Accounting for Lawyers - 3 Units
This course will provide a technical and conceptual foundation in financial accounting skills which are relevant for attorneys who advise business entities. Accordingly, this course will emphasize the interpretation and use of financial statements and accounting schedules in the practice of law and their related legal implications. This course will be very different from most tradition Law School courses which typically employ an extensive study of relevant case law; instead, this course will primarily focus on interpreting relevant accounting pronouncements and concepts.
Administrative Law - 3 Units
Administrative law studies how federal agencies interact with the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The course covers the president’s authority over the agencies; the rulemaking procedures by which agencies implement congressional statues; and the role of the federal courts in reviewing agency actions. The course also focuses on the power of the executive to appoint and remove officials and to issue executive orders that sometimes conflict with congressional acts. In addition, the class will study due process issues that arise when agencies try to manage regulatory and benefit programs efficiently and yet ensure fair treatment and accountability to those they serve. Because many lawyers now practice in regulated areas—such as food and drug law; health law; environmental law; housing and zoning law; energy law; communications law; education law; business, corporate and securities law; and employment and labor law — Administrative Law has become a very important course for students in law school.
Advanced California Legal Research - 2-3 Units
Previously titled California Legal Research. Designed primarily for second, third, and fourth-year law students who are planning to practice law in California, this overview course will provide practical legal research skills to help prepare students to conduct legal research as clerks, interns, or new attorneys. Assignments, lectures, and regular hands-on in-class exercises will emphasize cost-efficient research strategies, print, and online legal materials, and law practice technology. Written assignments will emulate research assignments typically given to attorneys new to practice. Lectures and assignments will focus on California law, court systems and practice materials. Students who completed Advanced Legal Research are not eligible to enroll.
Advanced Constitutional Law - 3 Units
This course builds upon the required Constitutional Law course, offering a more in-depth analysis of Individual Rights. We will compare broadly across various constitutional doctrines that protect both equality and liberty. For the purpose of gaining a more holistic perspective of constitutional adjudication, we will focus on a close reading of select cases in their entire, unedited, original versions. Also, we will emphasize historical lessons about the relationship between social change and constitutional interpretation, and also highlight contemporary constitutional controversies. Your thorough preparation and lively participation will be necessary to enrich our experience together. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law
Advanced Criminal Procedure - 3 Units
This course covers the practical courtroom applications of Criminal Procedure from investigation and arrest through conviction. We will examine the power of the government in its ability to charge an individual with a crime, and the checks on that power which are created by the Constitution, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and California state law. Topics will be approached with an emphasis on how these issues are raised, litigated, and adjudicated in court in the course of a criminal case with an emphasis on outside-the-box thinking and innovative legal strategy. Students will learn about prosecutorial discretion to bring criminal charges, the complaint, initial appearance, bail, preliminary examination, grand jury, joinder and severance, motion practice, discovery, pleas, continuance, time limitations, jurisdiction and venue, trial, double jeopardy, sentencing, and direct and collateral appellate review. They will also learn about how that power can be tested, and checked.Prerequisite: Criminal Procedure
Advanced Labor & Employment Law Seminar - 3 Units
This course provides an intensive, individualized writing experience for students interested in labor and employment law. Working with the professor and other seminar participants, students will write a law review style article suitable for publication or submission to a writing competition. The substantive labor and employment law taught will depend upon student interest and paper topics. The course requires students to meet a series of hard deadlines and participate in peer editing. Strongly recommended for students working on the labor and employment law certificate. Labor/employment course work is prerequisite or co-requisite, although students with other appropriate experience may be admitted with approval of professor.
Advanced Legal Analysis / Logic for Lawyers - 2 Units
Students will develop and hone their skills of analytical thinking, test-taking, and test preparation for the essays and MBE (multiple choice) portions of the bar exam, all necessary skills to pass the bar exam. Classes includes creative exercises and practice exams with class debriefs on essay and MBE questions and extensive feedback on individual exam essay writing. Students must attend at least 80% of the classes (a minimum of 12) and complete all the writing assignments.
Advanced Legal Analysis Practice - 1 unit
A professor-directed course designed for each enrolled student to continue and sharpen their understanding of selected subject areas through assigned writing and problem solving exercises in subject courses previously taken or not taken by the student and tested on bar examinations. Prerequisite: Advanced Legal Analysis.
Advanced Legal Research - 2 Units
A course designed to teach "real-world" legal research skills that will prepare students for the research challenges they will encounter in legal practice. Assignments, lectures, and regular hands-on in-class exercises will emphasize cost-efficient research strategies, legal technology and current resources for attorneys, as well as Internet research. Graded assignments will emulate research assignments typically given to attorneys new to practice. This course will be taught in a "hybrid" format, which means that during certain weeks, the class will not physically meet. During those weeks, students will engage in a variety of online course activities, such as participating in online discussions with classmates and completing online quizzes or tutorials. Students who completed (Advanced) California Legal Research are not eligible to enroll. Prerequisites: LRWA I & II
Advanced Legal Writing for the Courtroom and Media - 3 Units
This class is designed to give students the tools they need to write a clear and cogent argument, whether it is an op-ed piece, a blog post, or a substantial legal pleading. Particularly strong work may be submitted for publication.
Alternative Dispute Resolution - 3 Units
A general introduction to the field of ADR. This addresses the enforceability of arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution agreements, as well as the ethical issues raised in the field. A series of simulations will be used to introduce students to the theories and skills used in negotiation and mediation.
American Legal Systems I - 2 Units
This course begins with an overview of the U.S. Constitution, the structure of the federal government, and federal and state judicial systems. Special emphasis is given to the relation between state and federal courts and the selection and function of American judges and juries. Selected judicial interpretations of constitutional law and contract law are discussed. The course includes legal research and writing components including classes introducing the students to Westlaw/Lexis; locating federal statutes; locating federal cases, and locating law review articles which are all discussed in class. Students are given an overview of each of these components and do exercises which are discussed in subsequent classes. Classes are punctuated with visits to the California Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Afterwards, students write papers comparing one aspect of law in their country with U.S. law. Prerequisites: (Foreign Students Only) (2 credits fall, 2 credits spring) Required for all LLM students who have not received a prior degree from an American law school.
American Legal Writing and American Legal System II - 2 Units
The goal of this course is to introduce the students to some of the skills they will need in order to execute the needs of an American client, whether they work abroad or in the U.S. The class covers the basics of American Legal Writing, including fact gathering, legal analysis, problem-solving for a client, writing objective legal memorandum and writing persuasive legal briefs. Students also practice oral advocacy. In addition, students observe a jury trial, visit San Quentin Prison, and write papers about their experiences afterwards. Prerequisites: (Foreign Students Only) (2 credits fall, 2 credits spring) Required for all LLM students who have not received a prior degree from an American law school.
Animal Law - 2 Units
A survey of the law’s understanding and treatment of animals by looking at the development of federal and state policies toward wild, captive, farmed, and companion animals. Specific topics may include the history of animal law; the legal status of animals as property; the concepts of animal welfare and animal rights; regulation of the use of animals in exhibition, agriculture, and other commercial industries, with particular emphasis on the environmental effects of animal agriculture; First Amendment and other constitutional issues raised in cases involving animals; the protection of animals by anti-cruelty and other laws; and a review of selected other topics and federal statutes. The course will incorporate legal concepts from other fields, encourage critical thought and new approaches to the issues presented, and focus on real-world applications of law in this rapidly-developing field.
Antitrust - 3 Units
A study of federal and state laws promoting a free market economy. The course also considers some aspects of the competition laws in their international application including the laws of jurisdictions outside the U.S. The focus is on legal prohibitions against price fixing combinations, restraints of trade, monopolization of markets, and anti-competitive mergers. The main laws studied are the federal Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Federal Trade Commission Act. Emphasis is placed on the ability to evaluate the antitrust risks present in proposed business and marketing plans.
Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Rights - 2 Units
This antitrust course focuses on the relationship between antitrust and intellectual property law , addressing how they generally complement but occasionally conflict with each other. The course will analyze various intellectual property licensing practices under governing antitrust principles, the extent of a patent owner’s right to exclude others from technology markets, antitrust risks in the prosecution or settlement of intellectual property claims, how adoption of industry standards for intellectual property can violate the antitrust laws , and similar practices. It also includes a comparative analysis between antitrust liability and the defense of patent misuse.
Appellate Advocacy - 3 Units
An advanced advocacy course that teaches the complementary skills of brief writing and oral argument at a sophisticated level. Prerequisites: Moot Court and membership on the 2016-17 advocacy teams
Applied Evidence - 1 unit
A skills course devoted to practicing the application of evidence rules in fast-paced courtroom scenarios. Students participate in weekly trial exercises for which they must research issues, prepare a direct or cross-examination, and plan for objections and responses. Also covers the proper admission of evidence. Students receive immediate feedback after each practice session. Prerequisites: Evidence
Arbitration - 3 Units
This course will combine lecture and practice to examine the utility of arbitration as a dispute resolution process from both a litigation and transactional perspective. The course will study both the statutory and decisional law applicable to arbitration. Students will draft arbitration agreements, advocate for and against arbitration, experience the difference between advocacy in arbitration and advocacy in court and test the finality of arbitration awards.
Art Law - 2 Units
This course covers the legal, practical and ethical issues surrounding creation, display and sale of artistic content in traditional and new media. It examines notable controversies involving artists’ rights, intellectual property concerns, censorship and related First Amendment claims, art market conflicts, museum commercialization, and ethically questionable sponsorships, collaborations and commissions. We also study cultural heritage and indigenous art claims, current political disputes about memorials and monuments, and cases of stolen and trafficked art and art looted during war.
Asian Legal Systems - 2 Units
This course surveys the legal systems of the 15 Asian countries and compares them to each other and to the legal system of the United States. It begins with the constitutions of the countries and then focuses on laws relating to such matters as business transactions, competition law, intellectual property, dispute resolution, corporations, and the fight against corruption. Law is presented against the he background and interaction of culture and religion and histories of the countries. The course is taught in four modules: a “Central Module” which considers countries and as a whole, a “China Related Module” which covers China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, a “Strategic Rim Module” which covers Japan, the Koreas, and the Philippines, and Vietnam, and “Southern Eclectic Module, which covers Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and emerging Myanmar (Burma), where English, Dutch, and Islamic law have an historic and current influence.
ASP or ABES Tutors - 1 or 2 Units
Students will learn how to interpret their grades on their fall exams and to self-diagnose their performance. They should be able to track their performance to their activities during class, creating their course outlines during the semester, and their exam preparation strategies and techniques.
