Unless otherwise noted within the course descriptions, courses are considered "in-class" credit and graded on an A-F scale.
Note: Not all of the courses described will be offered during any one academic year. Schedules for the various terms and accompanying notes should be consulted to select courses comporting with student interest and law school requirements.
|Accounting and Financial Concepts for Lawyers||169||2||This course introduces you to accounting issues that arise in the normal practice of law. An understanding of some of the fundamentals of accounting and financial statements is useful in many respects. For example, a labor lawyer representing the Union who understands the company's accounting and financial statements can do a better job than one who is ignorant about finance. A business lawyer negotiating a deal sometimes can change a few technical words and save or gain the client triple digit thousands. Lawyers also need to understand accounting concepts and their embodiment in the various documents which represent the client's income, tax position, net worth, liabilities, liquidity, and general financial position. A lawyer with solid legal expertise whose conversation with the client can range over these topics is a huge asset both for the client and for the firm.|
|Administrative Law||116||3||An inquiry into the powers and processes of federal administrative agencies, and the control of agency action through judicial review and other means.|
|Administrative Law Clinic||364||2||Administrative Law||
The Administrative Law Clinic is offered in partnership with Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC, and will involve students in all aspects of the administrative process: from monitoring agency activity, to participating in ongoing matters, to analyzing relevant legislative proposals, to writing briefs on important administrative-law issues. The Clinic will provide students with the opportunity to work closely with Consovoy McCarthy Park attorneys on behalf of pro bono clients to identify subjects of interest, research administrative-law issues, and draft comments and briefs before agencies and in active litigation. Space is limited, and students must have completed Administrative Law (or agree to take Administrative Law concurrently) to be eligible to apply for the Clinic.
|Advanced Antitrust Seminar||475||2||Antitrust I: Principles||
This course will cover advanced topics in modern antitrust law, including recent Supreme Court cases and developments involving the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The course will examine selected topics, such as the controversies surrounding dominant firms and exclusionary conduct, as well as such areas as the interface between the antitrust laws and intellectual property, health care, efforts to limit antitrust immunity, the Noerr-Pennington doctrine and state action, and merger policy (including the treatment of efficiencies and measurement of entry), as well as an overview of EU competition law. The course will conclude with the presentation of student research papers. Antitrust 1: Principles is a prerequisite for this course.
|Advanced Constitutional Law: Freedom of Religion||234||2||This class examines the original meaning of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses as well as contemporary constitutional jurisprudence and conflicting schools of interpretation.|
|Advanced Constitutional Law: Freedom of Religion Seminar||442||2||This class examines the original meaning of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses as well as contemporary constitutional jurisprudence and conflicting schools of interpretation. This course is identical to Law 234 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.|
|Advanced Legal Research Writing Seminar||500||2-3||Limited to Writing Fellows in LRWA Program.|
|Advanced Public Interest Litigation||299||2||
This course will provide a deep dive into the procedures and tactics of public interest litigation through the lens of a particular issue or subject matter, such as free speech, property rights, occupational licensing, or administrative law.
|Advanced Trial Advocacy||331||2||Evidence , Trial Advocacy||
Continuation of skills of trial and courtroom argument with emphasis on individual technique and jury persuasion. In-depth analysis of criminal and civil cases of complex nature. The course is graded "CR" and Evidence and Trial Advocacy are prerequisites.
|Advocacy for Transactional Lawyers||080||1||The class focuses on teaching the oral communication skills needed to succeed in a transactional practice. Corporate and lawyers need to (i) deliver crisp, clear, organized, and practical explanations, (ii) create and present materials effectively, (iii) showcase business sense, (iv) modify messaging and details depending on the audience, and (v) speak with confidence and leadership in conversations, on the phone, and in meetings. In each class, students will hear lectures covering advanced techniques in preparation, voice and speech, body language, and emotion, which each participant can use to become a better communicator in the areas specific to corporate practice. Topics include: voice quality to convince and persuade more effectively; speech pattern to remove distracting vocal habits; audience connection to demonstrate competence and subject matter authority; pacing to craft the dynamic levels of a presentation; preparation and messaging techniques; and effective gestures and physical presence to maintain audience attention and animate individual presence. During the course, students will deliver a total of three presentations to their colleagues in small group workshops to be held during class meeting time: a 1-2 minute professional introduction, and two of the following: (an update to colleagues on a current matter; summary of key due diligence findings; kick-off meeting with a client and/or opposing counsel on a new deal; summarizing key risk factors of a proposed transaction for a report to senior management at the client; or briefing a board on their fiduciary duties in considering a strategic M&A transaction). The substance of these presentations will be based on a developed casefile used during the course and reading material. Outside of class, students will (1) receive scheduled individual coaching, (2) be responsible for reading course materials, and (3) prepare and practice presentations. This course will be graded CR/NC. Grades will be based on writing assignments, class participation, and course presentations..|
|Alternative Dispute Resolution||348||2||Examines the various modes of resolving civil disputes and focuses on alternatives to litigation, including attorney negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Concentrates on the structure of alternative methods of dispute resolution and implicated legal skills. The ethical considerations for a new model of attorney practice are also considered.|
|American Legal History Survey||379||2-3||This is a profession-specific civics course for aspiring lawyers. It is about the evolution of American law and legal institutions from colonial times to the end of the 19th century. By the end of the course you should have anecdotal knowledge of, and a comprehensive appreciation for, the development of courts and their relations with legislatures, executives, interest groups, and the general public; of legislation, regulation, and doctrine; of legal education; and of the organized bar — up to about the year 1900.This course is not an introduction to modern American law or government; rather, students are expected to have an understanding of those subjects sufficiently deep and current to enable them to understand analogical and passing references to modern topics.|
|Animal Law||177||2||An exploration and discussion of the treatment of captive and wild animals under state, federal, and international law. The course will address the historical status of animals in the law; legislative efforts and citizen initiatives to strengthen animal protection laws; the application of federal laws concerning captive animals, wildlife, and farm animals; the role of international conventions concerning trade in animals and animal products, free trade, and comparative animal protection laws; the limitations on state laws addressing anti-cruelty, hunting, trapping, and animal fighting; the emerging areas of veterinary malpractice and other animal-related torts; the use of consumer protection statutes to address animal welfare concerns; the effect of free speech, religious expression, and other Constitutional principles on animals protection statutes; legal constraints on animal advocacy such as libel and defamation, invasion of privacy, and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act; and the movement to obtain legal recognition of the rights of animals.|
|Animal Law Seminar||637||2||This course is identical to Law 177 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.|
|Antitrust Economics||237||2||Economics for Lawyers||
The goal is to understand the role of economists and economics in competition policy and enforcement, the economic theory applicable to antitrust issues, and to apply economic theory to the facts of real antitrust and merger cases. Each week we will study and discuss at least one major case. We will also read relevant economic literature. We will cover the following subjects including introduction to antitrust economics, estimation of cartel damages, economics of cartels, abuse of dominance: rebates, monopolies: market power and loss estimation, market definition, joint venture economics, vertical restraints, free-riding, and intellectual property. Economics for Lawyers (formerly Economic Foundations of Legal Studies) (Law 108) is a prerequisite for JD students. LLM students must have completed, or be taking Economic Foundations for LLM Students (Law 114) contemporaneously, in order to register for this course.
|Antitrust I: Principles||156||3||Antitrust I: Principles (formerly "Antitrust") examines judicial doctrines, enforcement guidelines, and policies relating to competition as a means of ordering private economic behavior. Specific topics include agreements involving competitors, dominant firm behavior, joint ventures, mergers, distribution, practices, and international competition policy.|
|Antitrust II: Applications||162||3||Antitrust I: Principles||
This course examines advanced topics in antitrust law. Specific topics include vertical restraints, innovation markets, exemptions and immunities, the territorial scope of U.S. antitrust law,and remedies. We will examine Supreme Court doctrine, influential modern lower court decisions, and government enforcement guidelines. Economic concepts and thinking characteristic of modern antitrust analysis are integrated throughout the course. No background in economics is necessary or assumed.
|Appellate Advocacy||159||2||LRWA III - Appellate Writing||
This course focuses on brief writing and oral advocacy for students participating in extramural moot court competitions. Rules of the Supreme Court, which govern most moot court contests, receive special emphasis. All class participants must be registered for an extramural competition during the semester in which they take the course, must receive permission of the instructor, and must have taken LRWA III - Appellate Writing as a prerequisite. As of Fall 2010, students receive two (2) total credits for this class. One (1) credit is "in-class" and one (1) credit is "out-of-class."
This course is a practicum on the modes and methods of appellate practice and advocacy. Students are graded on several compositions and practical exercises involving both oral and written advocacy. The course will use federal and/or state rules at the discretion of the instructor.
|Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic||224||3||Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property Law||
The Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic teaches students the legal and policy skills required for engaging with Congress, agencies, and courts on behalf of copyright owners. Under the supervision of Professor Sandra Aistars, students will develop substantive legal knowledge in copyright and related areas of law as well as practical skills in research, writing, and advocacy by counseling clients and preparing legal and policy documents. Students’ work product will be submitted on behalf of non-profit organizations, individual artists and creators, small businesses, and CPIP in multiple institutional settings in which copyright law and policy are developed. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in specialized artist counseling sessions organized by entities such as the Authors Guild and Slamdance Independent Film Festival and to complete special projects at the invitation of the U.S. Copyright Office. Because this is an advocacy clinic, projects will vary depending on developments in Congress, the courts, and relevant agencies. In addition to direct instruction from Professor Aistars, students will also meet with and learn from relevant government officials and experienced practitioners. Some classes may be scheduled as visits to agencies, Congress and/or the White House. This clinic is a graded course offered in the fall and spring, and students may receive 3 credits total each semester (2 in class credits and 1 out of class credit). Space is limited, and interested students should submit a short (500 words or less) statement of interest. Registration is open only to students who have taken Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Law, or Entertainment Law.
|Asset Management Law||275||2-3||
The course examines the evolving U.S. regulation of the asset management sector which holds and manages approximately four times the amount of investor funds that U.S. banks manage. The course will address the post-Dodd Frank structure, operation, economics and regulation of mutual funds (including money market funds), private equity and hedge funds, and separately managed accounts, as well as the regulation of investment advisors, which takes place under the Investment Advisers Act (1940), the Investment Company Act (1940), ERISA (1975), the Pension Protection Act (2006), the Securities Act (1933), the Securities Exchange Act (1934), and various other sources of law.
|Automated Vehicles Law||247||2||
This class considers the laws regarding unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and driverless (or self-driving) cars. The class will address certification, regulation, and enforcement authority, the allocation of responsibilities among Federal, State, and local governments, and current tort law. It will also consider how Congress and the States might change these laws and whether tort law might be adapted in light of the highly automated nature of these technologies.
|Aviation Law||151||2-3||This is a survey course of aviation law, covering both U.S. and international domestic law and regulation. Students will receive an introduction into all major aspects of aviation law, with special emphasis placed on Government regulation of aircraft, air carriers, airmen, and airports. Students will gain a basic understanding of the structure and forms of federal and international aviation law and regulation. The course will expose students to administrative law, constitutional law, international law, federal jurisdiction, and to a lesser extent antitrust law and environmental law. Materials consist of cases, statutes, treaties, regulations, and policy statements.|
Commercial banks, savings institutions and credit unions play a central role in the U.S. financial system and the economy. This class will explore the relationship between the development of banking laws and the functioning of the economy. It will consider the federal and state regulatory schemes that have evolved since the Great Depression. This will include the special status of banks as the beneficiaries of federal deposit insurance, their permissible activities, how prudential regulation such as capital and liquidity requirements and concentration limits impact their operations, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. The course will also review the increasing levels of consumer protection laws and oversight, civil and criminal enforcement involving banks and bank executives, and the causes and handling of bank failures and federal receiverships. It will also address the changes to bank regulation following the 2008 Financial Crisis, including the Dodd-Frank Act. Finally, the course will explore the impact that FinTech will have on banks and similar financial intermediaries.
|Bankruptcy||167||3||Studies legal, economic, and social issues in bankruptcy through a survey of the Bankruptcy Code and the previous Bankruptcy Act. Considers bankruptcy liquidation and reorganization, as well as the role of the courts and trustees in the bankruptcy process.|
Members of the Bankruptcy Bar in Northern Virginia run a free Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic to help individual consumers with questions or problems related to bankruptcy, including how to prepare voluntary bankruptcy petitions and other papers that must be filed to initiate a bankruptcy case. These will be individual consumers who cannot otherwise afford to engage and pay for an attorney to help them prepare the necessary papers. Students are invited to participate in the court clinic through a one-credit externship program. Students will conduct initial interviews of the individual consumers in order to identify for the attorneys the help the individuals need. This is an opportunity for students to have direct client contact and counseling along with experienced bankruptcy lawyers. The course will meet at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 200 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month. Students must have previously taken a course in Bankruptcy Law or must receive permission of the instructor to participate. Special permission will be granted to students who have not taken Bankruptcy Law but have clerked for or otherwise worked for a bankruptcy lawyer or a bankruptcy judge. Students completing the course will receive one out-of-class credit and the course will be graded “CR/NC.”
|Bankruptcy Reorganization Seminar||454||2||Bankruptcy||
This Seminar will cover the procedures, the strategies and the dynamics of corporate reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Among other topics, the Seminar will examine management of the debtor's business, financing the debtor while in bankruptcy, what goes into a plan of reorganization and confirmation of the plan. The Seminar will use as a case study a current or recent corporate chapter 11 reorganization case including student access to the Court's electronic docket. Bankruptcy is a prerequisite for this course.
|Business Associations||172||4||Provides a detailed introduction to the law and economics of agency, partnerships, limited partnerships, and corporation law. The second half of the course focuses on publicly traded corporations.|
Most lawyers will interact with business concepts in their careers, even if they do not specialize in corporate law or transactional work. This class is designed to teach law students the basics of finance, accounting, and business in an abbreviated format. The course is not designed to go in depth into all topics, but will move quickly over a variety of different business concepts and terminology. In addition to gaining some institutional knowledge, students will hear from industry experts, both lawyers and business professionals. By the end of the course, students should feel more comfortable talking about and working on cases or deals with corporate/business clients.
|Chemical and Biotechnology Patent Practice||174||2||Patent Law I, Patent Law II||
Presents an in-depth treatment of patent law and practice as applied specifically to protecting inventions relating to chemical and biotechnology. Patent application preparation and prosecution strategies are particularly emphasized. Patent Law I and Patent Law II are prerequisites to this course.
