You legal education foundation includes the following core courses:
Civil Practice and Procedure
Learn about the main procedural concepts that govern modern lawsuits, with emphasis on jurisdiction, service of process, venue, joinder of parties, pleading and discovery, the right to trial by jury, the Erie doctrine and the preclusive effect of prior judgments. You’ll participate in regular, practice-based skills sessions guided by experienced practitioners on the adjunct faculty,allowing you to practice interviewing clients, drafting pleadings, researching and strategizing legal arguments and other key skills of modern civil litigation.
Explore the design, structure and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. This year-long course examines how the Constitution employs structural mechanisms to protect individual rights and liberties. Topics include federalism, the separation of powers, the role of judicial review and the enumerated powers of Congress, with a special emphasis on the commerce power. The course also examines the direct protection of individual rights by the judiciary including rights to due process and equal protection protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the rights to free speech and religious liberty protected by the First Amendment. Learn how to use historical, theoretical, as well as doctrinal materials to craft constitutional arguments.
Explore the basis, nature and limits of contractual liability in Anglo-American common and statutory law.
The legal framework for the operation of business corporations, including statutory and common law provisions. Topics include the manner in which corporations make decisions; the distribution of power among shareholders, officers and directors; the special problems of close corporations; the duty owed by officers, directors, and controlling shareholders to the corporation and its shareholders in exercising their powers; the liability of officers and directors; shareholders’ derivative suits; and mergers and transactions involving control of the corporation.
Substantive criminal law, including selected crimes, defenses and doctrines. The course also examines the historical, moral and social forces at work in criminal law.
The system of rules and standards regulating the admission of evidence at trial, with emphasis on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Topics included are competency, qualification, examination, cross-examination and impeachment of witnesses; objections, waivers and offers of proof; relevancy; the hearsay rule and its exceptions; the opinion rule and expert testimony; privileges; the best evidence rule; judicial notice; and demonstrative evidence.
The many roles played by lawyers in society and the responsibilities — ethical, legal and practical — that must be reconciled in performing these various roles. Discussion focuses on the appropriate functioning of the individual attorney within the legal system and on the role of the organized bar in regulating the profession and contributing to the resolution of social problems. The American Bar Association’s Model Code of Professional Responsibility and Model Rules of Professional Conduct are analyzed in detail.
Legal Research and Writing
Developing legal research and writing abilities. The first semester course concentrates on teaching students basic research skills and objective legal memoranda. Students learn online and book research. The second semester covers appellate advocacy and concentrates on civil appellate procedures, persuasive appellate brief writing and oral advocacy.
Legislation and Regulation
Many of the legal rules that bind individuals, businesses and other organizations come not in the first instance for judge-made rules but rather from legislatures and administrative agencies. At the federal level, Congress enacts laws. Administrative agencies then interpret these statutes and give them force by implementing and enforcing rules, issuing orders and taking a host of other administrative actions. A similar process occurs at the state level: state legislatures enact laws that are interpreted and implemented by state agencies.
This course explores both the legislative and the administrative sides of this process. Apart from giving students an overview of both legislation and agency decision-making, it explores the role that lawyers often play in disputes that arise (1) about what a statute means and requires and (2) about whether administrative agencies are correctly implementing it. This course provides an introduction to legal questions about the legislative and administrative process and builds a foundation for more detailed analysis in other courses or legal research.
An introduction to the law of property, including methods of acquiring and holding real and personal property; the rights, powers and obligations of owners and possessors; an introduction to private and public regulation of the use of land; and an introduction to real estate transactions. Topics covered include gifts, adverse possession, present and future interests, concurrent and marital estates, leaseholds, easements and servitudes, deeds, and recording acts.
Analysis of the legal principles underlying civil liability for injuries to persons and
property. Topics covered include negligence, traditional strict liability and selected topics
in intentional torts.
Students will build on the skills and knowledge gained in foundational courses through electives that focus on numerous aspects of the law. Some examples include:
An introduction to the law governing human interactions with animals, including companion animals, farmed animals, horses and wildlife.
Lifetime and post-mortem planning for the orderly disposition of a client’s assets. Advanced consideration is given to will and trust drafting, with special attention to problems of estate liquidity, life insurance, retirement benefits, disposition of business interests and lifetime gifts (including charitable gifts).
Financing the Start-Up: Office Practice and the Basics of Formation and Funding
An introduction to the legal representation and financing of small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups, including the basics of capital markets, the ethical and legal limits on the representation of small businesses, initial finance and exit strategies from a legal perspective and the legal risks and rewards of private or public capital formation. In order to understand the perspective of investors, students will construct and manage an individual investment portfolio. Students will also write reports and make presentations.
An introduction to the policy, strategy and practical application of homeland security through an understanding of the authorizing laws, regulations and policies that established the Department of Homeland Security. This is a multi-faceted course that will expose students to complex intergovernmental and public-private sector policymaking, operational planning and crisis management. The course is designed to promote subject matter understanding, critical analysis of issues and insight into senior leader decision-making. It also includes a practical examination of stakeholder interaction and key subject — matter areas through an interactive tabletop exercise as well as other interactive opportunities throughout the course.
An integrated approach to the federal regimes governing patents, copyrights and trademarks, as well as related state laws governing trade secrets, misappropriation and publicity rights. The course covers subject matter protected under each regime, prerequisites for and duration of protection, exclusive rights and limitations thereon, ownership, infringement, remedies and international treaties. Particular attention is paid to the adaptation of these regimes to recent technological developments.
Through our Experiential Learning offerings, you’ll engage in competitions, clinics, externships and other opportunities to gain real-world lawyering experience.
Browse a complete list of our course descriptions to learn more.