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.

Advanced Skills Courses

Fall Semester

Appellate Practice & Procedure LAW 457 2 Hours
This course will cover topics of appellate procedure, including standards of review, timeliness, ripeness, harmless error, writs, preservation of error, preparation of the record, and court rules. Using a simulated Georgia record, students will draft the procedural documents relevant to an appeal, such as a Notice of Appeal, a Designation of Record, a Request for Oral Argument, an Enumeration of Errors, opening, responsive and reply briefs. Students will make at least one oral argument. The course will be graded. Enrollment limit of 16. This course may satisfy either the Advanced Writing Requirement or the Advanced Skills Requirement.

Client Counseling II LAW 3002 2 Hours
In the mandatory Introduction to Client Counseling course, second year students learn the most basic counseling skills: active listening, initial client interview techniques, and helping a client make a decision. In Client Counseling II, students will learn more advanced client counseling skills and techniques. Using a similar model to the Introductory course (lecture, small group discussion, and simulated client interactions), students will learn and practice more advanced (yet still inevitable) counseling circumstances: bringing a client bad news; counseling clients in complex litigation; engaging the client who becomes frustrated or disappointed during the course of the representation; and similar topics. This course will also delve deeper into ethical considerations in client counseling, including discussions of privilege, confidentiality, and perjury. Prerequisite: Intro to Client Counseling. Pass/Fail Enrollment limited to 20 students.

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. This course can satisfy either the Advanced Writing requirement or the Advanced Skills requirement. Limit 18.

Environmental Law Practice LAW 669 2 Hours
The course is designed to enable students to develop skills needed by attorneys that practice environmental law or that encounter environmental law in their general practice of law. Skills will include client and witness interviewing and counseling, researching and finding the law, drafting and reviewing environmental documents or environmental provisions in business or real estate documents, working with administrative agencies on policy development (e.g., commenting on rulemakings) or in an adjudicatory setting (e.g., applying for a permit, negotiating with an agency in an enforcement proceeding, or participating in mediation or similar dispute resolution processes), and trial advocacy. The course will be taught through a combination of lecture, simulations, and written assignments. Limited to 16 students.

Immigration Practice LAW 3001 3 Hours
This course will provide a simulated immigration practice experience to students, who have already learned the basics of U.S. immigration law. The primary focus of the course will be business- and family-based immigration practice and procedures, but it will also reinforce student issue spotting and analysis with regard to admissibility, removal and consular processing issues. After creating and editing client questionnaires, students will be required to address detailed factual scenarios. They will be expected to develop options for achieving the specific immigration goals of clients while spotting red flags and questions they must resolve along the way. They should come to each class armed with alternative strategies for proceeding, depending on the various possible responses to questions they have identified. These strategies may be tested through client consultation role-play as well as more traditional interaction with the professor and other students. Students will also be required to complete forms and draft documents for submission to government officials as well as to evaluate and revise forms and documents prepared by their classmates. Prerequisite: Immigration Law I or equivalents experience with permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 24. Not offered fall 2016.

Legal Letters LAW 3003 2 Hours
This course focuses on the drafting of legal letters. The audience, purpose, content, organizational structure, role of authorities, role of facts, voice, and style of a variety of legal letters will be examined. Students will analyze and write a variety of legal letters consistent with the nature of the letters and his or her professional responsibility. The writing assignments will include, but are not limited to, a client advice letter, a demand letter, an engagement letter, a letter of intent, a transmittal letter, and a withdrawal letter. Prerequisite: Legal Writing II. Numerically graded. Limit 24.

Problems in Trial Evidence LAW 640 2 Hours
Students will research, brief and orally present courtroom arguments of relatively to highly complex evidentiary issues as they might arise in the pre-trial and mid-trial stages of civil and criminal trials. Limited enrollment of 10. Evidence is a prerequisite. Pass/fail.

