Complete List of J.D. Courses

LAW 1802 v00 A Due Process Hearing Simulation: Protecting The Rights of a Student With a Disability

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This interactive skills-based course will put students in the roles of counsel and witness in a simulated due process hearing under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).  Due process hearings are similar to bench trials, with opening statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses and closing arguments, however, they are conducted in front of a hearing officer. The due process hearing in this course involves claims that a public school district has violated the IDEA by: (i) failing to appropriately evaluate and identify a third grade student with a disability; and (ii) failing to provide a “free and appropriate public education” to the student.

Through reading assignments and classroom discussion, the students will become familiar with key provisions of the IDEA, and ethical considerations arising in IDEA proceedings. They will also become familiar with the materials in the Due Process Hearing Packet provided by the instructor and containing everything the students need to create their hearing strategy and conduct the hearing. The students will be assigned to teams and tasked with collaboratively creating a hearing strategy to present their client’s case, and then individually preparing and presenting certain pieces of the case (e.g., opening statement, closing argument, direct and cross-examination of witnesses). The students will not prepare pleadings or any of the written submissions normally involved in due process proceedings.

The hearing will be conducted in phases, to allow for constructive peer and instructor feedback and self-reflection (through discussion and journal entries) after each phase, as follows: Phase 1 Opening statements; Phase 2 Complainant’s case in chief/Respondent’s cross and objections; Phase 3 Respondent’s case in chief/Complainant’s cross and objections; Phase 4 Closing Arguments. At the conclusion of the hearing, the students will discuss the merits of each party’s case, lessons learned, and whether their perspective on ethical considerations raised at the beginning of the course has changed, now that they have “stood in the shoes” of counsel litigating the educational rights of a child with a disability.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Procedure, Property, or their first-year elective). 

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Evidence. 

Note: This course is only open to J.D. students.

LAW 1861 v00 A Friend of the Court: Tools for Effective Amicus Advocacy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Litigating Liberty introduces students to the practice of public interest litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The class will examine cases from the perspective of the lawyers who fight constitutional battles and explore topics like how to select the right client, identify the right claims, and file in the right jurisdiction. The class will also discuss how to choose the right moment in history to bring suit and how to effectively utilize the media. There will be particular emphasis on teaching real-world litigation skills, such as how to approach motions to dismiss and discovery. Students will then act as the practitioners themselves and fight for their cases on summary judgment, giving students practical experience in the day-to-day life of a constitutional litigator.

LAW 1849 v00 Abolitionism and the Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar will cover the history and present of abolitionist movements in the United States and the role of law in resisting or hastening abolition, mainly of slavery, but also of prisons and policing today. The first half of the course will present a legal history of abolitionism. Students will learn about the founding constitutional accommodations to slavery and the role of the Supreme Court in enforcing those constitutional protections of enslavers prior to the Civil War. They will also learn about the modes of abolitionist resistance to slavery, including freedom suits by enslaved persons and legal challenges on behalf of fugitives as well as abolitionists’ petitions to state and federal legislatures to end slavery. They will read and engage with iconic primary abolitionists texts from the colonial, revolutionary and pre-Civil War eras to understand the moral, constitutional, and political arguments levelled against slavery. They will also read and understand the original intentions of the drafters of the Reconstruction Amendments and engage with their conception of “abolition democracy,” that is, the democratic society they hoped to create to ensure freedom and equality for the formerly enslaved. The second half of the course will engage with abolition now, particularly the legal and social movements for abolition of modern slavery, prisons, and endemically violent policing. Students will read excerpts from signature works on contemporary abolitionism, including key law review articles on prison and policing abolition and on “abolitionist constitutionalism.” They will grapple with the relevance of abolitionist thought to modern aspirations concerning individual freedom, equality, and democracy.

Learning Outcomes: (1) Students will learn about the role of abolitionists and abolitionist thought in shaping American law and guarantees of freedom and equality. (2) Students will demonstrate an ability to produce an original, high quality research paper. (3) Students will demonstrate an ability to give constructive feedback on the work of their peers. (4) Students will engage in critical analysis of the gap between our professed founding ideals of freedom and the reality for historically and presently subordinated persons and develop concrete ideas in their papers on what to do about it.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Reconstruction and Civil Rights Seminar.

LAW 534 v01 Access to Health Care and Coverage: Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The law governing access to health care has been in flux and in legal dispute in recent years. This course will examine America's programs for health care access and finance, including employment-based private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and VA. The course will also examine the enactment, implementation, and litigation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to these payment systems, the course will also at laws affecting non-comprehensive systems such as emergency rooms, public hospitals, and community health centers. No previous knowledge of health law is required.

Note: The course will not focus on biomedical ethics, medical malpractice, or pharmaceutical regulation.
This is a required course for the U.S. Health Law Certificate.

LAW 1879 v00 Access to Justice, Legal Empowerment, and Social Movement Lawyering Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Beginning in the 20th Century, various approaches have arisen in the United States to improve access to civil justice and use the law to empower marginalized people and communities. This course critically examines the role of lawyers in these efforts. In particular, it considers what roles lawyers play to further access to justice, empower people through the law, and work alongside social movements. After exploring studies of peoples’ experiences of the justice system, we consider the function of courts in entrenching poverty and inequality, the potential and limits of technologies in increasing access to justice; and the challenges of rural access to justice. We then turn to global and national legal empowerment initiatives to consider bottom-up approaches to making legal rights and protections available to marginalized people. In the last part of the semester, we will explore the opportunities and challenges in social movement lawyering and consider the synergies and disjunctions between these lawyering practices and efforts to enhance access to justice.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, we hope you will be able to:

  • describe and discuss the different dimensions of the access to justice crisis in the United States and the various approaches being pursued to address it;
  • gain an understanding of marginalized people and communities’ experiences of the justice system;
  • understand what role state and local court processes and procedures play in exacerbating the justice gap;
  • articulate and critique the theories of change underlying traditional and more expansive approaches to access to justice, legal empowerment, and social movement lawyering;
  • understand the role of the regulatory framework in facilitating or inhibiting new models to increase access to justice.

Note: J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the two-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 3166 v00 Access to Reproductive Healthcare Under the Law (How We Got to Dobbs and What’s Next?)

LL.M. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course will look at the legal treatment of reproductive rights in early America through the mid-1800’s and to the legalization of abortion. We will examine how we got from Roe v. Wade to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Care and discuss the legal and practical impact of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe, as well as state attempts to ban or restrict abortion. The course will directly address Institutional Learning Objective 8 by requiring students to think critically about the law’s claim to neutrality and its differential effects on subordinated groups, including those identified by race, gender, indigeneity, and class and consider whether one person’s moral or ethical position should prevail when that position has disparate negative impacts on marginalized communities. We will look at how the law is intersecting with issues of race, sex, class, religion, sexual orientation, and politics to shape the culture of the country and our individual lives. The course will conclude with a review of the current legal battles relating to abortion, emergency contraception, assisted reproduction and gender affirming care, and discuss the legal theories at play, which are being used by both sides of the debate in competing iterations.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law.

 

Note: This course meets the upper-level graduation requirement for JD students matriculating in Fall 2022 and later under the following Institutional Learning Outcome, which provides that the course will provide students with an "[a]bility to think critically about the law’s claim to neutrality and its differential effects on subordinated groups, including those identified by race, gender, indigeneity, and class."

LAW 300 v08 Accounting for Lawyers

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course introduces students to the basic elements of financial statements and how the financial statements can provide information on the operations, prospects, and financial condition of a business or entity. We will discuss the accounting principles or concepts used in preparing financial statements; how to account for certain specific items such as receivables, inventories, fixed assets, intangible assets, liabilities and contingencies, and revenue and expenses; and how the basic transactions of a business flow through the financial statements. We will also discuss the role and responsibilities of independent auditors, senior company executives, and the audit committee of the board of directors in the preparation of the financial statements. Finally, we will study the financial statements of various companies to see what these financial statements reveal about the companies, and we will study some examples of accounting fraud and discuss how perpetrators of the fraud violated applicable accounting principles.

This course is designed for students with no prior accounting background or experience. Students who have completed one or more university level accounting courses or have practical training in accounting should not enroll in this course unless they obtain instructor permission.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate courses, Basic Accounting Concepts for Lawyers, Basic Accounting for Lawyers, or Financial Reporting and Accounting. Students MAY receive credit for this course and Business and Financial Basics for Lawyers.

LAW 3091 v01 Addiction and Mental Health Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2021 survey, nearly 1 in 3 adults had either a substance use disorder or a mental illness in the prior year, and 46 percent of young adults 18-25 had either a substance use disorder or a mental illness.  Due to the increased prevalence of these chronic disorders, and their nexus to the public health crisis of suicide, opioid addiction, and homelessness, it is critically important for lawyers and advocates to have a strong understanding of behavioral health law from the constitutional to local regulatory level. 

This course is a practice-based seminar that is designed to improve the students’ practical legal skills – writing, analysis, oral communication, issue spotting, and attention to detail – while examining key laws, legal decisions, and policies in Addiction and Mental Health Law.  This seminar will explore the framework of laws and policies promoting human rights, dignity, and recovery for people with substance use disorders and mental health conditions. It will highlight systemic and community responses to addiction, mental health, and related social issues as well as the use of litigation, legislation, advocacy, grants and financial incentives as tools for prevention and reform.

Discussions will include: 

  • Institution-based issues such as the involuntary detention and civil commitments of individuals with a serious mental illness, restraint and seclusion, the right to appropriate treatment under Youngberg v. Romeo, institutional reform under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, and the Department of Justice’s authority under the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act;
  • Forensic issues such as pretrial competency, Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity, and forced medication for competency purposes under Sell v. United States;
  • Community-based issues such as deinstitutionalization, rights of an individual to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, housing discrimination, Medicaid, rulemaking and administrative adjudications under the Administrative Procedure Act, behavioral health provider licensure and regulation, and the False Claims Act; 
  • Federal and state/local initiatives such as 911 diversion programs and co-responder law enforcement teams, mental health courts and diversion, harm reduction strategies, e.g. decriminalization of fentanyl testing paraphernalia, federal State Opioid Response grants, rapid rehousing initiations, and liberalization of 42 CFR Part 2 to facilitate increased information sharing for Substance Use Disorder treatment records; 
  • Understanding the Triple Aim in healthcare, data, outcome measures, and healthcare finance structures for behavioral health, including Medicaid and commercial insurance; 
  • Role of the health care and criminal justice systems and trends in reforms; and
  • Cultural competence in legal advocacy and practice.

Guest lectures and discussion will provide real world case studies on laws and policy reforms impacting addiction and mental health.

 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Addiction and Mental Health Law and Policy.

LAW 3091 v00 Addiction and Mental Health Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Addiction and mental health have increasingly become an integral part of the broader policy landscape. This shift has been accelerated by the impact of social issues such as the overdose epidemic, suicide and homelessness.  This seminar will explore the framework of laws and policies promoting human rights, dignity, and recovery for people with substance use disorders and mental health conditions. It will highlight systemic and community responses to addiction, mental health, and related social issues as well as the use of litigation, legislation, advocacy and financial incentives as tools for reform.

Discussion will include: 

  • Evolution of responses to addiction, mental health, and related social issues;
  • Human rights, deinstitutionalization and the rights of an individual to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs;
  • Statutory and regulatory frameworks promoting access to treatment, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
  • Understanding data, outcome measures, and healthcare finance structures for behavioral health, including Medicaid and commercial insurance; 
  • The role of litigation to promote accountability and protect civil rights;
  • The impact of stigma, the dignity of risk, and harm reduction philosophy; 
  • Role of the health care and criminal justice systems and trends in reforms;
  • The impact of globalization and comparative analysis of international drug policy;
  • Cultural competence in legal advocacy and practice.

Guest lectures and discussion will provide real world case studies on laws and policy reforms impacting addiction and mental health.

LAW 025 v00 Administrative Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course considers the constitutional, statutory, and other legal limitations on what government agencies can do and how they can do it. What constraints govern the power of agencies to make law, decide cases involving private parties, and investigate citizens? How much "due process" must government agencies give citizens whose lives they affect; what limits has Congress imposed on the procedures for agency decision making; and to what extent can people call on courts to check what they regard as abuses of governmental power? These are among the questions addressed in the course, which draws together problems ranging from the legitimacy of New Deal institutions to the dramatic procedural innovations of recent federal administrations and problems created by renewed Congressional interest in the details of agency decision making.

Recommended: For Professor Nager's section: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law I: The Federal System.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective by the same name or the first-year course, Government Processes.

LAW 025 v06 Administrative Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce you to the core institutions and processes of the modern administrative state.  You will come to understand the tremendous power exercised by administrative agencies as well as the significant constraints under which they operate.  You will learn the procedures governing the key categories of administrative action; the doctrine governing judicial review of administrative action; and non-judicial mechanisms of agency control within the Constitution’s separation-of-powers framework.

Learning Goals: By the end of the semester, you should be able to:

(1)  Identify the legal framework (statutory, constitutional, doctrinal) that applies to a particular issue of administrative action;

(2)  Apply the relevant legal framework to a given set of facts; and

(3)  Evaluate the merits of the legal framework against a variety of normative goals.

You should also (4) be conversant in contemporary debates about the administrative state and be able to articulate and justify your views.  

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the upperclass course with the same title.

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

LAW 025 v08 Administrative Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Virtually all areas of law today involve a substantial element of administrative law.  This course introduces you to the role of administrative agencies and how law and political factors shape their powers and work.  This includes materials on how they are empowered and constrained by the Constitution, Congress, presidents, and the courts.  We also study ways in which agencies generate law and develop policies.  This class coverage includes, among other topics, materials on citizens’ abilities to petition, shape, and litigate over agency actions; changing views of presidents’ roles and powers over agencies; and statutory factors and doctrine shaping judicial review of agency law interpretation, reasoning, responsiveness, policy shifts, and engagement with science and facts.   

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective by the same name or the first-year course, Government Processes.  

LAW 1349 v01 Administrative Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

There is no more fundamental course in law school than administrative law. This course introduces you to the modern administrative and regulatory state. You will come to understand both the tremendous power exercised by administrative agencies and the significant constraints (legal and political) under which they operate. You will learn to identify the design features that might make an agency constitutionally problematic, the factors that make one type of decision-making framework more appropriate than another, the prerogatives and limits of agencies in interpreting the statutes they are charged with administering, and agencies’ prerogatives and limits in adjudicating facts and exercising policymaking discretion. You will also learn to identify the factors that affect the availability and timing of judicial review of agency action.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the upperclass course with the same title. 

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

LAW 1611 v00 Administrative Law and Public Administration Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Administrative law scholars have observed an increasing disconnect between the legal framework and doctrine governing agencies, on the one hand, and the way that the administrative state actually operates, on the other.  For example, administrative law tends to concern itself with external sources of control over agencies, while in fact most of the work of the administrative state takes place in day-to-day internal operations.  In this seminar, we use administrative law as a jumping off point to study a complementary set of frameworks and practices that govern and explain the operation of the administrative state: those drawn from public administration and political science.  Lawyers who understand these complementary tools will be better prepared to advise clients on their interactions with institutions in the administrative state; to work within the institutions of the administrative state themselves; and to design and reform those institutions in the first instance. 

This course is also a writing-intensive class that satisfies the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.  To that end, each of you will devote a considerable amount of time this semester to developing a paper proposal about a conflict, crisis, or controversy within the operations of a government institution; researching your idea in depth; and both drafting and revising a substantial paper of at least six thousand words (exclusive of footnotes) that meets the different elements of the Writing Requirement.  The last month of the semester will be devoted to workshopping these papers—that is, giving feedback to and receiving feedback from your colleagues. 

Learning goals:

By the end of the course, students will be able to describe and discuss the core insights of the texts we will read; to assess the merits of these insights; and to apply these insights to everyday situations relevant to the institutions of government in D.C. and beyond.  Students will also have written a paper of publishable quality analyzing and assessing a conflict, crisis, or controversy within the operations of a government institution using the lens of the tools we have studied. 

Prerequisite: Administrative Law (1L elective or upper level course) or the 1L electives, Legislation and Regulation or Leg-Reg: Introduction to Congress and the Administrative State.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1787 v00 Adoption Law & Policy Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Adoption Law & Policy is a seminar that addresses the fundamental and evolving issues that arise when adoptive families are created by law. Topics may include: (1) an overview of the history of adoption law and current trends in adoption policy and practice; (2) the adoption process including an examination of the differences between agency and independent adoption, and the form, timing and revocability of parental consent to adoption; (3) placement criteria (including the race and sexual orientation of the adoptive parent); (4) constitutional rights of nonmarital fathers; (5) adoption of Native American children and the Indian Child Welfare Act; (6) confidentiality and openness in adoption practice; (7) international adoption; and (8) and government law and policy on the adoption of children from foster care. Throughout the semester we will consider the broader historical, societal and political elements shaping adoption law.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1905 v00 Advanced Administrative Law Seminar – The Consumer Protection Agencies

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

The course’s goal is to familiarize students with the challenges consumer protection agencies face. The course will focus on the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Food and Drug Administration. The course will require significant readings about contemporary policy issues, and those readings will be the launching point for in-class discussions. Many of the readings will come from the Federal Register and the Administrative Conference of the United States; others will critique the work of one or more of the consumer protection agencies. During seminars, students will often engage in role-playing: some students will take on the role of senior agency officials, others will be lawyers for consumer groups that seeks to force the agency to take certain actions (regulatory or enforcement), or lawyers representing a company or trade association opposing regulation or to stave off enforcement actions.

Prerequisite: Administrative Law. 

LAW 1528 v00 Advanced Antitrust Seminar: Antitrust and Intellectual Property

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The intersection of antitrust and intellectual property underlies many key debates in contemporary competition law and presents topics of recurring importance. This advanced seminar introduces students to the antitrust/intellectual property interface, including the economics of innovation, the debate over the relationship between the two fields, and the impact of the evolution of that relationship on the antitrust analysis of specific practices. Topics include the economics of innovation, licensing practices, product design and tying, patent settlements, patent pools, standard setting, the acquisition of intellectual property rights, patent assertion entities, the assertion of IP rights, antitrust counterclaims in U.S. litigation, and select contemporary debates.  Grades will be based on bi-weekly papers written in response to the assigned readings; class participation can increase, but not decrease, the course grade.

Learning Objectives:

Students taking this course will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the basic economics of innovation and their application of those principles to antitrust law and its intersection with intellectual property law.
  2. Acquire an overview of key aspects of the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property in U.S. law, both in litigation and agency settings.
  3. Explore recurring tensions between antitrust and intellectual property through the lens of particular practices.
  4. Debate competing positions on the antitrust laws’ application to cutting-edge issues in IP-rich industries.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students, prior or concurrent enrollment in Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law.  (Note that prior enrollment strongly recommended; concurrent enrollment accepted.)  For LL.M. students: prior U.S. antitrust litigation experience or U.S. antitrust coursework is strongly recommended.

Note: A limited number of students may register for the 3 credit section of this seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. Students who register for the 3 credit section will write fewer weekly response papers, in addition to the paper for the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1716 v00 Advanced Constitutional Law Seminar: Challenges to Liberal Democracies

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar examines the challenges to constitutional democracies from illiberalism, i.e. the concentration of power that relies on elections, limits judicial independence, and abuses the rule of law in the name of the people. Many so-called democracies have serious flaws in their election systems, limited judicial independence, and elected leaders who are not held in check by functioning rule of law processes/checks and balances. 

In the United States, efforts have been made to change rules for voting, draw electoral districts to give extreme partisan advantage, and use federal government agencies as weapons to thwart checks and balances.  In this seminar we apply a multidisciplinary approach to the American situation, putting legal (in particular constitutional) transformation in the center. Specific topics include constitutional amendment, limitations on judicial independence, control over the media, takings and other restrictions of the free market, voter suppression and gerrymandering, plebiscites (e.g., Brexit), and threats to fundamental rights.  

In addition to considering Turkey and the countries of East Central Europe, where voters have chosen autocratic leaders, we will also examine the Russian approach which has served as a model for many emerging illiberal regimes as well as a financial and intellectual support for illiberal movements from France to Italy and elsewhere, to better understand developments in the U.S.  In addition, the course will consider how crises, such as public health issues or civil unrest, are used as justification for limiting true democracy.

