Course Descriptions

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 Criminal Procedure - 3 Units

(Formerly Criminal Procedure Adjudication) 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 Legal Analysis - 2 Units

This course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for the California bar exam.  It builds on the analytical, critical reading, and issue spotting skills taught throughout the law school's curriculum.  The course covers all subjects identified for the California bar exam, explores techniques and skills for test taking, and provides practice opportunity and feedback in essay writing and multiple choice questions.

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: Federal Civil Pre-Trial Motion Practice - 3 Units

Take persuasive legal writing to the next level. Students will learn how to make each sentence count by preparing motions and other forms of legal writing common to federal civil pre-trial practice. Using the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, students will draft motion and opposition briefs for a motion to dismiss, a motion to compel, a motion to strike, and a motion for summary judgment. Students will also have opportunities to make arguments orally in simulated motion hearings. Course outcomes include appreciating the importance of word choice and sentence structure, learning the best ways to highlight a winning argument, practicing techniques for addressing unfavorable law, learning how to manage documentary evidence in written arguments, and becoming familiar with the procedures and mechanics of motion hearings.  Prerequisites: LRWA I & II

Advanced Moot Court (AMC) - 1 unit

AMC is an intramural appellate advocacy competition open to all upper-level students (2L – 4Ls) who have successfully completed the First Year Spring academic program, including First Year Moot Court. AMC includes a series of workshops that begin in early August, practices, preliminary argument rounds, and finishes in a final competition in September where the school’s two top oral advocates argue before a panel of distinguished local judges. To further develop students’ advocacy skills, the Moot Court Board, along with faculty and alumni practitioners will put on a series of workshops dedicated to appellate brief writing and oral argument. Students will receive feedback and guidance throughout the brief writing process before they turn in their final memo. As well, after attending the oral argument workshops, students will practice their arguments in small groups with the Moot Court Board. AMC is aimed at all 2L – 4L who wish to advance their writing and speaking skills and for those who desire additional practice and targeted writing and argument feedback from knowledgeable professors, alumni, and Moot Court coaches.

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 System 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 - 2-3 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.

Animals & Justice Seminar - 3 Units

This class will explore the relationship between animals and justice through two lenses: First, what does justice for animals demand of us, legally, politically, and culturally? Second, how does the animal rights movement intersect with movements for human social justice? Through an examination of litigation campaigns and policy questions, this seminar will investigate topics such as: the entitlement of animals to just treatment under the law; litigation strategies to establish justice for animals; whether animals themselves have a concept of justice within their own communities; the connections between anthropocentrism (human-centeredness) and colonialism, racism, ableism, sexism, and heteronormativity; what an intersectional animal justice movement might look like; and specific case studies involving the overlap between animal legal advocacy and social justice in cases involving labor exploitation and civil liberties at slaughterhouses, animal cruelty crimes and incarceration, environmental racism in industrial animal agriculture, and cultural practices such as hunting and cockfighting. Each student will draft and present a paper on a topic related to animals and justice. Animal Law is not a prerequisite. 

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.

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 - 3 units

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

Art Law - 3 Units

This course explores the legal, practical and ethical issues raised by the creation, display and sale of a wide variety of artistic content in traditional and new media.  We will examine recent controversies involving artists' rights, intellectual property claims, censorship and First Amendment concerns.  We will cover gallery and auction issues, museum commercialization, and questionable sponsorships, collaborations and commissions.  We will also study cultural heritage and indigenous art and artifact claims both in the US and abroad, current political disputes about memorials and monuments, and cases of stolen and trafficked art and art looted during war.   

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. 

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. 

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.

Blockchain Technology & the Law - 2 Units

Blockchain technology represents new challenges and opportunities for lawyers. This seminar course is an introduction to blockchain technology and related legal and regulatory issues. Previous technical experience is not required. Students will (1) learn the core technologies of blockchain, including the technical aspects of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and smart contracts; (2) analyze the real-world application of blockchain in various use cases; and (3) evaluate the way lawmakers and regulators are dealing with this cutting-edge technology, particularly in the area of state regulations, federal securities law, and ethical considerations.