|Civil Procedure||112||4||This basic course is for the study of the legal process, with emphasis on the powers and operations of courts deciding disputes between private parties. Examines the organization of state and federal courts and the relations between them; the processes by which courts resolve disputes; and the extent to which judicial decisions are conclusive of subsequent disputes. Among the topics studied are jurisdiction of courts over persons, property, and subject matter; the finality of judgments; the choice of applicable law; the scope of litigation as to claims, defenses, and parties; the processes of stating claims and exchanging information in discovery; trials and the division of functions between judge and jury; the right to jury trial; a brief introduction to the law of evidence; summary methods of decision without trial; and appellate review.|
|Class Action and Mass Litigation||251||2||Civil Procedure||
This course examines the role class actions and other forms of mass litigation play in the fair and efficient administration of justice, as well as various practical and constitutional limitations unique to cases of this sort. While the course focuses primarily on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and the ways in which the Rule’s requirements and constraints shape these complex cases, the practical case-management hurdles that arise in litigating them also is is explored. Civil Procedure (Law 112) is a prerequisite for this course.
|Commercial Paper||176||3||This course covers the workings of the finance and payments systems, and the legal doctrines on which they are based, focusing on UCC Articles 3 (Negotiation, Defenses, Holder in Due Course, and the status of parties to an instrument) and 4 (the bank collection system) and Regulation CC. It also considers negotiation in Funds Transfer Systems and in the context of personal property leases, letters of credit, bank acceptances, and personal property security interests. Related doctrines of agency, suretyship, insolvency, contracts, sales of goods, bankruptcy, and assignment and transfer are reviewed. Attention will also be given to drafting and litigation, the conduct of discovery, and trial tactics.|
|Common Law and American Rights||381||3||This course will survey and analyze the key documents, cases and developments in that evolution from the Magna Carta to American colonial charters, state constitutions, and the federal Constitution and the drafting of our Bill of Rights. In the process the class will also discuss the options and alternatives along the way, the rise and decline of various expedients such as jury trial and a broad-based review of legislation.|
|Common Law and American Rights Seminar||623||2||This course is identical to Law 381 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.|
|Communications Law||181||3||A treatment of basic telecommunications law, policy, and regulation.|
|Comparative Constitutional Law||346||3||In a world of increasing global interaction it is critical for American lawyers to understand the legal systems of other nations. This course will introduce students to comparative legal methods with an emphasis on comparative constitutional law. It will examine the general features of common and civil law systems, their underlying principles, and the scope of their constitutional protections. It will focus in particular on British and Canadian common law, French and German civil law, and examine the impact of European Union law on member states.|
|Comparative Criminal Law Seminar||656||3||
This course is a survey of British and American criminal law and related scholarship — from both the turn of the 19th century to the 20th and the turn of the 20th century to the 21st — addressing acts (are they lawful or are they criminal?) portrayed in the hypotheticals taken from the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle or Lyndsay Faye. In other words, each week, students will take a close look at a human act, and will consider (a) how it was treated under U.K. and the U.S. criminal law in Victorian times; (b) how it is treated today; and (c) why some things about criminal law have changed and some have not. Students will develop some useful points of reference for understanding of modern criminal law and lawyering, as well as a sense of trends in the development of legal institutions and law practice in that field. The course requires a final research paper based on an instructor-approved hypothetical taken from Victorian-era or Victorian-style detective fiction.
This course offers an introduction to comparative legal systems. The course will survey the two main legal families, civil and common law. It will also look briefly at mixed legal systems. The second part of the course looks at specific areas of the law from a comparative perspective, in particular at comparative judicial politics. The final part of the course looks at recent developments in comparative law and economics, particularly the legal origins literature and the controversial relationship between law and development.
|Computer Crimes Seminar||493||2||
This course will introduce students to the basic laws of computer crimes, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and various laws relating to online piracy, inappropriate content, intellectual property protection, and the like. The course will also cover challenges relating to the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes including the gathering and validation of digital evidence and attribution of online activities.
|Conflict of Laws||186||3||Focuses on choice of law problems, particularly in relation to property, family law, contracts, torts, trusts, and the administration of estates. Consideration is given to acts of jurisdiction, effects of judgments, special problems of federalism, and transnational regulation.|
|Constitutional Law (LLMs Only)||221||4||
This course will introduce students to some of the foundational concepts and questions of United States constitutional law. Students will first consider the nature and function of a constitution in general, along with methods of constitutional interpretation that have played an important role in U.S. constitutional jurisprudence. The majority of the term will be spent examining two core aspects of the U.S. Constitution: its provision for government structure and the distribution of power, and its protections for individual rights. Students will learn how to read constitutional cases to understand their holdings and arguments, trace the development of legal rules, and analyze and critique the Supreme Court’s constitutional interpretations. Additionally, the course will address how such concepts are tested on the bar exam. Course enrollment is limited to LLM students at the law school.
|Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government||121||4||Analysis of the structure of American government, as defined through the text of the Constitution and its interpretation. The course focuses on the allocation of powers and responsibilities among governmental institutions, including the separation and coordination of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions at the federal level, and the relation between the state and federal governments (including an introductory treatment of the Fourteenth Amendment).|
|Constitutional Law II: The 14th Amendment||158||2-3||Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government||
This course is a continuation of Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government, and examines the interpretations of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the scope of congressional authority to enforce these constitutional provisions.
|Consumer Protection Law||332||3||This course (formerly Unfair Trade Practices) examines several areas of consumer protection law, including entry into the market, unfair and deceptive practices, interference with business relations, trade secrets, and misappropriation. The course will cover relevant common law and federal enactments such as the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Lanham Act, and will examine how consumer protection statutes affect, among other things, advertising, data security, and privacy.|
|Contracts (JM Only)||075||4||
This course will provide JM students with an introduction to the principles of contract law, including the consideration doctrine, offer and acceptance, promissory estoppel, and the regulation of the bargaining process; as well as the relationship of contract law in government and business organizations. The course will also provide an overview of contractual interpretation, and basic knowledge regarding excuse and remedies.
|Contracts I||102||2||Introduction to the principles of contract law, including the consideration doctrine, offer and acceptance, promissory estoppel, and the regulation of the bargaining process.|
|Contracts II||103||3||Continuation of Contracts I, with emphasis on interpretation, excuse, and remedies.|
|Copyright Law||191||3||This course covers the basics of copyright law, including determinations of what is copyrightable, formalities for obtaining protection, and copyright registration practices and procedures. The substantive and procedural elements of infringement actions are examined, including defenses. Technological developments affecting copyright are also addressed, including issues related to computer software and the Internet.|
|Corporate Acquisitions||194||2||Business Associations||
Focuses principally on state corporate law, though consideration is also given to federal securities, tax, and antitrust laws. Topics covered include business and tax considerations relevant to acquisitions, methods of corporate combinations, directors' duties in connection with sales of control, appraisal rights, and target defensive tactics. Business Associations is a prerequisite.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the funding sources and the structure of corporate financial transactions. The course will focus on the tools necessary for a lawyer to render legal opinions in the financial sector; and will 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.
|Corporate National Security Law||147||2||
This course will cover a range of national security related laws and related matters particularly applicable to companies operating both in the United States and abroad, including sanctions laws, trade laws, executive orders, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the National Emergencies Act, the International Economic Emergency Power Act, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the Logan Act, and matters relating to the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States.
|Corporate National Security Law Seminar||659||2||
This course is identical to Law 147 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
|Corporate Tax||198||3-4||Income Tax||
Focuses on the taxation of corporations and their shareholders. Consideration is given to the tax consequences of the formation of a corporation, distributions, redemptions, liquidations, and reorganizations. Income Tax is a prerequisite to this course.
|Corruption, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law Seminar||495||3||
Bribery, human trafficking, forced labor, and other human rights violations remain widespread around the world, but a rising tide of global legal obligations on individuals and corporations designed to counter these practices continues to grow. This course will examine how the law can most effectively combat global corruption and human rights violations, with a focus on violations in business conducted around the world and product supply chains. We will also consider the relationship between corruption and the global rule of law, explore the impact of multinational corporate behavior on corruption and human rights, and examine the current and emerging individual and corporate legal initiatives aimed at ending these practices. The causes, incidence, and impact of violations will be addressed, as well as the effectiveness of expanding tools to address violations, including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, disclosure and certification regimes, private rights of action, and other individual and corporate compliance requirements.
|Counterterrorism Law Seminar||654||2||
This seminar course will provide students with exposure to the laws and policies relating to U.S. government counterterrorism efforts and will survey the wide range of legal issues implicated by such efforts at home and overseas. Issues to be addressed will include international and domestic law applicable to counterterrorism activities, the authorities for the use of force, offensive operations overseas, domestic counterterrorism efforts, surveillance of terrorists, capture, detention, and interrogation of terrorism suspects, prosecutions in military commissions and domestic courts, immigration matters, and other legal authorities for addressing terrorism issues.
|Covert Action, Clandestine, and Special Operations Law||148||2||
This course will introduce students to the domestic and international authorities, laws, and policies applicable to the use of covert action authorities abroad and the use of clandestine and military special operations forces. The course will cover the core separation of powers related issues regarding oversight of such activities by Congress, including specifically in the areas of counterterrorism operations and cyber activities. The course will review both the historical legal constraints and policies applicable to such activities as well as ongoing debates over the appropriate nature and scope of such activities and the relevant reporting and disclosure of such activities. The course will teach the law in this area in part by examining declassified examples of such activities and focusing on the laws applied in such cases, the oversight conducted both before and after the activities, as well as the potential applicability of other laws and policies.
|Criminal Law||106||3||General principles of the substantive criminal law and its major processes are derived from study of its common law origins and the effects of such variables as societal values, legislation, and judicial activity. Inquires into uses of the coercive power of the state, the federal-state relationship, and the concepts of group criminality, liability for uncompleted crimes, and rationale for punishment.|
|Criminal Procedure: Adjudication||389||2-3||This course examines the criminal litigation process. Topics covered may include: the charging decision; bail and detention pending trial; right to a speedy trial, to a jury trial, other trial rights; discovery; guilty pleas; double jeopardy; sentencing; appeals; and collateral remedies. Criminal Procedure: Investigation is recommended, but not a prerequisite.|
|Criminal Procedure: Investigation||206||3||Acquaints students with the criminal justice system, its procedures, and Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.|
|Cybersecurity Law Seminar||416||2||This seminar course will provide students exposure to the key legal and policy issues related to cybersecurity, including the legal authorities and obligations of both the government and the private sector with respect to protecting computer systems and networks, as well as the national security aspects of the cyber domain including authorities related to offensive activities in cyberspace. The course will include a survey of federal laws, executive orders, regulations, and cases related to surveillance, cyber intrusions by private and nation-state actors, data breaches, and privacy and civil liberties matters, among other things. The course will also explore the legislative and technology landscape in this dynamic area and will provide students with opportunities to discuss cutting-edge issues at the intersection of law, technology, and policy.|
|Death Penalty in America: Law, History, and Policy||138||2||The use of the death penalty as the ultimate punishment upon a conviction for a capital crime continues to spark heated debate in our courts, within legislatures and among the public. This course will analyze the law and history of the death penalty in the context of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, in addition to the due process rights and jury trial rights afforded to all citizens. After the Supreme Court’s decision in Gregg v. Georgia (1976), Congress and state legislatures created death penalty laws and procedures seeking to limit the class of murders eligible for the death penalty to the “worst of the worst.” The Supreme Court has also revised the death penalty in several cases since Gregg with the effect of limiting the application of the death penalty: e.g, for juveniles; for those with low mental capacities; and by limiting how the death penalty may be imposed (juries only) and the manner in which the death penalty can be carried out. But the Supreme Court has not (yet) revisited the notion of abolishing the death penalty as unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Is the answer that the imposition of the death penalty in the appropriate case is lawful, constitutional and just? Or, will the Supreme Court abolish the death penalty? If so, why?|
|Design Patent and Trade Dress Law||380||1||This course will include a detailed review of design patent law practice, including patent prosecution and litigation. The course will also address an introduction to trade dress protection under trademark law, the use of trade dress to protect product designs, and the interplay between design patents and trade dress to extend protection of designs that serve as an indication of source. The final grade will be based on a paper, not an exam.|
|Digital Information Policy Seminar||488||3||This course is designed to expose students to some of the legal framework that applies to firms operating in the digital economy. Topics covered include the economics of information, theories of privacy law, the Federal Trade Commission’s role in advertising, privacy, and data security regulation, the application of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to private entities, and the First Amendment’s commercial speech doctrine.|
|Disability Law Seminar||639||2||This course surveys American law as it relates to people with disabilities. Primary focus is on discrimination in employment, education, government services, public accommodations run by private entities, and housing. The course will also cover issues involving the civil rights of institutionalized persons.|
|Discrimination in Employment||210||2-3||
Examines the federal regulatory structure governing employment practices that make distinctions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and age.
|Diversity & Inclusion Predictive Analytics||085||1||
The Diversity & Inclusion Predictive Analytics course educates students on varying methods of examining employee data to answer a range of questions about an organization’s relative level of equity, diversity, integration, and inclusion. Students will learn how to uncover hidden patterns, correlations, and other insights. This will equip students to better understand a series of analytics that will help organizations calculate Diversity Return on Investment (“ROI”).
|Diversity and Inclusion: Foundations and Strategies||084||1||
This course is designed to educate students about the social and economic benefits derived from diversity and inclusion. Topics studied include the marketplace demand for diversity and inclusion, how diversity and inclusion efforts dovetail with equal employment opportunity laws, understanding and recognizing implicit bias, methods for building and retaining a diverse workforce, and management tools (such as consensus building).
|Economics for Lawyers||108||3||
Economics for Lawyers (formerly Economic Foundations of Legal Studies) exposes students to a broad survey of economic, statistical, finance and accounting concepts in which those concepts play a crucial role in determining the outcome of legal disputes. Students will not become expert in these technical areas but will be exposed to both the mechanics and subtleties of these tools. The goal is to educate and train students so that they will be better prepared to understand a dispute, craft an argument, or prepare a witness.
|Economics of Private Law||374||2||After a brief review of the methodology of law and economics, this course utilizes the standard tools of economic analysis for the study of private law and legal institutions, with special emphasis on property, torts and contracts. The course builds upon the coherent first-year curriculum offered at GMU Law School. Students will develop a coherent framework for an economic explanation of legal rules: a framework that can be easily built upon in other courses for an economic analysis of other areas of the law. The first part of the seminar reviews some of the basic concepts of economic analysis, including the following: (i) Coase theorem; (ii) models of market failure; (iii) uncertainty and risk-aversion; (iv) strategic behavior and basic game theory; and (v) collective decision-making and public choice theory. The second part of the seminar applies the above tools to the study of private law and legal institutions with special focus on: (i) emergence of law and models of legal evolution; (ii) sources of law; (iii) selected topics in property, contract and tort law.|
|Economics of Private Law Seminar||420||2||This course is identical to Law 374 with the exception that it is conducted as a Seminar and will require a seminar paper.|
Increasingly, attorneys are becoming “general contractors” when it comes to certain highly technical areas of the law. This is certainly true of the practice of eDiscovery. Unless you have chosen to make eDiscovery the focus of your practice, you will most likely instead be charged with assembling – and then managing – the right team of attorney specialists, technologists, and allied professionals who will conduct the eDiscovery components of cases on your behalf and under your direction. Any attorney serving in such a capacity will need to know enough about the law and technical aspects of eDiscovery to assemble the right team, keep costs under control, and ensure that legal and ethical obligations to clients, the court, and opponents are met and discharged. This course endeavors to impart such “general contractor” knowledge and expertise.