In addition to examining the legal structures that permit this abuse of the democratic form, this course will also address the critical question of whether a democracy is sustainable in the face of ethno- or religious populism.  Are there sources of constitutional resilience to save the remaining constitutional regimes?

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law I: The Federal System.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1265 v00 Advanced Constitutional Law Seminar: The Creation of the Constitution

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Few events have had as much impact on American history than the framing and ratification of the Constitution.  This seminar is designed to offer students with serious interests in history, political theory, and constitutional law an opportunity to learn more about these events by reading some of the best scholarship on the creation of the Constitution and by writing an original research paper on an appropriate topic of their choosing.  The seminar will examine how the Constitution was framed, ratified, and implemented during both the founding of the Republic and the “Second Founding” during and after the Civil War. Special attention will be given to founding-era controversies involving slavery, federalism, and implied powers, and to how these issues influenced the adoption and interpretation of the Reconstruction Amendments.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System (or Democracy and Coercion).

Note: J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the two-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1648 v00 Advanced Corporate Finance: Quantitative Analysis and Valuation

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This two-credit course provides an introduction to basic quantitative analysis and valuation techniques in corporate finance. Students will learn the fundamentals of valuation as it relates to a variety of assets, including bonds, stocks, options, and derivatives. Our class discussion will also touch on real problems that students are likely to face in legal practice.
 
Topics covered include: analysis of basic financial statements; net present value and internal rate of return; dividend discount model; bond pricing, yields, and the term structure of interest rates; the capital asset pricing model (CAPM); weighted average cost of capital; arbitrage pricing theory; free cash flow analysis; efficient and alternative theories of capital markets; capital structure and leverage; dividend and payout policy; put and call option pricing; the BlackScholes model; warrants and convertibles; and real options. If time permits, we will also touch on more advanced pricing techniques that use stochastic processes such as random walks.
 
In addition to teaching these tangible skills, the course will develop students’ mathematical intuition, which will enable them to navigate financial problems with more confidence in their professional and personal lives. This mathematical intuition will be built up through three problem sets I will assign. These problem sets will also enable students to gain familiarity with Microsoft Excel, which we will use at various points during the semester.
 
Our readings will consist solely of free online materials. Primarily we will be relying on Ivo Welch, Corporate Finance, 4th Edition, 2017 (available at: https://book.ivo-welch.info/read/index4.html). Class attendance is mandatory and along with participation will count for 10% of the final grade. Problem sets will count for 20% of the final grade, with the remaining 70% determined by a comprehensive 3 ½ hour final exam.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations or Corporate Finance or Business Basics for Lawyers or Business Essentials: A Mini-MBA for Lawyers or Accounting for Lawyers.

LAW 1776 v00 Advanced Criminal Law Seminar: Race and Poverty in Capital and Other Criminal Cases

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course addresses the issues of race, poverty, mental illness, and other issues of fairness and equality in the criminal courts, particularly in death penalty cases. Topics include procedures for imposing the death penalty and racial disparities in capital sentencing, the impartiality and independence of elected judges in the state courts, competency for trial and other issues involving the mental health and intellectual functioning of people accused of crimes, and practices and procedures regarding clemency.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives:  Students will develop knowledge and understanding of issues regarding the imposition of the death penalty, the impartiality of judges, the treatment of people with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities in the criminal courts, and the consideration of applications for clemency. Students will engage with the views of Supreme Court justices, lower court judges, legislators, governors and commentators with regard to issues of fairness and discrimination in the state and federal governments in carrying out the death penalty since the Supreme Court allowed its resumption in 1976. The course will also address decision-making in the state courts. The overwhelming majority of cases – both criminal and civil – are decided in the state courts. In most states, judges are elected. Students will consider issues of whether judges are influenced by political considerations or have biases with regard to people of color who come before them. Students will learn the grounds for disqualification of a judge who may be biased and the law and procedures for resolving those issues. Students will also learn that the criminal courts deal with a significant number of people with serious mental disorders. Students will learn the legal standards for competency to stand trial, competency to waive appeals, and competency to be executed, as well as the procedures for deciding those issues. Students will also learn how the President of the United States and governors decide whether to commute death sentences and other severe sentences and practices regarding applications for clemency. Finally, as part of the course, students will learn how to analyze issues and set out their views in writing and orally, supporting their positions with solid legal reasoning and proper citation to the relevant authorities.

Recommended: Criminal Justice and/or Criminal Law.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 8, 2024, through Friday, January 12, 2024, 1:30 p.m. - 4:05 p.m. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 032 v00 Advanced Criminal Procedure

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

Advanced Criminal Procedure picks up where Criminal Justice leaves off and is primarily interested in the decisions that lawyers (as opposed to the police) confront in the criminal justice system. This course will cover topics that criminal defendants face from “bail to jail”, including charging decisions/prosecutorial discretion, bail and pre-trial detention, plea bargaining, effective assistance of counsel, and sentencing. This course will examine the responsibilities and the power allocated to each of the players in the criminal justice system, including judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, law enforcement, and defendants. At each stage, we will ask whether the system is working optimally, how the process may be improved and the pressure points where the system may be changed. Throughout the course, students will step into the shoes of the prosecution and defense to evaluate the strategic choices made during the trial. Readings will include a review of the relevant Rules of Criminal Procedure, United States Supreme Court caselaw, pleadings from assorted topical cases, and late-breaking newspaper articles.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Recommended: Evidence and Criminal Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Criminal Procedure and Litigation or Criminal Justice II: Criminal Trials.

LAW 032 v02 Advanced Criminal Procedure

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

The stages of the criminal process beginning with the filing of charges through the sentencing stage are analyzed. Legal issues arising at each stage will be examined. How the legal and administrative obligations of the participants in the process -- the court, prosecutor and defense counsel -- influence decision-making at various stages is explored. The prosecutor’s paramount role is to advocate aggressively on behalf of the government. However it cannot be unmindful of its administrative responsibility to process cases expeditiously. Protecting the rights of the accused is a defense attorney’s foremost obligation but not without a regard for the attorney’s duties as an officer of the court. Arbitrating matters is a core judicial activity in the criminal process; influenced by the court's desire to move cases to conclusion. Burdens of proof to resolve procedural issues are studied in the context of how the allocations of burdens of proof are allocated to achieve philosophical interests to be accommodated by the system.

Prosecutorial discretion in the charging function, the constitutional basis therefore and limitation thereon are explored. Preliminary procedural steps as well as grand jury process, joinder and severance of defendants and charges, the right to a speedy trial, discovery, trial issues arising in complex multi-defendant trials, the evolving federal constitution law on the right to confrontation, the presentation of evidence, jury instructions and sentencing issues are all studied.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Recommended: Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Criminal Procedure and Litigation or Serial and Adnan Syed: Special Topics in Criminal Procedure or Criminal Justice II: Criminal Trials.

LAW 032 v03 Advanced Criminal Procedure and Litigation

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course addresses the law, strategy, and ethical considerations of criminal procedure and litigation beginning with the decision to commence an investigation and/or charge through sentencing. Topics to be explored will include the prosecutorial decision to charge, representation (e.g., conflicts) of and compensation (e.g., forfeiture) by client issues, grand jury practice, immunity and plea negotiating, discovery, motions practice, prosecutorial and defense misconduct, selected trial issues, and sentencing. Materials for this course will include court opinions, pleadings from actual cases, Department of Justice manuals and policies, and news and law articles. The course may be organized around an actual case from its investigation inception, through pre-trial motions and discovery, to trial and verdict.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Criminal Procedure or Criminal Justice II: Criminal Trials.

LAW 029 v00 Advanced Environmental Law: Climate Change (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on the evolving legal and policy developments concerning global climate change, and provide students the opportunity to engage in hands-on work with policymakers in addressing the issue. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out ten hours/week of project work including regularly scheduled meetings with professor and Georgetown Climate Center attorney advisors.

SEMINAR: This seminar covers the current understanding of climate change science and impacts, international and domestic policy approaches, technological and adaptation responses, and legal and regulatory cases and developments. Class participation and attendance will be graded.

PROJECT WORK: Students will prepare papers and make presentations in class and to outside partners on topics being analyzed for state and local governments through the work of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown Law. Students work with the professors and advisors to develop professional-quality work products that can be shared with outside partners. The Center works with states and communities on crafting policy strategies to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Prerequisite: Environmental Law. J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not take another practicum course or a clinic at the same time as a project-based practicum course. Students may enroll in an externship at the same time as a project-based practicum course.

Note: This course may be suitable for evening students who can regularly attend class and participate in calls or meetings during the day as students interact with professors, advisors, and/or clients.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately ten hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and students are required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, project work, a meeting or a deliverable, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible (ideally beforehand) to discuss the absence or missed assignment. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1712 v00 Advanced Evidence

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course will take an in-depth look at issues involving the law of evidence.  The topics discussed will likely fall into three categories. This first category concerns constitutional limitations on evidence rules such as the Confrontation Clause, a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to present a defense, and the impeachment of jury verdicts.  The second category concerns advanced problems involving character, hearsay, experts, and privileges.  The third category concerns the process of proof in civil and criminal cases and will focus on topics such as burdens and standards of proof, evidentiary presumptions, and judicial notice.    

Prerequisite: Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Advanced Evidence Seminar.

LAW 1712 v01 Advanced Evidence Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course will take an in-depth look at issues involving the law of evidence.  The topics discussed will likely fall into three categories. This first category concerns constitutional limitations on evidence rules such as the Confrontation Clause, a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to present a defense, and the impeachment of jury verdicts.  The second category concerns advanced problems involving character, hearsay, experts, and privileges.  The third category concerns the process of proof in civil and criminal cases and will focus on topics such as burdens and standards of proof, evidentiary presumptions, and judicial notice.    

Prerequisite: Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Advanced Evidence.

LAW 168 v00 Advanced Evidence: Supreme Court and the Constitution Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar examines advanced subjects in evidence that were not treated or not treated in depth in the basic Evidence course but are important to trial practice.

Prerequisite: Evidence.

LAW 1089 v00 Advanced Evidence: Trial Skills

J.D. Skills | 2 credit hours

This course will bridge the gap between the academic subject of evidence and the practitioner’s course of trial practice by teaching students how to use evidence as a functional tool in the courtroom. There will be brief overviews of the law, but the vast majority of this course is dedicated to teaching students through realistic examples how particular rules are used during trial and when and how to make objections. The course is structured and allocates time according to the importance of topics. For example, the evidentiary doctrine of judicial notice will be addressed, but the course will take time to examine evidentiary issues that are used in most trials, such as party admissions or business records. Through practical exercises, students will prepare arguments and defend their arguments through thoughtful researched positions (as is done in real trial work.) These practical exercises will make up the majority of the course work. Students will also learn how to lay the foundation for introducing evidence into a trial as exhibits. Once the item or document is introduced, students will learn how to effectively use the exhibits in the presentation of their case. The course will culminate in a final assignment where students learn and practice how to write, argue, and defend evidentiary motions in limine, a fundamental component of litigation practice.

Prerequisite: Evidence.

Strongly Recommended: Trial Practice.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this class and Trial Practice and Applied Evidence. Students may take this course and Trial Practice.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 1745 v00 Advanced Foreign Intelligence Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Foreign Intelligence (FI) law as a field is marked by a complex statutory and regulatory framing. Increasingly, it is coming into play in ordinary Article III courts in the United States, as well as in European courts overseas. Simultaneously, new and emerging technologies present fundamental challenges to the traditional FI collection paradigms. This course, accordingly, provides students already broadly familiar with the contours of the national security infrastructure and foreign intelligence collection with the opportunity to do a deep dive with a particular eye towards ways in which technology alters threat vectors and presents new opportunities, and risks, to the foreign intelligence regime.

It begins with the constitutional framing and historical background undergirding the introduction of statutory and regulatory measures. The course then dissects the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and its expansion in 1994 to incorporate physical search and again in 1998 to include the use of pen register and trap and trace devices, as well as certain business records. The attacks of 9/11 led to additional changes, with further alterations implemented by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. Discussion centers on targeting, querying, and minimization procedures adopted by the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and National Counterterrorism Center, as well as reports detailing use of FISA.

The course next turns to new technologies that have fundamentally shifted the type of information available to the intelligence community (IC). Special emphasis is given to technologies of import for metadata: social network analytics and algorithmic sciences. It looks at how these technologies mesh with the legal analysis, with particular attention paid to FISA sections 215 and 702.

The course then addresses Executive Order 12333, delving into the associated DoD Directives, Instructions, Manuals, and Annexes; Attorney General Guidelines; CIA Regulations and Directives; and parallel regulatory and policy documents throughout the IC. With the advent of the Internet of Things, next generation social media, 6G networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the landscape is about to again shift. Accordingly, the course will further address new and emerging technologies, looking at how they fit – or fail to fit – current law.

The course ends with a unit focused on doctrinal developments (specialized Article III courts, geographic Article III courts, and European tribunals), as well as Article II deliberations introduced via Executive Order in autumn 2022.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I or Democracy and Coercion.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students should email Todd Huntley (todd.huntley@law.georgetown.edu), Director of the National Security Law Program, explaining any relevant school or professional experience and attaching a resume. 

LAW 2073 v00 Advanced International Commercial Arbitration

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will provide an indepth study of specific topics in international commercial arbitration from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Topics to be considered will include:

  1. the arbitration agreement - the separability doctrine, choice of law, parties to the agreement (including non-signatory issues), competence-competence, enforcement of the agreement and other types of national court intervention;
  2. complex arbitrations - multiparty and multicontract issues, joinder of parties, consolidation of cases, parallel proceedings;
  3. the arbitral tribunal - selection of arbitrators, duties of arbitrators, independence and impartiality issues, challenges of arbitrators;
  4. the arbitral proceedings - bifurcation, interim measures, evidentiary rules, the conduct of hearings; and
  5. the arbitral award - drafting of awards, enforcement and setting aside of awards, the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Awards.

The course will refer to arbitration rules, case law, statutes and international conventions.

Prerequisite: International Commercial Arbitration, Introduction to International Commercial Arbitration, or permission of the instructor.

Mutually Excluded Courses: This course is mutually exclusive with the other spring course by this same name (LAWG/J 888).

Note: Please note, the date for the final class session will be announced at the start of the semester.

LAW 710 v00 Advanced International Taxation

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is designed for those students who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the effect of certain U.S. rules governing the taxation of U.S. persons doing business overseas and foreign persons doing business in the United States. The course will cover a broad range of topics with particular emphasis on the tax consequences of cross-border reorganizations, liquidations and taxable acquisitions and dispositions. The course will cover the tax consequences of outbound transfers of assets, foreign-to-foreign transfers of assets, and inbound transfers of assets. Students will be expected to have a working knowledge of corporate taxation, and transactional aspects of subpart F and the foreign tax credit rules.

Prerequisite: Corporate Income Tax Law I (or Corporate Taxation); International Tax (or U.S. International Outbound Tax).

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporate Income Tax Law II (or completion of Corporate Taxation).

LAW 301 v03 Advanced Legal Research

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

In this advanced course, students will learn the concepts and skills needed to research complex legal problems. This course will cover a wide range of legal research topics, including statutes, legislative history, court and government documents, administrative materials, practitioner tools, secondary sources, and specialized legal research. Students will also gain hands-on experience developing, implementing, and documenting appropriate research strategies, conducting research in an efficient manner, and citing resources appropriately for a professional-level work product.

Grading will be based on class attendance and participation, a series of research assignments, and a take home exam.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this class, students will be able to:

  1. Classify different primary and secondary legal resources, regardless of format.
  2. Evaluate the costs and benefits of particular resources, regardless of format, and articulate major differences between resources.
  3. Analyze a legal research problem and then design, execute, and document an efficient research plan.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Legal Research Skills for Practice.

LAW 036 v00 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will provide students with a platform to build upon the principles learned in first year Legal Research and Writing and to develop real-world legal practice skills. The course is designed to provide the most benefit to students who are pursuing judicial clerkships and litigation positions for post-graduate employment. The course will simulate the litigation process, with students playing the roles of both advocates and decision-makers throughout the semester. Students should expect to research and write several documents common in civil litigation, including correspondence, legal research memoranda, motions and responses, and judicial decisions. At least one assignment will be a collaborative writing assignment, and the remainder will be individual assignments.

The instructor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment. The seminar will teach cost-effective research, writing, and revising techniques. Students will also develop their practical research and writing skills, learn to view cases from multiple perspectives, and learn strategies for addressing and managing the challenges of legal practice.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 036 v06 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This two-credit seminar is designed to help students develop the legal writing and practice skills necessary to succeed as judicial law clerks and civil litigators. Students will have an opportunity to build upon the written and oral advocacy skills learned in first-year Legal Research and Writing by using those skills in a practical setting that simulates the litigation process. Throughout the semester, each student will play the role of advocate, law clerk, and judicial decision-maker and should expect to research and write a motion to dismiss and a bench memorandum (both about a single fact pattern). Students will also learn to reflect on their own writing process, collaborate effectively, and edit their own written work and the work of their colleagues—all critical skills for lawyers to develop early in their careers. 

Class format will vary from week to week. Some classes will be seminar-style discussions, others will simulate courtroom experiences, and others will feature guest speakers. One class session will be dedicated to the clerkship application process and clerkship experience and will feature advocates who have clerked in the state and federal courts. Class participation and attendance will count toward the final grade.

The out-of-class time commitment associated with the class will also vary from week to week.  There will be some light reading for the course, particularly early in the semester, but for the most part students can expect to spend the bulk of out-of-class time actively engaged in research, writing, editing, or argument preparation--all of which may become time-intensive at key junctures of the semester.  

Through this course students can expect to develop their research and writing skills, understand how to approach cases from multiple perspectives, and learn practical strategies for navigating the real-world challenges of litigation and legal workplaces. The instructor(s) will provide individualized feedback on student writing at multiple points during the semester, and the course will integrate opportunities to revise based on that feedback.  By the end of the semester, students can expect to have generated approximately 40 pages of legal writing and produced two substantial writing samples that can be used to apply for judicial clerkships and/or litigation positions. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Strengthen legal research, writing, and editing.
  • Draft brief and bench memorandum.
  • Deliver oral argument.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1541 v00 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice: National Security Law in the Private Sector

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Over the past decade, the practice of "National Security Law" as its own discipline in private practice has emerged, partially as a response to market demand for assistance with national security-related agencies, regulations, and issues, and partially as a realignment of several different areas of law into one holistic practice that benefits from cross-sectoral and cross-regulatory experience. (The relevant areas of law include government contracting, international trade, data privacy and security, telecommunications, transactional matters involving foreign direct investment, and other related issues.) This class is designed to prepare students to succeed as national security law practitioners by creating opportunities to develop skills relevant to the various stages of relevant matters, including counseling, investigations, administrative advocacy, and litigation. We will simulate the roles of law firm associate, law firm partner, law clerk, and judge through oral presentations and substantial writing projects (which may be used to develop writing samples suitable for applying to clerkships or other roles). Students will also learn to edit their own work and the work of others. Class format will vary week-to-week and include practice simulations, guest speakers, and seminar-style discussions.

Each student will complete three primary assignments:

  • A memorandum or similar piece of writing for counseling (~10 pages)
  • A motion, brief, or similar piece of advocacy writing (section) (~15 pages)
  • Oral presentation related to the second writing assignment (~7 minutes)

Learning Objectives:

  • Improve legal writing and research skills through “real world” applications of national security law topics.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the structure and function of legal advice or legal arguments.
  • Practice techniques to more effectively edit and critique one’s own writing.
  • Produce 1-2 pieces of writing that could be used as writing samples.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

LAW 1532 v00 Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students interested in transactional practice with hands-on insight into the cross-border practice of business law by creating a simulated law-firm environment in which students are asked to complete tasks as if they were junior associates.

The principle objectives of the course are to teach students how to communicate clearly, concisely, and appropriately in a business-law setting, and how to apply and adapt these skills to situations involving international, cross-cultural, and even multinational business transactions. Students will practice these skills through a variety of written and oral communication exercises based on actual cross-border transactions similar to those they will likely encounter as a junior transactional associate at a law firm. The focus of this course will be on practical skills, rather than on theoretical analysis.

Although some of our discussions and exercises will involve reviewing contract provisions and students will become familiar with basic contract structure, this is not a course on contract drafting. Rather, the focus is on developing the student’s practical lawyering skills such that he or she is able to effectively communicate with parties from all sides of a cross-border business transaction and to recognize and overcome the principle cultural, linguistic, and other barriers to cross-cultural communication.

