Course Descriptions

Spring 2018 Class Descriptions

Employment Discrimination (Miranda Oshige McGowan)

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

This general survey course of employment discrimination laws will focus on primarily the federal anti-discrimination laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, sexual orientation. (We will also discuss the California Fair Employment and Housing Act's protections when they diverge from federal law. The Americans with Disabilities Act will not be a primary area of study.) This course gives students an opportunity to think about the meaning and practice of discrimination, to analyze various anti-discrimination approaches, and to learn to think creatively and flexibly when working on problems within this complex, evolving field of law. Students will learn to strategize about bringing and defending employment discrimination suits and, perhaps even more importantly, about helping clients develop policies and practices that foster discrimination-free workplaces and resolve workplace issues before they develop into lawsuits.

Employment Law & Technology (Orly Lobel, Richard A. Paul)

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

This course will examine the application of free expression, privacy, harassment, defamation and related workplace doctrines to issues created by the proliferation of communications and related technology devices. The course will open with a discussion of some of the technologies, their typical ownership and function, and of the areas of potential concern surveyed in several articles published by the instructor on these topics. The first third of the course will review employer and employee rights and duties in the clash between employer interests in efficiency and information security with employee rights of speech, privacy and the like. The second third of the course will examine the application of these ideas to different stages of the employment relationship (i.e., pre-hire, testing, selection, monitoring, discipline, etc.). We will consider current issues raised by specific electronic technologies (e.g., computer search technologies, PDAs, SNS, text and image messaging, blogspeak, GPS); medical technologies (e.g., security implants, employee genetic testing and coding); workplace configurations (e.g., remote employment); rights of ownership; and special work environments in which information free flow is either vital or restricted (e.g., public sector, healthcare, defense, higher education). The final part of the course will be reserved for presentation and discussion of student papers on topics within the general course parameters.

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

Energy Law and Policy Clinic I & II (Joseph Kaatz)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Energy Law

The Energy Law and Policy Clinic provides students an opportunity to conduct legal and policy research in cooperation with a related agency, such as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Air Resources board. Agency staff, EPIC staff, and students work together to select one or more energy-or-climate change-related legal or policy research topics. Under the supervision of a practicing attorney and EPIC staff, students conduct a semester-long research project on the selected topic(s). Students will present results to the agency staff at the end of the semester. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. 

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

Entertainment Law (Kevin Greene)

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

This course is designed to introduce participants to the legal dynamics that undergird the American entertainment industry, a global economic and cultural juggernaut.

At the core of Entertainment Law are two legal regimes:

1)intellectual property (“IP”), including copyright, trademark and rights of publicity, and

2)Contract law.

Entertainment Law explores these regimes, from deals, such as “360” sound recording agreements to disputes, such as Lil’ Wayne’s breach of contract suit against Cash Money.

Using interactive media, video and music clips, Entertainment Law will use materials, including cases, contracts and statutes to explore the motion picture, video game, television and music industries from transactional, economic, clearance and litigation perspectives.

From rapper Jay Z’s copyright infringement lawsuit in the “Big Pimpin’” case, to Run-DMC’s trademark infringement suit against Target, and Pamela Anderson’s breach of contract case by film producer, and more, Entertainment Law will immerse participants in the law behind the glitter and glitz of the entertainment industry.

Participants will write a scholarly paper on a relevant topic in lieu of an exam for this course.

Entrepreneurship Clinic I (Sebastian E. Lucier, Liz Bui)

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential

Through hands-on opportunities, students in the Entrepreneurship Clinic provide pro bono legal services to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their small businesses. The Entrepreneurship Clinic does not engage in litigation-related services; instead, it focuses on advising clients on legal matters relating to starting their business and assisting in drafting and filing necessary documents. Such work includes: determining the appropriate choice of business entity, assistance in obtaining necessary permits and licenses, advising on employment and independent contractor issues, drafting and reviewing commercial contracts and leases, and assisting with the establishment of tax-exempt organizations. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No prerequisites.


