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Advanced Civil Procedure (3060)
This course will cover important aspects of advanced civil procedure including study of the theory and practice of class action litigation; multi district procedures; removal and remand (forum choices); uses of Rule 30(b)(6); electronic discovery; choosing a jury; proper methods to get information before the trier of fact; and protecting the record for appeal.
Advanced Indian Law (4314)
This course addresses several advanced topics in Federal Indian Law that cannot be covered in the basic survey course, including the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, strategies for finance and commercial transactions in Indian Country, and the scope and limits of state criminal jurisdiction over Indians in Minnesota.
Advanced Legal Research (4612)
This course provides strategies for conducting advanced legal research with an emphasis on how the Internet and advances in technology have changed society and the practice of law. It builds upon the research skills students acquired in the first-year WRAP Program and doctrinal courses. In addition to federal, state and local legal resources, the course will introduce students to alternative research sources and organizational tools, as well as strategies for successful interdisciplinary research. Students will explore the different approaches needed for policy and planning research versus transactional and litigation research. A combination of lectures, homework assignments, in-class exercises and other activities will allow students to apply research concepts in practical settings.
American Legal History (4660)
Examines major themes and developments in American legal history. The course begins with a focus upon the legal and jurisprudential foundations of the American Revolution and continues up through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Examples of topics addressed include: Federalist vs. Republican conceptions of national law; nineteenth century developments in the law of contract, property and business law; slavery; women; labor; the New Deal; Legal Realism and other American jurisprudential traditions; and the welfare state. Limited enrollment.
Animal Law: Selected Topics (4700)
The field of animal law has grown exponentially in recent years, capturing the attention of practioners and academicians as well as the general public. Far from being a homogeneous area of study, animal law draws from and impacts many facets of "traditional" legal practice. This course will explore how animal-law issues are pushing courts and legislatures to consider hybrid applications of law covering a variety of practice areas. Examples include awarding damages for emotional distress and loss of companionship in tort law; applying the "best interests" standard to animals in family law; patenting of various life forms in intellectual-property law; and using pet trusts in estate planning. In this class, we will look at animal-related legal issues touching on these and other legal areas, including criminal law, constitutional law, contracts and property. In addition to analyzing cases, we will address key federal statutes such as the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Students will be able to identify current trends in animal law and potential areas of development both nationally and internationally. They will be able to apply sound legal analysis and presentation skills to legal issues related to animals.
The course will utilize a combination of teaching techniques: case study discussions, short in-class writing exercises, mock negotiations, student and instructor presentations, guest lecturers, and panel discussions, Our approach is to provide a learning environment that encourages active student engagement through interactive exercises, student presentations, and individual explorations.
This course would be limited to 18 participants, including auditors, in order to maximize participation and discussion opportunities.
Grading: One short case analysis, presented orally (20%); 12-15 page course paper (60%); class participation (20%).
Prerequisite(s): None, but Torts, Property, Contracts, and Constitutional Law will be helpful.
Antitrust Survey (3190)
Surveys the antitrust field and legal restraints on economic activity. Focuses on trade practices prohibited by the Sherman, Clayton and FTC Acts, including monopolization, price-fixing, distribution restrictions, boycotts, and tying. Brief review of price discrimination and mergers. Some knowledge of basic economics is desirable but not necessary.
Appellate Law and Practice (8955)
This course will cover all aspects of the appellate process, beginning with preparation for appeal in the trial court or administrative agency.
The course will address recurring problems in handling appeals, and will use problem-solving exercises and diverse readings in appellate law and practice.
It will address issues of appellate advocacy, both written and oral, but will not be primarily a skills course.
Grades will be based on several written assignments, active participation in (and preparation for) class, and a final exam. The written work will not satisfy the long-paper requirement.
Apprenticeship Program (4301)
The Apprenticeship Program is an opportunity for students to bridge the gap between being a law student and becoming a lawyer. Targeted primarily at 2Ls, or 3Ls who have not yet had off-campus experience associated with attorneys, this course combines a one-on-one matching to an attorney, with a seminar component on campus that involves readings, discussion and guest speakers.
The Program includes two required field trips. There is also a writing requirement that is assigned by the Field Supervising Attorney, as well as weekly journaling and time-keeping. Student-Apprentices are required to play an active, substantive role in their Field Supervising Attorney’s work environment and to gain skills in critical thinking, writing, and analysis . This program is designed to give students an active and realistic glimpse of the legal profession, as well as creating a meaningful relationship with an attorney.
For more information about the program and to read evaluations of students and attorneys that have participated in this program, please visit the Apprenticeship Program webpage.
Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Law and the Visual Arts considers the relationship between the visual arts and a range of international, foreign, and domestic legal documents. It covers such varied topics as the nature and purpose of art, plunder, looting, and reparations, the illicit international trade in art and antiquities, intellectual property and moral rights in art, first amendment issues, and the roles and obligations of collectors and museums. At the election of the instructor, the course may be offered as either a limited enrollment seminar or as a lecture course. The course will satisfy the long paper requirement if offered as a seminar.
Grading: Letter graded. Seminar: Long paper, presentations, class participation, and attendance. Lecture: final exam, short presentations; class participation, and attendance.
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property I, Property II, Torts I, Torts II, WRAP
This seminar deals with the legal implications of assisted reproductive technologies on family formation. Topics will include sperm and egg donation, surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, and artificial insemination, as well as the constitutional underpinnings of procreative liberty. The course will pay particular attention to how the law defines parenthood and how that definition impacts families who use assisted reproductive technologies.
Grading: Letter-graded. Participation, presentation, paper.
Prerequisite(s): Family Law and Constitutional; Law - Liberties are recommended but not required prerequisites.
Biomedical Ethics (3100)
Covers the major issues in biomedical ethics today in a problem format. Among these issues are the concepts of health, disease, autonomy and paternalism, physicians' obligations and patients' rights, informed consent, human experimentation, the treatment of defective newborns, organ transplantation, refusal of life-prolonging treatment, abortion, surrogacy, AIDS, and allocation of scarce resources. Student participation is active and ongoing. Limited enrollment.
Grading: Paper (With the instructor's prior approval, may satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement.)
Prerequisite(s): Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law Liberties
Child Abuse and the Law (4590)
This course is for students who have an interest in public service and children´s issues. The course is designed to provide an overview of the prosecution process in civil and criminal cases involving child abuse and neglect. Students will learn the internal path of both a criminal child abuse case, as well as the civil process for protecting children from further abuse or neglect. This course will explore the necessity of working with a multi disciplinary team of professionals in preparing a case for the court process, as well as the necessary skills needed to communicate with child victims. The course will require observation of a criminal and civil child abuse case.
Grades will be based on an exam, short papers and practice exercises, and class participation.
Seminar focuses on federal and state policies underlying the civil child protection system. Topics explored include social science research on vulnerable children and parents; relevant constitutional rights of parents and children, and controversies related to concurrent planning, provision of reasonable efforts, and use of mediation.
Civil Rights Survey (3460)
This course will cover various substantive areas of civil rights law, including discrimination in housing, education, public accommodations, employment, voting, and law enforcement. The course will also explore tactical and theoretical considerations that are important to civil rights lawyers. Classes will involve case analysis, strategic small-group work, and other interactive activities to refine critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Grading: Exam or Paper (not eligible for Advanced Research and Writing requirement.)
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law Powers or Powers Intensive and Constitutional Law Liberties
The Law & Psychiatry Clinic is the exploration of intersections between psychiatry and mental illness and legal rules and procedures. This course concentrates on major issues in psychiatry and law. Outside speakers from legal, judicial, and psychiatric communities are invited as guest lecturers. This course includes lectures on assessment in forensic settings, competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, civil commitment and discussions on personality disorders and correctional environments. This course also includes the opportunity to view and participate in actual clinical assessments. This Clinic is comprised of psychiatric residents, psychology fellows and law students. All parties will be expected to read the case files, legal and psychiatric materials and come prepared for a healthy discussion on these issues. Additionally, all students will participate in mock testimony scenarios based on one or more of the case studies.