California Civil Discovery - 2-3 Units

An advanced course in California discovery and related aspects of civil procedure. Emphasis is placed on the conduct of oral depositions, written interrogatories, production of documents, expert witness discovery, and other discovery and investigative techniques, and their use in pre-trial proceedings, settlement and mediation, and trial. 

Civil Procedure I - 3 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 - 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.

Commercial Real Estate Transactions - 3 Units

A practice oriented course that provides a practitioner’s look into the role of debt and equity financing arrangements in the context of real estate transactions.  Students will learn the fundamentals of real estate finance and taxation and how these factors inform corporate transactional structures.  The course follows generally a commercial real estate acquisition process, from broker engagement, to letter of intent, to purchase and sale documentations, joint ventures, and debt financing.  The course will also likely include segments on important post-closing matters that include credit assurances, guaranties, workouts and foreclosures.  From a practice standpoint, we will discuss advocacy in the context of a transactional practice, the role of representations, warranties and covenants in a commercial transaction, and how the concepts of knowledge, consent and effort are used to tailor agreements between parties.”  Prerequisite: Property I.  Co-requisite, Property II

Community Property - 2-3 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: All Star Bracket Challenge - 2 Units

The All-Star Bracket Challenge is a national online trial advocacy competition featuring 64 teams. The competition is hosted by St. Mary’s Law School, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Quinnipiac University School of Law University of California Berkeley Law, UCLA School of Law, and the University of San Diego School of Law. Every participating law school team is guaranteed four preliminary trials, with two trials on each side of the case. The top four teams in each region will advance to the National "Sweet Sixteen." National rounds take place a week after as a single elimination tournament.

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: Immigration Law Moot Court Competition - 2 Units

Started in 2006, NYU’s National Immigration Law Competition (ILC) is the NYU Moot Court Board’s annual external moot court competition, open to teams from ABA-accredited law schools. The ILC focuses on cutting-edge issues in the field of immigration law and is judged by panels of distinguished NYU alumni and legal practitioners from throughout New York. The final round is judged by federal appellate and district court judges.

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: 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: Tulane Sports Negotiation Competition - 1 Unit

The Professional Football Negotiation Competition, run by the Tulane Sports Law Society, is a simulated contract negotiation using real life scenarios and actual upcoming NFL free agents.  The competition will provide participants with the opportunity to sharpen their negotiation skills as well as their knowledge of actual NFL contracts.  In order to simulate an actual negotiation, the participants will receive a set of confidential objectives that serve as guidelines for the negotiation.  Participants will either represent the football club or the free agent.  Participants will also be provided with an excel workbook that will allow them to quickly crunch the numbers and determine if contract proposals will meet their requirements.  Experts in the industry will serve as judges for each negotiation and will conclude the competition with a discussion of relevant NFL topics.  The competition will be held annually in the spring academic semester at Tulane University Law School.  

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.

Competition Team: Williams Institute Moot Court Competition - 2 Units

The Williams Institute hosts the only national moot court competition dedicated exclusively to sexual orientation and gender identity law. Now in its 16th year, the competition provides an opportunity for law student competitors to write an appellate brief on a current legal topic and to argue the case before a panel of judges.  

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. 

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 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 - 3 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

This course covers copyright law, which protects certain intellectual property rights of authors, artists, designers, computer program writers, composers and performers. Among other things, the course explores the history and scope of copyright law, initial ownership principles, transfers and formalities, enforcement, liability for infringement and the “fair use” doctrine.  It also investigates how technological advances and the increased exploitation of copyright has affected debate and discourse in this area.  Finally, the course hones students’ abilities to advise creators, authors and users of data, information and creative works.    

Corporate Finance Seminar - 3 Units

This seminar explores the financial and legal aspects of a fundamental question for business organizations: how does a firm raise money to finance its operations? In examining this question, the course takes both a theoretical and a practical perspective. As a matter of financial theory, how can a firm use its financial resources as well as various sources of outside financing to enhance its value to investors? We will survey modern financial economics and explore the techniques commonly used for understanding, assessing, and computing a firm's value. In addition, the course also examines the practical aspects of executing a particular financing decision to provide insight into financial contracting strategies.  Students will prepare a presentation and a paper on a topic of their choice related to a cutting-edge topic in corporate finance. 

