Course Descriptions, Family Law - Juvenile Offender

Family Law

LW 728; 3 hours. This course introduces the numerous subject areas which comprise family law today starting with the often complex federal and state laws and cases on how to define a family. In addition to the traditional topics, such as marriage, parent- child relationships, divorce, property division, maintenance, child custody and child support issues, the course covers premarital, cohabitation and postmarital contracts, paternity, adoption, assisted conception, the role of the lawyer in family law, and alternative dispute resolution. This course is a prerequisite for Divorce Practice and Family Law Seminar.

Family Law Quarterly Junior Staff Editing

LW 831; 1 hour. This course is offered to second-year students who have met the requirements to become staff members of the Family Law Quarterly. Students edit articles accepted for publication. Students must serve a full year to receive credit. Credit, no-credit.

Family Law Quarterly Senior Staff Editing

LW 832; 1-2 hours. Open to third-year students on the Family Law Quarterly staff who have been approved by the Faculty Adviser. Students are primarily responsible for the editorial and substantive integrity of material published in the Family Law Quarterly. Students may enroll for only one hour per semester. Credit, no-credit.

Family Law Seminar

LW 754; 2 hours. This seminar explores the theoretical, sociological and psychological aspects of current legal issues in family law.
Prerequisite(s): Family Law.

Farm and Ranch Taxation

LW 986; 1 hour. Key tax issues facing farmers and ranchers are the focus of this course. Recent legislation, relevant IRS interpretations, and case law are examined to include current health care law provisions and portions of the 2014 Farm Bill important to tax planning. Among the topics addressed are: depreciation; payments in-kind; the IC-DISC and the domestic production deduction; USDA grants; cooperative taxation; self-employment tax; passive activity rules; the on-farm residence; rental issues; the capitalization/repair regulations; oil and gas taxation; farm income averaging; crop insurance; and weather-related sales of livestock. The federal transfer tax system, and how it factors into the overall tax planning for a farm and ranch client, are also examined.

Farm Income Tax Planning and Management

LW 874; 2 hours. This is a course on agricultural income taxation. The basics of income taxation as applied to !agriculture will be examined and then the basic concepts will be applied to specific tax situations unique to farm and ranch clients. The emphasis will be on tax issues that are common to many agricultural clients and their businesses and how best to resolve those issues favorably for these clients by applying the tax rules and regulations unique to their actual situations. The course breaks out into 1) the reporting of farm income items; 2) deductions from income or farm taxpayers; 3) unique farm-related deduction items; 4) farm tax loss issues; 5) farm income tax reduction strategies; and 6) capital gain and medicare surtax issues for farmers.
Prerequisite(s): Taxation of Individual Income.

Federal Courts

LW 759; 3 hours. An examination of the broad institutional restrictions on the federal courts in the federal system and the policies aimed at achieving a fair and efficient allocation of judicial power. The course explores the balance of power between the federal courts, the states and the two other branches of federal government. The issues examined in this course will have implications for federal practice in a variety of areas, including civil rights, bankruptcy, environmental, oil and gas, and real estate financing law.

Federal Indian Law

LW 841; 3 hours. This course focuses on the framework which bears upon Native Americans and Indian reservation transactions. The course explores the Native Americans and the federal government, powers of tribal government, Indian civil rights, Indian lands, water and mineral development, Bureau of Indian Affairs authority, and federal/state conflicts regarding jurisdiction over Indians and Indian affairs.

Financial Issues in Divorce

LW 888; 2 hours. This course addresses financial issues associated with divorce including the identification, valuation, and division of property. Students will learn how to work with appraisers to value physical assets and complex intangible assets such as pensions, stock options, closely-held corporations, and businesses. The drafting, administration, and effect of pre-marital agreements will be addressed along with the taxation and planning aspects of divorce.
Prerequisite(s): Family Law.

Fundamentals of Oral Argument

LW 859; 1 hour. The course will build on the skills introduced in Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing (LARW) II and allow students to further develop their oral advocacy skills in the context of civil or criminal appellate practice. After the first class session, students will be assigned to take a civil or criminal track for the remainder of the course. Criminal and civil students will then meet separately during the course. The students will learn how to advocate for their client by highlighting their arguments' strengths, learning to distinguish opposing cases, and, importantly, how to present the best argument in fifteen minutes or less. The course will focus on the preparation needed to succeed at oral argument. The course will be taught primarily through practice drills but will also include classroom instruction on organizing the argument, preparing for questions, and researching your opposing party’s strongest cases. The course will end with a graded oral argument.
Prerequisite(s): Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing II.

