Course Descriptions

Please select the courses you would like to review from the list below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Courses are graded unless indicated as Pass/Fail. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses will employ one or more evaluation methods, such as a final examination. Students are encouraged to speak with instructors for more details about course coverage and requirements.

Elective Courses

Fall Semester


Accounting For Lawyers LAW 431 2 Hours
This graded course will provide students with an understanding of basic accounting principles and their practical applications to the practice of law. This course is designed to be accessible to everyone and will focus on the mechanics of accounting, the analysis of financial statements, the role of Certified Public Accountants and Auditors, and emerging issues for the accounting field. The purpose of this course is to help students learn to spot financial related problems for their clients and understand basic accounting principles. Performance will be evaluated based on class participation, completion of assignments, and a final exam. Open to 2L and 3L students.

Bankruptcy LAW 440 3 Hours
This course is an overview of debtor-creditor relations. While issues under state law will be considered, the overwhelming emphasis of the course will be on federal bankruptcy law. The rights and obligations of both debtors and creditors under bankruptcy law will be examined, with particular focus on the strategic decision-making process of parties involved in a bankruptcy proceeding. Commercial Transactions helpful, but not required. Seniors only. (Previously Debtor/Creditor)

Client Counseling Competition LAW 415 1 Hours
During the Spring Semester, Mercer Law students compete for the honor of representing the school in the National Client Counseling Competition sponsored by the American Bar Association. The students selected are given intensive training by one of our faculty members using the school's video systems for observation and evaluation of counseling techniques. The team competes against other law schools regionally for the opportunity to compete for the national championship. Mercer’s teams have won the ABA’s Southeast Regional Competition in 1989, 1996, 1997 and 2001.

Conflict of Laws LAW 422 2 Hours
The principal focus of the course is "choice of law" -- the methods used by courts in the United States to decide the applicable law in cases that, in their parties or events, involve more than one state or country. In addition, the course examines in some detail the respect owed a judgment of a court of another state or country. The course meets for two hours each week, and students ordinarily earn 2 credit hours for completing it. However, a student may earn a third credit hour if, in addition to fulfilling the usual course requirements (including an end-of-semester exam), the student writes a research paper on an approved topic. Anyone who wishes to write such a paper should register for both Conflict of Laws and one credit hour of Independent Research and Writing with Dean Simson. Not offered fall 2014.

Corporate Tax LAW 424 3 Hours
An in-depth analysis of Internal Revenue Code sections dealing with income taxation of corporations and their shareholders. Particular emphasis is given to such areas as transfers to controlled corporations, dividends, redemptions, liquidations, and Subchapter S corporations. Income Taxation is a prerequisite. Seniors only. Not offered fall 2014.

Criminal Procedure--Constitutional Dimensions LAW 671 3 Hours
This course focuses on the constitutional provisions that govern the conduct of criminal investigations, particularly the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The principal topics include the law of search and seizure, the law of interrogation, and the exclusionary rule. The coverage of this course complements the course entitled "Criminal Procedure: The Litigation Process," but both courses are independent and neither course is a prerequisite of the other.

Elder Law LAW 1000 2 Hours
This course will highlight the social and legal issues associated with an aging society, the distinct legal problems faced by elderly individuals, and government programs established for the benefit of elderly individuals. Examples of topics that will be covered include: ethical issues and counseling elderly clients, capacity and consent, guardianship and protective services, planning for healthcare and financial decisions, elder abuse, long-term care, housing issues, and government programs relevant to elderly individuals such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Grading will be based primarily on a writing assignment addressing an elder law topic chosen by the student. Not offered fall 2014.

Employment Law LAW 664 3 Hours
This course will survey common-law and federal and state statutes regulating the relationship between an employer and an employee. Topics to be covered will include employment at will, terms and conditions of employment, public employment, employment discrimination, wages and hours, employee benefits, occupational safety, workers' compensation, and termination of the employment relationship. The course will not include coverage of 42 U.S.C. 1981, 42 U.S.C. 1983, or the National Labor Relations Act. (Courses on those statutes are discussed elsewhere. See Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination, and Labor Law.)