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 Law - 3 Units

This course examines the basic doctrines structuring the state's punishment of undesirable conduct. Among the topics addressed are: the definition of criminal conduct, the defenses based on justification or excuse, the scope of criminal liability, and the relationship between crime and punishment.

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. 

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.  

Election Law - 3 Units

This course will consider some of the major legal principles that govern the electoral process in the United States. Specific issues covered may include the right to vote, the Voting Rights Act, election administration, direct democracy, and campaign finance regulations. When possible, the course will attempt to tie what is learned in class to any related developments in the news. 

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, national origin, sex, age, and disability. The principal focus is on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age 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 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, video game, 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 social media and other 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 Justice Law & Policy - 3 units

Environmental Justice (EJ) is the movement to remedy the unequal distribution of environmental burdens and benefits, including facilitating more meaningful participation in public decision making on environmental issues from historically disadvantaged groups. This course will introduce students to the concept of EJ, including the history and politics of the movement, how social scientists observe and document injustices, the lived experience of historically disadvantaged groups, and how environmental health and contamination intersect with issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, national origin, age, and other aspects of identity. The course will then introduce students to the laws and policies that have led to environmental inequality as well as those that offer potential paths to a more equitable distribution of environmental harm. Specifically, the course will focus on the role of the legal system and lawyers in the EJ movement. As the course progresses, students will learn about EJ in a variety of law and policy contexts, including civil rights legislation, local land use and gentrification, tort and property law, pollution control regulation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, immigration and refugees, indigenous populations, and access to healthy housing and living spaces, green space, education, healthcare, and environmental risk information.

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? 

Equality & Religious Freedom - 3 Units

An emerging issue in current federal constitutional law is a tension between first amendment rights that may be characterized as "religious freedom rights" and substantive due process rights of privacy or equal protection that may be characterized as "equality rights."  This course will take a tour of the history of both the religious freedom cases and the equality rights cases and then will take a deep dive into the theoretical underpinnings of each.  Students will also consider some of the proposed approaches for harmonizing these rights and consider whether they are practical given the two very disparate histories and foundational rationales.  Prerequisite(s):  Constitutional Law I & II

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

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.  

Family Law: Contemporary Topics - 2 Units

This seminar will cover a variety of cutting edge issues in current family law practice, with an emphasis on non-traditional families. Topics will include intimate partner violence, assisted reproduction law and the rights of the donor conceived, multi-parent and polyamorous families, the role of family lawyers in protecting undocumented minors, and the rights of LGBTQ parents and youth.

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. 

Health Law - 2-3 Units

This course offers an overview of the legal framework and policy considerations that shape and undergird the system for providing healthcare in the U.S. We begin with examining prevailing societal attitudes and values about healthcare and the manner in which they influence the ongoing debate about whether access to affordable healthcare should be a right or a commodity. We examine the legal architecture that funds and regulates healthcare through public programs, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and private organizations, including insurance companies and managed care organizations. We also will study the regulation of the practice of medicine and other “healing arts” and the laws and principles that govern the relationship between patients and their healthcare providers.

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 - 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.

Intellectual Property Litigation Skills - 2 Units

This course provides an overview of how IP rights are enforced in the U.S.  It will provide an overview of basic principles of copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent law.  The course will be taught from a practical perspective - allowing students to apply legal concepts to strategically solve hypothetical IP issues companies and individuals face.  The course will cover various aspects of IP disputes and will analyze hypothetical lawsuits so that students learn techniques that they can strategically apply when litigating IP cases. Prerequisites: Intellectual Property Survey, Copyright Law, Patent Law, or Trademark Law.

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 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 Law - 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 - 5-6 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 in Geneva, Switzerland, or to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.  Prerequisite: International Human Rights

International Taxation - 3 Units

An introductory study of the application of the federal income tax laws to nonresident aliens and foreign corporations and United States citizens, residents and corporations investing funds or conducting business in the international setting. Consideration is also given to the impact of bilateral tax treaties and tax planning for multinational business enterprises.

Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic - 5 Units

Under the supervision of faculty, students take on pro bono clients, handling trademark and copyright cases from intake to resolution. Clients are individuals and startups working toward social and environmental change, as well as small companies in trademark disputes against larger companies. Students become registered agents under the USPTO Trademark Program, allowing them to practice trademark law (under faculty supervision) before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and to prosecute trademark applications and defend trademark oppositions/cancellations. In addition, students take on internet-related tasks such as assisting clients with privacy policies, terms of service, and domain disputes. Regardless of whether students decide on a career in intellectual property law, the practical skills learned in the clinic — from negotiating disputes to performing risk analysis — make participants highly desirable to any law firm. 

Interpersonal Dynamics: Communication Skills & Emotional Intelligence for Attorneys - 3 Units

This course teaches both enhanced awareness and essential communication tools. You will become much more aware of your emotions, your thought processes, and how you make decisions (too often we act out of habits and patterns learned as children, without awareness either that we are doing so or that there are alternative, and much more effective behaviors available to us). You will learn how differently others experience the world and how differently people interpret and react to the same action, while at the same time learning the kinds of behaviors that almost always strengthen relationships and those that harm relationships.

 

Interrogation & Confessions - 3 Units

This is an interdisciplinary course on the study of police interrogation practices and confessions from criminal suspects.  We will examine these topics from the perspectives of law, social psychology, criminology, sociology, history, ethics and public policy.  The goal of this course is to acquire an in-depth understanding of the social psychology of police interrogation in America, the evolution of American interrogation practices from the nineteenth century to the present, the impact of law on police behavior and ideology, the causes and consequences of police-induce confession, and the possibilities for reform.  While the particular focus of this course is on interrogation and confession, ultimately this course is about (1) the social psychology of influence, persuasion and coercion; (2) the proper and improper administration of criminal procedure and criminal justice in America; (3) the shifting social and legal norms that surround the state's use of force, manipulation and deception; and, ultimately, (4) the kind and quality of criminal justice system we wish to have in the United States. 

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.

Labor Law - 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.

Law, Social Science & the Humanities - 3 Units

In the last fifty years, roughly, several of the social sciences have contributed important interdisciplinary insights to the study and practice of law.  The humanities also have made important interdisciplinary contributions.  This seminar explores these disciplinary intersections and locates them in the larger tradition of the study of law.  Students will consider how microeconomics, political science, behavioral psychology and other mind sciences, philosophy, literature, and history all have contributed to understanding law, and the context in which those contributions have occurred.  The seminar begins with a prototypical interdisciplinary thinker in the English law tradition, Jeremy Bentham, and proceeds from there to explore the Law & Economics movement, behavioral law & economics, jurisprudence, and both the Law & Literature movement and the critical legal studies that grew from that movement.  Students without a basic grounding in some of these social sciences and humanities disciplines will get a useful introduction to them, as they relate to law, and students with a background in one or more of these disciplines will gain a deeper appreciation of the ways in which they help us understand the role and meaning of law.  In the end, all students will have a chance to consider the remarkable matrix of disciplinary connections that enrich both the study and practice of law.    

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 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. Students entering Fall 2019 and after are urged to take this course in their second year and are required to complete the course with credit before their last semester of law school.

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 in Sports - 3 Units

Formerly Sports Law. In this course we will study the influence different areas of law have on the organization, operation, and economics of the American sports. American sports intersect with current social and cultural issues, and the interleaving of sports and broader issues is accelerating.  Throughout the course we will consistently evaluate the connection between sports, society, and the law.  We will keep in mind the degree to which sports constituencies fulfill their social responsibility to communities, fans, and the broader public discourse. The primary academic focus is on antitrust law, employment law, and intellectual property law. We will also study the application of the ADA to sports, and current issues in Title IX. Our study will include legal issues in both professional and intercollegiate sports. The reading and the class discussion during the year will be responsive to current events in sports as they arise. Students are also encouraged to suggest topics for discussion.

Legal Practicum - 1-6 Units

This course will provide international students with hands-on, legal experience. Qualified International students on an F-1 Visa can obtain practical training by participating in an internship or law clerk positions under the supervision of the Program Director and Associate Director.  To qualify, the students must demonstrate competence in legal English, writing and research. All international students must also obtain the approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, LLM Program Director, and international student services advisor.