Banking & Financial Services: From Lombard St to Fintech - 3 Units
This seminar is open to both Law and Business students. It will introduce the core principles of banking and the financial system – ranging from commercial banking and consumer finance to investment banking, securities trading and “shadow banking.” It will investigate the impact of technology and innovation – including “Fintech” – on the efficiency, safety and stability of the financial system. We will address both regulation and the policy decisions that drive it. The regulation of banking and finance was severely challenged by the 2008 financial crisis, and the regulatory response has been extensive and complex. It has also generated substantial job opportunities, both in the regulatory agencies and in the industry. There will be an emphasis on class participation, and each student will explore an issue in detail, write a paper and present it to the class. Previous course title: Banking & Financial Services: Innovation, Instability & Regulation.
Bankruptcy - 3 Units
A study of creditors' rights and debtors' protection under the Federal Bankruptcy Code. The course provides an overview of liquidation and reorganization, both for individuals and corporations. Debtor-creditor relations under state law are also considered, both as an alternative to bankruptcy and as they relate to proceedings in bankruptcy .
Bioethics Law - 3 Units
Focusing on the interface of law, medicine, and ethics, this course will examine a number of issues concerning reproductive rights, death and dying, medical research, genetic technology, access to health care and health care decision making. Within the context, we also will seek to analyze the way that our definition of individual rights reflects our assumptions regarding nature, technology, and various human relationships.
Biotechnology - 2 Units
A survey class with an overview of legal, corporate, intellectual property, ethical and regulatory issues impacting the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Basic principles of licensing, litigation, and international law will also be discussed. The course focuses on the impact of the legal and regulatory system on research, products, and intellectual property for companies and institutions. Consideration is given to: (1) How do legal issues promote or hinder the development of technology, (2) What role should ethics and public health and safety concerns play in the law, (3) At what level should biotechnology be regulated: internationally, federally, at a state level, or locally? A prior course in intellectual property law or some life science background is helpful but not required.
California Civil Discovery - 2 Units
Formerly: Discovery. An advanced course in the discovery and other related aspects of civil procedure. Emphasis is placed on the conduct and use (both at trial an in the negotiation of settlements) of oral depositions, written interrogatories, production of documents, and other discovery and disclosure techniques. Recommended: Evidence
California Civil Procedure - 3 Units
A study of the mechanics of California litigation and the rules which govern California state court organization, jurisdiction and procedure. This course will touch on discovery lightly, at most. This course is critical to anyone who intends to practice in California's Superior Courts. Students will develop and expand their marketable skill set with a practical application of the California Code of Civil Procedure to Pleadings (drafting, challenging, and amending), Strategic Timing of Discovery, Case Management Conferences, Dispositive Motions/ Motions for Summary Judgment, ADR, and Pre-Trial Motions and Procedures.
California Construction Law - 3 Units
A class that provides a broad, basic understanding of construction law including methods of contracting and issues in the context of construction disputes.
Chinese Law (Topics vary each semester) - 2 Units
Spring 2019 - New Era in Chinese & US International Economic Law. This course will focus on the relationship between China and U.S. in international economic law. The subject matter is divided into four sections: 1) the impact of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on China, which has transformed its planned economy to an open economy, and its closed market to a more open one, 2) the disputes between China and the United States in the WTO, 3) China’s involvement in the settlement mechanisms, particularly in regard to environmental issues, and 4) discussions about measures and counter-measures for U.S.- China economic and trade issues.
Summer 2019 - Introduction to Chinese Business Law. Over the past 40 years, China has developed a multi-faceted commercial law. The law ranges from antitrust to intellectual property to securities and corporate law, to tort law, and beyond. China has taken some of the best aspects of Western and historical Chinese law and has melded them with new concepts into a uniquely Chinese law, one that bridges the gap between socialism and capitalism. China is essentially a civil law country, but with unique concepts of civil law and contract law, as well as employment and related laws. The course studies Chinese business law and its differences from American law, with emphasis on avoiding pitfalls and enforcing Chinese court judgments in American courts and on developing an understanding of enforceable contracts. It is a primer for American lawyers and Courts which increasingly need to be familiar with Chinese business related laws as China becomes an even more sophisticated trading partner and competitor. The course will cover the basic areas of Chinese business law, using theory, cases and practical examples to identify key challenges for modern Chinese business law. Interspersed throughout the course will be case studies that will help students to understand the current situation in China and the problems at the frontier of Chinese business law.
Civil Procedure - 3-4 Units
A study of the mechanics of civil litigation and the rules which govern enforcement of rights and duties. Broad coverage includes an introduction to federal and state court organization, jurisdiction, and procedure. There is particular consideration of subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, venue, process, pleadings, sanctions, discovery, and dispositions before trial, and coverage may also include post-trial disposition and finality of judgments. Focus is on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but consideration is also given to the California Code of Civil Procedure.
Civil Procedure II - 2-3 Units
A study of the mechanics of litigation and the rules which govern enforcement of the rights and duties studied in substantive law courses. Coverage includes a brief review of subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and venue as well as joinder of parties and causes, class actions, pre-trial motions, trials, post-trial motions, appellate review, choice of law, and finality and effects of judgments and decrees. Consideration is given to both the California Code of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Climate Change Seminar - 3 Units
This seminar will provide an introduction to the key legal and policy issues presented by climate change at the international and domestic levels. The seminar will cover climate mitigation (measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions), as well as climate adaptation (measures to address climate change impacts). The seminar will provide an overview of international treaties and negotiations, federal measures under the Clean Air Act and through the Department of Energy, and state and local approaches, with a particular emphasis on California initiatives. Students will be expected to provide several short commentaries on the readings during the semester and to write and present a research paper. Potential research topics will be elicited from state agencies and environmental groups engaged in climate change policy and litigation and, where possible, will be jointly supervised by the practicing attorneys soliciting the research. Prior or simultaneous coursework in Environmental Law and Energy Law are recommended but not required.
Commercial Real Estate Transactions - 3 Units
This course will prepare students to represent clients in commercial real estate transactions and business transactions more generally. We will investigate the fundamentals of real estate finance and taxation, and the legal implications of each of the key phases of every real estate transaction—letter of intent negotiation, purchase and sale agreement negotiation, due diligence review, loan negotiation, and closing escrow requirements to name a few—in the order they occur. We will pay particular attention to today’s credit markets and the loan products they offer, as well as to California’s deed of trust practice and unique creditor’s rights laws. Through this process we will explore fundamental business law concepts like the relationship between indemnity and insurance. The course is practice oriented, and students will learn how to advocate for clients in the context of a business transaction by learning to prepare transaction documents that best protect their client’s interest. There is no final exam but instead three performance oriented exams during the course of the class. Materials will include text book and California specific materials. Prerequisite(s): Property
Community Property - 2 Units
A survey of the development and operation of the community property system in California. Particular emphasis is placed on an analysis of the creation of and nature of interests in community property and the distinction, sources, and classification of individual and community property. Coverage includes vesting of rights, transmutations, presumptions, tracing, commingling, and apportionment and disposition of property upon death or lifetime dissolution of marriage. Prerequisites: Property
Comparative Law - 3 Units
This course offers an introduction to the theoretical and practical issues of comparative law. It provides an overview of the main traditions of legal thought and traces the evolution of both civil and common law systems as they have been adapted and transplanted to jurisdictions around the world. Although the focus of the class is primarily methodological, the course will also include comparisons of substantive case law.
Competition Team: ABA Labor & Employment Law Trials Competition - 2 Units
The American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law established the LEL Trial Advocacy Competition to introduce law students to the challenges and rewards of employment and labor litigation. Law students who participate in the Competition have the opportunity to develop their trial advocacy technique in a mock courtroom experience. The Competition offers participating students a forum in which they may develop the skills they will be using as practitioners, and a chance to meet and network with fellow law students and labor and employment law practitioners.
Competition Team: Asylum Competition - 2 Units
The UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition is the only competition in the nation devoted exclusively to the topic of asylum and refugee law. It is also the only immigration law moot court competition on the West Coast. The competition provides law students from across the country the opportunity to participate in a hypothetical appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Competitors will write a brief as either respondent or petitioner on an issue related to asylum and refugee law. Shortly after submitting their briefs, students will participate in oral arguments. Students’ briefs and oral arguments will be judged by prominent judges, attorneys and scholars that specialize in the areas of immigration law and/or appellate advocacy.
Competition Team: Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition - 2 Units
The Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition is an interscholastic appellate moot court competition jointly sponsored each year by The University of Texas School of Law and a host law school, in memory of Judge John R. Brown, one of the nation's most prominent admiralty judges who served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1955 - 1993.
Competition Team: Lefkowitz Competition - 2 Units
The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition is an annual event honoring Saul Lefkowitz, whose entire distinguished career was dedicated to the development of trademark and unfair competition law. The competition introduces law students to important issues arising in U.S. trademark and unfair competition law. Students develop their brief writing and oral advocacy skills in a mock courtroom experience. The competition is open to teams of students from U.S. accredited law schools. Approximately 80 teams of law students participate in the competition each year. Students are expected to write a brief reflecting the issues in the Fact Pattern/Problem. Students will then argue the case in regional and national competitions before a panel of volunteer attorneys, judges from various district and other courts, members of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and jurists from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Competition Team: National Appellate Advocacy Competition - 2 Units
The ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock court.
Competition Team: National Criminal Procedure Competition - 2 Units
The National Criminal Procedure Tournament regularly hosts teams from the top moot court programs around the nation for competition taking place in late October or early November. This competition provides advocates with the opportunity to argue challenging and timely issues related to criminal procedure before experienced and knowledgeable members of the California Bench and Bar.
Competition Team: National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition - 2 Units
Organized by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and UC Hastings School of Law, this competition features a criminal trial case. The competition features 24 law school teams from all around the country. Each team is comprised of four students who must prepare both a prosecution and defense team; each student performs the role of advocate and witness and following every round, the team must switch roles.
Competition Team: SFTLA Mock Trial Competition - 2 Units
This competition is hosted by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA). Each trial team will consist of four students: two attorneys and two witnesses. Team members may change roles between sessions. The competition will be judged by the members of SFTLA. They will score according to the criteria provided.
Competition Team: Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition - 2 Units
This tournament provides advocates with the opportunity to argue challenging and timely issues related to criminal procedure before experienced and knowledgeable members of the California Bench Bar.
Competition Team: USF Advocate of the Year (AYC) - 1 unit
AYC is an intramural appellate advocacy competition open to all second, third, and fourth year students who have successfully completed the Spring academic program. AYC occurs over a series of weekends and culminates in a final competition where the school’s two top oral advocates argue before a panel of distinguished local judges.
Competition Team: Wagner Employment Law Competition - 2 Units
The New York Law School Moot Court Association administers the Robert F. Wagner National Labor & Employment Law Moot Court Competition in honor of the late U.S. Senator and distinguished alumnus. The competition is the nation’s largest student-run moot court competition and the premier national competition dedicated exclusively to labor and employment law. For over 30 years, schools from across the country have competed in this prestigious event.
