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College of Law

Florida State University

 

Curriculum & Specializations

Our LL.M. students receive a solid grounding in the fundamentals of American law through required foundational classes in Legal Research and Writing and Introduction to American Law. The remainder of the program is elective. Students will work with the program director to design their own curriculum tailored to their particular career goals.

Some students choose to take courses that give a broad foundation in legal theory and the American legal system. Others choose instead to specialize in areas like commercial law, international law, intellectual property, environmental law, or criminal law, gaining a more sophisticated expertise in their discipline.

Below are some suggested sample course selections for students interested in following these different paths. Not all of the classes listed below are offered every year.


An Overview of American Law

Many students prefer to take courses in several different fields, giving them a solid overview of the structure of American law. There are of course many possible paths to take, depending on your specific areas of interest. The sample schedule below is one example of a plan that would give a student exposure to some of the most fundamental topics in U.S. law.

Fall Semester

  • Civil Procedure

    (4 credits)

    An introduction to the principles of adjudication of the formalities of litigation in federal courts. Allocation of judicial business between state and federal judiciaries and the civil rights of defendants to be immune from inconvenient civil litigation are examined along with other aspects for jurisdiction. Phases of litigation - pleadings, complaint, discovery, answer and reply, motions for judgment on the pleadings, and summary judgment - are reviewed in depth.

  • Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective

    The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.

  • Legal Writing
  • Torts

    (4 credits)

    The study of civil wrongs for which the common law provides a remedy in the form of an action for damages. Topics include how accident losses are distributed; the role of trial judge, jury, and appellate judiciary; the language of negligence; and intentional wrongs.

Spring Semester

  • Administrative Law

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the legislative, executive, and judicial control of administrative action. The course includes discussion of formal and informal administrative processes, the opportunity to be heard, adequacy of notice, restrictions on the deciding body, and appellate review. 

  • Contracts

    (4 credits)

    An introduction to the basic foundations of enforceability of contractual arrangements: formation, performance, breach and damages, rights of third parties, conditions, Statute of Frauds, and assignments. Inquiry is made into the historical developments of contract law and nineteenth-century notions of the doctrine of consideration in light of developing twentieth-century concepts and alterations. Economic aspects of the subject are considered along with modern statutory developments, including the Uniform Commercial Code. A primary objective of this course is for students to develop a pattern of analysis and expression central to their work as lawyers.

  • Corporations

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An introduction to the language and 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, corporate capital structure and finance, shareholders' derivatives litigation, acquisitions and tender offers, and insider trading. Federal securities law is introduced. 

Commercial/Business Law

Students who specialize in commercial and business law here at FSU will have the opportunity to go well beyond basic courses on contracts and corporate law by taking classes that will give them a sophisticated understanding of both legal and economic issues in the regulation of businesses within the United States and around the world. The program offers a chance to study with nationally and internationally-known faculty in fields like law and economics, corporate governance, and international taxation.

Fall Semester

  • Corporations

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An introduction to the language and 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, corporate capital structure and finance, shareholders' derivatives litigation, acquisitions and tender offers, and insider trading. Federal securities law is introduced. 

  • Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective

    The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.

  • Law and Economics

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None
     
    Economics plays an important role in all areas of the law. This course introduces students to the economic concepts that they will need to know to be effective litigators and transactional lawyers. Among other things, we will address the following questions. How do markets work? What happens when one party to a transaction has an informational or bargaining advantage? How can we tell whether a party is acting rationally or irrationally? How can lawyers use economics to advice clients, draft contracts and make persuasive legal arguments? We will learn all the relevant economics in class — i.e., no previous knowledge of economics is required. 

  • Legal Writing

Spring Semester

  • Bankruptcy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A comprehensive study of the legal principles governing the relationship of debtors and creditors, with primary emphasis on federal bankruptcy law and focus on the rights of unsecured creditors. Traditional state remedies such as attachment, garnishment, execution, fraudulent conveyance and debtors' exemptions also are covered.

  • Closely Held Business Organizations

    Prerequisites: None

    This course covers the organizational law of small businesses, particularly those with relatively few owners or shareholders. It introduces and compares different types of legal organizations commonly used by small businesses, such as general partnerships, limited partnerships, closely held corporations, and limited-liability companies (LLCs).