|Election Law||382||3||This course covers a broad range of topics involving campaigns and elections. Specific areas typically covered include districting, nominating candidates, campaigning for office, and voting, with some coverage of tax issues, administrative and judicial enforcement, and ethics law. Students will gain an appreciation for the historic record, and the inherent conflict faced by officeholders when they are given the means to regulate politics. There are no prerequisites. Constitutional Law I and/or Administrative Law are recommended.|
|Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar||497||2||Increasingly technology has served as a disruptive force which challenges society to make important decisions about what privacy is and how it should be respected and/or protected. Students will survey the historical, policy and technological bases of privacy and information governance. Particular attention will be paid to notions of "relationship dependent context" as it relates to the collection, use and disclosure of information. Leading legal academic scholarship in the field of information privacy will be discussed and students will apply knowledge of the law of privacy and technology to current legal and policy problems. Each student will apply their acquired knowledge both in class as well as through the preparation of a scholarly student paper. Issues such as Do-Not-Track and Online Advertising, Security Breaches, Workplace Monitoring, Comparative International Approaches, Ownership of Facts and Information, Health and Financial Privacy and more will be covered.|
Surveys the law governing the employment relationship in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. The first section of the course will cover the agency law foundations of the employment relationship including the meaning of employee and the duties of loyalty and obedience. The course will then examine the special contract doctrines applicable to employment contracts, including employment at will and the public policy exception. Next, the course will cover tort law issues that arise in employment, including vicarious liability, worker's compensation, and tortious interference with contractual relations. The course will then examine some basic principles of discrimination law under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We will conclude with a brief survey of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
|Energy Law and the Environment||280||2-3||
This 2-3 credit writing course will cover the basic elements of energy law and its intersection with natural resources and environmental policy and law including air, climate, water, endangered species, and other kinds federal and state regulation. The course will also cover introductory material regarding economic regulation of energy sources. The grade will be based on one (1) book review and two (2) major papers. The book will be assigned by the instructor. One of the major papers must address an area of energy and environmental interface. The second paper may cover a topic of the student’s own choice even if it focuses exclusively on energy law or economics and energy law. All topics for either paper must be approved by the instructor in advance.
|Energy, Environment, and National Security: Law and Policy||356||2||Energy issues have framed recent international security crises: the OPEC oil shock of 1973-74, both Gulf Wars, 9/11 and Afghanistan, Russian gas threats to Europe (including the Georgia invasion), China’s scramble for energy resources, the financial imbalance caused by oil imports, the threats posed by ISIS and its control of substantial oil revenues, and the security risks posed by climate change. Yet, US and EU energy policies have been driven primarily not by international security issues but by domestic law on traditional pollution control (including the consequences of the fracking revolution), private property protection and antitrust. This course will examine how these domestic legal and regulatory regimes have shaped energy policy internationally in ways that multilateral security entities like NATO and the UN cannot reach. The course will focus primarily on the EU and US, examining how their domestic regulatory differences affect international energy and climate policies (including fracking), often in unintended ways. It will also examine the implications of climate regulation, energy security policies, gas and oil export restrictions, and financial issues (most of the US current account deficit is due to oil imports theoretically displaceable by domestic alternatives that include cars and trucks powered by electricity, CNG and biofuels). The course necessarily requires considerable study of the Clean Air Act as the source of the US’ primary energy policy, and of aspects of administrative law as it effects the execution of that power by the EPA.|
This course will focus on legal issues of particular salience to the “entertainment industry,” defined for this purpose as those firms concerned with the commercial creation and distribution of fixed expressive content marketed for its entertainment value. The course will survey several areas of legal doctrine that are common to the entire industry: domestic and international copyright law, trademark and right of publicity, industry organization, expressive torts and their First Amendment limitations, and contracts pertaining to credit and control. The casebook will be Weiler, Myers & Berry, Entertainment, Media, and the Law: Text, Cases, and Problems (American Casebook Series) 5th Edition. Grades will be based on a final exam and in-class discussion of casebook problems.
A complex set of laws and regulations, developed over the past five decades, manages various environmental risks, ranging from risks to water, air, and land, among others. This course is designed to provide a general introduction to the theory and practice of environmental law, with an emphasis on the major pollution control statutes. Some of the recurring themes of the course will be the balance between federal and state authority, the economic justifications for environmental regulation, the distributional effects of environmental policy, the choice of regulatory instruments, and the role of agencies, legislatures, and courts. We will also discuss the political backdrop for the development of environmental policy, especially the role of interest groups and public perceptions.
This course introduces students to the laws governing employee benefits, principally the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. The course will examine selected topics related to both employee pension and welfare benefits including regulation of plans, preemption, plan administration, fiduciary duties, enforcement, plan operation, and termination. Students will also gain an understanding of the tax implications associated with employee benefit plans, both from an employer and employee perspective.
|Estate and Gift Taxation||219||3||Income Tax, Trusts and Estates||
Provides a detailed examination of the estate, gift, and intergenerational transfer taxes, and considers their interaction with individual, partnership, and corporate tax provisions. Income Tax and Trust and Estates are prerequisites to this course.
|Estate Planning Seminar||604||3||Estate and Gift Taxation, Income Tax, Trusts and Estates||
Includes a substantial writing requirement, with an emphasis on organization of facts, the development of problem-solving thought patterns, and performance of research, drafting, and writing skills that are involved in the practice of law. Income Tax, Trust and Estates, and Estate and Gift Taxation are prerequisites to this course.
|Ethical Issues in Nationa Security Lawyering||149||2||
This course will closely examine the myriad ethical issues inherent in national security lawyering, including exploring the various roles a national security lawyer may play in the government, including the roles and ethical responsibilities of a policy lawyer examining various options for legislation or policymaking inside the executive branch, an oversight lawyer examining activities conducted after the fact, a lawyer appearing in national security matters before a neutral third party magistrate, including to prosecute national security cases as well as to obtain surveillance, and lawyers advising military commanders in the field, among others. The course will also examine the various ethical challenges associated with highly classified or sensitive operations, including those that may involve the use of techniques and capabilities that may approach the boundaries of the law, as well as those that require limited disclosure even within the confines of the executive branch.
|European Union Competition Law||259||2||Antitrust I: Principles||
European Union Competition Law impacts significantly on the ways in which companies, both large multinational corporations, and small and medium-sized enterprises, conduct themselves in the competitive environment. The primary focus of this course will be on the control of multi-lateral and unilateral anti-competitive conduct. The course will focus on the operation of the EU Competition Law regime, based on articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU, and procedural and implementing legislation. The course will also consider the main provisions of American Antitrust Law, as enshrined in Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act 1890, and Section 5 of the FTC Act. In both cases the outline of the institutional processes, and the relationship between public and private enforcement will be considered. The course will also consider the context within which the law operates, focusing on the relevant economic principles and theories, as well as the tensions in the economics debate, underpinning the application of the law. Antitrust 1: Principles is a prerequisite for this course.
|European Union Law Seminar||642||3||This three-credit course aims to give students a comprehensive introduction to European Union law in light of the ongoing economic and political challenges facing the 28-country bloc. In the opening weeks, the course will survey the succession of treaties that have led to today’s EU and the institutions that govern the Union, and lay out key legal and political themes and principles associated with European integration. The middle portion of the course delves into the nature of the EU legal order, including the role of the judiciary, interaction with the domestic law of member states and with international law, and the Union’s increasingly important fundamental rights framework. The final segment, after spring break, covers data privacy law and migration issues, the basics of the EU internal market and competition (antitrust) framework, and the EU’s increasingly prominent and ambitious role as an international actor in its own right. The course offers a compressed survey of the constitutional, administrative, human rights, justice and home affairs, economic and foreign relations law of the European Union. The emphasis throughout is on institutional aspects and on the relationship between the EU and its member states, with comparisons to U.S. law as appropriate. In addition to the assigned reading in preparation for each week’s meeting, the instructors will provide brief topical primary and other documents during each class period for reading and discussion. The course will also give attention to EU law research methods and sources, and students will write a 20- to 25-page research paper.|
Examines legal rules governing the proof of disputed issues of fact during adversary proceedings. The emphasis is on rules determining the admissibility of various types of evidence, including testimonial evidence (hearsay rules and impeachment of witnesses), documentary evidence, and scientific and expert evidence. The course also considers judicial notice as substitute for evidence, burdens of proof, and the effect of jury trial on rules of evidence. Civil Procedure is a prerequisite for this class.
|Family Law||212||3||The course is focused on the formation of families, marriage, marital dissolution and the division of marital assets, cohabitation, issues connected with children, and contemporary directions in the reform of family law.|
|FDA Regulation||310||2||Covers the regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including basic statutory provisions, regulations, and case law. The history of regulation is discussed, as well as the development of new legal and procedural mechanisms for regulation in light of advancing technology and new theories of consumer protection. Since the FDA has been important in establishing legal precedents governing U.S. regulatory agencies, a familiarity with this field will provide a basic understanding of how the government regulates and how administrative law works. May be 2 or 3 credits.|
|Federal Budget Law||228||2||Studies the law underlying the federal budget process, including the preparation of the president's budget, the Congressional Budget Resolution, and the appropriations and reconciliation bills. Also examines the Constitutional provisions underlying the federal budget process.|
|Federal Budget Law Seminar||651||2||
This course is identical to Law 228 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
|Federal Circuit Practice Seminar||437||2||A seminar on the practical aspects of appearing before the Federal Circuit, as well as the most relevant substantive issues currently before the Court. The seminar discusses the history of the Court, the purpose for its creation, the Court's jurisdiction, rules of practice, and the practical workings of the Court. Practical aspects of appearing before the Court will include opinion analysis, brief writing, and oral argument. The seminar also explores some of the more complex issues currently faced by the Court. Finally, the seminar will discuss Federal Circuit cases recently heard by the Supreme Court.|
|Federal Courts||226||3||Jurisdiction of the federal district courts, including federal question, diversity, and supplemental jurisdiction; appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court; federal common law; aspects of the relations of the federal and state courts, including removal, abstention, and the Anti-injunction Act; and state sovereign immunity in the federal courts.|
|Federalism Seminar||620||2||This seminar will examine a variety of topics in the political economy of constitutional federalism. Issues to be covered include the advantages and disadvantages of political decentralization, competition between state and local governments, the impact of federalism on the status of minority groups, the Founding Fathers' view of federalism, and the role of the judges in enforcing federalism through judicial review. While most of the course focuses on federalism in the United States, some readings will also employ a comparative perspective. Each student will be required to write a research paper on a federalism-related topic of his or her choice. Grading will be based partly on written work, and partly on class participation.|
|Feminist Legal Theory Seminar||653||2||
In this course, students explore the issues arising in the intersection of gender and the law. The course is structured in three parts. First, the historical, methodological, and theoretical groundwork of feminist legal theory is introduced. Second, students learn applications of this theory to specific issues. Third, in teams of two, students select, present, and lead discussion on readings for the class. Grading will be based on participation, the presentation, and a final paper.
|Financial Crises, Panics and Regulation: 1837-2008||393||2||
Markets and regulation continuously interact, often in unanticipated ways, to prevent or create financial crises, which inevitably impact the next iteration of the regulatory regime developed by Congress and regulators to oversee U.S. financial institutions, including banks, securities firms, insurance companies, mutual funds, nonbank financial companies and Government Sponsored Entities. This course will consider significant financial crises of the 20th and 21st Centuries including the Panic of 1907, the Great Depression, the 1989 Savings and Loan Crisis, the 1989 S&L and Bank Crisis, the Long Term Capital Management Crisis of 1998 and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. It will explore the legal, business, economic and regulatory factors that led up to and/or facilitated these crises and the responses that the Administrations, Congress and the regulators pursued in their aftermath. Students will be graded on a written paper and an oral presentation and defense of the paper.
|Financial Theory||197||3||This course examines the financial theory necessary to basic financial literacy, financial management, and effective legal practice. Concepts addressed will include reading financial statements, capital valuation, financial markets, methods of financing new and existing ventures, risk and return, portfolio theory, and investment vehicles. Where possible, these concept will be illustrated using case law. Grades will be based on class participation, a short paper, and a final exam.|
The deployment of new forms of financial technology by established financial institutions and by new entrants into the sector both in partnership and competition with each other is transforming how financial services are delivered. The development of new models such as marketplace lending and new technologies such as Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, blockchain technology and artificial intelligence raise a range of new issues for institutions, investors, consumers, regulators, and policymakers that the course will explore. The rapid development of FinTech increases the importance of robust cybersecurity defenses and risk management directed at preventing illegal activity and deterring malicious disruption of the functioning of the financial system or particular products or services. The course will explore these potential threats and the responses that are being pursued by the private sector and the government. Students will be graded on a written paper and an oral presentation and defense of the paper.
|First Amendment Law||164||2-3||
This course will cover the basic principles of First Amendment law related to free expression. Individual topics include the development of modern First Amendment law, the categories of unprotected speech, forum analysis, corporate political speech, and “hate speech."
|Food Law & Policy Seminar||481||2||This seminar will explore a variety of timely issues and topics in the field of Food Law & Policy, which looks at the basis and impact of laws and regulations that govern the food and beverages we grow, raise, produce, transport, buy, sell, distribute, share, cook, eat, and drink. Through readings that include law review articles; features in the mainstream press; book excerpts; case law; and research, reports, and other materials produced by a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources, students will study the relationship between the laws and policies that structure our food system – and their intended and unintended consequences. The course focuses on myriad issues related to government action (or inaction) pertaining to food and discusses issues pertaining to laws and regulations created at all levels of government. Topics this course highlights may include New York City’s ban on large sweetened drinks; local regulations pertaining to food trucks, farmers markets, and urban farming; state cottage food laws and craft beer regulations; the federal Farm Bill and farm subsidies; the USDA school lunch program; and local, state, and federal rules pertaining to GMO foods. Students will consider these topics as they relate to issues like the environment, food freedom, food safety, and the public health.|
|Foreign Relations Law||137||3||The conduct of American foreign policy is constrained by a great deal of law – on what the Constitution permits, what congressional enactments require, what domestic courts forbid or international authorities reprove. This course offers a survey of the legal terrain with a focus on defining historical disputes and contemporary controversies.|
|Foreign Relations Law Seminar||650||2-3||
This course is identical to Law 137 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
|Free Speech Clinic||136||2||
The Free Speech Clinic allows students to gain legal practice experience through pro bono representation in actual First Amendment cases (excluding the religion clauses). Clinic students work closely with experienced attorneys to identify cases of interest, research legal issues, and draft motions and briefs. In addition, clinic students will receive weekly classroom instruction on procedural and substantive issues relevant to their cases, federal and state court decisions, and recent developments in First Amendment law. The Free Speech Clinic is year-long, and open to second and third-year Law students, with preference given to those who have taken Constitutional Law. The application process requires a short statement of interest (maximum of 500 words), resume, and transcript. Enrollment is capped at twelve students.
