial Drafting is a course that will help students improve their research, analysis and writing skills in a variety of litigation-simulated contexts. Students will learn how to evaluate a complaint, conduct legal research on causes of action and defenses, and will draft two pieces of litigation-oriented writing (a motion and a judicial opinion). The course will also review how to evaluate legislation and contract language from a litigation and drafting perspective. The course is designed for students who wish to improve their legal research and writing skills, and is particularly helpful to students interested in litigation and judicial clerkships. 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 office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Legal Writing & Research, LLMC (Gail Greene)
LWGC560

2 credit(s)

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)
LWPP565

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD), Public Interest Law (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.

Legislation in the Modern State (Gail Heriot)
LWPP549

2 credit(s)

This intensive two-week course will be focused in part on how our governmental institutions are constructed to ensure that Congress and state legislatures pass, and that other branches of government implement legislation in a manner that is in the public interest. Attention will also be given to how Congress in particular drafts laws knowing those law will ultimately be implemented by others-whether the President, administrative agencies, private litigants, courts or some combination of these. Several case studies will be examined. Although this is not a course on legislation generally nor administrative procedure generally, it has some elements of each as well as elements of public choice theory. It will feature a final examination. This class will begin on Monday, January 6, 2014 and end on Thursday, January 16, 2014. Class times will be 9:00am-12:00 noon Monday through Thursday. The final exam will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 6:30pm. Students must attend all classes. Due to the intensive nature of the course, students will be expected to complete a significant amount of course readings before the class starts and there will be several interim quizzes throughout the two weeks. The quizzes will account for approximately 30% of the grade and the final exam for approximately 70%. The course will be graded on a letter grade scale. This course is open only to students enrolled in the Washington, D.C. Externship Program.

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