Enrollment by both JD and LL.M. students is encouraged. Class time generally will be split between lecturing and in-class exercises and discussion. The majority of the in-class exercises will utilize fact scenarios from actual deals and will involve students working in small groups or teams.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations is recommended but not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor through the due date of the final draft of Writing Project #2.

LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES DEPARTMENTAL PERMISSION TO ENROLL. LL.M. students cannot register or put themselves on the waitlist for this course through MyAccess. Students interested in taking this course should send an e-mail to lawgradprog@georgetown.edu indicating their interest in the course and their previous exposure to U.S. legal writing by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

LAW 1798 v00 Advanced Legal Writing in Practice

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar is designed to reinforce and build upon of the legal writing skills introduced in the first year Legal Practice class as well as to ensure mastery and develop efficiencies in terms of the legal writing process and product. The seminar will focus on efficient and effective prewriting techniques; will give students ample opportunity to hone their writing skills and, to a lesser extent, their research skills; will allow students to learn effective rewriting and revising techniques by participating in the commenting process; and will help students develop collaborative working skills.

The course will be run like a law firm, with students performing assignments for a supervising attorney. Over the course of the semester, the students will write at least three significant documents, with smaller interim writing assignments. The assignments will focus primarily on writing for a litigation practice, and may include inter-office memos or email memos, pleadings, briefs, client correspondence and advise letters, case and witness prep documents, and slide decks.  Discussion topics will include litigation strategy, writing techniques, and professional demands and concerns.  Students will have opportunities to work in teams, to strategize and write both individually and collaboratively, and to write as they will be expected to write in practice, including using email correspondence, preparing drafts for colleagues, and ultimately finalizing work product for a client and the court. At least one major assignment will be a collaborative assignment with a classmate. Professor DeLaurentis will guide the in-class discussions and provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment.

LAW 1895 v00 Advanced Legal Writing with Generative AI

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) is rapidly transforming the way we make decisions, conduct business, and express ourselves. It is likely to change how our students practice law when they enter the profession.  At a minimum, as young lawyers they need to be familiar with this technology and its impact on the law.  See ABA Model Rule 1.1., Comment 8, which requires lawyers to keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.  In this new course, students will learn the fundamentals of Gen AI, discuss the risks and benefits of using Gen AI for legal writing, be introduced to ethical and legal issues surrounding Gen AI use in lawyering, and engage with tools and techniques for effectively using Gen AI.  The core focus of this course is for students to practice using Gen AI and to develop best practices for using Gen AI in their legal writing.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Gen AI and Big Law.

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit. This class will meet in Spring 2025 on the following dates: 1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19 and 2/26.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

LAW 1623 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students interested in transactional practice to hone their legal writing, negotiating, and real-world transactional skills in a small workshop environment. Students will review, write and analyze a variety of transactional documents – including full-length contracts, unique contractual provisions, and simulated client correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing and transactional skills throughout the semester. While this course will teach drafting, deal-structuring, negotiation, and related skills that are generally applicable for any type of deal or transactional practice, it will focus on intellectual property and technology transactions and will teach those skills through a semester-long simulation based on a fictional startup company. The course will also focus on improving students' abilities to critically assess their own and others' legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. Students will receive peer critique during most classes, as well as individualized feedback from the professor on most drafts of documents.

Professor permission is not required. Background in intellectual property or technology is not required.

Participation in the in-class exercises and simulations will be a key component of student evaluation.

Learning Objectives:

My primary goal for the course is to give you real world transactional experience that you can use on day one out of law school. In addition, this course aims to expose you to new and emerging technologies and complex intellectual property licensing constructs, and give you the ability to analyze and negotiate different types of deals from both a legal and business perspective.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or the equivalent first year legal writing course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice or Information Technology Transactions: Strategy, Negotiations and Drafting.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 036 v05 Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will focus on legal writing as a discipline. It will impart to students both the foundational and advanced tools to excel in all forms of legal writing and communication, from litigation briefs and judicial opinions to office memoranda and corporate documents. Through this seminar, students will gain a leg up in the marketplace, attaining a rare skill applicable to all types of legal positions.

To write and communicate effectively, attorneys must use language in a focused manner and make complicated information clear. This seminar will teach students how to master these skills. Students will learn how to draft both routine and complex legal documents by applying writing principles and techniques based on how readers process information most easily. The seminar will use a case problem with a federal constitutional issue. The first part of the seminar will focus on three overarching principles of the discipline of legal writing. It will involve brief writing assignments centered on each principle, based on the case problem. The second part of the seminar will apply the three principles to drafting and editing various legal documents common to many law practices.

While each assignment will require individual writing, the seminar also will involve significant collaboration among students, primarily through weekly peer review and discussion. The instructor will provide individualized comments on each major assignment and evaluate students based on the assignments and participation.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. 

LAW 1730 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Lawyering Skills and Strategies

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment, while learning the skills and strategies of lawyers in practice. Students will represent a client in a simulated case, prepare relevant documents for their client, and discuss and debate relevant strategies. In addition, they will learn and participate in a number of in-class oral presentations related to the representation of the client. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience and the purpose of the projects, organizing documents to enhance clarity, and developing effective time management strategies. Students will learn to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a workshop, with in-class and out-of-class writing and rewriting, in-class oral presentations, peer critique, individualized feedback from the professor, self-critique and reflection, and collaborative work.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Note: Laptop Policy: You are required to bring a fully powered laptop or tablet to class. We will be using the online text book, TeachingLaw.com, and doing substantial writing during class time.

In Fall 2024, this class will meet on 10/4 from 12:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. and 10/5, 10/6, 11/16, and 11/17 from 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1766 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Lawyering Skills and Strategies

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This two-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment, while learning the skills and strategies of lawyers in practice. Students will represent clients in simulated cases, prepare relevant documents for their client, and discuss and debate relevant strategies. In addition, they will learn and participate in a number of in-class oral presentations related to the representation of the client. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience and the purpose of the projects, organizing documents to enhance clarity, and developing effective time management strategies. Students will learn to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a workshop, with in-class and out-of-class writing and rewriting, in-class oral presentations, peer critique, individualized feedback from the professor, self-critique and reflection, and collaborative work.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.  

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Please email Professor Michael Cedrone (mjc27@georgetown.edua brief explanation of why you would like to take the class.  Students who were not 1Ls at Georgetown Law should include a brief description of work they completed in their 1L legal writing course. 

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Laptop Policy:
You are required to bring a fully powered laptop or tablet to class.

LAW 1444 v02 Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students interested in transactional practice to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment, while learning the basic elements and construct of a written agreement. Students will write or edit a variety of transactional documents – including deal memos, contractual provisions, and correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing throughout the semester. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, recognizing the importance of precise drafting to ensure that the various provisions of contracts fit together in a synchronized way, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience, organizing documents to enhance clarity, applying those skills to new forms of legal writing, and developing effective time management strategies. It will also focus on improving students’ ability to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a writing workshop, with in-class writing and peer critique during most classes and individualized feedback from the professors on most drafts of documents.

Learning Objectives:

Each assignment will have specific goals; some goals will be specified by the professor, and some goals will be specified by the student. Each assignment will be submitted first as a draft and then as a final product, with an opportunity to receive feedback after the draft is submitted. The grade for each assignment will be based upon (1) assessments of how the successful the draft was in accomplishing the goals for the assignment; (2) evaluation of how effective the revisions to the draft document were in addressing the feedback received on the draft; (3) professionalism/polishing/timeliness of the final document.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or the equivalent first year legal writing course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist, except with prior approval of the Professor.

Students enrolled in the course will be writing, commenting, or revising nearly every week, with approximately five out-of-class writing assignments, most of which will be revised after the professors provide feedback on them. Students should thus be prepared to make a substantial time investment in the class.
Because of the collaborative nature of the class, students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 363 v02 Advanced Mediation and Dispute Systems Design

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar is an interactive workshop designed to introduce students to the theory, principles and practice of dispute systems design with the goal of training students to assume this new and creative professional role. Lawyers are increasingly being called upon to act not simply as litigators or deal-makers, but also as “process architects” for institutions, organizations and governments. In addition, they are being asked to design, tailor and manage systems to handle "streams" of disputes in an effective and efficient manner, such as those arising from commercial transactions, mass torts, natural disasters, government programs and restorative justice initiatives.

This course focuses on the study and practice of dispute systems design - understanding the structure and design choices made by, and the challenges presented to, organizations. This includes examination of court processes and other government or private systems for managing conflict. Dispute systems designers also develop and improve upon mediation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service programs, as well as provide assessments of their appropriateness in various contexts. Knowledge and skills of dispute systems design are transferable to the emerging needs of practicing attorneys who are more and more frequently called upon as systems designers. Many lawyers, even if they never take the design initiative to lead a project, often serve as stakeholders and representatives of bar or professional associations recruited by systems designers to participate in the design process. This course also enhances the basic mediation and conflict management skills learned in other ADR related courses by application to the dispute system design framework.

Students will be expected to read, write, discuss, critique and participate in simulated exercises. After an overview of dispute systems design theory and principles, students will, through readings, discussions and exercises, study seven actual systems that reflect dispute systems design principles. Then through a series of additional hands-on role plays and simulations, students will have the opportunity to develop systems design skills and work on a mock consulting team during class. Simulations will lead students through the various stages or architecture of systems design, from taking design initiative through assessment, creating processes and systems and implementation. This course also focuses on advanced mediation and dispute systems design topics, including recent developments in neuroscience and their potential impact on dispute resolution, choice architecture and “nudge” principles, the impact of mediator orientations on program design, restorative justice practices, and transformative mediation. The practical and ethical implications of systems design work will also be explored, as well as opportunities for synthesis of systems design skills into legal practice.

The course meets over two weekends (Friday afternoon through Sunday). Due to the intensive and interactive nature of the seminar, attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. Grades will be based on class participation including teamwork, discussions and simulations (25%), the quality of a 6-page journal analyzing a class consulting team simulation and applying dispute systems design principles (25%), and a 14-page client proposal on a topic of the student's choice (revising a current system or designing a new system to resolve disputes) which demonstrates application and mastery of dispute systems design knowledge and skills (50%). 

Prerequisite: A law school skills-based class on negotiation or mediation is required, such as Negotiations Seminar; Mediation Seminar; Mediation Advocacy Seminar; Negotiations and Mediation Seminar; or Multiparty Negotiation, Groups Decision Making and Teams. The two-credit sections of International Negotiations Seminar do not satisfy the prerequisite for this class.

Note: This seminar is open to J.D. students only.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 3151 v00 Advanced National Security Law and the Sea

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine how sovereign States apply the law of sea, other international and domestic laws, and oceans policy to issues affecting national security. Foundational provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to include baselines, maritime zones, transit regimes, flag and port State control of activities aboard ships, marine environmental protection and access to seaborne resources, and military uses of the sea, will be explored through case studies and hypotheticals. Students will examine how the substance, structure, and practice of the developing law of the sea intersects with other international legal principles and regimes, such as territorial sovereignty and the law of armed conflict, and with domestic and international laws and policies concerning space, cyberspace, electronic warfare, and intelligence collection and sharing. Students will assess the various mechanisms States have implemented to avoid dangerous incidents at sea, seek peaceful resolutions to maritime disputes, and combat illegal seaborne activities. From Great Power Competition to Pacific Island Nation food security, from countering nuclear proliferation to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, students will explore how the law of the sea is both shaped by and shapes States’ responses to national security challenges.

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • Exhibit an understanding of the history, foundational provisions, and differing interpretations of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Gain an understanding of how law of the sea and oceans policy interrelates with current national security issues.
  • Develop the skill to apply the law of the sea, other international and domestic laws, and oceans policy to national security challenges and effectively communicate opinions and analysis to senior national security leaders.

LAW 702 v00 Advanced Partnership Taxation

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

Focuses on the skills necessary (including review of transactional documents) for a tax attorney involved in advising on partnership structuring matters. Topics will include drafting the partnership agreement, allocations of tax items, amortization of partnership intangibles, classification/conversions, interplay of partnership rules on debt restructuring application of various gain triggers upon exiting from partnerships, partnership mergers and divisions, partnership equity-based compensation, and the partnership anti-abuse rules.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation; Taxation of Partnerships. Neither prerequisite may be taken concurrently.

LAW 040 v01 Advanced Patent Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This advanced seminar presumes knowledge of patent law fundamentals and examines various specific topics, including the Hatch-Waxman Act, patent administration, claim interpretation, the doctrine of equivalents, the experimental use privilege, and comparative and international patent law. Students will write papers on some specific aspect of patent law, not limited to those topics covered in class.

Prerequisite: Patent Law or equivalent experience.

Note: Enrollment in the LAWG section of the seminar is restricted to students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. and the Master of Law and Technology programs.

LAW 381 v02 Advanced Studies in Federal Securities Regulation: Policy and Practice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar course offers an opportunity for in depth discussion of key issues in securities regulation including current Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) regulatory and enforcement actions, how regulatory decisions are made, the economic and other policy bases for SEC and PCAOB regulation, and the operation and impact of the SEC’s regulatory oversight and enforcement programs in the recent financial crisis. Guest speaker participants will include members and senior staff from the SEC and PCAOB and experienced securities practitioners.

Grading will be based on a final paper on an approved topic and class participation.

Learning goals for this course: Develop a high level understanding of how securities regulations are developed and applied, using a series of studies of specific regulatory issues, with frequent guest speakers from government and private practice.

Prerequisite: Corporations; Securities Regulation (may be taken concurrently).

Note: This course requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the course if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1534 v00 Advanced Topics in Corporate Law: Control and Its Implications

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

In a significant minority of public corporations, a single person or entity has the power to choose the directors of the corporation and determine the outcome of stockholder votes. Many private corporations operate with this governance profile. Corporations fitting this profile are described as “controlled.”

In the standard model of the corporation, the power to direct and oversee the business and affairs of the entity rests with the board of directors, who are obligated as fiduciaries to act in the best interests of the company and its stockholders. When a party other than the board of directors has the ability to control the corporation, it upsets the standard model, with knock-on effects for a variety of corporate doctrines.

This course examines the nature of control and its implications. In addition to covering these issues in the context of public companies, the course will examine their implications for privately held companies and touch on their application to alternative entities.

Course enrollment is limited to 32. Students are expected to possess a basic understanding of the law applicable to alternative entities and corporations. An introductory course in corporations or business associations is a prerequisite.

Learning Objectives:

After taking this course, students will understand the following topics:

  • What constitutes control? What are the different types of control and what factors contribute to its existence?
  • What fiduciary duties do controllers owe? When and why do they arise?
  • How does the presence of a controller affect corporate doctrines such as the standard of review, demand futility, and ratification?
  • What devices can be used to mitigate the effects of control, such as special committees, majority-of-the-minority votes, and enhanced-independence directors?
  • What are the implications of particular methods of maintaining control, with particularly emphasis on the currently trending device of dual class stock?

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal Policies
No student will be permitted to drop this course after January 16, 2025. Failure to drop the course by January 16, 2025 will result in a withdrawal. No student may withdraw from this class without permission from the professors.

LAW 1521 v00 Advanced Topics in Corporate Law: Corporate Transaction Litigation in Delaware

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will explore corporate litigation in the Court of Chancery in the context of mergers, acquisitions, and other transactional structures.

The course is divided into three parts. Part I will begin with a discussion of Delaware’s place in the world of corporate litigation. This will include the mechanics of initiating a lawsuit to challenge a deal, together with the Court’s role in resolving preliminary and logistical issues, before turning to the substantive law governing motions for expedition and motions for preliminary or permanent injunctive relief. Finally, we will discuss the section 220 actions for accessing corporate books and records.

Part II will focus on corporate litigation, in theory and in practice. We will discuss structural matters relating to where to file and who represents a class in competing lawsuits, and focus a significant amount of our time on recent changes in corporate litigation following Corwin. Then we'll turn to other key issues in stockholder derivative litigation relating to the board of directors.

In Part III, we will discuss non-stockholder M&A litigation of two categories trending in different directions on the Delaware dockets: appraisal and material adverse effect (or material adverse change) litigation.

While the class is divided into three parts, we may cover more or less than a single part on each of the three class days.

In addition to reading cases, students will be asked to read parts of briefs actually filed in Delaware corporate litigation. Selected students will be assigned to (informally) argue the briefed issues as assigned. Following in-class argument, we will discuss the outcome of the actual ligation.

By the end of this course, students will be familiar with the common issues arising in corporate transactional litigation; which actions may be brought directly and which must be pursued derivatively; which are statutory and which arise under the common law; and what current “hot” corporate litigation issues are currently being litigated in Delaware.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal Policies
No student will be permitted to drop this course after January 24, 2025. Failure to drop the course by January 24, 2025 will result in a withdrawal. No student may withdraw from this class without permission from the professors.

LAW 1535 v00 Advanced Topics in Corporate Law: Management Misconduct

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Through the lens of Delaware law, this course will review the roles of the board of directors, senior officers, and stockholders in overseeing a corporation, monitoring management conduct, and promoting compliance. The course will consider the director’s duty of oversight, its origins, and how it has evolved. The course will examine whether senior officers owe a similar duty of oversight, or whether different duties apply. We will delve deeply into the derivative action, which is the primary enforcement mechanism through which stockholders can address management misconduct. As part of this effort, we will explore the various stages of the derivative action and consider its strengths and weaknesses.

As its source materials, the course will examine recent derivative lawsuits. 

Course enrollment is limited to 35. Students are expected to possess a basic understanding of the law applicable to alternative entities and corporations. An introductory course in corporations is a prerequisite.

Learning Objectives:

After taking this course, students will be able to answer the following questions:

  • What standards apply to a board and senior officers when overseeing a corporation, monitoring for misconduct, and promoting compliance?
  • What is the duty of oversight, how did it arise, and how has it evolved?
  • What is the nature of a stockholder derivative action, the various stages of the proceeding, and its strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are stockholder derivative actions an effective way of policing management misconduct? Is the Delaware corporate model particularly prone to management misconduct?
  • Can a corporation serve morally good ends?

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal Policies
No student will be permitted to drop this course after October 10, 2024. Failure to drop the course by October 10, 2024 will result in a withdrawal. No student may withdraw from this class without permission from the professors.

LAW 1602 v00 Advanced Topics in Torts: Products Liability, Guns, and Drugs

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This upper level course will cover the law of products liability generally and take a close look at the state of products liability litigation and liability in relation to guns and to opioids. The goal is to combine a survey of the complicated field of products liability law with a sophisticated deep dive into two areas of cutting edge products liability litigation.The first part of the course will familiarize students with major topics applicable to all products manufacturers including: a product distributor’s liability for defect-caused harm, allocating responsibility inside and outside the commercial chain of distribution, causation, affirmative defenses, approaches to design defect litigation, and federal preemption of products liability claims. Later in the course, we will examine gun manufacturer liability, currently and prior to the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which reshaped the landscape of gun litigation. Finally, we will end with a consideration of the growing litigation related to the opioids, litigation inflected by doctrines peculiar to prescription drug manufacturer liability. The final examination will be a self-scheduled 48 hour take home exam. Attendance and participation are crucial to the course, and significant credit will be given to those students who contribute thoughtfully and constructively to class discussion of cases and issues.

LAW 885 v01 Advocacy in International Arbitration

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course blends mock arbitration experiences with class discussion of techniques, strategy, and ethics in international arbitration proceedings. Students directly participate in a series of practical exercises based upon a series of international arbitration fact patterns, which will entail their role-playing as advocates, cross-examiners, and arbitrators. The course emphasizes advocacy in connection with jurisdictional and procedural issues, selecting and challenging arbitrators, and other scenarios that often arise in international arbitration.

Recommended: An introductory course or some experience in international arbitration; International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Note: Note: Students participate in in-class advocacy exercises and are graded on those exercises and productive class participation. Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 3144 v00 Advocacy in the Digital Age

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Students who take this course will better understand stakeholder politics; federal legislative, regulatory, and enforcement processes; and the advocacy skills needed to achieve policy outcomes in the interrelated fields of technology, telecommunications, and media (“TTM”). Students will gain hands-on experience practicing technology advocacy. The course first reviews key issues in technology policy and advocacy, such as competition, content moderation, net neutrality, privacy, AI & bias, and cybersecurity.