|FTC Seminar||612||2||The seminar will examine the FTC as an institution in its many facets. The Commission's two main missions, consumer protection and antitrust, provide it with a platform for involvement with major sectors of the economy. We will examine the Commission's structure, its legal authority, and how it uses that authority in pursuing its many activities. We will address numerous issues that currently occupy so much of the agency's time, including intellectual property, health care, privacy, consumer fraud, and many others. The seminar will conclude with presentation of research projects involving particular issues the Commission faces.|
|Giles Rich Moot Court Competition||125||2||Federal Circuit Practice Seminar||
The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. Students may only register with the permission of the instructor. As of Fall 2010, students receive two (2) total credits for this class. One (1) credit is “in-class” and one (1) credit is “out-of-class”. Federal Circuit Practice Seminar is a prerequisite to this course.
|Global Antitrust Law Seminar||645||2||The seminar will cover hot topics in global antitrust, including international due process; multinational case coordination and cooperation; efforts at international convergence, such as soft law recommendations by multilateral organizations like ICN and OECD; the use of non-competition factors in competition analysis, extraterritorial application of antitrust laws; and the intersection of antitrust and trade policy. The seminar will also provide an overview of competition law and major investigations and cases in key jurisdictions, such as Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, and Korea. The course will include guest speakers, including from the U.S. antitrust agencies and leading practitioners.|
|Government by Executive Seminar||649||2||Administrative Law, Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government||
Modern-day government, scholars agree, does not come from Congress, let alone the courts. It comes from the Executive, more particularly the President and the White House. The seminar examines the political and institutional origins and consequences of this phenomenon, and it explores some of the difficult legal and constitutional questions that surround executive government (e.g., presidential control over agency rulemaking; “unorthodox” lawmaking; the executive power to suspend law enforcement; executive power to renegotiate or abrogate international agreements; and “executive federalism”). Administrative Law and Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government are prerequisites for this course.
|Government Contracts||230||2||Examines the processes by which private parties establish and perform contracts with the federal government. Specific subjects include the appropriations mechanism; the authority of government agents, sealed-bid and negotiated procurement methods; competition requirements, contract pricing, award protests; inspection, acceptance, and warranties; changes; termination; the prosecution and defense of claims; and civil and criminal sanctions for fraud. For factual illustrations, the course draws heavily upon the procurement activities of major purchasers such as the Department of Defense.|
This course is an introduction to the regulation of the American health care system and the physician-patient relationship. Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries in the United States and currently accounts for approximately 18 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. In addition, the industry is going through a tremendous restructuring in how health care is organized, delivered, and paid for, in part as a result of the Affordable Care Act (more commonly referred to as “Obamacare”) and in part due to market forces and technological developments. This course provides students with an understanding of the laws governing the physician-patient relationship and how the health care system is currently organized, financed, and regulated.
|Health Law Seminar||427||2||
This course is identical to Law 233 with the exception that it is a 2 credit course conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
This course provides an overview of healthcare compliance from conceptual, substantive, and operational perspectives. Students will explore the need for compliance programs within healthcare organizations. The course will provide an overview of the federal laws that generate the most significant compliance obligations, including False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, HIPAA, HITECH, antitrust laws, EMTALA, and tax laws. Students will also examine legal and practical issues related to the operation of a compliance program.
|Homeland Security Law||388||3||
This course provides an introduction to the policy, strategy and practical application of homeland security through an understanding of the authorizing laws, regulations, and polices that established DHS. 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.
|Homeland Security Law Seminar||426||2||
This course is identical to Law 388 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and requires a seminar paper.
|Immigration Law||235||3||Examines fundamental issues in immigration law of inadmissibility and deportability, relief from removal, asylum and refugee status, citizenship, nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, including labor certification, and administrative and judicial review.|
|Immigration Litigation Clinic||203||4||
The Clinic, offered in partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), will give students an opportunity to represent clients in a range of immigration litigation matters before the immigration court in Arlington, the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, the federal district court in Alexandria, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The Clinic will be year-long (fall and spring semesters) with students earning four letter-graded credits each semester (for eight credits total). Two credits each semester will be in-class credits, and two credits will be out-of-class.
|Immigration Policy Seminar||422||2||This course will examine U.S. immigration policy as it is embodied in our laws and procedures and will ask how our nation’s immigration policy reflect on our values as a nation. The course will discuss whom we let in, whom we keep out, how do we treat the people already here, and why. The course is broken down topically along the lines of a typical immigration law class, but this course is not concerned with the mechanics of the immigration laws. The class is intended to reach into the policy goals, the implications of policy, and the unintended consequences of poorly designed policies.|
|Income Tax||236||4||The fundamental statutory and regulatory principles upon which the federal income tax structure is based are considered, with emphasis on individual income taxation. Topics include definition and characterization of income, deductions, and the tax treatment of property transactions.|
|Independent Study||238||1-3||Each independent study course must be approved in writing by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will require a written syllabus or similar detailed description of the content of the course and the means by which the student will be evaluated. May be 1 to 3 credit hours. All credits are considered "out-of-class" credit. Students may propose to complete an independent study for a letter grade or "CR" credit.|
|Insider Trading: Moral and Policy Conflicts Seminar||431||2||
This seminar examines the competing and sometimes conflicting moral and policy goals driving U.S. insider trading law. Students will explore case law and scholarship that highlights the tension between the goals of achieving “fair” markets and “efficient” markets. Students will also examine competing notions of fairness and efficiency. For example, fairness is defined differently under insider trading law than it is under trade secret law. Insider trading doctrine currently treats trading with an information advantage as unfair in certain situations. However, trade secret law encourages transactions in which one party has a significant information advantage. A less dramatic tension exists between Pareto, Kaldor-Hicks, and other standards of economic efficiency. Students will look for the explanations and the implications of these competing standards. Grades will be based on a research paper and class participation.
|Insurance Law||242||2-3||Acquaints students with the various problems involved in risk-spreading through private and public insurance. Concepts of risk, uncertainty (or compound risk), and insurability are discussed as well as contractual problems such as mistake, fraud, and coinsurance. The impact of insurance upon the development of tort doctrines such as strict and vicarious liability and relaxed standards of causation are addressed. Government regulation of the insurance industry receives some attention.|
|Insurance Law Seminar||608||2-3||
This course is identical to Law 242 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
|Intellectual Property & Antitrust Seminar||432||2||The seminar will focus on the U.S. approach to antitrust matters involving intellectual property rights, including conduct involving standard-essential patents, with comparison to foreign approaches by courts and agencies in Canada, China, Europe, Korea, Japan, and India. The course will include guest speakers from the U.S. antitrust agencies, as well as leading practitioners. Grading will be based on class participation and a seminar paper. There are no course prerequisites, but Antitrust I: Principles as a prerequisite, or concurrent enrollment in the course, is recommended.|
|Intellectual Property Law||367||3||This course focuses on the protection of proprietary rights in inventions, writings, creative expression, software, trade secrets, trade designations, and other intangible intellectual products by federal patent, copyright, trademark and unfair competition law, and by state trade secrecy and unfair competition law. Consideration will be given to the challenges posed for traditional intellectual property paradigms by new technologies and the shift to an information-based economy. This course is designed for the non-specialist, but also serves as a foundation for the specialist.|
This course will provide students with an overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and its sources of legal authority. Students will engage in exercises (both written and oral) to analyze and draft practical guidance on relevant legal issues for the IC. Although questions of policy will inevitably be part of any analysis of the IC, this course is not a policy class. The main point is to develop a strong understanding of the establishment and evolution of the IC’s legal authorities, how the IC agencies interact with one another and the other branches of government, the respective oversight roles and responsibilities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government, and the role of the private sector in the IC. The course will conclude with a written exam.
|Intelligence Law Seminar||492||2||This seminar will provide students with an overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and its sources of legal authority. Students will engage in exercises (both written and oral) to analyze and draft practical guidance on relevant legal issues for the IC. Each class will involve an overview of the specific topic followed by either the drafting of a short memorandum addressing a hypothetical client question or a simulated inter-agency meeting. No security clearance is required since all materials and discussions will be at the unclassified level. Although this seminar is focused on issues most relevant to IC agencies, each week’s practical exercise will focus on drafting and/or negotiating skills useful and relevant to any government attorney.|
|Interbranch and Federalism Conflicts in National Security||022||1-2||
This course will cover various actual and potential disputes between the three coordinate branches over the conduct of foreign relations and the carrying out of national security policy including surveillance matters, authorizations for the use of military force and the conduct of specific military operations, the conduct of intelligence operations other than surveillance, including covert action and specific counterterrorism related programs, and the making of international agreements. The course will also examine federalism conflicts in foreign relations and national security law including interactions with foreign states, trade, investments, and sanctions-related matters, as well as the application of federal authorities in the states in times of national crisis.
|International Commercial Arbitration||391||1||This is a course on the law and practice of arbitration as a means of commercial dispute resolution. The course places arbitration in the continuum of overall methods of dispute resolution from negotiation to litigation. It then deals with the laws which encourage agreements to arbitrate. The bulk of the course will be the development of an actual arbitration matter from the drafting of a demand for arbitration to the issuance of an arbitration award.|
|International Commercial Transactions||245||2||This course provides the foundation for understanding and working with international commerce. It approaches the subject from the perspective of essential payment mechanisms such as open account, banker's acceptances, collections, and letters of credit. From this perspective, it will consider contract terms for payment and delivery, the role of international custom, transport law and practices that impact commercial transactions and the role of third party intermediaries. In addition to judicial opinions from the US and elsewhere and drafting exercises based on actual documentation from actual transactions, the course will provide an option to visit the operations department of a local bank if there is sufficient interest.|
|International Criminal Law||146||1||
This course will focus on the prosecution of international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression. We will study the development of the law of these crimes, including jurisdiction, the elements of crimes, modes of liability, and defenses, as well as the institutional, political, logistical, and procedural challenges faced by prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges who adjudicate these crimes. Students will be expected to engage throughout with the question of whether, and if so to what extent, individual criminal prosecution by international criminal courts and tribunals is a legitimate and effective tool for addressing mass human rights violations during or after conflict.
|International Environmental Law||255||2||This is an introductory course on the theory and practice of international environmental law including bilateral and multilateral agreements and nonbinding instruments. It will touch, generally, on the sources of law: customary international law, general principles of law, decisions and actions of international organizations, and instruments negotiated by governments or developed transnationally in the private sector. Substantive areas explored in this class include transboundary pollution and disasters, ozone depletion, climate change, water allocation, biological diversity and endangered species, and environment and trade. The relationship between international environmental law and national sovereignty will also be discussed throughout the course.|
|International Finance and Regulation Seminar Law||693||2||
This seminar will provide the tool-kit for students to achieve a critical understanding of the legal, regulatory, and policy debate around the global financial markets. The seminar has two aims: 1) to analyze the principles and rationales of financial regulation; and 2) to survey the primary transactions, institutions, and regulatory regimes that characterize the modern global financial markets. While focused on the international financial regulatory framework, the main reference jurisdiction is the United State, with a secondary focus on the European Union and the United Kingdom. The final grade in the seminar is based primarily on a major research paper.
|International Intellectual Property and Policy Seminar||418||2||This seminar examines the major treaties and other international agreements providing protection for patents, trademarks, and copyrights and other forms of intellectual property, including the World Trade Organization TRIPS Agreements, the US free trade agreements and the World Intellectual Property Organization treaties. Particular attention will be given to the roles of the WTO and the WIPO. The course also examines some of the recent issues that have attracted controversy in the international arena as well as relevant recent developments in foreign countries, including the European Union member states and China.|
|International Law||248||3||Considers traditional public international law issues and analyzes them in an economic and game-theoretic perspective. Emphasis is on basic concepts of public international law, including sources and evolution of international law; relation of international law to municipal law; subjects of international law; peaceful settlement of disputes; international agreements; jurisdictional competence; state responsibility and treatment of aliens; the use of force; and the evolving role of international organizations.|
|International Tax||250||3||Income Tax||
International taxation profoundly shapes modern business activities. Large companies, such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, structure their activities in sophisticated ways to minimize their tax liabilities. The importance of international taxation is bound to increase with the predicted rise in global economic activity and integration. Consequently, most tax lawyers practice today, at least to some extent, in the international arena. This course introduces students to U.S. income tax laws and policies relating to international transactions. The course emphasizes fundamental issues and legal concepts as they relate to the taxation of foreign income of U.S. persons, and U.S. income of foreign persons. Income Tax is a prerequisite, unless a student has prior tax experience. There are no other prerequisites, and a review of the relevant material from Income Tax will be done in the beginning of the course.
|International Trade Law and Regulation||253||3||
Covers the theory and practice of international trade law including U.S. laws and the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime. Includes trade remedy litigation (e.g. antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard investigations) and export controls for U.S. national security purposes (including the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, U.S. Department of State (DDTC); the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (BIS); Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of Treasury (OFAC)). Also examines domestic and international anti-bribery issues (including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)).
|Internet and Online Law||361||2||
The ability for near instant communication and downloading of information over the Internet has caused its recent exponential growth as a significant information technology (IT) tool. However, the Internet's growth over the past several years has generated numerous new issues of law and led to the creative application of conventional legal principles in new contexts at a furious pace. The objective of this course is to acquaint the student with the Internet and the traditional and novel legal issues arising from its growth.
|Introduction to U.S. Law||093||1||This course is designed to provide LL.M. students who did not receive their legal education in the United States with an overview of U.S. law. Students will develop basic research and writing skills necessary for the study and practice of law in the U.S., while covering substantive areas of law, including contracts, torts, and Constitutional law. This course will not provide an exhaustive survey of each topic, but rather exposure to a large amount of foundational information in a short period of time.|
|Introduction to United States Law (JM Only)||070||3||
This course is designed to provide JM students with an overview of United States law. This course will cover general areas of law, including regulatory and business law, as well as contracts, property and tort law, and their applicability in public institutions and business settings. This course will not provide an exhaustive survey of each topic, but rather provide exposure to a large amount of foundational information in a short period of time.
|Jessup International Moot Court Competition||126||2||The purpose of this course is to prepare student for effective participation in the Jessup International Moot Court Competition. All class participants must be members of the GMU Jessup International Moot Court Team. As of Fall 2010, students receive two (2) total credits for this class. One (1) credit is “in-class” and one (1) credit is “out-of-class”.|
|JM Capstone I||076||2||
This course is designed to provide JM students with an avenue to draw upon the legal knowledge they have received, and to further develop the problem solving orientation and skills to interact with attorneys, recognize legal issues and flag applicable law. As a “capstone,” students will select their own topic within their field of employment and directly related to their profession on which they will write a thesis under faculty supervision.