Constitutional Law I & II - 6 Units
This year-long course is an examination of the American constitutional system. Principles and practices of judicial review and interpretation in constitutional cases are studied with particular reference to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court. There is an examination of selected Congressional Powers, the authority of the President, and constitutional limitations on the exercise of governmental powers and the distribution of power between the federal and state governments. The course also focuses on the guarantees of individual rights, with an intensive coverage of freedom of expression, religious liberty, due process, and equal protection of the laws.
Constitutional Law - 4 Units
This course is an examination of the American constitutional system. Principles and practices of judicial review and interpretation in constitutional cases are studied with particular reference to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court. There is an examination of selected Congressional Powers, the authority of the President, and constitutional limitations on the exercise of governmental powers and the distribution of power between the federal and state governments. The course also focuses on the guarantees of individual rights, with an intensive coverage of freedom of expression, religious liberty, due process, and equal protection of the laws.
Contemplative Lawyering - 2 Units
This class will expose students to contemplative practices derived from a variety of religious and secular (wisdom) traditions to help them develop lawyering skills that are essential in litigation and transactional practices, including interviewing, counseling, negotiating, problem-solving and advocacy. These lawyering skills require the personal capacity to focus without distraction; to respect and empathize with clients and colleagues; to listen and explain with open-mindedness and patience; to inject creativity into problem-solving; to facilitate productive communication among adversaries; to deal constructively with conflict; and to engage in honest and fearless self-critique. In order to develop these underlying abilities students will learn about and perform various contemplative practices and apply these practices to their own actual legal experiences (e.g. law school studies and externships/internships) in an iterative process. Development of these abilities will be supported by assigned readings, class discussions, writing assignments and regular contemplative practice. The ultimate goal of the class is to enable students to cultivate essential lawyering skills in a manner conducive to practicing law as thoughtful, grounded and moral people.
Contracts I - 3-4 Units
This is a basic study of the principles that govern the creation, interpretation, enforcement, and termination of private agreements. Coverage includes formation and interpretation of contracts, breach of contract, defenses to the enforcement of contracts, and remedies available for breach. Attention is given to the Uniform Commercial Code and other relevant statutes.
Contracts II - 2 Units
This course covers those topics within the subject of Contracts which were either not covered in the required first year introductory course or are of such difficulty and importance that a more in-depth approach is warranted. Topics will be drawn from Article II (Sales) of the UCC as well as those covered by the Restatement 2nd of Contracts. The course will emphasize skills development, including strategies for answering multiple choice questions and effective analytic writing.
Contracts Drafting - 3 Units
This course provides introductory, hands-on training in the basic techniques of contract drafting. It is designed to help students acquire general tools and skills applicable to various types of contracts. Students will learn to: translate the terms of a business deal into contract concepts; draft a logically-organized, precise, enforceable contract in plain English; edit the contract to reflect client input and negotiated changes; grapple with ethical issues arising during the contract drafting process; and read, analyze, and critique contracts drafted by others. Students cannot earn credit for both Contract Drafting and Technology Contracting.
Copyright Law - 3 Units
A survey of the exclusive property rights given to authors, artists, designers, computer program writers, composers and performers under federal and state law. Emphasis is placed on the ability to advise both creators and users of data, information and creative works. Coverage is also given to related rights such as moral rights, and the right of publicity.
Corporate Governance - 3 Units
An exploration of the issues and principles related to an organization’s corporate governance, focusing on the interrelationship of an organization’s shareholders, directors and management. The course surveys and analyzes recent changes to organizations’ corporate governance structures and operations; the roles, duties and legal liabilities of an organization’s directors and officers; and the increasing federalization of areas of corporate governance that traditionally had been governed under state corporation law; especially on new federal regulatory developments.
Corporate Taxation - 3 Units
An in-depth study of the federal taxation of corporations and their shareholders. Coverage includes formation and capital structure; dividends and other distributions; redemptions, liquidations, and reorganizations; elections under Subchapter "S"; and some special problems affecting professional corporations. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation
Corporations - 3-4 Units
A course in the fundamentals of corporate law, including the concept of the entity and its liabilities, as well as management and organization. Coverage includes the issuance of shares, elections, fiduciary obligations, and basic securities regulation.
Criminal and Juvenile Justice Law Clinic - 6 Units
A successor to our first in-house program, the criminal clinic remains a core component of the USF Law Clinic. Students enrolled in this clinic represent indigent defendants in all phases of criminal proceedings, from arraignment through trial and appeal. They also represent minors in juvenile court delinquency proceedings. Prerequisites: Criminal Procedure, Evidence and selection by instructor.
Criminal Procedure - 3 Units
A critical examination of the law governing the method by which persons who are accused of committing crimes are processed through the criminal justice system. Coverage focuses on the panoply of limits on the government and the rights of individuals under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and includes skills-oriented components to afford students opportunities to apply the rules in practice and to test the boundaries of criminal procedure.
Criminal Procedure Adjudication - 2 Units
This course covers many critical issues not considered in the Criminal Procedure course, which focuses on the Fourth (search and seizure), Fifth (interrogations), and Sixth (counsel) Amendments. Adjudicatory Criminal Procedure deals with such post-investigative issues as police and prosecution discretion to bring criminal charges, the complaint, initial appearance, bail, preliminary examination, grand jury, joinder and severance, motion practice, discovery, pleas, continuance, time limitations, jurisdiction and venue, trial, and double jeopardy. The course will examine both the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and California criminal procedure.
Data Privacy Law & Skills with Guided Externship - 1 unit plus externship.
Data Privacy Law and externship (3 units minimum: 1 unit of class credit, minimum of 2 units of externship credit): This course will have a classroom component as well as an externship program with the placement arranged through the course. Students will be placed in private corporations, public agencies, law firms, or non-profit groups to work on data privacy compliance, advising and/or policy work. The focus will be on developing practical skills for use after graduation. The classroom component will cover data privacy law rules and practices to provide background for the externships and also cover privacy problems that arise during the externships. Information Privacy Law or Internet Law is a prerequisite. Placement in the class/externship to be determined by the professor after aplication and interview conducted during previous semester.
Directed Research - 1 or 2 Units
A non-classroom course permitting independent and original research in a specialized area of the law under direction of a full-time faculty member.
Domestic Violence Law & Litigation - 3 Units
This course provides an in-depth examination of domestic violence law. Students may opt to take the course with an externship at the Alameda County Family Justice Center legal clinic to supplement course learning, though it is not a condition of enrollment. Students examine domestic violence issues through studying domestic violence law, causation and solutions, and trauma-informed civil litigation practices. This course satisfies requirements for Professional Skills and Experiential Units.
Education Law - 3 Units
The course will introduce students to some of the most important legal issues relating to primary and secondary (K-12) education in the United States, and it will touch to a lesser extent on issues concerning higher education. This course will consider both constitutional and statutory sources of law, with a heavy emphasis on the Fourteenth Amendment, First Amendment, and Title IX of Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act. Primary topics for discussion will include, but are not limited to: racial inequality and ongoing efforts to integrate and equalize public schools; economic inequality and educational funding; the needs of students with disabilities; sex segregation in schools and school facilities; harassment due to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and freedom of expression and religion in schools.
Elder Law - 2 or 3 Units
Designed to equip students with a basic knowledge of elder law, which combines multiple areas of practice with the ability to work with elders and their families. This course will focus primarily on elder law issues related to estate planning, conservatorship practice, benefits eligibility, and elder abuse. Consideration will be given to ethical issues, capacity assessments and blending theory and practice in the representation of older clients.
Employee Benefits (ERISA) - 3 Units
An overview of pension, health and employee benefit law. The subject touches trusts, tax, labor, torts, insurance, investments, state/local legislation and family and estate law. Emphasis is placed on litigation subjects, such as denial of medical/retirement benefits, age discrimination, and fiduciary duty.
Employment Discrimination - 3 Units
A survey of federal law prohibitions against, and remedies for, employment discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, sex, age, and disability. The principle focus is on Title VII, the Age of Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, but California Law is also discussed. Among the issues covered are: the nature and proof of discrimination, justifications for discrimination, harassment as discrimination, the "reasonable accommodation” requirement, and innovative approaches in the field.
Employment Law - 3 Units
This course surveys the rapidly evolving law of the workplace and the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. Its focus is on the developing legal limits to the traditional “employment at will” doctrine. Common law topics include implied contract theories, the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and wrongful discharge claims. The class also explores the trend toward statutory regulation of the workplace by analyzing some of the federal laws governing specific terms and conditions of employment. The class also introduces some of the issues arising from the intersection between employment and intellectual property law, including employers’ use of non-competition agreements and trade secret protection.
Employment Law Clinic - 6 Units
Students in this clinic represent clients in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mediations involving alleged discrimination. Students investigate claims and prepare cases for mediation. As part of their preparation, students develop the theory of the case, determine damages, and write a mediation brief. Upon successful resolution of the case, students prepare a settlement agreement. In addition, students become involved in wage and hour disputes before the California Labor Commissioner. The clinic assists clients of the Instituto Laboral de la Raza, a nonprofit workers' rights organization that addresses the needs of low income workers and their families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Employment Law Seminar - 3 Units
Students explore advanced topics in employment law, as well as the process of writing academic papers. Each student prepares a paper on an employment law topic of their choice and presents it to the class during the term. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: Employment Law, Employment Discrimination, or permission of the Professor. Prerequisites: Employment Law, or Employment Discrimination, or permission of the Professor.
Energy Law - 3 Units
This course will provide an in‑depth review of the basic principles of energy law, with a particular focus on the regulated electricity and natural gas industries. It will survey both federal and state law, and will cover important federal-state jurisdictional issues grounded in the Commerce Clause and Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Students will learn basic principles of the regulatory scheme in the United States, including cost-of-service ratemaking, modern market-based rates, and experiments (not all of them successful) with deregulation. A segment of the course will cover key developments in the emerging area of renewable energy.
Entertainment & Media Law - 2 Units
A study of legal and business issues which arise in the creation, distribution and sale of products and services in the music, radio, television, news media, publishing, theater, and movie industries. Coverage includes components on sexual and violent content in entertainment and the law; privacy rights and defamation issues; celebrity rights; fair use; the implications of technological innovations on intellectual property rights in entertainment; artistic credit and control; and emerging issues in the creation and digital distribution of content. Prerequisites: Copyright Law or Intellectual Property Survey.