Process and Proc in State Debt/Cred Remedies LAW 3000 2 Hours
This is a practical, hands-on course in giving students the opportunity to prosecute and defend against creditor claims through demand, litigation, and post-judgment recovery. The course emphasizes strategy directed to debtor/creditor law but typically applicable to civil litigation in general. In includes the proper use of civil procedure, competent drafting and oral advocacy, and a general appreciation of remedies and defenses under substantive state law. Assisted by classroom discussions and sample documents, students will bring their formative legal education to bear on specific assignments involving recalcitrant, vacillating debtors, and imperious, heavy-handed creditors and their counsel. Topics and related assignments involve, but are not limited to, proper and improper demand letters, pursuing the correct persons and entities, planning lawsuits, asserting effective and timely defenses, the value and purposes of summary judgment, motions to strike, default motions, meaningful discovery, garnishment, traverse, and the do’s and don'ts of every day stipulations, filings, and court and counsel interactions. Enrollment limit of 16.

Spring Semester

Advanced Trial Practice LAW 536 2 Hours
A continuation of the skills addressed in the basic Trial Practice course using the same methods. Evidence and Trial Practice are prerequisites. Enrollment limited to 10. Not offered spring 2017.

Business Drafting LAW 659 2 Hours
This course will explore issues surrounding the drafting of business-related documents. During the course students will draft a number of different documents including corporate formation documents, documents used in the sale of a business, employment agreements, deeds, loan documents and general business contracts. The course will explore the use and misuse of form books, the importance of language in this type of drafting, the role of the business attorney, and the viability of the "plain English" movement. The course will offer students practical instruction about various areas of a general business practice. Business Associations is a co-requisite or pre-requisite. Enrollment limited to 24. (Previously titled Advanced Transactional Drafting.) This course will satisfy the Advanced Writing requirement.

Case Settlement Negotiation LAW 632 2 Hours
Students will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their hypothetical clients' cases and attempt to negotiate a favorable settlement with the opposing party. May not be taken simultaneously with Negotiations. Enrollment limited to 16. Not offered spring 2017.

Consumer Bankruptcy Practice LAW 568 2 Hours
Students will be presented with hypothetical fact situations. Students will write short papers in which they will explain, based on the facts presented, what advice they would give to a client, what additional information they require to provide proper advice, what they need to do to satisfy their professional and statutory duties as attorneys, and other such issues. Students also will prepare and file various documents as attorneys for debtors (e.g., initial petition, schedules, a statement of financial affairs and a plan)and as attorneys for creditors (e.g., an objection to confirmation, a motion for relief from the stay). Time permitting, hearings may be scheduled in the law school courtroom, or possibly in the courtroom of a local bankruptcy judge, where students will appear and present their arguments. Classroom work would include presentation of material related to the papers and documents prior to their preparation and then follow-up discussion and critique of the students’ work after submission. Bankruptcy is a prerequisite. Enrollment limited to 16.

Federal Tax Procedure LAW 653 2 Hours
Federal Tax Procedure covers the chronology of tax litigation, from assessment by the IRS to final disposition of the case by settlement or court decision. The course will cover tax disputes, including IRS assessment authority, statutes of limitation on assessment, choice of forum, Tax Court jurisdiction, overpayments and refund procedures. Preparation of a short tax protest and Tax Court petition will be required. The course will be graded, with the grade based on an examination towards the end of the course that will be worth 60% of the final grade, and on evaluation of the writing projects. Enrollment limited to 25. Prerequisite: Income Tax.

Labor Arbitration LAW 499 2 Hours
This course will consider labor arbitration. Topics covered are judicial review of arbitration awards, ethics and professional responsibility of arbitrators, arbitration awards and public policy, arbitration and individual rights. Each student will be required to author two arbitration awards. Enrollment limited to 16. (pre req: Intro to Dispute Resolution) Seniors only. Not offered spring 2017.

Managing Law Practice LAW 629 2 Hours
This course explores the organizational setting of law practice through student simulations and guest appearances by practicing lawyers. Special attention is given to the management of law firms with fewer than ten lawyers. Subjects include partnership structure, client relations, malpractice insurance, computer applications, billing, financial planning, marketing, specialization, compensation, and the hiring process. One session is devoted to solo practice. Enrollment limited to 24.

