Law (for Non-Law School Students) (LW)
LW 1200. How Lawyers Think: An Introduction to American Legal Thought. 4 Hours.
Introduces students to legal analysis by exploring the history of American legal thought. Perhaps more than any other, American society is governed by lawyers. Explores how innovations in legal theory both emerged from and helped shape policy responses to some of America’s biggest governance challenges, including economic concentration and corporate power, the New Deal and the rise of the welfare state, the replacement of Jim Crow with civil rights guarantees, and the emergence of identity politics. As is true for many academic fields–such as economics, political science, or literary studies–expertise in law is gained through mastery of the discipline’s analytic techniques, which, in turn, shape how lawyers imagine possibilities, make policy, and engage in professional practice. Presumes no prior legal study.
LW 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.
LW 7303. Antitrust. 3 Hours.
The federal antitrust laws, first created to break apart the powerful business “trusts” of the late 1800s, have since been applied to markets as diverse as utilities, ski areas, sports leagues, copy machine repair services and computer hardware and software. This course will explore the core principles of antitrust law, with an emphasis on three substantive areas: monopolization, horizontal merger analysis, and agreements among competitors. Because antitrust cases and scholarship rely heavily upon economics, the course begins with an introduction to firm and market economics, and economic analysis plays a significant role in our discussions.
LW 7304. Bill of Rights. 3 Hours.
LW 7305. Civil Advocacy. 7 Hours.
LW 7323. Corporations. 4 Hours.
This course relates to the formation, financial structure, and governance of business enterprises, especially incorporated businesses. Partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships are also explored, principally as they compare to the corporate form. The topics studied include: rights of creditors to hold principals of the enterprise liable; distribution of control within the corporation; fiduciary duties of directors and officers; key aspects of the federal securities laws (including the regulation of insider trading and proxies); organic changes (such as mergers); shifts in control (such as takeovers and freeze-outs); and legal implications of the roles of corporations in society. The course introduces some of the specialized concepts explored in detail in courses on Securities Regulation and Corporate Finance.
LW 7329. Environmental Law. 3 Hours.
This course focuses on federal and state environmental laws. Topics include pollution control, waste management, and cleanup of contaminated land and water. The course explores legislative policy and regulatory decisions as well as enforcement issues. We will give attention to questions of environmental justice and to the strategic use of legal tools in working to ensure safe and healthy surroundings for diverse groups of people.
LW 7333. Family Law. 3 Hours.
This is a basic course in family law and family policy. The first half of the course explores state regulation of intimate relationships, asking what purposes marriage serves, and looking at the law of incest, polygamy and same sex marriage. The second half of the course examines practical problems in family law: cohabitants’ rights; common law marriage; and the many issues relating to divorce, with a particular focus on money and children.
LW 7335. Health Law. 3 Hours.
This course examines the legal regulation of the provision of healthcare services. Much of the focus is on the relationship between law and healthcare policy. Topics include access to health insurance and healthcare, healthcare financing, malpractice liability, the organization and responsibility of healthcare institutions, especially hospitals, the regulation of the quality of care and the formulation of health policy. This course is highly recommended for all students enrolled in the JD/MPH dual degree program, but is open to others as well.
LW 7336. Immigration Law. 3 Hours.
This course is designed to give the student an overview of U.S. immigration law. The focus is on the day-to-day practice of immigration law, including an examination of the substantive and procedural aspects of this practice, and a historical analysis of the changes in our immigration laws and policies. Topics covered include non-immigrant and immigrant classifications, the preference system for immigrants, grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, relief from removal, asylum, citizenship, administrative and judicial review, and the immigration consequences of crimes.
LW 7338. International Law. 3 Hours.
This course introduces students to fundamental concepts and unresolved problems in international law. We discuss historical and contemporary theoretical debates about the roles and utility of international law. Students are introduced to the sources of international law and to methods of international dispute resolution in domestic and international fora. This course explores the part that international law has played (or failed to play) in the prevention or conduct of war, the promotion of human rights and international economic development.
LW 7340. Labor Law 1. 3 Hours.
A general introduction to the law of labor relations through an examination of the National Labor Relations Act and leading cases, in conjunction with historical, social and economic materials. Topics include organization, union recognition, unfair labor practices and collective bargaining.