Fundamentals of Real Estate Law

LW 938; 1-2 hours. This course builds upon first year Property and Contracts classes and completes the coverage of real property law, covering doctrinal topics foundational to the understanding of legal rights, interests, and transactions in real estate. The course will cover the law of real property contracts - both purchase and sale agreements and mortgage loans - as well as the US real estate title assurance system. In the two-credit version, the course will offer more detail about the development and modern variations within the US land title and mortgage systems. A student may not take both this course and Real Estate Transactions.
Prerequisite(s): Property; Contracts.

Fundamentals of United States International Taxation

LW 827; 3 hours. Have you ever wondered why Apple and other big name companies operate overseas? Do you know what a blacklist country is? Ever wonder how different our tax code is from the rest of the world? This course will answer those questions and much, much more. Fundamentals of United States International Taxation will provide a hands-on approach to the study of international taxation employing a combination of guided subject matter lectures and practical scenario problem sets. Topics of study will include: (1) Residency and Source Rules; (2) Inbound Taxation; (3) Outbound Taxation; (4) Foreign Tax Credit; (4) Anti-abuse rules including Controlled Foreign Corporations and Subpart F Rules; (5) Tax Treaties; and (6) Nonrecognition Transactions with Foreign Entities.
Prerequisite(s): Taxation of Individual Income.

Gender, Sexuality, and the Law

LW 934; 3 hours. This course will examine the interaction between gender and law in the United States, with a focus on how the law affects and reflects societal constructs of gender and sexuality. The course will explore legal issues such as governmental regulation of sex and gender in the context of reproductive rights, employment, family, and educational institutions.

Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Law

LW 964; 3 hours. This course explores the legal infrastructure and policy debates surrounding enforcement against organized piracy and counterfeiting of products protected by intellectual property (IP) rights. After a brief introduction to patent, copyright and trademark law, students focus on the challenges of combating global counterfeiting and piracy in a world characterized by porous borders and driven by the Internet. Students study the major international IP agreements and institutions governing enforcement norms and discuss the problems with negotiating and implementing harmonized standards across cultural and philosophical divides. Discussions feature comparative perspectives from divergent IP constituencies, including states in different stages of development, indigenous groups, IP rights holder representatives, and civil society groups. Students are evaluated on the quality of their participation in class sessions and exercises as well as a written final examination. Students who have taken International Intellectual Property Law are ineligible to take this course.

Graduate Legal Seminar

LW 974; 0 hours. This no-credit 1-hour per week class is designed to provide a place where all students in the program come together, as well as where the academic progress of the group can be monitored and evaluated. The students will also be expected to engage with some of the legal concepts they are learning in their LL.M. courses and take a comparative look at these concepts in relation to the law in their home jurisdiction. In addition to exploring the academic side of law in a comparative manner, the course will focus on enhancing the graduate students' research skills and their ability to write academic papers.
Prerequisite(s): Available only to students enrolled in the LL.M. program.

Health Care Law and Policy

LW 830; 2-3 hours. Examination of the health care system in the United States with emphasis on the law and policy pertaining to the delivery of health care services on a national basis. Specific areas considered include such matters as access to health care, quality assurance, cost control and other topics of current interest.

Higher Education Law

LW 951; 2 hours. This course will explore key law and legal concepts applicable to American institutions of higher education. Among other issues, the course will focus on how to weigh and balance the sometimes competing rights and responsibilities of institutions, faculty, staff, and students. For example, the course will explore: the potential clash between the academic freedom rights of faculty and the rights of students to be free from racial and sexual harassment; Title IX and women's sports; affirmative action in admissions, financial aid, and faculty hiring; and the intellectual property rights of faculty, staff and students. Students will also have the opportunity to consider the role of "in house" counsel. The course will also aim to use legal issues as a catalyst for a broader discussion regarding the role and meaning of higher education in today's society.

