LAW 6100. Civil Procedure. (5 Hours)
Introduces students to the procedural rules that courts in the United States use to handle noncriminal disputes. Designed to provide a working knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and typical state rules, along with an introduction to federalism, statutory analysis, advocacy, and methods of dispute resolution. Examines procedure within its historical context.
LAW 6101. Constitutional Law. (4 Hours)
Studies the techniques of constitutional interpretation and some of the principal themes of constitutional law: federalism, separation of powers, public vs. private spheres, equality theory and rights analysis. The first part of the course is about the powers of government. The second part is an in-depth analysis of the 14th Amendment.
Attribute(s): NUpath Societies/Institutions
LAW 6102. Contracts. (5 Hours)
This course examines the legal concepts governing consensual and promissory relationships, with emphasis on the historical development and institutional implementation of contract theory, its relationship and continuing adaptation to the needs and practice of commerce, and its serviceability in a variety of non-commercial contexts. Topics covered include contract formation, the doctrine of consideration, remedies for breach of contracts, modification of contract rights resulting from such factors as fraud, mistake and unforeseen circumstances, and the modern adaptation of contract law to consumer problems. This course also introduces students to the analysis of a complex statute: the Uniform Commercial Code.
LAW 6103. Criminal Justice. (4 Hours)
In this course, students are introduced to the fundamental principles that guide the development, interpretation and analysis of the law of crimes. They are also exposed to the statutory texts—primarily the Model Penal Code, but also state statutes. In addition, students are introduced to the rules and principles used to apportion blame and responsibility in the criminal justice system. Finally, students examine the limits and potential of law as an instrument of social control.
LAW 6105. Property. (4 Hours)
This course covers the major doctrines in American property law, including trespass, servitudes, estates in land and future interests, landlord-tenant relationships, nuisance, and takings. Students are introduced to rules, policies, and current controversies.
LAW 6106. Torts. (4 Hours)
This course introduces students to theories of liability and the primary doctrines limiting liability, which are studied both doctrinally and in historical and social context. The course includes a brief consideration of civil remedies for intentional harms, but mainly focuses on the problem of accidental injury to persons and property. It also provides an introductory look at alternative systems for controlling risk and allocating the cost of accidents in advanced industrial societies.
LAW 6160. Legal Skills in Social Context. (2 Hours)
The LSSC Social Justice component immediately applies students’ legal research and writing skills in using law as a tool for social change. LSSC links students’ pre-law school thinking with the new legal culture in which they find themselves. In the first semester, they begin by forging their own team lawyering dynamic in discussing assigned readings and in preparing, and presenting, several advocacy exercises and written assignments. In the second semester, students apply and consolidate their new legal research and writing skills in addressing an intensive real-life social justice project for a selected client organization. LSSC student teams develop their legal and cooperative problem-solving skills and knowledge while producing real client work of a quality that far exceeds the ordinary expectations of first-year law students. May be repeated once.
LAW 6165. LSSC: Legal Research and Writing Component. (2 Hours)
Competent and effective legal research and writing skills are the foundation for students’ success in law school and in their legal careers. In LSSC’s Legal Analysis, Research and Writing component, students learn about the organization of the American legal system, the sources and construction of laws, and how the application of laws may vary with the specific factual situation. Students learn how to research the law to find applicable legal rules, how to analyze and apply those rules to a factual situation, and how to communicate their legal analysis clearly and concisely to different audiences.
LAW 6301. Intensive Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions. (2 Hours)
This course is a general introduction to the American legal system for graduates of law programs outside the United States. The focus will be on the distinctive features of the American system, including how the U.S. common-law system differs from the civil-law system in place in most other countries. The three branches of government, federalism, the federal-state relationship, the constitutional protection of individual rights, civil and criminal procedure, and statutory and regulatory law will all be discussed.
LAW 6302. Intensive Introduction to Legal Research and Writing for LLM Students. (2 Hours)
This course introduces graduates of law programs outside the United States to the principles of U.S. legal discourse and to the basics of manual and electronic U.S. legal research. Students will have an opportunity to practice researching complex questions of U.S. law and writing memoranda based on their research.
LAW 6313. Introduction to the Law of Contracts. (3 Hours)
This course is designed to provide international LLM students with an introduction to U.S. contract law, with a special focus upon contracts for the sale of goods. Topics may include formation of contracts, contract interpretation, performance, and breach, remedies, and Articles 1 and 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. This course is especially recommended for LLM students who wish to take a U.S. bar exam. This course is not open to JD students.
LAW 6314. Introduction to U.S. Constitutional Law. (4 Hours)
This course is designed to provide international LLM students with an introduction to U.S. constitutional law. The course is especially recommended for LLM students who wish to take a U.S. bar exam. Topics may include judicial review, separation of powers, federalism, equal protection, state action, due process and fundamental rights, and the First Amendment. J.D. students may take this course only with permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
LAW 6315. Legal Research and Writing for LLM Students: Preparing for Co-op. (2 Hours)
Introduces graduates of law programs outside the United States to the practical application of U.S. legal discourse and legal research in the workplace. Offers students an opportunity to apply what they have learned about U.S. legal writing and research to the types of tasks that they will be called upon to complete during their co-op internship work experience.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 6302 with a minimum grade of MP
LAW 6316. Introduction to Civil Procedure. (3 Hours)
This course is designed to provide international LLM students with an overall introduction to U.S. civil procedure. Topics will include personal and subject-matter jurisdiction, pleadings, discovery, choice of law (the Erie Doctrine), finality and preclusion, and class actions. The course is designed to emphasize the practical application of civil procedure law, and is especially recommended for LLM students who wish to take a U.S. bar exam. Not open to JD students.
LAW 6330. Global Legal Practice. (1-8 Hours)
In this course, LLM students receive practical training by working with real-world clients on real-world cases obtained from Boston-area legal services organizations, under the legal supervision of licensed attorneys working in the LLM program at the Law School. LLM students only. May be repeated up to seven times for up to 8 total credits.
LAW 6370. Financial Transactions. (3 Hours)
In this course students will explore various aspects of corporate financial transactions, including vendor and supplier contracts, early stage financing, commercial loans, initial public offerings, mergers, and the sale of assets. Issues involving valuation of assets will be covered, and students will learn basic securities laws related to the transactions covered.
LAW 6400. Introduction to U.S. Law and Legal System. (2 Hours)
Introduces principles and structures of the legal system in the United States. Covers the U.S. system of government, the U.S. judicial systems at the federal and state levels, U.S. sources of law, common law methodology, and the roles of legal professionals. Designed to familiarize the student with the relevant and governing legal principles that are used in American jurisprudence, including substantive and procedural law. Emphasizes legal terminology in our contemporary legal system.
LAW 6401. Contracts. (3 Hours)
Surveys the application of contract law in various contexts with case law, relevant portions of the Uniform Commercial Code, the Restatements, and treatises. Introduces students to practical issues in contract law theories and doctrines. Explores the bases of contract law, creation and termination rights, problems in contract formation, contract interpretation theories, and damages.
LAW 6402. Torts. (2 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to obtain a thorough working knowledge of the key concepts of tort law in the United States. Covers issues related to intentional torts and negligence and the defenses that relate to tort claims.
LAW 6403. Constitutional Law. (3 Hours)
Offers a broad overview of constitutional law. Emphasizes the subjects of federalism, judicial review, due process, and individual rights.
LAW 6404. Civil Procedure. (3 Hours)
Examines the procedural aspects of civil disputes in the United States under both state and federal systems, as well as the court systems and processes of bringing and defending cases. Studies the unique U.S. process of the discovery of evidence, including depositions and document production.
LAW 6405. California Professional Responsibility. (2 Hours)
Examines the rules that regulate the legal profession including the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct; the California Rules of Professional Conduct; relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code; and leading case law, both federal and state, on the subject. Offers students an opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of the topics covered on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination and the California Bar Examination, including lawyer advertising; solicitation of clients; specialization; conflicts of interest; competence; legal malpractice; fees; confidentiality; and obligations to clients, the court, and society. Students apply applicable ethics rules to identify and resolve ethical problems within the practice of law.
LAW 6406. Criminal Law. (3 Hours)
Covers both federal and state criminal law in the United States. Reviews the entire time frame of a crime, from commission through prosecution and possible imprisonment. Examines multiple types of crime, including white-collar crime, as well as procedural rules of criminal cases. Covers provisions of the Bill of Rights that regulate the government’s pursuit, prosecution, and punishment of criminal defendants, with emphasis on the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
LAW 6962. Elective. (1-4 Hours)
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7000. Copyright. (3 Hours)
Surveys the domestic and international laws and policies of copyright law, with a secondary emphasis on related areas of law such as rights of publicity, unfair competition, and contractual protection of ideas in varying degrees. Topics covered include the subject matter of copyright; ownership and transfer of copyrights; the rights afforded to copyright owners in the United States and via international treaties and conventions; duration of protection; infringement; and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and remedies. Includes guest speakers who are involved in cutting-edge issues in copyright, which will allow students to hear directly from and start networking with practitioners and others involved in copyright law.
LAW 7001. Corporate Finance. (3 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to gain an understanding of the funding sources and the structure of corporate financial transactions. Focuses on the tools necessary for a lawyer to render legal opinions in the financial sector. Seeks to help students understand the finances behind transactions such as negotiating a merger, taking a client private through a leveraged buyout (LBO) or public through an initial public offering (IPO), or securing capital for expansion or operations. Topics covered include valuation, debt securities, preferred stock, convertible securities, and distributions in respect of equity securities.
