Academics > curriculum and Coursework > Writing Seminars

Seminar Courses
In general, seminars are offerings normally restricted to about 16 students, or at the instructor’s election, 20 or more students, in which the instructor must require rigorous written work, which comprises of at least two-thirds of the basis for the student’s letter grade.  In order for a student to graduate from law school, he or she must successfully complete a seminar course that meets the “writing requirement” during the second or third year of law school.  Seminar courses that meet the writing requirement are specifically designated on the course offering schedule by a footnote denoting that the course meets the writing requirement. 

Course Description
Death Penalty (LAW 830) (3 Hours)
This course studies the death penalty in the United States including the history of capital punishment; arguments supporting and opposing capital punishment, constitutional issues under the 8th and 14th Amendments, exclusion of jurors, use of psychiatric experts in capital trials, state post-conviction remedies, the scope of federal habeas review, constitutional challenges to the imposition of the death sentence of those deserving death, and the recently expanded federal death penalty laws.

Dispute Resolution (LAW 806) (3 Hours)
This seminar introduces students to the nature of conflict and the choices of processes utilized by the lawyer in the resolution of client disputes. Processes covered include litigation, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and formal settlement. Students are required to write a research paper equivalent in scope and quality to a law review article.

Employment Based Immigration (LAW 857) (3 Hours)
This is a practice-oriented course focusing on business visa classifications and related issues of real world immigration law practice. Topics covered included: client based consultation common employment based non-immigrant visas, consular processing of visas at United States consulates, permanent residence, and drafting various I.N.S. and State Department documents. This course does not meet writing requirements.

Extremism in the Law (LAW 805A) (3 Hours)
This course will examine discrimination from its most subtle form to more violent forms, based upon gender, sexual preference, color, national origin and religion. Special emphasis will be placed on the 14th Amendment and statutory provisions of protected classes.

Health Law (LAW 787) (3 Hours)
This course provides a general introduction to health law, policy, politics and economics. Topics will include, among others, access to healthcare, patient rights, the meaning and effect of "managed care," the relationship of healthcare to public health and selected issues in bioethics. Treatment of these issues in foreign healthcare systems will be analyzed to provide perspective on domestic issues.

Healthcare and Ethics (LAW 893) (3 Hours)
This course examines the legal and ethical problems connected with healthcare organizations. The course will focus on problems encountered by practicing businesses or corporate lawyers in the healthcare field, private and public health insurance and Medicare, Medicaid and other complex regulatory environments created by federal and state healthcare programs.

Short Topical Seminars

Advanced Criminal Law LAW (730) (2 Hours)
This seminar covers one major area of criminal law. This year the topic is Capital Punishment. Topics include goals and limitations, Supreme Court jurisprudence, and the issues of race, youth, and gender.

Advanced Legal Analysis (LAW 832) (2 Hours)
This course examines legal methods, case analysis, legal writing, problem analysis, statutory analysis and legal research. The legal methods component entails case analyses, synthesis and statutory analysis. Students will be exposed to synthesizing judicial decisions, distinguishing and analyzing statutory law, and identifying and framing legal issues as they relate to statutory law.

The legal writing and problem analysis component necessitate identifying issues related to the applicable statutory law, analyzing possible solutions to issues, and reaching conclusions to resolve those issues.

The legal research component involve researching cases relating to the applicable statute, researching articles and utilizing different legal resources as well as electronic research. Students are expected to develop skills beyond those learned in introductory legal analysis courses.

Advanced Legal Argument (LAW 831) (2 Hours)
This course introduces students to the reasoning processes that are used in developing legal arguments and analysis. The seminar is designed to allow direct student participation in learning what logical consequences are and how logical structure, style and argument actually take shape in legal writing. Students will analyze the forms in which legal arguments take shape in writing legal discourse. This course satisfies the law school's writing requirement.

Advanced Legal Writing (LAW 807) (2 Hours)
This course will provide practice in writing legal memoranda and briefs. Students will have the opportunity to refine their legal research and analytical skills as well as their writing skills. The goal of the course is to take students beyond basic competence to excel in legal writing.

Business Planning (LAW 871) (2 Hours)
This course is designed to expose students to the advising of small business enterprises. An understanding of the various planning and counseling techniques is the primary objective of the course. As a first step, the course will outline the various types of business enterprises and present the student with general considerations for choosing between a corporation and a partnership. These considerations include business, financial, tax, and other factors. Further, the tax factors are given in-depth treatment.

Second, the course will consider the issues of enterprise valuation, allocation of managerial control, design of the capital structure, and the tax incidents of a proposed corporation within the context of a business problem.

Third, the course will focus upon the business planning associated with the continuing enterprise. The issues in this area include issuance of new securities, stock dividend distributions, revaluation of assets, reduction of capital to create surplus, along with the attendant tax aspects of the continuing enterprise.

Finally, the course will consider the corporate and tax aspects incidental to the dissolution of a corporation. This problem will explore the various methods by which a corporation may be dissolved, the rights of creditors, the recognition and non-recognition of income, and the tax incidents to the shareholders of the liquidated corporation.

Employment Law (LAW 859) (2 Hours)
The course looks at the law of employment including personnel practices, employment contracts, employee rights, and federal-state regulation of employer-employee relationships.

Estate Planning (LAW 882) (2 Hours)
This course examines the fundamentals of planning for the disposition of property inter vivos and at death, taking into consideration relevant property law and income and transfer tax aspects. Topics will include, with primary emphasis on their federal income, gift, generation-skipping, and estate implications: intestacy, wills, trusts, life insurance, retirement benefits, concurrent interests in the property, future interests and powers of appointment, marital transfers and charitable gifts.