Housing Law

LW 872; 2-3 hours. Housing Law explores three broad and important areas of modern real estate, government, and finance law while raising important societal questions about racial and income fairness. The three doctrinal areas covered in the course include (1) the regulatory structure of residential landlord-tenant issues, including an in-depth look at state regulation and federal fair housing law, (2) laws impacting the creation and operation of common interest communities (the nation’s most rapidly growing form of home ownership), and (3) the structure and regulation of the secondary mortgage market – that vast and complicated part of capital markets that sparked the 2008 global destabilization and economic crisis. Students will also dig deeply into broader social and moral issues underlying and impacting housing law, including issues about de facto segregation, housing affordability, the role of government regulation in economic stability, and inequitable neighborhood and residential realities in America. This course will also provide students with transactional drafting opportunities (and a skills credit).
Prerequisite(s): Property; Contracts.

Human Trafficking Law in the United States

LW 775; 2 hours. The course will cover the development, adoption and implementation of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and its reauthorizations. Students will learn the legal definitions of slavery, peonage, involuntary servitude debt bondage, and sex trafficking; how to identify potential clients in these scenarios; and how to provide trauma-informed legal services to survivors. Areas of law this course will intersect include immigration law, family law, victim advocacy in the criminal prosecution process, expungement and vacatur, employment law and civil litigation.

Immigration Law

LW 815; 2-3 hours. An examination of immigration law, procedure and professional responsibility in its practice. Moral and social implications of immigration policy. Related topics such as the right to communicate in this country in languages other than English, the rights of citizen children of undocumented parents, rights of refugees, amnesty, and employer sanctions.

Independent Readings in Natural Resources Law

LW 826; 1-2 hours. A candidate seeking an environmental law certificate may earn up to two hours credit for independent reading supervised by a faculty member. Offered only upon prearrangement with the faculty supervisor and the Dean. Credit, no-credit.

Independent Study in Oil and Gas Law

LW 969; 1-2 hours. Students focus on an area of special interest by engaging in supervised research and writing to complete a project that expands their knowledge of oil and gas law. Students must propose a project for review and approval by the faculty supervisor and the Dean. Credit, no-credit.
Prerequisite(s): Oil and Gas Law and Advanced Oil and Gas Law.

Insurance Law

LW 710; 3 hours. This course is a broad examination of insurance law foundational concepts and practical knowledge. This includes reviewing the legal, regulatory, and economic issues that support an analysis of many common insurance coverages, including life, property, auto, and liability (but not health/Affordable Care Act, although this material is available in the text). The course material includes insurance law cases and policy contract language, covering both commercial and personal insurance through descriptive material.
Prerequisite(s): Contracts.

Intellectual Property

LW 808; 3 hours. An introduction to patents, trademarks and copyrights, including creation and protection of rights in intellectual property and enforcement of rights against infringers.

International Business Transactions

LW 778; 3 hours. This course will provide an introduction to the rules governing international business transactions. It will cover basic U.S. trade rules, and the organization of the World Trade Organization and regional trading arrangements. Topics will include tariffs and non-tariff barriers, responses of domestic producers to import competition, and the resolution of trade disputes. The course will also focus on issues that arise in typical international business transactions, such as the choice between CIF and FOB contracts, the risks of international trade and allocation of risks by contract, and the use of letters of credit.

International Civil Litigation in the United States

LW 989; 2-3 hours. Civil litigation in the United States often has international features. This course examines some of the array of issues that commonly arise, such as jurisdiction over foreign parties; jurisdiction over foreign subject matter; foreign sovereign immunity; service of process abroad; and extraterritorial discovery. Students not only learn the doctrine about those practical issues but also gain perspective from recognizing how significantly the U.S. system of civil procedure differs from that in other countries.
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure I; Civil Procedure II (recommended).