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.

Litigating Workers' Rights in the Gig Economy - 3 Units

This course will provide students with hands-on, simulated legal practice in the area of employment law. Specifically, students will gain experience in litigating cases involving independent contractor “gig workers”—such as the app-based drivers, personal shoppers, and restaurant delivery persons who make up the backbone of the new app-based service economy. Students will litigate a simulated case from the client interview through a dispositive motion for summary judgment on the merits and engage in case investigation, discovery, motion practice, oral arguments, and settlement negotiations. Students will also be encouraged to discuss and argue the policy considerations underlying the fundamental distinction between independent contractors and employees, and whether gig workers should be afforded labor protections offered to other workers.

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. 

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 - 2-3 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.

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

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, legal research and writing, and critical thinking, there are a host of other concepts and skills that are an essential part of preparing for both your first year of practice as well as how you’ll approach the rest of your career.  At the heart of successfully transitioning from a law student to practicing attorney is a clear understanding of your motivations, what you want from your career, and how to create action plans that ensure you achieve your professional goals.

This course will equip you with the mindset, strategies, and practical tools you need to approach your career with confidence and show up at your first position ready to practice. This includes how to adopt a strong, growth-focused mindset, overcome common fears or anxieties associated with your first year of practice, employ simple strategies for securing a post-grad position, set and achieve professional goals that align with your true purpose for becoming an attorney in the first place, understand the expectations of your employer and supervisors, communicate effectively in work environments, build a workday that prioritizes organization and time management (both as a law student and practitioner), create excellent work product, and build and use a strong professional network to amplify your development and expose you to opportunities for professional growth.

This course is designed for anyone who wants to be an active participant in shaping their career, regardless of what you want to pursue after graduation. Each student will leave the course with a personalized professional development plan that’s designed to give you an actionable roadmap that will set you on a path toward pursuing a purposeful career. 

Privacy & Technology Law - 2 Units

This is a skills-based course that covers privacy issues most commonly encountered when designing, launching or enhancing technology product and services.  In this context, we will also explore how technology can be used to protect user’s privacy. Topics will include:  privacy by design, FTC and unfair and deceptive practices, international transfers of data and US biometric regulations.  The course will include practical group exercises on implementing privacy by design in a technology product, drafting of a privacy policy and negotiation of privacy-related provisions in contracts. Prerequisites:  Information Privacy Law.

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 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); introduces the doctrine of adverse possession; and covers selected topics in landlord/tenant law.

Property II - 3 Units

Property II 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); covers land conveyances, mortgages, and recording acts; and addresses public regulation of private property through land use regulation, the power of eminent domain and the doctrine of regularly takings.

Public International Law - 3 Units

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to basic principles of international law and the international organizations that create and implement them. We will begin with an examination of the fundamentals of international law and its broader position within international politics, including the impacts of history, the global system structure, and the rise of the TWAIL movement from the Global South. We will then turn to an examination of some of the substantive areas of international law, focusing on real world case studies and how to use international law as a tool in a variety of settings to address issues of social justice. Students will learn what forms of law make up international law; how international law is made and by whom; to whom international law applies; and the specific rules of international law regarding such subject areas as international organizations, state sovereignty and responsibility, global conflict, human rights, and the environment. 

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 Seminar - 3 Units

In this course, we examine the complex interrelationships between the U.S. legal system and the broader structural inequalities reflecting the legacies of White Supremacy and racism in the United States. The course will survey racism embedded in core areas of law and policy such as criminal, employment, immigration, property law, as well as in the culture in which law is made. Emphasis will be on providing critical race perspective on the intersection between racialized experience and the law, and on increasing student's critical reflection on their own experiences, thinking, writing, and oral communication skills and strengthening your capacity for engaging across real and perceived differences in a small group learning environment and beyond.

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 Seminar - 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.

