Academics - curriculum and Coursework > Electives

Course Electives Syllabus (Only Available Second and Third Year)

Administrative Law LAW 750 (3 Hours)
This course examines the power and procedure of state and federal agencies and their place in the jurisprudence system, evaluation of the legality of rule making, adjudicative and investigative actions of administrative agencies, applying relevant statues such as the Administrative Procedure Act, and concepts of delegation, ripeness, standing, judicial review, and due process.

Advanced Criminal Procedure and/Adjudication LAW 805A (3 Hours)
The primary focus of this class will be on how the criminal justice process operates under the Constitution, the Texas State Courts and in the Federal Court systems. This class investigates various procedural steps in the criminal law process, including the various forms of legal regulation of police interrogation practices.

Advanced Federal Taxation LAW 781 (3 Hours)
This course will focus on unsolved problems of the federal income tax. Among the topics to be examined are tax shelters and the limitations of the form and substance doctrine, financial derivatives and issues relating to the realization of gain and loss, timing, accounting and imputed interest problems and inflation effects. Prerequisite: Basic Federal Income Taxation-LAW 740

Africa and International Law 765 (3 Hours)
This course's main focus is on current events in Africa, with special emphasis on events that raise issues of international law.

Antitrust LAW 705 (3 Hours)
This course considers the control of private power through legal institutions promoting completion under the Sherman and Clayton Acts and Federal Trade Commission Act. The course focuses on the intersection of law and economics such that students should gain a mastery of antitrust analysis and some insight into America's market economy and the techniques and pitfalls of regulating the economy.

The course will examine: 1) legal and economic concepts of monopoly and monopolization, 2) collaboration (and its nature of proof) among competitors to fix prices, operate trade associations, regulate methods of completion, create joint ventures and set the licenses, 3) "vertical restraints" including resale price maintenance and exclusive detail arrangements and 4) horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate mergers.

Bankruptcy LAW 715 (3 Hours)
This course will provide a comprehensive survey of basic bankruptcy law with emphasis on the structure and the process of business reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Discussion will focus on the basic elements of liquidations and reorganizations, as well as contemporary issues of interest and importance. Significant portions of this course will be devoted to examining the use of reorganization laws to solve a variety of corporate ills from product liability disasters to labor difficulties and over-leveraging. Consideration will also be given to some of the grand issues of bankruptcy including issues that arise as a result of the impact insolvent enterprises may have on competitors and the essential interplay between bankruptcy and other substantive bodies of law. In addition, some time will be devoted to discussion of the current debate over bankruptcy reform.

Civil Rights Law LAW 747 (3 Hours)
This course will provide an in-depth examination of the constitutional litigation under 42 U.S.C.-1983 § 1983, the primary civil rights enforcement statute. Particular attention will be paid to the state action doctrine, qualified and absolute immunities and the varying standards of care governing § 1983 claims.

Civil Rights Legislation and Enforcement LAW 745(3 Hours)
This class will examine the legislative process as it relates to civil rights. Topics will cover selected state and federal constitutional provisions and interpretations of the statute. An examination will be made as to the enforcement provisions of each civil rights statute.

Communications Law LAW 714 (3 Hours)
This class will examine tort liability arising from communications, especially mass media and other public communications. This includes "communications" torts, such as defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of the right of publicity and the application to communications of economic torts, negligence and other theories of tort liability.

Comparative Law LAW 778 (3 Hours)
This course is a comparison of different legal systems with that of the United States. Systems to be studied include civil (continental) law, socialist law, religious legal systems, primitive law and the law of developing nations, as time permits. Some of the subjects compared include: 1) court and legislative organizations, 2) civil and criminal procedure, 3) legal profession, 4) business organization and regulation, 5) labor law and reform, 6) family law, 7) property and succession, 8) legal education, 9) historical origins and 10) the interaction between competing legal systems.

Conflicts of Law LAW 700 (3 Hours)
The course will provide an examination of the applicable principles and rules that govern a court's adjudication of a transaction that is connected to more than one jurisdiction. This course covers issues regarding choice of law jurisdiction, recognition of judgment and constitutional limitations.

Consumer Protection LAW (3 Hours)
A study of the current state of the law as it applies to the protection of the consumer. Topics include debt collection practices, credit disclosure and regulation, product liability, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the work of the FTC, truth in lending laws, and unfair credit laws.