International Dimensions of Family Law

LW 850; 3 hours. In the globalizing context of the 21st century, family law is subject to an expanding range of influences and approaches under both domestic and international law. The nature of family is changing, and state regulation of family is affected by the movement of people around the world. This course examines regulation of family and reproduction through a primarily comparative lens, with a focus on Caribbean and U.S. legal systems. Our comparative study will include exploration of the influence that relevant international legal frameworks (e.g. the Inter-American system and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) have over family and reproductive law in Caribbean states and the U.S. Students will explore and analyze legal approaches to regulation of family and reproduction in these various legal systems through a gender and race-critical lens. We will examine both the legal regulation and the theory behind the practice, and compare different approaches to regulation. We will ask the overarching question: Does family law in different jurisdictions seek to achieve the same ends through different means, or are there different ends evident? Topics to be covered will include formation and dissolution of marriage and partnership, adoption, intimacy and sexuality, child custody and abduction, parentage and child support, and domestic violence.

International Human Rights

LW 812; 2-3 hours. This is a seminar course that serves as an introduction to international human rights. Starting from an exploration of the theoretical and philosophical foundations of human rights, the course will examine the different treaty regimes and their reporting mechanisms, different regional systems, and different dispute resolution processes that together form the international human rights regime. This will focus on some of the more fundamental substantive rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from torture, the right to liberty, the right to equality, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience. In examining the jurisprudence of various dispute resolution bodies, the course will also examine the different analytical approaches to the adjudication and enforcement of human rights claims. Students will be required to write and to present in class a research paper.
Prerequisite(s): Recommended: Public International Law.

International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples

LW 919; 3 hours. This fully online, asynchronous course explores international human rights through the example of Indigenous peoples, with particular focus on land rights, cultural rights, and the extractive industries. Among other outcomes, students will learn to (1) describe the United Nations and regional human rights systems; (2) discuss how international human rights standards influence domestic law and policy; (3) describe the unique human rights challenges facing minority populations whose cultures are inextricable from their ancestral lands and resources; (4) select and apply international law to realistic human rights problems; and (5) critically discuss colonization and other social and historical context affecting Indigenous peoples' rights. Students who opt to complete the upper-level writing requirement will complete a seminar paper with revisions based on professor feedback. Those who seek the upper-level oral requirement will complete an individual presentation.

International Intellectual Property Law

LW 948; 3 hours. This course provides students with an introduction to the ever-growing framework for global harmonization of intellectual property standards. After a basic review of the primary subjects of intellectual property law (copyright, trademark, patent and related topics), the course turns to the growing body of international decisions and policies impacting these topics. Study of the subject also requires exploration of the views of intellectual property (IP) across cultures, including how societal, cultural and historical factors influence attitudes toward, and mechanisms accommodating, IP protection. A brief overview of international law and international trade concepts leads to exploration of the roles of the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization and other international organizations in regulating both policy and enforcement in intellectual property protection, covering the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) and other core international agreements on the subject. Discussions will also include the role of IP protection in economic development, international politics and relations and important distributive issues involving health care, education and technological innovation.
Prerequisite(s): Recommended: Intellectual Property, Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Law, International Business Transactions, Public International Law, or International Law of Indigenous Peoples.

International Law SEE Public International Law

International Petroleum Arbritration

LW 972; 1 hour. This course focuses on the typical form of dispute resolution for large transnational oil and gas projects. The course will be premised upon a single simulation running for the length of one week. The course analyzes (1) core issues for the drafting of arbitration clauses in international petroleum transactions, (2) strategy for appointing the arbitral tribunal, (3) pre-hearing procedure (including document disclosure and interim relief), (4) jurisdictional objections, and (5) how to build a persuasive merits case.

International Petroleum Transactions

LW 973; 3 hours. This course focuses on the transnational law governing oil and gas companies when doing business abroad. The course addresses (1) applicable law in international petroleum transactions, (2) foreign legal regimes governing petroleum exploration, development and production, (3) the contractual and regulatory environment governing the operations of international petroleum projects, (4) basic principles of international petroleum distribution and sales, and (5) the key distinctions between international petroleum and gas transactions.

Interviewing and Counseling

LW 914; 2 hours. This course will introduce students to a practice-oriented approach to interviewing and counseling. It will enable students to develop the skills involved in investigating facts and interviewing and counseling clients. Class work will include demonstration, critique, discussion, and practical exercises. Students will also investigate doctrinal, procedural, and evidentiary issues in order to discharge effectively their role in each step of the process. Course topics will explore: 1) how to recognize legal and non-legal dimensions of a client's problems; 2) how to develop fundamental skills, including effective listening and questioning; 3) how to gather information; and 4) how to understand the decision-making process and help clients make appropriate decisions. Students will also explore ethical considerations in interviewing and counseling. This is a letter-graded class. There will be a final project instead of an exam.

