Course Descriptions, Natural Resources Law and Policy - Study Abroad Through Partner Law School

Natural Resources Law and Policy

LW 773; 2-3 hours. This two-credit course provides a general introduction to the field of natural resources law. It does so in two ways. First, it surveys the principal property, regulatory, and policy components of natural resources law, broadly construed: land, water, energy, public lands, mining, agriculture, and environmental law. Next, it places these components within several of the most important policy challenges in natural resources law: climate change; commons and common-pool resource problems; the role of the public; environmental justice; and property justice. No previous coursework is required.


LW 857; 2 hours. This class teaches negotiation theory and its practical application. Negotiating is one of the most important skills used by attorneys. The class will not focus on dispute resolution specific to litigation such as ADR or mediation. Rather, negotiations skill is learned by understanding strategy and theory, and students will have the opportunity to experiment through classroom exercises and simulations. The class will encompass a combination of readings, discussion and in-class exercises in which students will conduct negotiations and roleplay. In-class negotiations will draw from many potential scenarios, including business transactions, international disputes, labor and contract negotiations. Students will be evaluated based on self and peer review, results achieved in the mock negotiations, and a written paper or midterm.

Negotiation Competition

LW 777; 1-2 hours. Open to students who prepare for and compete in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition. In addition to participating in the competition, students must submit a memorandum on one of the problems designed for the competition. Students may earn 1 hour per regional competition, not to exceed 2 hours. Credit, no-credit.

Oil and Gas Conservation Law and Practice

LW 966; 1 hour. Every oil and gas producing state has a "conservation commission" that is charged with preventing "waste" of the oil and gas resource while protecting the "correlative rights" of resource owners. These state agencies regulate all aspects of oil and gas development from drilling to abandoning wells. Conservation commissions also have extensive authority over environmental matters associated with oil and gas development. This course examines the statutes and regulations administered by the Conservation Division of the Kansas Corporation Commission, and the laws and practices that have developed around the Kansas programs. Students will have an opportunity to work directly with the Conservation Division's legal and technical personnel and observe first-hand the Division's operations. Credit, no-credit.

Oil and Gas Joint Operations

LW 856; 2 hours. In the course, students will learn the law and drafting technique associated with joint operations in the context of oil and gas projects. The course will be guided by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) model form for joint operation in the U.S. and contrast the U.S. approach to joint operation internationally. The international focus will be guided by the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) model form for international operations.

Oil and Gas Law

LW 740; 3 hours. Some of the most complex contract and property law issues concern the determination of rights and obligations in the oil and gas natural resource. Students will learn the law governing oil and gas ownership, development, marketing, and transfer. This course also studies the “upstream” exploration and production elements of the oil and gas industry to fully appreciate how law can impact an industry, and how an industry can impact the law. Even students who may not have a particular interest in oil and gas law will find this course very useful in further developing their contract and property law skills. This class is a prerequisite for Advanced Oil and Gas.

Oil and Gas Taxation

LW 968; 1 hour. The oil and gas industry is subject to many unique forms of state and federal taxation. Students learn the law governing the various forms of federal and state taxation associated with the exploration, production, and marketing of oil and gas. All forms of taxation will be studied, including income, ad valorem, and various forms of production taxes. Special tax incentive programs are also studied. Basic taxation considerations in routine oil and gas transactions receive special attention. Credit, no-credit.

Patent Law

LW 918; 2 hours. This course focuses on the patent component of intellectual property and includes instruction on determining patent eligibility, utility, novelty, nonobviousness and the role of prior art. It also includes instruction on patent drafting, prosecution, post-grant protection, infringement, and remedies. International patent issues will also be addressed.

Patent Prosecution

LW 961; 2 hours. This course provides students with the practical skills needed to succeed as patent attorneys. Students will learn how to draft claims, prepare a written patent description, and respond to Office actions (communications from examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). Students also will complete short drafting assignments designed to help prepare them for the patent bar exam. While the course is not a comprehensive patent bar preparation course, it will help students prepare for a portion of the patent bar testing the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. The course will also cover cases illustrating application of patent concepts patent lawyers frequently encounter during patent prosecution, such as patent-eligible subject-matter, novelty, non-obvious subject matter, and content of a patent application.

Pretrial Advocacy-Civil

LW 765; 3 hours. This course gives students an opportunity to develop a case from the time a client walks into the office with a problem to the final pretrial conference and is designed to provide a bridge to the world of real practice from the realm of legal theory. The class consists of a combination of lecture/demonstrations by faculty and frequent opportunities for student performances, both written and oral, which are critiqued by adjunct professor practitioners in small groups. All aspects of pretrial practice are covered. Each student develops and practices interviewing skills, drafts pleadings, drafts and argues motions, drafts discovery, prepares witnesses for deposition, conducts and defends a deposition, and participates in a final pretrial conference. Outstanding (equivalent of A work), credit (equivalent of C work), no-credit.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Civil Procedure II. Recommended: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Professional Responsibility.

Pretrial Advocacy-Criminal

LW 768; 3 hours. This course will focus on applying criminal procedures to two simulated cases. One case will involve a state prosecution, the other will involve a federal prosecution. Students will follow these criminal cases through every step of the pretrial procedure, acting as the attorneys in these cases. Each student will have the chance to handle one case as a prosecutor and one case as a defender. Practical skills taught will range from drafting complaints/informations; conducting bail arguments; presenting cases to a grand jury (for federal cases); conducting preliminary hearings (for state cases); making and responding to discovery demands; drafting and responding to motions to suppress evidence and motions to dismiss; conducting evidentiary suppression hearings; and participating in negotiations and pretrial conferences. Outstanding (equivalent of A work), credit (equivalent of C work), no credit.
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Procedure.

Principles of International and Comparative Taxation

LW 983; 3 hours. Tax law is used to not only raise revenue for the state, but also as a tool of social and economic policy. Students will examine elements from the tax systems of the United States and several other countries to understand the different ways in which tax provisions are used to accomplish these social and economic goals. This is a policy course, not focused on the Internal Revenue Code, and open to students who have not enrolled in other tax courses.

Professional Responsibility

LW 770; 3 hours. Study of the legal profession and the law governing lawyers, focusing on the ethical rules for professional behavior, the disciplinary system for ethical misconduct, and other legal rules controlling lawyer behavior. The course will also address the importance of cross-cultural competency, the risks of bias, and the influence of racism in the law and legal profession. This course is a prerequisite for Legal Malpractice Seminar, Externship, and Clinic Internship.

Professional Responsibility - California

LW 926; 2 hours. This course is an examination of the rules that regulate the legal profession including the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, and leading caselaw, both federal and state, on the subject. This course will allow students to gain a thorough understanding of the topics covered on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, and the California Bar Examination, including lawyer advertising, solicitation of clients, specialization, conflicts of interest, competence, legal malpractice, fees, confidentiality, and obligations to clients, the court, and society. Students will apply applicable ethics rules to identify and resolve ethical problems within the practice of law.
Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in the LL.M. program.


LW 732; 4 hours. The course examines the concept of property, personal property interests, formation of interests in land, including freehold and non-freehold estates, concurrent ownership, adverse possession, marital interests, landlord and tenant relations, and allocation and development of land resources, including easements, covenants and equitable servitudes.

Public Employment Law

LW 959; 2 hours. This course provides an in-depth study of the law governing public employment, including union representation and collective bargaining in the public sector. The primary concentration will be on the law governing state and local government employees, with some limited study of the federal sector.

Public International Law

LW 928; 3 hours. This course will cover the nature, foundations, and sources of international law, explain the relations between international law and domestic law, explore the role of states, organizations, individuals, and corporations in international law, examine treaties and survey basic human rights instruments.

Public Land Law

LW 747; 3 hours. Examination of issues involved in managing land owned by the federal government, nearly one-third of the nation's land base. The course explores the constitutional and statutory rules that have been layered on top of each other since founding of the country, the problems presented in navigating through the layers and issues of federal/state relations raised by national ownership of land. Covered topics include federal water rights, regulation of mining, grazing and forestry, protection of wildlife and preservation of scenic and wild areas.
Prerequisite(s): Administrative Law (recommended).

Race and the Law

LW 902; 2-3 hours. This course explores the concept of race and civil rights issues from a multiracial perspective and examines anti-discrimination laws in such areas as interracial marriage, public accommodations, housing, education, employment and voting. Major institutions studied include courts and legislatures at both the state and federal levels, with particular emphasis placed on the role of these institutions in the preclusion and allowance of political, social and economic opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities. Meets upper division writing requirement.
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law II (or concurrent enrollment).

Real Estate Transactions

LW 733; 3 hours. This course focuses on the residential real estate transaction. Stressing the lawyer’s role in the real estate transaction, the course examines the numerous federal and state laws which regulate even the most basic land transaction – the single family residence. Other topics include the duties of broker and lawyer, financing arrangements (including mortgages, trust deeds and installment land contracts), the contract for sale of land, deeds, land descriptions, recording acts, title examination and protection.


LW 739; 3 hours. This course surveys the law of remedies in civil litigation, exploring the most significant alternatives available to civil litigants-- compensatory and punitive damages; equitable relief, including injunctions and specific performance; legal, equitable and specific restitution; rescission; and reformation. The course considers remedies from a problem-solving perspective and as a set of choices made by clients and their lawyers.

Renewable Energy Law: Wind and Solar

LW 985; 1 hour. The focus is on two forms of renewable energy: wind and solar. The technical foundations for each resource are followed by a study of the patchwork of federal, state, and local laws that promote or inhibit development of wind and solar resources. After acquiring the technical and legal background, the focus will shift to how the legal and practical realities impact developers when evaluating feasibility and siting of a wind or solar project. After considering the business side of the project, the course focuses on the lawyer's work to make it happen. This includes obtaining wind and solar rights, financing, permits, and sale of the power generated. A major portion of the course addresses how to structure the deal and the documents lawyers must negotiate, draft, and administer to create an operating wind or solar facility.

Rural Practice Externship

LW 858; 6 hours. This externship immerses students in the practice of law in a rural community. It provides the opportunity to experience living in a rural community and to appreciate the many civic roles fulfilled by lawyers. In addition to working with the designated supervising lawyer, students will interact with a number of judges, lawyers, government officials, business and civic leaders, and social service providers. The goal is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the varied legal issues addressed in a rural law practice and the professional and personal benefits of living and working in a rural community. Grading is based on Credit/No Credit, and Credit requires a minimum performance of 'C' level (2.0) work.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of one academic year of study.

Specialized Legal Research: Business and Tax

LW 920; 1-2 hours. Specialized Legal Research: Business and Tax will provide students with an introduction to business and tax related materials and advanced training on the finding and utilization of these materials for legal research purposes. Topics covered during the business section of the course will include business forms, business filings, company information and SEC research, along with options for finding primary law and secondary sources for business­related issues. For tax, the course will also focus on resources and best practices for finding primary law and secondary sources in the tax field, with an emphasis on specialized databases geared toward the tax practitioner.

Specialized Legal Research: Foreign and International Law

LW 930; 1-2 hours. This course will introduce students to foreign and international legal research and sources of law. The course will focus on the development of research strategy and the “how-to” of conducting such research: identifying sources, finding tools, and following through by actually finding information.
Prerequisite(s): Legal Analysis, Research and Writing I and Legal Analysis, Research and Writing II.

Specialized Legal Research: Statutory and Regulatory Law

LW 949; 2 hours. This course covers in greater depth various legislative and administrative research topics introduced in the first-year LARW classes. Students will thoroughly examine federal legislative and regulatory processes and master strategies for finding and using various legal and interpretive materials produced by Congress, the President, and government agencies. The course addresses traditional and electronic research methods, techniques for tracking contemporary activity, and the use of FOIA requests and similar mechanisms for obtaining otherwise inaccessible information. As a final project, students will compile an extensive report documenting a federal agency's statutory authority and regulatory activity.
Prerequisite(s): Legal Analysis, Research and Writing I and Legal Analysis, Research and Writing II.

Sports and the Law

LW 794; 2 hours. Sports law is not a specific area or type of law, but rather an avenue through which we can explore how various bodies of substantive law are applied in the context of the sports industry. This course will provide a broad overview of Sports Law and will intersect many areas of law, including contracts, antitrust, torts, IP, and constitutional law, as they relate to sport at the professional, collegiate, and individual/Olympic level.

Study Abroad, Maastricht University

LW 990; 6-15 hours. See the Study Abroad, Maastricht University web site to learn more about this program.

Study Abroad Through Partner Law School

LW 992; 1-6 hours. Students who are planning to participate in an approved study abroad program through another school will enroll in this course after consultation with the Study Abroad Coordinator. Students participating in credit bearing study abroad programs are required to complete a Transfer Credit Application form with the Chair of the Law School Curriculum Committee prior to beginning their program. This form confirms that the student consulted with the law school and that they approve the proposed program of study. A student must receive a grade of "C or better" from the proposed program; however, all course work is posted as credit/no credit. Students may take no more than 6 credit hours as a visiting student.