Closely Held Businesses (3475)
Considers some of the major issues involved in forming and operating a business whose ownership interests are not publicly traded. Entities considered include close corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), general partnerships (including limited liability partnerships), and limited partnerships (other than publicly-traded limited partnerships). Coverage varies, with topics selected from among the following: the concept of a closely held business, formation mechanics (public filings, agreements among owners, agreements with major lender), capital structure and pay-out mechanisms, management structure and fiduciary duties among owners; liability shield issues (guaranties, choice of law issues), exit issues (transfer restrictions, voluntary and involuntary exit, owner exit and owner guaranties of entity debt), claims by creditors (charging orders, impact of UCC Article 9, divorce and the closely held business owner), the role of the lawyer (issues relating to ethics, lawyer-client privilege and aiding and abetting liability), how regulatory law affects closely held businesses (e.g., whether owners of closely held businesses are "employees" for purposes of federal employment law). Tax and securities law issues are covered in other courses and are not central to this course.
Is the United States a unique country? There are many observers who note that America is a nation like no other in the entire world. Its history, its customs, its traditions, its diverse array of people, its constitutional principles, and politics -- these observers contend -- make the United States a country that is truly an exceptional one.
Yet, how valid is this claim? Some who study countries outside of the United States point out that, in fact, a number of nations appear to possess characteristics that closely resemble the American model. Other experts who also are familiar with countries aside from the United States, however, claim that while it is possible to draw a few similarities, on the whole, America remains a place that really cannot be compared to anywhere else.
Our goal for this course shall be to examine whether or not the United States really is an exceptional country. We shall approach this question by focusing on the constitutional principles and legal and political systems of certain countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. We will spend time studying the issue of constitutional rights in individual countries and how these rights may differ from country to country. We will also comparatively examine the intersection between constitutional theories and the legal institutions and legal actors within each country. Finally, we will return to look at the United States at the end of the course and evaluate the overall merits of the "American Exceptionalism" argument.
This course will examine the role lawyers play in promoting democracy in three countries - France, Indonesia and the United States. For each country, we will study the work lawyers do and the role they play in democratic reform efforts, how the bar is regulated and organized (or not), and how global pressures are changing legal practice. With this background, we will consider how lawyers’ status relates to the role lawyers play, both individually and collectively, in democratic reforms. Along the way, we will explore the meaning and various forms of "democracy," as well as related concepts such as "rule of law" and "transparency," and consider the relationship between democracy and justice. This course is for students interested in institutional reform, global legal practice, political science and philosophy.
A limited number of students enrolled in this course may also enroll in Comparative Law: Lawyers—Opponents of Democracy?—Field Placement, an optional one or two-credit field placement involving democracy-related legal work. Students who successfully complete both this course and the field placement course will receive a Keystone designation on their transcripts.
Grading: Paper (With instructor's prior approval, may be used to satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement.)
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law-Liberties.
This course uses an in-depth analysis of the Japanese legal system and the process of law in Japan to introduce students to comparative law methodology. By studying the law of a country with a radically different culture than our own (such as Japan), students learn what legislative and theoretical lessons they might apply to their own system. Toward these ends, specific areas of Japanese law are studied. For example, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Property, Torts, Labor Law, Human Rights, Intellectual Property and several more topics are covered. The required textbook for the course is Comparative Law: Law and the Legal Process in Japan 2nd Edition (available January 2003 Carolina Academic Press)(Port and McAlinn, eds.) This book is a standard course book written specifically for application in United States law schools. The book consists of translations of important cases by the Japanese Supreme Court (or other respected court) regarding each subject, followed by commentary by leading Japanese, American, Australian, etc., commentators on each subject. The book includes cultural and historical explanations that help to put the readings in context.
Comparative Property Rights (3508)
This course will examine how property rights (and in particular the rights to possess, use and exclude others from property) are allocated, protected and limited under different legal and economic systems. We will particularly focus on rights in natural resources and land. We will ask what implications regarding competing societal values and interests can be drawn from different property rights systems, and examine the role of law in shaping and giving expression to those values and interests.
Provides an introduction to federal constitutional limitations on governmental power to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate individuals, including stopping and detaining people, arrest, frisks, searches and seizures, custodial interrogations, right to counsel, identification procedures, confrontation, and double jeopardy.
Note: The following applies specifically to Criminal Procedure with Professor Edwards.
This course examines vital constitutional limitations on police and prosecutorial authority; specifically, limitations imposed by the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments. However, this course will not teach you how to conduct a criminal court proceeding. Don´t be mislead by the name.
There is no textbook for this course, which is good news and bad news for you. Good news, because you don´t have to buy a textbook. Bad news, because the cases we read are not redacted for you. They are whole opinions from which you must extract the critical facts and concepts (just as you´ll have to do in practice).
Construction Law (5600)
The construction industry -- comprised of owners and lenders, architects and engineers, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, sureties and insurers -- is perhaps the largest production segment of the American economy, and quite likely of the world economy. This industry-oriented course (1) addresses the law governing design and construction of America's built environment from commencement of design through completion of construction, (2) focuses on the application of legal principles of contract, tort, restitution and statute to the complex factual contexts of the design and construction process, and (3) explores significant "contextual" contract formation and administration issues unique to this process, including project delivery methods, contract types and industry contract forms, principles of allocation of risk, "contextual" implied warranties and duties, competitive bidding and negotiation selection procedures, changes and extras, differing site conditions, schedule delay and disruption, bonds and suretyship, insurance, payment, designer liability, governmental regulation, and damages.
Grading: Class participation and submission and presentation to the class of a 25 page paper. (With instructor's prior approval, may satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement.)
Prerequisite(s): Contracts, Torts I, Torts II
The primary emphasis of this course is on researching and presenting, in both oral and written form, an in depth scholarly analysis of an important contemporary issue related to intellectual property law. The oral discussions will take place in a weekly colloquium attended by the tenured and adjunct faculty of the IP Institute, as well as invited guests from the local IP community. Each week, a student will be paired with an interested faculty member to present alternative viewpoints regarding the selected contemporary topic in the broad field of intellectual property law (i.e. patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets). Selections of topics will be made by the Faculty Coordinator, in consultation with the IP Institute faculty. Grades based on weekly student and faculty lead discussions, and a final graded scholarly paper. This paper may be used to satisfy the long paper requirement.
Corporate Finance (3620)
Surveys the rights and obligations of the stockholders and creditors of a corporation. The course addresses the concepts of stated capital, surplus, par value shares, the rules relating to dividends and redemption of stock, the competing interests of stockholders and creditors, and the tools used to allocate risk between stockholders and creditors. The course also covers the rules of corporate governance in the context of change of control transactions.
Emphasizing Minnesota practice, this course examines from a prosecution and defense perspective the problems and tactics arising during the stages of a criminal proceeding, including preparation of a case, pretrial release, evidentiary issues, defenses, the trial, plea negotiations and sentencing alternatives, post-conviction remedies, and procedure and sample pleadings throughout the course. Limited enrollment.
Criminal Procedure, Advanced (3020)
This course examines the process of criminal litigation commencing with the filing of charges and continuing through post-conviction, as affected by relevant U.S. constitutional provisions and opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court. The range of topics possibly addressed includes prosecutorial discretion, preliminary examination and grand jury, pre-trial detention and bail, plea negotiations and pleas, right to a speedy trial and confrontation, discovery, jury instructions and sentencing issues, double jeopardy, and post-conviction remedies.
Disability Law Seminar (3834)
This course will offer a history of the disability rights movement through a survey of federal disability law. Readings will include primary and secondary materials on such federal legislation as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended in 2008), IDEA, and other federal protections against disability-based discrimination. Students will be expected to write a substantial (25 pages or more) paper on an underdeveloped or controversial aspect of disability law and present this paper to the class in the final weeks of the semester. Grading will be based on the final paper plus class attendance and participation. No exam. Enrollment limited to 15.