Copyright Law LAW 769 (3 Hours)
This course examines the scope and application of the federal Copyright Act and its role within the overall framework of intellectual property law. Topics covered include the subject matter and procedural requirements for obtaining a copyright; the rules that govern initial authorship, duration, and transfer of copyright; the nature and extent of authorship rights; the doctrines and statutory privileges that are designed to protect the public interest in access to creative works and their public domain building blocks; and the scope of copyright preemption of state law. Special emphasis is given to the impact of new technologies on traditional notions of copyright.

Creditor's Rights LAW 770 (3 Hours)
This course examines the legal rights and practical alternatives of a variety of parties, such as consumer debtors, business debtors, involuntary creditors, secured lenders, tort victims, employees, landlords, spouses, pet owners, and banks. State remedies when a party fails to pay a debt are examined first. The main focus of the course, however, is on the Federal Bankruptcy Act. Work through consumer and business bankruptcies, for both liquidations and reorganizations will be explained.

Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy LAW 723 (3 Hours)
This course examines the legal rights and practical alternatives of a variety of parties, such as consumer debtor's business debtors, involuntary creditors, secured lenders, tort victims, employees, landlords, spouses, pet owners, and banks. State remedies when a party fails to pay a debt are examined first. The main focus of course, however, on the Federal Bankruptcy Act. Students will work through consumer and business bankruptcies, both for liquidations and reorganizations.

Criminal Trial Practice LAW 902 (3 Hours)
This course examines practical lawyering skills through an in-depth study of selected aspects of criminal defense. Topics include interviewing, investigation, drafting and arguing motions, discovery, plea-bargaining, jury selection, trial tactics, and pre-sentencing investigation. Must be taken in conjunction with Basic Skills Clinic (LAW 910)

Dispute Resolution LAW 806 (3 Hours)
This course provides an introduction to and survey of a variety of dispute resolution mechanisms, both formal and informal, within and outside of the courts. Examples include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, administrative hearings, mini-trials and court masters. The student will become acquainted with the nature, functions, relative effectiveness and appropriateness of each of these mechanisms in relationship to particular disputes.

Domestic Relations LAW 725 (3 Hours)
This course is an introduction to family law including marriage, divorce, annulment, child custody, support, adoption, termination of parental rights, and conflicts of laws as it relates to the aforementioned.

Employment Discrimination: Title VII LAW 759 (3 Hours)
This course focuses on federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, age, national origin, and handicap.

Entertainment Law LAW 791 (3 Hours)
This course will examine the various legal issues that arise in entertainment contract law. Student will have the opportunity to engage in interviewing, negotiations and drafting exercises.

Environmental Law LAW 753 (3 Hours)
This course deals primarily with federal legislation relating to clean air, water, the National Environmental Policy Act and other diverse enactments affecting industry, commercial development, energy production, conservation of natural resources and the disposal of hazardous substances.

Estate and Gift Taxation LAW 783 (3 Hours)
This course is designed to examine the structure and analytical development of the wealth transfer tax system. The three underlying transfer taxes, estate, gift, and generation-skipping, are examined for their basic structure and underlying policy justifications. This course also explores how these three taxes apply to various transactions, most of which are t

First Amendment LAW 741 (3 Hours)
This course concerns the constitutional rights of the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Among the topics covered will be offensive speech, libel, pornography, symbolic speech, commercial speech, campaign finance, Internet and broadcast regulation, restrictions on time, place, and manner of expression, selective government subsidies of speech, unconstitutional conditions on speech, religious autonomy, rights of religious communities, aid to parochial schools and other religious institutions, permissible accommodations of religious practice and state establishments of religion.

Gender and the Law LAW 788 (3 Hours)
This course will examine gender as it relates to the law. Different aspects of the law are discussed. Topics include workplaces, jobs, and workers come to be structure along gendered lines. The class will read theoretical accounts, empirical studies, ethnographies, and legal cases to obtain an understanding of the mechanisms through which work becomes gendered.

Government Contracts Law LAW 727 (3 Hours)
Examination of the awarding and administration of government contracts, differences between government and private contracts, litigating disputes, the impact of budget and appropriations process of government contracting, methods of procurement, formal advertising, negotiations and issues determining cost modifications during the life of the contracts, quality control through warranty and inspection, government assistance to contractors, the right to terminate contracts and the various remedies available to parties during disputes.