    Topics include the formation of business organizations, the rights and duties of owners and managers, and the breakup of businesses. The course also covers the law of agency -- that is, the law that addresses the rights and duties that arise when one person acts for another. 

  • Contracts

    (4 credits)

    An introduction to the basic foundations of enforceability of contractual arrangements: formation, performance, breach and damages, rights of third parties, conditions, Statute of Frauds, and assignments. Inquiry is made into the historical developments of contract law and nineteenth-century notions of the doctrine of consideration in light of developing twentieth-century concepts and alterations. Economic aspects of the subject are considered along with modern statutory developments, including the Uniform Commercial Code. A primary objective of this course is for students to develop a pattern of analysis and expression central to their work as lawyers.

  • Corporate Finance

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Corporations

    An advanced corporate course designed to develop students' awareness of the range of legal issues involved in the public and private funding of the activities of a corporation or similar business entity. The course provides a basic analysis of commercial loan agreements; stocks, bonds, and other securities; mergers and acquisitions; corporate capital structure; and enterprise valuation. 

  • Financial Regulation Seminar

    More information coming soon!

Other courses offered include:

  • Advanced (Topics in) Corporate Governance Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Corporations

    This seminar will cover the major debates in corporate law scholarship and policy, such as whether corporations should maximize profits or consider social welfare, whether corporations are distinct entities or just a nexus of relationships among various economic actors, and whether stock options are a valuable or detrimental form of executive compensation, among others.  

  • Antitrust Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of judicial decisions construing and applying the federal antitrust laws ( i.e., Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman, and Federal Trade Commission Acts) to the control of the competitive process in the American economy.

  • Business Planning

    (2-4 credits)

    This course explores the most common issues faced by small and medium-sized businesses and the lawyers representing them.  Issues that typically will be addressed include: choosing the right form (corporation, partnership, LLC) for the business, organizing and funding the enterprise, converting from one form to another, and purchase and sale of businesses.  Additional issues that may be addressed may include: buy-sell provisions, employment agreements, compensation planning, insurance, diversification, and estate, asset protection, and transition planning.  Both tax and non-tax aspects are considered.  No prerequisites.  Previous or concurrent enrollment in Corporations, Closely-Held Business Organizations, and Taxation desirable but not required.

     
  • Commercial Paper

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: Must not have taken Commercial Law Survey

    Principles of commercial paper; system of bank deposits and collections, including the relationship of the commercial bank and its customer. The use of commercial paper in documentary exchanges is also covered. 

  • Contract Drafting

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will teach the principles of contemporary commercial drafting, introduce documents typically used in a variety of business transactions and provide an overview of principled contract negotiation techniques. The course will be of particular interest to students pursuing a corporate law career, but the concepts are applicable to any transactional practice and will even be useful to litigators.

    Students will be exposed to:

    1) The business purpose of major contract concepts
    2) Translating the business deal into contract concepts
    3) Drafting each of a contract’s parts
    4) Techniques for principled negotiation (win-win negotiation)

    Practical examples will help students understand the importance of drafting with clarity and without ambiguity, how to work through the formal drafting process and how to review and comment on contracts. Students will participate in several multi-phase drafting exercises and mock negotiations.

  • Secured Transactions

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of security interests in personal property. Emphasis is on the creation and operation of financing arrangements under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Consideration of the effect of the Bankruptcy Act on Article 9 transactions also is included. 

  • Securities Regulation

    (3 credits)
    Co-requisites: Corporations OR Closely Held Business Organizations

    A study of the regulation of securities under the federal securities laws. Topics include registration of public offerings, exempt sales, insider trading, anti-fraud rules, mergers and tender offers, and the professional responsibility of securities lawyers. 

  • Taxation

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the fundamental concepts employed in federal income taxation, the public policies that underlie the current system and the impact of that system on individuals and business entities. Could be called Federal Income Tax, Income Tax or Tax. 

  • Taxation of Business Entities

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites: Taxation

    This course is an introduction to the federal income taxation of business entities. The course covers the taxation of C corporations and their shareholders. C corporations are generally taxed as entities separate and distinct from their shareholders. The course will also cover the taxation of LLCs/partnerships and their owners. Under subchapter K, there is no entity-level tax on an LLC or partnership, and amounts of income and deductions recognized by the entity flow through to its owners to be reported on the owner’s tax return. Finally, the course will also cover S corporations, which are certain closely held corporations that are generally not taxed separately. The course will include discussion of the tax consequences of formation, operation and liquidation of business entities, as well as distributions of cash and other property by the entity.