Drug and Device Law Seminar (3006)
This course examines the role of the Food and Drug Administration in the regulation of prescription drugs and medical devices, the tort liability of drug and device manufacturers, the novel legal issues that arise from the acknowledged risks and side-effects associated with the use of such products, the role of physicians in prescribing them, and the policy-based legislative limits on the liability of those who develop and manufacture them. The course may also include a discussion of the economics of new products innovation.
Grading: Letter-graded. Grades will be based on long papers, shorter papers on readings, in-class paper presentations and class participation.
Prerequisite(s): Products Liability Seminar is recommended.
This course is intended to introduce law students to the law and policy relating to public education (K-12) in the United States. The course will examine the authority of the state to compel attendance, regulate the contents of curriculum, the control and discipline of students and teachers, the relationship between public schools and religion, freedom of expression, tort liability, maltreatment of minors, equal education opportunity under Title IX, Title VI, bilingual education statutes and the educational rights of disabled children.
Elder Law (3836)
This course covers the legal issues affecting the older population, including special ethical issues implicated in an elder law practice, planning for retirement, health care, and property decision-making in the event of incapacity, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, alternative housing arrangements, elder abuse, guardianship and conservatorship, and legal and ethical issues at the end of life.
Electronic Discovery (3553)
Analyzes the rules and cases that provide the legal framework for electronic discovery in civil cases and the admissibility of digital evidence. With over 90% of all information now being created in electronic form - and close to 100 billion e-mails being sent daily - electronic discovery has become one of the most important and controversial topics in litigation.Grades based on the final exam, subject to increase from class participation.
Employment Discrimination (3860)
Examines state and federal law governing employment discrimination, recent case law and statutory developments, and explores practice areas, e.g., enforcement agencies, plaintiffs' and defendants' representation, judicial and legislative process.
This course will examine the formal and informal legal regimes (state, federal and international) governing the acquisition, control, exploitation and preservation of natural resources, such as oil, wind, water, forest, wildlife, and wilderness. The course explores the philosophical, historical, and economic underpinnings of different natural resource legal regimes, and the roles of property rights, custom, and force in their maintenance and modification.
Depending on class size, grading will be based either on a final paper or final exam. Final paper topics will be chosen in consultation with the Professor.
This course focuses on natural resources owned and managed by the federal government. It will also discuss state natural resource management as time permits.
The federal government owns approximately one-third of the nation’s land. The resources found on or below these lands have enormous economic, recreational and aesthetic values. Because of the time constraints and the breadth of or nation’s resources the course will focus on the public lands and water resources. It will, however, look at public lands and water from a systems perspective, looking at the interrelationships between land and water development, preservation, environmental review, endangered species, wilderness protection, etc. This class will not focus solely on the legal aspects of resource management but will also include an historical perspective, policy analysis and cultural issues related to resource management as we move into the 21st Century.
Whether the federal government, the state government or private individuals should own the nations natural resources and how these resources should be managed has been the subject of extensive public debate on the local, state, and national level. Debate over these issues is not only grounded in our historic economic structure but also raises issues central to our federal system of government and cultural notions regarding how resources should be valued. To a large extent this course is a survey of these controversies and class discussions will reflect the many divergent values and ideas that are such an important part of this national debate.
This class also requires some basic understanding of American history and principles of American government, public administration and administrative law. For the most part these matters will be covered during the first 4-5 weeks of this class.
Estate and Gift Taxation (8103)
Covers taxation of gratuitous transfers under the federal estate and gift tax codes, including taxable inter vivos gifts, the annual exclusion, gift splitting, the gift tax marital deduction, the gift tax charitable deduction, gift taxation of powers of appointment, the burden of the gift tax, estate taxation of owned interests, property transferred inter vivos with retained interest and powers, property subject to powers of appointment, property transferred in contemplation of death, jointly-owned property, life insurance proceeds, annuities and employer death benefits, the estate tax marital deductions, the estate tax charitable deduction, estate tax credits, estate tax deductions, the burden of estate tax, and gift and estate tax valuation problems.
Prerequisite(s): Estates and Trusts or Estates and Trusts Survey; Taxation of Income is recommended prerequisite.
Credits: 2 or 3 credits depending on the offering. Credit level for a specific section will be listed in the course schedule.
European Union Law (3840)
The course provides an overview of the European Union, with a focus on the constitutional, economic, and institutional aspects of the Union. Includes discussions regarding the origin of the European Union; its institutions; the legislative, executive and judicial processes of the European Community; the normative relationship between the European Union legal order and the member states; the economic law aspects of the common market, with special focus on the customs union and the four freedoms (movement of goods, persons, services and capital); and the relationship between the Union and other European and international institutions, such as the Council of Europe. Students become familiar with the primary sources of law involved, such as the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the European Community, and major secondary legislation. Current topics include the Draft Constitutional Treaty for the European Union, the ongoing development of the second and third "pillars" of the Union, and developments regarding the Economic and Monetary Union.
Studies the theory and practice of the Rules of Evidence. Emphasizes the analysis and interpretation of codified rules and common law principles pertaining to foundation, relevancy, character evidence, privileges, witnesses, expert testimony, scientific evidence, hearsay, authentication of real evidence, and documentary evidence. Designed to facilitate understanding of the uses of evidentiary rules in the preparation and trial of cases in state and federal courts.
It is recommended that students take Evidence prior to or concurrent with Advocacy.
Evidence II (2512)
Evidence II picks up where Evidence leaves off. It will focus on certain advanced doctrinal topics such as scientific evidence and privileges. The course will explore in detail, for example, the Daubert framework and the rules governing expert testimony. It will examine special and emerging topics in scientific evidence, such as the admissibility of "syndrome" evidence. It will also examine evidentiary privileges, including the attorney-client privilege, other relationship-based privileges, and the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination. In addition to examining federal law governing these topics, Evidence II will also examine state law variations, with a particular emphasis on Minnesota practice.
Students intern with judges of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and participate in a variety of court and clerking activities and attend appellate arguments. Students are assigned to individual judges by the Chief Judge. Students must have regular daytime hours available in order to fulfill the time requirements.
The Court of Appeals typically has only one or two openings.
Students intern with state court judges, magistrates or referees (occasionally with a federal judge). Students participate in a variety of clerking activities, attend chamber discussion, and observe trials and hearings. Class meetings will be held to discuss topics related to judicial ethics and the judicial process. Students must have regular daytime hours available in order to fulfill time requirements for the course.
Students are placed in externships with federal judges, assisting the judge in a variety of chambers activities. The externship may be taken for either 2, 3 or 4 credits (requiring either 100, 150 or 200 work hours during the semester). The number of credits will depend in part on the preferences of participating judges. In addition, students meet regularly with the course professor and complete written and other assignments. Students must apply to be admitted to the program. Applications will be reviewed by members of the Judicial Clerkship Committee and, in some cases, by participating judges. Preference will be given to students who (1) will be third-year full-time and fourth-year part-time students during Fall 2012, (2) are in the top 15% of their class and (3) have significant writing experience (for example Law Review, Law Journal or Moot Court). To apply, send an email with your resume, transcript and carefully-written short essay (400 words or less) that explains why you want to participate in the program, to Karen Vander Sanden at email@example.com. Please indicate in the email how many credits you are interested in earning for this experience. Applications will be reviewed by members of the Judicial Clerkship Committee. You will be notified if you have received an externship prior to registration.
Independent Externship is a for-credit course, in which the student takes responsibility for much of his or her own learning by working in a field placement site under the guidance of a field supervisor (must have a J.D.) and faculty supervisor. Placement sites can be for profit or nonprofit entities, such as law firms, corporations, county and state offices and nonprofit agencies. To gain credit, students need to follow the program criteria, including completing an Education Agreement. The Agreement must contain the student’s learning goals and a description of field activities.