LW 7358. Social Welfare Law. 3 Hours.
This course examines American public assistance as a legal institution. After reviewing the historical, sociological and juridical roots of the welfare system, students examine the laws governing major assistance programs, especially eligibility requirements, rules governing grant determination, work and family rules, and procedural rights. Primary emphasis is on statutory and regulatory construction. The course explores methods by which lawyers can deal with the system: advocacy in the administrative process, litigation, legislative reform and representation of recipient organizations.
LW 7369. Intellectual Property. 3 Hours.
In our modern day ‘information economy,’ the law of intellectual property has taken on enormous importance to both creators and users of intellectual creations. This course introduces students to the classic principles of copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law and explores the ways in which those principles are shifting and adapting in response to new technology.
LW 7394. Land Use. 3 Hours.
A survey of legal doctrines, techniques and institutions relating to regulation of the use of real property. Topics covered include constitutional questions of takings by public agencies, the scope of the police power as it affects land use and the basic techniques of zoning and subdivision control. Students study, among other issues, recent cases on exclusion of low income housing, current techniques to encourage housing development (inclusionary or “linkage” regulations) and First Amendment questions arising from land use controls.
LW 7396. Legislation. 3 Hours.
This course deals with the distinctive nature of legislation as a source of law. Topics for study include the legislative process, the role of legislatures and the theory and practice of statutory interpretation. Materials and lectures will be based in part on case studies taken from recent Supreme Court and Congressional actions, particularly in the area of civil rights. One session will be a simulated legislative session. Several short legislative drafting assignments will be required.
LW 7417. Entertainment Law. 3 Hours.
Entertainment law involves the study of business practices and legal principles applicable to the entertainment and sports industries. The course will emphasize practical application of those principles and practices in negotiation and litigation. Topics will include the antitrust environment of the sports and entertainment industries, Title IX in college athletics, antitrust control, ownership of creative work and compensation. Students should have a sound understanding of contract law.
LW 7423. State Local Taxation. 3 Hours.
This course surveys the variety of regimes deployed by various states to fund state and municipal government, with primary attention to state income taxation of individuals and businesses, property taxation and sales taxes. Among the topics to be covered are federal and state constitutional constraints on state and local tax structures, alternative methods of state business taxation, and issues relating to the taxation of interstate activity. The course will approach these topics from the viewpoints both of state tax policy-making and of taxpayer planning and representation.
LW 7424. Labor Law 1. 4 Hours.
A general introduction to the law of labor relations through an examination of the National Labor Relations Act and leading cases, in conjunction with historical, social and economic materials. Topics include organization, union recognition, unfair labor practices and collective bargaining.
LW 7428. State and Local Government. 3 Hours.
This course offers an introduction to the workings of state and local governments, and to the roles of law and of lawyers in shaping and controlling their operation. Topics to be covered include: the sources and scope of state and of local lawmaking authority, intergovernmental relationships, modes of citizen participation in and control over the governing process, and state and municipal fiscal structure and operations. In exploring these topics, the course will focus both on the practical roles played by attorneys (employed inside or outside of government) in the governmental processes and on the place of decentralized governmental units within the vision of a democratic polity.
LW 7434. Secured Transactions. 4 Hours.
This course has as its principal focus the way that most credit in America is extended. The transactions covered range from the purchase by consumers of automobiles or large household goods on credit to mega-loans by banks to large corporations. The primary law studied is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code as well as certain sections of the federal Bankruptcy Code. The course also seeks to introduce students to commercial law generally and to further their facility with issues of statutory construction.
LW 7444. Modern Real Estate Development. 3 Hours.
This course explores the basic elements of commercial real estate transactions, with a focus on the acquisition and financing of real estate development. We discuss the economic considerations (including basic tax benefits) and risk elements of real estate development, as well as some of the emerging trends in real estate development and their theoretical implications. We give limited consideration to residential real estate transactions. A complex real estate transaction serves as the basis for the course discussions. Course materials include typical transactional documents. During the term, one or more in-class drafting exercises are included to help focus the discussion of the issues.
LW 7453. Women, Feminism, and the Law. 3 Hours.