Federal Courts LAW 461 3 Hours
The powers of the federal courts; the nature and scope of the original jurisdiction of the United States district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court; and the interactions of the federal judiciary with state and local court systems. The course serves as a capstone offering (and to some degree bar review) for prospective litigators, taking into account and reviewing in greater detail such topics as federal court subject matter jurisdiction; federal-state choice of law; interstate and intersystem enforcement of judgments; pleading; and plaintiff's forum selection tactics and defendant's counter-tactics. The course highlights and integrates "civics" topics of fundamental importance to any American lawyer: the relationships between state and federal courts in civil and criminal litigation in a federalist republic; state sovereignty and immunity under the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments; and the respective powers of the three branches of the U.S. government. The course also provides an overview of the most common privately initiated claims brought in federal courts: "Section 1983" claims (by arrestees, convicts, prisoners, real estate developers, private property owners, would-be exercisers of free speech like adult bookstores or entertainment centers) alleging that agents of state or local government have violated their federal constitutional or statutory rights. Graded 3-hour exam or graded paper option. About 1/3 of final grade turns on class participation, including the student's work as a leader of one of our classes during the Semester. Seniors only. Not offered fall 2014.

International Business Transactions LAW 480 3 Hours
This course will examine selected legal issues associated with private business transactions across national boundaries, focusing on international sales agreements and financing, import/export restrictions, other forms of transnational business activity, and related risks. The course will explore relevant US laws and regulations, regional trade regimes such as those of NAFTA and the EU, and broader international agreements and institutions, including the WTO. The course will also address relevant comparative legal, business and cultural issues. Not offered fall 2014.

Law of Wills and Intestate Succession LAW 251 3 Hours
This course covers the basic concepts of the gratuitous transfer of wealth, including intestate succession; the general law of wills, including the formalities of execution, testamentary capacity, grounds for challenge, revocation, and revival; will substitutes, including gifts and joint tenancies; health care planning; miscellaneous issues concerning the administration of estates; and basic tax issues.

Medical Malpractice LAW 546 2 Hours
This course will survey the law of medical malpractice. Topics to be covered include the standard of care, causes of action, the physician/patient relationship, defenses, consent to treatment, statutes of limitation, fraud and misrepresentation, the complaint, summary judgment and trial issues, discovery, directed verdict, hospital-setting liability, and trial practice. Seniors only. Pass/fail.

Military Law LAW 307 2 Hours
This course explores the constitutional framework and historical basis for American military law and contrasting examples from other nations. The course uses the construct “Law of War, Law of War Powers, and Law of the Warrior” to analyze questions facing political leaders, combat commanders, and soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Military Law draws from first-year courses, America’s founding documents, and current events to build a working vocabulary of military law terms. Military Law is also a platform for developing legal presentation skills, as students select topics for research and presentation to the class. These presentations are a primary means of teaching and learning relevant material on the law of armed conflict. Previous topics have included such matters as prisoners of war, rules of engagement, the Geneva Conventions, suspension of habeas corpus and martial law, civilian casualties, insurrection, media coverage and classified material, robots and drones in combat, bars to military service, chain of command, courts martial, and many more. The course typically includes a field trip to Andersonville National Monument and POW Museum. Graded pass/fail.

Patent Law & Litigation LAW 210 3 Hours
This course will explore patent prosecution and the subsequent litigation of issued patents. We will learn patentable subject matter, utility, the conditions of patentability, unenforceability, infringement, and remedies. Along the way we will examine how complex issues of case law, regulation, statutes, and technology arise and are resolved by the courts. The final grade will be based on class participation and a final exam.

Poverty Law LAW 523 2 Hours
This course will examine the current reality of poverty in our society, as well as how the legal system has responded to the poor both through governmental programs and the civil and criminal justice system. This course will touch upon several areas of substantive law that affect the poor every day, such as housing law, the law regarding various governmental benefits, not-for-profit law, and landlord-tenant law. The course will also address issues regarding access to justice in both the criminal and civil arena. Last, it will address the evolution of legal services to the poor, as well as the role that lawyers for the poor should play in the future. No prerequisite. Numerically graded.

Pre-Trial Advocacy LAW 563 2 Hours
This course is concerned with the planning and preparation of a case for trial including the preparation of a complete trial notebook. The focus is on the construction and execution of a theory of the case. In examining the execution of a theory of the case, students will be asked to participate in demonstrations of certain major components of a trial. Enrollment Limt 30. Seniors only.