More information and criteria on externships: Independent Externship.
Grading: Pass/fail. Externship requirements to be arranged.
Prerequisite(s): Co-requisite: Professional Responsibility
Credits: 1 or 2 (a student may take a maximum of 4 Independent Externship credits during his or her law school career)
Independent Judicial Externship is a for-credit course, in which the student finds his or her own judicial placement. A student enrolled in an independent judicial externship is responsible for his or her own learning by working under the guidance of the judge and faculty supervisor. To gain credit, students need to follow the program criteria, including completing an Education Agreement. The Agreement must contain the student’s learning goals and a description of field activities.
More information and criteria on externships: Independent Externship.
Federal Indian Law (4313)
Formerly titled Indian Law
Examines the legal and historical basis for the relationship between Indian tribes and the state and federal governments. Emphasizes present problems of civil and criminal jurisdiction, protection of Indian resources, Indian gaming, economic development, taxation and regulation of Indians and non-Indians in Indian Country, and tribal sovereignty.
Federal Jurisdiction (4060)
Studies the principal jurisdictional problems encountered in the federal courts. The course includes an in-depth analysis of diversity and federal question jurisdiction, suits against government officials, federal injunctions of state court proceedings, the abstention doctrine, the Eleventh Amendment and sovereign immunity, the Erie doctrine, and cross-jurisdictional preclusion.
Feminist Jurisprudence (4070)
Feminist jurisprudence has been called one of the most important movements in legal scholarship today. Feminist scholars argue that the traditional body of law reflects the male emphasis on rights and abstractions while ignoring the distinctive perspectives of women. Scholarship spans every area of law, from sexual harassment to battered wives who kill their husbands; from the "no duty to rescue" rule to redefining fundamental legal concepts like what constitutes an injury. This course involves a review of selected issues in an effort to reconcile the law with the female experience. Limited enrollment.
First Amendment Seminar (4102)
Analyzes First Amendment theory, including freedom of speech, press, and the religion clauses. The focus is on First Amendment theory and applications in a variety of cases. All students write a paper and make a class presentation on the substance of the topic they decide to research. Limited enrollment. NOTE: THIS COURSE CAN NOT BE DROPPED AFTER THE START OF THE SEMESTER.
Grading: Paper (With instructor's prior approval, paper may satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement.)
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law Powers or Powers Intensive and Constitutional Law Liberties.
Food Law and Policy Seminar (1957)
This course will explore some of the many legal issues related to food, from farm to fork and beyond. It will review basic regulatory issues - the roles of FDA, USDA, and other agencies in regulating food production and safety, FDA approval of ingredients and oversight of labeling and marketing, and local menu labeling standards, for example. Seminar participants will also consider agricultural law topics such as organic standards, regulation of genetically engineered crops and animals, pesticide use, and national farm policy, and may explore issues of personal responsibility and tort claims arising from food consumption (such as recent litigation about obesity and E coli outbreaks.)
Because this is a seminar, participants will play an active role in presenting material. Grading will be based on two short projects, a presentation, and a final exam. Interested students may also write their long papers for independent research credit in conjunction with the course.
Grading: Letter graded. The grade is based on short written exercises, a research paper, and an in-class presentation.
Prerequisite(s): No prerequisites. Administrative Law is a recommended prerequisite.
This course is designed for students with an interest in human resources management, but with little or no formal background. Students will learn the fundamentals of key HR topics, including compensation, benefits, selection, retention, employee relations, and human resource development. Students learn how HR professionals combine legal and nonlegal factors to come to sound decisions for employers and employees alike.
The course will operate in partnership with World Without Genocide, a human rights organization at William Mitchell. Students will participate in selected advocacy efforts at local, state, and national levels to prevent genocide; participate in programs to raise awareness about current conflicts; connect with local refugee communities to understand their legal and social challenges after genocide; and research lawyers’ involvement in both supporting genocide and in its prevention, materials that will be made widely available to educators around the country.We will look at the uniqueness and similarities of genocides to understand decisions to eliminate innocent people; the legal structures that supported genocide; laws and policies of peacekeeping; and post-genocide issues of justice, prosecution, and reparations. We will conclude by examining global efforts to protect civilians whose governments are unwilling or unable to do so.
Introduces students to the fundamentals of public health law, including those constitutional, administrative, and statutory provisions that empower or mandate government to act for the health of the community and those that curtail the state’s power to do so. Covers the major issues in public health law today, including testing for and reporting of communicable diseases; sensitive health information, the fourth amendment and the duty to warn; tobacco litigation as a public health strategy; the role of law in addressing the obesity epidemic; and emergency legal preparedness.
This survey course familiarizes students with the policy and legal issues facing health care professionals, institutions and payors. The course examines problems arising from medical errors; the struggle to balance the need for quality care against rising costs; confidentiality obligations; patients rights; and the role of tort liability and government regulation in maintaining a level of quality in our health care system. The curriculum focuses on cases applying administrative and common law, as well as a variety of statutory schemes.
This course covers the structure and finance of healthcare enterprises. Particular focus will be placed on tax exempt healthcare organizations, access to healthcare, the duties of physicians and hospitals to treat, the structure of public healthcare programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and other governmental programs), the impact of fraud and abuse on the health care system in the United States, and antitrust implications of structural arrangements. Students will examine the role of state private health insurance and managed care providers n the context of state and federal statutory and regulatory schemes, including ERISA .
This course provides a survey of U.S. treatment of foreign refugee and political asylees and a comparison to international humans rights law and policy. Students will examine relevant regulations, statutes, and international treaties, including Convention Against Torture. Students will study key administrative and judicial decisions that provide the framework for US refugee law. Students will gain familiarity with procedural and substantive rules and the appeal structure. Topics include but are not limited to definition of "persecution"- both objective and subjective, affirmative applications for asylum versus defensive claims, exclusion and exceptions to eligibility for political asylum, refugee applicants and the role of US embassies and NGOs, and the demands on attorneys- both intellectual and emotional, when working with victims of persecution.
Independent Research (4255)
Independent research credit is granted only for studies that involve topics not discussed in courses offered by William Mitchell, or for studies that explore in considerable depth topics covered in courses already completed. Independent projects are rigorous and time-consuming. All projects must include in-depth legal research, original analysis, and a demonstrable work product. No approval will be given for a program of research undertaken for another activity, such as a seminar, for which credit has previously been received. (Note: a student may extend a course paper to satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement, but no additional credit will be given for such work.)
Some projects approved in the past have included empirical research or other forms of creative research appropriate for intellectual study. A student must devote considerable thought and research before submitting a proposal to the supervising instructor and to the Independent Research and Internship with a Professor Coordinator.
The Proposal: The Independent Research Proposal should include the following:
-Hours of credit requested (0-4 credit hours)
-Thesis (purpose of paper and explanation of the topic)
-Scope (e.g. review of state or federal law, historical or contemporary, other)
-Methodology (e.g. empirical research, legal research and analysis, other)
-Work product (e.g. paper-including page length, proposed legislation, video tape, other)
-Dates for submitting drafts and final work product
The Independent Research and Internship with a Professor Coordinator may approve the independent research with conditions attached.
Approval: Only after a full-time member of the faculty consents to supervise the study and signs the form may the student submit the proposal to the Independent Research and Internship with a Professor Coordinator. Adjunct professors may not supervise Independent Research projects. (Note: adjunct professors may supervise long papers, but only in the context of long paper courses.)
Independent research proposals must be submitted to the Independent Research and Internship with a Professor Coordinator for approval by the end of the second week of the semester (or first week of the summer session) in which the student wishes to receive the credit.
Advanced Research and Writing (“Long Paper”): If the independent research is intended to fulfill the Advanced Research and Writing requirement, see additional guidelines listed under Advanced Research and Writing at www.wmitchell.edu/academics/policies/advanced-research-writing-long-paper.asp.
Grading: All projects undertaken for academic credit must be letter graded.