LAW 7002. Intellectual Property. (3 Hours)
Offers an overview of trade secrets and the basics of patent law, copyright law, and trademark law in the United States as derived from the pertinent federal statutes and through case law and administrative actors. Intellectual property is all about human creativity and ingenuity. It includes inventions and know-how, art and music, designs and branding. Intellectual property law is the legal framework used to determine, apportion, secure, and leverage these rights in the marketplace. Examines the relationship between intellectual property and global development, as well as how intellectual property is used in the marketplace through competition and antitrust law.
LAW 7003. International Sales and Commercial Arbitration. (3 Hours)
Examines the laws and commercial rules governing international sales of goods and the law and practice of international commercial arbitration. Course topics include the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the rules of private international law that address gaps in the CISG.
LAW 7004. Trademark. (3 Hours)
Examines the precepts of trademark and unfair competition law. Investigates issues of ownership, registration, misappropriation, infringement, and dilution in the context of words, phrases, symbols, slogans, product design, and trade dress. Explores related issues such as false and comparative advertising, rights of publicity, and parody and free speech.
LAW 7005. Mergers and Acquisitions. (3 Hours)
Explores legal issues related to corporate mergers and acquisitions. Topics covered include acquisition structures and mechanics, shareholder voting and appraisal rights, board fiduciary duties, federal securities law requirements, anti-takeover defenses, accounting and tax issues, and antitrust considerations.
LAW 7006. Secured Transactions. (3 Hours)
Examines the rules governing transactions in which personal property and fixtures are used as collateral to secure an obligation. The primary source of authority is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code but also introduces other applicable laws, including primarily the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This body of law addresses not only the rights of the debtor and creditor inter se but also the rights of third parties with an interest in the collateral.
LAW 7007. Securities Regulation. (3 Hours)
Examines how the stock market and other securities markets are regulated in the United States. The primary focus is the Securities Act of 1933 and, to a lesser extent, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Covers how companies raise capital through IPOs and other offerings, including private placements, and the complicated regulatory framework that applies. In addition to discussing disclosure requirements for companies that decide to offer to sell their stock or debt to investors, the course takes an in-depth look at insider trading rules. Also touches on how corporate director elections are regulated as well as the rules that apply to tender offers.
LAW 7008. International Tax. (3 Hours)
Examines issues in international taxation.
LAW 7009. Intellectual Property and Technology Law. (3 Hours)
Explores the interplay between intellectual property law and evolving technology. In particular, focuses on the challenges faced by courts when applying intellectual property laws to technology not in existence at the time the laws were passed and on the policy issues raised by such challenges.
LAW 7010. Insurance Law. (3 Hours)
Introduces students to the principles governing the creation, sale, and enforcement of the most common forms of insurance in the United States. Explores personal liability, professional liability, commercial general liability, homeowner's, automobile, life and casualty, and health insurance. Discusses the peculiarities of each line as well as the problems common to all lines: moral hazard, adverse selection, and outright fraud. Covers the social function of insurance, as well as historical anomalies, in order to give students the broadest possible exposure to the issues lawyers confront regularly in this area of practice.
LAW 7011. Personal Income Tax. (3 Hours)
Introduces students to the basic concepts contained in the Internal Revenue Code. Emphasizes taxation of individuals but includes significant content applying concepts to business entities as well. Offers students an opportunity to learn to analyze statutes and regulations.
LAW 7012. Business Organizations. (2 Hours)
Examines the structure and operation of business organizations in the United States. Begins with an examination of agency law (which applies to all business entities) and then focuses on general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and corporations.
LAW 7300. Administrative Law. (3 Hours)
This course provides an introduction to the legal doctrines designed to empower and constrain government agencies and officials in their daily practice of governance. Topics include the constitutional status of administrative agencies, due process, the Administrative Procedure Act and the availability and standards of judicial review of agency actions. The course emphasizes the historical evolution of the modern administrative state and the regulatory agency’s peculiar role in our system of governance.
LAW 7301. Advanced Criminal Procedure: Adjudication. (3 Hours)
This course closely examines some of the constitutional complexities in the prosecution and defense of criminal cases in state and federal courts. Students investigate how the law fashions the adjudicatory process and how the law evaluates what is “fair” and what is “legitimate” in formally deciding on whom to impose punishment. The course covers, among other things, pretrial detention, right to counsel, plea bargaining, discovery, trial processes, and sentencing.
LAW 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.
LAW 7313. Secured Transactions. (3 Hours)
A survey of commercial lending transactions, with particular emphasis on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, consumer legislation, relationship to real estate mortgage transactions, relationship to bankruptcy problems, fraudulent conveyances, federal tax liens, etc.
LAW 7315. Consumer Bankruptcy. (3 Hours)
This course explores basic principles of consumer bankruptcy. We examine how the bankruptcy process works, the underlying policies that purport to justify the way the law is written and construed, and the mechanics of applying key sections of the federal Bankruptcy Code. To convey the liveliness and volatility of bankruptcy practice, and to provide an introduction to strategic thinking in bankruptcy, the course relies primarily on problem solving and discussion.
LAW 7320. Constitutional Litigation. (3 Hours)
In the first phase of the course, the class considers strategic and tactical decision-making in constitutional litigation. In the second phase, students report on the process of litigating cases involving constitutional issues. Relying on briefs, court records and interviews with counsel, students report to the class and prepare a research paper setting out their findings. The paper is a major commitment of time and energy; only students with a significant interest in litigation of constitutional questions should apply. Papers are eligible to satisfy the writing requirement.
LAW 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.
LAW 7324. Securities Regulation. (3 Hours)
Federal regulation of securities transactions originated in the New Deal investor protection legislation of the early 1930s and must now adapt to the changes and challenges of the 21st century. This course surveys major issues in the registration of initial public offerings (“IPOs”) under the Securities Act of 1933 and relevant provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, civil liability provisions, and the major exemptions from registration. Students will engage in detailed statutory analysis, as well as analysis of judicial and administrative decisions. The material covered in the course also raises important public policy issues such as “market democracy” and the role of regulation, disclosure policy with regard to corporate accountability and social responsibility, and the implications of internet disclosure.
LAW 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.
LAW 7331. Estate Planning. (3 Hours)
This basic upper-level course weaves together three strands that make up the discipline of estate planning. Strand 1 is an introduction to key elements of relevant law: property; creditor/debtor; wills, estates, and trusts; estate and gift tax; trust income taxation; and a touch of public benefits. Strand 2 introduces the tools and key components of an estate plan, such as Wills, Trusts, asset titling, and death beneficiary designations. Strand 3 weaves these together with and applies them to real-world frequently encountered situations using classroom hypotheticals to teach sound practice management, ethical considerations, blended family issues, and a mindset that plans for the knowable unknowns (e.g., not all potential beneficiaries may in the future be healthy, financially secure, still living, or even born yet).
LAW 7332. Evidence. (4 Hours)
This course examines how courtroom lawyers use the evidence rules to present their cases—notably, rules regarding relevance, hearsay, impeachment, character, and experts. The approach to the study of evidence will be primarily through the “problem” method—that is, applying the provisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence to concrete courtroom situations. Theoretical issues will be explored as a way to deepen the student’s appreciation of how the evidence rules can and ought to be used in litigation.
LAW 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.
LAW 7335. Health Law. (3,4 Hours)
Examines the legal regulation of the provision of healthcare services. Focuses 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. With permission of instructor, students may be able to take the course for an additional credit by completing a substantial paper or equivalent writing project (in addition to other course requirements) as required by the instructor.
LAW 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.
LAW 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.
LAW 7344. Accounting/Finance for Lawyers. (3 Hours)
Accounting is described as the language of business. This course may be of interest to students seeking to understand accounting, finance, auditing, financial reporting, taxation, or exempt organization management commonly encountered by attorneys. The course introduces objectives and mechanics of financial reporting and accounting. In addition to traditional textual and case materials, we examine financial statements of a local public company including the balance sheet, income statement, statement of shareholders’ equity, statement of cash flows, footnotes and management disclosure and analysis. We perform fundamental comparative financial analysis from an investor’s viewpoint to determine each company’s financial strengths and weaknesses. The course addresses the relationship between lawyer and auditor and reviews and analyzes recent financial reporting and financial scandals and audit failures.
LAW 7350. Negotiation. (3 Hours)
Negotiation is a course where students engage in simulated disputes and transactions, which are then debriefed in class. Through frequent in-class mini-negotiations and major simulations, the course focuses on: (1) negotiation planning, (2) case preparation and evaluation, (3) client counseling and informed client consent, (4) analysis of the bargaining range and principled concession patterns, (5) competitive, cooperative and problem-solving strategies, (6) information bargaining, (7) ethics and (8) critiques of negotiation patterns and institutions. Students are required to turn in preparation materials and to keep weekly journals, reviewed by the instructor, addressing their experiences in, and thoughts about, negotiations. Students are encouraged to internalize habits of analysis, prediction, preparation, and flexibility and to become more self-evaluative for their future negotiating experiences.
LAW 7351. Prisoners' Rights Clinic. (8 Hours)
Focuses on learning the law and procedures of parole and prisons in Massachusetts. Students handle a parole release hearing for a state prisoner serving a life sentence, with the possibility of parole, before all seven members of the parole board at a public hearing. In preparing one of these cases, students gain hands-on experience in criminal law and procedure, sentencing law, probation, prison classification and disciplinary systems, and often immigration law. Offers students an opportunity to develop and refine important advocacy skills including interviewing and counseling, case strategy development, thorough investigation techniques, witness preparation, and making strong opening and closing statements. The clinic is a mix of seminar class, individualized supervision meetings, and direct casework, which requires approximately a 25-hour weekly commitment.
LAW 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.