|JM Capstone II||077||2||
This course is an extension of Capstone I. Students will research and draft their theses under the guidance of a faculty member.
|Jurisprudence||350||2||This course is an introduction to the philosophy of law. The first half will deal with the descriptive problem of what the law is. Is the law reducible to sociological facts — in particular power? Is it reducible to ethics? Is it something completely different — neither sociological nor ethical? Readings will consist of the classics in the field, including John Austin, H.L.A. Hart, Hans Kelsen, Ronald Dworkin and the American Legal Realists. The second half of the course will deal with normative problems of what the law ought to be. Should the law promote economic efficiency? Should it promote some other conception of justice? Special emphasis will be placed on economic and corrective justice accounts of tort law. Readings will consist of more recent discussions of these and other topics, including material by Richard Posner, Jules Coleman, Ernest Weinrib, Jeremy Waldron and David Brink. May be 2 or 3 credits.|
|Jurisprudence Readings Seminar||622||2||
This seminar is devoted to a close reading of major works of legal and political philosophy. For Spring 2019, the seminar will consider the legal and political thought of William Shakespeare. Students who enrolled in Law 622 in prior years may enroll in the course a second time because the assigned readings change semester to semester.
|Jurisprudence Seminar||435||3||This is an interdisciplinary course introducing students to the fundamental question of post-World War II Anglo-American jurisprudence, the problem of deriving meaning from written texts. The derivation of meaning from written documents characterizes attorneys' work (interpreting cases and contracts, for instance), and is the essence of judges' work. But it also characterizes the work of biblical exegetes and of literary critics, and it turns out that the debates in those disciplines mirror those of modern jurisprudence. This course explores those debates, all the while examining the legal function as something possibly unique.|
|Labor Law||256||2-3||An overview of the law of union and management relations in the private sector: development and coverage of federal labor law; representation elections; unfair labor practices; relations between employees and their union; employee concerted activity; anti-union discrimination; union picketing, strikes, and violence; regulation of collective bargaining; and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements.|
|Land Use Planning||258||3||Property||
This course focuses on government restrictions on the use of privately owned land and government takings of land. It reviews nuisance law, zoning and development restrictions, the use of eminent domain and the issue of regulatory takings. The course also considers the relative institutional competence of markets and planners; the legal rights and duties of zoning and planning administrators, legislators, and developers; the goals of subdivision regulations; how the regulatory process works in practice; residential community associations; the efficacy of private land use controls; how infrastructure needs are financed, the problem of local government and regional needs, and, finally, what happens when government assumes the role of landowner or land developer. Property is a prerequisite for this course.
|Law & Economics||123||2||
Law & Economics (formerly Advanced Economic Foundations of Legal Studies) studies how legal systems, and subsequent decisions, promote economic efficiency. In this course we first examine the process of inter-temporal voluntary exchange as an important source of market inefficiency. We then examine how private treaty solutions, such as reputations, sanctions and exclusion, attempt to overcome this inefficiency. The course then proceeds from the assumption that the law should act incrementally to maximize the gains from exchange by working with and improving on private solutions. At the same time we assume that the legal process is subject to rent seeking, within, by legal professionals, and without, by regulatory capture. This susceptibility implies a need for checks and balances on how the law is used and leads to the recognition that society must be willing to limit the scope of the law as an instrumental tool for social justice.
|Law and Economics Colloquium||208||2||This is an advanced course that will bring together outside scholars, resident faculty, and Scalia Law students for discussion of cutting-edge research papers in the law and economics tradition. Approximately two of every three weeks will feature a leading scholar presenting a paper growing out of his or her research in the law and economics tradition. On weeks for which there is no outside speaker, the seminar will meet to review prior workshops and to discuss papers to be presented in later sessions. Students must write short critiques of the papers and are expected to engage in the discussion. The critiques are due at the beginning of each workshop.|
|Law and Literature||239||2||The class reads a variety of classic and contemporary texts to illustrate how law and legal problems are portrayed in literature. This is both an exercise in our understanding of law as well as a lesson in how to read texts. We also can think of a text as a kind of evidence, legal or otherwise. Grading is based on a combinations of papers; students have an option of one long paper or two or three shorter papers, focusing on the works read and key themes of the class. Readings change each year, but typical readings include the Bible, Shakespeare, Kafka, Melville, James, and others.|
|Law and Religion Seminar||635||3||The Law & Religion Seminar treats the law of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, both the Free Exercise and the Nonestablishment Clauses, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, using the leading textbook in the field (McConnell, Garvey and Berg), and some supplementary readings to keep the student abreast of this area’s continual evolution. There is also some treatment of history, religious freedom in connection with family law topics, natural law, international religious freedom law, and leading religions’ doctrines and teachings concerning religious freedom. It is a paper course, requiring a 25-40pp paper, which accounts for 55% of the student’s grade. Class participation accounts for the remainder.|
|Law Journal Management||511||1||Limited to incoming editorial board members of the law school’s academic journals. As of Fall 2010, students receive one (1) credit for this class which is “out-of-class” credit and graded “CR”.|
|Law of Armed Conflict and Military Operational Law||211||2||
This course will involve a deep examination of domestic and international law related to both jus ad bellum, the law applicable to the potential use of armed force, and jus in bello, the law applicable in the course of an armed conflict. The course will also examine the domestic authorities applicable to authorizing the use of force, as well as the laws and policies applicable to the actual conduct of war in an operational setting. The course will also specifically discuss the role of lawyers in warfighting today, including the role of lawyers in advising military commanders and others in the field. The course will cover matters related to the DOD Law of War Manual as well as the Operational Law Handbook for Military Commanders.
|Law of Government Oversight and Internal Investigations Seminar||448||2||This seminar is intended to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective practitioners in the fields of government oversight and internal investigations. In particular, this course will examine the role of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General in protecting national security. Class sessions will rely on the case study method to illustrate relevant concepts related to internal investigations and program reviews. Discussion will focus heavily on Inspector General legal authorities, the report writing process, and effective interviewing techniques. In addition, collaborative partnerships are imperative to conducting oversight of domestic intelligence activities and national security investigations. Thus, legal authorities of the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Defense will also be discussed at length.|
|Law Practice Management||394||2||This course is intended to give students who intend to enter private practice the basic foundation in the business aspects of law necessary to enable them to operate their own practice or to become a financially productive member of a firm. The course will expose students to all aspects of the administrative and business side of a law firm whether the student wants to hang out a shingle or become a partner in a medium to large size firm. It will acquaint students with the practical and ethical issues surrounding billing, trust accounts, and collections; marketing for lawyers; and client interaction from the initial consult to conclusion of the representation. Classes will include lecture, discussion, interactive role playing, and written projects.|
|Lawyering 2.0 – Current Issues in Technology Law||086||1||
Big technology companies — Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others — find themselves increasingly in the legal, policy, and political spotlight. And inside those companies, the legal teams are called on to solve a seemingly unending range of challenges, in a fast-moving environment of innovation and disruption. The docket of a tech lawyer today can run the gamut, from more traditional tech-law issues like privacy and intellectual property, to newer controversies involving antitrust, government data requests and censorship, and most recently election law and political speech. In order to navigate these issues effectively, lawyers must combine legal expertise with practical business judgment as well as an understanding of the broader social and political context. In this seminar course, taught by Ted Ullyot, former General Counsel of Facebook, students will develop those skills by analyzing real-world tech-company legal controversies from the present and the recent past.
|Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property||264||2||A survey of the legal and economic theory of intellectual property including the common law premises for the protection of ideas and their embodiments and the evolution of statutory and judge-made law. The first half of the course concentrates on the underlying economic and property theory and law, and the second half develops the application to the statutory and common law classes of intellectual property: patents, copyright, trademarks, mask works, and trade secrets.|
|Legal Clinic - Innovation Law||326||3||
The Clinic will provide teams of students the opportunity to counsel entrepreneurs, creators, and inventors from the university's internal and external communities. Clinic students will learn about entrepreneurship and commercializing innovation and creativity, as well as how to craft an overall legal strategy in the context of a client's business, technology, and/or artistic vision. Anticipated projects include providing an initial assessment of legal issues and business planning, followed by specific legal services such as entity formation, securing IP, or drafting employment agreements upon mutual agreement with the client. Students will earn three (3) credits for the Clinic, (two (2) in class and one (1) out of class for project work). Students will apply for one of three tracks (business law; IP; or tax) and must have completed as a prerequisite the introductory course for that specialty (Business Associations for the business law track; Patent Law I or 4-credit Patent Law course for the IP track; or Income Tax for the tax track). Preference will be given to students who have taken more than one course in their selected specialty area.
|Legal Clinic - Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (MVETS)||309||4||
M-VETS enables students to assist active-duty members of the armed forces, their families and veterans in a wide variety of civil and administrative, litigation and non-litigation matters, including consumer-protection, landlord-tenant, family law, contracts, and military law and entitlement matters. Students are supervised by law school instructors or private practitioners with subject matter expertise, attend 2 hours of weekly classroom instruction and status meetings, and conduct an average of 6-10 hours per week (fall & spring), and 10-12 hours per week (summer), of out-of-class casework. Beginning fall 2019, students registered for the fall or spring session of the clinic will receive four (4) total graded credits for this course, two (2) of which are “in-class” credits and two (2) of which are “out-of-class” credits. Students registered for the summer session of the clinic will receive four (4) total graded credits for this course, one (1) of which is “in-class” and three (3) of which are “out-of-class.” Visit mvets.law.gmu.edu for additional information. Application and permission of the Director are required for registration. Information about application deadlines and process is circulated prior to registration each semester. Although not dispositive, preference and priority may be given to students who express an interest in participating in M-VETS as Student Advisors for two (2) consecutive semesters (student may take M-VETS up to two times) and students who possess a third-year practice certificate or ability to acquire one, and who have completed Family Law, Virginia Practice, Trial Advocacy and/or Pretrial Practice.
|Legal Clinic - Mental Illness||277||3||
The Law and Mental Illness Clinic allows students to gain practical experience in the judicial, legislative, academic and advocacy aspects of the law concerning the treatment of individuals with severe mental illness. The classroom component of the course studies the history and development of laws affecting the mentally ill, while also preparing the students for representation of petitioners during civil commitment hearings. Students may locate and interview witnesses, appear at commitment hearings, perform direct and cross-examinations and present legal argument. This course is a letter-graded course offered in the fall and spring, and students may receive 3 credits total (2 in-class credits and 1 out of-class credit). Space is limited, and registration is open to students who have completed their first year of law school. For more information about the program's requirements, please see the Information Packet for the Legal Clinic–Mental Illness.
|Legal Clinic - Practical Preparation of GMU Patent Applications||358||2||Patent Law I, Patent Law II, Patent Writing Theory and Practice||
In this clinic, students write actual applications that will be filed for inventors affiliated with George Mason University. The students are each assigned an invention, and work directly with the inventor(s), who are generally George Mason University professors or staff, to write a patent application covering the invention. Students are instructed as to best practices before meeting with the inventor(s) and drafting the application, and then are critiqued regarding their written patent applications. The patent applications will be written in stages, including invention disclosure considerations, drawings, claims, and specification, with critique on each step in the process. Multiple drafts of the complete application will be written and critiqued until it is ready for filing. This course is a graded course offered in the spring and counts as a writing (W) course towards the upper-level writing requirement. Students may earn 2 credits total (1 in-class credit and 1 out-of-class credit). Space is limited, and registration is open only to students who have taken Patent Law I, Patent Law II, Patent Writing Theory and Practice or equivalent experience. For more information about the program's requirements, please see the Information Packet for the Legal Clinic - Practical Preparation of GMU Patent Applications at Clinics, Externships, and Legal Practicum
|Legal Clinic - Supreme Court||185||4||Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government||
The Supreme Court Clinic, offered in partnership with Wiley Rein LLP, provides pro bono legal representation before the United States Supreme Court. The year-long clinic provides Scalia Law students with the opportunity to work closely with Wiley Rein attorneys to identify cases of interest, research legal issues, and draft Supreme Court briefs on behalf of parties and amici at both the certiorari and merits stages. Students accepted into the clinic also will receive classroom instruction, analyze federal and state appellate decisions for possible litigation opportunities, and attend at least one Supreme Court argument per Term. The clinic is a two semester (fall and spring), graded class, with two credits awarded each semester. Space is limited, and students must have completed Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government in order to be eligible for the clinic. Applications are available through CAAS. For more information about the program's requirements, please see the Information Packet for the Legal Clinic — Supreme Court at Legal Clinic-Supreme Court.