Credits: Most independent research projects are approved for 1 or 2 credits. It is anticipated that the written work product exceeds twenty-five pages in length and involves multiple drafts before a grade is granted by the supervising instructor. Projects of three or four credits are rarely approved. Projects of this magnitude which have been approved in the past have involved empirical research, substantial work with non-legal documents, or significant research involving an extensive review of legislative history. Those projects also involved a written work product in excess of fifty pages, excluding footnotes, and were of publishable quality.
Note that during a student’s time at Mitchell, a total of four credits for Independent Research is the maximum allowed, regardless of the number of projects.
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Insurance Law (4340)
Examines the law relating to insurance contracts, with a focus on how to read, analyze, and work with insurance policies. The course concentrates on the law governing construction of insurance policies, and attention is given to analyzing the major issues raised by various types of insurance policies, including analysis of coverage provisions and exclusions, conditions of coverage, the effect of representations, and insurer liability.
Insurance Law - ONLINE COURSE (DWM4340)
Standard 2 credit Insurance Law coverage using a casebook dealing with the concept and history of insurance, insurance contract formation and interpretation, regulation of insurance, fire and property insurance, life health and disability insurance, liability insurance, liability insurance defense and settlement, and automobile insurance.
The course will be taught entirely over the Internet using Blackboard software and without face-to-face meetings.
The course includes the following component parts:
- Weekly reading assignments from the casebook
- Augmented as appropriate by other assigned readings to be posted on Blackboard
- Powerpoint slides (teaching notes) posted weekly accompanied by explanatory recorded lectures
- A separate asynchronous discussion forum each week to serve as a discussion vehicle for any issue raised by a student or students and arising within the assigned reading for that week
- Based on the reading assignments a weekly “Problem of the week” posted by the instructor as a discussion forum inviting asynchronous exchange
- Periodic short problems and/or quizzes requiring the submission of individual answers by email (these will not meet the “long paper” requirement)
These component parts provide a number of different opportunities for formal and informal interaction between both students and the instructor and among the students themselves. Examples of formal interaction include Powerpoint slides (teaching notes) posted in advance on Blackboard and accompanied by explanatory recorded lectures, the “Problem of the week” discussion forum, the periodic short problems to be submitted individually, and the periodic short quizzes. Examples of informal interaction with the instructor as well as among the students include the weekly asynchronous discussion forum, the “Problem of the week” forum, and the email capabilities within Blackboard.
To be allowed to register for this course students will need to have regular access to a computer with:
- Microsoft Powerpoint and Word
- A sound card
- Capability to access the William Mitchell Home Page and through that page the Blackboard software program.
- Microsoft XP operating system may be required to access the recorded lectures attached to the Powerpoint slides. In case of difficulty, the lectures will be provided in CD format so as to be available with the Powerpoint slides.
The student will also need to have a student email account at William Mitchell.
Grading: Final "take home" exam
Prerequisite(s): None, but the course will be made available only as an upper division elective in accordance with the American Bar Association requirement.
The management of an intellectual property law practice poses unique challenges, including avoidance of subject matter conflicts of interest, compliance with the duty of candor, maintenance of complex docketing systems and complicated prosecution deadlines, establishment of atypical billing structures, and management of constructive relations with both inventors and corporate counsel. This course will focus on the ways in which intellectual property law firms and in-house intellectual property law departments confront those issues, as well as how they generally manage financial, human, and information technology resources, in order to meet the needs of their intellectual property clients and provide excellence in legal service.
Grading: Pass/Fail, based on: (1) a 6-8 page analytical paper and presentation on one aspect of intellectual property law practice management; and (2) participation in class discussions
Prerequisite(s): Any one Intellectual Property course
Credits: 1 credit
The course introduces students to the growing body of individual responsibility for the criminal acts of both governmental and non-governmental actors that have come into being following the WW-II Tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo. It will examine those historical experiences and the UN Ad Hoc Tribunals for Yugoslavia, Rwanda and the UN/National Tribunals for Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Lebanon...as well as the International Criminal Court, which was brought into being by the Treaty of Rome in the year 2000. The course will draw from Prof. Erlinder’s personal experience as Lead Defence Counsel at the UN Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and as President of ADAD(Associations des Avocats de la Defense)...his own writings and pleadings submitted to the ICTR, as well as selected readings from a range of sources.
This seminar is limited to 21-students.
Internship with a Professor (4285)
The work of a law professor involves scholarship, teaching and service. Students will have the opportunity to work with a law professor on selected projects.
The professor and student will agree on specific learning objectives and appropriate work product. Students will complete 50 hours of work for each credit earned. Students will report hours directly to the supervising professor.
The student must submit a cover sheet with a proposal that (1)describes the project(s) the student will be working on; (2)explains the specific tasks the student will be completing: and (3)lists the student´s learning objectives for the semester. Proposals must be approved by the Independent Research and Internship with a Professor Coordinator.
Grading: Pass/Fail grading.
Prerequisite(s): Prerequisites vary depending on the project undertaken and will be determined by the supervising professor.
Credits: 1-2 credits per semester (no more than 4 credits per student across semesters). Student may not receive monetary payment (such as work-study) for work completed.
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Introduction to Islamic Law (4300)
This course is an introduction to Islamic legal theories and their history, focusing both on classical and contemporary applications of Islamic law. This course illustrates the ancient and modern Schools of Islamic law, the opposition movements, and the traditions. It will analyze the relationship between religion and law, state and religion and politics and law in Islam. The course provides an overview of modernist legislation. It analyzes the differences between Islamic radicalism, traditionalism, and modernism and their impact on Islamic legal theories. The course introduces students to comparative studies and practical legal problems which lawyers may face when working with Muslim clients. It provides an overview of Islamic law approaches to contracts, property, family, inheritance, criminal and penal law, constitution, human rights, mediation and arbitration.
Grading: Letter graded. The evaluation will be: class participation and attendance (20%), research paper and presentation in the middle of the semester (40%) and final exam (40%).
Introduction to Tribal Law (3010)
This course provides a broad overview of the most important issues involved in tribal legal studies, including an overview of tribal governments, the history of tribal court systems, the modern day structure and operations of tribal courts, and tribal criminal and civil jurisdiction. The course addresses the development of tribal common law, the incorporation of tribal custom and tradition into tribal laws and institutions, separation of powers within tribal governments, inter-tribal appellate courts, and implementation of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms such as peacemaking courts. Grades are based on a paper and class participation.
The major international law treaties in copyrights and trademarks are studied, including the Berne Convention, the Madrid Agreement and Protocol, and TRIPs. Additionally, important regional agreements in copyrights and trademarks are covered, including NAFTA and the European Union. Furthermore, the principal distinctions between civil law and common law systems of jurisprudence will be analyzed, with an eye on predicting the future impact and development that these distinctions will have on the international copyright and trademark law.
Grading: The evaluation for this class is twofold. First, one half of the grade is based on a 10-15 page paper. Parameters, topics and resources will be announced in class. Second, one half of the grade is based on in class performance. In class performance includes "teaching" one class. Each student is assigned a one hour block of the class to teach. That student researches and prepares to teach an assigned topic, lectures where appropriate and leads discussion where appropriate.
Prerequisite(s): One of the following; Copyright Law, Trademark Law, or Intellectual Property Foundations.
The course will present a comparative study of certain features of foreign patent laws. It will also overview the major multilateral treaties that govern the transnational assertion of patent protection of United States laws that are specifically directed to the protection of U.S. patent rights against foreign activities
IP - Copyright Law, Advanced (3611)
Building on the foundation established in Copyright Law, this course helps equip students to become participants in the national discussion over copyright. Course readings will include cases and the works of leading copyright scholars. Topics covered will change as U.S. copyright law develops. Representative subjects include copyrightability of computer-generated works, new categories of authorship, copyright infringement on the internet, the theoretical underpinnings of copyright, and issues in the copyright protection of music disseminated over the Internet.