Real Estate Transactions LAW 540 2 Hours
A study of the basic elements of a real estate transaction, the methods of financing the purchase of residential property, priority of claims at common law and under the recording system and other methods of title assurance, transfers of interests in encumbered real property, and mortgage foreclosures, concluding with a study of the elements of a commercial real estate transaction.

Remedies LAW 542 3 Hours
A survey of remedies available through the avenues of equity, restitution, and damages. Emphasis is accorded to the relationships among these areas, and to the difficulties involved in applying "established" rules to actual situations. Seniors only.

Therapeutic Jurisprudence LAW 398 3 Hours
The course covers the psychology of law and includes readings and discussions of the law as an open system affecting the emotional and psychological well-being of all who practice law, all who serve as judges, and all who have contact with the legal system, whether as a client, party, or witness. The course includes the areas of collaborative, preventive, and holistic law. It also incorporates therapeutic and psychological tenets and concepts as they apply to all aspects of the practice of law.

Spring Semester


Advanced Civil Procedure LAW 1004 3 Hours
This course will cover important aspects of advanced civil procedure including the student of the theory and practice of class action litigation; multi district procedures; removal and remand (forum choices); issues regarding traditional discovery practices as well as the use of electronic discovery; proper methods to get information before the trier of fact; and protecting the record for appeal. Numerically graded.

Advanced Income Tax LAW 469 2 Hours
A more detailed study of areas which were touched upon, or not covered at all, in Income Tax, such as nonrecognition provisions, net operating losses, limitations on loss deductions (at-risk rules, passive activity losses, etc.), original issue discount, and advanced capital gains. Income Tax is a prerequisite.

Bar Preparation Course LAW 673 2 Hours
The course will build on what students have learned about multistate bar subjects and test taking throughout law school. The focus will be on knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have been shown to be helpful in passing the multistate multiple choice exam (MBE) and essay exam. Included will be practice in writing bar essay exams using some of the six multistate topics, insights into how bar exam essays are graded, and practice on MBE type exams. The course is intended to supplement and not replace the commercial review courses. The course will be a one-unit course that is graded pass/fail, is available only to third year law students, has no prerequisites, and has no enrollment limit. 3Ls only.

Criminal Procedure: The Litigation Process LAW 670 3 Hours
This course focuses on the law governing the various steps in the process of litigating a criminal case, including pre-trial, trial, and post-trial phases. Topics include bail, prosecutorial discretion, preliminary hearings, grand jury review, the drafting of charges, discovery, plea negotiations, speedy trial, double jeopardy, pre-trial publicity, jury selection, joinder of charges and defendants, various aspects of trial procedure, and general prinicples of appellate review. The coverage of this course complements the course entitled "Criminal Procedure: Constitutional Dimensions," but both courses are independent and neither course is a prerequisite of the other. (Not offered spring 2014.)

Employment Discrimination LAW 448 3 Hours
A study of contemporary and Reconstruction federal legislation prohibiting discrimination in private and public employment on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability. Particular attention is given to interactions among Congress, the courts, and administrative agencies. Emphasis is on the actual practice of lawyers in this field, including such issues as pre-filing administrative agency proceedings, pleading, summary judgment, post-trial motions, remedies, and court-awarded attorneys' fees. The course is open to 2Ls and 3Ls. No prerequisites.

Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict LAW 1006 3 Hours
This course will critically examine selected legal doctrines and related moral precepts of the contemporary law of war, including both the law on resort to force (jus ad bellum) and the law governing the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello). Participants will consider the relationship of legal rules to just war ethics and how normative expectations shape the conduct and critique of modern war. Topics may include, among others, the nature and scope of legitimate, proportional self-defense; humanitarian intervention; the propriety of and the law governing resort to force against contemporary terrorist networks; the justification for non-combatant immunity and the converse combatant's privilege; proportionality in the conduct of war; drone warfare; and other contemporary controversies that characterize warfare in the early twenty-first century. The class will also be open to undergraduate students from CLA. This course will be graded according to normal law school and university policies.

Family Law LAW 443 3 Hours
This course offers an introduction to family law in the United States today. Examples of topics covered include: marriage, non-marital relationships, parent-child relationships, divorce, custody, support, and the law's treatment of nontraditional families.