LAW 7362. Poverty Law and Practice Clinic. (8 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to provide direct representation to clients confronting legal challenges concerning government benefits as they balance family and work responsibilities. Students have personal responsibility for a range of individual clients and team responsibility for work for community organizations. Students interview, research, plan, investigate, counsel, negotiate, and advocate for their clients. The clinic maintains a client-centered focus and works to resolve problems on an individual and collective basis.
LAW 7369. Intellectual Property. (3,4 Hours)
Introduces 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. In our modern day "information economy," the law of intellectual property has taken on enormous importance to both creators and users of intellectual creations. With permission of instructor, students may be able to take the course for an additional credit by completing a substantial paper or equivalent writing project (in addition to other course requirements) as required by the instructor.
LAW 7377. Trusts and Estates. (4 Hours)
This basic course covers all aspects of inheritance, including intestacy, wills, common modern will substitutes, trusts, and future interests, with attention to rights of spouses and children, charitable interests, fiduciary duty, and other issues. The focus is practical, and students are required to write numerous short exercises—including analysis, planning advice, and formal drafting—to address realistic problems.
LAW 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.
LAW 7398. Federal Courts and the Federal System. (4 Hours)
The subject of this course is the distribution of power between the states and the federal government, and between the federal courts and other branches of the federal government as manifested in jurisdictional rules of the federal courts. The topics covered include the nature of the federal judicial function, the review of state court decisions by the United States Supreme Court, and the jurisdiction of federal district courts, with special emphasis on actions claiming constitutional protection against state official actions.
LAW 7400. Corporate Taxation. (4 Hours)
An introduction to Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code and an exercise in reading a short but difficult statute. Among topics covered are taxation of dividends, stock redemptions, liquidations, distributions, and taxable and tax-free sales of corporate stock and assets.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7479 with a minimum grade of MP
LAW 7410. Domestic Violence Clinic. (8 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to develop traditional lawyering skills—including interviewing and counseling clients and preparing and presenting cases in court—in the context of a busy community court that handles thousands of domestic abuse cases each year. The School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute offers an upper-level clinic focused on violence prevention and criminal intervention at Dorchester District Court. The clinic seeks to train students to participate in a broader community-based response to domestic violence and to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams with battered women survivors, advocacy groups, and police and law enforcement personnel.
LAW 7417. Entertainment Law. (3 Hours)
Entertainment Law involves the study of legal principles and business practices of the entertainment industry, with a focus on such matters as they exist in the film, television, and music industries, as well as publishing, video games, emerging media, and the Internet. The course is divided generally into four segments: Intellectual Property (including idea submissions, copyright, trademark, and privacy and publicity rights); Representation of Entertainers (including the roles of agents, managers, lawyers, and unions); Contracts, Credits, and Compensation; and Restrictions on Entertainment Content (including defamation, discrimination, obscenity and indecency, and violence). The focus is on the practical application of the legal principles, including an awareness of issues that arise in negotiations, contracts, and litigation involving entertainment companies and creative talent.
LAW 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.
LAW 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.
LAW 7428. State & 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.
LAW 7429. Labor Law 2. (3 Hours)
An advanced labor law course focusing on the law of the collective bargaining agreement. The course compares collective bargaining rights to other workplace rights systems, such as individual statutory entitlement and public employee constitutional rights.
LAW 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.
LAW 7443. Professional Responsibility. (3 Hours)
This course focuses on the legal, ethical and professional dilemmas encountered by lawyers. Emphasis is on justice as a product of the quality of life that society provides to people rather than merely the process that the legal system provides once a crime or breach of duty has occurred. The course also provides students with a working knowledge of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Code of Professional Responsibility as well as an understanding of the underlying issues and a perspective within which to evaluate them. In addition, the course examines the distribution of legal services to poor and non-poor clients.
LAW 7447. Quantitative Methods. (3 Hours)
Quantitative Methods is an interdisciplinary skills-building course intended to enhance students’ ability to critique, analyze, and generate empirical information. The course explores a variety of contexts in which legal and policy professionals may be called upon to evaluate and interpret data. Possible topics may include calculating the present value of cash flows in settlements(divorce, personal injury); preparing and analyzing financial statements (corporate); critiquing empirical methods and sources of bias in scientific literature (mass torts, medical malpractice); evaluating geographical information (environmental management, zoning); and formulating social science and polling research (public policy and politics). Taking an experiential approach, students are expected to apply concepts and methodologies introduced in class to straight forward problem sets, independent research assignments, and interactive discussions of current events.
LAW 7448. Employment Discrimination. (3 Hours)
The Employment Discrimination course focuses on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It surveys the Supreme Court's decisions in this ever-changing area of law—including the recent decisions in Nassar and Vance, which reflect the efforts of the current Court to reduce the number of cases filed in this area.
LAW 7449. Alternative Dispute Resolution. (3 Hours)
This course is designed to introduce the theory and practice of various dispute resolution mechanisms that are alternatives to the traditional litigation model for resolving disputes. Insofar as negotiation is the foundation of most ADR processes, the course begins there. We will analyze negotiation theory and strategy before adding mediation and collaborative law to the mix. We will look at how to represent clients in negotiation, mediation and collaborative law, how to prepare for these processes and how to develop effective strategies. The final weeks of the course will focus on understanding the essential attributes of arbitration.
LAW 7454. U.S. Legal Research. (2 Hours)
The course is designed to prepare law students for research in practice, clerkships, and legal scholarship. Students will evaluate legal research sources and use them effectively, expand skills in primary and secondary U.S. legal sources, become aware of non-legal information resources that could be useful to legal practice, and get an overview of public international law and foreign legal research. Since learning legal research requires a hands-on approach, students are required to complete assignments and in-class exercises. This course will emphasize cost-effective research, including print and Internet sources. The topics covered in this survey course will vary from year to year and may include immigration law, tax law, business law, environmental law and cultural property law among others.
LAW 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 nonprofit organizations must follow in order to retain their tax-exempt status? What activities by nonprofit organizations are prohibited by federal law? These and other questions about nonprofit 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.
LAW 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.
LAW 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.
LAW 7479. Basic Income Taxation. (4 Hours)
This introductory tax course covers the fundamental concepts and operations in income taxation. Tax issues are raised in the context of typical lawyer-client situations: the employment contract (fringe benefits, employee business expenses), buying and selling a house and other property, personal injury expenses and recoveries, and running a small business. An important aspect in understanding the details covered will be comprehension of the economic policy objectives, and unintended results, of specific tax provisions such as capital gains taxation. The course is focused on the statute, cases and administrative law that define the income tax base. Tax rates are also examined and tax unit issues are covered for individual wage-earners, married couples, children living in the home, pensioners and small businesses organized as sole proprietorships.
LAW 7487. Critical Race Theory. (3 Hours)
This course traces the historical, political, and intellectual origins of Critical Race Theory (CRT) by examining the key writings that formed its foundational pillars. Through this endeavor, we will have an opportunity to grapple with some of CRT’s theoretical contributions as well as the associated methodologies for advancing these claims. Our exploration will also encompass a review of new developments in the field and an application of CRT to current social injustices. Enrollment is limited and evaluation will be based on class participation, a presentation, and a paper project.
LAW 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.
LAW 7491. International Human Rights and the Global Economy. (3 Hours)
This course surveys the international human rights legal system. It includes the promotion and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights (such as rights to health, food,water, andeducation) and civil and political rights (such as equality and non-discrimination, the right to human security, the prohibition on torture, and rights to religious and cultural expression). We begin by examining the history and theoretical origins of human rights law. We then engage the legal framework under international and regional human rights treaties and interpretations of them by international, regional and domestic courts and other actors. We examine international, regional and domestic mechanisms for monitoring compliance. Finally, we grapple with tensions among cultural and religious imperatives and traditional human rights.
LAW 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.
LAW 7495. Advanced Criminal Procedure: Investigation. (3 Hours)
During this course, students will examine the law of criminal investigation. The primary focus of the course will be to present and discuss leading Supreme Court decisions in the field of constitutional criminal procedure. Students will study decisions which apply the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the Due Process Clause to the criminal justice process and the procedures through which criminal laws are enforced.
LAW 7496. Appellate Practice. (3 Hours)
Covers various aspects of appellate practice, focusing on appellate jurisdiction, brief writing, and oral advocacy. As a component of the course, students work in teams of two to write an appellate brief, working from a record from a lower court, and argue the case. Includes observation of appellate arguments, conversations with appellate judges and with lawyers who focus on appellate practice, and review of cases that were briefed and argued in both Massachusetts appellate courts and federal courts.
LAW 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.
LAW 7503. Business Bankruptcy. (3 Hours)
This course deals with business reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The objective of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is to allow the debtor to modify and restructure its debt so that it can continue to operate its business. The course will cover matters that typically arise in a Chapter 11 case, such as the automatic stay, modification of debt, rejecting contracts, post-bankruptcy financing, creditors¿ claims, management of the debtor, and the plan of reorganization. The course will also address topical issues such as employee rights, retiree benefits, and mass tort claims, including asbestos and environmental claims.
LAW 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.
LAW 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.
LAW 7515. Sports Law. (3 Hours)
This course explores the legal, economic and social aspects of national and international professional and amateur sports. The course will focus on judicial, administrative, legislative and private decisions that have created a cohesive body of principles for the resolution of disputes involving athletes, clubs, leagues, spectators, and fans. These decisions address issues of antitrust, labor, tort, agency, and constitutional law. We will pay particular attention to the governance of sports, player reservation systems and player contracts, collective bargaining and salary arbitration, franchise free agency, violence in sports, NCAA rules and regulations, gender and handicapped discrimination, and sports agents. Students will draft a research paper on a topic approved by the instructor.