Independent Research I/II LAW 802/803 (3/3 Hours)
Second and third year students may elect to take three hours of credit for independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. The scope and subject matter of the research project will determined by the teacher supervising the student. The course may only be taken one time. Registration is by application and permission only. Students must submit an approved application and outline at registration. The form is available in the Office of Student Services.

Insurance Law LAW 724 (3 Hours)
This course primarily deals with insurance contract interpretation. Standard forms for fire, homeowners, life, automobile liability and business operations are examined. Problems in the selection and control of risks are explored, and some problems in claim adjustment are addressed. The course is best viewed as a special branch of contract law that derives primarily from common law and relates to a specialized industry.

Intellectual Property LAW 754 (3 Hours)
An introduction to the basic law of property in intellectual endeavors including trademark, patent and copyright. This course will examine the theoretical bases for intellectual property and will ask why some kinds of intellectual effort receive protection and others do not, based on these different theories. It will also question the different forms of legal protection for different kinds of intellectual activity, e.g., patents for invention, copyright for expression. Time permitting, the course will take up some of the critiques of intellectual property emerging from new information technology, biotechnology, medical ethics and the demands and achievements of less developed countries.

International Business Transactions LAW 768 (3 Hours)
This course reviews international trade and investment law from both the business viewpoint and the public policy viewpoint. Among the topics to be considered are the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, particularly the current Uruguay Round of trade negotiations; United States trade law, including countervailing duty and antidumping procedures; international transfer of technology; and the regulation of international lending and investment. The first two weeks of the course will provide background in a traditional lecture and discussion pattern, but the core of the course will consist of student research and negotiation in small groups to produce joint papers and presentations oriented toward contemporary issues. The presentations and papers will constitute the last week of the class and will be the bases for arriving at a grade. The areas to be covered are: a) ways that United States international trade and investment law should be revised to respond to current concerns about competitiveness; b) agriculture at the Uruguay Round; c) services at the Uruguay Round; d) developing nation strategies for the Uruguay Round; and e0 negotiations among the United States, Japan, and Europe in the high technology area.

International Criminal Law LAW 774 (2 Hours)
This seminar will explore events leading to the creation of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia and examine the substantive and procedural framework in which the Tribunal operates. It will also inquire into the present status and likely future of international criminal courts.

International Economic Law LAW 764 (3 Hours)
A general introduction to the economic analysis of legal rules and institutions on an international level. The course presumes no previous training in economics, though it is designed to be of interest to students who have a strong background in that field. The object of the course is to familiarize students in a more systematic and sophisticated manner that is possible in basic courses on substantive law. Using elements of economic analysis and economic insights as tools, this course will cover the structures and functions of law more thoroughly. In addition to exploring the basic elements of substantive law - property, tort, contract, and their interrelations. The course will deal with a range of other topics including procedure, criminal law, organizational law, and the processes law formation.

International Law LAW 760 (3 Hours)
This course is designed to acquaint students with the nature and sources of international law; methods of and problems connected with incorporation of international law into domestic law; certain United Nations structures; basic principles of jurisdiction when suits are against a foreign government, instrumentality or agent (e.g. sovereign immunity and the act of state doctrine); certain jurisdictional conflicts and approaches to solution; and international agreements. During the course, current topics problems are also presented concerning the use of force, the treatment of aliens, and/or the protection of nationals. Also, the focus on jurisdiction includes inquiry into the jurisdiction with respect to land, foreign activities, the high seas and other water areas, the Antarctic and outer space. Materials include relevant treatises, other international documents, international and regional cases, and United States cases and statutes.

International Litigation LAW 761 (3 Hours)
This course will introduce students to issues involving international litigation. Topics to be discussed will include judicial jurisdiction of U.S. courts over foreign defendants, forum selection, the availability of anti- suit injunction in the U.S. courts, taking evidence outside of the United States, doctrine of foreign sovereign immunity and others. It is not required that the student enrolled in this course have taken a course in International Law. A good foundation in Federal Civil Procedure will be useful.

International Trade Regulation LAW 776 (3 Hours)
The multilateral rules and institutions that regulate the conduct of states and other public entities as they regulate cross-border commerce in goods, services, and the use of intellectual property rights. The primary focus is on the World Trade Organization, with attention also paid to NAFTA, the European Community, and other regional systems.

Juvenile Law LAW 726 (3 Hours)
This course examines problems relating to how courts deal with juveniles. The emphasis will be on jurisdictional process of the juvenile courts over minors accused of offenses that would be criminal if the person were an adult. Other areas covered include court treatment of juvenile status offenders and non- criminal conduct, which raises state concerns about inappropriate juvenile behavior. Finally, there will be some coverage of juvenile dependency proceedings.

Labor Arbitration LAW 702 (3 Hours)
This course discusses procedural and substantive labor arbitration issues. Principal activity is preparation and presentation of research papers in the subject matter area.

Labor Law LAW 756 (3 Hours)
A study of the law of labor-management relations under the National Labor Relations Act. Topics include establishment of collective bargaining units, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, unfair labor practices and remedies, concerted activities and rights of individual employees.

Law Practice Management LAW 924 (3 Hours)
This course emphasizes the various consideration, techniques, and approaches that are necessary for a successful management of the legal practice. Topics include forms of organization for the practice of law; overall management techniques and concerns; personnel management; ethical considerations, including professional malpractice and liability insurance; equipment and office layout; libraries; systems, income determination and distribution; client public relations; and development of the practice.

Law Review LAW 796 (2 Hours)
Students who have participated in law review for a semester may enroll in and receive credit for this course. Students are responsible for the entire production of the law journal including editing of lead articles, writing, and editing notes and comments. These responsibilities justify the credit awarded in this course.

Legislation LAW 785 (2 Hours)
This course will provide an introduction to theories of the legislation process and their relation to the theory and the doctrine of statutory interpretation. The course begins with a case study of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is used to illustrate three paradigms of the legislative process. The course will then turn to theory and the practice of statutory interpretation. Students will test the theories of statutory interpretations against theories of law and the legislative process. The course will analyze the doctrine associated with statutory interpretation in detail.

Legislative History: Civil Rights and Reconstruction LAW 746 (2 Hours)
This course will examine the legal and historic period of constitutional amendments and statutes that lifted former African slaves from bondage into full, legal equality as citizens of the United States. Primary focus will be on the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments of the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act.

Local Government LAW 757 (3 Hours)
An examination of the legal and policy issues relating to local education. A basic theme is the role of local education in a democratic society. Coverage includes the power and organization of local governments, the interrelationship among local governments and between local and higher levels of government, and the interrelationship between local governments and their own citizenry and outsiders.
Maritime Law LAW 767 (3 Hours)

This course will examine the historical and current principles of compensation or workers injured on navigable waterways. Coverage is given to the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. Additional topics include environmental issues, shipping, collisions, negligent production, design and construction of watercraft.

Marital Property LAW 720 (2 Hours)
A comparative study of marital property regimes that involves the separate distinction between the separate and community property of spouses is the focus of the course. The course examines the law of the eight community property states and the Uniform Marital Property Act.

Mediation LAW 703 (2 Hours)
The course focuses on negotiation and mediation of legal issues prior to litigation. Students will participate in simulated exercises and other formal means of resolving disputes short of formal court adjudication.

Moot Court LAW 901 (2 Hours)
Students may enroll in this course in their last semester of law school based upon participation points accumulated though prior moot court activity. Students have the responsibility to manage the moot court program, prepare briefs for competitions, and assist in the appellate litigation program. These significant responsibilities, in part, justify the credit given in this course. Prior approval is necessary.

Motion Practice LAW 929 (2 Hours)
This course offer students practical training in the preparation and presentation of pleadings, motions and various discovery documents to be considered prior to trial.

Patents, Copyrights, Trademark LAW (3 Hours)
This course focuses upon the law of Intellectual Property by reviewing three principle areas: Copyright-subject matter, originality, fair use, duration, ownership and transfer, infringement, and remedies; patent -requirements, novelty and statutory bars, prior art, utility, inventorship, rights, remedies, and infringement; and trademark - requirement for protection, subject matter, administrative procedure, rights and remedies and infringement.

Public education Law LAW 758 (3 Hours)
A survey of legal issues affecting education, including students rights, desegregation, special education, educational finance, and church-state relations is the primary focus of this course.

Real Estate Transactions LAW 722 (3 Hours)
This course will discuss the terms and legal issues involved in drafting, executing and enforcing residential real estate contracts, including obtaining and evaluating title evidence prior to closing and recovery for breach of title guarantees. Also, it will introduce certain basic commercial real estate transactions including processes and issues involved in housing subdivisions, condominiums, shopping centers and commercial leases.

Remedies LAW 706 (3 Hours)
A study of the nature and scope of judicial relief available after proper establishment of substantive right. Examines bases for relief under theories of equity law and restitution. The course covers the general principle of damages, specific performance, injunctions recession, restriction and reformation.

Securities Regulation LAW 752 (2 Hours)
This course covers the Securities Act of 1933, the disclosure requirements and registration process associated with the public issuance of securities, exemptions from registration, and the evolution of the regulation of broker/dealers. It also covers the Securities Exchange of 1934 and the state Blue Sky Laws. Additionally, it examines the role of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sport Law LAW 789 (3 Hours)
This course examines the legal relationships arising out of professional and amateur athletics. Special emphasis is placed on the negotiation and enforcement of professional sports contracts. Other subjects covered include antitrust aspects of sports activities, taxation of sports activities, liability for injuries in sports activities and labor aspects.

Standards of Review LAW 707 (3 Hours)
This course is designed to introduce students to certain aspects of appellate procedure. Specifically, the course will consider the standards to review that have been developed to guide appellate courts in determining whether to affirm or reverse the decision of the court or agency below. The course will examine all standards of review and how they are applied. Students will also learn how to prepare an appeal from the trial court or agency. A research paper is required.

Taxation of Business Enterprise Law LAW (3 Hours)
The course deals with the tax implications of the organization of a closely held business; the organization of a public corporation; recapitalization, stock dividends and stock repurchases; liquidations; business combinations; business divisions; and leasing transactions.

Texas Civil Procedure LAW 701 (3 Hours)
This course is designed to cover in-depth analysis of the Texas Code of Civil Procedure. It covers jurisdictions, venue, parties, pleadings, trials, depositions and discovery practices, judgments, new trials, provisional remedies, execution of judgment and the announcement of judgments.

Oil and Gas Law LAW 721 (3 Hours)
This class surveys the Texas Property Code and the laws relating to oil and gas exploration, development, and production. It includes coverage of oil and gas leases, mineral servitudes, various types of royalties, problems with divided ownership and state regulation of oil and gas development.

Thesis Research LAW (3 Hours)
This course affords student the opportunity to study intensively and prepare a paper in a specialty area of law. The paper produced must be an in depth and advanced analysis of a topic and must substantially surpass the level of coverage available in the curriculum for the area of law researched. The paper must demonstrate each of the following: substantial legal research, analytical writing, original thought, and proper writing style and citation form. the paper is done in consultation with a faculty member who serves as supervisor. Three credit hours is the maximum credit and only one (1) paper can be applied towards credits required. Further, the paper must be completed within two (2) semesters. Applicants must apply by a stated deadline, i.e., no later than the second Wednesday in October for the spring semester. Students must receive approval of the faulty supervisor, the Curriculum committee, and the Dean.

Title VII Litigation LAW 910 (3 Hours)
This course provides a comprehensive survey of the federal laws applicable to employment discrimination in the public and private sector based on race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, and handicapped status. Time will be spent learning the intricacies of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as applied from the administrative level through the courts. The course's focus will be on the law as set forth in statutes, regulations and cases; however, considerable time will be devoted to procedures at the administrative level. Major issues dealt with include: affected employers and other entities, statutory exemptions, hiring and testing criteria, validation methods, seniority rights; remedies (punitive and liquidated damages, back pay, front pay, debarment, quotas); attorney fees; administrative procedures; litigation strategies and burdens; theories of liability (disparate treatment, adverse impact, comparable worth); class actions; referral, promotion and discharge issues; religious accommodation; height, weight and grooming requirements; age discrimination; equal pay; sexual harassment; sexual lifestyles; NLRB and discrimination; discrimination against federal employees; affirmative action; and contract compliance.

Workmen's Compensation LAW 792 (2 Hours)
The class covers historical and current principles of compensation for worker injuries, disease, or death arising out of employment; coverage and procedures of federal statutes; types of disabilities and benefits; prerequisite for entitlement to benefits; defenses; and rules against third parties.

 

 

 

   


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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