LW 7456. International Business Transactions and Trade. 3 Hours.
LW 7458. Employment Discrimination. 4 Hours.
This course focuses on the rights of workers to be free of discrimination in the workplace, and the obligations of employers to provide a discrimination-free workplace. Emphasis is placed on the scope and limitations of fair employment statutes, including definitions of employee and employer, types of actionable discrimination, shifting burdens of proof and other definitional or procedural issues that frequently determine the outcome of cases. The course will primarily address Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but will also cover other state and federal anti-discrimination laws. We will not only discuss litigation, but will also address approaches that responsible employers might take to develop effective anti-discrimination policies.
LW 7463. Nonprofit Organizations. 3 Hours.
This course is about federal regulation of nonprofit organizations. Why does the government exempt certain organizations from tax? What are the rules that non-profit organizations must follow in order to retain their tax-exempt status? What activities by non-profit organizations are prohibited by federal law? These and other questions about non-profit organizations will be discussed. The course will focus on relevant Federal tax law, but there is no prerequisite for the course. Although the course is about the Internal Revenue Code, the concepts of income taxation (what is income? when is it income? etc.) are irrelevant because nonprofit organizations are exempt from tax.
LW 7464. Battered Women and the Law. 3 Hours.
This course begins with a focus on the dynamics of violence in intimate relationships, and on the cultural context in which abusive relationships are embedded. Later classes will examine those aspects of the legal system having the most immediate relevance to a woman seeking to protect herself against the violence of a partner, or to end an abusive relationship. Specifically, we will look at family law, alternative dispute resolution, abuse prevention legislation, criminal law and the criminal justice system, recent developments in tort law, the new federal Violence Against Women Act and violence against women as a violation of international human rights. The course will end with a look at the particular challenges faced by advocates working with battered women, and some innovative programmatic responses to the needs of battered women on the part of both public and private agencies and organizations.
LW 7465. Employment Law. 4 Hours.
This course surveys common law, statutory and administrative regulation of the employment relationship and current policy issues concerning paid employment. Topics discussed include labor market theory, job security, mass dismissals and plant closings, employer control of employee behavior, employee privacy, minimum wage and maximum hour regulation, child labor, international labor standards, sweatshops, part-time and contingent employment relationships, child care, leave policy, issues for parents and other caretakers who enter paid labor markets, unemployment insurance, healthcare insurance, retirement income, and the regulation of pension and benefit plans. Legal and policy issues of concern to low-wage workers receive particular emphasis.
LW 7469. Disability Law. 3 Hours.
This course explores how the law treats individuals with disabilities. We will analyze what is meant by the term “disability” and consider constitutional review of state actions discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Particular attention will be given to the the rights and obligations created by the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The rights of individuals with disabilities to be educated, work, receive healthcare, and enjoy public accommodations will be considered in depth. This course is designed for students wishing to represent individuals with disabilities as well as students who may represent employers and public accommodations.
LW 7475. First Amendment. 3 Hours.
This course examines several rights protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. The focus is on the principles and processes developed by the judiciary to protect various forms of speech, expression and association. The course does NOT deal with the free exercise of religion or the establishment clause. The course also focuses on integrating doctrine with the core values of the First Amendment as well as emphasizing the need for students to develop their own preferred approach to protecting free expression. The course does not, except tangentially, deal with other parts of the Bill of Rights.
LW 7477. International Human Rights Law. 3 Hours.
This course focues on important themes and concerns in international human rights law. It provides a historical overview of the human rights movement and explores major theoretical and practical challenges that movement posed by cultural relativism, state sovereignty, sturctural barries to implementation, and globalization. Students will be introduced to instruments compirising the International Bill of Rights (including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights standards) as well as to other treaties addressing specific rights violations. We will also examine regional approaches to human rights or human dignity. There is no prerequisite for this course.
LW 7482. Law, Policy Society. 3 Hours.
This seminar is offered on a limited enrollment basis to law students, as well as to Ph.D. students in the Law, Policy and Society Program. Northeastern University faculty members lecture on their work in, and particular approach to, the field of law, policy and society. Seminar discussions focus on the meaning and usefulness of interdisciplinary research. Two papers evaluating various paradigms for analyzing issues in law, policy and society are required. *This course follows the university’s academic calendar.