Armed with the basics of current technology policy issues, students then learn advocacy tools to “make” technology policy. Students will review and draft collateral materials used for technology policy advocacy, including white papers, talking points, comments, “op/eds,” earned media coverage, and more, gaining an appreciation for the differences from, and complementary relationship with, traditional legal materials and legal practice. Students will be introduced to the legislative process (committee hearings and markups, bicameral action, budget procedure); independent agency rulemaking and adjudication (comments, ex parte presentations, Administration and congressional input); relevant enforcement proceedings (Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission merger review); and related advocacy in the courts (amicus briefs).

This is a skill-intensive course with writing assignments, workshops, presentations, peer support, and simulations. It will have a final assessment with a written and oral component. There are no prerequisite courses required. Classes will incorporate pre-class preparations and in-class skill-building exercises.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Technology Policy and Practice.

Note: This course is only open to LL.M students admitted into the LL.M in Technology Law & Policy program or the Master of Law and Technology program.

LAW 127 v00 Advocacy Tools for Public Interest Lawyers

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is designed for students embarking on careers in public interest law or policy and explores the many necessary techniques to become highly effective advocates for social change. The purpose of the class is to help class participants develop creative advocacy approaches and learn to think beyond litigation and other traditional legal strategies to meet key client and societal goals. In particular, the course will: 1) explore how coalition building, grassroots organizing, and public policy advocacy can be used to enhance legal strategies; 2) teach basic public interest advocacy skills, including media relations, fundraising basics, legislative advocacy and lobbying, leveraging data and research, social marketing and public opinion, and cutting-edge digital strategies; and 3) introduce students to dynamic experts in relevant issue areas, from lobbyists to communications experts. Using compelling case studies and background reading materials, students will have the opportunity to use multiple advocacy tools to tackle real-life social problems on the local and national levels. Grades will be based on the extent and quality of class participation and written assignments.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 611 v30 Advocacy, Client Counseling and Negotiation Skills in Practice Settings

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Through role plays set in the context of interaction with clients, fact-finding, negotiation, litigation, and transactional work, this Week One simulation course will teach first-year students how ethics issues arise in practice and how lawyers may run afoul of rules that govern professional responsibility. During the course’s four days, students will be involved in one or more of the following matters:

  • A court sanctions hearing relating to allegations of abuses in civil discovery;
  • A disciplinary hearing considering conflict of interest claims against in-house counsel because of her alleged representation of both a university and its president during a criminal investigation;
  • A simulation of interaction with clients and negotiations relating to the sale of a helicopter;
  • A simulation of an internal law firm investigation of alleged associate and partner abuses in billing.

In each of these situations, students, working in teams and in various roles will be assigned responsibility for meeting with clients, fact-finding—reviewing documents and interviewing prospective witnesses, researching pertinent ethics rules, engaging in negotiations, and making arguments either in a court or disciplinary hearing setting. Through these role-playing assignments, students will learn how to analyze rules of professional conduct, engage in fact-finding, and serve as advocates in various settings. Upper-class teaching fellows will serve as clients, potential witnesses, and decision-makers in the disciplinary setting.

Note: This course does NOT meet the J.D. Professional Responsibility graduation requirement. For a list of the PR series courses, please see the Legal Profession/Professional Responsibility cluster essay.

This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only. Details regarding the registration process will be provided to students during the fall semester via email, information sessions, and on the Week One website.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 1604 v00 Affordable Housing Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

The goal of this seminar is to expose you to the policy, law and practice concerning the prevision and preservation of affordable housing and its relationship to personhood, to community, and to society as a whole.  Specifically, we will examine the problems caused by the absence of a sufficient number of safe, sanitary, decent, and affordable units for households of low and moderate income. We will look at aspects of federal and local housing policy from both a current and an historical viewpoint.  We will place particular emphasis on issues of poverty and race.    Your paper can examine any element of affordable housing regardless of whether it is covered in class.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1754 v00 Africana Legal Studies

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Western law—like Western religion, Western fashion, Western individualism, and Western education—has been imposed on African people enslavement, colonialism, and imperialism. But the history of African people and their thinking on “law” or rules for social living does not begin with these atrocities. This is the central, initial recognition of “Africana Legal Studies.” This seminar focuses on the indigenous African ways of knowing “law” and governance constructs. It will explore the need for application of an Africana Studies lens to legal scholarship, the tenets of Africana Studies, and the contours of Africana Legal Studies. The course will explore a theoretical framework for how to identify and distill precolonial, pre-enslavement (“pre-Maafa”) ways of knowing law. It will include an examination of how Africana legal frameworks have evolved in the face of Western colonialism, European enslavement, and other externally-imposed social structures and how Western law interrupted and interfered with Africana legal frameworks. From participating in this African-centered exploration of “law,” governance, and persistence, students may derive insights and strategies for addressing the issues of today, legal and beyond. The writing requirement offers students an opportunity to write on a topic of their choice pertaining to Africana legal frameworks.

Learning Objectives:

Students successfully completing this course will be able to (1) identify the Africana Studies conceptual framework, (2) de-center the West in their thinking about “law” and indigenous ways of knowing governance, (3) identify methods for researching and identifying Africana “legal” frameworks, (4) through class readings and discussions, analyze avenues of inquiry surrounding the relationship between Africana “legal” frameworks and other frameworks of governance, and (5) discuss and consider ways that American jurisprudence and statutes interfere(d) and interact(ed) with Africana governance protocols. The primary course evaluation is by the traditional two-draft seminar paper.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 277 v02 Aging and Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar explores, through lecture, discussion, role playing, and problem solving, the range of legal challenges and public policy issues affecting older adults. Subject areas include health care benefits (Medicare, Medicaid); long-term services and supports (nursing homes, home and community-based services, long-term care insurance, state-based programs); income security programs (Social Security, SSI); aging and autonomy, including elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and advance planning related to incapacity (powers of attorney, guardianship and its alternatives, choices regarding life-sustaining medical treatment); housing and consumer issues affecting older adults; and ethical issues in representing older adults. Coursework will address systemic inequities faced by older adults of color, older women, LGBTQ older adults, older adults with disabilities, and older adults who are immigrants or have limited English proficiency. The seminar is both practice- and policy-oriented and integrative with respect to other coursework and related disciplines.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in one or more of the following courses: Administrative Law; Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce; Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties; Professional Responsibility.

LAW 1852 v00 AI and the Law Seminar: Principles and Problems

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The ongoing development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies poses significant challenges and opportunities that the law must grapple with. This course will explore some of the normative and theoretical questions raised by the use of AI tools in different legal contexts. Topics to be covered include the use of AI as a substitute or guide for professional judgment; the use of AI as part of systems of government enforcement and adjudication; the use of AI by the private sector to predict, manage, and differentiate consumers; and the use of AI to generate texts, sounds, images, and other products. 

Throughout, we will consider the principles at issue in debates over AI in the context of specific case studies of real world AI legal “problems.” We will ask whether existing legal theories and frameworks are up to the task of fostering the beneficial use of AI or whether and where new approaches may be necessary. We will also explore how understanding the marginal costs and benefits associated with AI sheds light on the uses and limitations of unassisted human judgment in the legal system as it currently exists.

No technical background is assumed. 

Learning Objectives: This course is designed for students to improve their understanding of the following: (1) how artificial intelligence works, both in terms of existing technology as well as the pace and nature of its ongoing development; (2) how artificial intelligence is employed by the private and public sectors; (3) the concerns and hopes that these uses raise; (4) the possibilities and limitations of regulatory approaches to managing those concerns and encouraging AI’s benefits; and (5) how to identify what kinds of claims and concerns are driven by realistic assessments of current and near-future technology versus “hype” or ungrounded projections.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and The Law and Ethics of Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics. 

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 065 v02 Alternative, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine, The Legal Issues Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Alternative, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine ("non-traditional medicine") ("CAM") is the fastest-growing sector of American Health Care and is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. Presently, at least 50 percent of Americans are using some form of alternative and complementary therapy such as acupuncture, nutritional supplementation, herbs, massage, yoga, chiropractic or homeopathy. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1997, visits to alternative health care practitioners exceeded total visits to all conventional primary care physicians. The number of clinics and hospitals that integrate some modalities of CAM alongside conventional medicine is growing rapidly. The Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, has held recent conferences on the values of both CAM and Integrative Medicine. The NIH is using significant resources to fund research in this area.

This development, of course, is raising legal issues. There is a growing but still unsettled body of law on this subject. Some but not all CAM modalities are now licensed and regulated by at least some states. Federal regulatory bodies, such as the FDA and FTC are trying, within the limits of their statutory authority, to protect what they perceive to be the interests of the public. Yet, they come at the problem through conventional, rather than alternative, eyes. Conventional law is based upon protecting the public from purveyors of the proverbial "snake oil" frauds. And to an extent this law is being used to keep out alternatives to the established health-care modalities. This seminar studies the tensions, legal, economic, and social, of this struggle as it unfolds. This seminar covers several areas of law including administrative law, medical malpractice, informed consent, FDA/FTC law, licensure, among others. This seminar discusses the balancing of paternalism vs. individual rights. A paper meeting the upperclass legal writing requirement is required.

LAW 015 v02 American Legal History

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

The defining characteristic of American legal history in the twentieth century, wrote the great legal historian James Willard Hurst, was the emergence of unreviewable, “prerogative” power in executive officials.  Americans needed a state, but they also needed it to respect individual freedom and a diverse civil society.  They wanted not Leviathan but a democratic and liberal state, and they looked to lawyers and the rule of law to create it.


Through a series of case studies, interspersed with histories of the American legal profession, political parties, and public bureaucracies, this course looks to the past for insight into our present.  The case studies include the Cambridge smallpox vaccine controversy of 1902-1905; lawyering at Ellis Island and within the immigration bureaucracy; Charles Evans Hughes on commission government and the draft in World War I; legal realism and legal radicalism in New Deal farm policy; FDR’s Court-packing plan; Japanese American internment and price control in World War II; and McCarthyism.  Topics on the legal profession include the nineteenth-century, court-centered bar as an “inner republic”; the emergence of the corporate bar; ethnicity, gender and race within the bar; New Deal lawyers; and the “Washington lawyers” of postwar America.  Theoretical topics include the professions, bureaucracy, party strategy, state autonomy, and professional authority.

LAW 361 v20 American Legal Profession

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course combines material covered in the two-hour Professional Responsibility course with a broader examination of the legal profession. In addition to the law of lawyering (including the Model Rules of Professional Conduct), the course includes material on the moral underpinnings of law practice, the structure and regulation of the legal profession, and the distribution of legal services. The course uses problems and case studies to enable students to identify ethics issues as they arise in different practice areas, including private practice, government lawyering, criminal defense and prosecution, and public interest practice.

LAW 1107 v00 Analytical Methods

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Lawyers in every type of practice (corporate, litigation, government, public interest, etc.) routinely deal with problems that require a basic understanding of concepts and methods from economics and statistics. This course provides an introduction to these subjects and their application and relevance to law and legal practice. Topics covered include decision analysis, game theory, probability, and statistics. Grades will be based on a graded problem set and a take-home final examination. No prior background in economics or statistics is required; however, we will regularly use elementary algebra and geometry. Students with strong backgrounds in economics, mathematics, or statistics should consult with the professor before enrolling in the course.

Course Objective and Learning Outcomes: The objective of the course is to enhance students' ability to give sound legal advice and make effective legal arguments by introducing them to selected concepts and methods from economics and statistics that are relevant to numerous areas of law and legal practice. These concepts and methods include: decision trees, expected value, sensitivity analysis, risk aversion, present value; Nash equilibrium, game trees, backward induction, subgame perfection, moral hazard, adverse selection; probability, conditional probability, independence, Bayes' rule; descriptive statistics (including measures of central tendency and variability), hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, statistical significance, type I and type II errors, and regression analysis.

By the end of the course, I expect students to have a good understanding of these concepts and methods and to be able demonstrate a basic proficiency in applying them to: (i) unpack complex decisions of the kind that lawyers and their clients often encounter in litigation and transactions; (ii) analyze situations involving strategic interactions (i.e., situations where the outcome depends on the strategies and actions of multiple parties) of the kind that lawyers and their clients often encounter in litigation and transactions; and (iii) engage in probabilistic and statistical reasoning and evaluate probabilistic and statistical evidence of the kind that courts and lawyers often encounter in litigation.

LAW 1167 v00 Anatomy of a Federal Criminal Trial: The Prosecution and Defense Perspective

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course will be an in-depth analysis of the investigation and trial of a federal white collar criminal case led by an experienced criminal defense attorney and an experienced prosecutor who faced each other in the courtroom during the trial of a former executive of Enron Corporation. This course will use a hypothetical case study based on the Enron trial the instructors conducted against each other beginning at the investigative stage through the charging stage and continuing through trial and sentencing.

Through discussion and selected assignments representative of different stages of the prosecution, students will critically examine the hypothetical criminal prosecution from both sides of the adversarial process – moving beyond a discussion of the basic stages of the trial into an analysis of how each side approaches each stage – asking themselves what they hope to accomplish and what is the best method for doing so.

Each student will do a total of three written assignments and two oral assignments.

Learning Objectives:

The goal of this course is to provide a realistic and practical view into what it is actually like to be a prosecutor or a defense counsel, and the decisions and considerations they make through each stage of a matter, from investigation through sentencing and appeal. The learning outcomes for the course include:

  • Knowledge of each stage of a white collar investigation, from a defense and prosecutorial perspective.
  • Ability to engage in a lively discussion while letting go of the fear of a “wrong answer.”
  • Ability to engage in critical and strategic thinking beyond black letter law and into the practical effects of a particular course of action as well as any related policy considerations.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this class and Federal Prosecution.

LAW 1743 v00 Animal Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

An exploration and discussion of the treatment of animals under state, federal, and international law, as well as current policy reform efforts.  The course will address the historical status of animals in the law; legislative and regulatory 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 in animal products; the limitations on state laws addressing anti-cruelty, hunting, trapping, and animal fighting; and the effect of free speech, religious expression, and other Constitutional principles on animal protection statutes.

LAW 567 v00 Animal Protection Law (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course explores the process of public interest litigation in an effort to better understand the status and treatment of animals in the courts. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and also undertake 10 hours/week of fieldwork in the twenty-attorney legal team at the Humane Society of the United States.

SEMINAR: The seminar offers a practical survey of litigation and legislative efforts on behalf of animals at the local, state, and national level. The course will address the historical status of animals in the law; the current application of animal protection laws to wild animals, animals confined in factory farms, exhibitions, and laboratories, and companion animals; legislative efforts and citizen initiatives to strengthen animal protection laws; the role of international conventions and other laws concerning trade in animals and animal products; the limitations on implementation and enforcement of animal laws; and the impacts of free speech, religious expression, and other constitutional provisions on animal protection laws. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that combines administrative law, environmental law, consumer protection, and other related public interest fields, the seminar will examine why some public interest litigation campaigns succeed and others fail, explore how to construct an effective public interest litigation strategy, and teach students how to develop innovative uses of existing laws to expand legal protections for animals.

FIELDWORK: Students will work closely with the Humane Society of the United States’ in-house legal team to find new and creative ways to ensure that all animals receive the legal protections they deserve. As part of the fieldwork, students will work on a wide variety of cases, petitions, and proposed legislation in state and federal courts, agencies and legislatures throughout the country, including actions to protect endangered species and other wildlife, to curb unscrupulous breeding of and cruelty to companion animals, to improve the treatment of animals used in research, and to prevent the systematic mistreatment of animals in industrial farms. The docket is extensive and interdisciplinary, and involves cases being pursued jointly with other public interest groups, including environmental protection, consumer protection, public health, labor, and sustainable agriculture organizations.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Administrative Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course is suitable for evening students who can attend the weekly seminar and conduct 10 hours of fieldwork/week during normal business hours.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as this practicum.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 038 v02 Antitrust Economics and Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course covers the major federal legislation and doctrine in the field of antitrust law with a primary focus upon governmental efforts to promote competition. Emphasis is placed upon the growing role of economic analysis and trends in judicial interpretation relating to the coordination, monopolies, mergers and joint ventures, as well as evolving legal standards, including the role of decision theory in setting legal standards.

This version of basic antitrust places greater emphasis on the tools of economic analysis that have taken on growing importance in antitrust as well as controversies between Chicago School and post-Chicago economic approaches. There is no economics prerequisite. The necessary economic tools will be developed in the course. Students should be prepared to master economic as well as legal materials. There will be written assignments that must be submitted for each class. 

Recommended: Some economics background is helpful, but not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Antitrust Law or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement.

LAW 1530 v00 Antitrust in Action: Evaluating the Deal and Advising the Board of Directors

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This intensive one-credit course will take twelve students through a fast-paced, real-life M&A situation with potentially significant antitrust implications over the course of three days. Students will represent a hypothetical client who has received an unsolicited indication of interest from a competitor and have to weigh that offer against alternative transactions presenting less risk. With time of the essence, the students will have to analyze the antitrust implications of the various alternatives and make a recommendation regarding the risks to the client’s Board of Directors. Once the Board makes its decision and the deal is negotiated (with the help of the students in respect of the provisions in the merger agreement with antitrust implications), it will then become their responsibility, as outside counsel for the company, to convince the antitrust authorities that the transaction is not anticompetitive.

Students will be informed of the scenario a few days in advance, and provided with the relevant background materials, in order to be ready for the course. The students will play the role of associates in a firm that is the outside counsel to the company that is the subject of the scenario. The goal of the course is to simulate through this hypothetical M&A scenario, the legal skills needed to guide a client’s strategic and tactical business decisions in a real-life antitrust sensitive situation.

This course will be highly interactive. Working in teams and individually over three class sessions, the students will perform a "quick and dirty" antitrust analysis of the alternatives, evaluate/negotiate the antitrust risk shifting provisions in the merger agreement, present the analysis to the Board, and present a Day 1 presentation to the antitrust authorities. The students will be allocated tasks throughout the week as they would in a real life/real time private practice situation. The students will work with a practicing antitrust M&A lawyer from an international New York City firm as the "partner" on the matter who will give out assignments, review written material, and otherwise coordinate the team.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Recommended: An antitrust or antitrust and economics course is recommended, but not mandatory.

Note: This seminar is open to J.D. students only.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

Note: Students should be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to this class over the course of the weekend outside of the scheduled class hours.

LAW 038 v01 Antitrust Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course covers the major federal legislation in the field of antitrust law, with a primary focus upon governmental efforts to promote competition, including Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, and Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Emphasis is placed upon the growing role of economic analysis and other modern trends in judicial interpretation, with an emphasis on understanding the means by which courts determine whether unilateral and collaborative business conduct is pro-competitive or anticompetitive, regardless of the particular statutory provision at issue.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Antitrust Economics and Law or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement or Antitrust Law and Policy.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

LAW 038 v05 Antitrust Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This class will serve as a basic survey and introduction to U.S. antitrust law, including coverage of recent critiques and policy developments.  As such, the reading will include the traditional case law, but also some examples of proposed legislation and contemporary advocacy material from policy activists.  Thus, we will learn the basics of antitrust doctrine but also seek to understand the merits (or lack thereof) of contemporary critiques and proposed policy responses. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Antitrust Economics and Law or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement.

LAW 038 v06 Antitrust Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This class will serve as a basic survey and introduction to U.S. antitrust law, covering both the historical evolution of antitrust policy objectives and the modern antitrust case law. The course readings will include a narrowed selection of traditional case law as well as historical analyses, scholarly commentaries, and contemporary materials. The objective of this course will be not just to learn the basics of antitrust doctrine but to understand and assess contemporary critiques and proposed policy responses to the current state of that doctrine.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Antitrust Economics and Law or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement or Antitrust Law.

LAW 1396 v00 Antitrust Law Seminar: Case Development and Litigation Strategy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course explores the process of raising and defending against antitrust challenges. Through a series of contemporary case studies, we will examine the resolution of antitrust disputes, focusing on the substantive strategies and procedural tools available to the litigants. In the context of these case studies, we will discuss criminal indictments, plea agreements and the DOJ's leniency policy, sufficiency of pleading, presumptions and burdens of proof, rules of evidence (including the use of expert evidence), dispositive pretrial motions, class actions and class action settlement strategies, temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, treble damage judgments, interlocutory and final appeals, and Supreme Court review. There will be no exam but a paper will be required.

