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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.
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.
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 (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.
Offered: e/o Fall
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.
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.
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.
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 Dispute Resolution II (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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Employee Benefits (5061)
For students interested in practicing in tax law, as well as employment law or labor law and to students interested in retirement, health care or general welfare policy, this course examines qualified and non-qualified retirement plans with emphasis on the impact of tax laws and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The course also briefly examines other employee benefits, including health and welfare plans; benefits litigation; and deferred or executive compensation.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Prerequisite(s): Co-requisite: Professional Responsibility
Credits: 1-4. A student may take a maximum of 4 Independent Externship credits during his or her law school career. A student may request a waiver of the 4 credit limit for exceptional circumstances. Contact Externship Director.
The law students will represent criminal defendants who have been charged with misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor domestic offenses. Rather than represent the defendant solely on the criminal charges, we will represent the defendant in a more holistic manner. We will work with the client to resolve the underlying issues, legal and non-legal, that brought him or her into the criminal justice system.
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.
Prerequisite(s): Co-requisite - Professional Responsibility
Credits: 1-4. A student may take a maximum of 4 Independent Judicial Externship credits during his or her law school career. A student may request a waiver of the 4 credit limit for exceptional circumstances. Contact Externship Director.
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.
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)
An intensive course in First Amendment jurisprudence and theory, focusing on the Freedom of Speech and Press Clauses. All students write a paper (even if they do not plan to use the paper to satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement) and make a class presentation on their paper topic. Limited enrollment.
Grading: Paper (with instructor’s prior approval, paper may satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement); class participation and presentation; multiple choice final exam
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law Liberties or permission of the instructor
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.
Offered: e/o Spring
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.
Health Law Survey (4151)
Surveys the health system through comprehensive overview of major health issues. This course covers topics including: Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, HIPAA, medical malpractice, healthcare financing, providers, insurers, and the intersection between health and public health law. Students review relevant statutes, regulations, policy and business structures, and current events in this rapidly evolving and expanding field of law. Students will discuss the political and institutional factors that determine the operation, enforcement, and further development of current health systems. The course is valuable for all students, but particularly those interested in public health law and/or health law.
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.
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 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.
IP - Advanced Copyright Law (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.
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.
Offered: e/o Spring
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
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.
This course treats selected jurisdictional and procedural issues that areencountered in patent enforcement litigation. The particular issues covered have three characteristics: (i) they are prominent and commonly occurring in patent litigation; (ii) they raise fundamental questions of court power, procedural organization, etc., that extend widely across fields other than patent law; and (iii) they have been addressed recently in decisions of either the Supreme Court of the United States, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sitting en banc.
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.
Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice (called Equal Justice Applied Research at St. Thomas) is a seminar offered jointly by the four Minnesota Law schools. The class meets at a different law school each year (St. Thomas in 2014) 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 10 to 11: 55 am, room MSL324 (map at http://www.stthomas.edu/media/campusmaps/mplsdirections_color.pdf), at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, 1000 LaSalle Avenue in Spring 2014 and will be taught by Professor Diane Marie Dube.
Note: The first class session is Friday, January 17; the last class session & the Continuing Legal Education Program will be Friday, April 25.
The Drop Deadline for this Course is January 6, 2014.
Students choose a research topic from the LSEJ research topic list or a topic of their own choosing that advances equal justice. Students must have an attorney supervisor and are encouraged to finalize their topic choice before the class convenes. Classroom sessions focus on the development 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 should expect to spend significant time on field work with their field contacts or other local public interest practitioners, and in gathering information for their paper. Through this field work, students will 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 will be presented before a CLE audience of lawyers on Friday, April 25, and will be made available to practitioners, students, faculty and others on the LSEJ website.
Required text: Bardach, Eugene, A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis (4th Edition recommended)
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.
Law students selected to be Marshall-Brennan Fellows are placed in St. Paul public high schools in pairs to teach constitutional law to 11th and 12th graders. Following a base curriculum, Fellows plan lessons, conduct classes, and grade assignments. Fellows teach in the high schools five days a week for approximately nine weeks.
Coinciding with their high school placement, Fellows participate in a weekly seminar taught by William Mitchell faculty. The weekly seminar focuses on constitutional cases of particular interest and relevance to high school students. During the seminar, Fellows learn about the constitutional law cases they will be teaching and develop teaching strategies and lesson plans.
The semester concludes with a moot court competition in which all the high school students are encouraged to participate.
To become a Marshall-Brennan Fellow fill out an application available on the William Mitchell website.
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
Natural Resources (4871)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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," 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 the following specific issues:
- the traditional relationship of the individual to the state;
- rule by law vs. rule of law;
- judicial independence and judicial integrity; and
- 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.
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 & Solo Firms & The Quality of Justice explores the most common and most under-appreciated form of practice-that of small private firms. It is designed to engage students in a rigorous study of the professional, ethical, economic and social 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. (Three credits is possible with permission of instructor.) The objective of the field experience is to work alongside and/or observe a lawyer as s/he engages in a variety of law practice activities and to reflect on those activities. How do the lawyer(s) find clients, reach out to the community, work in collaboration (or not) with their clients, charge those clients or otherwise make money, administer a law office, including its 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 and solo firms. The course requires several written submissions (including the journal and short paper described below) in which students reflect on their field experiences in light of the readings 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, business, 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 or project (e.g., website) 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 or project to the class. Note that instructor is happy to consult and/or assist students in finding a field placement in a solo or small firm (about 10 lawyers or less). 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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