LW 7488. Sexuality, Gender and the Law. 3 Hours.
This course uses case law and theory to address doctrinal problems and justice concerns associated with gender and sexuality. The syllabus is organized around notions such as privacy, identity and consent, all of which are conceptual pillars upon which arguments in the domain of sexuality and gender typically rely. Doctrinal topics include same-sex marriage, sodomy, sexual harassment, discrimination, among others, but the course is not a doctrinal survey; it is a critical inquiry into key concepts that cut across doctrinal areas. Students should expect to write a paper and share some of what they have learned with the class.
LW 7491. International Human Rights and the Global Economy. 3 Hours.
Can recognizing “the right to housing” make the demands of homeless persons for adequate housing more effective? Does the right to maintain cultural or religious traditions conflict with the right to be free from gender discrimination? This course highlights the growing influence of the international economic, social, and cultural rights framework as well as the implications of globalization for all international human rights. We will begin by examining the history and theoretical origins of socioeconomic and cultural rights such as rights to food, housing, health, education, and cultural expression. We then engage the legal framework under major international and regional human rights treaties and leading interpretations of them by international, regional, and domestic courts and other actors. Finally, we grapple with the tensions among collective rights, cultural imperatives, and traditional human rights. There is no prerequisite for this course.
LW 7494. Bioethics and the Law. 3 Hours.
This course will focus on the intersection of law and bioethics and will consider how different ethical theories may guide legal decisions. Topics will include physician-assisted suicide, testing for HIV, reproductive technology, and rationing of healthcare. Students will be expected to write a research paper and share some of what they have learned with the class.
LW 7497. Children’s Law. 3 Hours.
This course will explore the legal position and legal needs of American children. We will consider parental control over and responsibility for children, and the constitutional dimensions of “family privacy.” The course covers the broad topic of child abuse and neglect, including mandated reporting, cultueal issues in abuse and neglect, the foster care system and termination of parental rights. We will also consider issues particularly germane to older children, such as access to medical care without parental consent, rights in school and emancipation.
LW 7501. Patent Law. 3 Hours.
This course will provide an in-depth review of patent law and practice. The course will cover the administrative process for obtaining patents, including the requirements for patentability. The course will also cover enforcement of patent rights and the defense of patent infringement suits. The course will be presented in a simple, non-technical manner so that students of all disciplines can learn and understand the concepts.
LW 7512. Problems in Public Health Law. 3 Hours.
This course will explore the rationales for using law to protect and preserve the public’s health, the legal tools that may be used to achieve that end, and the conflicts and problems that may result from legal interventions. Topics discussed will include the use of law to reduce the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, control of tobacco and other hazardous products, bioterrorism, and the threats TO CIVIL LIBERTIES AND MINORITY GROUPS engendered by all such legal efforts. This course is highly recommended for all students enrolled in the J.D./M.P.H. dual degree program, but is open to other students as well.
LW 7513. Trade Secret Law. 3 Hours.
The course addresses these issues, among others: Should the state protect trade secrets? If so, why? When is information entitled to protection as a trade secret? What constitutes the “misappropriation” of trade secrets? How do courts balance the “rights” of firms to protect their trade secrets and the “rights” of the firms’ former employees to obtain employment in their fields? Do courts enforce non-competition agreements in order to protect trade secrets? If so, under what circumstances? Should courts enjoin individuals from taking certain jobs based on the “theory” that those individuals “inevitably” will disclose the secrets of their former employers? What remedies are available to the victims of trade secret misappropriation? Should civil trade secret law, like patent, copyright and trademark law, be federalized? Why has the federal government criminalized trade secret theft, and how does federal law impact state trade secret law? In addition to participating in class discussions, students will prepare a brief in support of or opposition to a motion to preliminarily enjoin a hypothetical company’s former employee from working for or disclosing the company’s trade secrets to it’s competitor.
LW 7514. Natural Resources Law. 3 Hours.