Recommended: Antitrust Law, Antitrust Economics and Law, or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. Students must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 038 v03 Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This class will serve as a basic survey and introduction to U.S. antitrust law, but with as much focus on the historical evolution of antitrust policy objectives as on antitrust case law. The course readings will therefore include historical analyses, scholarly commentaries, proposed legislation, and contemporary advocacy material from policy activists in addition to a narrowed selection of traditional case law. The objective of this course will be not just to learn the basics of antitrust doctrine but to understand and assess contemporary critiques and proposed policy responses to the current state of that doctrine.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law.

LAW 1796 v00 Antitrust Seminar: From the Chicago School to the New Progressives: Regulating Technology Platforms, Durable Monopolies, and Mega-Firms

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

In recent years, progressive groups, Congress, and government antitrust agencies have taken an increasingly aggressive approach to enforcement against “big tech” and monopoly power more generally. In this seminar, we will examine current legislative and enforcement initiatives toward particular kinds of firms and economic conduct. We will examine how these enforcement initiatives differ in their presumptions, analysis, and objectives from antitrust enforcement principles and doctrine that rose to prominence over the second half of the twentieth century. We will trace the evolution of those principles from the “Chicago School” revolution in antitrust of the 1970’s and 1980’s to the current “New Progressive” era, and critically assess both the new progressive policies and the shortcomings of the doctrine and theory to which those policies respond.

Strongly Recommended: This seminar assumes basic familiarity with antitrust precedent and concepts. Prior completion of an antitrust survey course is thus strongly recommended.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 049 v06 Appellate Courts and Advocacy Workshop

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

The Appellate Courts and Advocacy Workshop combines a substantive review of key appellate litigation doctrines concerning appellate jurisdiction, standards of review, issue preservation, and other topics, with a significant advocacy component, including motion and brief writing. The course considers each stage of the appellate litigation process beginning with a general overview, moving to the various bases for appellate jurisdiction in the federal courts, then discussing standards and scope of review, and concluding with drafting a full appellate brief in a simulated case. (Students enrolled in the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic, who must enroll in this course for two credits, do not draft the simulated appellate brief.) We will also briefly consider U.S. Supreme Court practice. The workload is steady and at times fairly demanding. Students desiring to get the most from this course will have to read the materials as they are assigned and complete the writing assignments diligently. In the first two-thirds of the workshop, students gain invaluable practice experience by deconstructing an appellate brief element by element and then, toward the end of the course, build on that experience by drafting a full appellate brief from scratch.

The course's half dozen small- to medium-sized writing assignments serve two purposes: They introduce students to an aspect of appellate practice, and they demand application of one or more of the course’s doctrinal topics. For all assignments, students are provided copies of relevant practice rules, statutes, cases, and other items. No outside research is required.

For a detailed course description and syllabus, please contact the instructor at (wolfmanb@georgetown.edu).

The learning goals of this course are (1) mastery of the basic doctrine of the law of federal appellate courts (in particular, jurisdiction, standards of review, and scope of review); (2)  providing students with a critical understanding of the doctrine enabling them to make credible arguments about the doctrine’s gaps and ambiguities; and (3) enhancing students’ persuasive writing skills. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students enrolled in the 3-credit section may not apply to the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic at any time.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY.  Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 049 v07 Appellate Courts and Advocacy Workshop

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

The Appellate Courts and Advocacy Workshop combines a substantive review of key appellate litigation doctrines concerning appellate jurisdiction, standards of review, issue preservation, and other topics, with an intensive advocacy component, including motion and brief writing. The course considers each stage of the appellate litigation process, beginning with a general overview, moving to the various bases for appellate jurisdiction in the federal courts, then discussing standards of review, and other doctrinal issues, and then concluding with an intense review of the anatomy of an appellate brief. We will also briefly consider U.S. Supreme Court practice. Students considering judicial clerkships after graduation often find this course useful.

During the doctrinal portion of the class, students complete about a half dozen small- to medium-sized writing assignments. These assignments do two things: (1) introduce students to some aspect of appellate practice, and (2) demand application of one or more of the course's doctrinal topics. In addition to these smaller assignments, students are also responsible for writing an appellate brief. For all assignments, students are provided copies of relevant practice rules, statutes, cases, and other items. No outside research is permitted.

The doctrinal portion of the course, and the corresponding small- to medium-sized writing assignments, will be covered during the eight three-hour class sessions over the first four weeks of the Summer Term. The appellate brief will be completed over approximately the next five weeks. During that time, each student will have a one-on-one meeting with the professor to review a draft appellate brief. The student will then submit a final version of the brief.

All students are expected to attend class. Students should prepare for class by reading the assigned materials and completing the writing assignment and are expected to discuss the materials and assignments in class. A practice-oriented small class depends on preparation and active student participation.

The instructor, Brian Wolfman, is Director of GULC’s Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic, which litigations public-interest appeals of all kinds. He is the former co-director of Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and GULC’s civil-rights clinic. Before entering clinical teaching, Prof. Wolfman was the Director of Public Citizen Litigation Group, a public interest law firm in Washington, D.C. He has litigated dozens of cases in federal courts of appeals, state appellate courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

For a detailed course description and syllabus, please contact the instructor at (wolfmanb@georgetown.edu).

The learning goals of this course are (1) mastery of the basic doctrine of the law of federal appellate courts (in particular, jurisdiction, standards of review, and scope of review); (2)  providing students with a critical understanding of the doctrine, enabling them to make credible arguments about the doctrine’s gaps and ambiguities; and (3) enhancing students’ persuasive writing skills.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure or Legal Process and Society, and Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Note: This course will enroll via waitlist.

FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 504 v01 Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic PDF.

For more information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Appellate Practice Seminar. Students in this clinic may not concurrently enroll in another class, clinic, externship or practicum.

LAW 504 v00 Appellate Litigation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 14 credit hours

Please see the Appellate Litigation Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Appellate Litigation Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Appellate Practice Seminar.

Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 044 v02 Appellate Practice Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

What happens after a trial court decides a case? The purpose of this seminar is to teach you about the appellate process and help you develop appellate advocacy skills. Using the federal system as a model, you will learn about the various stages of appellate litigation, as well as appellate courts’ sometimes-limited role in each of them. We will seek to create lively class discussions, examining real-world briefs and oral arguments. The course will involve significant legal writing opportunities; in addition to short in-class and take-home writing exercises, you will craft an appellate brief over the course of the semester. Both the draft and final versions of your brief must be at least 6,000 words in length, excluding footnotes (roughly 25 pages). You will also learn how to prepare for oral argument; the semester will culminate in each student’s delivery of an oral argument in support of their brief in front of appellate practitioners. We will provide individualized critiques of your writing assignments and your oral argument.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in one or both of the following courses: Advanced Legal Writing; Trial Practice.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course after they have enrolled in or completed the Appellate Litigation Clinic or the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic. Students may receive credit for this course and may subsequently enroll in one of these clinics.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 537 v00 Applied Legal Composition

J.D. Course | 2 or 4 credit hours

Students study legal writing from both the writer's and reader's perspectives. Students review documents, analyze scholarship, write criticisms of legal writing, prepare their own texts, and read extensively about the theory of legal composition. Students hold conferences with clients who are currently working on writing projects.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis at Georgetown Law.

Recommended: Legal Writing Seminar: Theory and Practice for Law Fellows.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL and can only be taken by Senior Writing Fellows, who must take this course. Contact the Office of the Registrar if you would like to distribute the credits unevenly between the semesters.

LAW 1797 v00 Approaches to Consumer Protection

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The law of consumer markets and consumer products permeates our lives, shaping much of what we buy and how we buy it. In areas as varied as healthcare, education, banking, and housing, consumer markets pose recurring challenges for the law, and the law often uses similar tools to try and address those challenges. This seminar will explore different approaches to consumer protection, focusing on the recurring types of arguments that are used to promote or critique consumer markets and to justify legal interventions in those markets. Some consumer protection laws, for instance, are justified by the desire to improve market competition; others are justified by the desire to protect consumers from market forces. Still other justifications are grounded in concerns for social and economic justice, such as preventing or repairing racial discrimination.

The class will ground these conversations in examples of specific cases and regulatory regimes from a variety of consumer contexts, including products liability, consumer finance, housing, and more. Through this comparative lens, the seminar aims to cultivate a facility with the different types of arguments that recur in the world of consumer protection, as well as an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning Objectives: This course is designed for you to develop your understanding of the common justifications for legal interventions in consumer markets, as well as to refine your own views regarding those justifications. My hope is that by the end of the semester, you will be familiar with problems of consumer protection in numerous commercial areas; be able to identify and describe the common structures that these problems have across different areas; understand the ways that the law responds to these problems, including the strengths and weaknesses of those responses; and be able to extrapolate from this knowledge to critique new policies or come up with novel proposals.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Consumer Protection Law Seminar.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1771 v00 Arguing Free Speech in the 21st Century Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course will explore cutting-edge issues in First Amendment doctrine, policy, and scholarship, through a pedagogical method that emphasizes structured debate and moot court oral arguments.  Among the substantive issues we will address include:  the effect of social media on free speech; campaign finance reform; compelled speech; data as speech and data privacy; hate speech; student online speech; commercial speech; and speech on campus.  The class will feature a mixture of traditional seminar conversation and moot courts or structured debates.  Each student will have the opportunity to be an oralist and to be a questioner or judge.  Writing requirements will include the preparation of questions for the moot courts/structured debates, and an in-depth analysis of one of the issues we have discussed in class.  

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Contemporary Free Speech Problems.

Note: LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES DEPARTMENTAL PERMISSION TO ENROLL. LL.M. students cannot register or put themselves on the waitlist for this course through MyAccess. Students interested in taking this course should send an e-mail to llmas@georgetown.edu.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1740 v00 Artificial Intelligence and National Security: Law, Ethics, and Technology

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This two-credit course provides students with an appreciation of the legal, ethical, and technical issues raised by the proliferation of artificial intelligence in the field of national security. The focus of the course is to enable students as lawyers, leaders, and policymakers to grapple with these issues by giving them an understanding of how artificial intelligence operates; its potential and likely use in different national security settings; and how each use raises distinctive legal and ethical questions involving predictability, trustworthiness, responsibility, and accountability. The course will use examples and case studies to illustrate these issues, as well as videos to depict some of the technical aspects of artificial intelligence.

The specific learning objectives for the course are for students to understand the following:

(1) How artificial intelligence operates, including the concept of an algorithm, how it is trained on data, the statistical models that underlie this training and the basis for its outputs, machine learning, deep learning and neural networks, and the ways in which human choices and interactions shape this process. No technical background in statistics or computer science is necessary, since the goal is to explain these concepts in accessible terms.

(2)  Artificial intelligence as a system involving human-machine teaming, the roles that each member of the team potentially plays at different points in the process, and the concept of trustworthy artificial intelligence.

(3) The role that artificial intelligence is playing in the national security field, its capabilities and potential applications to specific areas, and the extent to which global competition to employ and refine artificial intelligence is itself a national security issue.

(4) Limitations and risks of artificial intelligence, and possible ways to address them.

Assessment will be based on paper of 3,000 words (about 12 doubled-spaced pages) discussing a legal, ethical, or technological issue relevant to the course.

LAW 1856 v00 Artificial Intelligence and the Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Machine Learning (ML) and other forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly transforming the way we make decisions, conduct business, and express ourselves. Our legal institutions are struggling to respond, and policymakers around the world are tweaking, overhauling, or remaking just about every area of law. This course will investigate the emerging legal frameworks being created to address the way ML and AI are reshaping society. Students will survey laws at the local, state, and federal levels from the United States as well as engage in comparative analyses of approaches in other countries.

The course will cover how AI is reshaping venerable common law doctrines–how should  tort law treat autonomous vehicles?–Constitutional Law–do large language models produce protected speech under the First Amendment?–statutory protections–when do algorithmic hiring practices violate the Civil Rights Act?–and regulatory approaches–does high-frequency trading raise risks not currently accounted for in Securities Law? The course will investigate the use of AI by private parties and by public actors alike.

A core premise of this course is that students must deeply understand the technological advances that are spurring the rapid development of AI. Although no prior technical knowledge is required, students should expect to devote several dedicated class hours training neural networks and studying the computer code underlying recent advances in AI to understand the legal developments in a deeper manner.

Learning Outcomes.

At the end of the semester, students will have gained or strengthened the ability to:

  • Understand the technological advances that have led to the rapid advance of AI technology and develop a foundation of technical knowledge to better understand future advances;
  • Apply the emerging legal frameworks for regulating AI surveyed in the course and anticipate and understand future developments in this area of law;
  • Articulate moral, ethical, and policy-focused positions underpinning AI regulation;
  • Place the current developments and approaches in AI regulation into longer historical arcs of regulating technology and other complex systems; and
  • Diagnose the way AI and related technologies can exacerbate or alleviate pre-existing disparities such as in the differential treatment of individuals and groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, and disability. 

Prerequisite: Torts (or Government Processes) and Contracts (or Bargain, Exchange, and Liability).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and The Law and Ethics of Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics.

LAW 1788 v00 Asian American Legal Studies Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

“In the popular imagination, Asian Americans inhabit a vague purgatorial status,” Cathy Hong Park writes, neither “white enough nor black enough,” regarded with suspicion, overlooked, or, increasingly, used by cynics to dismantle affirmative action.  Asian Americans have occupied various positions along the shifting color line: the arrival of Asian immigrants occasioned the assertion of national borders; this “race so different,” Justice Harlan wrote, could never be assimilated as Americans, no matter how colorblind our constitution.  Since the selective reopening of borders in the 1960s, the image of Asian Americans has been repurposed to serve new and competing ends, to affirm the American dream, to disparage black and brown counterparts, or to signal to white Americans the loss of status threatened by immigration and global capitalism. 

This interdisciplinary seminar will offer students an introduction to the history and experience of Asian Americans, not limited to their encounters with the law.  We will cover legal histories of Chinese exclusion, Japanese incarceration, and the Muslim ban.  But we will also survey instances of Asian American activism, anti-imperial radicalism, and Afro-Asian solidarity.  We will also address current events that have brought Asian Americans into renewed visibility, including violence against Asian Americans and the recent affirmative action cases.  There are no prerequisites for this class, but students should be prepared to engage with variety of materials, not limited to legal cases or statutes.

Students will be expected to draft short weekly reflections, to participate in leading our seminar discussion at least once during the semester, and to submit a final paper on a topic of their own choosing. 

Note: J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the two-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 2028 v01 Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This 2 or 3 credit seminar will provide an overview of the underlying and competing laws and policies arising from the assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) that continually make front page news. Since the 1980 opening of the country’s 1st IVF clinic amidst protests and pickets, courts and legislatures have struggled to create laws and policies in response to continually evolving reproductive advances. Topics will include: the legal status of the IVF embryo in the context of procreative rights (highlighted by the currently changing and challenging legal context); embryo cryopreservation, storage, disposition and mix-ups; legal implications of advances in egg freezing, reproductive genetics and oncofertility; posthumous reproduction; egg and sperm donation; traditional/genetic and gestational surrogacy; unique issues for single and same-sex couples, including the impact of legally recognized same-sex marriage; and professional and regulatory aspects of the ARTs.

Two classes that will examine selected legal and policy aspects of comparative ART law perspectives on “third-party ART” and the impact these differences have on cross-border reproductive practices, with a particular focus on surrogacy.

National experts in their respective fields will provide guest lectures on: medical advances in ART; psychosocial aspects of donor egg and 3rd party ART;  reproductive genetics; and potentially other emerging developments. 

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students.

LAW 050 v01 Aviation Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course, taught by practitioners in the field, covers contemporary and cutting-edge aviation topics such as international commercial aviation, aviation security, and the integration of advanced aviation (i.e., drones and advanced air mobility aircraft) into the national airspace. The course material will encompass most aspects of aviation law, including the law of international civil aviation, the economic and safety regulation of air transportation, aircraft registration and certification, aircraft accidents, airport law, government immunity from tort liability, and airline liability for the carriage of passengers and cargo domestically and internationally under the Montreal Convention. Students are exposed to a range of materials, including cases, treaties, executive agreements, and regulations, with a view towards imparting practical skills that can be applied to any field of law.

Recommended: Administrative Law

Federal Courts

LAW 1316 v00 Bankruptcy Advocacy (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on bankruptcy litigation. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professor.

SEMINAR: The basic goal of this practicum is to provide law students with the opportunity to learn about and then practice litigation skills at both the trial court (bankruptcy court) level, as well as the appellate level. More broadly, the practicum will seek to demonstrate the centrality and significance of the bankruptcy law system in the context of our credit-based economy. Key themes will be evaluated including the tension between providing debtors with a fresh start and the need to provide creditors with protection of property rights. The impact of bankruptcy law will be examined at both the individual level in various contexts, such as the importance of a discharge action, as well as the broader macro level in discussions about the impact on credit cost and credit availability. Students should finish the course with a deeper appreciation of the litigation skills required to either try a bankruptcy case or to appeal from an adverse ruling, as well as the underlying goals and policies of bankruptcy law, and the impact on individuals and businesses.

PROJECT WORK: In Spring 2025, this practicum will seek to give students an opportunity to assist in the writing of an actual amicus curiae brief to be filed in a pending matter before the U.S. Supreme Court, or one of the Circuit Courts. 

This practicum is best suited for students who have a strong interest in legal writing and who have had some experience in brief writing. 

The students may be able to attend the moot court for counsel for one of the parties, and, depending on the Court's schedule, the actual oral argument.

The student work will be consistent with the District of Columbia’s rule on the unauthorized practice of law (Rule 49) which makes it impermissible for students to practice law to present themselves as attorneys in any way.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Bankruptcy law.

Any course focusing on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: LL.M. students may enroll in this course, space permitting, provided they have excellent U.S.-based legal research skills and English language writing ability. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 054 v06 Bankruptcy Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is a general basic introduction to bankruptcy law, addressing both corporate bankruptcy law as the focus, but also individual consumer bankruptcy law issues.   

The class begins with an overview of debt, the need for bankruptcy law, and the bankruptcy process, and jurisdiction.This will be followed by basic concepts like the automatic stay, types and priority of claims, executory contracts, avoiding powers, estate management, and the reorganization process.  The class will progress to cover priorities in distribution, individual bankruptcy concepts and principles including fresh start, and conclude with a thorough review of the corporate bankruptcy reorganization process.  We will also cover current events and address current issues and problems, perceived and real, in the restructuring and insolvency system.

 

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Commercial Law: Payment Systems

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy

LAW 002 v02 Bargain, Exchange, and Liability

J.D. Course | 6 credit hours

This course explores the ways in which the law can regulate relationships between individuals. Some of this regulation involves rules that individuals crafted for themselves; that is the core of the field of Contracts.  Other aspects of the regulation of individuals’ interactions entails enforcing rules society has established for people’s behavior; this is the central focus of Torts.  Rather than approaching Contracts and Torts separately, as the standard law school curriculum does, this course engages them together, emphasizing how they have changed in similar ways over the years as dominant legal ideas have changed.  For example, both Contract and Tort must consider whether to regulate inaction as well as action.  Both must determine how much law should defer to other relationships among individuals.  Both face choices about how, if at all, to take into account the effects of broader societal conditions (such as inadequate employment opportunities or education) when assessing individuals’ legal rights and obligations.  And both must decide how much to focus on particular individuals’ capabilities or states of mind and how much to impose generalized, one-size-fits-all rules.  The first half of the course focuses on Classical Legal Thought, which rose to prominence after the Civil War and continues to have considerable influence on legal rules.  The second half revolves around various ideas broadly grouped as Law and Economics, which began to emerge early in the 20th Century.

Note: This is a required course for Curriculum B first year students only.  The topics examined in this course are found in the traditional curriculum in the Torts and Contracts courses.

LAW 2086 v00 Basic Accounting for Lawyers

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This is a basic course for students with NO accounting background or experience. A student will learn what an asset and a liability are, what the basic financial statements are, how financial statements are developed from the underlying accounting information of a company, and how the basic transactions of a business affect each line item of each financial statement. Students will learn how to understand the basics as it relates to the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Methods will include reading and text exercises, class lectures, and case exercises. Grading may be based on a final examination.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Accounting for Lawyers or Introduction to Accounting. Students MAY receive credit for this course and Demystifying Finance: A Short Course for Law Students and Business Basics for Lawyers and Business and Financial Basics for Lawyers.