First Amendment Law LAW 475 3 Hours
A study of freedom of speech and press under the First Amendment. The course is taught though in depth discussion of cases, role plays of counseling clients with speech or press issues, rhetorical analysis of the opinions of particular Justices, analysis of a case file, and occasional lectures. Grades are awarded on the basis of an essay exam. The course is open to second and third year students. 3 credit hours. (Course was titled "Individual Rights." Renamed 10/15/03) Not offered spring 2014.

Income Tax LAW 202 3 Hours
This course is a study of the fundamental principles of the Federal income tax system as applied to individuals, including the concepts of income, allowable deductions and limitations on deductions, and the characterization of gains and losses. The course stresses reading and applying the Internal Revenue Code. Other course materials include Treasury regulations, administrative pronouncements, and decided cases.

Intellectual Property LAW 486 3 Hours
An overview of laws that secure rights in, and provide for the marketing of, patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, publicity rights, and personal data. Open to all upperclass students.

Law & Cinema LAW 1001 3 Hours
Law and Cinema focuses on the representations of law and the legal system as they appear in popular cinema. The class will explore several film genres (e.g., film noir, science fiction, and westerns) and discuss the way in which the popular cultural representatives of law both reflect and re-inscribe certain presumptions about law and its role as a social system. Students will watch between 8 to 10 films throughout the term and will read and discuss the academic literature on cinema as a narrative vehicle. Each student will be required to write a several short papers on films that they watch, and will be required to give a short in-class presentation of their work. Please Note: Several of the movies we will see throughout the semester contain strong language and/or adult situations. This content is not meant to shock or offend anyone in the class. If you are shocked or offended by this sort of content, please see me so we can discuss the situation.

Law of Trusts LAW 253 2 Hours
The basic law of trusts, including creation and termination, the rights and interests of beneficiaries, the powers of trustees, and fiduciary responsibilities and problems of administration; resulting trusts and constructive trusts; charitable trusts; and powers of appointment. Pre-requisite/co-requites: Successful completion of The Law of Wills and Intestate Succession or concurrent enrollment in The Law of Wills and Intestate Succession. (Not offered spring 2014.)

Law, Theology and Public Policy LAW 433 3 Hours
This course will explore issues at the intersection of law, faith, ethics, and public policy. A key purpose of the course is to offer an interdisciplinary understanding of issues of law and public policy. Students will do comparative and careful reading of texts from both law and theology. Readings will include basic legal materials on these issues, including court decisions, statutes, treaties, and executive orders. They will also read primary biblical texts, along with secondary works on theological ethics and public policy. To aid in the cross disciplinary understanding of these issues, the course is taught simultaneously with a comparable course offered through Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology. The two courses meet concurrently and together, at least as much as we can make the law school calendar and the McAfee calendar overlap. To that end, this course meets on Mercer’s Henry County Campus (roughly halfway between the Atlanta and Macon campuses). Major areas of ethics and public policy that are also legal issues will be treated, such as: Fundamental Human Rights, including genocide, torture, and slavery/human trafficking; War and Peace, including just war theory, pacifism, and just peacemaking practices; Beginning of Life, including abortion, stem cell research, and surrogacy; End of Life, including euthanasia, assisted suicide, and availability of health care; Marriage and Family, including divorce policy and same sex marriage; Environment and Creation Care, including climate change; Economic Justice, including inequality of wealth, the role of markets, and income redistribution; Criminal Justice, including incarceration policy and capital punishment; Immigration, including care for the alien and stranger; Freedom of Expression, including religious freedom and freedom of conscience. Each student will write a paper or papers on topics of his or her choosing. The course will be graded. Not offered spring 2014.

Legislative Field Placement LAW 1003 3-4 Hours
The course is designed to offer students practical work experience in government and public service offices while providing faculty supervision and guided reflection. In addition to field work, the course meets for two hours per week in the classroom. The course work includes readings, reflective journals, memos, and class discussion, all of which are designed to help students learn from their fieldwork experience. Throughout the course, students explore issues related to the role of lawyers in the legislative and administrative processes. Students work in an approved legislative governmental or a lobbying office; faculty for the course maintain a list of approved placements, but students may petition for a placement to be added. Students must work in their field placement at least 86 hours for 3 hours of credit or at least 126 hours for 4 hours of credit. Students arrange a regular work schedule with their field supervisor and submit weekly time sheets and reflective journal entries to their faculty supervisor. Enrollment is by application and permission of the faculty supervisor. Limit 8. Not offered spring 2014.