Criminal Law

Florida State offers an unusually deep and broad range of classes in criminal law. Beyond the introductory classes in the substance and procedure of criminal law, students can explore cutting-edge topics like international criminal law, white collar crime, and capital punishment. The College’s criminal law faculty is known for its expertise in topics like bail reform, criminal procedure, and the theory of criminal punishment. 

Fall Semester

  • Criminal Procedure: Police

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An examination of selected federal constitutional constraints on the law enforcement evidence-gathering and investigative process. Emphasis is placed on the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fifth Amendment protection against compelled testimony, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. 

  • International Criminal Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will examine the criminal law applied across national borders. This includes two broad legal regimes: transnational law, which consists of the part of any nation’s domestic criminal law which regulates actions that transcend national borders; and international crimes, that is, the wrongs criminalized under international law.  We will also study procedural issues, both domestic and international, such as extradition and immunities. In particular, we will examine the case law of the international criminal courts such as the Nuremberg court, the ICC, and the various courts adjudicating criminal law issues arising from particular conflicts (former Yugoslavia and Rwanda among them). 

  • Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective

    The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.

  • Legal Writing

Other courses offered include:

  • Advanced Criminal Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This class will provide students with a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of doctrines and concepts that regularly arise in criminal law cases.  These include: intention; recklessness; negligence and strict liability; causation; inchoate liability; complicity; duress and necessity; and intoxication.  We will also examine some basic procedural issues.  At various instances, we will look at how other common law jurisdictions deal with a concept or doctrine.  Students will be required to write two short papers.  There is no final exam.  This is an S/U only course.

     

  • Criminal Litigation Skills

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Evidence is a pre- or co-requisite

    A practice course dealing with prosecuting and defending criminal cases. This course is a prerequisite for externships in state attorney and public defender offices throughout Florida. Students participate in all phases of pretrial and trial practice relating to criminal cases. Pretrial exercises include bond hearings, probable cause determinations, discovery, arraignments and motion hearings. Trial exercises focus on the individual aspects of the criminal trial including jury selection, opening statement, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, introduction of physical evidence, and closing arguments. 

  • Federal Crimes

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite:Criminal Law

    This seminar will provide an introduction to the unique aspects of federal criminal law, including jurisdiction, enforcement policy, case selection, and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  It will also cover offenses relating to narcotics trafficking, firearm regulation, child pornography, and anti-terrorism efforts

  • Florida Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Criminal Law

    An advanced study of problems frequently encountered in prosecuting and defending criminal cases. The primary focus is on criminal prosecutions in Florida. The subject matter extends from the initial client interview to the trial. 

  • Florida Criminal Procedure: Trial

    (2 credits)

    This course covers the Florida law and some pertinent federal law affecting criminal litigation in Florida from plea negotiation through trial (including evidence issues) and sentencing. [Florida Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial) covers criminal litigation from pre-arrest investigation through pre-trial motions, and that course is a prerequisite unless you have my approval.] My hope is to convey knowledge that will have application in the practice and I recommend this course for students who think they might engage in the practice of criminal law at some point in their professional career.

  • Jury Selection

    (2 credits)
    Recommended Prerequisites: Evidence and Criminal Procedure

    This course is designed to introduce prospective litigators to the elements of jury selection. It will cover the different methods by which juries are chosen in the State and Federal Courts, and how to voir dire prospective  jurors. It will also cover the different thought processes in picking jurors as a criminal prosecutor or defense lawyer, a tort/personal injury attorney (plaintiff and defense), and a commercial litigator.  The law governing jury selection will also be covered as well as (time permitting) selecting jurors in death penalty cases, jury psychologists, and juror questionnaires.

    There will be actual participation in selecting juries. Attendance is required and there will be additional assignments, involving research and writing.

  • Postconviction Remedies

    (3 credits)

    According to Department of Justice statistics, the United States currently has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world, having exceeded Russia's rate in 2000. This course examines the legal remedies available inmates under state and federal confinement to challenge the legality of their custody. Primary topics will include:

    1) Introduction and historical overview: The common law writs of habeas corpus and coram nobis; constitutional status of the writ of habeas corpus. 