Social Justice Lawyering Seminar LAW 2000 2 Hours
The poet, feminist scholar, and activist Audre Lorde stated “ . . . the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” But what of the master’s tools? How were they fashioned and how were they structured? For the litigator, the master’s tools are those of judicial narrative and interpretation. Lawyers use these tools to develop strategies and arguments that seek to maintain existing power structures or, if not to dismantle the master’s house, rearrange the furniture a bit to suit their client’s tastes. Teaching the effective wielding of these tools for the purpose of social justice lawyering is the goal of this course. Each student is required to complete a legal memo and a motion brief on a contemporary legal issue of their choosing and a reflection essay about their class experience. Grading will be based on the quality of the papers, class participation, and the completion of the reflection essay. No prerequisite. Numerically graded. Enrollment limited to 15. If they choose, students may opt to have this course satisfy the Advanced Skills requirement rather than the seminar requirement.

Trusts and Estates Drafting LAW 421 2 Hours
This course focuses on the design and drafting of estate planning documents. Substantive discussions are integrated into exercises in drafting documents used by estate and trust practitioners. These documents will include wills, trusts, and advance directives. Numerically graded. Limit 24. Prerequisite: Law of Wills and Intestate Succession. This course will satisfy the Advanced Writing requirement.

Fall & Spring Semester

Advanced Litigation Drafting LAW 534 2 Hours
This course will explore technical and strategic issues in the drafting of litigation documents such as briefs, complaints, answers, written discovery, affidavits, discovery schedules, pretrial orders, jury charges, releases and correspondence. The course will discuss the use and misuse of form books, and the viability of the “plain English” movement. The course will review some basic rhetorical strategies for maximizing the effect of favorable law and facts, or for minimizing the import of adverse law and facts. The course will examine good legal writing from the perspective of the Bench, and the Bar. In the context of litigation drafting, the course will offer students practical instruction about a litigation practice in general. The course will provide students with form litigation documents for their future use. Enrollment limited to 24. This course will satisfy the Advanced Writing requirement.

Contract Drafting LAW 519 2 Hours
The purpose of the course is to present students with a real world approach to drafting contracts. Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental working parts of a contract and how the basic principles of contract law are memorialized in various types of agreements. The course will provide an overview of the issues and processes involved in drafting contracts and transactional instruments. It will enable students to analyze the basic structure of contracts and other deal documents and to develop techniques used to efficiently create instruments with precision and clarity. Students will explore principles for understanding the common structures of transactional documents and their provisions, including their applicability to specific transactions. Contracts drafting will combine lectures with drafting exercises and two to four graded drafting assignments. The course will introduce the students to foundational concepts, including representations and warranties, covenants, rights, conditions, discretionary authority and declarations. Students will be exposed to how and why a drafter chooses a specific contract concept in terms of translating the business deal into the four corners of the agreement. The course will address the framework of an agreement and its various provisions, from the recitals to the signature lines, in each instance examining the business, legal and drafting issues that may arise. Students will learn approaches to good drafting and techniques to enhance clarity and avoid ambiguity in the context of the business deal. Students will also learn how to look at a deal from the client’s perspective and how to add value to a transaction by identifying business issues. In addition, the course will address ethical issues unique to contract drafting. Numerically graded. Limit 24 students. This course will satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement.

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 will satisfy the Advanced Writing requirement and the drafting course requirement for the Certificate in Legal Writing in the fifth semester and will satisfy the Advanced Skills requirement when taken in the sixth semester.

Public Defender Externship LAW 548 4 Hours
Students will assist in the defense of felony cases under the joint supervision of staff attorneys in local public defender offices and a professor responsible for the quality of the educational experience. The Clinic includes a mandatory seminar component. Students will be sworn in under the Supreme Court of Georgia Student Practice Rule, and will be able to appear in court under the supervision of an attorney. Training will be provided by the staff attorneys in local offices, by professors at the law school, and by other experts as available. The Clinic will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and requires an average of fourteen hours of fieldwork per week, in addition to outside classroom preparation and reflective journaling. Enrollment is limited to 15 third-year students. Permission of the professor is required to enroll. S/U