Entrepreneurship Clinic II (Liz Bui, Sebastian E. Lucier)

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic.

Estate Planning Seminar (Adam Hirsch)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Corequisite(s): Trusts & Estates

The course covers topics in estate planning, including substantive planning strategies for beneficiaries with special needs, strategies for avoiding will contests, and basic tax planning. Students undertake will criticism exercises and are required to produce two drafts of a substantial research paper on a topic in the area of inheritance law, trust law, transfer taxation, or estate planning. Each student will present the first draft to the class for a substantive discussion and constructive analysis. The final draft is due at the end of the semester. Successful completion of this course satisfies the written-work requirement.

European Union Commercial Law (Jens Schovsbo, Vibe Ulfbeck)

1 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), International Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

As business is becoming more international so must the law and lawyers. In a world of international trade and transactions companies and their advisers need to have a global legal horizon. Until quite recently, it would not have made any practical sense to talk about an “EU commercial law”. However, due to the ongoing harmonization of the law of the EU countries a body of truly common European law is emerging from the melting pot of the national laws and traditions and EU institutions and courts. The course draws on the results of 30 years of continued and ongoing EU harmonization to provide US law students with an overview of some of the central aspects of European commercial law. The course focuses on the practical legal problems facing an American enterprise doing business in Europe but at the same time provides for a basic understanding of the EU legal framework. After a brief general introduction to EU law the course falls in two parts. Part I deals with the transfer of goods and covers such topics as general contract law (PECL Principles of European Contract Law), the EC directive on Unfair Contract Terms, and the EC directive on Products Liability. Part II deals with the trade in intangible rights notably patents and trademarks. This part opens with a general presentation of the European systems for the protection of inventions and trademarks. It then moves on to discuss aspects relating to the exercise of those rights in regard to the Treaty rules on the free movement of goods (“parallel importation” and the principle of “exhaustion of rights”) and to tech-trans agreements and other issues involving competition law. The course requires no prior knowledge of European law.  There will be a final exam scheduled in March.

Evidence (Kevin Cole)

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (MSLS), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

The rules of evidence in judicial tribunals, focusing on the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Evidence Code are addressed in this course. Also covered are issues relating to: (1) judicial control and administration - functions of judge and jury, judicial notice, burden of proof presumptions, problems of relevancy, circumstantial evidence, and unfair prejudice; and (2) witnesses - competency, privileges, principles of examination and cross-examination, impeachment and support, expert and lay opinion testimony. The hearsay rule and its exceptions, rules relating to writings, real and scientific evidence are also examined. 


Note: This is a required course for the Civil Litigation (JD) and Criminal Litigation (JD) concentrations.

Evidence Advocacy Lab (Lisa Rodriguez)

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (MSLS), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Evidence

This course is designed to familiarize students with the practical application of evidentiary points addressed in the traditional evidence course. Students focus on one or two evidentiary issues each week using a problem format. Each area of evidence is taught through performance. Each student is assigned as a proponent, opponent, witness and judge and is responsible for performing that role in class each week, and for submitting a short memo identifying the evidentiary issue and presenting the best approach to offering or opposing the evidence in court. The roles rotate each week. There is a new problem assigned each week. By the end of the semester, each student should be comfortably able to determine what it is he or she wished to accomplish in a courtroom with respect to specific evidentiary questions, and be able to structure the most logical, persuasive and trouble-free means to that end. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis.

Experiential Advocacy Practicum (Staff)

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

The Experiential Advocacy Practicum is a one-year, two credit course that has been designed to provide first-year students with an overview of two major areas of legal practice, litigation and transactional work. The practicum will incorporate learning-by-doing skills exercises that will simulate advocacy tasks that junior attorneys will be expected to perform in practice. Students will work, both in teams and as individuals, with a fictional case file, which will allow them to complete tasks within a realistic but simulated context. The practicum will supplement the first-year curriculum by giving a practical view of the theoretical concepts students are learning in other first-year doctrinal courses

View by Semester

Click on a semester below, then narrow your search by choosing a sub-item.