Environmental Law - 3 Units
An overview of federal environmental law and regulation covering the primary common law approach to environmental issues, nuisance law, and addressing the major federal environmental statutes’ role in land use, pollution control, and liability for hazardous contamination. The course we will focus on the following themes: (1) How does the nature of an environmental problem affect the crafting of the legal response? (2) What are the primary ways in which pollution control mechanisms are or could be structured? (3) What are the economic and efficiency implications of various pollution control and liability policies? (4) What are the fairness implications of various pollution control and liability policies? (5) How does or should environmental law cope with the problem of scientific uncertainty? (6) How have concerns about federalism been manifested in pollution control law? (7) What are the respective roles of Congress, the executive branch, and the courts in shaping environmental policy?
Estate Planning - 3 Units
The purpose of the Estate Planning class is to teach the basic principles of tax and other law that pertains to estate planning, including wills and trusts, trust and probate administration, charitable giving, retirement planning, life insurance planning, asset protection, business succession planning, and some elder law. Students will learn practical applications of estate planning by reviewing and discussing actual estate planning documents, including a will, a revocable trust, an irrevocable life insurance trust, a power of attorney, a health care directive, and other testamentary property transfer instruments.Prerequisite(s): Wills and Trusts
European Union Law / Topics in European Union Law - 2 Units
The class compares the US-EU perspective. It covers the basic principles of the European Union legal system and the European legal cultures and examines the roles of the Council of Europe, as well as two transnational European courts, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Students will discuss the functioning substantive issues of EU law and debate the issues of data protection, customs, environmental law, commercial law, administrative law, and constitutional law.
Eviction Law & Litigation Skills - 3 Units
The course will cover the substantive and procedural law of evictions (with a focus on San Francisco) and a variety of litigation skills.. Utilizing real cases and situations students encounter in their externships, the course will focus on the application of practical civil litigation skills in the context of the fast-paced eviction case. Exercises in drafting, interviewing, negotiation, and other practical legal skills will be conducted throughout the semester. Recommended co-enrollment in a real property-related externship. Prerequisite or corequisite: Evidence
Evidence - 4 Units
An analysis of the nature of judicial proof and a study of the theory and application of the rules regulating the admission and exclusion of testimonial and documentary proof by judicial tribunals in adversary and non-adversary proceedings. Consideration is given to both the California and Federal rules of evidence.
Externship (Civil) - 3-13 Units
The Civil Externship Law Program gives upper-division students the opportunity to put their education in practice by working at law firms, legal departments, and public interest and government agencies for academic credit. See the Externship Section of the website for detailed information.
Externship (Criminal) - 3-13 Units
Criminal Externship Law Program gives upper-division students the opportunity to put their education in practice by working at law firms, legal departments, and public interest and government agencies for academic credit. See the Externship Section of the website for detailed information.
Externship (Judicial) - 3-13 Units
The Judicial Externship Program offers eligible upper-division students to receive academic credit for positions as law clerks under the direct supervision of judges and research attorneys in state and federal courts. See the Externship Section of the website for detailed information.
Family Law - 3 Units
A study of the legal and policy issues involved in the regulation of the family. The course surveys state and federal law as it impinges on the family, including issues related to marriage, divorce, child custody, spousal abuse, child neglect and abuse, nontraditional families, and new reproductive technologies.
Federal Income Taxation - 3 Units
A problem-oriented introduction to the fundamentals of federal income taxation, particularly as they apply to individuals, including gross income, exclusions, deductions, assignment of income, capital gains and losses, non-recognition transactions, and income tax accounting. Emphasis is on the development of skills necessary for working with the Internal Revenue Code and issues of tax policy.
Feminist Legal Theory Seminar - 3 Units
This course examines the main tenets, methodologies, and controversies in feminist legal theory including the meaning of equality, the intersection of gender and race/class/sexual orientation, the public/private divide, concepts of objectivity and neutrality, and how law reproduces hierarchies while also having the ability to participate in significant social change. It draws from the experiences of women and from critical perspectives within other disciplines such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, and literary criticism to analyze the relationship between law and gender and understand the limits of, and opportunities for, legal reform. We will explore these strands of feminist legal theory from a philosophical perspective as well as apply them to concrete areas of law such as employment law, family law, violence against women, and reproductive freedom.
First Amendment: Contemporary Issues in Freedom & Religion - 3 Units
An overview of First Amendment freedoms: speech, press, and religion. The course examines contemporary theoretical approaches to understanding the First Amendment in several contexts including, obscenity, violent, hateful and threatening speech, Internet speech, artistic expression, defamation, privacy, advocacy and dissent, reporter’s privileges, commercial speech and anonymity, as well as the evolving religious liberty doctrines of nonedorsement and incidental effects. In each area there is an attempt to answer whether restrictions are justified and if so, the appropriate scope for such restrictions. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law
Global Legal Research - 2 Units
In an increasingly interconnected and globalized world, most lawyers will encounter some foreign and international law in their practices. This class will prepare students to find, evaluate and apply sources needed to assist clients whose issues touch on foreign or international law. The class will also explore how to identify and cope with the professional and practical pitfalls of researching foreign law. Through a variety of hands-on exercises and assignments, students will learn about the sources and research techniques. They will apply their knowledge and skills to research typical foreign and international legal issues. The class will cover foreign law (common law and civil law); European Union law; public international law; and special topics such as human rights, refugee law, or international trade. The emphasis will be on materials in English and on reliable and accessible online sources for both foreign and international law.
Grand Jury Law & Practice: From Ferguson to General Felonies - 3 Units
This course will study the ethics and practice of the grand jury, including its history and current realities. Students will learn practice skills, ethics, and policy implications, largely through case studies of recent police fatal force cases taken to grand juries. Students will perform various roles in a grand jury felony case from opening statement, direct exam of witnesses, to closing argument and jury instruction, before real prosecution and defense litigation experts for real critiques. Students will also study appellate briefs on a grand jury issue and perform an oral appellate argument. Recommended (not required): Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Health Law - 3 Units
An overview of the U.S. health care system with an emphasis on California law and including the recent healthcare reforms. Topics include access to healthcare, managed care and insurance regulation, Medicare/Medi-cal and other government healthcare programs, scope of practice regulation, provider licensing and regulation, approaches to improving healthcare quality, patient privacy, fraud and abuse, informed consent, public health responses to health crises and medical malpractice.
Immigration Law - 3 Units
An overview of U.S. immigration and citizenship laws, including the statutes and the public policy contexts, regulations and judicial decisions. Topics covered include nonimmigrant visas, how to obtain and retain lawful permanent resident status, exclusion at the border, grounds for deportation, deportation hearing procedures, relief from deportation, administrative appeals, federal judicial review, asylum, and citizenship and naturalization.
Immigration Law Clinic - 3-6 Units
Students enrolled in this clinic principally would represent unaccompanied children (UACs) and possibly their relatives in all phases of immigration proceedings, at the asylum office, the immigration courts, and adjudication offices of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. They also will represent minors in probate and family court to seek guardianships where appropriate to qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. While the principal focus of the clinic will be on UAC and related cases, other deportation defense cases will likely be part of the caseload as well as cases involving deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA program) and preparation of cases that fall under President Obama’s recent deferred action program for parents of U.S. citizens. Prerequisites: Immigration Law
Immigration Policy Clinic - 2-6 Units
This clinic is primarily focused on policy advocacy, research, and writing. Recent projects have included developing practice approaches to working with clients suffering from post-traumatic stress, developing a litigation argument that resisting gang recruitment is a form of political opinion, conducting Know Your Rights presentations for adults around the Bay Area, developing immigration conversation strategies for children in families with deportable members, engaging in legislative advocacy on behalf of the DREAM Act, researching for a Centro Legal De La Raza class action against a company that provides ankle bracelet monitors to immigrants at exorbitant rates, researching country conditions for immigrants applying for asylum, opposing legislation that would make it more difficult for unaccompanied children from Central America to apply for asylum, and working with local city governments to extend protections to those with temporary protected status (TPS) from Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua currently in the United States. The Policy Clinic also has taken a handful of “Crim-Imm” clients who need representation in Superior Court to obtain post-conviction relief after unknowingly pleading guilty years ago to an offense that rendered them deportable. Also, in partnership with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, our students have reviewed the records and worked on appellate briefs in cases involving detained immigrants in Pennsylvania and Georgia who represented themselves pro se before an immigration judge and now have an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Information Privacy Law - 3 Units
This course examines the legal protection of privacy. It explores the interaction of common law, constitutional law, and the patchwork of statutes that endeavor to protect privacy. Topics will include tort privacy claims, privacy of medical information, privacy and law enforcement, privacy and computerized records, and privacy at work.
In-House Counsel for Start Ups - 2 Units
This two credit course will explore the unique legal and practical challenges that face counsel working in corporate law departments of various sizes [or specifically in start-ups]. Students will come to understand the use of the legal function as a tool which is critical to innovation and furthering business objectives. Themes addressed will include client service, driving business objectives through the legal function, and the independent duties owed by a corporate attorney to the corporation, as well as, where tensions arise between those themes. These themes will be examined through topics such as selecting and managing outside counsel and expense, drafting and negotiating contracts, and managing IP, employment and litigation matters, each as distinct from the responsibilities of outside counsel. The course will also examine matters of corporate compliance, governance, and the attorney-client privilege specific to the in-house context. In addition to legal issues, students will build practical business skills such as business writing, metric-tracking and counseling the non-lawyer business client in order to realize business objectives.
Insurance Law - 3 Units
This course focuses on the interpretation and enforcement of liability, property, health, life and other insurance contracts, including the liability of insurers for bad faith. Emphasis is on the function of insurance in civil litigation, business transactions, the protection of property and personal security. The course also examines the major role insurers perform in shaping public policy, such as the delivery of health care and crisis management.
Intellectual Property & International Trade - 3 Units
The rapid development of international trade and information technologies makes it increasingly important for lawyers to understand the international aspects of practicing international property law, particularly copyrights, trademarks and patents. Books, music and movies uploaded on the Internet are instantaneously available around the globe. Many modern products (e.g. computers, televisions and phones) involving multiple patents and trademarks are developed in one country, assembled in another county, and marketed worldwide. Intellectual property clients often need to engage in international licensing transactions, and enforce their rights against foreign parties domestically or overseas. This course will provide a survey of cross-border legal issues that lawyers are generally faced with counseling clients on intellectual property and international trade. The course will introduce the basic contours of international principles, treaties and institutions, including significant substantive and procedural differences between the United States and other countries of the world.
Intellectual Property Seminar - 3 Units
This seminar permits students to specialize in Intellectual Property by preparation of a paper and seminar discussion. Topic papers include advanced issues in all aspects of Intellectual Property law, from technical subjects such as patent and trade secret issues to trademark and unfair competition issues in marketing to entertainment law issues in the areas of copyright and the rights of publicity and privacy. Prerequisites: Intellectual Property Survey, Copyright Law, Patent Law, or Trademark Law.