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 I

Special Topics in Torts - 3 Units

A tort is an action or inaction that gives rise to civil legal liability by causing an injury to another without their consent. In the first year, students not only learn the basics from their introductory torts course, but they also learn how to spot tort issues from complex fact patterns and apply the rules for various torts, including battery, assault, trespass, negligence, and strict liability. This Special Topics course will build on the foundation set by the first-year torts class. Substantively, students will apply their legal analysis skills to a new set of torts, many of which are common testing ground for state and multi-state bar exams. These include but are not limited to:  liability for injuries caused by wild and domestic animals, toxic torts, medical malpractice, defamation, invasion of privacy, fraud, and nuisance. Each iteration of this may include a different set of torts subject to change based on the instructor's expertise and the content of the first-year courses. In addition to requiring students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a new set of torts, this course will also refine students' legal analysis and writing skills. Students will be trained to spot issues, identify material facts, draw analogies and distinctions between fact patterns, apply legal precedent, argue public policy, and write legal analysis in short essays.  Prerequisite: Torts

Tax: Bankruptcy Taxation (online) - 2 units

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 (TAAP) provides students with the opportunity to assist low-income, and underrepresented, individuals in certain state income tax disputes before the California Office of Tax Appeals (OTA). Under the supervision of an attorney from the Franchise Tax Board’s Taxpayer Rights Advocate’s Office, students assist taxpayers with state income tax disputes against the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Students participate in hands-on practical legal skills training in various ways, including direct client interaction, gathering evidence, drafting legal briefs and memoranda, and representing clients in negotiations with the FTB. Students often have the opportunity to represent clients at appeals conferences and oral hearings before the OTA judges.  Prerequisites: Director Permission

Tax: Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties (online) - 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.  Previously titled: Federal Tax Crimes & Penalties and Tax Fraud.

Tax: Estate and Gift Taxation (online) - 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: Federal Taxation of Property Dispositions (online) - 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 (online) - 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 (online) - 2 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 (online) - 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 (online) - 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 (online) - 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 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: Graduate Estate Planning (online) - 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: 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 (online) - 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: International Estate Planning (online) - 1 Unit

This course addresses estate, inheritance, gift, and income taxation of trusts and estates as they relate to U.S. citizens living abroad, foreign nationals in the United States, and nonresident aliens. Analysis includes comparative law, estate and gift tax treaties, conflicts of law, and choice of law in selected jurisdictions. Prerequisite: Graduate Estate Planning

Tax: Legal Principles of Federal Income Taxation (online) - 3 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 Aspects of Buying and Selling a Business (online) - 2 Units

The course focuses on the tax aspects of buying and selling a business. It will also cover choice of entity tax considerations and discuss creative parallel payments structures to maximize tax savings in the purchase or sale of a business. During the course students will be grouped into buyer and seller teams and conduct virtual negotiation exercises with the opposite party. These negotiation exercises are critical to the course by helping students learn these important tax concepts through a skills approach in a dynamic environment.  Prerequisites: Federal Taxation of Property Dispositions, Graduate Corporate Taxation, Graduate Partnership Taxation.

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: Tax Writing I & II (online) - 1-2 units

This course focuses on tax analysis and writing. Following a review of tax research authorities, students will research and prepare memorandum on selected topics.  The course focuses on preparing students to be able to analyze tax issues and prepare written materials to support their positions.

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 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.  

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.  

U.S. Asylum Law Seminar - 2 Units

An in depth study of the laws, regulations, and cases that govern eligibility for asylum in the United States. Topics include statutory eligibility, defining persecution, bars to asylum, political opinion, membership in particular social groups, religious claims, race and nationality claims, defining well-founded fear, humanitarian asylum, the treatment of unaccompanied minors, special immigrant juvenile status, the nexus requirement, the effects of PTSD on applicants, compiling country conditions evidence, the use of experts, internal relocation issues, and persecution by nongovernmental entities. Contrasts will be drawn with protections that are related to asylum such as withholding of removal and the Convention Against Torture.

Water & Oil Law - 2 Units

This course will explore the laws governing water resources and oil/natural gas production.  We will begin with water rights for municipal, industrial, and agricultural supplies.  We will discuss requirements to protect public trust resources such as native fisheries and other ecological uses.  We will then turn to rights to extract oil/natural gas.  We will consider how litigation, laws, and policies driven by drought and climate change will change these rights in the future.  The course will emphasize practical understanding of these laws and related strategies for advocacy.  

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.  

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