IP - Entertainment Law (3900)
This course applies advanced legal principles to the specialized practice areas that compose "entertainment law." Through case studies, industry-related readings, and class discussions, the course will analyze the application of constitutional law, intellectual property law, contract law and tort law to the fields of film, music, publishing, television and radio, and emerging technology. Also discussed will be the unique role of agents and managers in the entertainment industry, and the professional ethics issues faced by attorneys who work as entertainment agents and managers. Copyright Law is a prerequisite for registering for this class; a working knowledge of basic copyright law is presumed. The course does not cover sports law.
This course is designed for students who intend to be general corporate commercial attorneys and not specialists in intellectual property. The course is designed to give such a student a general background in all of the major areas of intellectual property including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and publicity. The course content may change to be responsive to the needs of a corporate attorney. Students who take this course may elect to take other intellectual property courses. Concepts covered wi11 include the basic elements of patentability, the scope of the patent right, basic issues in copyright protection including originality and infringement, the nature of the trademark right including the substantive elements of trademark protection, the scope of the trademark right, dilution, infringement and remedies.
IP - Trademark Law (5502)
Provides an in depth analysis of the fundamental issues involved in protecting indicia of source. The basics concepts in trademark, trade dress, and unfair competition are covered. The subject matter of trademark law, the scope of trademark rights, infringement, defenses and remedies are presented. This course also covers the protection of trademarks when registered as domain names under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy.
Juvenile Justice (4583)
Examines the procedural and substantive law and judicial administration of the courts in the area of juvenile delinquency. Primary concentration is on rights of accused delinquents, detention and police conduct, constitutional protection, trial, adjudication, reference for adult prosecution, treatment, and the proper function of the lawyer and the court in the juvenile court system.
Labor Law (4500)
Surveys the development and current status of federal labor law, primarily the National Labor Relations Act. The course concentrates on the organizational and other NLRA rights of employees, including employees who are not represented by a labor organization; employer and union interference with those rights; the collective bargaining process and the enforcement of collective bargaining agreements; strikes, lock-outs and consumer boycotts; and the impact of federal labor law on state regulation of the employment relationship.
The course provides an overview of accounting and finance concepts and the practical uses of accounting and financial information. Topics will include the application of accounting data and finance principles to assess business performance, attract capital, make investments, evaluate and compensate employees, and make other business decisions. Students will work on exercises that apply accounting and finance methodologies to establish strategies, solve problems, and achieve business objectives.
The course provides an overview of key regulations that impact business operations and the compliance strategies that businesses use to comply with such regulations. Topics will include regulation in the areas of anti-corruption, competition, employment, financial reporting, and health and safety. The course will also focus on the federal sentencing guidelines, whistleblower legislation, attorney ethical obligations when faced with potential enterprise criminal activity, and effective compliance procedures and practices. Students will benefit from hearing local business leaders share their experience in managing compliance related responsibilities. Students also will gain hands-on experience from working on exercises and case studies that apply the principles covered in the course.
The Commercial Leasing Seminar is a two-credit course designed to introduce law students to a key practice area of real estate law: the representation of lessors, tenants, and lenders in the evaluation, drafting, and negotiation of commercial leases. We will focus largely on office leases, but when especially appropriate or informative, we will examine lease provisions in the retail lease context as well. Students who participate in the Commercial Leasing Seminar class sessions and complete the reading and other assignments throughout the semester will learn about the legal issues as well as the business considerations that drive this real estate practice area. Students also will cultivate their negotiation and drafting skills by completing a series of solo and small-group exercises designed to simulate the work of real estate lawyers who represent commercial lessors, tenants, and lenders in commercial leasing transactions. This course does not include writing tutorials, so it is best-suited for students who already are good writers.
Grading: A student’s final grade in the Commercial Leasing Seminar will be based on (i) the quality of the student’s responses to the drafting, negotiation, and problem-solving exercises administered during the semester and (ii) the student’s preparation for and participation in the 14 class sessions. There will be no final exam, but there probably will be a complex final drafting assignment.
Prerequisite(s): Pre-requisites—Property I and Property II. Recommended related courses: Real Estate Transactions, Finance and Development of Commercial Real Estate, Secured Transactions, Transactions and Settlements.
Credits: 2 credits
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Law and the Justice of War (4992)
This course will examine some of the jurisprudential and legal issues presented by past wars and the current “war” against terrorism. This will include examination of related case law, legislation, and public policy, as well as ethical, moral and religious dilemmas posed in the development of war law and policy. We will study the relevant Supreme Court opinions that circumscribe the Court’s recognition and restriction of civil liberties in time of war and seek to articulate the balance between the Presidential war powers and civil liberties. We will examine the effect of war on essential civil liberties at each stage of our history including the effect on freedom of speech and press, freedom from arbitrary detention, and racial (Koramatsu) and religious discrimination. The due process rights of the Guantanamo Bay detainees and the pending litigation testing the suspension of habeas corpus (2006 Military Commission Act) will receive particular attention. The course will also survey the positions of faith traditions in the U.S.—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—as to war and peace, and the role they play in the formation of war-making jurisprudence. Should faith have such a role? In particular we will analyze and rethink the Just War tradition which is the historical root of the Western legal tradition of the law of war. We will also consider other ethical and moral sources we might turn to in developing standards on the legality and conduct of war.
Law Beyond Borders (4351)
This course is a broadly elementary introduction to Foreign, Comparative and International Law. It is designed for two groups of students. First, the course is designed for those students who have not yet determined their level of interest in these areas, and who would like to learn more about them in an introductory course. Second, the course is also designed for those students who know they are interested in these areas, and who would like to take an introductory course as preparation for later study in these areas at the College. The course covers Introductory Public International Law, Conflict of Laws, Introductory Comparative Law, the interplay between International Law and U.S. Constitutional Law, and various related issues. The course serves as an introduction to legal rules and institutions that affect U.S. persons, but relate to laws external to the U.S. (Professors Erstling, Konar-Steenberg, Port and Winer; 1 Semester Unit; Essay Exam.)
Lawyers and Leadership (1024)
This course explores the special role of the lawyer as a leader in order to prepare prospective lawyers to understand, develop, and accept complex leadership roles. The course will examine the major theories of leadership, discuss the traits and qualities that make for good leaders, and reflect on important ethical issues for lawyers in their leadership roles. The course draws on the extensive body of leadership literature and will use case studies to emphasize fundamental principles of leadership and provide students with a larger historical awareness of the role of a lawyer as a leader. The ways in which leadership concepts lead to leadership actions will be explored in discussions with acknowledged lawyer-leaders who will share their reflections on the importance of the leadership provided by lawyers in various professional and community settings.
Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice is a seminar offered jointly by the four Minnesota Law schools. The class meets at a different law school each year (Hamline in 2013) and is open to students from all four schools. This class is not an internship, but rather a three-credit research course.
Class will meet on Fridays from 1:50 - 4:30 PM (room 240A - School of Law Bldg.)at Hamline Law School in Spring 2013 and will be taught by Professor Failinger. Due to varying academic schedules, this class will meet on January 25; February 1, 8, 22; March 1, 15; April 5, 12, 19, 26.
During the class, students choose research topics from the LSEJ research topic list and work singly or insmall groups to produce research papers that advance equal justice. Classroom sessions focus on thedevelopment of project topics, research skills needed for equal justice issues, policy analysis and problem solving, working collaboratively, the role of the public interest lawyer, and additional topics of interest to the seminar participants. Class members are linked with the attorneys whose legal issues generated their projects. These attorneys serve as "field contacts" to help supervise the project.
In addition, students spend approximately twenty hours on field work (either with their field contacts or other local public interest practitioners) to gain an understanding of public interest practice in general, the legal issues involved in their individual projects, and the real world implications of their topics.Students’ completed works are presented before a CLE audience of lawyers and are made available topractitioners, students, faculty and others on the LSEJ website.