    2) State postconviction remedies: Current state remedies, emphasizing the Florida statues and rules governing postconviction relief. Detailed examination of FRCPro Chapter XVII, the primary vehicle for state postconviction relief, including FRCPro 3.853, authorizing motions for postconviction DNA testing. Availability of parallel proceedings for common law writs considered, and the constitutional status of state postconviction relief examined. 

    3) Federal postconviction remedies: Study of the federal statutes authorizing habeas corpus relief for state and federal prisoners, sections 2241, 2254, and 2255; federal coram nobis remedies under section 1651; and the "Rule 35 remedies" available for correcting or reducing sentences for persons convicted in a federal district court. Along the way, examination of custody requirements, exhaustion requirements, and procedural default issues.

    4) Clemency and other executive relief: Consideration of procedures for seeking relief from the executive branches; forms of relief available and grounds for granting clemency petitions.

    Course Format and Requirements:

    The course will be taught in both classroom and clinical settings. The material will be presented in lectures and discussion; students will also participate in the development of cases brought by Florida inmates seeking postconviction relief, based on DNA testing which the inmates claim will tend to exonerate them. The clinical component of the course will be conducted in collaboration with the Innocence Project, which has established a Florida program in Tallahassee. Students will also take a final exam. Materials will be prepared by the professor.

Spring Semester

  • Capital Punishment Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines the history of capital punishment in the United States and the substantive and procedural rules that have over time guided and limited its application. Students will become familiar with, inter alia, matters pertaining to the capital sentencing process (such as jury selection and consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances), the role of defense counsel, execution methods, and Florida's current and historic use of the death penalty.

  • Criminal Law

    (3 credits)

    An examination of substantive requirements of criminal law offenses and defenses, the social and political forces influencing the content of the criminal law, and the constitutional limits and requirements informing its content and application.

  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An examination of selected federal constitutional constraints on the criminal justice adjudicative process. Topics addressed include the right to counsel and to assistance of counsel, rights relating to pretrial procedures, plea bargaining, jury trial and jury selection, rights relating to trial, double jeopardy, sentencing, appeals, and habeas corpus. 

  • Federal Criminal Law

    (2 credits)

    This course will study the substantive criminal law enacted by Congress, focusing on questions of statutory interpretation and federal law enforcement policy raised by prominent federal offenses. Topics to be covered include offenses relating to fraud and political corruption, narcotics and money laundering, organized crime, and false statements and obstruction of justice, and the punishment of convicted offenders pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

  • White Collar Crime

    (2 credits)

    The course will cover a range of topics, including, among  others, corporate criminal liability, mail fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, and environmental crimes.

Intellectual Property Law

Florida State University College of Law is an excellent place from which to study the fast-changing law of intellectual property. Students have the opportunity to take in-depth classes in all of the major fields of intellectual property – copyright, patent law, and trademark. They can also go beyond the basics to take classes on the global regulation of pharmaceuticals from faculty members like Fred Abbott, an internationally-respected expert on the topic.

Fall Semester

  • Copyright Law
  • Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective

    The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.

  • Legal Writing
  • Property

    (4 credits)

    A study of the extent to which various property rights come or fail to be recognized. The course includes both private sector and governmental arrangements and influences on the definition of property rights. Particular topics include the law of finders, landlord and tenant, concurrent ownership, licenses, easements, profits, restrictive covenants, an introduction of zoning and growth control and constitutional "takings" analysis.

Other courses offered include:

  • Entertainment Law

    (3 credits)

    This course examines key issues involved in the practice of Entertainment Law. Taught primarily by focusing on the music industry—but relevant and with sections involving book publishing, film, theater, and television—the course includes details for both future litigators and future transactional attorneys alike. Topics include: copyright law, infringement, and fair use; sampling and the law; digital media; industry trends and changes in the Digital Age; licensing; record contracts, both old and new; songwriter contracts; producer contracts; management contracts; concert touring and promotion; trademarks and enforcement; basics of film financing and production; and the changing world of television. The course will regularly include music, video, and film examples to discuss in class.