LAW 7516. Legal Writing Workshop. (3 Hours)
Focuses on strengthening and expanding writing and analytical skills through assignments and exercises that involve objective, advisory, and/or persuasive writing. Reviews essential skills of effective legal writing while simultaneously exposing students to the myriad documents that lawyers draft in practice. Asks students to draft an array of legal documents, which may include office memoranda, client letters, demand letters, jury instructions, pleadings, and/or trial or appellate briefs. Writing completed for this course that satisfies the upper-level writing requirement may be used to fulfill that requirement.
LAW 7521. Branding Law and Practice. (4 Hours)
Applies a variety of laws (trademark, unfair competition, trade dress, design patent, copyrights, and advertising) to business practices associated with branding products and services. The approach is client oriented and experiential; the course includes working in teams and assisting several early stage innovators. Focuses on practical application of legal principles with respect to selection, advertising, use, and protection of brand indicia (marks, logos, slogans, designs, labels, and packaging) and developing lawyering competencies for meeting with clients, conducting due diligence, working collaboratively, giving useful advice, and communicating effectively.
LAW 7525. Law and Economic Development. (3,4 Hours)
Examines prevailing economic theories of and strategies for economic development and the legal and institutional frameworks devised to implement these strategies. Considers what kinds of legal and institutional arrangements best facilitate economic growth, how law structures and shapes markets, what “development” is and how it can best be measured, and whether legal instruments can be used effectively to address underdevelopment in a structural way. Focuses on development in the so-called developing world while also exploring some strategies for addressing development in a local community context. Addresses several development case studies posing particular problems in specific regions and contexts. With permission of instructor, students may register for an additional credit by completing a substantial paper (in addition to other course requirements) as required by the instructor.
LAW 7526. Juvenile Courts: Delinquency, Abuse, Neglect. (3 Hours)
Examines the evolution of the juvenile court system and issues related to juvenile justice and child welfare. Includes the study of procedural and substantive principles related to court subject matter, including delinquency, youthful offender, status offense, and abuse and neglect jurisdiction. In attempting to focus on connecting theory to practice, the class employs a contextual lens by considering the larger communities and systems that affect children, families, and public safety. This entails consideration of the consequences of decisions and policies in and out of courtrooms. Related topics include adolescent development; racial, ethnic, and gender equity; access to educational and mental health services; and public health.
LAW 7527. Public Health Legal Clinic. (4 Hours)
This clinic supports the work of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, a Northeastern-based think tank. It provides students with an opportunity to gain experience in public interest law, health law, and the use of litigation to effect changes in public health policy. The clinic’s primary focus will be on tobacco control and on the emerging issue of obesity-related litigation and policy, but students may explore other public health-related topics as well. This clinic also provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their academic legal writing skills; the final project in this course is the equivalent of a law review article. In addition to weekly class readings and discussions, each student will work on a major research project throughout the quarter, meet regularly with the instructor to discuss the project, give an oral presentation to the class, and write a substantial paper discussing his/her research.
LAW 7530. Education Law. (3 Hours)
Surveys current issues in U.S. education law. Topics may include high-stakes testing, school choice and the charter school movement, resegregation, special education, the school-to-prison pipeline, and school funding.
LAW 7535. Legal Interviewing & Counseling. (3 Hours)
Students in this course will study the principles of interviewing and counseling, learning how to interview clients to identify their legal problems and to gather information on which solutions to those problems can be based. Students will also practice interviewing witnesses and students will be taught how to counsel clients—a process by which, having determined what the client’s legal problems are, the lawyer helps clients make decisions by identifying potential strategies and solutions and their likely positive and negative consequences. Students will practice specific interviewing and counseling techniques and have the opportunity to receive feedback from classmates and the instructor.
LAW 7536. Employment Law - Safety and Health. (3,4 Hours)
Focuses on the legal issues relating to the primary and secondary prevention of injuries and illnesses at work. Includes a review of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as discussions of other relevant aspects of employment, labor, compensation and tort law. With permission of instructor, students may be able to take the course for an additional credit by completing a substantial paper or equivalent writing project (in addition to other course requirements) as required by the instructor.
LAW 7538. International Environmental Law. (3 Hours)
This course addresses the evolution of key concepts and principles of international environmental law. It discusses legal responses to transboundary and global environmental problems such as marine and freshwater pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. It explores the connections between resource exploitation, ecological degradation, poverty, and violations of human rights. It discusses the regulation of international trade to achieve environmental goals. The course includes consideration of framework agreements, binding obligations, financing and compliance mechanisms, and articulation of international principles through domestic law. It gives attention to the expanding roles of local and non-state actors in pursuing solutions to international environmental controversies.
LAW 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.
LAW 7540. Employment Law—Compensation, Benefits, and Retirement. (3 Hours)
This course surveys legal, economic, and social policy issues concerning wages and working time, leave, unemployment insurance, and retirement income. The course provides detailed coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Unemployment Insurance program, and also provides introductions to retirement and survivor income under the Social Security Act and to pension regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The problems of low-wage workers and women workers receive special emphasis, as well as tensions between the design of the older, statutory schemes and contemporary trends in business and work organization.
LAW 7546. Law of Financial Institutions. (3 Hours)
This course will survey the complex regulatory regime governing the operations of commercial banking organizations in the United States. The primary focus will be on federal regulation of banks and bank holding companies. Nevertheless there will also, of necessity, be coverage of federal regulation of other types of depository institutions and holding companies — such as credit unions, savings associations, and savings and loan holding companies — as well as of state regulation of depository institutions and their holding companies. Current issues relating to bank mergers, diversification of banking organizations into other forms of financial and commercial activities (including securities and insurance), regulatory responses to specific problems (such as capital adequacy, deposit insurance, limitations on lending authority, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism initiatives) will be considered.
LAW 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.
LAW 7554. International Investment Arbitration and Litigation Practice. (2 Hours)
This course will blend the study of Investor-State International Arbitration with mock arbitration exercises. The subject of Investor-State disputes and their resolution lies at the cutting edge of international law. Topics that will be covered in this course are (1) the substantive law of investment arbitration; and (2) elements of procedure that characterize investor-state arbitration including tribunal composition, jurisdiction, evidence, and annulment. At the same time, students will put their knowledge into practice by participating in a series of mock arbitration hearings brought by a foreign investor against a State before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Active participation in oral advocacy exercises is required. The course grade will be a function of those exercises and class participation.
LAW 7556. Corporate Finance. (3 Hours)
Corporate Finance considers sources of funding and capital structure of corporations, as well as decisions managers make to increase the value of a firm. This class is aimed at equipping lawyers with an ability to understand decision-making of business clients. The course introduces tools and methods used to evaluate projects and to allocate limited financial resources, as well as considerations regarding capital structure. We will cover valuation concepts, including present and future value computations, discount rates, net present value, the Efficient Capital Markets Hypothesis, relationship between risk and return, capital asset pricing model, as well as issues of leverage and capital structure. We will also examine the characteristics of financial instruments used by firms to raise capital, including common stock, preferred stock and debt instruments.
LAW 7559. International Trade. (3 Hours)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the legal framework for U.S. and international regulation of international trade. The course will include a brief introduction to the economics of trade and trade restriction measures. It will then focus on the World Trade Organization agreements regulating international trade in goods, services and intellectual property; it will provide an overview of the North American Free Trade Agreement; and it will examine U.S. trade laws particularly relief from “unfairly” traded imports, boycotts and trade sanctions.
LAW 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.
LAW 7565. Intellectual Property Transactions Practice. (3 Hours)
This course provides students with training for transactions, with focus on the purpose, terms and conditions of transactions related to creation, ownership, license, sale, use and exploitation of intellectual property assets. The course includes analyzing cases, problems and agreements related to transactions affecting private and public interests. Initial exercises focus on the purpose, effect and drafting of various types of transactions and clauses. The class then focuses on cases leading to transactions between business and/or NGOs or other public interest parties, for which students are expected to analyze parties’ interests, propose transactional resolutions and draft or revise transaction documents. As a final exercise, students prepare on behalf of one party a version of a transaction document and draft and final versions of an advisory memorandum.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7369 (may be taken concurrently) with a minimum grade of P
LAW 7569. International and Foreign Legal Research. (2 Hours)
This course is designed to teach students how to research international and foreign legal materials. The course uses a combination of lectures, hands-on research exercises, and homework assignments. Students will have opportunities: to increase the quality of research by attaining substantive knowledge on international legal topics and the legal system in which their issue arises; to attain practical skills to brainstorm search terms, formulate issues, and evaluate legal research resources by reiterative process; and to increase flexibility and confidence in researching international and foreign law topics. Topics include: U.S. and Non-U.S. treaties, international custom, jurisprudence, and documents of the United Nations, the European Union, and NGOs. The class also explores research in topical areas such as human rights, immigration and refugee laws, and foreign laws.
LAW 7572. Transactional Drafting Seminar. (3 Hours)
This seminar will help students improve their writing in the context of transactional legal documents. The seminar will help students: adopt tools to achieve clear and concise writing; understand the purpose of each element of a contract and adopt the language that most clearly accomplishes that purpose; draft the operative provisions of a contract to express the agreement of the parties; and create an ¿architecture¿ for a contract to make individual provisions work together in a cohesive document. The seminar will address concepts applicable to a wide range of transactional legal documents, with emphasis on drafting in the context of corporate transactions, including employment issues, shareholders¿ rights, and mergers and acquisitions.
LAW 7573. Civil Procedure. (2-5 Hours)
Introduces students to the procedural rules that courts in the United States use to handle noncriminal disputes. Designed to provide a working knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and typical state rules, along with an introduction to federalism, statutory analysis, advocacy, and methods of dispute resolution. Examines procedure within its historical context.
LAW 7576. Criminal Justice. (2-4 Hours)
Introduces the fundamental principles that guide the development, interpretation, and analysis of the law of crimes. Exposes students to the statutory texts—primarily the Model Penal Code—but also state statutes. In addition, introduces the rules and principles used to apportion blame and responsibility in the criminal justice system. Examines the limits and potential of law as an instrument of social control.
LAW 7577. Constitutional Law. (2-4 Hours)
Studies the techniques of constitutional interpretation and some of the principal themes of constitutional law: federalism, separation of powers, public vs. private spheres, equality theory, and rights analysis. Covers the powers of government and offers an in-depth analysis of the 14th Amendment.
LAW 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.
LAW 7582. Elder Law. (3 Hours)
In this course we will look at legal and policy questions related to aging individuals. Older Americans face an increasing number of legal questions involving entitlement to public benefits, protection of property, utilization of medical resources, healthcare decision-making, and interaction with legal and financial institutions. Topics that will be covered will include Medicaid benefits, Medicare benefits, Veterans Benefits for elderly veterans and their spouses, age discrimination, nursing home institutionalization, income maintenance (social security benefits, pensions etc.), elder abuse, consumer fraud targeted at older consumers, guardianships, conservatorships, competency and capacity, alternatives to guardianships and conservatorships, end of life issues, tax issues in elder law and estate planning for elders. Ethical issues that arise when representing the elderly will also be discussed.
LAW 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.
LAW 7590. Copyright Law. (3 Hours)
This course examines the law of copyright in the United States, with some reference to international aspects. We will discuss the scope of copyright protection, the formalities of securing copyright, the nature of the rights afforded by copyright law, the fair use doctrine, and copyright enforcement. The course will place copyright in historical perspective, and consider tensions created by emerging industries. The course is open to upper level students, without prerequisite.
LAW 7597. Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Clinic. (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.
LAW 7599. Pretrial Civil Practice and Advocacy. (2 Hours)
This course provides the foundation to manage the pretrial phase of a civil action. Each class will consist of a lecture concerning an aspect of pretrial practice, followed by student conducted pretrial advocacy. Using model civil cases, the students will engage in most types of pretrial practice, including an initial client interview and basic legal analysis to evaluate and assert potential legal claims and defenses, witness selection and preparation, deposition and written discovery practice, dispositive motions, pretrial memoranda and settlement positions.
LAW 7600. Current Issues in Health Law and Policy. (3 Hours)
This seminar will examine recent debates in health law and policy through discussion of current events, proposed legislation, and scholarly articles in the legal, medical, and public policy literatures. Weekly topics will depend in part on student interest, but will likely include federal healthcare reform, malpractice liability reform, obesity, health disparities, regulation of pharmaceutical promotion, and other issues related to healthcare access, quality, and financing. Requirements include weekly readings, weekly attendance and participation, a brief presentation of one health law-related current event, a research paper of at least 20 pages on any approved health law-related topic, and an oral presentation of the research paper. Previous health-related coursework or work experience is recommended but not required.
LAW 7603. International Business Transactions. (3 Hours)
This course deals with transnational commercial law. It addresses the legal framework for international sales transactions, including the commercial terms of the sales agreement, shipping contracts, insurance, financing arrangements, and customs documentation. It also examines foreign direct investment transactions, international franchise and distribution agreements, and contracts for the transfer of technology. Bribery of foreign officials and liability under US and international rules are also included. Dispute resolution will be considered briefly with emphasis on choice of law and forum, arbitration, and enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign judgments.
LAW 7606. Drug Law and Policy. (3 Hours)
The field of Drug Law is vast, spanning the discovery, manufacture, distribution, and consumption of chemical agents designed to alter the human condition. This course focuses on three domains of the broader subject: the evolution and current state of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the architecture of the drug regulation system in the U.S., including the distinct space occupied by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Drug Enforcement Agency; and the role of regulation and tort litigation in harmonizing drug policy with science. Designed around legal and policy case studies, this course is intended for students expecting to become involved in clinical practice involving pharmaceuticals as well those generally interested in the interplay of law and public health.
LAW 7607. Consumer Law. (3 Hours)
This course examines consumer transactions in formation, substance, and remedies. While the course will focus most on consumer credit, we will also examine consumer leasing, advertising; fraud; warranties; and product standards and safety.
LAW 7608. American Legal Thought: Traditional and Critical. (3 Hours)
This course contrasts critical-theoretic approaches to law (e.g., legal realism, critical legal studies, identity-based jurisprudence, socio-legal studies, transformative jurisprudence) with mainstream legal thinking. In part the course is an intellectual history of American law, and in part it addresses contemporary jurisprudence and legal theory. Drawing on students’ personal experience, the course also examines American legal education and the professional socialization of law students. A “big” question underlying the course is whether legal work is a medium in which one can pursue projects oriented toward political and social change. There is no prerequisite for this course, and no prior background in legal theory, history, or jurisprudence is needed. All students are expected to read the assigned texts very closely and participate in discussing them in class.
LAW 7610. Community Business Law Clinic. (8 Hours)
Offers a unique opportunity to develop lawyering skills through the real-world experience of helping low-income and underserved entrepreneurs achieve their transactional goals and supporting community-led growth. Students, prepared and supported by an intensive seminar and close faculty supervision, assume the role of lawyers for their clients and their clients’ community businesses on the often-complex legal issues that startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses face.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7323 with a minimum grade of P
LAW 7612. Wrongful Convictions and Post-Conviction Remedies. (3 Hours)
The emergence of DNA testing has not only assisted law enforcement in solving crimes, but it has also helped to expose a problem that many observers of the criminal justice system have long suspected: that a number of actually innocent prisoners have been convicted in the United States. Given that biological evidence suitable for post-conviction DNA testing is available in only a smattering of cases, the exonerations generated by DNA represent only the tip of the innocence iceberg, so to speak. This class will explore (1) the primary factors that contribute to the phenomenon of wrongful convictions, (2) the state and federal procedures through which post-conviction claims are litigated and (3) potential reforms to protect against the conviction of the innocent.
LAW 7614. Law Practice Management: Access to Justice. (3 Hours)
This course challenges conventional law practice management by exploring means of methods of filling the market gap in the provision of legal services to middle class clients. Students will investigate and document ways to use improved marketing techniques, staffing patterns, technological innovations and a variety of other tools to provide legal services to underserved portions of the market in a sustainable and economically viable fashion. Students will conduct independent research to develop a law firm business plan; exploring a practice area of particular interest to them. This course is not solely geared toward the entrepreneurial attorney, but rather will assist anyone in the development of skills to bridge-the-gap between their theoretical education and its practical application to the practice of law.
LAW 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.
LAW 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.
LAW 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).
LAW 7624. Advanced Legal and Interdisciplinary Research. (2 Hours)
This course teaches students how to research specialized legal topics, highlighting both legal and nonlegal sources that reflect modern practice. The course will use a combination of lectures, interactive hands-on sessions, real life examples, and an in-depth final research and writing project. Students may explore state, federal and international primary laws and regulations, as well as relevant nonlegal sources and how they interact with the law. Both print and electronic sources will be researched. The course will highlight different specialized topics such as health law, environmental law, etc.
LAW 7629. Inside Counsel. (2 Hours)
The legal departments of corporations represent a significant practice opportunity for lawyers interested in corporate and regulatory law. These corporate departments operate on a different model than law firms and regulatory agencies and offer careers that combine legal disciplines with business management skills. This course will examine the roles of corporate counsel inside U.S.-based corporations and not-for-profits, specifically: the value proposition of corporate counsel, common responsibilities, unique ethical issues, the implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank acts, corporate governance, risk management and litigation. Students will be graded on their responses to mid-term and final essay questions and the demonstration of their comprehension of the subject matter in the classroom. Prior study of Corporate Law is preferred but not required.
LAW 7633. IP CO-LAB Clinic. (8 Hours)
Requires students to provide IP-related legal services to students, ventures, and other participants in the university’s entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem under the supervision of clinical faculty and staff. The clinic includes opportunities to address issues related to IP rights, risks, and transactions for individuals and ventures in the university community; to collaborate with faculty and others on IP learning modules, policies, presentations, or workshops for this community; to develop practice skills; and to participate in the organization and operation of a legal services office.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7369 with a minimum grade of MP
LAW 7634. Energy Law and Policy. (3 Hours)
Climate change and carbon emissions are the most important issues shaping energy law and policy in the United States today. This course will provide an introduction to U.S. energy law and policy in that context and will be organized around the regulated electricity sector which alone produces about 40% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. We will explore the dynamics of natural monopoly markets, public utilities and their regulation, and the interplay of state and federal power in the energy space. We examine coal, natural gas, nuclear power, hydropower, renewables, storage, and efficiency for their impacts and potential as electrical energy sources in a carbon-constrained world. We conclude by investigating the legal potential to proactively foster and sustain a transition to a carbon-sustainable energy economy.
LAW 7635. Laboratory Seminar in Applied Design and Legal Empowerment. (4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to critically engage with design methods and principles in the development of new solutions and ideas for our legal systems, institutions, and problems. Examines methodologies derived from the fields of product, service, and critical design. Emphasizes hands-on student engagement with structured creative processes, field observations, prototyping, or other methods derived from a diversity of creative disciplines. Students apply these methodologies and skills in the formulation of a response to a timely design question. Students’ exploration of critical design is intended to foster a vision of a future world where everyone is empowered to use the law.
LAW 7638. Trademark Law. (3 Hours)
This course is about the intellectual property right known as a “trademark,” a word or symbol that distinguishes source of goods or services from each other. Trademark law is part of unfair competition law, which protects against a variety of “deceptive” or “inequitable” business practices. The regulation of trademarks is considered a way to maintain a fair and efficient marketplace for businesses and consumers. This course will cover common and statutory law of trademark as well as deepening your legal analysis of intellectual property rights. The course will offer insight into how trademarks live and develop in culture so you can draw both on the black letter law and its nuances as well as on your experience as a consumer in order to advise clients.
LAW 7640. Information Security Law. (3 Hours)
This seminar will conduct a bleeding edge discussion of the state of the legal art in information security law – what is known in DC policy circles as “cybersecurity.” While this field of law started in the 2000’s by focusing on data breach notification, today the stakes are much higher. Consumer products that rely on computer code can now kill us, and one appropriately targeted zero day exploit could potentially devastate our economy. We will discuss why data breaches continue to run rampant, what duties of data care and code safety are owed to consumers, and how various government agencies are tackling the consumer protection and national security issues implicated by vulnerable computer code. You will never look at your gadgets the same way again.
LAW 7641. Amicus Curiae Project. (3 Hours)
Today more than ever, amici curiae (“friends of the court”) appear in high-stakes litigation over everything from the right to bear arms to same-sex marriage. An amicus curiae is someone who, though not a party to a lawsuit, adds their voice because they have an interest in the outcome. Amicus briefs can influence judges by providing legal or policy analysis, or factual information, not supplied by the litigants. In this course, students research and draft amicus briefs for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, with guidance from experienced appellate counsel. Exceptional research and writing skills are required. Useful prerequisites are Legal Writing Workshop, Advanced Legal Research, or Appellate Practice. Students can apply by submitting a resumé and unofficial transcript to the instructor.
LAW 7644. Advanced Legal Research—Online Version. (2 Hours)
This two credit course which will be taught online in a long distance format through Blackboard, will focus on advanced legal research methodologies. It will include coverage of secondary sources, statutes, cases and citators, administrative law, electronic databases, practice materials, and strategies for making sure that your research is thorough. The course is designed to prepare law students for research in practice, clerkships, and legal scholarship. Students will be taught how to evaluate legal research sources and use them effectively, expanding skills in primary and secondary U.S. legal sources.
LAW 7647. Trial Practice. (2 Hours)
An introduction to the tactical and strategic problems commonly encountered in the trial of civil and criminal cases is the main objective of this course. Attention is given to the forensic aspects of trial practice, techniques of direct and cross-examination, and opening and closing summations. Prior course work in Evidence is a prerequisite.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7332 with a minimum grade of MP
LAW 7651. Human Rights in the United States. (3 Hours)
This seminar explores the role of international human rights frameworks and strategies in social justice lawyering in the United States. On a range of issues, lawyers are bringing human rights home. They are using human rights mechanisms of the United Nations and Inter-American Human Rights system, drawing on international human rights and comparative foreign law in litigation before U.S. courts, and engaging in other human rights-based advocacy such as documentation, organizing, and human rights education. Advocates find that a human rights approach provides important strategic leverage and highlights the interdependence of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights. We will use skills exercises, assignments and real-world problems to develop practical skills to address policies on local, state and national levels, and to support social movements.
LAW 7652. Strategies for Bar Success. (3 Hours)
This course eases students into bar exam preparation by focusing on contextualized substantive review of the most heavily tested topics on the bar. It overlays skill instruction on reading comprehension, issue identification, rule mastery, critical thinking, legal analysis and recognition of distractor skills. Students gain a strong conceptual understanding and in-depth knowledge of highly tested doctrines across two MBE subjects and will be taught how to develop, use and apply a flexible but strong analytical framework to solve bar exam problems. Limited to third-year law students.
LAW 7654. Race, Justice, and Reform. (6 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.
LAW 7656. Legal Research and Writing 2. (3 Hours)
Reviews the foundational skills necessary for effective legal writing, including legal and factual analysis, use of authorities, large- and small-scale organization, concision, citation, grammar and punctuation, and revision. Focuses on building skills through exercises and shorter assignments in order to increase student confidence and improve writing and analytical skills. Students may be asked to draft office memoranda, client letters, and a trial or appellate brief. Writing completed for this course that satisfies the upper-level writing requirement may be used to fulfill that requirement.
LAW 7657. Immigrant Justice Clinic. (8 Hours)
Offers students, under the supervision of clinical faculty and staff, an opportunity to provide legal services to noncitizen clients and to develop knowledge and skills in immigration law practice. Students interview, research, plan, investigate, write, counsel, negotiate, and advocate for their clients. Emphasizes client-centered lawyering, cross-cultural awareness, trauma-informed interviewing, and self-care.
LAW 7660. Disrupt the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline—Restorative Justice. (3 Hours)
This course examines how we construct the cradle/school to prison pipeline while focusing on several pivotal points that channel largely poor Black and Brown students into it. With an eye toward practical application, students will learn about, critique, problem solve and create pipeline disrupting solutions looking to restorative justice as a time-honored justice paradigm alternative to our western constructions.
LAW 7664. Law and Inequality. (3,4 Hours)
Explores inequality from a range of disciplinary perspectives and the difference that can make in a variety of legal, social, and economic contexts. Elaborates methodologies for mapping ways diverse legal regimes and concepts contribute to the production, recognition, reinforcement, and maintenance of hierarchies of privilege and disadvantage between individuals, groups, localities, regions, and nations. Identifies key legal drivers in the production of inequities and explores how they shift bargaining power, redistribute resources, or otherwise ameliorate inequities or their adverse consequences. Students research a circumstance of inequality and develop a legal map to engage it. With permission of instructor, students may register for an additional credit by completing a substantial paper or equivalent writing project (in addition to other course requirements) as required by the instructor.
LAW 7665. Housing Law. (3 Hours)
Presents an overview of housing laws in the United States. Topics include affordable housing, housing discrimination and regulation of rents. Examines the Fair Housing Act and legal strategies to achieve fair and affordable housing.
LAW 7666. Human Rights, the Environment, Development and Community Resilience. (3 Hours)
This course explores the interlinkages between human rights and the environment within the context of how unsustainable development, especially by businesses, is driving environmental degradation and global human rights violations. We will appraise how communities are responding with innovative lawyering utilizing emerging jurisprudence in comparative law and judicial, quasi-judicial, and non-judicial grievance mechanisms, with special attention to African examples. The course will emphasize practical approaches to environmental protection using human rights instruments. The power of corporations and financial institutions, the ways in which corporate activities often connect to abuses of human rights and the environment, and legal advances in the regulation of transnational corporate activity will be explored while also discussing corporate accountability, the global justice movement, and strategies being used to address these trends.
LAW 7667. Law and Ethics of Advocacy. (3 Hours)
What limits are there on actions aimed at influencing public officials or public opinion? What limits should there be? Clearly, it is unlawful to offer a bribe to a public official to produce a desirable outcome. But what constitutes a bribe? Can a lobbyist send a wedding gift to a favorite legislator? Are the rules different when advocacy efforts reach beyond United States borders? Are there limits on what an advocate can say to promote a product or service? Where is the line between conduct that is legally permissible and conduct that is not? To what extent are legal boundaries and ethical boundaries aligned? This course will explore the ethical and legal issues that arise in connection with advocacy.
LAW 7668. Community Economic Development Practicum. (1-3 Hours)
This practicum is an extension of the Community Economic Development (CED) course, which examines contemporary American approaches to local economic development. CED has served as a consensus strategy for alleviating urban poverty and spurring neighborhood-level economic development. This practicum provides students an opportunity to critically examine the role of CED law and lawyers by providing opportunities to represent CED clients.
LAW 7669. Law and Technology. (3 Hours)
Examines law and technology as both processes and artifacts endemic to human groups, who have been toolmakers and lawmakers since human history has been recorded. Yet, in recent times, development of technological things has outpaced development in the law, bringing about what we might describe as new “design challenges” within the law. Considers several disputes around ownership and property, and safety and risk, and offers students a conceptual framework from the social study of science and technology by which to understand technology and the law. Focuses on the regulation of “digital labor” and algorithmically convened labor markets, such as Uber.
LAW 7670. Legislation and Regulation. (3 Hours)
In contemporary times, more often than not, a situation giving rise to a case or controversy will be governed by statutes and regulations. This course in legislation and regulation supplements first-year courses focused on the common law and upper-level courses focused on specific legal areas by illuminating how laws are made. It examines the political and technical processes by which statutes are drafted and enacted by legislatures, as well as how regulations are adopted by administrative agencies exercising statutory authority. Students will practice drafting a law and putting together testimony for a legislative committee. They will also engage in hands-on exercises involving legislative and regulatory work of the sort that is done not only within government, but also by firms and advocacy groups.
LAW 7671. Racial Minority Representation, the US Constitution, & the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (2 Hours)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to key provisions of the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act that have been most effective at protecting and advancing the voting rights of people of color, as well as to examine what remains of the VRA’s protections following the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder ruling. Students will scrutinize the old and new forms of racial discrimination in voting that continue to deny and abridge voting rights, including felony disenfranchisement, restrictions on voter registration and early voting, voter purges, polling places changes, strict voter photo identification laws, and manipulative redistricting, among many other election laws, policies, and practices that limit the ability of voters of color to freely exercise their right to vote.
LAW 7672. Data Privacy Compliance in the 21st Century. (3 Hours)
Introduces the tools needed to navigate the complex world of data privacy regulation. By following the growth of a hypothetical startup company as it confronts new data privacy and security issues, offers students an opportunity to evaluate the principles grounding data privacy regulations around the world; examine emerging data privacy legal regimes of various countries; and consider privacy laws, why they matter, and what compliance concerns they raise. Encompasses privacy and security issues involved in regulatory compliance, data breach response, government and internal investigations, litigation, and mergers and acquisitions. Also considers special circumstances of cross-border litigation and transactions, the special problems raised by supply chains and corporate social responsibility, and emerging concerns arising from big data and increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence.
LAW 7673. Immigrant Justice Practicum. (4 Hours)
Students in the Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC) Practicum will work under the guidance of immigration attorneys to assist in remote representation of detained immigrants in a variety of matters. Given the current immigration crisis, especially at the border, the work might include preparing asylum seekers for credible fear interviews, drafting written submissions, telephonically appearing at credible fear and reasonable fear interviews, and general legal research and writing. The practicum also includes a classroom component that combines practical training and reflection.
LAW 7674. Defense, Offense, and Dreaming: Lawyering for Social Movements. (2 Hours)
From millions facing deportation, the Muslim Ban, continued impunity for police killings of Black men and women, threats to reproductive justice, and climate disasters, marginalized communities are facing a scale of crisis that we have not seen before. At the same time, the Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock, and #MeToo, demonstrate that marginalized communities are resisting, organizing and building movements with radically hopeful visions of the future. Lawyers can play an important role in defending and emboldening social movements. Yet “movement lawyering” is infrequently taught in law schools. This course will explore the theory and practice of movement lawyering. Together we will deepen our understanding of social change and critically examine how law is a tool of defense, offense and dreaming for social movements.
LAW 7675. Information Privacy Law. (3 Hours)
Information privacy law concerns the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. This course will address the interrelated web of torts, statutes, crimes, contracts, property rules, administrative regulations, procedural rules, and constitutional provisions that implicate information privacy. Topics covered in this course include: the difficulty in conceptualizing privacy, justifications for protecting privacy, privacy and the press, conflicts between privacy and free speech, wiretapping and government surveillance, national and international data protection frameworks, privacy and social media, anonymity, and the rules for cross-border data flows.
LAW 7676. Energy Justice: Theory, Law, and Policy for a Just Clean Energy Transition. (3 Hours)
Explores the social justice dimensions of the renewable energy transition, with a focus on marginalized communities. Covers the theoretical and legal backdrop of renewable energy development, including law and development theory; climate change governance; energy justice theory; indigenous rights; and structural approaches to renewable energy development, including energy market liberalization, development finance, and community energy development. Highlights selected case studies in Latin America, Africa, and the United States.
LAW 7677. Contemporary Issues in Family Law. (2 Hours)
This seminar provides students the opportunity to explore current issues related to families and the capacity of the legal system to address some of these issues. Weekly topics will vary and may include but are not limited to: consequences of legal recognition of adult domestic relationships; rights of children/juveniles in the court system; the child-parent relationship; the court system’s ability to address substance abuse occurring within the family. Requirements include weekly readings, regular attendance and participation in an oral presentation, which may be co-presented, of one family law-related current event, a research paper of 20 pages on any approved family law-related topic and an oral presentation of the research paper. Previous family law-related coursework or work experience is recommended but not required.
LAW 7678. Legal Research Workshop. (1 Hour)
Designed to assist students in developing and executing research plans for writing projects. Requires students to identify an appropriate project early in the course; the project may be one that the student creates specifically for the course, or it could be one undertaken for a law review note, a seminar, or an independent study in which the student is concurrently enrolled. Includes readings, lectures, demonstrations, and in-class and homework exercises, as well as peer and instructor feedback focused on research strategies. Requires students to periodically present their research strategies and results for their writing projects.
LAW 7679. Race and the Law. (3 Hours)
This course examines the role of the law in perpetuating and alleviating racial inequality in the United States. We will interrogate historical and contemporary debates about the law and racial inequality. We will bear down on a question that is often asked by critical race scholars: why does inequality persist despite massive legal transformation especially following the civil rights movement? We will approach this question by examining how the law and legal institutions shape racial identity and how ideas about race shape legal institutions. The course will also consider tensions and debates within critical race theory and among race scholars. We will excavate the stakes of these debates and the consequences (intended and unintended) of various legal reform projects designed to address racial inequality.
LAW 7680. Advanced Immigrant Justice Clinic. (2 Hours)
In the Advanced Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC), law students, working under the supervision of clinical faculty, will continue and advance their representation of noncitizen clients from their previous time in the IJC. Students will also engage in more regular intakes at immigration detention centers and delve into know-your-rights presentations in the Boston community. For the immigration cases, students will continue managing all aspects of their cases, including interviewing, fact development, legal research, drafting, and oral advocacy.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7657 with a minimum grade of MP
LAW 7681. Law and Biotechnology. (3 Hours)
Seeks to identify and explore important ethical, legal, and policy issues associated with the challenges resulting from developments in biotechnology and the life sciences. Existing legal approaches and instruments dealing with such critical issues as genetic discrimination, intellectual property rights in biotechnology, regulating new reproductive technologies, drug development, informed consent, responsible conduct of research, forensic uses of DNA, and privacy have been thrown into question. These developments are reconstituting concepts of legal rights and obligations of people in relation to their governing institutions. Focuses particularly on human genetics.
LAW 7682. Historical Injustice and Reparation. (3 Hours)
Examines historical injustice and reparation with a focus on the Afro-diasporic experience.Explores the genealogy of reparation as a tool of law and politics and associated debates in law, political theory, ethics, and history. Considers themes such as the effect of the passage of time on claims; determination of who owes and who is owed; the responsibility of state and nonstate actors, collectives, and “implicated subjects”; the mechanics of reparations; and the role of state apologies, truth projects, and memory sites. Looks at the global movement to address slavery's legacy. Explores gendered practices, land redistribution claims, and design and implementation challenges. Uses case studies to deepen discussion and examine current movements for redress and reparation.
LAW 7683. Free the Land: Legal Strategies for Black Farmers, Reparations, and Land Justice. (2 Hours)
Examines the legal frameworks and strategies for contemporary Black land justice work in the South. According to a 1982 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report, the federal government was largely responsible for the decrease in black farmers and the loss of black-owned land. Explores how to address racial equity in the broader food system, centering land as a critical root of racial equity. Examines the Community Land Trust as an organizing framework for Black land justice and legal options for re-creating a Black land commons for both rural and urban land. Looks at land tenure legal structures used to counter Black land loss and to rebuild Black landholdings to empower small Black rural communities vulnerable to rural gentrification.
LAW 7684. Anatomy of Autonomy. (3 Hours)
Examines what it means to be a person in the eyes of the law and the rhetorical framing that infuses our conception of living subjects, legal persons, nonpersons, and things. The line between human and subhuman, or person and thing, is given new urgency when limits of incarceration, torture, human trafficking, medical experimentation, and right to due process turn on new meanings of words like "enemy combatant," "IQ," "underclass," "market choice," "race," "terror," or "illegal immigration." Who we consider a person, who we label less than fully endowed, are questions that inform some of the most urgent legal and political questions of our time. Explores legal opinions; historical documents; and texts in philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, literary criticism, and popular culture.
LAW 7685. Human Rights, IP, and Access to Medicines. (3 Hours)
Explores claims to right-to-health protections across the entire life cycle of a medicine from basic biomedical research to rational end use. Focuses on how international and U.S. intellectual property protections impact both innovation incentives and access to medicines. Emphasizes IP rules impacting low- and middle-income countries, pressures seeking to increase IP protections, and flexibilities existing under international law alongside new approaches that might accelerate and ease access to needed medicines both domestically and abroad. International human rights instruments clearly articulate a “right to health” and a right to the benefits of scientific advancement, but the human right of equitable and affordable access to medicines of assured quality and other health technologies is less developed.
LAW 7686. Indigenous Rights and the Law. (2 Hours)
Examines the impacts that court decisions have historically had on relationships between indigenous peoples and their lands and identity, with a focus on the Indian tribes in the present-day United States, as well as a few international examples for the purpose of discussion and comparison. Analyzes how legal institutions have impacted indigenous peoples’ ability to retain or reassert the right to self-determination and to regulate their relationships with homelands and resources. Discusses where this has been problematic and how the law or legal institutions can be used as a tool to redress or reverse trends of dispossession and cultural assimilation.
LAW 7687. First Amendment Seminar: The Religion Clauses. (3 Hours)
Examines the religion clauses of the First Amendment and related statutory regimes, emphasizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s free exercise and establishment clause jurisprudence. Evaluates individual and institutional claims of religious liberty. Explores the implications of government funding of religious institutions and activities. Discusses government expression or endorsement of religious messages.
LAW 7688. Social Policy and the Tax Code. (3 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to obtain an understanding of how tax laws shape and are a major driver of social policy. Emphasizes the redistributive qualities and potentials of such policies and examines their design, implementation, and administration. Draws on legal methodologies as well as those from allied social sciences. May include such topics as healthcare, housing, and income support.
LAW 7689. Prison Litigation That Works for People in Prison. (2 Hours)
Examines strategies for litigation that deliver real relief to people in prison, emphasizing the role of organizing and power dynamics within the lawyer/client relationship. Since the 1970s, people in prison have looked to the courts to seek improvements in conditions of confinement and to gain accountability for guard abuse. But too frequently, even those who prevail in court see little real change. Examines the unique issue of accountability for federal prisoners and detainees, who have no reliable cause of action to sue for damages for constitutional violations; and the role of abolition in an inherently conservative legal scheme. Concludes with an analysis of approaches to mass decarceration born out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
LAW 7927. Applied Learning Experience for JD/MPH. (3 Hours)
Work completed for this individualized instruction course fulfills the capstone requirement for the Master of Public Health (MPH) portion of the Dual JD/MPH Program with Tufts University. The requirement is known as the Applied Learning Experience and it earns 3 Northeastern University Law school credits. Students fulfilling this required course spend a minimum of 160 hours in a public health agency completing a project related to public health and law. It is both an academic and practice experience where students use their legal and public health knowledge and skills to undertake a discrete project in a public health agency. A final paper and presentation are required.
LAW 7928. LSSC Lawyering Fellow Seminar. (1 Hour)
Offers additional support and training for students serving as Lawyering Fellows for the social justice component of the Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) class for first-year law students. Explores social justice topics covered in LSSC in greater depth. Offers students an opportunity to obtain training in the skills necessary to facilitate discussions of those topics. Examines theories of effective collaboration and group development and introduces techniques for fostering successful team dynamics. Provides guidance on how to engage in effective critique and feedback and how to supervise students in their project work.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7931
LAW 7929. Moot Courts and Legal Competitions. (1-4 Hours)
This individualized instruction program allows students to participate in a variety of professional competitions: moot court, mock trial, mediation, client counseling and writing competitions. Under the supervision of a faculty member, participants in these competitions devote substantial time and effort to researching, writing, and preparing for oral arguments or advocacy. In recognition of the effort required to participate in these competitions, participants are awarded up to three (3) credits for the experience, provided they satisfactorily (i) complete the required written submission, (ii) participate in a number of rounds of practice argument, and (iii) attend and participate in the competition. May be repeated up to five times for up to 6 total credits.
LAW 7931. LSSC Lawyering Fellow. (3 Hours)
Assists LSSC faculty in all aspects of the first-year LSSC course. Working closely with a supervising faculty member, Lawyering Fellows provide critique and feedback on first-year students’ written and oral work, create legal research plans, identify areas for field research, communicate with representatives from the partner organizations, and help to foster strong team dynamics and development.
LAW 7932. Public Service Externship Seminar. (1 Hour)
Requires structured reflection of the student’s individual experiences, organization, the social context of our changing profession, and acquisition of proficiency in oral communication, such as oral presentations and the utilization of interdisciplinary insights into legal problem solving.This course is designed for students who are completing a part-time field placement with a not-for-profit organization or in a governmental legal setting.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7939
LAW 7933. Scholarly Legal Writing. (2 Hours)
Introduces basic concepts and principles of scholarly legal writing. Requires students to produce a piece of legal writing on a complex legal issue of their choice. The scholarly writing is expected to meet the standards of the upper-level rigorous writing requirement and be of publishable quality, analyzing an original legal issue.
LAW 7934. Law Review - Senior Editor. (0.5,1 Hours)
Offers those who have completed one term of staff work as associate editor or who have otherwise been promoted at the discretion of the editorial board the position of senior editor at the Northeastern University Law Review. Senior editors work under the supervision of faculty advisors and editorial board members in support of the mission of the Law Review: to publish legal scholarship in its flagship print journal and online platforms. Tasks may include citation checking, editing, supervision of associate editors, assistance with the writing competition and new member selection, and other duties in support of publishing content. Students may take up to 1 credit in each of their second-year and third-year terms with permission of the instructor. Graded on a credit/fail basis.
LAW 7935. Law Review - Editorial Board Member. (1,2 Hours)
The Northeastern University Law Review publishes legal scholarship in its flagship print journal and on-line platforms. Operations are managed by an Editorial Board. In addition to the three Executive Editors who lead the E-Board, members include Articles Editors, Extra Legal Editor, Forum Editor, Publications Editor, and Symposium Editor. E-Board members work under supervision of the Faculty Advisors and Executive Editors. Editors develop articles and content, facilitate events and the publication process, and work with staff and senior staff. Individual position descriptions define additional specific responsibilities for each position. This course is graded on a credit/fail basis.
LAW 7936. Law Review - Executive Editor. (1-3 Hours)
The Northeastern University Law Review publishes legal scholarship in its flagship print journal and on-line platforms. Operations are managed by an Editorial Board, led by three Executive Editors per rotation: Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and Executive Articles Editor. Executive Editors work under supervision of the Faculty Advisors. In the broadest sense, they manage operations, production, and staff, make editorial choices, and ensure ethical operation that meets legal and financial obligations. Though their specific roles require different specific actions, as defined in their position descriptions, Executive Editors often share work and are ultimately responsible for doing what is necessary to ensure a successful Law Review. This course is graded on a credit/fail basis.
LAW 7937. Teaching Assistant. (1-3 Hours)
Working under the direct supervision of a full-time faculty member, an upper level student in good academic standing may serve as a teaching assistant for first year or upper level courses. Teaching assistants may be required to attend classes and complete all reading assignments. Other responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, conducting review sessions, classroom exercises or other forms of direct instruction; holding office hours or meetings with individual students taking the course; and assisting in the development of course materials and assessments. In addition, teaching assistants are expected to meet regularly with the professor.
LAW 7938. Research Assistant. (1-3 Hours)
An upper level student in good standing may serve as a faculty Research Assistant. The student will work with a full-time faculty member on a supervised project relating to the faculty member's teaching or scholarly activities. The project will provide the student with supervised research and/or writing experience as well as an opportunity to engage in analytical discourse with the faculty member.
LAW 7939. Public Service Externship. (1-4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to complete a field placement with a not-for-profit organization or in a governmental legal setting. For each credit earned, a student must complete 52 hours of fieldwork under the supervision of an attorney at the fieldwork placement. Fieldwork may assist students in developing skills related to research and writing on legal and policy matters, preparation of written and oral presentations, client interviewing and advocacy, and litigation preparation. The number of credits allowed is determined based on the student’s additional course load, organizational expectations of the participating agency, and the number of non-classroom credits available to the student.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7932
LAW 7940. Reflections on Lawyering. (1 Hour)
Offers students an opportunity to reflect on their legal work experiences. Examines the roles of lawyers and the nature of legal work, drawing on assigned readings, lectures, and students' own experiences. Discusses the professional obligations of lawyers and identifies skills and knowledge needed for effective lawyering. Considers both how students' own legal careers may develop over time and how the legal profession itself may evolve.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7941
LAW 7941. Public Interest / Public Service Field Placement. (7 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to complete a field placement of at least 350 hours with a public interest organization, a government entity, or a judge. Fieldwork may assist students in expanding both their legal knowledge and their understanding of the legal profession, as well as an opportunity to develop their skills related to research and writing on legal and policy matters, preparation of written and oral presentations, client interviewing and advocacy, and/or litigation preparation.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7940
LAW 7945. Field Placement Seminar. (1 Hour)
Offers students an opportunity for structured reflection on their individual experiences in a field placement. Specific topics may include ethical obligations, the nature of legal work, the social context of the changing legal profession, the role of interdisciplinary insights in legal problem solving, and the use of varying modes of communication in the legal workplace. Students reflect on the ways in which their field placement draws from or builds upon previous coursework and legal experience.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7946
LAW 7946. Field Placement. (7 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to complete a 350-hour field placement under the supervision of an attorney. Fieldwork may assist students in developing skills related to tasks such as researching and writing on legal and policy matters, preparation of written and oral presentations, client interviewing and advocacy, and litigation preparation.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7954 with a minimum grade of CR or LAW 7955 with a minimum grade of CR or LAW 7956 with a minimum grade of CR or LAW 7957 with a minimum grade of CR
Corequisite(s): LAW 7945
LAW 7947. Public Interest Field Placement Seminar. (1 Hour)
Offers students an opportunity for structured reflection on their individual experiences in a field placement in a not-for-profit or government setting. Specific topics may include ethical obligations, the nature of legal work, the social context of the changing legal profession, the role of interdisciplinary insights in legal problem solving, and the use of varying modes of communication in the legal workplace. Students reflect on the ways in which their field placement draws from or builds upon previous coursework and legal experience.
Corequisite(s): LAW 7948
LAW 7948. Public Interest Field Placement. (7 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to complete a 350-hour field placement under the supervision of an attorney in a not-for-profit or government setting. Fieldwork may assist students in developing skills related to tasks such as researching and writing on legal and policy matters, preparation of written and oral presentations, client interviewing and advocacy, and litigation preparation.
Prerequisite(s): LAW 7954 with a minimum grade of CR or LAW 7955 with a minimum grade of CR or LAW 7956 with a minimum grade of CR or LAW 7957 with a minimum grade of CR
Corequisite(s): LAW 7947
LAW 7962. Elective. (1-4 Hours)
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7964. Co-op Work Experience. (0 Hours)
Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7965. Co-op Work Experience Abroad. (0 Hours)
Offers eligible students an opportunity for work experience abroad. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7966. Public Interest and Government Co-op Work Experience. (0 Hours)
Offers eligible students an opportunity for work experience in a public interest or government setting. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7967. Public Interest and Government Co-op Work Experience Abroad. (0 Hours)
Offers eligible students an opportunity for work experience in a public interest or government setting abroad. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7976. Directed Study. (1-6 Hours)
Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.
LAW 7978. Independent Study. (1-5 Hours)
Any upper level student in good standing may engage in one or more independent study projects, totaling not more than three credits during an academic quarter and six credits during the two upper level years. A student wishing to conduct an independent study must secure the approval of a faculty member who agrees to supervise the project. Many students use independent studies to continue to examine a topic begun during co-op, or to extend the syllabus of a course. Students may also design projects which are not based in either course work or co-op, but in all cases a faculty sponsor must agree to the project. May be repeated for up to 6 total credits.
LAW 7979. Legal Technology and Legal Operations. (1 Hour)
Examines legal technology concepts and approaches that are currently used in legal practice and will become increasingly important in the future. Legal technology is rapidly transforming both the nature and practice of law. Explores this transformation and its implications. Topics include legal informatics; students consider where legal information resides and how it is manipulated and transmitted.
LAW 7983. Special Topics in Law. (1-4 Hours)
Covers special topics in law. May be repeated without limit.