This course addresses legal requirements and institutions dealing with animal and plant species, biological resources, habitats, and ecosystems. Major themes include biological diversity, endangered and threatened species, public and private rights in migratory resources, public trust doctrine, the allocation of power among federal, state, and local governments, and the roles of administrative agencies in ecosystem management. The course provides opportunities to explore specific topics of interest such as environmental ethics, wetlands protection, fisheries law, Native American hunting rights and fishing rights, and management of national parks, forests, and grazing lands.
LW 7518. Affordable Housing Law—Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.
This course will explore how and why Federal law supports the production, finance and operation of affordable housing, and the consequences, both intended and unintended, of historical shifts in Federal housing policy. Students will examine in detail the ways in which both housing regulation and the tax code affect the structure and documentation of complex transactions, and will analyze the “real world” impact of changing policies and legal requirements on the practice of affordable housing law.
LW 7519. Community Economic Development. 3 Hours.
LW 7523. International Business Regulation. 3 Hours.
This course examines international and domestic law regulating multinational enterprises. It is intended for students interested in the work of international lawyers representing corporations and other economic actors, serving in relevant government agencies and international organizations, and engaged in the public interest work of NGOs. The course will cover, among other things, the role of lawyers in the international business environment, legal aspects of multinational enterprises, the international sale of goods, foreign investment issues, select international aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and international joint venturing.
LW 7525. Law and Economic Development. 3 Hours.
This course will examine the prevailing economic theories of and strategies for economic development since World War II and the legal and institutional frameworks devised to implement these strategies. Questions we will explore will include: What kinds of legal and institutional arrangements best facilitate economic growth? How does law structure and shape markets? What is “development” and how can it best be measured? Can legal instruments be used effectively to address underdevelopment in a structural way? While the focus will be on development in the so-called “developing world,” we will also explore some strategies for addressing development in a local community context. We will conclude the course by applying what we have learned to address several development case studies posing particular problems in particular regions and contexts.
LW 7528. Balancing Liberty and Security Seminar. 3 Hours.
This course will examine the challenges, obstacles and issues presented in the struggle to create a balance between securing our homeland and respecting the rights of all of those who call this land home. We will examine recent Supreme Court decisions (Handi, Rasul, and Padilla) as well as international perspectives on counterterrorism strategies. The course will include a discussion of the privacy and human rights issues that have arisen since September 11th and the ethical responsibility of lawyers adjudicating those issues. Students will take a take-home exam at the end of the quarter.
LW 7539. Employment Law—Job Security and Rights. 3 Hours.
This course surveys legal and policy issues concerning job security, focusing primarily on law governing the termination of private sector employment. Students develop an understanding of the history and scope of the underlying employment-at-will doctrine and the primary ways in which the at-will doctrine has been modified through common law and statute.
LW 7540. Employment Law—Compensation, Benefits, and Retirement. 3 Hours.
This course surveys the legal and policy issues concerning minimum wage and wage-payment laws, regulation of working time and overtime premiums, family medical leave, unemployment insurance, COBRA, Social Security and pensions and ERISA. It stresses close reading of statutes and administrative regulations. The problems of low-wage workers receive special emphasis.
LW 7541. Global AIDS Policy Seminar. 3 Hours.
The global HIV/AIDS pandemic, the preeminent public health and human rights challenge of our time, is structured by biological, economic, social, and cultural forces ranging from the arcane structures of the international intellectual property regime to the cultural norms that prefigure sexual intimacy. This seminar will explore selected policy options for reversing and responding to the tide of infection. Pharmaceutical research, development, and access, neo-liberal economic and trade policies, gender relations and prevention policies, global health initiatives and primary health systems, healthcare policy and health worker migration – these and many other topics will be the subject of classroom discussion and student research papers.
LW 7549. Comparative Law: Law, Markets, and Democracy in East Asia. 3 Hours.
Today, we see a variety of market developments and rule of law programs around the world promulgated by such international institutions as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank. Markets are viewed as the panacea to the ills associated with economic development, and “rule of law” is synonymous with democracy, equality, and universal rights. This course examines the truth of the above assumptions by a study of legal systems in East Asian countries, selected for their varying stages of economic development. The course will examine three areas: cultural forces behind legal systems; forces of economic development and political, social and legal institutions established to promote this national goal; and finally, the intended and unintended consequences of these legal institutions.
LW 7550. Refugee and Asylum Law. 3 Hours.