  • Global Health & Pharmaceutical Law Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Global sales of pharmaceuticals total more than $600 billion annually, with the United States constituting the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. This course addresses legal regulation of the pharmaceutical sector, from research and development to manufacturing and distribution. The principal focus is on U.S. law, including the FDA regulatory system. In addition, the course examines foreign regulation, such as the European pharmaceutical regulatory system, and the role of multilateral agencies, including the World Health Organization. 

  • International Trade Law and Policy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An examination of the international trading system, its economic underpinnings, and its regulatory structures. Primary emphasis is placed on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, both as a fundamental constitutive document and as a set of rules governing such matters as subsidies, dumping, and escape clause actions. The course also reviews issues of U.S. constitutional law relevant to the conduct of international economic relations. 

  • Sports and the Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of state and federal laws relating to the business of sporting competitions as entertainment, including matters such as the creation of a free market for players' services, the relationships of franchise owners to the league commissioner, player/agent relationships and contract negotiation. There is also some study of the NCAA regulation of collegiate athletics. 

Spring Semester

  • Contracts

    (4 credits)

    An introduction to the basic foundations of enforceability of contractual arrangements: formation, performance, breach and damages, rights of third parties, conditions, Statute of Frauds, and assignments. Inquiry is made into the historical developments of contract law and nineteenth-century notions of the doctrine of consideration in light of developing twentieth-century concepts and alterations. Economic aspects of the subject are considered along with modern statutory developments, including the Uniform Commercial Code. A primary objective of this course is for students to develop a pattern of analysis and expression central to their work as lawyers.

  • International Aspects of Intellectual Property

    (2-3 credits)

    Advanced study of law and policy for the protection of intellectual property rights (IRPs) on an international basis, including framework created by various treaties and conventions.

  • Patent Law

    (3 credits)

    This course involves an in-depth study of the law applicable to patents. The patent is the form of intellectual property protecting "inventions.” It is the most important form of protection for enterprises competing on the basis of technological advantage. The course covers patentable subject matter, application for grant, the criteria of patentability, rights of patent holders, causes of action against alleged infringers, defenses, remedies, licensing, the relevant application of competition/antitrust law and patent policy.

  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A trademark identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. In this course, we will consider how and when trademark rights are secured; what rights are accorded to trademark owners under the federal Lanham Act and state laws; how trademark can be infringed or diluted; the circumstances under which trademark protection can be lost; the limitations placed on trademark rights; and federal registration regimes and the related right of publicity.

International Law

The vibrant international law program at FSU offers students a chance to take both introductory classes in areas like Public International Law and International Business, and more advanced classes in emerging fields like International Criminal Law and International Arbitration. Students also have the opportunity to participate in moot court competitions like the Jessup Competition in Public International Law, and to join the College’s active chapter of the International Law Students Association. The College’s faculty is renowned for its expertise in fields as diverse as Chinese Law, Latin American constitutionalism, and the philosophy of the laws of war.

Fall Semester

  • International Trade Law and Policy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An examination of the international trading system, its economic underpinnings, and its regulatory structures. Primary emphasis is placed on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, both as a fundamental constitutive document and as a set of rules governing such matters as subsidies, dumping, and escape clause actions. The course also reviews issues of U.S. constitutional law relevant to the conduct of international economic relations. 

  • Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective

    The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.

  • Legal Writing
  • Public International Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An introduction to a wide range of legal and policy issues centered around the relationships among nations and the role of law in world order. Problems studied include the nature and sources of international law, the existence and activities of states, the status of individuals and associations within the international legal system, and issues of war, development, and environmental protection. 

Other courses offered include:

  • Admiralty Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the law of the sea, including admiralty jurisdiction, maritime liens, limitation of liability, collision, towage, charter parties, and the rights of injured maritime workers and passengers.

  • Comparative Constitutional Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Constitutional Law II

    This seminar will explore selected topics in comparative constitutional law through readings of both scholarly articles and major foreign cases (in translation). The focus of the readings will be on non-U.S. systems, but throughout the course we will use the U.S. as a primary point of comparison. Topics will include: comparative federalism and separation of powers, appropriateness and methodologies for enforcing socio-economic rights in different contexts, and the links between domestic and international legal systems. 