This course, which is open to students in their final year, offers a substantive review of topics typically covered on the bar exam, along with practice exams and individual counseling on study techniques. The class is designed for students who need or want a supplement to other traditional methods of preparing for the bar exam. This course is not a substitute for the commercial bar courses that most students take after graduation. The learning methodology will be iterative, consisting of substantive lectures and materials followed by practice-testing and analysis. The course will begin by reviewing the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) subjects; the majority of the course will then cover heavily-tested Essay Examination subjects. Although designed to meet the particular needs of Virginia applicants, much of the substantive coverage will be relevant for other jurisdictions as well. Practice-testing will include actual MBE and Essay Examination questions, and all substantive materials will be written by the instructor specifically for this course. Students will be able to monitor their progress during the semester, both individually and relative to their peers. All students will also meet individually with the instructor to discuss their progress and specific steps they can take to maximize their odds on the Bar Exam. Grading will be Pass/Fail (CR/NC) based on timely and complete submission of assignments. Students will be expected to complete weekly assignments and are advised to plan their time accordingly.
|Legal Issues in a Global Pandemic||117||1||Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government||
This seminar will look at the many legal issues raised by pandemics, and the novel questions arising from the current coronavirus crisis in particular. We will begin by examining practices and precedents established in earlier epidemics, such as early 20th century small pox epidemics and the Spanish flu. We will consider the scope of governmental power to respond to such crises, including issues such as presidential authority, the division of power between the federal and state government, including dormant commerce clause issues. A major focus will be the impact of public health measures such as lock downs and quarantines on individual rights, ranging from movement and religion to guns and abortion. Other areas will include international legal responsibility, tort liability, and contractual excuse. Constitutional Law I (Law 121) is a prerequisite for this course.
|Legal Practicum - Regulatory Comments||300||2||
This course teaches students to effectively influence the U.S. federal rulemaking process. Students will learn a) how the federal regulatory process works, b) the role that public comments play in agency decision making, c) practical strategies for producing comments that are more likely to affect regulatory decisions than the typical comment submitted to the agencies, and d) the content and style of writing best suited to this aspect of administrative law.
|Legal Practicum: Global Antitrust Regulatory Comments||304||3||
This course provides students with the opportunity to engage in the global antitrust community by analyzing an active proposal by a competition agency or legislative body to modify existing competition law in a foreign jurisdiction. The course combines practical lectures with hands-on experience in research and writing comments on behalf of the Global Antitrust Institute (GAI), along with the GAI faculty. It is designated both a "Writing" ("W") and an "Experiential" ("E") course.
|Legal Profession: History & Practice||192||3||This course is based on annual (a) employer and staff input about the attributes and attitudes most employers want to see in today’s law students and graduates, and (b) student input about those areas in which they see their own greatest needs and opportunities for improvement. The course will approach those topics–which will likely vary from year to year, and from the mundane to the sublime–from a variety of perspectives. Expect to spend time on cases and statutes and regulations and constitutions, and on history and technology and literature and balance sheets, always with an eye to helping everyone in the course (including the instructor) become a more thoughtful, competent, and self-aware lawyer who can prosper with dignity and integrity in the modern marketplace.|
|Legal Profession: Writing Under Pressure||081||1||
Senior lawyers frequently say the best new lawyers are the ones who show up knowing how to listen and write on demand – that is, to receive an assignment and simply do it, pronto. The purpose of this course is to help you strengthen four listening and writing skills that will come in handy no matter what kind of lawyering you do. This course will be graded CR/NC.
|Legal Research & Writing (JM Only)||071||2||
This course is designed to introduce JM students to legal research methods, knowledge of general legal concepts, and the art of reading and interpreting legal writing. Students will learn the research, analysis and writing process through an assigned series of open and closed memoranda.
|Legal Theory||145||2-3||This course covers the central arguments, history, and development of general jurisprudence. The two historical conflicts, around which the course is organized, are (1) natural law and natural rights versus legal positivism, and (2) formalism versus legal realism. Coverage of these topics extends to the aftermath of these disputes with present day scholarly debates about the nature of law and methodology of legal scholarship. This course is being offered for 2 or 3 credits. Students registered for the 2 credit option (Section 001) will complete the course after nine class sessions. Students registered for the 3 credit option (Section 002) will complete the course after 14 class sessions.|
|Legal Writing for Law Clerks||201||1||
This course is designed for students who are interested in securing or who have secured a judicial clerkship, and will explore the responsibilities of a judicial law clerk and provide practical training so that enrollees will hit the ground running when they start in chambers. Enrollees will study a range of writings including: articles by judges and scholars on the role of the judicial law clerk; judicial opinions written in various styles by judges from all levels of the judiciary; and briefs filed on both sides of pending cases. As part of the course, students will write a bench memo, a final judicial opinion, and give an oral presentation.
|Legislation and Statutory Interpretation||266||2||
An introduction to the theory and practice of statutory interpretation. This course begins with an examination of the process by which statutes are generated and the application of economic analysis to that process. The remainder of the course considers the implications of this analysis for a variety of legal issues arising in the interpretation and implementation of statutes, especially the principles and techniques of statutory construction.
|Legislative Advocacy||141||3||This course teaches how to be a top advocate before government. The course involves a combination of case law, lobbying examples, research, and prominent guest speakers to enable students to know what they need to know to embark on a successful advocacy career. The course will provide students with useful professional skills even if a career in lobbying is not the student’s ultimate goal. This course will be graded CR/NC beginning Fall 2017.|
|Levy Workshop||195||2||Year-long seminar taught by the Director of the Levy Fellow program that all Levy fellows are required to take in each of their second and third years. The course also is available to regular JD and LLM students with the approval of the Director. For Levy Fellows, a passing grade of "C" or above will be required for continuation of the Fellowship and receipt of the JD degree.|
|Litigation and Dispute Resolution Theory||205||3||Provides the cornerstone of the Litigation Law track. It introduces the theory and practice of litigation and other forms of dispute resolution, and draws upon the basic tools of decision theory, game theory, and economic analysis to address some of the key features of the litigation process and its institutions. Among the topics addressed are the decision to commence litigation and whether to settle or go to trial; settlement negotiations; strategic behavior as affecting decision making by both private actors and the courts; economic analyses of litigation; agency or moral hazard problems presented by both lawyers and courts; the impact of attorney's fee arrangements, fee-shifting rules, and court-imposed sanctions; party versus court control of proceedings; and the effect of enforcement costs on competing substantive legal rules.|
|Litigation Law Track Thesis||271||2||Requires the student to develop, expand, and refine a research paper into an article suitable for publication in a law journal. This course is limited to students in the Litigation Track.|
|Local Government Law||272||3-4||Decision-making processes of local government bodies; types and authority of city, county, and special-function local government units; intergovernmental relations; organizational structure and modifications.|
|LRWA I - Introduction to Legal Research, Writing and Analysis||096||2||Introduces the student to research methods, analysis of legal concepts, and the art of legal writing. Students begin to learn the research, analysis and writing process through an assigned series of open and closed memoranda.|
|LRWA II - Trial Level Writing||097||3||Students continue developing their research, analytical and writing skills by working through a trial-level problem. Students will also participate in an oral argument.|
|LRWA III - Appellate Writing||098||2||
Appellate Writing builds on the practical legal writing skills students mastered during their first year. This course provides an opportunity to perform in-depth legal research and a high level of legal analysis as students brief both sides of an appellate case and participate in oral arguments.
|LRWA IV - Legal Drafting||099||2||
Legal Drafting introduces students to research, analytical, and writing skills related to drafting legal documents that govern future behavior. In the transactional drafting class, students practice drafting skills used in private transactions by drafting and revising private party contracts. In the legislative and regulatory drafting class, students practice drafting skills related to public laws by drafting and revising statutes and regulations. Both classes emphasize modern drafting concepts and practical skills.
|Maritime and Space Law Seminar||657||2||
This course will focus on the domestic and international law and policies applicable to the maritime and space domains, including the Law of the Sea and the Outer Space Treaty. The course will examine the historical antecedents of modern law and the ways in which they have influenced the development of current constructs and will also examine proposals for modifications to such laws and policies, as well as emerging issues in these domains. The course will also examine the roles and responsibilities of lawyers advising military commanders and others operating in these domains and setting policy with respect to such operations.
This course focuses on the structure and goals of the mediation process and on the skills and techniques used to assist parties in overcoming barriers to dispute resolution. Skills are learned through readings and discussions of the theoretical bases for mediation and through interactive participation in simulations, exercises, and role plays. The course also examines the roles of attorneys and clients in mediation, ethical issues for lawyers and mediators, dealing with difficult people, power imbalances, and cultural considerations. Previous students have used this course to satisfy the skills training required by the Virginia Supreme Court to become certified as state mediators.
|Mental Illness Law||357||2||
This course covers various aspects of Virginia mental illness law. Class lectures, discussions, and assignments will cover the history of mental illness law, the involuntary commitment process in Virginia, Constitutional rights of the mentally ill, alternatives to involuntary commitment, guardianships/conservatorships, medication over objection, competency to stand trial, and civil commitment of sexually violent offenders. Assignments will also include mock involuntary commitment hearings.
This course covers the broad range of legal issues at play in the music ecosystem—broadly construed as the chain of composition, performance, recording, distribution, and playback. Music recording and playback devices have often been at the forefront of each stage of media technology and so the course covers not only copyright issues, but also patents, other IP, and contract issues. The course will cover both policy considerations as well as practical skills aspects of representing different players in the ecosystem. Grading is based primarily on quizzes and legal document drafting.
|National Security Law||384||3||This lecture course will explore the distribution of national security powers amongst the three coordinate branches of government and engage students in understanding the laws and policies that govern the legality of war, military operations in wartime, intelligence collection, protection of national security information, foreign intelligence surveillance, covert action, special military operations, offensive counterterrorism operations, the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of terrorism suspects, including military commissions, the domestic use of the military, homeland security, cybersecurity, and other current issues in the national security area. The class will also include discussion of materials declassified in recent months relating to foreign intelligence collection and offensive counterterrorism operations, as well as materials previously declassified, and will examine the legal analysis supporting these specific efforts and the policy questions raised by them.|
|National Security Law Seminar||406||2||
This course is identical to Law 384 with the exception that it is a 2 credit conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
|Negotiation and Legal Settlement||303||3||This interactive course introduces students to the theory and practice of negotiations. Topics include strategy, ethics, communication, collaborative lawyering, deal-making, mediation and settlement of disputes. Students will be introduced to negotiation theory, including game theory, and develop negotiating skills by participating in simulations, analyzing bargaining behavior, discussing negotiation concepts and receiving critique. A particular focus will be the iterative process of text-based negotiations -- from contracts, to writing for publication, to international treaties. Negotiation simulations will focus on typical negotiation problems faced by lawyers such as the settlement of lawsuits and the negotiation of various business transactions. Grades are based on class participation and command of negotiation principles as demonstrated in simulations, as well as several writing assignments. The class is limited to 16 students. Class attendance is required. Note: Students must attend the first class in order to be enrolled.|
Nonprofit organizations are an influential and significant sector in the United States. They range from small volunteer organizations to large corporations. This course will provide a survey of the law governing nonprofit organizations as well as an introduction to the practice of non-profit law. From the doctrinal perspective, the course will focus on federal and state law and regulations and case law that govern tax-exempt organizations. In addition, the course will examine the role of the regulatory agencies, particularly the IRS, and the practical and strategic considerations for the lawyers that represent such organizations. The course also incorporates a consideration of the role of the nonprofit sector and the policy implications for contemporary society.
|Operational Cyber and Intelligence Law Seminar||658||2||
This course will specifically focus on educating students on the laws and policies applicable to cyber and intelligence operations, including the application of domestic and international law, such as how the law of armed conflict principles of necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity apply to cyber and intelligence operations. The course will also examine the emerging issues in these areas, as well as proposals for modifications to existing domestic and international legal constructs in these areas. The course will also examine the oversight of such operations by the judicial and legislative branches of government and will explore matters related to the roles and responsibilities of lawyers advising military commanders and others on such matters.
Examines the taxation of partnerships and limited liability companies.
|Patent and Know-How Licensing||286||2||Patent Law I||
Covers the business and legal criteria necessary to implement and maintain successful patent licensing programs. Subject areas covered are business objectives in licensing; rights and duties of license parties; determining and negotiating the terms and clauses of the contract; administering and enforcing the license; antitrust and misuse constraints on the business and law of licensing; and special problems in trade secrets, know-how, and show-how contracts. Patent Law I is a prerequisite to this course.
|Patent Law||338||4||This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of the law of patents in the United States. The course covers the history, origin and function of the patent system; the nature of patents as property and as legal instruments; comparisons with other forms of intellectual property; subject matter eligible for patenting; the conditions for patentability of an invention; the disclosure requirements for a patent application; the meaning and function of patent claims as property definitions; patent prosecution, including conduct giving rise to the unenforceability of a patent; post-grant procedures; infringement of a patent, including claim interpretation and acts giving rise to infringement; equitable defenses to a charge of infringement; remedies; patent enforcement; and patent misuse.|
|Patent Law I||284||2||Provides an introduction to the basic principles of the law of patents in the United States. Covers the history, origin and function of the patent system; the nature of patents as property and as legal instruments; comparisons with other forms of intellectual property; subject matter eligible for patenting; the conditions for patentability of an invention; and the disclosure requirements for a patent application.|
|Patent Law II||292||2||Patent Law I||
A continuation of Patent Law I. This course focuses on the meaning and function of patent claims as property definitions; patent prosecution, including conduct giving rise to the unenforceability of a patent; post-grant procedures; infringement of a patent, including claim interpretation and acts giving rise to infringement; equitable defenses to a charge of infringement; remedies; patent enforcement; and patent misuse. Patent Law I is a prerequisite to this course.
|Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar||438||3||Patent Law I||
The course covers all core stages of a patent infringement action--from the filing of a complaint, to trial before judge and jury. Students work together as a litigation team representing one party in a patent infringement case against a team of students from Suffolk Law School in Boston. The course culminates in a trial either in DC or in Boston depending on the year (2013 will be in DC). Throughout the semester, the students participate in the various aspects of the case including drafting pleadings, working on written and document discovery, briefing and arguing claim construction (before a judge), taking and defending depositions, preparing expert reports, drafting summary judgment motions, and presenting at trial. A wide variety of roles and responsibilities are available and involve varying degrees of writing, research, and oral advocacy skills. Patent Law I is a prerequisite for this course.
|Patent Litigation at the ITC||349||2||Patent Law I||
This course provides an in-depth examination of the U.S. International Trade Commission and its adjudication of patent litigation disputes under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The course will focus on all aspects of litigation at the ITC, from the institution of an investigation under Section 337 through the Commission’s review of an Administrative Law Judge’s decision, as well as key Federal Circuit decisions involving the ITC. Students will not only learn the unique procedures of the ITC, but will also be exposed to policy considerations and the practical application of U.S. patent law in ITC investigations. Patent Law I is a prerequisite for this course.
|Patent Office Litigation||306||2||
The recent passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) has shifted the battleground of certain patent challenges from district court to the USPTO by creating new, more powerful, fast-track, litigation-like review proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review, and the transitional program for covered business method patents. This course will cover practical aspects of how patent office litigation proceedings are used on their own and in conjunction with district court litigation to achieve client aims. The course also explores the interface between the proceedings and the district courts, the USITC, and the Federal Circuit, presents hypothetical scenarios addressing situations that are expected to occur, and provides an overview of comparable proceedings in selected countries to provide students with an international perspective. The course will involve lecture with frequent opportunities for student input and consideration of how to counsel clients on available patent office litigation options and limitations. Practical strategies and a working case study for analysis will be used. Patent Law I and Patent Law II are recommended for this course.
|Patent Prosecution||294||2||Patent Law I, Patent Law II||
This course builds upon Patent Law I and II by providing an in depth analysis of the substantive and procedural law relating to the prosecution of patent applications in the Patent and Trademark Office. The course emphasizes various strategies for responding to office actions, avoiding and overcoming objections and rejections, and avoiding prosecution history estoppels arising under Supreme Court and Federal Circuit case law. The course stresses how patent prosecution affects the value of patents. Patent Law I and Patent Law II are prerequisites to this course.
|Patent Writing Theory and Practice||351||2||Patent Law I, Patent Law II||
This course applies principles learned in earlier patent law courses to the writing of applications for patents to accord them their maximum legal effect. The readability of patents by lay judges and jurors is also stressed. Patent Law I and Patent Law II are prerequisites to this course.
|Perspectives on Regulation||289||2-3||This course introduces students to regulatory institutions and the political economy of regulatory processes. With this foundation, students will examine current or proposed regulation and the costs, benefits, and incentives they create.|
|Perspectives on the Individual, Family, and Social Institutions||344||2-3||Wealth (capital) creation and transmission in the context of the individual rather than the firm unifies this sequence. Wealth, in the broad sense considered here, means not only the person's accumulation of financial assets but also his or her earning capacity, moral values and contributions to society. Although much of the approach will be law-and-economics based, other disciplines will necessarily inform the discussion as well. Biology, sociology, political science, history, and philosophy all will play a part.|
|Perspectives on the Individual, Family, and Social Institutions Seminar||429||2||
This course is identical to Law 344 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.
|Poverty Law Clinic||202||4||
The Poverty Law Clinic, offered in partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV), will provide students with first-hand experience practicing poverty law – laws that apply particularly to the poor and disadvantaged members of our community in the most important aspects of an individual’s life: housing (preventing homelessness and ensuring habitable living conditions); safety (protective orders for the health and safety of families); financial stability (consumer protection matters which combat illegal business tactics and protect limited income); and elder advocacy (assisting senior citizens with personal declarative documents, fighting elder abuse, and nursing home discharge matters). The Clinic will provide classroom instruction on poverty law and a simultaneous real-world clinic experience through the assignment of LSNV cases. The Clinic is a year-long (fall and spring semesters) with students earning four letter-graded credits each semester (for eight credits total). Two credits each semester will be in-class credits, and two credits will be out-of-class. The Clinic is open to students who have completed their first year of law school (2L, 3L, 4E students). There are no course prerequisites.
|Preparing to Be a Law Clerk/First Year Associate||140||2-3||
This course is designed to prepare students for the rigors associated with being a law clerk for a state court trial or appellate judge. It also will have application in your practice as an associate at a law firm. Starting with the interview process for clerkship jobs, resume writing and interviewing, and the role of the law clerk, all the way to the nuts and bolts for preparing motions, bench briefs and presenting cases to judges and partners, this course will address matters associated with the highly competitive world of being a law clerk. There will be several writing components to this course and it is suggested, although not required, that students have taken Evidence before enrolling. This course is graded “CR.”
This course is designed for students with an interest in pursuing a career in litigation. The class is divided into two law firms that litigate against each other in two cases - a tort case and a contract case. Each firm represents the plaintiff in one case and the defendant in the other. Students review and then practice the major steps in the pretrial litigation process including litigation planning, informal fact investigation, legal investigation, pleading, all facets of discovery, pretrial motions, and settlement strategy.
|Privacy and Information Security Law||243||2||The course explores the rapid development of the law governing the use and disclosure of personal and other information by government entities and private sector parties. The course also examines the emerging law regarding the obligation to protect information from misuse or access by unauthorized third parties and liability arising from such misuse or access.|
|Products Liability||296||2||Discusses the historical development of product liability as a branch of contracts, through express and implied warranties, and of torts, through abnormally dangerous activities, joint tortfeasors, and industry-wide liability. Students address the benefits and costs of such a system in economic and legal terms. Proposals for federal and state legislation are also considered.|
|Professional Responsibility||298||2||A study of the activities and responsibilities of lawyers and their relationships with clients, the legal profession, the courts, and the public. Problems of professional responsibility are treated in several contexts, e.g., the lawyer's duty to the client, the provision of adequate legal services to all, and the reconciliation of the lawyer's obligations to the client with the demands of justice and the public interest. 2 credits.|
|Property||104||4||This required course is a survey of the law of property. It emphasizes the process and rationale for the creation of private interests in tangible, intangible and intellectual property; the Anglo-American system of estates in land (including landlord-tenant law and future interests); transfers of land (including the real estate contract and deed); and methods for title assurance (including deed covenants, the recording system, and title insurance).|
|Prosecuting Terrorism & Cases Involving National Security Seminar||419||2||This course analyzes the tools used to investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism and violations of national security laws. A research paper is required. The class is designed to highlight in practical terms the tension between protecting the nation’s security versus protecting privacy and individual liberties. The course utilizes the “9-11 Commission Report” to give context for modern day investigations and prosecutions. It looks at constitutional issues associated with searches, seizures, confessions and freedom of the press. It looks at electronic surveillance techniques, the use of classified information at trial, and substantive statutes used to prosecute cases.|
|Public Choice and Public Law Seminar||445||2-3||Provides students with a critical introduction to and analysis of public-choice and social-choice literature and relates covered concepts to actual cases, statutes, and legal doctrines. Covered topics will include structural and evolutionary analyses of state and federal legislative decision-making processes; structural and evolutionary analyses of judicial decision-making processes, including the doctrines of stare decisis and justiciability; evaluating public choice and social choice based proposals to expand the reach of federal judicial review; examining the proper role, if any, of interest group theory in constitutional and statutory interpretation; delineating the spheres of public and private law; examining the role of public choice and social choice in developing a structural analysis of separation of powers and federalism; and evaluating the competing roles of efficiency and cycling on the evolution of legal doctrine. Specific coverage may vary from year to year.|
|Public Interest Litigation||217||2||
Introductory class teaching students the history, goals, and strategies of public-interest litigation, as well as the nuts-and-bolts of effective public interest advocacy. During the course, students will learn how to draft a complaint, identify and contend with various doctrines such as ripeness and standing, and deal with ethical issues relevant to pro bono public interest representation. Grading is based primarily on a series of written assignments.
|Readings in American Law||395||3||What is the point of reading and talking about a bunch of stuff from some bygone era? Actually, there are at least three points: (1) to gain deeper understanding and appreciation of an important period in legal history; (2) to practice the careful study of law in context; and (3) to enjoy one of the most enriching of lawyerly activities — reading about law and then probing its meaning and function with engaged colleagues. There is a lot of reading, and pre-class thinking, but if you like those activities you will like this course, because there isn’t much else required (given that the quizzes described below will be pretty easy for anyone who does the reading). Grades: Your grade is based on closed-book quizzes and participation. Quizzes count for 1/3 of the grade. A short quiz consisting of a few straightforward factual questions about obvious topics in the assigned reading is given at the start of most sessions in which we discuss new material. The questions are designed merely to determine whether you have, in fact, done the reading and paid attention. They are easy to answer for anyone who has done the reading but are likely unanswerable by someone who has not. Participation counts for 2/3 of the grade. Let us be clear about this up front: Evaluation of participation in the course is inevitably largely subjective, which means that if you do not like the participation grade you receive there will be no basis for challenging it. Having said that, you are unlikely to get a bad grade if you come to every class prepared to make useful contributions, do in fact make those contributions, and respectfully listen to and comment on the contributions of others. It is in part because of those expectations that there is an electronics ban for this course. No one will be able to Google whatever we are talking about in class and then read something off a computer screen, passing it off as his or her own thought. All of us will have to read and reflect and perhaps even do a little bit of our own research before class in order to be confident that we will have something useful to share. What a wonderful thing that will be!|
|Readings in Legal Thought||342||1||
Students read works representing varieties of modern legal thought, which may include empirical legal studies, economic analysis of law, legal history, comparative law, and studies of the legal profession. For the Fall 2020 semester only, readings will be in the areas of economic competition and economic regulation. The course will not meet weekly but will meet on assigned dates over the course of the semester as determined by the instructor. For each meeting students submit a brief reaction paper (5-6 pages) and read each other's reaction papers, on the basis of which two or three student volunteers will prepare a discussion outline in advance of the meeting.
|Real Estate Finance||295||2||Property||
A study of the basic elements of construction, development, and permanent financing that uses real estate as security for the financing. This course will examine the real estate finance transaction from a practitioner's viewpoint and will cover the laws governing and normal documentation utilized in a real estate finance transaction, negotiation skills, title insurance, remedies, and other facets of a real estate secured loan. Property is a prerequisite for this course.
|Refugee and Asylum Law||313||2||This course will cover the international and U.S. refugee law regime, with a focus on asylum law in the United States. The course will trace the history and development of the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, the 1967 Protocol, and the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980. Students will become familiar with the key actors in the asylum and refugee law arena, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, international non-governmental organizations, the U.S. Congress, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, and the federal courts. Students will gain an understanding of the refugee definition as interpreted in the U.S.|
|Regulated Industries||315||2||Surveys the legal and economic foundations of the various forms of regulation. The origin and development of both economic and social regulation are analyzed.|
|Regulation of Financial Institutions||387||3||
This course surveys Federal and state regulation of financial institutions. It will address the legislative and regulatory schemes that govern the wide range of entities that participate in the U.S. financial services system. The course will explore the regulation of depository institutions, including banks, savings institutions, and credit unions, bank holding companies, securities firms, investment companies, asset managers, derivatives market participants, insurance companies, payment systems participants, nonbank lenders and other nonbank financial services providers, and Government Sponsored Entities. The course will focus on the increased emphasis on the monitoring and mitigation of risks to financial stability following the 2008 Financial Crisis including the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and the establishment of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and international financial stability efforts led by the Financial Stability Board.
|Regulatory Law Track Thesis||443||2||Requires the student to develop, expand, and refine a research paper into an article suitable for publication in a law journal.|
|Remedies||314||3||A legal and economic analysis of remedies given in legal proceedings. The coverage includes the forms of legal and equitable remedies, the substantive law of restitution, and methods for the measurement of damages and corresponding problems of nonmonetary forms of remedy.|
|Role of the Prosecutor||223||2||
This course will examine the role of the modern prosecutor through readings, discussions, and guest speakers. We will address the limits and scope of prosecutorial power, the degree to which prosecutors shape the criminal justice system, the significance of electoral politics in selecting prosecutors, and the relationships between prosecutors and other actors in the criminal justice system such as police, legislators, judges, defense counsel, victims, and the communities prosecutors serve. We will also touch on prosecutorial ethics and the challenges today’s prosecutors face in their mission to be “Ministers of Justice.”
|Sales||312||2||This course reviews formation issues treated in Contracts from the perspective of UCC Article 2 (Sales) and focuses on critical Sales issues not addressed in Contracts, namely performance (delivery and payment), title to goods, third party rights, and quality and warranty. It also provides an introduction to the UN Sales Convention, which the US has adopted.|
|Scholarly Writing||510||2||Scholarly Writing introduces students to writing and editing for scholarly legal journals. The primary emphasis of the course is the mechanics of writing a publishable-quality casenote or comment in one of George Mason's legal journals. The course also introduces students to editing and source-checking professional pieces selected for publication by the journals. Scholarly Writing therefore seeks to improve the legal writing and editing skills of individual students, as well as the overall quality of George Mason's legal journals. As of Fall 2010, students receive two (2) total credits for this class. One (1) credit is "in-class" and one (1) credit is "out-of-class." Course is graded "CR".|
|Secured Finance||322||3||Explores the law and economic consequences of secured finance. The principal focus is on the Uniform Commercial Code's Article 9 (on security interests in personal property) and its influence on financial transactions between debtors and creditors. Includes examination of how bankruptcy law affects secured credit.|
|Securities Law and Regulation||317||3||Examines the disclosure system and securities market regulation, including registration, exemptions, and remedies under the Securities Act of 1933; reporting and accounting standards under the 1934 Act; the proxy system; Section 16(a) reporting; state "blue sky" laws; and the regulation of broker-dealers, specialists, and self-regulatory organizations.|
|Separation of Powers||373||1||
This course will introduce students to the separation of powers issues inherent in the American system of government. The course will include an examination of the historical and pre-Constitutional understandings of the various functions, roles, and structures of government, including the philosophical underpinnings of the approaches considered by the Framers for the American constitutional system. The course will look at the various approaches, both as a legal and policy matter, taken to the separation of powers, as well as judicial decisions addressing these matters. The course will cover separation of powers issues related to a range of areas of law, including specifically national security and administrative law.
|Sexuality and the Law||390||2||This course will cover developments in sexual orientation and gender identity law with an emphasis on current legislative developments. Topics to be discussed include employment discrimination, U.S. Military policy, marriage, and hate crimes. Participants will be encouraged to examine sexuality in the context of constitutional protections and limitations.|
This course explores the relationship between various legal disciplines and the business of professional, Olympic, and amateur sports. Course topics include: league commissioners' scope of authority; player discipline and grievances; NCAA regulation of college sports and eligibility rules for college athletics; the fundamentals of Title IX and gender equity; an overview of the Olympic movement and Olympic sports organizations and issues; an introduction to antitrust law and its omnipresent role in the business of professional and amateur sports (the development of the baseball and labor exemptions, an overview of player restraints (drafts, restrictions on free agency, discipline, etc.) and disputes both between leagues and among the teams in a league); contract issues in professional sports, duties and regulation of agents; limited aspects of player-league labor relations and collective bargaining agreements; athletes', teams', and leagues' intellectual property rights. No prior knowledge of antitrust or labor law is necessary.
|State and Local Taxation||359||2||
This course introduces students to the law of state and local taxation. Taxes covered include the real property tax, state personal and corporate income taxes, and sales taxes. Important concepts taught in the course are the federal statutory and constitutional limits on a state's jurisdiction to reach beyond its borders to tax out-of-state taxpayers. Important current developments covered will include recent case law, the creation of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), the impact of the Internet Tax Freedom Act and the influence exerted by the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC).
|State Attorneys General Seminar||624||2||This seminar course will cover the history, powers and duties, and initiatives of the state Attorneys General around the country. It will begin with an overview of the history of the Office of Attorney General, followed by a survey of the law and related issues pertaining to the jurisdiction, powers and duties of the Office and its role in state government. Over the course of the semester, a number of contemporary issues regarding the state Attorneys General and their enforcement authority in antitrust, consumer protection, criminal law and environment as well as in state-federal relationships will be discussed. Distinguished guest lecturers, who will offer insight on various high profile topics of interest, have been invited, including Attorneys General, former Attorneys General, and other members of the legal community.|
|Statistics for Lawyers||301||3||
Statistics for Lawyers (formerly Quantitative Forensics) considers the principles of statistics and econometrics and their application to a wide range of legal applications. Topics include statistical evaluation of forensic and economic evidence and their relationship to the rules of procedure, to the rules of evidence, and to burdens of proof.