Intellectual Property Survey - 3 Units
A survey of rights under U.S. state and federal law for the protection of new technology and inventions (trade secrets and patents), business symbols and literary titles (trademarks), and industrial design (design patents), and rights in works of authorship (copyrights) While the course focuses on American law, it will also introduce students to various aspects of international intellectual property law. It is highly recommended that this course be taken as a foundation to for the advanced study of intellectual property.
International Advocacy and Research - 2 Units
Students learn international law research skills and apply them in preparing memoranda, legal letters, and advocacy materials for international dispute resolution and policy advocacy. Substantive law is paired with research, litigation and advocacy to illustrate how to build compelling arguments in a high stakes environment. Both written and oral skills are utilized within the legal framework of advocating in court or an international agency. Course developed skills will apply to a more generalized practice of law, as well as a practice that relies on international law knowledge.
International Business Transactions - 3 Units
This course examines the legal issues that arise when business dealings span different nations. The course begins with a discussion of the environment of international business, including an introduction to international trade law, the world economic environment, and international tax issues. Next, a series of representative transactions are explored, including export sales, agency and distributorship, licensing, joint ventures, and other strategic agreements.
International Civil Dispute Resolution - 2 Units
This course exposes students to the doctrines and skills of the international practitioner negotiating contracts, dealing with contract related disputes, and securing enforcement of transnational business arrangements for sales and investment. The substantive principles covered will include procedural mechanisms such as transnational service of process and taking evidence abroad. Principal subjects will also include jurisdiction, forum selection, enforcement of foreign judgments and a major emphasis concerning international arbitration. Students will apply the substantive coverage in skills exercises involving the drafting and negotiation of contracts.
International Human Rights - 3 Units
An introduction to international human rights documents and the procedures and mechanisms available for protecting and promoting human rights. It covers regional systems as well as the United Nations human rights bodies. It also includes the use of international human rights law in United States courts, addressing direct treaty application, customary international law, and its use as an interpretive guide. Readings on how to conduct fact investigation are also discussed.
International Human Rights Clinic - 5 Units
USF's innovative Frank C. Newman International Human Rights Clinic focuses on critical human rights issues, including child sentencing, the death penalty and prison conditions, the right to vote, and trafficking of women. Participating students research and prepare presentations for the United Nations Human Rights Council. Many of the students personally present their case to the commission at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, or in New York City to the Commission on the Status of Women. Students also work on briefs detailing international law standards to U.S. courts and represent individual clients before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Prerequisite: International Human Rights
International Intellectual Property - 2 Units
A course in designed to prepare students for transactional work and litigation in an international IP practice with an understanding of some of the economic and cultural issues underlying IP law in other parts of the world. The course covers patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition and trade secrets in the context of foreign laws and international agreements and treaties.
International Refugee Law & the European Crisis - 2 Units
This course will begin with study of the foundational principles of international refugee law, and then explore their application, particularly in the context of the current ‘European Refugee Crisis” and the ‘durable solutions’ of asylum, integration, resettlement and repatriation. It will include consideration of the relevant principles of human rights law and humanitarian law. The principal focus and objective will be to understand and improve the pragmatic management of mass migration, including the realities of border controls, refugee camps, detention facilities, migrant protection and migrant choice.
Internet Law - 3 Units
This course studies the emerging body of law relating to cyberspace, focusing on the Internet and online services. The course considers how to adapt law to cyberspace, looking at case law, statutes, and other methods of regulation. Topics include jurisdiction, computer crime, electronic privacy, free speech in cyberspace (including online indecency), online torts (including spam and defamation) and intellectual property in cyberspace. While prior exposure to cyberspace is helpful, no special expertise is required.
Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic - 5 Units
The Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, in partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, provides a variety of intellectual property legal services, such as domain name disputes in ICANN proceedings, copyright infringement notifications and counter notifications under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, as well as other trademark and copyright matters. The clinic is also a partner in "Chilling Effects," a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and law school clinics at Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and Maine. Chilling Effects helps the public understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws provide for online activities.
Interpersonal Dynamics: Communication Skills & Emotional Intelligence for Attorneys - 3 Units
Also called: Negotiation, Mediation, Client Counseling: Interpersonal Dynamics for Lawyers.Students learn the skills essential to establishing, maintaining, and deepening effective relationships, increasing influence, and effectively resolving conflict. At the same time, they also increase self-awareness, self-acceptance, and authentic self-expression. Most of the students who have taken the course have said that it had a profound positive impact on their lives. The important learning in this course comes from neither reading nor lectures, but from in-class participation. Unlike other law-school courses, participation does not involve theoretical discussion or legal analysis. It requires honest self-disclosure—sharing real-time feelings and thoughts with others and listening to others do the same.
Introduction to Race Law: Policy, Professionalism & Practices - 3 Units
This course will introduce and examine important aspects of the knowledge, skills and values necessary to support lawyers in dealing with race in the practice of law in the 21st Century. Together we will closely examine important cases (e.g., Johnson v. MacIntosh, Dred Scott v. Sanford, Yick Wo v.. Hopkins, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia) that help construct race in America and construct thinking about its relevance to law and policy to this day. Along the way, we'll explore and practice a range of self- and other-awareness skills that have been proven important to effective and professionally-appropriate service as members of the bar in the 21st century, including a commitment to practicing self-reflection and to compassionate and courageous examination of the presence of bias in oneself and in others. We will also identify together and examine the principles, values and ethical rules that support ongoing engagement with anti-bias work in law, whether as ally, advocate, member in good standing or leader among our increasingly diverse profession and client population.
Investor Justice Clinic - 5 Units
In the Investor Justice Clinic, students represent investors in actions involving allegations of wrongdoing by securities firms and/or their employees. Students appear in arbitrations and other proceedings before the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) as well as the NYSE Arca (formerly the Pacific Stock Exchange). The clinic is officially recognized by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Journal: Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal - 2 Units
The Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal is a student-run law journal focusing on current trends in intellectual property law. The journal includes articles from students, professors, and practitioners on diverse areas of intellectual property law ranging from patents to cyberspace law. The journal also includes a survey of the cutting-edge intellectual property cases in the country.
Journal: Law Review Editor - 2 Units
The USF Law Review is staffed and managed by students of the USF School of Law. The journal, which is published four times a year, serves as USF's voice in the ongoing academic debate regarding the evolution of law. Each issue of legal scholarship is comprised of articles by professors and practitioners as well as student notes and/or comments. All articles are subject to a rigorous editorial process to strengthen substance, polish tone, and ensure citation accuracy.
Journal: Law Review Staff - 1 unit
The USF Law Review is staffed and managed by students of the USF School of Law. The journal, which is published four times a year, serves as USF's voice in the ongoing academic debate regarding the evolution of law. Each issue of legal scholarship is comprised of articles by professors and practitioners as well as student notes and/or comments. All articles are subject to a rigorous editorial process to strengthen substance, polish tone, and ensure citation accuracy.
Journal: Maritime Law Journal - 2 Units
The USF Maritime Law Journal is a student-run, biannual law journal that focuses on legal issues arising out of navigable waters and includes an annual survey of Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals maritime cases. The journal is designed as a practical guide for practitioners to gain information on the latest developments in maritime law, including recent statutory and case law changes.
Juvenile Law - 3 Units
This course examines matters involving children who are subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court or who may be accessing legal remedies in other forums, with a primary emphasis on California law and policy. The class will focus on dependency, delinquency, education, and civil law remedies available to youth. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law and Criminal Law (recommended)
Labor Law - 2-3 Units
This course is a survey of the law of labor relations; it is designed to provide the student with an acquaintance with the more important problems of labor law but not with a comprehensive coverage of the entire field. In particular, the course will focus upon the historical development of labor law, problems relating to union organization, recognition, and the duty to bargain collectively. The course will also examine some aspects of arbitration and the law relating to the enforcement of collective bargaining as well as non-union arbitration. The course will include some discussion of the relationship between law and politics in administrative agencies.
Land Use Law - 2 or 3 Units
Land is the focus of intense legal and social conflict. In this course, students learn the basics of land development and the regulation process (including zoning, planning, and subdivision law), with an emphasis on California law. The course explores contemporary land use struggles, including accommodating population and job growth, infrastructure development, respecting property rights (“takings”), and topical discussions of the role of local government in people’s day-to-day lives. Prerequisites: Property
Law Practice Management: Understanding the Path to Success - 3 Units
Designed to address the variety of issues which arise in the formation and operation of a law firm. The course will examine the intricacies of forming and developing a vibrant law practice, while complying with relevant practical and legal constraints. It will also explore accounting and taxation issues which are directly relevant to the business of practicing law, how to develop a marketing strategy for your law firm, how to hire and retain qualified and competent employees, and a number of other issues which will lead you down the path of success in managing your law firm. If you have ever thought of being involved in the management of a law firm (either your own firm or one with other partners), this course is designed to impart the requisite knowledge to you so you are able to do so with confidence.
Legal Analysis - 2 Units
The primary course objectives include improving a student’s skills to synthesize course material into a logical, detailed and accessible problem solving approach, to critically apply the problem solving approach to hypothetical problems, to analyze and write a professionally reasoned explanation of the predicted outcome to the hypothetical problems, to timely manage her or his performance of required task(s), to critically evaluate her or his work and the work of others, and to constructively recommend, apply and assess action(s) for improvement. Extensive individualized written feedback will be provided throughout the course. Each student will also meet with the professor at least three times during the course.
Legal Analysis: Problems in Evidence - 3 Units
Using the Federal Rules of Evidence as a context, students will learn to synthesize course material, develop a strategic plan for applying legal principles to hypothetical problems, and write a concise but well-reasoned analysis under exam conditions. The course will include extensive writing both during and outside of class times, weekly assessments, and mandatory individual meetings with the professor. Enrollment limited to and required for 1L students in their second semester who meet certain conditions.
Legal Drafting - 2 Units
Lawyers solve problems. Legal Drafting helps students solve problems by working on the skills lawyers use in their practice. The skills covered include: 1) Legal analysis, the ability to apply the law to the facts of a problem; 2) Fact gathering in preparing a case; 3) Fact analysis; 4) Lawyering tactics, both in the handling of a case and in the drafting of a document; 5) Ethical consideration in decision making; and, of course, 6) writing well. In developing their skills, students will draft or rework documents such as memorandum of law, points and authorities, briefs, investigation plans, discovery plans, depositions, closing arguments, affidavits and statutes. Floating requirement for students entering Fall 2016 and after.