Presents an overview of the legislative process through lectures, readings, speakers, and a series of drafting exercises. Covers a range of topics pertaining to legislative advocacy, including the legislative process, developing an effective legislative strategy, ethics in lobbying, effective representation of clients before the legislature, the role of the executive and judicial branches, and careers at the legislature. The motivation to actively participate in class sessions is critical to successful completion of the course.
Familiarizes students with some of the special legal and practical principles involved in complex litigation. The course exposes students to the tools used by lawyers and the courts to deal with the problems of complex litigation, and also addresses some of the unanswered issues concerning these cases. The course examines advocacy and management problems common to all complex cases and discusses the means of solving these problems both within and outside the judicial system, and the Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation´s role in the process.
Media Law (3530)
This class is about the First Amendment and the Free Press. We will discuss a selection of the legal issues generated by the activities of the mass media. We will consider regulations of print, broadcast, and electronic media, including laws that govern obscenity and pornography, laws aimed at balancing free press and fair trial rights, and laws meant to preserve multiple voices in a market. We will explore publication-related issues such as libel and invasion of privacy, and newsgathering-related issues such as the extent of the reporter’s privilege and restrictions on access to information. We will examine common law, regulatory law including Federal Communications Commission regulations, and statutory law including the Freedom of Information Act, but the primary focus of the course will be on how the First Amendment limits governmental control over the media.
The final grade will be based on class participation, an exam, and preparation of a paper on a topic selected by the student and approved by the professor. With the professor’s prior approval, students may prepare a "long paper" to satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement.
This is a seminar course with limited enrollment.
Medical Malpractice (4830)
Examines medical and legal aspects of litigation against physicians, hospitals, and other allied health professionals with consideration given to dilemmas of medical ethics not adequately addressed by the tort system.
The National Native American Law Students’ Association (National NALSA) Moot Court Competition examines issues of importance to the Native American community. Students serve on two-person teams of their choosing. The problem is distributed on or by November 1st of each year, and each team is assigned to write an appellate brief (without any outside assistance) in support of either the appellant or appellee. This brief is typically due on the second Monday in January. Students then participate in the national competition held in late February. The location of the competition rotates each year, and is announced at the National NALSA Annual Meeting, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico in April. Per competition rules, students are required to be active members of the William Mitchell NALSA Chapter to participate.
National Security Law (9910)
Within a separation-of-powers framework, this course analyzes the laws and policies that affect the detention, interrogation, and trial of suspected terrorists. Other topics include covert action, irregular rendition, the gathering of intelligence through human sources and technical means, and restrictions on the disclosure of classified information. Most important to the analysis is a balance between public safety and personal liberties.
Prerequisite(s): None. But those students who have not taken Constitutional Law: Liberties and Powers may be obliged to do background reading in addition to the assignments from the casebook.
Offered: e/o Spring
No-Fault Insurance (4950)
Focuses on the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, including analysis of no-fault, bodily injury liability, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist automobile coverages. Includes a study of the available benefits, problems relating to the source and priority of coverage, exclusions from coverage, and relationship to tort liability actions.
Poverty Law (5065)
This course challenges students to think about whether the law is or can be an effective anti-poverty strategy. We will review general information about poverty, the history of anti-poverty advocacy in the United States, the development of free legal services for the poor, and the role of the Constitution as the poor's protector. Students will gain introductory skills in several substantive areas of poverty law practice, for example, housing, government benefits, consumer, and child welfare law. The instructors use a variety of teaching methods with an emphasis on experiential learning. All students will complete a group project and presentation on a topic of their choice related to poverty and the law.
This course will analyze recent theoretical writing about the law and lawyers in the context of the students’ own experience representing clients. Students will read and discuss a cross-section of writing on narrative theory, critical lawyering theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory. The principal focus of the class will be to determine how, if at all, this writing bears on the real-world work of representing clients. Students will be required to make in-class presentations, lead seminar discussion, and complete a final paper.
With prior approval of the instructors, students can use this paper to fulfill their Advanced Research and Writing requirement. Students who successfully complete this course and one of the pre- or co-requisite clinics will receive a Keystone designation on their transcripts.
Prerequisite(s): Prerequisite or Corequisite: Participation in a client representation clinic, such as LAMP, Immigration Law Clinic, Business Law Clinic, or Civil Advocacy Clinic or Legal Planning Clinic for Tax-Exempt Organizations and Low Income Clients
Products Liability (5142)
Describes and analyzes the law relating to harms caused by defective products including theories of recovery, defenses, special evidentiary issues, aspects of mass litigation, and product safety and liability prevention issues.
Public International Law (4350)
An introduction to the basic elements of public international law, including the status of public international law as law, sources of international law, the law of treaties, customary international law, the role and status of international law in the United States, the roles of states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, recognition of states and governments, state succession, and the use of armed force among states.
Race and the Law Seminar (4945)
Explores the many ways in which race and the law have interacted historically and continue to interact. Students read and discuss a wide variety of materials, presenting a variety of viewpoints. Materials include historical, social-scientific, critical race theory, and feminist writers, as well as current legal materials. The goal in the seminar is to assist each participant to develop his or her own thinking on this important current issue.
Grading: Grade is based on paper and class participation, and either short "reflection" essays or a class presentation, depending on instructor. (With the instructor's prior permission, the paper option may fulfill the Advanced Research and Writing Requirement.)
Focuses on the development, acquisition, financing, transfer, and leasing of commercial real estate projects. The class discusses and solves "client problems" in these areas. Client problems are assigned and serve as the basis for class discussion. The client problems, class discussion, and a final paper are graded in lieu of an examination.
Real Estate Transactions (4930)
Studies various aspects of real estate development, including contracts of sale, buyer-seller rights and obligations, title insurance, Torrens System, and recordation of title. The course includes a comprehensive study of mortgages, including use of mortgages as a security interest in real estate, equitable mortgages, foreclosures, and rights of redemption. Other topics covered include surveys, contracts for deed, and mechanics' liens.
The course will examine the history of the religion clauses, including the major influences on the concept of religious liberty. It will also focus on the current issues, with special attention to United States Supreme Court decisions dealing with government aid to religion, religion in the public schools, and the religious liberties of individuals and churches.
Grading: Letter-graded. Grading and evaluation will be based on class participation, class presentations, and a research paper. Students may satisfy the long-paper requirement through this course.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of all 1L coursework, including Property I and Property II.
This class, which relies heavily on student participation, surveys the principles and underlying philosophy of equitable and legal relief, including injunctions, specific performance, and damages. Students write papers about a remedies-related topic that interests them and earn additional points for class participation and a brief in-class presentation about a remedies-related topic.
This course will explore the themes of feminist theory as they relate to issues of gender and age, and show the connections between these themes and topics such as the family, employment discrimination, and violence against women. Readings will include essays on feminist legal theory, articles on the demographics of aging and their effect on social policy, and fiction (short stories and novels) about growing older. Classes will be conducted mostly through discussions.
We will meet seven weeks out of the first ten weeks of the semester. The last two or three weeks of the semester, students will present their papers and invite discussion. A 20-30 page paper of publishable quality is required; there is no final examination. This course will satisfy the long paper requirement.
Rule by Law in China (3030)
This course will take a comparative law approach in discussing the development of legal discourse, and the ever increasing influence of Western jurisprudence, in modern and contemporary China. We will discuss at length the formation of "Rule by Law" as a "grand narrative" in its historical context, the controversy around different interpretations of "Human Rights,"ť and the burgeoning civil rights movements in the Mainland.
The course begins with study of legal traditions and core assumptions underlying the role of law in China, followed by comparative analysis of respective legal conventions and beliefs in China and in Western countries. One full session will be devoted to the legal system of the People’s Republic of China, looking at the law promulgated in the 1950s, the abolishment of the legal system during the years of the Cultural Revolution, the renewed emphasis on codification of law since 1979, new areas and issues after China’s accession to the WTO, and the recent environmental law and civil rights movements. The seminar will introduce contemporary legal and political institutions, the law-making process, interpretation and implementation of law, dispute resolution, and public awareness of and attitudes toward law. The seminar will examine in detail contemporary China’s approach to human rights law, focusing on how Chinese authorities and academia interpret and address key principles and doctrines of international human rights law, including thefollowing specific issues: 1) the traditional relationship of the individual to the state; 2) rule by law vs. rule of law; 3) judicial independence and judicial integrity; and 4) due process.