This course will explore the law of asylum and refugees. The primary focus will be on U.S. law as it has evolved since passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. This will include legislation and case law—both administrative and federal court cases. It will also look at relevant international law and standards utilized in other countries by way of comparison with U.S. Law. We will also examine the process of asylum adjudications to analyze issues of due process, credibility, cross cultural communication and integrity of the various legal procedures. We will explore new and emerging theories of asylum eligibility and policy developments which impact asylum seekers in the United States.
LW 7561. Private Litigation in the Public Interest. 3 Hours.
How can lawyers working in the “private” arena influence public policy? This course looks at tort-based litigation that impacts tobacco control, climate change, and other policy arenas. It considers the financial consequences of “mass torts”, class actions and punitive damages on plaintiffs’ attorneys as well as on defendants, and examines doctrinal, ethical and practical issues raised by the effort to use civil remedies to achieve social change.
LW 7580. Community Economic Development. 3 Hours.
Community economic development has been the subject of intense work and innovative approaches to poverty alleviation in the last several decades. But CED efforts have thus far lagged behind in producing sustainable forms of income generation for poor people. This seminar will examine current efforts to develop sustainable forms of income generation in Boston and nationwide. The students will then undertake the process of developing a new model for sustainable income development. In doing so, we will ask how the law can support such a model. Students will write research reports describing and critiquing current income generation programs in Boston.
LW 7588. Reproductive and Sexual Rights and Health. 3 Hours.
This course will examine how sexual and reproductive health laws impede or increase access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and shape how we understand what constitutes sexual and reproductive health. Attention will be paid to understanding legal doctrine, public health research, and critically assessing issues arising from sexual and reproductive health law. The course will draw on various tools of analysis including critical race theory, critical legal theory, human rights, and a range of public health methods. Topics covered will include, amongst others, sexual and reproductive health law as it pertains to abortion, sexuality, pregnancy, marriage, healthcare in prisons, immigrants, HIV/AIDS, and sex education.
LW 7595. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Policy and Advocacy. 3 Hours.
This course introduces students to the judicious use of studies done in various disciplines for policymaking and advocacy. Through the concept of “paradigm” students learn to identify the conceptual structure and methodologies underlying different disciplines and to understand the uses to which work within each paradigm can properly be put. The course examines the differences between science, law, policymaking, and advocacy, including the role of normative judgments in each. The justification of normative judgments, including concepts of social justice, will be considered. The use of studies from different disciplines for policymaking and advocacy with respect to tobacco control and obesity prevention will provide illustrative examples.
LW 7597. Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Clinic. 1-6 Hours.
The CRRJ (Civil Rights and Restorative Justice) Clinic engages students in legal research, litigation and legislative initiatives relating to anti-civil rights violence in the United States. CRRJ clinic students assist law enforcement agencies considering criminal investigation and pursue civil litigation against government entities. One of CRRJ’s projects, Reconstructing Cases of Racial Violence, involves researching cases where criminal prosecution may not be an option. Students reconstruct legal proceedings and conduct factual investigations. The project focuses on practical legal research skills and helps students integrate the law of torts, civil procedure, federal courts, criminal law, and constitutional law. Faculty will provide individual supervision of each student.
LW 7617. Economic Perspectives on Health Policy. 4 Hours.
Uses basic economic concepts to illuminate the many factors that shape health, healthcare, and the healthcare system in the United States. Examines the role of these concepts in explaining the challenges faced in achieving three core goals of the healthcare system: increasing access, limiting cost, and improving quality. Explores how policy makers, market participants, and others can remedy access, cost, and quality deficiencies. Illustrates how economic concepts can be applied to the study of health and health behaviors.
LW 7619. Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Law. 3 Hours.
This course provides an overview of the law relating to healthcare fraud. It will provide an overview of the healthcare fraud and abuse laws, emphasizing the role of whistleblowers, qui tam actions, criminal investigative techniques, trial issues inherent in white collar criminal prosecutions, innovative resolutions of corporate fraud including compliance programs, and sentencing. Topics will include an overview of the healthcare payment system, the frauds visited on that system, and the interplay of criminal prosecutions with the FDA regulation. This course is highly recommended for students in the JD/MPH program, LLM students specializing in health policy and law, and students interested in criminal law, but is open to others as well. Health Law is recommended but not required.