Introduction to Anglo-American Law

LW 975; 2 hours. The structure, methodology, and institutions of the Anglo-American legal system can differ a great deal from the "civil law" and other forms of law such as Sharia Law, found in Europe, South America, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The course will act as a bridge between the civil law and the studies that the LL.M. students will be doing on common law topics by making students familiar with how a common law legal system works: the central role of "case law," the analysis of cases to determine their actual "holdings," the reach of "precedent" and of "res judicata", as well the structure of the American court system. This course explores these and other problems, illustrated by cases.
Prerequisite(s): Available only 1) to students enrolled in the LL.M. program or 2) to international students, upon faculty advisor approval, enrolled in the M.S.L. program.

Introduction to Nonprofit Law

LW 950; 2 hours. Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in the social development and economic stability of American society. This intersession course will provide a foundation to understanding nonprofit organizations by examining state and federal laws generally applicable to nonprofit organizations. Topics include state formation of not-for-profit corporations; federal laws governing tax-exempt nonprofit organizations; nonprofit governance models; fiduciary duties of board of directors; state and federal prohibitions and limitations for nonprofits; ethical considerations, and best practices. This course will also address the practical aspects of representing and advising nonprofit organizations. As many nonprofits are resource poor, attorneys are often asked to represent nonprofits on a pro bono basis. Unfortunately, many attorneys are unprepared to offer competent representation. This course will provide a basic foundation for the legal knowledge, skill, and preparation reasonably necessary for such representation.

Jessup International Moot Court Competition

LW 978; 1-4 hours. The Jessup International Moot Court Competition requires teams to research, analyze, and write "memorials" (briefs) on complex issues of public international law, and then to make oral submissions before panels of judges representing the International Court of Justice in the Hague. The team consists of six members: four serve as primary advocates and earn 2 credits; one serves as "of counsel" and earns 1 credit; and the sixth is a first-year student who is an observer of the competition, receives no credit, but is automatically one of the primary advocates the following year. Primary advocates are eligible for fulfilling both the upper-level writing requirement and the upper-level oral requirement. Students may participate in the Jessup team a second time in their third year, and are eligible again for 1 or 2 credit hours depending on their role as described above (for a maximum of 4 credit hours if taken twice). For more information see the Jessup webpage.
Prerequisite/Co-requisite(s): preference will be given to students who have taken or are in the process of taking Public International Law.

Judicial Externship

LW 976; 2-4 hours. Students may obtain educational experience outside of the classroom through externships with federal or state courts. During each enrollment period students will receive a list of the available externships and the specific requirements the student must be willing to meet to be considered for a particular externship. Some externship opportunities may require the student to apply for an available position, and be selected. Although the specific requirements for credit can vary among judicial externship opportunities, all judicial externships require certification of a minimum amount of student time on qualifying externship activities, regular attendance and participation in the judicial externship seminar, satisfactory evaluations from the court, and completion of all written work and evaluations. The judicial seminar will address such topics as judicial process, writing memos for judges, judicial opinion writing, confidentiality, professionalism, and other relevant topics. Guided reflections will be required for this externship.


LW 799; 2 hours. An inquiry into the realm of legal philosophy. Students will analyze fundamental issues and major lines of thought in attempted resolution of those issues.

Jury Selection and Voir Dire

LW 877; 1 hour. This course examines the art and science of jury selection through a study of the law and courtroom procedures pertaining to voir dire. The skills associated with jury selection will be taught, demonstrated, and practiced by having each student pick a jury for trial of a selected case scenario. General and specific questions on voir dire will be conducted by students acting as counsel and presided over by a judge. Student performance will be critiqued and the final grade will be assigned based on class participation and a final examination.
Prerequisite(s): Trial Advocacy or ITAP.

Juvenile Offender

LW 886; 2 hours. This course will cover juvenile delinquency including purposes of punishment and juvenile justice; the juvenile courts; jurisdiction and disposition of juvenile court; procedural differences between delinquency process and adult criminal process; the role of the lawyer in the juvenile court process.