|Strategic Washington Leadership||128||2||The course is designed to provide students with an overview of Washington, DC institutions and fundamental business skills needed to lead an organization. Students will gain the practical skills necessary to succeed in the often complex and cumbersome capital city environment. The goals of this course are to provide an understanding of the various paths to power in the national government, review how they work and function in practical terms, understand necessary leadership skills, and understand how to bring leadership to your enterprise. The course format will also train students in how to maximize their opportunity for success in these institutions and better understand how to gain, control, and exercise power. The course will also feature guest lecturers from a wide variety of institutional players, including, Business Leadership Coaches, Executive Search Firm personal, Embassy senior staff, media experts, association and non-profit organization CEOs, former Members of Congress, public affairs leaders, former Executive Branch officials, and those working in specific federal departments and/or agencies who will share their perspectives on leveraging power and influence in the most powerful city in the world. It is the goal of this course to train students to be effective in Washington and to provide them with leadership models for their success.|
|Structure of Liberty Seminar||425||2||This seminar will examine the manner in which constitutions may be designed to protect liberty, with an emphasis upon and a close reading of the debates of the Framers at their Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. The debates are the greatest and least read set of deliberations upon liberty and democracy, and have the excitement of a fine detective novel. The course will also examine the empirical literature of how presidential and parliamentary regimes have fared, when it comes to protecting liberty, and students will read Bagehot’s The English Constitution. The seminar will end with a look at the expansion of executive power in the U.S.|
|Supervised Externship - Capitol Hill||325||3||
George Mason’s Supervised Externship — Capitol Hill program presents students with the opportunity to experience the intersection of law and policy by earning credit for unpaid work in Capitol Hill offices or committees; in government affairs offices of agencies, corporations, or nonprofits; trade associations; in lobbying firms, and with government affairs groups within law firms. Scalia Law has a rich history of graduates with prominent positions “inside the Beltway” and through this program students will be introduced to the extensive alumni network of the Scalia Law Capitol Hill Law & Economics alumni group. Students who have secured their own positions with the employers described above or students who would like assistance with placement are eligible for this program. Adjunct professor David Landers, Class of 1993 and Vice President, Government Relations, Managed Funds Association, directs this program, determines individual placements, monitors students’ progress, and coordinates with field supervisors. This pass/fail program is offered in Fall 2014 and will be offered in the spring pending faculty approval. Students will earn 3 out-of-class credits for 180 hours of fieldwork. Space is limited for those students seeking placements. Applications to be placed are available through CAAS. Students seeking placement may participate in this program twice, subject to space and professor's approval. Students who have secured their own placements may participate more than two times. For more information about the program’s requirements and application process, please see the Supervised Externship - Capitol Hill Information Packet at Supervised Externship - Capitol Hill.
|Supervised Externship - Capitol Hill||525||3||
This course is identical to Law 325 with the exception that students in Law 525 are compensated for the work being performed during their externships.
|Supervised Externship - Fall/Spring/ Summer||520||2||
This course is identical to Law 320 with the exception that students in Law 520 are compensated for the work being performed during their externships.
|Supervised Externship - Fall/Spring/ Summer||521||3||
This course is identical to Law 321 with the exception that students in Law 521 are compensated for the work being performed during their externships.
|Supervised Externship - Virginia Practice||179||3||
Through this program, students are placed as interns throughout Northern Virginia, including in Judges' Chambers, the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, a City or County attorney’s office, Legal Aid, or in a private attorney's office. Heavy emphasis is placed on developing students’ litigation skills. Former Judge and Senior Lecturer in Law Leslie M. Alden directs this program, determines individual placements, monitors students’ progress, and coordinates with field supervisors. This pass/fail program is offered year-round, and students will earn 3 out-of-class credits for 180 hours of field work. Space is limited. Students must submit an application to CAAS and interview prior to registering for this program. Applications are available through CAAS. Students may participate in this program twice, subject to space and professor's approval. For more information about the program’s requirements and application process, please see the Supervised Externship - Virginia Practice. For more information on the role and responsibilities of a Supervising Attorney in this program, please see Guidelines for Supervising Attorneys found at Supervised Externship - Virginia Practice
|Supervised Externship - Virginia Practice||579||3||
This course is identical to Law 179 with the exception that students in Law 579 are compensated for the work being performed during their externships.
Through this program, students have undertaken externships in such varied places as the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, Capitol Hill, the Nature Conservancy, the Recording Industry of America, a variety of federal and state courts, the Alexandria Commonwealth Attorney's Office, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Legal Services offices across the country, and more. Students secure these unpaid internships on their own in a variety of ways, including through the job posting information available in CAAS and networking. This pass/fail program is offered year round, and students may earn 2 out-of-class credits for 120 hours of field work completed over the course of a semester or 3 out-of-class credits for 180 hours of field work. Students must attend tutorials during the semester. Students may register for this program after having their internship and field supervisor approved by the course instructor. For more information about the program's requirements and application process, please see the Externship Information Packet at Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer. For more information on the role and responsibilities of a Supervising Attorney in this program, please see Guidelines for Supervising Attorneys at Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer.
Through this program, students have undertaken externships in such varied places as the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, Capitol Hill, the Nature Conservancy, the Recording Industry of America, a variety of federal and state courts, the Alexandria Commonwealth Attorney's Office, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Legal Services offices across the country, and more. Students secure these unpaid internships on their own in a variety of ways, including through the job posting information available in CAAS and networking. This pass/fail program is offered year round, and students may earn 2 out-of-class credits for 120 hours of field work completed over the course of a semester or 3 out-of-class credits for 180 hours of field work. Students must attend tutorials during the semester. Students may register for this program after having their internship and field supervisor approved by the course instructor. For more information about the program's requirements and application process, please see the Externship Information Packet at Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer. For more information on the role and responsibilities of a Supervising Attorney in this program, please see Guidelines for Supervising Attorneys at Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer.
|Surveillance Law Seminar||641||2||This seminar course will expose students to laws and policies relating to government surveillance, from traditional criminal wiretaps to high tech surveillance conducted as part of the global war on terrorism. The course will involve a survey of the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure caselaw and the application of that body of law to government surveillance efforts. Issues discussed will include: wiretaps in drug and organized crime cases; warrantless surveillance programs in the ’60-‘70s; legislative efforts to constrain surveillance; the expansion of government surveillance following the attacks of 9/11; and the implications of new surveillance technologies in an increasingly cyber- and technology-oriented world.|
|Tax Policy Seminar||446||2||This course offers an introduction to the principal policy considerations that arise by the efforts of governments to raise revenue. The topics addressed include the merits of different tax systems (e.g., income and consumption taxes), questions of tax administration and legal complexity, and the efficiency implications of taxation. The course involves reading and commenting on research articles that have been published in the areas the course examines.|
|Torts||110||4||This course examines the fundamental principles of legal obligation in the absence of voluntary contract or family relationship. In such circumstances, why, when, and to what extent should one person ever be financially liable to another? The legal rules and doctrines are considered in themselves and in relation to moral philosophy, political theory, and economics.|
|Trade Secrets Law||347||1-3||Considers the law and theory applicable to protection of confidential business information ranging from computer programs and manufacturing processes to customer lists. Covers reverse engineering of products; invention/idea submissions from employees and outsiders; employment agreements; consultant agreements; considerations regarding drafting of agreements; remedies; defenses; misappropriation; trade secret-defeating publications versus patent-defeating publications; implied and express duties of confidentiality; trial tactics; use of trade secret clauses to effect non-compete agreements; the inevitable disclosure doctrine; Federal Economic Espionage Act of 1996; and various public policy considerations associated with the foregoing. The procedures and requirements for preserving trade secret protection for confidential business information are reviewed. The economics of trade secret law is considered relative to other types of protection such as patents and copyrights.|
Covers procedural and substantive law in obtaining trademark registrations in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and enforcement and licensing of federal and state registrations after they are obtained.
|Trademark Law Seminar||601||2||Trademark Law, Intellectual Property Law||
This seminar will cover procedural and substantive topics of trademark law, including recent developments in the field such as the CAFC’s December 2015 holding that Section 1(a) of 15 USC 1051 et. seq. is unconstitutional and the possible appeal to the USSC. Trademark Law or Intellectual Property Law is a prerequisite for this course. Students who have not taken Trademark Law or Intellectual Property Law but who have work experience in (or other exposure to) the fields may be eligible to take the course and should contact the instructor if interested in enrolling.
This course trains students in the preparation and presentation of evidence in jury and non-jury trials. Evidence is a prerequisite and the course is graded "CR". Students who have previously taken Law 329 Trial Advocacy for Competitors may not register for this course.
|Trial Advocacy for Competitors||329||2||Evidence||
This course focuses on the same matters as Trial Advocacy, but its enrollment is limited to students participating in an extramural trial advocacy contest during the semester in which they register to take the course. All students must receive permission of the instructor to register. All students must also have taken Evidence as a prerequisite or be taking Evidence during the same semester they enroll. As of Fall 2016, students will receive two (2) total ungraded (CR/NC) credits for completing this course: one (1) credit is "in-class" and one (1) credit is "out-of-class." Students may participate in Trial Advocacy for Competitors a maximum of two times, subject to instructor approval, or one time if the student has already taken the non-competitor Trial Advocacy course.
|Trial Advocacy: Criminal Procedure||207||2||Criminal Procedure: Investigation||
Trial Advocacy: Criminal Procedure (formerly "Advanced Criminal Procedure") is intended for students interested in advanced work in criminal procedure. The topics covered focus on aspects of trial procedure and post-conviction remedies. Criminal Procedure: Investigation is a prerequisite for this course.
|Trusts and Estates||330||3-4||A study of the basic devices in gratuitous transfers, including the will, the trust, powers, selected problems in class gifts, will and trust substitutes, and social restrictions upon the power of testation, the formation of property interests, and the trust device.|
|Unincorporated Business Entities||339||2||This course focuses principally on state law governing agency, partnership, and LLC entities. At various points LLC law may overlap with corporate law. The course will focus on agency costs, fiduciary duties, vicarious liability, abuse of control, and the impact of human nature on the structure of a transaction. Liability issues will arise out of the contractual agreement of the parties, default rules, and agency/principal rules.|
|Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)||144||2||This is a survey course designed to provide students with an overview of the many Constitutional and other legal considerations relevant to the development, manufacture, and use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (“UAS”). The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regulates the use of UAS in the National Airspace System (“NAS”), so the first part of the course will explore the Administrative Procedures Act and the FAA’s implementation of federal aviation law—both regulations of general applicability and those specifically applicable to UAS. It will also look at Constitutional issues, specifically Preemption, and discuss the proper boundary between the states’ authority to regulate under their Police Powers and the Federal Government’s Commerce Clause authority. The course will also explore assorted civil and criminal issues such as invasion of privacy and trespass, Freedom of the Press, the Fourth Amendment, UAS insurance, and cyber security. The second part of the course will focus on a number of typical issues that a UAS practice group will face, including government contracting and the False Claims Act, subcontracts with the government, and also at export regulations under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Export Administration Regulations, and the Office of Foreign Asset Controls. The goal is to help students understand the purposes of the different agencies, how to classify products made or used by their clients, how to advise regarding an effective export compliance program, how to investigate and report export violations, and how to work with agencies when case law guidance is lacking. The course will also look at the ethics of and international laws governing military use of UAS and conclude with a comprehensive roundtable-style discussion.|
|Unmanned Aerial Systems Seminar||647||2||
The rapidly developing use of unmanned aerial systems [drones] for military, commercial and government purposes has serious implications for war, commerce, emergency work, privacy and other constitutional protections. It is also outpacing the legal framework needed to decide how best to utilize these devices. This is an area where legal thinking and legal policy are still in a formative state but are ripe for consideration. This subject nicely cuts across the law school’s focus on law and economics, national security, intellectual property rights and constitutional law. The class will examine current American and international law on unmanned aerial systems and the ethical, legal, commercial and constitutional issues of their use.
|Virginia Practice||334||3||Civil Procedure||
This course examines the rules of civil and criminal practice in Virginia, with emphasis in such areas as pleading, process, distinction between law and equity, statutes of limitation, pretrial discovery, venue, extraordinary writs, and appellate practice. Presentation of motions and strategies from procedural standpoints are included. Prerequisite: Civil Procedure.
|Virginia Remedies||333||3||This course examines the law of remedies, including remedies at law and equitable remedies as separately administered in Virginia courts within current Rules of Court concerning the Unification of Practice in Circuit Courts. Will include statutory remedies that follow equity practice, such as Mechanic's Liens, but not major areas, such as Family Law or Decedent's Estates which are separate courses. This course is not a substitute for Virginia Practice, but Virginia Practice is a logical preparation for it.|
|Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot||127||1-2||International Commercial Arbitration||
The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, held in Vienna, Austria, is an annual competition of teams representing law schools throughout the world (the "Moot"). The goal of the Moot is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for the resolution of international business disputes and to train future law leaders in methods of alternative dispute resolution. This course prepares students to compete in the Moot. Students will meet weekly with the course instructors to learn more about how international commercial arbitration, and the Vis International Moot specifically, is conducted, to receive instruction on the most important sources of law for the competition - the U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods and the UNCITRAL Model Arbitration Law - and to receive guidance on researching and writing the Memoranda. International Commercial Arbitration is a prerequisite to this course. Enrollment is with instructor permission only. In the fall, this is a seven-week course that starts mid-semester. Students who complete the fall course will receive one (1) credit. The spring course is a full-semester course for two (2) credits. One (1) credit is "in-class" and one (1) credit is "out-of-class." Enrollment in the fall and/or spring course is by permission of the instructor only.
|War and Law||397||3||Covers an array of legal issues, including questions of when military force is appropriate; the role of, and protections for, uniformed armies and who should serve in them; the proper treatment of conquered populations and non-combatants; treatment of prisoners-of-war and non-state actors; honorable behavior when waging asymmetric warfare; and the war powers of the American executive. This course will examine these and other issues in historical perspective, then deal with today's evolving standards.|
|War and Law Seminar||621||2||This course is identical to Law 397 with the exception that it is conducted as a seminar and will require a seminar paper.|
|White Collar Crime||337||3||White collar crimes are nonviolent offenses involving lying, cheating, and stealing. This course will cover selected substantive and procedural topics in the white collar criminal law. These topics will include: perjury, obstruction of justice, fraud, public corruption, conspiracy, RICO, money laundering, and grand jury practice.|
|WIPO-CPIP Intellectual Property Program||021||3||
This course aims to raise awareness of the principal concepts of intellectual property and its importance as a spur to human creativity in the advancement of economic and social development, and in the facilitation of international trade through the treaties offering multi-lateral protection. The course provides a unique opportunity for students to work with leading experts to gain a deeper knowledge of intellectual property to advance their careers. The course consists of lectures, case studies, simulation exercises, group discussions, and panel discussions on selected intellectual property topics, with an orientation towards the interface between intellectual property and other disciplines. This course is offered on a CR/NC basis.
|Writing Fellows Workshop||150||1||Limited to candidate Writing Fellows for LRWA. Course is graded "CR".|
|Wrongful Convictions Seminar||450||2||This course will provide an opportunity for students to learn about systemic errors in our criminal justice system that lead to the conviction of innocent people. Students will also learn about complex legal remedies available for correcting wrongful convictions, as well as policy reforms for preventing them. Actual cases and existing laws will be analyzed during class. Specifically, students will learn how to identify, analyze, and develop a post-conviction innocence case. This aspect of the course will include learning about common elements in wrongful conviction cases: mistaken eyewitness identification; false confessions; misuse of informants; flawed forensic evidence; mistakes and misconduct by law enforcement officials; poor defense representation; legal barriers to post-conviction relief; and use of DNA and non-DNA evidence for achieving justice. Students will have an opportunity to hear from local police, prosecutors, defenders, exonerated individuals, and other key stakeholders affected by wrongful convictions and involved in improving the accuracy and reliability of our criminal justice system.|