LW 7620. Human Behavior, Legal Doctrine, and Policy Design. 3 Hours.
This course will compare accounts of human behavior, including the Utilitarian/Law and Economics view of man as a rational calculator of his self-interest, with classical and contemporary alternatives to that description, including Behavioral Economics. We will evaluate the reasons for doubting or crediting these competing accounts, and will then consider their implications for determining appropriate legal doctrines and regulatory approaches. For example, we may consider whether the views of human behavior which shape consumer protection case law and the Supreme Court’s commercial speech doctrine are justified, and whether – and in what circumstances—regulations are appropriate which seek to help people by prescribing, proscribing, or “nudging” their behavior. Students are expected to participate in class and write a research paper which may satisfy the writing requirement.
LW 7622. Whistleblower Law. 2 Hours.
This course provides an introduction to the legal issues related to whistleblowing, a dynamic new area in employment, corporate compliance, and anti-fraud law. It focuses on tort-like remedies and monetary rewards available to whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, Foreign Corrupt Practices and False Claims Acts, along with protections under tax law, the First Amendment, and common law. There will be a final exam and a short paper (approximately 2 pages in length).
LW 7632. Strategies for Public Interest Environmental Litigation. 2 Hours.
Environmental laws are passed and regulations are promulgated, but too often, enforcement is lax, illegal exceptions are granted, inconsequential penalties are levied, business - and pollution - continues as usual. Using real examples, we discuss how to evaluate, litigate and prevail in environmental enforcement cases brought in the public interest. The course covers philosophical and policy-related underpinnings of citizen suit enforcement, case development and analysis, attorney-client retainers and economic considerations, ethical considerations, strategic use of experts, citizen standing pointers and pitfalls, deposition and motions practice, agency relations and threat of preclusion, trial, settlement strategies and consent decree drafting, media, and post-trial/settlement monitoring and enforcement. Students will evaluate cases from actual agency and industry documents, draft strategy memos and pleadings, depose witnesses and conduct oral arguments.
LW 7648. Access to Justice by Design. 2 Hours.
One of the biggest challenges facing the legal system is how many people are trying to navigate it without a lawyer; particularly for problems like divorce, child custody, personal debt, housing, and small claims. This class proposes that a user-centered design approach, mixed with an agile development approach, can increase the amount of procedural justice for self-represented litigants in the courts. Students will be exposed to how to practice agile user-centered design by creating new interventions for courts to help people without a lawyer to understand their legal options, create a strategy, and pursue a legal process. The class will involve fieldwork at the courts; identifying key fail points and frustrations of stakeholders by observing and conducting interviews, and brainstorming and testing new solutions.
LW 7654. Race, Justice, and Reform. 3 Hours.
This seminar will focus on: how the criminal justice system impacts community members; how laws, policies and practices disparately impact communities of color and perpetuate structural economic inequality; and how Massachusetts and other states struggle to reform our criminal justice systems. Class sessions will examine specific topics and discuss class readings on those topics. Each student will choose one topic to investigate and explore. Students will write papers identifying and analyzing the issues germane to their topic. In addition, they will investigate and develop narratives describing the community impact of particular criminal laws and policies. Finally, they will create podcasts and op-eds to educate the public about this particular topic and what reforms are needed to address the problems illuminated by their research and narratives.
LW 7655. Advancing Economic and Social Equity through Municipal Policy and Law. 2 Hours.
Strong-market cities fuel the American Economy. They are experiencing employment and population growth, private sector investment and new, wealthier demographics attracted to urban living. But the benefits of urban prosperity are not shared equitably across races or incomes. Federal disinvestment and state/federal roadblocks have spurred municipal innovation to address income inequality and to defend or advance inclusion for communities like immigrants and LGBT individuals. This course will examine trends in equitable city policy through case studies on civil rights, wages, worker protections, safety net funding like affordable housing and more. It will also explore legal-policy intersections like home rule, pre-emption, the limits of federal coercion and constitutional considerations. Taught by a municipal elected official, policy discussions will be grounded within real-world civic and political contexts.