Legal Ethics - 3 Units
A review of the ethical principles behind the basic California and ABA rules through a discussion of actual practice problems. Ethical principles are introduced through these problems as they actually occur in practice as real-world ethical dilemmas. This course, usually offered in a seminar format, also emphasizes the practical and economic realities that can affect a lawyer's behavior, the tensions between traditional notions of ethical behavior, and society's larger sense of morality, and the conflict between the duty to advocate for the client and to act for the public good. Students may satisfy the ethics course requirement by completion of either Professional Responsibility or Legal Ethics. Students may not take both Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
Legal Issues of Terrorism - 3 Units
An exploration of the tension between national security and civil liberties by studying the powers of the President and the Congress to declare and wage war -- including the Bush administration's assertion of unlimited executive power and the role of the Commander in Chief; application of the Geneva Conventions and other international laws and treaties to the War on Terror; roles of military commissions and administrative Dept of Defense hearings, the detentions of “enemy combatants;” the process of extraordinary rendition; Military Commissions Act of 2006; court decisions on Guantanamo and on enemy combatants; Bush administration memos regarding executive authority and torture; changes wrought by a new Obama administration; and the onset of “truth commissions,” prosecutions of former officials, reparations and other means of accountability.
Legal Research and Writing I & II - 6 Units
This program is designed to teach first-year law students to research, write, analyze, and think as lawyers. In the fall semester, students are required to draft assignments, ranging in difficulty from a simple case brief to a relatively complex objective memorandum of law. In the spring semester, emphasis is on writing longer and more sophisticated documents and on writing persuasively. Students research and write complex memoranda of points and authorities. Throughout the year, students learn to research using both traditional print sources and online resources. Students also prepare a brief and participate in oral advocacy exercises. The course teaches the following skills: understanding the legal writing and legal analysis process; applying the law to the facts of a particular situation; researching primary and secondary sources; organizing and outlining research materials; comparing objective writing to persuasive writing; thinking like a lawyer; and learning to behave professionally and ethically.
Local and State Government Law - 3 Units
Local government law, and its state law parent, both create and codify social consensus, however uneven, in the provision of basic public goods. Not a single field of law, but a weave of thematically varied practice areas, local government law reflects and shapes the major fault lines of contemporary American life in a number of concrete ways. This course examines themes of gender, race, class and the economy as ways of understanding how local governance is structured and experienced. Specifically, the course surveys the law and politics of subjects such as regionalism and local government formation, child welfare, domestic violence, zoning, immigration, criminal justice, housing, voting, labor, environmental and administrative justice to look at the ways that difference is actively framed and managed by legal institutions. This course also provides a snapshot of themes in the law of public finance to illustrate the structure and financialization of regional, state and local economies.
Logic for Lawyers - 2 Units
Designed to improve logical reasoning and the ability to articulate analysis in an organized and concise manner. The course is taught through a multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions and provides a substantive law review of specific topics in torts and property. Topics covered include privacy, defamation, mortgages, and other related topics, such as interference with economic relationships, deeds, and race-notice statutes. This course teaches a variety of essay strategies to improve legal analysis, but the course's main focus is mastering multiple-choice questions. Students will learn the importance of self-assessment and self-regulation, components of a multiple-choice question, and how to successfully derive the correct answer using legal-reasoning and problem-solving techniques. Logic for Lawyers is taught in a seminar setting to ensure students receive ample practice, individual feedback, and opportunities to reflect on their work product.
Maritime Law - 3 Units
A survey of maritime law and the practices and procedures affecting today's maritime industry. Emphasis includes studies of admiralty jurisdiction; maritime torts to person and property; maritime liens and mortgages; maritime contracts, including transportation of cargo and marine insurance, the doctrines of limitation of liability, general average, salvage, and un-seaworthiness; and, the use of maritime remedies, such as vessel arrests and foreign attachment.
MBE Strategies - 2 Units
This course is focused solely on the multistate bar exam (MBE). It builds on the analytical, critical reading, and issue spotting skills taught throughout the law school's curriculum, with the goal of enhancing a student's ability to prepare for, and pass, the bar exam. The course covers selected substantive topics that frequently appear on the MBE in the seven different subject areas. Students begin with an MBE simulated experience of the bar exam and starting point to measure improvement throughout the course. This flipped class model assigns all substantive law review as homework assignments in advance of in-class skills review. The online syllabus includes refresher videos in each substantive area. Weekly quiz assignments are followed by a classroom deconstruction lecture highlighting approaches, strategies, and techniques for breaking down and answering multiple choice questions effectively. To further enhance students’ abilities, the course book contains supplementary quizzes as well as a bank of online questions that students will use to prepare for the final exam (tentative.)
Mediation - 3 Units
An introduction to the theory and practice of mediation, the development of mediation skills, applications to different substantive areas, and emerging legal issues. Although the class will focus on the mediation process, communication skills, negotiations, and the spectrum of dispute resolution options will be introduced.
Mediation Clinic - 4 Units
Students in the Mediation Clinic have the opportunity to apply dispute resolution skills by serving as mediators in cases brought to the San Francisco Small Claims Court. These mediations involve most areas of the law with the exception of criminal and family law matters. After intensive training, clinic students conduct mediations and draft settlement agreements for parties who are able to resolve their disputes.
Moot Court Board - 2 Units
The Board is comprised of third year students who have demonstrated skill and enthusiasm for appellate advocacy through either position as a case counsel or team member. Board positions require a summer commitment and San Francisco residency. Members of the Board receive 2 (non-classroom) units in the Fall Semester and 2 (non-classroom) units in the Spring Semester. The Moot Court Board shall be responsible, in coordination with the Faculty Directors, with the management, organization, and development of the Moot Court Program. Each member of the Board will be responsible for contributing to the program for the entire academic year, including this summer.
Moot Court Case Counsel - 1 unit
Any student who has completed the First Year Moot Court Program may apply to be as a Case Counsel. Selection is competitive and is based largely upon the excellence of the applicant's writing skills and oral argument, recommendations of the applicant's LRWA Professor and Case Counsel, grades, and an interview. Other factors which weigh heavily in the selection process include: willingness and ability to make the necessary time commitment; teaching experience; research and writing skills; the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously; and the ability to work well with other people. Each Case Counsel also receives one unit of credit per semester.
Negotiation - 3 Units
This course involves the strategies, tactics, skills and techniques of negotiation. In addition it will include a basic introduction to assisted negotiation in the form of mediation. The learning takes place through numerous role-plays, as well as through the study of negotiation theory.
Partnership Taxation - 3 Units
This course is an in-depth study of federal taxation of partnerships and partners. Coverage includes: classification of partnerships for tax purposes, transfers of property and services to partnerships, the treatment of partnership indebtedness, taxation of partner-partnership transactions, sales of a partnership interests, partnership distributions, liquidation of a partner's interest, liquidation of a partnership, and death of a partner. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation
Patent Law - 3 Units
An introductory patent law course which focuses on the fundamentals of patent law; patent infringement and patent damages; patent validity issues such as anticipation, obviousness, enablement, and best mode; and equitable aspects of patent enforcement, including the defense of inequitable conduct. Technical training is not required.
Patent Licensing & Monetization - 2 or 3 Units
A skills-based intellectual property course covering patent licensing and patent monetization transactions, which represents the largest financial portion of the patent economy. The course will focus on negotiation skills, contract drafting skills, presentation skills, and technical knowledge as used in actual licensing and monetization negotiations as well as integrating key subjects from patent law to demonstrate real-world business transactions involving patents. Students will conduct mock negotiations and contract drafting for three separate patent transactions: a mock patent sale, a mock licensing engagement, and a mock patent portfolio transaction. Lectures will cover core patent law licensing and monetization issues, contractual patent issues, portfolio transactions driving Mergers & Acquisitions, patent consortiums, patent portfolio market economics and other patent monetization vehicles. Students will have the opportunity to meet in-house counsel and guest speakers from law firms or companies who are active in the patent licensing and monetization space. Credit is based on regular homework assignments and in-class mock-negotiation performance.
Personal Injury Litigation - 2 Units
This course will teach you how to handle a personal injury case from beginning to end. We cover who's involved, when things happen, beginning with the initial contract (signup) to settlement (handling your client their check). Along the way we break down the practice area into its essential areas, including; case selection, investigation, claims adjuster negotiations, filing a case with the court, discovery, alternative dispute resolution, expert witnesses and settlement considerations.
Poverty Law - 2 Units
This course is designed to explore the interaction between policy regulation and constitutional law in the context of Poverty. We will study the impact of welfare reform and consider the consequences of how the government regulates the terms of work and the family relations of those most economically vulnerable. We will consider how societal changes, social movements, public opinion, empirical data, and policy goals matter for both policy regulation and constitutional interpretation. We will study in depth how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution when applying its provisions to poor people. We will consider whether and how constitutional interpretation relates to economic justice at home and abroad. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law
Practical Litigation Skills (formerly: Advanced Civil Litigation Strategy & Practice) - 2 Units
This course will address the skills necessary to litigate a civil case effectively from inception to conclusion. It is intended to supplement clinical trial practice and discovery courses by giving a comprehensive overview of pretrial procedure in state and federal courts. At the conclusion of this class, students will possess sufficient litigation skills to substitute for typical first year law practice training traditionally provided by larger firm employers.
Practice-Ready Leadership for the Nonprofit Sector - 1 unit
A three-day class, taught by One Justice staff with expertise in fundraising, finance, strategic planning, and outcome measurements, will take place during spring break. It will provide law students with an overview of critical topics essential to a thorough understanding of nonprofit organizations, along with the practical skills that students will need as they embark on public interest legal careers. It is designed as a survey course that will engage 2L and 3L students in the basic concepts of practice readiness in the nonprofit management setting, and will equip students with skills that will make them more competitive fellowship and staff attorney applicants upon graduation.
Practice Ready Skills - 2 Units
In addition to oral advocacy, research and writing, and critical thinking, there are a host of other skills that are essential to the success of junior attorneys in their first few years of practice. This course introduces students to various practical skills, tools, and strategies that will empower them to be “practice ready” and successfully transition from the role of law student to that of a junior attorney. The course includes a discussion and review of the role of the junior attorney within a law firm/legal department, professional goal-setting, strategies for effective communication and work within teams, delegation and resource management, organization and time management, an introduction to common junior-level assignments and how to complete them efficiently and effectively, building a professional network, and an introduction to business development, among other topics.
Professional Responsibility - 3 Units
A course examining the Rules of Professional Conduct, the roles and functions of lawyers in society, responsibilities involved in representing clients, and the organization and function of the bar. This course uses concrete problems drawn from real life practice contexts to illustrate in a practical way the complex moral dimensions of a lawyer’s professional life. Students may satisfy the ethics course requirement by completion of either Professional Responsibility or Legal Ethics. Students may not take both Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
Property - 4 Units
The core Property course introduces the fundamental concepts and principles underlying the legal system's allocation of property rights; defines the features of differing types of property interests (through the law of estates, future interests, and concurrent interests).; introduces selected issues in landlord-tenant law; introduces the law governing private agreements people make about the use of each other's property (through the law of easements, covenants, and equitable servitudes) and addresses selected issues in public land use regulation.