LAW 104 v02 Behavioral Law and Economics

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

The economic analysis of law has predominated much of legal analysis for the past few decades. Within this framework, rational choice theory has taken central stage as the key model used in order to predict human behavior. In recent years, however, researchers both in economics and in psychology have demonstrated that people systematically deviate from the predictions set forth by the rational choice model. The goal of this course is to incorporate these findings into legal analysis. In doing so we will first examine traditional economic analysis of law in the areas of property, contracts and torts, and then explore how the conclusions of this analysis are altered when behavioral insights are incorporated into it.

Learning Outcome Goals:

Primary Goals

At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in the core concepts of rational choice theory and alternative behavioral theories.

At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in the implications of behavioral findings on legal analysis.

Secondary Goals

At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of the methodological framework underlying behavioral economics.

Note: This course will meet in Fall 2021 on the following dates: 8/31, 9/2, 9/7, 9/9, 9/14, 9/16, and 9/21.

Laptop computers are not permitted in class without the permission of the instructor.

LAW 1354 v00 Best Practices for Justice: Prosecutors Working to Improve the Criminal Justice System (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of the professors. This project-based practicum course will work with the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence to focus on emerging issues of importance to prosecutors and will include doing research and writing on these challenging issues. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.

SEMINAR: The criminal justice system is undergoing a period of re-examination and reform. The Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence (PCE) is working with prosecutors around the country to assess emerging issues and implement change. The critical topics covered in the practicum will be:

  • The evolving role of the modern prosecutor
  • Preventing wrongful convictions
  • Issues relating to race and equity in a prosecutor's office
  • Managing forensic evidence, including new forensic science, laboratory standards, and dealing with problems in forensic science
  • The challenges of digital evidence, including using digital evidence for investigative purposes, privacy vs. public safety, and ethics and digital evidence
  • Prosecutorial ethics, including law enforcement ethics and conviction integrity units
  • Reducing crime and building community trust, including community prosecution, crime strategy units, and research on crime prevention

PROJECT WORK: Under the direction of the professors, students will engage in:

  • The student's legal work for the Prosecutors' Center for Excellence supports publications on critical issues for prosecutors. Students will work on emerging issues facing the criminal justice system which can include crime prevention, reducing the criminal justice footprint and new technologies. Students will have individual or group assignments, depending on the topic.

Learning Objectives:

The course objective to to expose students to policy issues facing prosecutors on a variety of topics ranging from ethics to forensics to community engagement.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: A course in criminal law is recommended, but not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic, or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course may be suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and undertaking 10 hours/week of project work. Much of the project work may be done outside of business hours.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1912 v00 Between Crime and War: Protecting Life in Conflicts with Non-State Groups Seminar

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The current fierce conflict between Israel and Hamas highlights an important feature of the modern world: the vast majority of hostilities since World War II have been between states and nonstate armed groups. These include insurgencies against states such as such as Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel, Turkey, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Yemen, and many others. They also involve conflicts between states and transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Hezbollah.

These hostilities call into question the assumptions that are the foundations of the post-World War II international regulation of force designed to provide greater protection for human rights, especially the right to life. The legal system governing state use of military force is based on the assumption that the greatest threat to life is armed conflicts between states, known as international armed conflicts. This legal regime, known as International Humanitarian Law (IHL), therefore sets forth detailed rules regarding protection of the right to life during armed conflict between states, with only minimal reference to hostilities between states and nonstate armed groups. The assumption is that state use of force to protect life from violence by private actors will involve police operations against criminal behavior, which is governed by International Human Rights Law (IHRL).

This gives rise to a clear division of regulation: IHRL governs state response to nonstate criminal threats to life during peacetime, while IHL governs state response to threats to life posed by other states during war.  Each legal regime protects threats to life that may arise both from others and from the state. Each does this in a distinctive way by imposing significantly different limits on state use of lethal force. 

The assumptions of the post-war system for regulating state use of force, however, do not easily apply to most conflicts since World War II.  This gives rise to several difficult questions.

First, at what point may a state conclude that it needs to resort to military force against nonstate groups because police operations governed by IHRL are ineffective? In other words, when do hostilities evolve from crime or social disturbances to what is known as a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) that requires the conduct of military operations governed by IHL?

Second, IHL provides detailed guidance on state use of military force against other states, but says very little about state use of force during a NIAC.  Where should states turn for guidance in the absence of explicit regulation? Should they apply provisions of IHL by analogy? Should they rely on IHRL because the threat comes from private groups?  Or are conflicts with nonstate armed groups sufficiently distinctive that other rules should apply? If so, what is the source of such rules?  Should it matter whether a NIAC is solely internal or whether it crosses state boundaries?

Third, it is now widely accepted that regulation of states by IHRL to protect human rights does not cease during armed conflict, but that IHRL and IHL are both applicable during wartime. How must a state reconcile these two divergent legal regimes when using force in an armed conflict?  Is it realistic to harmonize such dramatically different sets of rules?  Or can each body of law make its own distinctive contribution to protecting the right to life during wartime in ways that complement one another?

These are questions at the cutting edge of international law regarding the use of force. The course will draw on case studies from several hostilities, including US counterterrorism activities against transnational terrorist organizations; the conflict between Israel and Palestinian non-state groups; the 30-year hostilities between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland; the 50-year conflict between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC); and the ongoing violence involving Mexico and the drug cartels.

In sum, the predominance of hostilities between states and nonstate groups in the modern world requires complex sophisticated judgments by decision-makers and lawyers about how to use force. States must protect life from violence by others, but must do so in ways that minimize state infringement on life. This course will give students an appreciation of this challenge and explore how best to meet it in order to protect the right to life from violence both by non-state armed groups and by the state itself.  New events that illustrate the issues in the course undoubtedly will arise during the semester, and discussion of these will be incorporated into the course.

Learning Objectives:

Learning objectives for the course are for students to become familiar with:

(1) basic concepts in international human rights law, United Nations and European Conventions on basic human rights, and their impacts on domestic law;

(2) basic provisions of international law that deal with when states may use military force, and international law governing how such force may be used in armed conflict; and

(3) based on your understanding of the subjects described above, for students to appreciate how many contemporary conflicts with non-state groups present challenges that do not fall squarely within either international human rights law or the international law governing military force.  This means that students must be able to think creatively about how best to protect human life in the setting of complex modern conflicts.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law. 

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 3026 v00 Beyond the IPO: Exempt Securities Offerings

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course offers an in-depth study, both from the regulator’s and private practitioner’s perspectives, of frequently invoked exemptions from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 that otherwise apply to offerings of securities.

Students successfully completing this course will be positioned to analyze whether a particular transaction exemption under the Securities Act is available and, if so, how to maximize its protections.  The course will emphasize the “nuts-and-bolts” of the transaction exemptions as well as the circumstances and motivations under which the exemptions are sought and claimed.  The major topics to be taught will include the Section 4(a)(2) private offering exemption and the Rule 506(b) safe harbor thereunder, Securities Act Rule 144, Regulation Crowdfunding, and Regulation A.  The course will also cover topical developments such as recent efforts to use transaction exemptions for initial coin offerings (ICOs).  In that most securities transactions take place pursuant to an exemption, this course will provide an opportunity for students to analyze and structure securities transactions and will heighten their understanding of an evolving area of securities law.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Securities Regulation.

LAW 1536 v00 Bioethics and Social Justice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar explores legal, ethical, and social issues raised by developments in health, medicine, and the biological sciences at the U.S. and global levels. It first provides an overview of the normative theories that inform the development of the field of bioethics, as well as connects these theories to legal and social dynamics that continue to shape discussions of equity and justice. It then considers a spectrum of priority topics and themes, through both a theoretical and practical lens, such as end-of-life issues, reproductive rights, human subjects research, access to medicines, and vaccines. Students will develop an in-depth perspective on how law and ethics overlap and shape the discourse on these priority topics. This seminar will be especially informative for students looking to obtain a practical view into how the law interacts with ethical dilemmas in health, medicine, and science.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the normative theories that inform the development of the field of bioethics and the role that the law has played in this evolution
  • Describe practical examples of legal and ethical dilemmas that arise across multi-disciplinary topics in health, medicine, and the biological sciences
  • Articulate the ethical arguments on often opposing sides of priority bioethical issues, understanding the varied levels of nuance involved
  • Analyze the role of legal institutions and law and in creating a framework to address the ethical, legal, and social issues that arise in the fields of health, medicine, and the biological sciences

LAW 1536 v01 Bioethics and Social Justice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This seminar explores legal, ethical, and social issues raised by developments in health, medicine, and the biological sciences at the U.S. and global levels. It first provides an overview of the normative theories that inform the development of the field of bioethics, as well as connects these theories to legal and social dynamics that continue to shape discussions of equity and justice, including on the global stage. It then uses several in-class simulations to explore the practical challenges—both legal and ethical—that arise for counsel practicing in this field. The simulations are designed for students to “step into the shoes,” as it were, of different actors, from in-house counsel at an academic medical center to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, to gain practical insight into real-world situations. This seminar will be especially informative for students looking to obtain a practical view into how the law interacts with ethical dilemmas in health, medicine, science, and politics.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the normative theories that inform the development of the field of bioethics and the role that the law has played in this evolution
  • Describe practical examples of legal and ethical dilemmas that arise across multi-disciplinary topics in health, medicine, and the biological sciences
  • Articulate the ethical arguments on often opposing sides of priority bioethical issues, understanding the varied levels of nuance involved
  • Analyze the role of legal institutions and law and in creating a framework to address the ethical, legal, and social issues that arise in the fields of health, medicine, and the biological sciences

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.
Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course. .

LAW 3038 v00 Biosecurity and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students an understanding of current and emerging issues concerning biosecurity and relevant law. Recent global acts of terrorism coupled with sophisticated advances in biotechnology present a host of complex issues driving biosecurity analysis and discussion. We will examine both the history and current state of bioterrorism threats with an emphasis on the legal and ethical challenges as we "sort out" best methods for moving forward. Our analysis will explore the recent Zika and Ebola threats as well as the threats posed by prior H1N1, SARS, anthrax, smallpox, SARIN, Ricin, and even the possibilities stemming from genetically engineered once thought "dead" bio-threats. Our method of instruction will focus on significant legal challenges each week. We will however, use past examples of quarantine and cordon sanitaire applications to instruct as how best to legally address future possible pandemics. Within our course exercises, students will be assigned healthcare and legal roles in order to gain insight as to management of a true healthcare crisis. Guest speakers with knowledge of crisis management will be invited to share personal experiences and advice concerning future pandemics. We will also examine recent legislation, both domestic and international, with a view toward a better understanding of the complex challenges within biosecurity.

LAW 1789 v00 Biotechnology and the Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This is a survey class, examining issues ranging from drug regulation, clinical trials, assisted reproductive technology, telemedicine, and stem cell development/regulation to the commercialization of the human body.  For this class we will use the Biotechnology, Bioethics, & The Law Casebook (Goodwin, et. al., eds).  This course requires substantial reading, preparation, organization, and the ability to analyze subtle nuances between various judicial decisions, legislative enactments, ethics, and legal rules, which sometimes may seem in conflict.     

In this class, we will examine whether emerging biotechnological conflicts are best resolved by regulation, judicial intervention, or private negotiation.  Professor Goodwin encourages robust dialogue.  As such, students should come to class prepared with their ideas, intuitions, and opinions.  Their analysis should demonstrate a grasp of the materials.   Students are expected to discuss the materials, act responsibly toward their peers, as well as conduct themselves in a professional manner.  There are no prerequisites for this course. However, students must be prepared for rigorous discussions and substantial reading assignments.  This course is a building block for the other courses in ethics, health law, and a law and science curriculum, including Patents, Food & Drug Law, Health Regulations, and Bioethics. The core competencies expected in this class are critical thinking and the application of social, legal, moral, and economic reasoning.

Much of the reading assigned for class will be covered during discussion.  However, some assigned readings may not be covered given limited class time.  Nonetheless, students are responsible for all reading materials.  The readings include excerpts from medical journals, regulations, cases, newspapers, and social science periodicals.

Course Goals

The goals of this course are to:

  • Introduce students to the study of biotechnological developments, health policy, and ethics;
  • Familiarize students with the medical and legal literature on the topic;
  • Engage students with practical as well as theoretical ideas in biotechnology law;
  • Stimulate intellectual curiosity about the subject matter;
  • And inspire critical thinking and thoughtful analysis.

LAW 1804 v00 Blume Public Interest Scholars Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This course is required for 2L/3E Blume Public Interest Scholars. This 1-credit course concerns the process of becoming a public-interest leader. Most classes will feature a public-interest practitioner from the Blume Leaders in Residence program. Students must complete background readings assigned by the Leaders in Residence and participate in class discussions. Students will write a final reflection paper of 3,000 to 4,000 words, which will be reviewed by Prof. Brian Wolfman. The final reflection paper should take either of the following approaches:

  • A focus on insights and ideas generated through the class conversations with the Leaders in Residence, including how those insights and ideas inform their understanding of public-interest practice.
  • Students may draft a paper concerning their own public-interest career trajectories. This paper will include the student’s  description of an organization or law practice that the student would start, the work that the organization or practice would entail, the organization or practice’s structure and operations, and funding sources, and reflections on how law school can enable pursuit of the student’s proposed career path.

Course Goals / Student Learning Outcomes

  • Expand self-reflection and critical thinking
  • Gain exposure to a variety of lawyering approaches

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit. This class will meet in Fall 2024 on the following dates: 9/6, 9/20, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, and 11/22. 

LAW 1175 v01 Borders and Banishment Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course explores practices of border fortification, incarceration, criminal law enforcement, and immigration policing. Migration and incarceration—borders and banishment—present some of the most pressing legal and moral controversies in contemporary public life. Over the past two decades, criminal-immigration matters have become the most commonly prosecuted federal crimes; populations in prison, jail and immigration detention have dramatically increased; and though major proposed immigration reforms are stymied in Congress, pressures for reform in both the immigration and criminal contexts continue to mount.

The course will begin by considering the historical, social psychological, and legal foundations of border fortification and banishment practices. Then, attention will turn to some of the crises that pervade border enforcement, policing, and incarceration settings—from the presence of millions of people in the United States without legal status, to the explosion in criminal and immigration detention, police violence, and the widespread problem of sexual assault and prison rape. Reformist alternatives to the status quo in immigration and criminal legal processes will be considered, including through examination of social movement projects, prisoner advocacy, and public interest practice settings focused on relevant reform. Course readings and discussion will center on proposed criminal and immigration law reform and more far-reaching alternatives to borders and banishment. The course will conclude by investigating various abolitionist efforts to think and work beyond borders and banishment. Students will reflect in class and in writing on the various components of the course in relation to their own interests.

There are no prerequisites. All students are welcome.

Recommended: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion), Criminal Law, Immigration Law.

Note: FIRST AND SECOND CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 611 v22 Brand Protection Strategy in a “Privacy First” Era: Mitigating IP Risks Simulation

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This course is designed to allow you to develop real-world skills to protect intellectual property (IP) and provide hands-on experiences in a challenging, complex and rapidly changing field. You should expect intensive group work and a highly-participatory environment. You will learn about how companies use and monetize their IP, regulatory tools and online complaint processes to protect their IP, and the opportunity to not only engage in creative research and investigation in a privacy-first era, but also to develop essential lawyering skills, including legal analysis, collaborative teamwork, client counseling, and problem-solving.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to anticipate company IP risks and make recommendations for proactive steps prior to product or project launches.  You will know how to draft cease and desist letters, prepare draft licensing agreements, and file online complaints. You will learn how to work individually and collaborate as a team to prioritize efforts and propose strategies that provide the most meaningful solutions based on a company’s needs.

Note: FIRST-YEAR WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025.

This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only. Details regarding the registration process will be provided to students during the fall semester via email, information sessions, and on the Week One website.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, December 2, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 1816 v00 Breaking Privilege: An In-Depth Analysis of Privilege Issues in the Context of Civil Litigation

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

In this course, using clips from and simulations relating to popular TV shows, including Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, we discuss privilege issues that come up in civil litigation. Because privilege issues arise in every aspect of a litigation—whether it be ensuring that proper measures are taken to preserve privilege or challenging an adversary’s improper assertion of privilege to gain access to relevant information—understanding the parameters of the attorney-client privilege, the work-product doctrine, and related privileges is a key component to zealous representation with which all litigators need to be familiar. For junior attorneys especially, knowing how to spot and understanding how to analyze potential privilege issues is a vital skill, as junior attorneys are frequently the first to come across these issues, during interviews of clients and witnesses, the review of documents in discovery, and depositions.
 
This course is designed as an in-depth analysis of privilege issues that can arise during the lifecycle of a case, including the representation of multiple clients, the application of privilege within corporations and extending that privilege to its advisors, and compelling discovery improperly claimed as privileged. In this course, we will review the key concepts of privilege law through mini-lectures, discussions of scenes from TV shows, articles, and recent legal opinions, and engaging in hypothetical situations and role play of handling privilege issues with clients, opposing counsel, and in court. At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the key privilege issues that arise in civil litigation, including knowing how to spot a potential privilege, evaluate the existence of the privilege, and address the issue.

Note: UPPERCLASS WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 09, 2025, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Note: Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar at lawreg@georgetown.edu. A student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1817 v00 Breaking Privilege: An In-Depth Analysis of Privilege Issues in the Context of Civil Litigation (Week One Teaching Fellows)

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The Teaching Fellows for the Breaking Privilege: An In-Depth Analysis of Privilege Issues in the Context of Civil Litigation Week One simulation course will work with Professors Concannon and Ramos to facilitate this course, which is offered in January. The description of the course is available on the Curriculum Guide here. Teaching Fellows receive 1 pass/fail credit toward their Spring course load.

Teaching Fellows should expect to meet with their faculty for two full-day training sessions, one before the exam period in December, and the second on Saturday, January 4, 2025, to review course topics, goals, simulation structure, and receive training on their role throughout the course. Readings will be assigned. 

Fellows then attend all of the class sessions during Week One and assist in facilitating discussion and small-group work amongst the students enrolled in the course. For example, fellows may moot students as they prepare for a mock oral argument or client presentation, or play the witness in a key witness interview     . Fellows also meet and consult regularly with faculty during the course to discuss student progress and course logistics. They should expect to participate in a daily debriefing for approximately 15-30 minutes after each class.

At the conclusion of Week One, fellows must complete a 6-8 page reaction paper assessing how the course worked, overall student experience, and how the course could be improved (e.g., legal issues, factual issues, structure of exercise).  

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students who are enrolled in a Spring semester clinic should determine when any clinical meetings will take place during Week One to ensure there will be no conflict with their responsibilities as a fellow. In addition, because of the significant responsibilities each course requires during Week One, students who are enrolled in the Human Rights Advocacy in Action project-based practicum course may not concurrently enroll in a Teaching Fellow course.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students must complete the online Week One Teaching Fellows Application Form. A resume and a 1-page statement of interest must be provided, as well. The Application Form will be made available to students on August 19, 2024. If you have any difficulty accessing the application or have questions about the application process, email lawexp@georgetown.edu.

This course is open to upperclass J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. students.

WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 9, 2025 during the class meeting times for the course. Additionally, teaching fellows will meet with their professors on two dates to be announced. Professors may schedule alternative and/or additional trainings as needed. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This course does not count toward the Experiential course requirement.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS AND FELLOW TRAININGS IS MANDATORY. After accepting an offer, the student may drop the course ONLY with the permission of the professors. Permission is granted only when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship to the student.

LAW 1468 v00 Business and Financial Basics for Lawyers

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course covers basic business concepts that are useful across many areas of legal practice. First, it introduces financial accounting, with a focus on understanding and using financial statements. Second, it deals with core financial concepts, such as the time value of money, risk versus return, and methods for valuing assets. Third, the course discusses the basic categories of financial instruments: debt, equity, and derivatives. Although these topics all inevitably involve numbers, mathematical complexity is kept to a minimum. Much of the reading consists of excerpts from case law, which illustrate business concepts and their relation to legal practice.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

Generally students who have already taken Accounting for Lawyers or other accounting classes will get limited benefit from this course and should speak with the professor before enrolling.

LAW 1394 v00 Business and Human Rights (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

This course will provide an overview of the field of Business and Human Rights, while affording students an opportunity to work in organizations that are addressing issues in the field in various ways.  This is a rapidly emerging field characterized by viewing the adverse impacts of business operations through the lens of human rights principles.  There is no single form of regulation or regulatory authority, and only a handful of potentially enforceable legal obligations.  Instead, there are a variety of different types of initiatives and programs that depend upon the type of rights at issue, the business sector involved, and the nature and location of the business activities that cause adverse impacts.  This means that there are significant opportunities for creative approaches to produce meaningful change.

We will examine how the modern global corporation is organized around extensive supply chains, the ways in which its formal legal structure can enable it to avoid responsibility for the full range of impacts that it creates, and the successes and limitations of attempts to address this problem through litigation. We will then turn to the emergence of the concept of human rights as a key conceptual tool in the effort to surmount the limits of conventional litigation and regulatory strategies. This will involve discussion of incidents that served as the impetus for this development, and the human rights instruments that provide the basis for human rights claims.

We will then examine in depth some of the types of impacts that can constitute rights violations, relating to concerns such as forced labor, human trafficking, unsafe working conditions and wage theft, physical abuse, forcible displacement, environmental degradation, child labor, sex discrimination, freedom of expression, privacy, and climate change.  We will also examine ways in which women in the global economy may be especially vulnerable to such harms.

This will provide an opportunity to examine the range of responses to these abuses and their effectiveness, such as voluntary industry standards; mandatory human rights due diligence; guidelines established by international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the International Labor Organization; mandatory and voluntary disclosure provisions; international finance standards; international trade law, and other measures.

Students will also learn about issues that are distinctive to particular economic sectors, such as apparel, energy exploration, mining, financial services, and information and communications technology industries. Finally, we will focus on how businesses can incorporate human rights concerns into their operations in order to comply with the duty of respect articulated by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

With respect to learning objectives, the seminar portion of the practicum is intended to acquaint you with:

(1) some of the most significant types of adverse impacts that business operations can impose;

(2) the debate over the extent to which changes in corporate production processes and liberalized trade law have contributed to such impacts;

(3) the major sources of human rights protections for persons who suffer such impacts; and

(4) the range of initiatives that are emerging to protect against and respond to business violations of human rights.

FIELDWORK: Students will be placed with organizations in the Washington, DC area that are involved in working on business and human rights issues. These may include NGOs, corporations, bar associations, human rights consulting firms, and international organizations. Students will work on a variety of types of projects that further the mission of their particular organizations. These may include legal research; advising, training, and educating community groups; gathering information on the effectiveness of voluntary standards; compiling information on adverse human impacts of different types of activities or in different sectors; helping to devise remedies for human rights violations; preparing staff for and participating in meetings with government, business, and/or non-profits organizations; helping advise on possible legislation; submitting reports to international organizations; helping with human rights due diligence efforts; and others.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship, clinic, or another practicum course. Students may not receive credit for this practicum and Business and Human Rights in the Global Economy.

Note: In this fieldwork practicum, students are matched with their field placement before the fall semester begins. Each placement is relying on the student they have been matched with to promptly begin working at the organization once the fall semester begins. As a result, students enrolled in this practicum have until July 8, 2024 to drop this course without permission.

After July 8, 2024, a student who wishes to withdraw from this course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student.

If you enroll in the course after July 8, 2024, you must obtain permission from the professor and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to withdraw from the course. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student.

This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course is suitable for evening students who can attend the weekly seminar and conduct at least 10 hours of fieldwork/week during normal business hours.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as this practicum.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. Students enrolled in this practicum have until July 8, 2024 to drop this course without permission. After July 8, 2024, a student who wishes to withdraw from this course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 370 v02 Business and Human Rights in the Global Economy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Corporations today have a global scale as well as an impact that matches or sometimes exceeds that of governments. Their activities -- from sourcing of raw materials, to processing and production of intermediate or finished goods, to distribution and sale -- have major consequences not only for the human rights of their employees but also for the rights of the individuals and communities impacted by their operations. In many countries, government regulation and oversight are either absent or largely ineffective. Companies in turn struggle to define their responsibilities in the face of these "governance gaps" -- particularly where requirements under national law fall short of international standards in areas such as hours of work and safety and healthy.

A robust and often contentious debate over these issues culminated in the development of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “UNGPs”) under the leadership of Special Representative John Ruggie. These Principles establish a framework for considering the respective roles of governments and corporations and outline core concepts of human rights due diligence and effective remedy. In doing so, the UNGPs also inform and to some extent refocus efforts that have emerged over the past 20 years to address these governance gaps and have brought together stakeholders from business, labor, civil society, the investment community, and academia.

At the same time, in recent years there has been an increased push from civil society groups and certain governments to go beyond these "voluntary" efforts and develop a binding business and human rights treaty mechanism; this has met with strong opposition from business and many other governments, including the United States.

Even as "non-regulatory" approaches remain the predominant means of addressing various business and human rights challenges, there also has been a growing focus in recent years on tools through which national governments and international institutions could exercise greater leverage. This includes advocacy for stronger labor and other human rights language in trade agreements, one-way trade preference programs, procurement standards, and the rules and guidelines applied by international financial institutions -- coupled with more aggressive enforcement of those criteria. Expanded efforts to advance that "regulatory" approach in trade policy and elsewhere in some cases has been met with resistance from governments and business, but there also have been examples of emerging consensus among a diverse range of stakeholders.

This course introduces students to this quickly-evolving business and human rights landscape, including the diverse set of multi-stakeholder initiatives -- some, but not all, of which include government participation. We will discuss the guidance provided by the UNGPs and other instruments, the range of stakeholders and how they engage with one another, tools utilized by governments and corporations to implement human rights standards, and how all of these interact in the context of both sector-specific and cross-cutting legal and policy challenges.

Among the questions the course will examine are:

  • Which human rights standards are most relevant to business?
  • What are the appropriate linkages between business policies and practices and the promotion of human rights?
  • Which business and human rights approaches are emerging as “best practices" and perhaps even as recognized norms?
  • What tools to support those are being used by governments and corporations?
  • Who are the principal stakeholders and what are their roles and objectives?
  • What are the strategies for addressing business and human rights "governance gaps" at the national and international levels?
  • What are the opportunities for increased integration of labor/human rights and trade policies, and what are the limitations?
  • What mix of mandatory/regulatory and voluntary/“self-regulatory” approaches has been utilized in different situations to advance human rights objectives? Which approaches have been most effective?
  • How are various business and human rights challenges playing out in specific sectors, and how do these inform the debate about different approaches?

To address these and other key questions, the course will begin with several sessions setting out the relevant legal and policy developments, with special attention to the UNGPs. It will also include a review of different stakeholders and their roles and interests, and examination of concepts of corporate responsibility and corporate accountability, and an analysis of the various approaches to business and human rights advanced by companies, governments, labor, civil society, and through multi-stakeholder initiatives. The second half of the semester will then focus on how these concepts are being applied in particular sectors to address specific business and human rights challenges.

Throughout the course, students will be asked to examine the various approaches and differing roles of key stakeholders, including by playing the roles of those addressing the key issues from the perspectives of corporations, civil society and unions, and governments. The class will be divided into three groups for purposes of this “role playing” -- with each asked to adopt all three perspectives during the course of the semester, both in students’ individual analyses of assigned readings and in group sessions during certain classes.

Learning Objectives:

Introduction to business and human rights landscape, including legal and policy developments, particularly the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The course reviews different stakeholders and roles, examines concepts of corporate responsibility and accountability, and analyzes various approaches to business and human rights advanced by stakeholders. The course will also familiarize students with sector specific business and human rights challenges.

Recommended: There are no formal course requirements, but some basic familiarity with international trade and human rights law is assumed.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the practicum course Business and Human Rights.

LAW 1372 v00 Business Essentials: A Mini-MBA for Lawyers

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

A common complaint of recent law school graduates is that they wish they had been exposed in law school to business frameworks and skills that could help them succeed in corporate law and in business overall. Similarly, business people feel that recent law school graduates too often have little understanding of the language, thought processes and skills necessary to practice business law effectively. In today’s business environment, brutal competition and rapid disruptive change is the norm. The accelerating pace of change – fueled by global competition and technological innovation – is widening this knowledge and experience gap between businesspeople and recent law school graduates. This course attempts to bridge that gap by exposing law students to the essential business skills and frameworks needed for understanding and advising future clients who run private sector companies, government agencies, or non-profit entities. It will also expose students to the managerial aspects of running a law firm or any business. 

This course is focused on providing a basic understanding of theory and skills in areas of general management, leadership, strategic thinking, sales, marketing, finance, operations, technology, entrepreneurship, negotiations, and personal career management. Unlike the typical law school course, the reading materials for this course will focus primarily on business case studies, with each student being asked to analyze what he or she would do if faced with the business problem presented in the reading. Students should prepare to be actively engaged in each class discussion. In addition to active, ongoing participation, students will be evaluated on several short writing assignments (i.e., 2-3 page papers analyzing selected case studies); their performance in an in-class group presentation, and a final paper.

Note: First class attendance is strongly encouraged but not required. 

The course will normally meet for 85 minutes, but five classes will meet the full 2 hours. In Fall 2024, the dates the course will meet the full 2 hours are: 10/17, 10/29, 11/5, 11/19, and 11/21. Spring 2025 dates TBD. 

There will also be four joint class sessions on Fridays, from 9:35 am - 11:00 am. In Fall 2024, the dates of the joint class sessions are: 9/27, 10/25, 11/8, and 11/15.   Spring 2025 dates TBD. 

LAW 058 v03 Business Planning Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar integrates issues of corporate, securities and tax law using a problem approach in the context of business planning and counseling. Several problem situations involving common business transactions are examined extensively. Some of the problems considered may include: (i) incorporating a sole proprietorship or professional practice; (ii) analyzing financial statements; (iii) raising private capital for a new business venture; (iv) planning for an initial public offering of securities; and (v) corporate acquisition and/or divestiture planning. Students learn and utilize negotiation skills involved in the purchase/sale of a business venture. From time to time, students are required to submit memoranda on certain aspects of the problems under consideration. On occasion, students will work together in small groups, and at other times may be responsible for individual work. Students will be expected to perform work similar to attorneys in private practice. The written work is in lieu of an examination.

Prerequisite: Corporations, Federal Income Taxation and Corporate Taxation.

Strongly Recommended: Securities Regulation. Students who wish to take this seminar should make every effort to fulfill the prerequisites in their second year of the full-time program or third year of the part-time program.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and International Tax and Business Planning Workshop.

LAW 1552 v00 Business, Capitalism, and Society

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Over the last 200 years, free market capitalism has proven itself as an unmatched engine for driving economic growth in the United States and around the world, resulting in unparalleled innovation, improving standards of living, and vastly lengthening the average life span. Yet big problems persist, including uneven economic opportunities, degradation of natural resources, and continuation of corporate scandals. Considering these problems as pressures on democratic capitalism, the course will evaluate the relationship between business and society. The course will focus on potential approaches to managing the tensions and trade-offs that present themselves when both economic vitality (growth, innovation) and system stability (fairness, sustainability, societal needs met) are desired outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
This course will explore potential approaches to reconciling the benefits of free market capitalism with the values and expectations of a democratic society. This seminar will raise important questions and highlight issues that are relevant to a number of potential law graduate career paths including that of in-house counsel, external counsel, senior management team member, corporate board member, and policymaker & staff. To that end, students taking the course will develop an understanding of:

  • The evolution of views on the purpose of business in society (assumptions and realities of corporate governance)
  • The current problems putting pressure on democratic capitalism (externalities, regulation or lack thereof)
  • Emerging theories to address the inherent tensions in the system (new structures, governance priorities, industry self-regulation)
  • Possible roles one can play in addressing the shortcomings of democratic capitalism

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 3060 v00 Business, Human Rights and Sustainability

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

The relationship between business, human rights, and sustainability has gained momentum in recent years with the private sector, governments, civil society, and international organizations, owing largely to the passage of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in 2011, the 2012 UN Rio + 20 Sustainable Development Conference and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015). These developments were preceded and followed by a series of multi stakeholder (governments, private sector, investors, civil society networks and organizations) and specific industry driven initiatives looking at how to integrate these international standards into both self and binding regulatory processes. As a result, many of these initiatives led to an emerging international soft law system of business, human rights and sustainability that is based in the internationally acknowledged body of hard law principles.

Regardless of being industry, sector specific or multi stakeholder in nature, the regulation, de-regulation, policy, practice and ever growing global litigation in this new field of practice is multifaceted, dynamic, interactive, complex and challenges business leaders, markets and even lawyers to think outside the box in order to address a challenging relationship between business, markets and society. This is where business strategy meets risks. Or instead, this is where risks eat a business strategy.  As a result, business leaders, shareholders and their advisors are now required to integrate a 3D internal and external view and assessment on how to address, prevent, mitigate and remediate the social and environmental impacts (risks) of private sector operations in complex environments and with a collaborative and systems thinking approach.

Bar Associations in America and abroad have begun issuing specific guidance on how corporate lawyers should advice their clients incorporating human rights and sustainability standards. For instance, in a Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) transaction, corporate lawyers are most likely to encounter questions dealing with social, environmental, human rights and environmental concerns. Those advocating on behalf of environmental and human rights organizations will find their work directly intersects with company law, securities law, investment law, governance, compliance, company law and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to name a few sub areas.

Fast-forward 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly entered this space. It has done so highlighting the vulnerabilities and opportunities in the relationship between business, governments and society across the globe. Furthermore, the global pandemic is challenging all stakeholders not only to become relevant but to re-think, re-imagine and re-envision new models that seek engagement, resilience, addressing grievances, investment, economic recovery and accountability frameworks.

In practice, these global and ever growing litigation trends are also challenging traditional company-led corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics programs that have been associated with both philanthropic, corporate citizenship and company-sponsored activities that give back to societies. While many of these programs have achieved several levels of success, for many sectors in society they remain as corporate public relations or green wash exercises and demand more transparent, accountable and remediation responses.  The stakes are high.

Litigation, a growing movement towards mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence and reporting requirements and other types of social demands are challenging companies to be very purposeful and accountable on how they address the environmental, social and governance negative impacts (for some) or violations (for others) of their operations globally and domestically. Stakeholders are asking companies to integrate ongoing due diligence processes that address materiality concerns when it comes to managing supply chains and making sure they are free of child labor, modern slavery and human trafficking. They are also asking companies to address the social and environmental impacts of extraction of natural resources above and below ground, to name a few. 

Furthermore, stakeholders are not alone on this. The emerging and growing movement of shareholder advocacy is leading the way across industries and pushing the way through different strategies for more corporate engagements that drive responsible business conduct and standard-setting activities that push for robust business, human rights and sustainability policies embedded as part of corporate operations across systems and functions. In particular, a wide range of investors that include asset management firms, trade union funds, public pension funds, foundations, endowments, faith-based organizations and family funds are leveraging their assets of over US$3.5 trillion to collaborate around responsible investment while influencing boards and management.

At the conclusion of this course, students will demonstrate the capability:

  • To distinguish between relevant applications of the Business, Human Rights and Sustainability frameworks of international hard and soft laws, in the context of environmental, social and human rights challenges across industries and different actors and how they can be integrated into the business strategy.
  • To assess critical human rights, environment and natural resources challenges currently faced by industries and markets in different contexts through a multi stakeholder and 3D lens risk management approach.
  • To analyze and discuss how different tools and resources can be applied and be relevant to address human rights and environmental challenges, which tools would be best suited for specific contexts and grievance mechanisms that exist for access to remedy across relevant and selected industries (policy development, stakeholder forums and facilitation, influence and development, multi stakeholder assessments, human rights due diligence and environmental assessments) in international development, conflict and post-conflict environments.

Note: Attendance of ALL classes is Mandatory. Students will also have to come ready to actively participate with all assigned readings on the Syllabus completed before class, will have to work on small cohort simulated presentations and submit a final written memo that will be assigned in class. No exceptions. 

LAW 1620 v00 Campaigning for Public Office

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This simulation course will provide students with the fundamentals of organizing, managing, and executing an effective campaign for political office, within a bipartisan context grounded in ethical public service. Each enrolled student must identify a local, state, or federal public office that they plan to run for (plans to run for this office can be tentative and prospective). Students will then learn campaign basics, message development and delivery, fundraising strategies, communication and media strategies, applicable campaign finance and election laws, and debate preparation. Students will prepare and give “stump” speeches and participate in a simulated candidate forum. Students will also develop policy platforms and learn how to assess and respond to the needs of a constituency and the public.

LAW 090 v00 Capital Punishment Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar focuses on the substantive law of capital punishment and on the procedural aspects of post-conviction proceedings. The course will include an examination of the history of death penalty jurisprudence, habeas corpus, recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, public policy issues, and state and federal death penalty statutes. The writing requirement offers students an opportunity to write on a topic of their choice pertaining to the death penalty.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and The Death Penalty in America Seminar or the Death Penalty Litigation Practicum.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. Students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 500 v00 Center for Applied Legal Studies

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

See the Center for Applied Legal Studies website for more detailed information about the clinic.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Center for Applied Legal Studies PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1079 v00 Child Welfare Law and Practice in the District of Columbia (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This practicum course will focus on the workings of the child welfare system in the District of Columbia. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and also undertake 10 hours/week of fieldwork at a child welfare-related organization.

SEMINAR: Students will study Supreme Court and District of Columbia cases defining the fundamental nature of the parent/child relationship and setting forth when state intervention is warranted to protect the best interests of the child. Students will gain an understanding of the various stages of child protection proceedings and the different roles, responsibilities and professional relationships of the attorneys representing the government, the child and the parents at each stage. Issues concerning interracial and gay adoption will be discussed, as will the overrepresentation of poor and minority youth in the child welfare system. Students will engage in simulation exercises, give an in-class presentation on a topic of their choosing, and will write a final paper.

FIELDWORK: Students will participate in fieldwork with a child welfare-related organization and share their experiences with the class and through written reflection memos. Some fieldwork sites require students to undergo police/background clearances, and others do not. If this is a concern for a student, the student should reach out to the professor before the beginning of the semester to discuss field placement options.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective.)

Recommended: Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce or Family Law II: Child, Parent, and the State; Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working 10 hours/week (during business hours) with their field placements.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the field work.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1529 v00 China and International Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Over the past forty years, China has gone from one of the most isolated countries in the world to a major player in international affairs, a leading exporter, and a much more influential voice on regional security matters. Yet even with the rapid economic growth and increased influence that China has achieved over the past several decades, it maintains an ambivalent attitude towards many key aspects of international law and the architecture of global order. This class will explore China’s ambivalent engagement with international law in the context of its increasing prominence as an emerging power, and will in particular look to address the question of how China might adapt to the existing world order, and the ways in which it might look to influence its evolution. The class will cover a range of issues, including China’s membership in the WTO; its engagement with the international human rights regime; China’s approach to international cooperation on issues like global warming and nuclear non-proliferation; and international law aspects of the dispute over the South China Sea; among others.

Learning Objectives:

This class will provide you with a solid understanding of China’s approach to key international law issues, and also a sense of the Chinese government’s views on international law and international legal institutions more generally. By the end of the semester, you should have a sense of how China fits into the existing global legal order, and the ways in which it is seeking to influence or even alter it. In-class discussions will also bring out the ways in which other states have sought to influence Chinese behavior, which will give you a sense of how and when relatively powerful states like China can be convinced to alter their approach to key international law issues.

For students who have not previously taken a class on public international law, this course will serve as a basic introduction to key concepts of international law (although the readings will focus very heavily on the Chinese approach, rather than the underlying law itself); for those who have taken prior international law courses, this course will serve as a useful refresher.

A core goal of the class is to understand international law from the perspective of the Chinese state. In other words, students will develop a sense of why China makes the choices it does on key international law issues, and what values and political and historical dynamics drive its decision-making. In so doing, students will gain insight into a different political-legal culture, and seek to understand how different political-legal systems – including non-democratic ones like China – come to grips with legal questions in ways that may differ markedly from the approach of the U.S. government. At the same time, having taken steps to articulate China’s perspective, students may be able to see more clearly the values and political and historical factors that drive American decisions on key international law issues.

Finally, a core goal of the response papers – above and beyond demonstrating an understanding of the substance of the readings – will be to give students the chance to build their skills at analyzing legal arguments, and in building their own written arguments in response to them. As noted below, response papers will be graded both on the basis of demonstrated mastery of the material, and also on the basis of the successful construction of a persuasive and fact-based argument.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. Students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The 3 credit section is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 1546 v00 Chinese Legal System

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course aims to provide an overview of the legal system of the People's Republic of China. The focus will be more on institutions than on specific rules, because finding the rules is much simpler than understanding their institutional context. We will, however, look at specific pieces of legislation as we go along.