Payment Systems LAW 427 3 Hours
This course examines the law of commercial payment systems. Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code will be considered, as well as applicable federal law. Coverage includes the concept of negotiability, the liability of parties and the rights of holders of checks and notes. The law of bank deposits and collections, and the legal relationship between banks and their customers will be discussed. The law of credit cards and electronic funds transfer systems also will be considered.

Secured Transactions LAW 428 3 Hours
This is a course on secured transactions and commercial lawyering. Emphasis will be on the creation, perfection, and maintenance of security interests under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. We will also address in depth issues of priority which result from the creation of security interests. (Formerly Commercial Transactions)

Securities Regulation LAW 552 3 Hours
This course covers both primary and secondary transactions involving securities. Included are materials addressing the definition of a security; public offerings; exempt transactions; insider transactions; tender offers for corporate control; and antifraud provisions. Business Associations is a pre-requisite/co-requisite. There will be a one-hour mid-term examination and a one-hour end-term examination in lieu of an examination during finals period.

Sexuality and the Law LAW 397 2 Hours
The class will examine laws and regulations relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, and the effects of other laws on sexual minorities. We will review the history of persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people; the legal and social struggle for recognition of LGBT rights; and social phenomena such as "passing" and gender and sexual identity as reflected or constructed by laws and legal doctrine (e.g., constitutional and statutory protection or denial of rights, familial recognition, and comparative legal treatment of sexual minorities.) In the process, the course will examine how social movements are reflected in legal development and vice versa. Ideally, this will provide students with a model for achieving social or legal change in this and other contexts. This course will also provide some practical guidance to future attorneys who may represent members of sexual minorities after graduation, by offering creative approaches to couples and individuals whose needs are not recognized under current legal paradigms. (Entitled Sexual Orientation and the Law through spring 2010.) This course will satisfy the Advanced Writing requirement. Not offered spring 2014.

Summary Judgment Practice LAW 216 2 Hours
Designed for students with an interest in litigation, this course builds upon legal writing skills developed through the core curriculum. Working with documents from an actual court case, students will read pleadings and depositions to identify relevant issues of fact useful in analyzing a contract and/or tort dispute. Using the identified facts, and working as advocates, participants in the class will then draft a brief in support of a motion for summary judgment, a brief in opposition to the motion, and orally argue the motion. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with litigation practice while simultaneously enhancing written advocacy skills. Students selected for law review and/or participating in a moot court competition are cautioned that this class contains written assignments with several deadlines that fall early in the semester. These deadlines may conflict with other responsibilities. The course will be numerically graded. Enrollment is limited to 14.

Taxation of Pass-Through Entities LAW 488 2 Hours
This course is an introduction to the taxation of pass-through entities, including partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations. Emphasis will be placed on problem solving. Income Tax is a prerequisite. (Formerly Partnership Tax)

Torts II LAW 560 3 Hours
This course addresses selected topics in the law of civil liability that are not covered in depth in the first-year Torts course. Torts II addresses products liability, defamation, nuisance, damages, and business torts (including fraud, misrepresentation and interference with contractual relationships), and includes common defenses and immunities.

Fall & Spring Semester


Advanced Legal Research LAW 643 2 Hours
The purpose of the course is to develop research skills in both print and electronic legal research resources. Through exercises and projects, which may include class presentations, students have the opportunity to select, use, and evaluate a wide range of legal and law-related resources. The course covers state and federal judicial, legislative and administrative materials as well as the use of finding tools, legal commentary, forms and trial preparation resources. Research strategies and efficient and cost-effective use of online legal research sources, including free and low-cost resources as well as Lexis, Westlaw and other subscription online services, are emphasized. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered during Fall and Spring Semesters. Open to 3Ls only during Fall Semester; open to 2Ls only during Spring Semester.

Advanced Writing Group LAW 661 1 Hours
Sections of this course consist of 5 students and meet one hour a week. Most weeks the group will respond to a piece of writing, sometimes a piece written by a group member and sometimes a piece written by a lawyer or other author. The group will read examples of good writing; read and edit examples of weak writing; work on selected topics of grammar and style; and study advanced writing techniques. The course is graded and carries one credit per semester. Enrollment is limited to students enrolled in the Legal Writing Certificate Program.

Business Associations LAW 412 3 Hours
This course focuses on the law of agency, general partnerships and corporations with some attention to limited partnerships and limited liability companies. Coverage includes the choice of business form and the formation, management and dissolution of each of the principal business forms. Also introduced is federal securities law as it pertains to shareholder suffrage, proxy contests, hostile takeovers and secondary securities transactions.

Externship I LAW 634 3-4 Hours
This course is designed to offer students practical work experience in public service offices while providing faculty supervision and guided reflection. In addition to field work, the course meets for two hours per week in a classroom. The course includes readings, reflective journals, and class discussion, all of which are designed to help students learn from their fieldwork experience. Throughout the course, students explore fundamental questions of meaning and purpose in living a life of service in the law. Students work in an approved non-profit public interest or governmental office; faculty for the course maintain a list of approved placements, but students may petition for a placement to be added. Students must work in their field placement at least 86 hours for 3 hours of credit or at least 126 hours for 4 hours of credit. Students arrange a regular work schedule with their field supervisor and submit weekly time sheets and reflective journal entries to their faculty supervisor. Enrollment is by application and permission of the faculty supervisor. Limit of 30 total students; and a limit of 15 students per section.

Externship II LAW 635 2-3 Hours
This course is open to students who have completed Public Interest Practicum. As in Public Interest Practicum, students must work in an approved non-profit public interest or governmental office; public interest faculty will maintain a list of approved placements, but students may petition for a placement to be added. Students must work at least 100 hours for 2 hours of credit or at least 140 hours for 3 hours of credit. Students must arrange a regular work schedule with their field supervisor and submit weekly time sheets and reflective journal entries to their faculty supervisor. Although there is not a weekly classroom component similar to that in Public Interest Practicum, students will attend regular meetings with the faculty supervisor. In addition, students are responsible for completing a research project in an area related to their work in the field placement. Enrollment is by application and permission of the faculty supervisor. Permission to enroll in Public Interest Practicum II will only be granted if the faculty supervisor is satisfied that the student will have significant learning opportunities in the field placement and in the research project beyond those available in Public Interest Practicum. Enrollment limit: 8. The course is graded S/U.

Habeas Project LAW 306 4 Hours
This is a clinical course, and it is the only effort in Georgia to provide pro bono representation in non-capital state post-conviction matters (in Georgia, there is no right to counsel beyond one direct appeal). The Project provides client-centered representation (each student will handle 1-2 cases per semester), and the cases selected by the faculty supervisor allow students to grapple with important questions of constitutional criminal law. Under close faculty supervision, students will meet their clients; research potential issues; prepare an appellate theory; and write and ultimately file a brief or petition. In addition to working on cases, Project students will draft sections of a Pro Se Habeas Corpus Manual; will respond to legal questions from Georgia prisoners; and, on occasion, will offer amici curiae briefs in important cases before the Georgia Supreme Court. Qualified third-year students may sign briefs. The Project includes all procedural and substantive training necessary; the only pre-requisites are Criminal Law and Constitutional Law. Enrollment limit: 8. Enrollment is by application and permission of the faculty supervisor. Graded. May be taken up to two times. This course satisfies the drafting requirement for the writing certificate and will satsify the Advanced Skills requirement when taken in the sixth semester. This course will satisfy the Advanced Writing requirement and the drafting course requirement for the Certificate in Legal Writing. This course will satisfy the Advanced Skills requirement when taken in the sixth semester.

Independent Research & Writing LAW 474 1-3 Hours
With the approval of a full-time faculty member, a student may register for independent research and writing after completing the first year. An independent research and writing project is normally undertaken for two hours credit, but in appropriate cases the supervising faculty member may approve registration for one or three hours credit. A student may register for only one independent research and writing project per semester and no more than two projects will be approved for any student. Credit will be awarded, in the discretion of the supervising faculty member, on either a graded or pass/fail basis, upon the completion of a written product suitable for submission for publication. 1-3 Credit Hours

Judicial Field Placement LAW 442 3-4 Hours
One section of Public Interest Practicum I each semester will be comprised of the students who are working for judges. These students will perform research and writing assignments for their judges and are expected to attend hearings, trials, and other proceedings. In addition to field work, the course meets for two hours per week in a classroom. The course includes readings, reflective journals, and class discussion, all of which are designed to help students learn from their fieldwork experience. Students must work in their field placement at least 86 hours for 3 hours of credit or at least 126 hours for 4 hours of credit. The hours are exclusive of class time and travel time. Students arrange a regular work schedule with their judges and submit weekly time sheets and reflective journal entries to their faculty supervisor. Enrollment is by application and permission of the faculty supervisor. Preference will be given to students who register for 4 credits.

Juvenile Court Practice & Procedure LAW 494 2 Hours
Delinquency, deprivation, status offenses, and dependency in Juvenile Court. History of Juvenile Court, evolution of children's rights, and trends in juvenile justice. Seminar format with special emphasis on practical aspects of litigation. Enrollment limited to 20. S/U

Law Review LAW 513 0 Hours
Members of the Mercer Law Review staff and Editorial Board earn academic credit for each year served on the Review. Upon satisfactory completion of the writing, editing, and other work required for each category of Law Review membership, credit will be awarded in the Spring Semester by the faculty advisor upon recommendation of the Editor-in-Chief. Credit hours vary.

Moot Court Competition LAW 520 3 Hours
All second-year students are eligible for membership on the Moot Court Board. Students are selected to membership each year based primarily on their performance in Legal Writing II. Board members, in both their second and third years, represent the Law School in various state, regional, and national moot court competitions. The Law School has been quite successful with its competition teams, having won at the state, regional and national levels. Students on competition teams receive invaluable training and experience. In addition, each member of a competition team receives three hours of pass/fail academic credit in the semester in which the competition takes place.

Public Defender Criminal Defense Clinic LAW 548 4 Hours
Students will assist in the defense of felony cases under the joint supervision of staff attorneys at the Public Defenders' Office in Macon, Georgia and a professor responsible for the quality of the educational experience. The Clinic includes a classroom component as well as a requirement of team meetings with other students, individual conferences with the professor, and a written product from all students. Students will work primarily out of the Public Defenders' Office in downtown Macon. Students will be sworn in under the Third-Year Practice Act, and will be able to appear in court under the supervision of an attorney. Training will be provided by the staff attorneys in the local office, by attorneys in the Georgia Public Defenders Standards Council in Atlanta, and by professors at the law school. The Clinic will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and will require an average of twelve hours of work per week for three hours of pass/fail credit each semester. Students will be expected to make a commitment to enroll for both the fall and spring semesters. Enrollment is limited to 10 third-year students. Permission of the professor is required to enroll. Students who are taking, or have taken, this clinic will not be eligible to enroll in the Death Penalty Clinic. The clinic will not count toward practicum/externship limits, but students may not enroll in a practicum/externship while enrolled in the clinic. S/U

Trial Practice LAW 564 3 Hours
The course is designed to develop trial skills through the preparation and role-playing of various trial tasks using simulated cases and simulated trial situations. Each performing student is given an intensive critique of the performance and reviews a tape of his or her performance with a member of the faculty. After ten weeks of preparation on specific trial tasks, the students participate in a mock trial before a trial judge. Pre-requisite: Evidence. Enrollment limited to 20 per section. S/U (Pass/Fail)

Summer Semester


American Legal History LAW 509 3 Hours
We will examine issues and themes of American law from the 18th Century to the present. We will look at the development of some areas of "traditionally" substantive law, such as Torts and Contracts, as well as other areas of substantive law, such as Slavery and Labor. We will explore the relationship between law and society in a number of areas, including race and gender, with attention to how law shapes society and how society shapes law. We will also consider the meaning of American law in the context of American democracy. The course will have a final examination and students may have written assignments at the professor's discretion.

Summer Externship LAW 602 2-3 Hours
Students work in an approved public interest or governmental law office under the supervision of a practicing attorney and the general supervision of a faculty member. In addition to the work in the public interest law office, students are required to participate in two two-hour class sessions: the first takes place at the end of the Spring semester and prepares students for their field placement experience; the second takes place at the beginning of the Fall semester and gives students the opportunity to reflect on the experiences together. Students also participate in a web-based, faculty-led guided discussion board concerning issues common to all field placements. Students also turn in regular reflective journals and weekly timesheets to the faculty supervisor. Students must work at least 120 hours for 2 hours of credit or at least 180 hours for 3 hours of credit. Students may not earn more than 3 credit hours in one summer, but the course may be repeated for credit one time, for a maximum total credit over two summers of six hours. Enrollment is by application and permission of the faculty member in charge of the course. The public interest faculty will maintain a list of approved placements, but students may petition for a placement to be added. The course is graded S/U.