Property I - 3 Units
Property I introduces the fundamental concepts and principles underlying the legal system's allocation of property rights; defines the features of differing types of property interests (through the law of estates, future interests, and concurrent interests); addresses public regulation of private property through the Constitution’s takings clause; and introduces the law governing private agreements people make about the use of each other's property (through the law of easements, covenants, and equitable servitudes).
Property II - 3 Units
Property II will provide an introduction to landlord/tenant law, land conveyances, mortgages, recording acts, and land use regulation. In addition to reviewing the substantive law, the course will require regular writing and re-writing exercises, as well as completion and analysis of multiple choice problems. The course will be designed to sharpen analytical and writing skills essential to the practice of law and passing the Bar exam.
Property 2 - 2 Units
This course will cover a variety of Property topics not emphasized in the introductory first-year Property class, including (but not limited to) land conveyances, mortgages, recording acts, and land use regulation. In order to enable students to understand and apply the substantive law, the course will include quizzes, multiple choice problems and writing exercises. The course is designed to sharpen analytical and writing skills essential to the practice of law and passing the Bar exam.
Public International Law - 2 Units
The course is designed to provide understanding of the distinctive character of the international legal environment, particularly to develop the perspective of the international lawyer dealing with foreign governments and their agencies. It provides a comprehensive view of the lawyer’s role in using the primary international institutions and principal doctrines of public international law, through analysis of contemporary problems. Coverage includes: jurisdiction, sovereign immunity, the act of state doctrine, law of the sea, trade law, international sanctions and the use of force under in international law.
Racial Justice Clinic - 3-6 Units
The Racial Justice Clinic is a collaboration between the San Francisco Public Defender's office and USF School of Law. Under the direct supervision of attorneys from the public defender's office, the clinic will provide law students the opportunity to learn and use complex analytical, legal writing and direct advocacy to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system in San Francisco. Law students will work with seasoned felony and misdemeanor trial lawyers to track racial disparities in bail settings, write, draft, and argue bail hearings in court and design and implement creative strategies to reduce disparate pretrial detention and confinement of prisoners. Students will participate in implicit bias training, and also familiarize themselves with law review articles materials, and studies on racial disparities. Students will be carefully supervised by attorneys and will receive instruction on enhancing their legal research and writing ability, as well as complex problem solving skills.
Racism and Justice in American Legal History - 2 Units
The course will examine the complex interrelationships between the legal system and structural inequalities in the United States. The course will survey racial issues embedded in core areas such as criminal, contract, tort and property law, as well as in media, popular culture, and current events. Emphasis will be on providing critical contextual perspective on the intersection between racialized experience and the law, and on increasing student's critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills, and capacity for perspective-taking and social-emotional intelligence, in a small group learning environment.
Real Estate Litigation - 3 Units
The purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensive analysis of how to litigate and try a real estate case. The course will cover residential and commercial real estate sales and lease transactions, the documents and disclosures associated with such, and the normal array of disputes that occur both before and after close of escrow, including LLC and partner disputes, breach of contract, non-disclosure, fraud disputes and broker disputes. Construction law, mechanic's lien claims and construction defects are explored. The course also covers adjoining landowner disputes, including boundary and easement disputes. Landslide, subsidence, drainage, and property damage claims are analyzed. Both residential and commercial landlord/tenant disputes are discussed. Understanding and analyzing the remedies available in a real property dispute are a critical component. Unique real property discovery issues and trial issues are covered. Prerequisite: Property
Remedies - 3 Units
A study of the types of relief granted by courts in civil cases focusing on three major topics: 1) damages, including a review of general principles of tort and contract damages; 2) equitable remedies, including obtaining and enforcing preliminary and permanent injunctions in both private and public controversies; and 3) restitutionary relief to prevent unjust enrichment, including constructive trusts and equitable liens.
Reproductive Rights and Justice - 3 Units
While public and political discussion of reproductive rights attention is often limited to questions involving abortion, this three-unit seminar will examine the issue of reproductive rights more broadly through a social justice framing to situate reproductive rights within larger struggles for gender equality, reproductive health care, social justice, and civil and human rights. The course will use a reproductive justice frame to look beyond the abortion right, to include the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to raise children in dignity. The course will investigate these issues through an intersectional analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality, and able-bodiedness. Students will examine a broad range of reproductive rights issues including the regulation of sex and sexuality; regulating bodies through pregnancy and birth; regulating family autonomy through welfare, adoption, and artificial reproductive technologies; and finally regulating reproduction, including contraception, abortion, and forced sterilization. Central to the reproductive justice inquiry is an understanding that reproductive choices are shaped by more than internal choices that can be protected entirely by rights that forbid governmental involvement in decision-making. Rather, external forces such as social structures, economic systems, and government institutions may influence or deny the realization of reproductive autonomy.
Secured Transactions - 3 Units
A survey of the law related to the use of personal property as security in both commercial and consumer credit transactions. The focus is on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, with an exploration of the purpose and scope of Article 9 and the difference between secured and unsecured credit. Transactions where lending is based on tangible or intangible personal property are considered, including equipment, inventory, receivables, intellectual property, and consumer assets. The course examines creation, perfection and enforcement of security interests; priority disputes among competing secured creditors or between secured creditors and other claimants; and debtor's rights and creditor's remedies in the event of default.
Securities Regulation - 3 Units
An introduction to the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. The course focuses on disclosure obligations relating to the distribution and trading of securities in the United States. Topics include the offerings of securities, anti-fraud provisions, insider trading, and exceptions to the disclosure requirements. Prerequisites: Corporations, Administrative Law (recommended)
Sexuality Law - 3 Units
This course is designed to explore how the law pervasively regulates human sexuality. The primary legal focus is on interpretation of the constitutional protections of liberty and equality. Topics may include the Supreme Court's mixed legacy about sterilization, the shift toward protection of contraception and marriage, the ongoing abortion controversy, the public policy re-emergence of abstinence, the recent reversal on sodomy, the raging debate over same-sex marriage and parenting, and the conflicting implications raised by how the various First Amendment freedoms apply within the context of Sexuality. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law
Sports Law - 3 Units
This class is a general survey of legal issues that arise in the sports context, including issues involving labor, antitrust, contract, constitutional, criminal and tort law. There is an emphasis on issues relating to professional sports and the professional athlete, amateur sports and the amateur athlete, and international law and the athletes competing therein.
Startups and Venture Capital - 3 Units
This course introduces students to the legal and business considerations in forming and operating startup and emerging growth companies, with a particular focus on venture capital transactions. It draws from substantive areas such as corporations, securities, intellectual property employment and tax. The course uses a simulated deal format in which students represent a new entrepreneurial client through a series of decisions and events as part of financing an early stage business. Written assignments throughout the semester simulate the tasks performed by a junior associate in a transactional practice. This allows students to see the life cycle of a deal and to address issues often encountered as the deal progresses from inception to completion. While the course focuses on startup and emerging growth companies and the particulars of venture capital investments, the substantive knowledge and deal skills are widely applicable to a variety of transactional contexts, both corporate and commercial. Satisfies the professional skills requirement Prerequisites: Corporations. Recommended: Securities Regulations
Tax: Bankruptcy Taxation - 1 unit
This seven-week course provides an overview of the intersection of federal bankruptcy law and taxation. The class covers the following topics: federal tax liens; priority and dischargeability of federal and state tax claims; litigation with the IRS in bankruptcy court; federal taxation of the non-corporate bankruptcy estate; tax reporting requirements and I.R.C. section 1398; and discharge of indebtedness and I.R.C. section 108 relief.
Tax: California Tax Appeals Assistance Program - 1-3 Units
The Tax Appeals Assistance Program provides students with the opportunity to assist low-income individuals in certain tax disputes before the California Board of Equalization ("BOE"). Under the supervision of an attorney from the BOE, students assist taxpayers with state income tax disputes against the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Students participate in legal practical skills training by gathering evidence, drafting legal briefs, and representing clients in negotiations with the FTB. Students often have the opportunity to represent clients at appeals conferences and oral hearings before the BOE. Prerequisites: Director Permission
Tax: Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties - 2 Units
(Formerly Federal Tax Crimes & Penalties,Tax Fraud) This course provides an overview of federal tax crimes and civil penalties. The course is designed to teach students how to represent a client, who is the subject of a civil examination or criminal investigation and facing potential civil penalties or tax crimes. Congress established severe civil and criminal penalties for individuals who fail to report and pay tax on their income or file returns. The course provides students with practical skills and strategies that can be used to represent a client before the Internal Revenue Service. The course covers, for example, tax fraud, the IRS criminal investigation process, government information gathering tools through the use summons and subpoenas, commonly charged tax crimes, taxpayer defenses, sentencing guidelines, international tax enforcement with respect to foreign source income and undisclosed foreign financial assets, the Bank Secrecy Act, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, IRS voluntary disclosure practice, Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, attorney-client privilege, and civil tax penalties. The course is taught through weekly homework assignments, where students will learn how to critically analyze a tax controversy fact pattern, identify the issues, and formulate a case strategy and solution for the client. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation for JD students
Tax: Graduate Corporate Taxation (online) - 3 Units
An in-depth study of the federal taxation of corporations and their shareholders. Coverage includes formation and capital structure; dividends and other distributions; redemptions, liquidations, and reorganizations; elections under Subchapter "S"; and some special problems affecting professional corporations.
Tax: Estate and Gift Taxation - 3 Units
This course will examine various aspects of numerous estate planning strategies with a focus on related tax issues when planning or administering a single or married individual's estate. Issues addressed will include but not be limited to: the marital deduction and unified credit, lifetime gifts, testamentary and lifetime trusts, valuation issues, charitable planning, life insurance, use of entities, generation skipping and using non-California jurisdictions. Practical considerations, fundamental estate planning concepts and advance techniques will be discussed. Focus will also include the new law and the paradigm shift between transfer taxes and income taxes, with California taxation in mind.
Tax: Graduate Estate Planning - 3 Units
The purpose of the Graduate Estate Planning class is to teach the basic principles of the law as it pertains to estate planning, including, but not limited to property law, tax law, trusts and wills, trust and probate administration, charitable giving, retirement planning, life insurance planning, asset protection, business succession planning, and some elder law. This results in providing students with practical applications of estate planning by reviewing and discussing actual estate planning documents, including, but not limited to, a will, a revocable trust, an irrevocable life insurance trust, a power of attorney, a health care directive, a family limited partnership agreement and other testamentary property transfer instruments.Previously titled "Advanced Estate Planning".