  • Conflict of Laws

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines the legal problems that arise when an occurrence or a case cuts across state or national boundaries: jurisdiction of courts, enforceability of foreign judgments, and choice of applicable law. The focus is on the policies, the rules of law, and the constitutional requirements in private interstate law. 

  • International Aspects of Intellectual Property

    (2-3 credits)

    Advanced study of law and policy for the protection of intellectual property rights (IRPs) on an international basis, including framework created by various treaties and conventions.

  • International Criminal Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will examine the criminal law applied across national borders. This includes two broad legal regimes: transnational law, which consists of the part of any nation’s domestic criminal law which regulates actions that transcend national borders; and international crimes, that is, the wrongs criminalized under international law.  We will also study procedural issues, both domestic and international, such as extradition and immunities. In particular, we will examine the case law of the international criminal courts such as the Nuremberg court, the ICC, and the various courts adjudicating criminal law issues arising from particular conflicts (former Yugoslavia and Rwanda among them). 

  • International Environmental Law

    (3 credits)
    Recommended, but not required: Public International Law

    This is a problem-oriented course focusing on issues including marine pollution, transboundary movement of hazardous waste, climate change, biodiversity, the relation of population and the environment, and other global and transboundary environmental problems. 

  • International Taxation

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Taxation I

    A study of the federal income tax laws and international tax treaty provisions that apply to transactions that cross international boundaries. 

  • Spanish for Lawyers

    (2 credits) (S/U)
    Prerequisites: Conversational Spanish skills are required. Listening, speaking, reading and writing at an intermediate level of proficiency is preferred.

    The objective of this class is to increase the skills and ability of Spanish speaking law students to communicate with Spanish speaking clients. Students will be exposed to legal terms in various subject areas of law including criminal law, torts, immigration, family law, contracts and consumer protection. Students will be given various reading assignments and expected to discuss the topics in Spanish. Additionally, students will be given writing assignments that may involve either drafting legal documents or client correspondence in Spanish, or the translation of legal documents into Spanish. Students will also participate in mock interviews with Spanish speaking clients seeking legal advice or representation. 

Spring Semester

  • Asylum and Refugee Law

    (2-3 credits)

    This course is a survey of international refugee and domestic asylum law. It considers both the law in theory and as practiced. Grounds for asylum under U.S. law are examined in the class, with a particular emphasis upon gender-based claims. The course has no prerequisites, and no prior immigration law study is presumed.

  • International and Foreign Legal Research
  • International Business Transactions

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None
     
    This course provides an introduction to the work performed by lawyers in international business transactions and to the specific skills and knowledge needed to negotiate multinational transactions. International and several domestic regulatory frameworks for foreign trade and investment will be analyzed. We will focus on single, commodity trades; distributorships; technology transfer; and joint venture vehicles for direct foreign investment. Negotiating strategies and cultural considerations in multinational transactions will be discussed. There will be specific coverage of the business and legal contexts of Europe, China and Japan. 

  • International Human Rights Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This problem-oriented course is designed for students seeking a general understanding of the subject as well as for students wishing to acquire specific skills for personal involvement in the promotion of International Human Rights, whether in government service or private practice. The course includes consideration of substantive international human rights norms, especially civil and political rights; the role of such norms in international and domestic law; fora-international, regional, and domestic-available for adjudicating or promoting the observance of human rights standards; the procedural rules that govern such fora; the methods by which decisions are made and increasingly enforced; and problems of including human rights concern as an integral part of the country's foreign policy.

    Students will take part in one or two role playing exercises - for example, a U.N. debate, an appellate court argument, a congressional hearing, an ABA debate, or a Department of State decision-making meeting. This participation, as well as class discussion based upon regular attendance and a thorough reading of the assigned materials, forms a significant part of the course and will be taken into account in determining the student's grade. 

  • International Litigation and Arbitration

    (3 credits) 
    Prerequisites: None.

    This course focuses on the process of transnational litigation in United States federal courts, and international arbitration as an alternative to litigation. This is not a class primarily on international arbitration, although it does cover some issues related to the topic. Topics covered will include: jurisdiction over foreign companies, forum selection clauses and choice of law, forum non-conveniens, the Alien Tort Statute and human rights litigation in US courts, the immunity of foreign sovereigns and the act of state doctrine, service of process and discovery over international parties, recognition of foreign judgments, and the process of international arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards.