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


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.

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.

Spring Semester


Advanced Criminal Trial Techniques LAW 436 2 Hours
This course focuses on the strategy and tactics employed by trial lawyers in criminal cases. Topics include analysis of evidence, developing a theory of the case, plea negotiations, guilty pleas, witness interviews and preparation, jury selection, sentencing, and post-conviction remedies. The course will also address preparation of pre-trial motions, objections at trial, direct and cross-examination techniques, opening statements and closing arguments. Students will participate in exercises designed to strengthen their trial skills in these areas. Evidence and Trial practice are prerequisites. Enrollment limited to 24. Not offered spring 2014.

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.

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.

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.

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. Debtor/Creditor is a prerequisite. Enrollment limited to 16.

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.

Divorce Mediation LAW 650 2 Hours
The course is designed to enable students to develop skills needed by attorneys or mediators in mediations of divorce issues, including child custody, visitation, property division, and alimony. The course will consider, in addition to the skills of mediation, distinctions between mediation and other forms of settling disputes and substantive law issues relevant to mediation, such as confidentiality of the process and product of mediation. For students who do not meet the attendance requirement, a research paper is required. Family Law is a prerequisite. Enrollment limited to 24.

Effective and Affective Lawyering LAW 574 2 Hours
The course covers the psychology of lawyering as it relates to the effective practice of law. This course includes an in-depth study of the science and theory of personality and affective assessments used by mental health professionals. The student will be able to apply these theories and techniques to all areas of "lawyering," including selecting juries, developing and maintaining relationships with clients, witnesses, and other lawyers, as well as making persuasive arguments to judges. Enrollment limited to 24.

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. Pre-req Environmental Law or permission of instructor. 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 ont he 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 or equivalents experience with permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 24.

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.

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.

Patent Drafting & Prosecution LAW 654 2 Hours
This class will provide lecture and drafting exercises in drafting specifications, claims, and responses to office actions in patent prosecution practice. It will be a two hour graded course, taught once a week for two hours by synchronous video conferencing. Limit 20. Prerequisite: Patent Law and Litigation.

Process and Proc in State Debt/Cred Remedies LAW 3000 2 Hours
This is an advanced skills course in which students prosecute and defend against creditor claims through demand, litigation, and post-judgment recovery. The course emphasizes strategy, 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.