Tax: Federal Taxation of Property Dispositions - 2 Units
An examination of the concepts and principles governing the federal income taxation of property dispositions, including: amount realized and basis, the treatment of liabilities, characterization of gains and losses, loss limitations, and nonrecognition transactions. This course will emphasize rigorous analysis of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations. It will be assumed that students are generally familiar with the issues covered in a basic Federal Income Taxation course. Tax planning techniques and tax policy issues will be emphasized. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Federal Tax Accounting and Timing Issues - 2 Units
An examination of the concepts and principles underlying the annual accounting system of the federal income tax, including: the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting, the accrual method of accounting, inventory accounting, carryovers, the claim of right doctrine, the tax benefit rule, deferred compensation, capitalization and cost recovery, deferred payment sales, loss limitations, original issue discount, and other time value of money issues. This course will emphasize rigorous analysis of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations. It will be assumed that students are generally familiar with the issues covered in a basic Federal Income Taxation course. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Federal Tax Procedure and Professional Responsibility - 3 Units
An examination of the fundamental principles of civil federal tax procedure and litigation, including: administrative determinations of tax liability, statutes of limitations, civil penalties, the ruling process, tax collection issues, and professional responsibility in tax practice. The course will cover administrative procedures before the Internal Revenue Service, tax litigation procedures unique to the Tax Courts, and tax refund litigation in the U.S. District Courts and U.S. Claims Court. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Foreign Taxation I - 2 Units
This is the introductory international tax class. Coverage includes the jurisdiction of the United States to tax international transactions, the rules for sourcing income and deductions, U.S. taxation of nonresident aliens and foreign corporations, the foreign tax credit, and the exclusion for certain taxpayers living and working abroad. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Foreign Taxation II - 2 Units
Coverage of this class will include the rules surrounding US taxation of US owned and controlled foreign subsidiaries, including particular modifications to the US international tax rules under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, such as the taxation of Global Intangible Low-Tax Income, Foreign Derived Intangible Income, and certain topics pertaining to the foreign tax credit, an overview of the rules governing the pricing of transactions between controlled subsidiaries, select topics in international transactions (e.g., international M&A), general outbound tax planning, an introduction to the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Report, and, to the extent time permits, other relevant international tax issues.
Tax: Fundamentals of Income Tax Treaties - 2 Units
This two-unit course examines tax treaties as a principal source of international law governing the tax treatment of cross-border transactions involving goods, services and capital. The course will involve detailed analysis of the U.S. and OECD model income tax treaties, and important tax regulations, rulings and cases that define and limit the availability of tax treaty benefits. In addition to examining the policy objectives and processes of the United States and other countries in negotiating and concluding tax treaties, this course will also focus on the role of tax treaties in the current debate over international tax avoidance.
Tax: Graduate Partnership Taxation (online) - 3 Units
This course is an in-depth study of federal taxation of partnerships and partners. Coverage includes: classification of partnerships for tax purposes, transfers of property and services to partnerships, the treatment of partnership indebtedness, taxation of partner-partnership transactions, sales of a partnership interests, partnership distributions, liquidation of a partner's interest, liquidation of a partnership, and death of a partner. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation for JD students
Tax: Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates - 2 Units
The course will analyze the income taxation of trusts and estates, their creators, beneficiaries, and fiduciaries, including computation of fiduciary accounting income, distributable net income, taxable net income, taxation of simple and complex trusts, grantor trusts and income in respect of a decedent. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Legal Principles of Federal Income Taxation (online) - 2 Units
Previously Intro to Federal Income Taxation. A problem-oriented introduction to the fundamentals of federal income taxation, particularly as they apply to individuals, including gross income, exclusions, deductions, assignment of income, capital gains and losses, non-recognition transactions, and income tax accounting. Emphasis is on the development of skills necessary for working with the Internal Revenue Code and issues of tax policy. This course is required for MLST students and available to LL.M. in Taxation students who have not taken Federal Income Taxation.
Tax: Real Estate Taxation (online) - 2 Units
An examination of the federal tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of real property. Topics will include: forms of ownership, purchase and finance, deductions and credits, limitations on losses, sale and exchange, conversion, and abandonment. The course will also include an overview of REITs, estate planning strategies for real property, and various issues relating to the collection of outstanding federal tax debts.
Tax: State & Local Taxation - 2 Units
This course examines the fundamentals of state and local taxation with emphasis on federal constitutional and statutory limitations on the power of states to impose various taxes. The course will focus on principles of corporate and personal income taxation but will also provide an introduction to other taxes levied at the state and local level, including sales and use taxes and property tax. While the course will provide an overview of state and local taxes across the United States, we will refer to California taxation for a reference point and a base from which to compare the laws of other jurisdictions. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Tax Moot Court - 1 unit
This course allows students to participate, for ungraded academic credit, in the Written Work Product portion of the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge. Each course participant is responsible for forming a two-student team to produce a memorandum and client correspondence on the tax consequences of a complex business-planning problem. The problem generally is released by the ABA Tax Section in September, with a deadline of November to receive the Written Work Product. Before the problem is released, course participants will complete an assignment and attend training sessions on writing skills and techniques of federal tax research. Meeting times for the sessions will be arranged among faculty and course participants. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Tax Policy - 3 Units
This course will offer an introduction to the principal policy considerations raised when creating a system of taxation. This course will examine legal, economic, financial, and political considerations which all play an integral role in any system of taxation, and it will consider how well our current tax laws addresses these various issues. We will also explore the possibility of various alternative methods of taxation. It is incredibly important for tax professionals to understand tax policy as it helps to explain the underpinnings of our tax system and the complexities of the Internal Revenue Code as well as the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder. By attaining this understanding, you will be better prepared to appropriately advise clients on complicated tax matters. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Tax Research (online) - 1 unit
This course provides an introduction to tax research sources and techniques used by tax lawyers and professionals, including: online tax services, statutes, legislative history, administrative authorities, case law, and secondary sources. It focuses on developing an effective research process, including practice with realistic tax research problems. This course will be graded on a credit/ no credit basis. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation for JD students.
Tax: Transfer Pricing (online) - 1 unit
This course will provide a practical understanding of U.S. transfer pricing rules. It will cover the fundamentals of transfer pricing, including intercompany pricing methods for tangible goods, intangible property, and services.
Torts - 4 Units
A study of the law of civil injuries, including the concepts of fault-based liability and strict liability. The course explores alternative bases of liability for the interference with personal and property interests as well as defenses and damages.
Trademark Law - 3 Units
This course will examine, in detail, the major areas of trademark law, including, the trademark registration process at the United States Patent and Trademark Office; the basic rules regarding eligibility for trademark protection under traditional trademark infringement doctrines and under dilution law. The course will also examine a number of defenses to trademark rights, including fair use, generic use, non- commercial use, and First Amendment Protections in this context. The course will also cover various aspects of domain name law, including the Anti-Cyber Squatting Protection Act and the dispute resolution processes promulgated by the ICANN. Finally, the course will examine selected areas of international trademark law, including the specific rules which govern geographical indicators which exist in many foreign countries.
Transactional Skills - 3 Units
This course introduces students to the basic work of a transactional lawyer. Students will learn how to draft contracts, as well as how to interact with the principles on a deal. Through a series of simulations, students will interview clients, draft term sheets, translate the terms of the business deal into contract concepts, counsel clients regarding risk management, analyze ethical issues affecting the transaction, redline contracts to reflect changes, and negotiate with opposing counsel about deal terms and contract language. The goal of this course is to offer students a basic primer on the actual practice of transactional law.
Trial Advocacy and the Ethical Prosecutor - 3 Units
A career prosecutor and ethics educator will guide students into the promised land of ethical trial advocacy in criminal cases. Students will learn to read police reports critically and conduct the key aspects of trial practice from jury selection to closing argument in real criminal cases. The sessions will provide a mix of instructor lecture/demonstration and student exercises. Class participation is required. Especially appropriate for anyone interested in criminal trial practice (prosecution or defense) or trial practice more generally. Satisfies ethics requirement OR the professional skills requirement. Prerequisites: Recommended: Criminal Procedure & Evidence.
Trial Practice - 3 Units
A course designed to provide experience in the litigation process. Concentration is on the strategy, tactics, and techniques employed by the skillful advocate. The legal rules involved in a trial are critically examined and their practical application demonstrated through student participation. Prerequisite: Evidence
Trial Practice: Civil Litigation - 3 Units
A course designed to provide experience in the litigation process. Concentration is on the strategy, tactics, and techniques employed by the skillful advocate. The legal rules involved in a trial are critically examined and their practical application demonstrated through student participation. Prerequisite: Evidence
Trial Practice: Criminal Law - 3 Units
A course designed to provide experience in the litigation process. Concentration is on the strategy, tactics, and techniques employed by the skillful advocate. The legal rules involved in a trial are critically examined and their practical application demonstrated through student participation. Pre- or co-requisite: Evidence
Upper Level Writing Requirement - 0 Units
The Upper Level Research and Writing Requirement is intended to provide students with the opportunity to refine the research and writing skills learned in the first year, and to enhance the skills necessary to undertake writing projects on their own following graduation. Students choose topics, submit outlines, prepare and submit a first draft, and complete the final paper in consultation with faculty members in approved courses and co-curricular programs. Note: courses which qualify for both the Professional Skills or Legal Ethics requirement and the Upper Level Research & Writing Requirement cannot be used to satisfy both requirements. A separate course must be completed to fulfill each of these graduation requirements
Water and Natural Resources Law - 3 Units
This course will explore the laws controlling the allocation of three types of natural resources: water, forests, and minerals (including oil and natural gas). This topic is vitally important due to increasing shortages in these essential resources. You will gain a practical understanding of administrative and judicial approaches for allocation and management. You will learn strategies to apply these laws effectively to address protection of environmental quality, climate change, and population growth.
White Collar Crime - 3 Units
An exploration of the law of white collar crime, with an emphasis on the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime by federal authorities. The course is a mixture of substantive criminal law, constitutional criminal procedure, and application of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Prerequisites: Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
Wills and Trusts - 3 Units
A study of the law of wills, intestate succession, and trusts. Coverage includes restrictions on testation, execution, and revocation of wills as well as creation, modification, and termination of trusts. There is also attention to the problems of will construction, probate and contest of wills, and fiduciary administration of trusts and decedents' estates. Prerequisites: Property
Wrongful Convictions - 3 Units
This seminar examines: 1) the various causes of wrongful prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of the factually innocent (e.g., eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, perjured testimony, forensic fraud, police and prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel, etc.); and 2) the various legal and policy solutions for minimizing wrongful conviction in the American criminal justice system. Prerequisites: Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure