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College of Law

Florida State University

 

Curriculum

Core Curriculum

  • Contracts

    (2 credits)

    An introduction to the formation, performance, and breach of contracts. The course will also introduce students to contract interpretation, damages, conditions, rights of third parties, and assignments.

  • Introduction to Legal Studies and Research
  • Legislation and Regulation

    (2 credits)

    Obligations imposed by government on businesses are numerous, substantial, and increasing. These obligations emanate mainly from statutes enacted by legislatures and regulations promulgated by administrative agencies. This course explores how statutes and regulations come into existence, when they may be invalid, how courts interpret them, and what steps businesses take in responding to statutory and regulatory initiatives. Business and law have become so intertwined and inseparable that statutes and regulations are not just for lawyers anymore. To perform their responsibilities competently, effectively, and ethically, numerous non-lawyers – including middle-level and top-level executives – must acquire the knowledge and skills needed to navigate regulatory-intensive environments. This course is the foundation for acquiring these competencies.

  • Regulatory Compliance

    (2 credits)

    An introduction to basic statutes, regulation, and administrative practices relevant to regulatory compliance by business entities, financial institutions, and healthcare organizations and practitioners. The course will also introduce students to basic concepts of risk management. Students will learn how to: identify applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards necessary to develop an effective compliance management program; construct and implement effective compliance policies and procedures; develop appropriate audit procedures in order to analyze the effectiveness of current policies and procedures; and organize and lead the organization’s response to a regulatory audit or investigation.

  • Torts

    (2 credits)

    The course covers the law of torts, or civil wrongs outside contract law. For example, lawsuits for fraud, car accidents, product injuries, and negligent management of employees are all tort suits. The course covers the foundations of the “negligence” cause of action, including such topics as duty, breach, causation, and damages. It also covers principles of vicarious liability (that is, when an organization or employer is responsible for the actions of its employees), economic harms, and statutory negligence. The principles and techniques you will learn in this course underlie many other legal subjects that you will later encounter.

Human Resources and Employment Law Electives

  • Business Organizations

    (2 credits)

    An introduction to the law of business organizations, including agency, partnership, and business corporations. Topics include formation and structure of the corporation, power and fiduciary responsibility of management, rights and liabilities of shareholders, shareholders' derivatives litigation, acquisitions and tender offers, and insider trading.

  • Conducting Workplace Investigations

    (2 credits)

    This course explains the major regulations governing the workplace and the legal and practical approaches to planning, conducting, and documenting internal workplace investigations of employee complaints and suspected employee misconduct.

  • Employee Benefits Law

    (2 credits)

    This course provides an overview of the law governing employee benefits plans, including retirement plans (401(k) and pension plans) and welfare benefits plans (life, health, disability, long-term care and post-retirement medical). The course will review the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the main federal law regulating employee benefit program, as well as rules governing coverage, vesting, funding, fiduciary standards, claims administration, remedies and preemption of state law.

  • Employment Discrimination Law

    (2 credits)

    This course provides a practical study of employment discrimination law, which is primarily federal and statutory in nature. The course will examine multiple issues surrounding employment discrimination but will focus on identifying discrimination and advising employers on avoiding claims of discrimination. We will also examine what happens when a claim of discrimination is filed at both the administrative level and in federal court. We will consider these issues in the context of discrimination on the basis of race/color, national origin, gender/sexual orientation, age, religion, and disability. 

  • Employment Law and HR Compliance

    (2 credits)

    This course will provide you with a basic overview of employment law as it relates to day-to-day employment practices. You will be guided through the entire employer-employee relationship—from the initial decision to fill a position to the ultimate decision to terminate the employment relationship. Topics include the laws and regulations covering the employment relationship, employee recruitment, background checks, employment tests, wage and hour standards, benefits, performance appraisals, privacy, training and development, termination, and post termination issues.  

  • Employment Law and HR Regulation Research

    (2 credits)

    This course introduces students to effective legal research techniques used in human resources and employment law. The course provides students with practical, hands-on experience with legal resources and research tools.  

  • Enterprise Risk Management

    (2 credits)

    This course will cover the principles, frameworks, and best practices for analyzing and managing risks within business firms. Students will learn how to construct frameworks for managing strategic, operational, financial, and legal/regulatory risks. They will also learn how to assess and measure these risks.

  • HR Documentation & Employee Policies and Procedures

    (2 credits)

    This course covers the legal issues related to human resource documentation and employee policies and procedures.  Topics covered include: what actions to document and how and when to document them; document retention guidelines under various employment laws; privacy issues; and best practices and legal issues related to employee handbooks.

  • Workplace Privacy and Cybersecurity

    (2 credits)

    A study of privacy and cybersecurity law within the context of employment relationships and HR compliance. Topics covered include legal and compliance issues arising with: interviews and background investigation; medical screening, testing, and HIPAA issues; psychological screening and testing; drug, alcohol, and tobacco screening and testing; monitoring of employee performance and conduct; monitoring of social media, emails, and telephone conversations; video surveillance; GPS tracking; reasonable expectations of privacy and searches and seizures; misuse of company computers and cybersecurity issues; Fair Credit Reporting Act; and HR compliance best practices and employer liability issues.

      

  • Workplace Wellbeing and Safety

    (2 credits)

    A study of workplace safety. Topics covered include: the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970; OSHA standards, inspections, and enforcement actions; recordkeeping requirements; whistleblower protection and anti-retaliation protections; health and wellness initiatives; mental health issues; workplace violence issues, including OSHA requirements, third-party victim negligence claims, and employee references; workers compensation system.  

Legal Risk Management and Compliance & Ethics Electives

  • Business Organizations

    (2 credits)

    An introduction to the law of business organizations, including agency, partnership, and business corporations. Topics include formation and structure of the corporation, power and fiduciary responsibility of management, rights and liabilities of shareholders, shareholders' derivatives litigation, acquisitions and tender offers, and insider trading.

  • Consumer Protection Law

    (2 credits)

    A study of consumer protection regulations, including consumer lending, mandatory and voluntary disclosures, common law fraud, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices. 

  • Contract Risk Management
    (2 credits)

    This class covers contract risk management best practices, as applied to both individual and portfolio of contracts. Topics include contract negotiations, term sheets, pre-contractual liability, contract performance, breach, waivers, post-breach actions, and the relationship between liability and business risks. Students will also learn about key contract terms including representations and warranties, conditions, default, indemnification, arbitration, liquidated damages, and choice of law and venue.  

  • Customer Risk Management

    (2 credits)

    This course examines the legal risks that arise in the context of a firm’s relationships with its customers. Students will learn about the types of legal rules that can trigger liability and about various techniques used to manage customer legal risks through disclosure and contracts, as well as other preventive measures.

  • Enterprise Risk Management

    (2 credits)

    This course will cover the principles, frameworks, and best practices for analyzing and managing risks within business firms. Students will learn how to construct frameworks for managing strategic, operational, financial, and legal/regulatory risks. They will also learn how to assess and measure these risks.

  • Financial Statements Interpretation

    (2 credits)

    Students will learn basic accounting principles necessary to understand, interpret and analyze financial statements, formulate effective inquires, and communicate intelligently with business and financial professionals. Students will learn about financial reports, cash flow versus income, tax versus accounting books, the quality of earnings and analytical ratios. The class will also spend time analyzing past financial scandals and the financial issues that led to them.

  • Governance Risks, Ethics and Internal Controls

    (2 credits)

    An introduction to risk management and internal control within business firms and financial institutions. Topics include: state fiduciary duties; the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; oversight by board of directors; relationship with creditors and shareholders; and disclosure requirements under Federal Securities Laws and under banking statutes and regulation.

  • Insurance Contracts

    (2 credits)

    A study of insurance contracts and insurance law. Topics covered include: the nature of insurance, insurable interests, persons and interests protected, contractual obligations of the insured and insurer, the claims process, bad faith, and subrogation. We will explore insurance contracts from the point of negotiation and execution through the claims process, settlement, and dispute resolution.

  • Vendors and Other Third Parties Risk Management

    (2 credits)

    A study of the legal issues related to outsourcing contracts, including liability issues arising from these relationships. Students will also learn about best practices for assessing, monitoring, and managing vendor and outsourcing risks.