European Union (LAW 848) (2 Hours)
This course will address a set of generic questions about how new legal systems emerge and evolve, focusing substantively on the EU. Among other topics, the course examines the "new constitutionalism" in Europe, the sources and consequences of the "constitutionalism" in Europe, the sources and consequences of the "constitutionalization" of the Treaty of Rome, the relationship between the national and the EU legal orders, litigating and adjudicating EU law in national courts, the development of precedent, and the impact of the legal system on other processes associated with European integration, such as trade, market regulation, and policy making at both the national and supranational levels.

Immigration Law (LAW 755) (3 Hours)
This course provides a comprehensive treatment of immigration law related to the constitutional basis of federal immigration power and regulation of migration into the United States by the Immigration and Nationality Act. The substantive law is developed primarily on the basis of case law analysis. Topics to be considered include the source of the federal government's power to admit, exclude and deport aliens; the due process and substantive rights of aliens at exclusion and deportation proceedings, including analysis of the various relief of deportation provisions of the INA; the validity of efforts by state and federal governments to limit the access of aliens to economic and social benefits; the legal considerations involved in recent legislative proposals to curtail illegal immigration; and the acquisition of permanent resident status and United States citizenship, and the voluntary and involuntary loss of such status. Course must be taken in conjunction with Immigration Clinic (LAW 922).

International Human Rights (LAW 762) (3 Hours)
This class is an introduction to the law, policy theory, institutions, and practice of international human rights. Students is the course will learn about laws, policies, and procedures that presently exist and are aimed at protecting such basic rights as those to life, sufficient food, shelter, and freedom from torture and unwarranted imprisonment. Students will be presented with the tools necessary to develop and raise arguments not only in U.S. courts but also in international tribunals. The course should be particularly interesting to students seeking employment in international as well as U.S. government organizations dealing with human rights, and to students who intend to practice asylum or refugee law. finally, the course should provide students with a more in-depth understanding of U.S. as well as international law.

Intellectual Property (LAW 854) (3 Hours)
The course will examine the nature of the rights, acquisition and enforcement of, and property and contract interests in, patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Jurisprudence (LAW 786) (3 Hours)
The course will examine a variety of historically influential responses to basic questions concerning the nature and legitimacy of law and the difference (if any) between law and morality. Readings will include works by legal positivist, natural lawyers, and legal realists.

Latinos and the Law (LAW 850) (2 Hours)
This course will examine the historical background of Latinos and the law. Coverage of specific topics include civil rights, education, voting rights, discrimination in jury selection, police misconduct, immigration rights and abuses, employment rights, affirmative action, Title VI and First Amendment rights. A research paper is required.

Medical Malpractice (LAW 865) (2 Hours)
This course covers the tort law governing medical malpractice. Topics include standards of care, statute of limitations, informed consent, defenses and tort reform. A seminar paper is required.

Mergers and Acquisitions (LAW 808) (2 Hours)
This course provides an understanding of the issues arising in business acquisitions and divestiture transactions. Coverage is given to theories underlying acquisitions, alternative acquisition techniques and planning considerations that bear on the choice among those techniques.

National Security Law (LAW 842) (3 Hours)
This course will examine theoretical approaches to national and international security from peace studies; international law, with in-depth focus on the international law of conflict management, including norms of permissible and impermissible use of force; the law of war; international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); arms control, norms for control of terrorism; the Nuremberg principles; and mechanism for peaceful resolutions of disputes.

This course also briefly surveys intelligence and counterintelligence law, national security and the First and Fourth Amendments, the War Powers Act, and the national security decision structure.

Patent Law (LAW 847) (2 Hours)
This course focuses upon the law of intellectual property by reviewing the following principal areas: copyright subject matter, originality, fair use, duration, ownership and transfer, infringement and remedies. This course also examines patent requirements, novelty and statutory bars, prior art, utility, inventor-ship rights, remedies and infringement, trademark requirements for protection, subject matter, administrative procedure, rights and remedies.

Political Asylum (LAW 866) (2 Hours)
This course will examine the historical and international framework within which the United States refugee law has developed. Special emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the relationship between international refugee protection instruments, such as the Refugee Convention and Protocol and domestic refugee laws. Students will also be introduced to the major domestic processes by which protection is afforded to those fleeing persecution.

Seminar in Constitutional (Law LAW) 892 (2 Hours)
This course will explore the meaning of, and the relationships among, the free speech clause, and the free exercise of religion clause, and the establishment clause of the United States Constitution. Assigned readings will be drawn principally from the United States Supreme Court opinions. Among the issues to be considered are the role of history, and the inquiry into the framer' intent, in construing the several clauses; the relevance of legislative and administrative motivation in determining which government actions violate the clauses; the relationship among the several clauses and the notion of equal protection; choosing between equality models and the privacy models; the relevance of power and its distribution to theories of the several clauses; comparisons between balancing and categorical approaches; tensions between balancing and categorical approaches; tension between free exercise and anti-establishment; the institutional limits of the judiciary in giving content to the clauses against a background of representative democracy; and the relationship between the background and the presuppositions of speech and religious clauses themselves.

Sexual Orientation and the Law (LAW 885) (2 Hours)
This seminar focuses on sex-based discrimination, including constitutional standards, family, employment, education and criminal law.

Unfair Trade Practices (LAW 772) (2 Hours)
This course is designed to introduce students to specific statutes and legislation regulating business and consumer transactions. Areas covered are competition, trademarks, copyrights, intellectual property protection, deceptive trade practices and remedies. A research paper is required.














































































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