The seminar will examine Western, especially American, influences in specific areas of Chinese law (torts, intellectual property, antitrust, etc.) and what role American jurisprudence has played in the "modernization" of the Chinese legal system. Attention will be given to cross-cultural misunderstanding and misinterpretation, and the interaction between culture and law.
Students will be given an opportunity to look at China’s place in the world, to question general assumptions of the universal rule of law, to describe dominant legal themes and their development in different cultures, and to compare and contrast legal conventions and beliefs of different cultures. This seminar will help students to develop a better understanding of the legal system of China from a comparative perspective and to predict legal actions and outcomes across cultures from a practical point of view.
Readings for the seminar will include translated statutes and party documents, cases, history, and law review articles. Viewings for the seminar will include selected feature and documentary film clips relating to the Chinese legal system, as well as Chinese artistic expressions devoted to human rights.
Sentencing Seminar (2222)
This seminar focuses on Federal and State of Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Students will interview members of the judiciary and practitioners on their interpretation and application of the Guidelines. Each student will be asked to interview four persons each regarding State and Federal Guidelines and present reports in class. Limited enrollment.
Sexual behavior is an essential part of human existence. The species could not survive without it. Similarly, the law as an institution is central to modern ordered society. One might thus expect the interface between the law, as elemental definer of society, and sexuality, as essential part of human life, to be not only fascinating, but also much explored. Although indeed fascinating, the subject has only now, since the end of the 20th century, begun to attract serious academic inquiry. We will investigate a series of key issues in sexuality from various legal and jurisprudential perspectives, including contraception, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, sexual violence and pornography. Limited Enrollment.
Tax Practice and Procedure (2001)
Covers procedural problems encountered in tax cases at the administrative level of the Internal Revenue Service, including the examination of tax returns by the Examination Division, consideration by the Appeals Division and Chief Counsel's office, referral to the Criminal Investigation Division, and activities of the Collection Division. Legal and practical aspects of government investigatory powers, taxpayers' rights and privileges, statute of limitations, deficiency assessments and procedures, civil penalties, tax liens and levies, collection remedies, and administrative regulations and rulings are considered. The procedural aspects of litigating taxes in the Tax Court and in District Court will also be covered.
Taxation and Fiscal Policy (1001)
Covers the interaction between budgetary demands and revenue policy; equity and fairness of taxation; effect of taxation on business activity; relationship between federal and state taxing systems; and social, political, and economic implications of the tax structure.
Because this course requires the completion of a substantive research paper, it is not necessary to obtain Professor Roy’s permission in advance. Students choosing to use this for their Advanced Research and Writing Requirement need only to have Professor Roy sign the Advanced Research and Writing Certification form once their paper is complete.
This course will build on the Taxation of Business Entitities course. Students will study taxable and tax-free business reorganizations (such as mergers and spin offs), as well as advanced partnership tax topics, including deemed sales, distribution of hot assets, and advanced partnership allocations.
Trade Secret Law (9913)
This course addresses the law and theory applicable to the protection of confidential and proprietary business information ranging from formulas to customer lists. It includes coverage of trade secret protection and misappropriation in the employment context, such as issues regarding confidentiality and non-competition agreements, and the inevitable disclosure doctrine. Litigation strategies in trade secret misappropriation cases, as well as procedures and requirements for preserving trade secret protection are also covered. Finally, the course touches on relevant comparisons between trade secret law and other forms of intellectual property protection, such as patent law.
This course will empower students to manage the chaos of information. Many of us work inefficiently, with overflowing inboxes, inconsistent research practices, and non-existent project management skills. This problem is compounded for solos and small firm attorneys, who lack both administrative support, and the resources / time necessary to implement sophisticated case management software. Mitchell graduates are very much at riskâ€¦ of those who work in private practice, 58% are in very small firms (2-10 attys) or solo practice.
Over the past decade, Google and other companies have developed cloud-based ecosystems of business and research applications, many of which lawyers can use to save time and money. In this course, students will compare various tools, identifying best options and practices for lawyers.
Work of the Lawyer (3290)
Work of the Lawyer students engage in a rigorous study of the often-conflicting moral, professional, financial, personal, and political imperatives inherent in the work of the lawyer. The course consists of two components: a seminar component worth two credits and a field experience worth either one or two credits. The seminar component involves reading, discussion and writing about the theoretical social and political underpinnings of the lawyer's role and work in the legal system, and about the personal and professional values, goals, and concerns of the students. Students will be required to lead seminar discussions. The course requires several written submissions in which students reflect on their field experiences, the readings, and their own values. The objective of the field experience is to observe or work alongside a lawyer as he or she engages in a variety of lawyering activities. The focus will be to observe the informal, behind-the-scenes activities of lawyers. Once students attend the second class, they cannot drop the course.
Note that students are responsible for finding their own field placements; in extreme circumstances, the instructors can help with a placement.
Grading: Class participation, class presentation, written reflections. Seminar is graded; field experience is pass/fail.
Prerequisite(s): Co-Requisite: Professional Responsibility. Unpaid field work.
Credits: 2 credits: Seminar only, current employment to satisfy field work requirement. 3 or 4 credits: Seminar plus 1 or 2 additional credits for unpaid field work.
Work of the Lawyer: Small Firms and Non-Profit Organizations and the Quality of Justice is designed to engage students in a rigorous study of the ethical, political, social and professional imperatives and tensions of law practice in these settings. The course consists of two components: a weekly seminar worth two credits and field experience worth either one or two credits, depending upon whether 50 or 100 hours of field work is completed. The objective of the field experience is to observe and/or work alongside a lawyer as s/he engages in a variety of law practice activities and to reflect on those activities. How do the lawyer(s) reach out to the community, find clients, work in collaboration (or not) with their clients, charge those clients or otherwise make money, administer a law office ethical system, engage as public citizens in the course of doing legal work for individual clients? In the seminar meetings students will read, discuss and write about these dimensions of lawyers’ work in small firms and non-profit organizations. The course requires several written submissions (including the journal and paper described below) in which students reflect on their field experiences in light of the readings, the Rules of Professional Conduct, and their own hopes for practice. Students will maintain a journal of their field experience including the nature of the work they are doing, the public citizenship, ethical and justice issues that arise in the course of the work, and how the work provides insights into their future professional lives. Students will be required to write a 10-12 page paper that relates their own experiences to an issue in law practice about which they have read for the class, and will briefly present their paper to the class. Note that instructor is happy to consult and/or assist students in finding a field placement in a small firm (about 10 lawyers or less) or non-profit organization; students may use their existing work place for the field component but cannot receive credit for that time.
Grading: Seminar is letter-graded based on class participation, class presentation, and written reflections. Field experience is graded pass/fail.
Prerequisite(s): Co-Requisite: Professional Responsibility. Field work (paid work for no credit, unpaid for credit).
Credits: 2 credits: Seminar only. The field work component may be satisfied through current employment (for no credit) or through unpaid field work for 1 to 2 additional credits.
Offered: e/o Spring
Wrongful Convictions (2106)
This course will examine the reasons behind wrongful convictions in the United States. There are many people in this nation convicted of, and serving time for, crimes they did not commit. Currently over 200 people have already been exonerated of crimes for which they were convicted. The course will include lecture, discussion and guest speakers about eyewitness identification, false confessions, snitches and informants, government misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel, forensic science including DNA testing, post-conviction remedies, the death penalty, media and investigative journalism, and racial bias. The course will also include in-class exercises designed to help deal with these issues as a practitioner. Note: this course is not a clinical course.
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