China's legal system exists together with its political, economic, and social structures, and cannot be understood in isolation from them. Thus, part of this course is necessarily about understanding modern China in general, not just its legal system. By the time the course is over, I hope that students will have an understanding of the environment within which Chinese law operates, and will be able to appreciate the differences between the way rules operate in the United States and the way they operate in China as well as the reasons for those differences. Although this course, as a survey course, does not specifically address issues of legal aspects of doing business in China (that is another course), it is a highly recommended preparation for such a course, and it is intended to be useful to anyone contemplating a legal career involving China.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Chinese Law Seminar.

LAW 286 v02 Church-State Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar will focus on the major shifts in church-state law over the past decades and key issues the Supreme Court will face in the next several terms. It will analyze and evaluate the various theories proposed by the sitting Justices on both free exercise and establishment clause jurisprudence and place those theories in the historical context of church-state law in America. The seminar will deal with such issues as tensions between the free exercise and establishment clauses, public aid to religious institutions, religion and public education, accommodating religious minorities, and church autonomy. It will also examine tension between demands for religious accommodation and demands for gender and sexual equality, protection of public health, and other social norms. Throughout, current litigation strategies related to these issues will be explored.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Religious Liberty on Trial Seminar.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1040 v01 Civ Tech: Digital Tools and Access to Justice (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This project-based practicum course will expose students to the varied uses of computer technologies in the practice of law, with an emphasis on technologies that enhance access to justice and make legal services more affordable for individuals of limited means. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.

SEMINAR: The seminar portion of the class is devoted to two topics: the access to justice crisis and the role of digital tools in bridging it. Among the issues we will discuss throughout the semester are: the extent of the justice gap, the economic and regulatory barriers to access, and the problem of resource constraints. We will also discuss how legal technologies are altering the landscape for persons of limited means and empowering disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and communities. The second topic is learning to design and develop legal expert systems. To create our systems, we use a software platform that does not require a coding background.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work in small teams for a legal service organization to develop a platform, application, or automated system that increases access to justice and/or improves the effectiveness of legal representation. These organizations include civil rights organizations, direct service providers, and other public interest organizations. The course culminates in a design competition: The Georgetown Iron Tech Lawyer Competition. Along the way, students learn systems logic, teamwork, and visual literacy skills. By the end of the semester, each team will have built a functional app intended for adoption by the participating legal services organization to put into use for its clients.

No programming background is required. Students are not required to have coding experience and will not be expected to learn to write software.

Students are encouraged to check out these apps created by Georgetown Law students in earlier semesters and in use at various organizations. They are also encouraged to contact Professor Rostain at (tr238@law.georgetown.edu) with questions.

Prerequisite: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic. Students who wish to concurrently enroll in this course and another practicum course may only do so with the permission of the Assistant Dean of Experiential Education (lawexp@law.georgetown.edu), Professor Rostain (tr238@law.georgetown.edu), and the professor of the second practicum. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: THIS PRACTICUM REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Please email Professor Rostain (tr238@law.georgetown.edu) by Wednesday, October 5, 2022 with a  statement of interest.

This course is suitable for evening students; project work does not need to be completed during business hours.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1533 v00 Civil Discovery in Federal Courts

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

Discovery is an essential aspect of civil litigation. It is the primary way a party may gather evidence for a case. In discovery, a party determines the merit of their—and equally important, their opponent’s—case. Each decision made during discovery will determine what evidence you will have available to you, what evidence you will be forced to provide, and how much this exploration will cost your client.

This simulation course, taught around a hypothetical but realistic civil litigation, is designed to be a hands-on introduction to civil discovery in federal courts. Students will become familiar with topics important to modern civil discovery in large complex cases, such as negotiating the scope of discovery and electronic search terms. They will also learn to use the traditional methods of civil discovery, such as depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and requests for document productions in a coordinated way to build their case. Students will follow the litigation from just after the denial of a motion to dismiss through the end of fact discovery.

The class will be divided into two groups. One group will be assigned to represent the plaintiff in the hypothetical litigation; the other group will be assigned to represent the defendant. Student plaintiffs and student defendants will be paired against each other. Assignments to each group will remain the same throughout the semester. Every week, students will be asked to produce written work (e.g., a discovery plan, requests for document production, interrogatories, deposition outlines) and several students will be chosen to present their work product for class discussion. Students will not only discuss relevant legal decisions in motion practice but also argue discovery motions on behalf of their hypothetical clients.

Through the hypothetical litigation, students will explore the practical application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and acquire realistic insight into modern civil practice and the life-cycle of a case.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure or Legal Process and Society.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Civil Litigation Practice or Civil Litigation Practice: From the Complaint to the Courthouse Steps.

Note: This seminar is open to J.D. students only.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for an available seat, if any, in the class.

Because the success of the course depends on pairings and each student playing an assigned role in every class, unexcused absences and/or lateness will be noted and will negatively impact a student’s grade in the course.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student.

LAW 1876 v00 Civil Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

See the Civil Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the clinic.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Civil Justice Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 1494 v00 Civil Litigation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 8 credit hours

Please see the Civil Litigation Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For more information about clinic registration, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 060 v00 Civil Litigation Practice

J.D. Seminar | 4 credit hours

This year-long seminar will take the students through the entire course of a civil trial. In the first semester, using a core model case, students will conduct initial interviews of the clients, analyze the facts, and make initial decisions about how to proceed. Then, using the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, students will prepare discovery plans and conduct discovery (including drafting document requests, interrogatories, and requests for admission, and preparing for and taking depositions of lay and expert witnesses). Each student will be video-recorded taking depositions. Students will also draft and argue motions arising from discovery disputes.

The second semester will carry the core model case to trial. The seminar includes mock trial experiences, as well as class discussion of trial techniques, strategy, tactics, and ethics. Students will participate directly in a series of trial practice exercises as attorneys. These exercises will include opening statements and closing arguments, direct and cross examinations, handling exhibits, expert testimony, and making and opposing objections. Again, significant role-playing will be video-recorded. The final exam will be a mock trial held on a Saturday at the end of the semester (usually the last Saturday in April or the first Saturday in May) in a courtroom in the U.S. District Court.

This seminar is designated as a two-semester course, with the second semester building on the first. Both semesters include individual critiques of student performances, so attendance is important and will be considered in grading. The seminar is intended for students who are considering careers as trial lawyers.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent (Fall 2024) enrollment in Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Intellectual Property Litigation: Pretrial Skills, Civil Litigation Practice: From the Complaint to the Courthouse Steps,  Trial Practice, or Trial Practice and Applied Evidence.

Note: This seminar is open to J.D. students only.

FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

There is a course materials fee for this course, which covers outside vendor materials purchased on behalf of all enrolled students (these materials are distributed as part of the course’s in-class assignments and exercises). This fee is posted to your student account in August (for Fall courses) or December (for Spring courses), or as soon as you are enrolled in the course, whichever is later. Students who drop the course will be refunded the amount. Students approved to withdraw will not be refunded.

LAW 1216 v01 Civil Litigation Practice: From the Complaint to the Courthouse Steps

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

The vast majority of civil cases that are filed are not actually tried. Civil litigation is typically resolved before trial, either through a dispositive motion or a settlement. This course is intended to provide students with experience in all aspects of civil litigation prior to the trial itself, the work that represents what civil litigators typically do on a day-to-day basis. We will address practical questions—the mechanics of what to do, when to do it, and where to go for help. We also will consider strategic questions successful litigators must consider at each stage of the case as they position a case for all three potential outcomes (settlement, disposition through motions practice, or trial). Finally, we will discuss common ethical questions that arise in the course of civil litigation, particularly with respect to discovery.

Students will be assigned the role of plaintiff or defense counsel and provided with a hypothetical case to litigate. In that context, students will try their hands at the most important aspects of pretrial civil practice, from conducting the initial client interview, to drafting or responding to the complaint, to negotiating discovery disputes, to drafting and arguing motions, to deposing witnesses. Each week, students will have the opportunity to gain or use information that may support or undermine their case, and we will discuss questions about what can and should (from a practical, strategic, and ethical perspective) be done to obtain, preserve, share, and use that information.

Students will be provided with a variety of written materials to use as resources in completing the weekly assignments as the case progresses, including rules, seminal cases, excerpts from useful treatises, and articles written by successful practitioners. For many tasks students are asked to perform, we also will provide them with a checklist of practical, strategic, and ethical issues to consider. Our goal is to provide students with a set of materials that will serve as a useful guide when they become practitioners.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society).

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Intellectual Property Litigation: Pretrial Skills or the year-long Civil Litigation Practice seminar.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

After the Add/Drop period, students may not withdraw from this class without the permission of the professor.

LAW 001 v01 Civil Procedure

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course examines what can happen in a civil lawsuit. It asks: What kinds of courts exist in the United States? What limits does the law impose on where cases can be brought? Who can sue? What remedies can a court impose? What choices do the parties have about who else participates in the lawsuit? How much information about the lawsuit must each side disclose in the initial pleadings, or at other times before trial? What opportunities are there for resolving disputes without trials? In trials, what are the respective roles of judges and juries? What are the tensions between a lawyer's duty to a client and the lawyer's duty to the system of justice? Who should make the procedural rules for lawsuits, and how, if at all, should those rules be changed?
 

Like other first-year courses, this course also seeks to help students build important legal skills. It provides practice in reading with care the statutes, rules and cases that express the law; analogizing and distinguishing precedent; applying legal theories to new facts; expressing arguments with precision; appreciating the ethical as well as the intellectual and strategic dimensions of a legal problem; and thinking critically about the rules of a legal system even while learning to operate within those rules.
 

Note: This is a required course for first year students only.

LAW 1684 v00 Civil Rights and Violence Against Women (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

This practicum aims to finalize and publish research on civil remedies for sexual assault, harassment and battering.  The issue has become more timely given recent Supreme Court opinions suggesting that state tort law (the subject of two of our memos) may be the only viable remedy for survivors. Three prior practicums have produced three memos, with important empirical findings on the limited availability of civil remedies, in the federal and state systems, for our partner organization, Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). This evidence was cited in testimony before the House of Representatives in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment, but has yet to be finalized or published.       Students seeking to learn how to publish academic work may find this practicum course particularly useful, as we will seek to  publish our end product. Advance approval of the instructor is required:  please send the instructor a resume, a transcript, and a paragraph explaining why the student seeks to take this class. Students should not take this practicum if they do not want to do significant research, writing, and blue-booking. 

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this course and an externship.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students must submit a resume and one page statement of interest to Professor Victoria Nourse (vfn@georgetown.edu) by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. After June 13, if seats remain open in the course, students will be admitted on a rolling basis.

This course is suitable for evening students; project work does not need to be completed during business hours.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 528 v02 Civil Rights Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Civil Rights Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Civil Rights PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1322 v00 Civil Rights Statutes and the Supreme Court Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will examine recent litigation in the Supreme Court involving the modern civil rights statutes: Title VII, Title IX, RFRA, the ADEA, the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, and Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Toward that end, we will read recent cases decided by the Court interpreting theses statutes, and the cases that form the backdrop for those decisions. We will also examine briefs and oral arguments in some of these cases. Finally, we will examine civil rights cases that are scheduled to be heard in the upcoming term, or that may make their way to the Court in the near future. There will be one writing assignment, a paper of approximately 25 pages in length. Two-thirds of the grade will be based on the paper, and one-third will be based on class participation.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

LAW 1865 v00 Civil Rights: Section 1983 & Police Accountability

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will provide an overview of remedies (including damages and injunctive relief), and key civil rights doctrines (including municipal liability, qualified immunity, and supervisory liability). The course will focus heavily on 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (The Civil Rights Act of 1871).  Required readings will include state and federal court opinions, academic and media articles, and a recent book about civil rights lawsuits against law enforcement: Shielded, How the Police Became Untouchable, by Joanna Schwartz. The materials covered are applicable to a wide range of civil rights litigation, but the focus of the course is on civil litigation against law enforcement officers and agencies. In addition to classroom discussion of assigned readings, the course will include visits from practitioners with experience in the topics covered by this course.  Throughout the course, students will be challenged to think critically about the law’s claim to neutrality and its differential effects on subordinated groups. This approach is essential to understanding why Section 1983 has been interpreted as it has over time, and how this impacts the legal arguments and strategic decisions lawyers practicing in this area should make.

Learning Objectives:

  • an understanding of doctrines critical to the litigation of civil rights cases brought against law enforcement agencies and officers; both the ways in which the doctrines have been broadly defined by the Supreme Court and some examples of lower court applications of the doctrine;
  • an understanding of the policy goals that animate civil rights doctrines, and the ways in which those doctrines further and inhibit those goals;
  • an understanding of how facially neutral doctrines shield law enforcement and agencies from accountability in ways that disproportionately disadvantage subordinated groups, including those identified by race, gender, indigeneity, and class;
  • an understanding of the ways in which lawyers deploy procedural rules as part of their litigation strategy, and the consequences of various strategic choices;
  • the ability to think strategically about how to frame and pursue a police misconduct civil rights action;
  • hone ability to read, analyze, and explain your understanding of a court opinion;
  • improve ability to apply black letter law and case holdings to novel factual scenarios;
  • the ability to constructively participate in and lead discussions of complex issues related to policing, including issues regarding structural racism and state violence; and,
  • the ability to work collaboratively with classmates on exercises exploring various aspects of civil litigation.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice or Democracy and Coercion (or equivalent from another school for transfer students).

LAW 1841 v00 Civil Rights: The Ensuing Pursuit of Justice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

By providing a rich historical introduction to the histories of various groups of color in the United States and their encounters with white Europeans and their descendants, we will explore the themes of race and racism in a variety of doctrinal contexts. We will examine federal and state cases and legislation, which have defined the scope and limitations historically faced by minorities over time from the point of slavery to modern day. We will also examine how early social and economic realities have shaped society’s and thus the court’s view of the role of minorities in America.  Finally, we will study major cases leading to systemic change and the advancement of equal justice and at times retrenchment.
The overall themes and reading assignments for this course are directly related to Georgetown’s Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO). Specifically, this course provides students the ability to think critically about the connections between race, history, and legal doctrine or law, and the differential effects that has on minority groups. 

Learning Objectives:

This course will enable students to enhance their critical thinking skills, examine and analyze legal precedents, and develop or improve their advocacy skills and legal writing.

We will examine throughout the semester why and how the law uses racial identifications in theory and in practice, which will require students to think critically about the powerful and ingrained modes of thinking about race and the impact that has on the law’s claim to neutrality. We will begin with a discussion on implicit bias and how it provides a background for understanding the twists and turns over the years of the notions of race in America. Students will then use this understanding throughout the remainder of the course to think critically about the role of implicit bias in the law as it pertains to race, ethnicity, and culture.

 

LAW 271 v01 Commercial Debt Financing

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Commercial debt financing has been around as long as there have been banks, but developments such as syndicated leveraged loans financing private equity buyouts and the growth of non-bank lenders have increased the demand for sophisticated legal counsel.  In fact, at many law firms the commercial debt practice is larger than the securities practice.  This course is designed to give students a foundation in this important area of transactional law, beginning first with the structuring and documentation of the lending transaction and then focusing on the use of collateral to secure such loans.  Unlike the traditional law school pedagogy, which covered real property mortgages and personal property secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code in separate courses, this course covers both mortgages and secured transactions in parallel in one course. The course also covers other property financing techniques and issues including leasing, mezzanine and subordinated debt, guarantees and other credit enhancements, personal property security interests outside the UCC, loan syndications and securitization and the impact of insolvency laws and principles on secured lending. The course will not emphasize math, instead focusing on practical understandings and concepts involving the business and legal frameworks for commercial debt financing and the role of lawyers in such transactions.

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:

The primary goal of this class is to have students gain a broad-based understanding of commercial secured debt financing law and transactions so that they will be able to collaborate and communicate effectively with clients and other stakeholders. More specifically, learning outcomes include:

  • An understanding of how and under what circumstances businesses undertake commercial debt financing and the role of lawyers in these activities.
  • An appreciation of the varying perspectives of borrowers, lenders, lawyers and other professionals in the origination, documentation and collection of commercial debt financings.
  • An understanding of the importance and use of collateral and other credit enhancements to benefit the position of and lower the risks of commercial debt financing for lenders.
  • Working knowledge of the principal substantive legal aspects of commercial debt financing, including statutory, regulatory and contractual concepts, so that the student can be operational on such matters as a new lawyer.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the terminology used by lenders and borrowers in commercial debt financing, and the ability to utilize such terminology in drafting, negotiating and interpreting financing agreements and instruments and otherwise approaching legal assignments.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations is recommended, but not required.

LAW 070 v00 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions and Payment Systems

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce students to the methodology of Uniform Commercial Code analysis, with emphasis on the legal policies governing uniform state banking regulation of modern payment systems and secured financing of personal property. Topics include: evolution of the modern payment system; check issuance, collection and presentation; the rights and liabilities of the issuers and holders of checks and notes; the uses of credit and collateral in sales and loans; the establishment of priorities among security interests; and the rules governing default and insolvency. The course will examine the way legal rules structure and sanction the contemporary practices of financial institutions, manufacturers, and the dealers, sellers, and buyers of personal property.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Commercial Finance; or Commercial Law: Secured Transactions; or Commercial Law: Payment Systems; or Commercial Law: Payment Systems and Financial Transactions.

LAW 3078 v00 Commercial Space Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will provide an overview of U.S. domestic legal regimes that govern commercial spaceflight activities, including those managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Commerce, U.S. Defense Department and State Department. The course will examine existing regulations and statutes as well as current discussions about changes to policy and law to address the evolving nature of the space industry and U.S. national space priorities. Examples include the Space Force, space traffic management, and oversight of non-traditional commercial activities in light of international treaty obligations. 

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in administrative law, regulatory law or international law

LAW 611 v19 Communication Design & Law: Re-Designing Legal Information

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This is a Week One, project-based simulation course.

Communication is at the heart of law. As lawyers, we capture and share our work through briefs, memos, reports, legislation, contracts, presentations, articles, and email.

The core idea driving this course is that lawyers can have a bigger impact if they create written work that more people can understand.

This class will help you do that through the lens of communication design. Legal writing is often opaque, dense, and intimidating. Communication design is the theory and craft of transforming this into something that is approachable, actionable, and empowering.

Over four fast-paced, intense days, you will:

  • Learn about the principles of communication design
  • Practice evaluating design and giving feedback
  • Redesign a complex document into something understandable using the document design and plain language.

We include several small-but-meaningful in-class challenges to illustrate key concepts.

The class culminates with an overarching communication design project. Some examples of this final project may include re-designing:

  • The Supreme Court opinion
  • A legal contract
  • The sign-up process for a government benefit.

By the end of the course, you will share your work with the class for shared feedback.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only. Details regarding the registration process will be provided to students during the fall semester via email, information sessions, and on the Week One website.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 528 v01 Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR)

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR) website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR) PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1835 v00 Communications Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will examine the historical, current, and prospective legal and regulatory treatment of communications services, devices, service providers, and platforms. Focusing on current regulatory and policy developments, we will cover issues concerning telephone companies, wireless carriers, Internet application and service providers, device manufacturers, and broadband network operators. The emphasis of the course will be on the rules, policies, and processes of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), but we also will discuss the roles of Congress, courts, and the Executive Branch. Once armed with a firm background in existing statutory and regulatory requirements, students will explore current legal and policy questions regarding communications law. In particular, our focus this semester will be on the structure and functions of the FCC, mobile broadband networks; recent debates surrounding the regulation of broadband networks and online platforms; and some special “hot topics.”

 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Communications Law and Policy.

LAW 073 v02 Communications Law and Policy

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course is intended to help students understand the policy issues that underlie the regulation of communications industries, become familiar with the fundamental approaches to communications regulation and judicial review of that regulation, and evaluate the successes and failures of recent reforms. The course will address regulation of broadcasting, cable, wireline and wireless telephony, and broadband and Internet communications. Sections begin with a brief history of communications regulation and discuss the fundamental legal and policy decisions that have evolved through the present day. The course seeks to understand in what instances the government should intervene in the marketplace. When intervention occurs, the course seeks to evaluate government's most appropriate role in broadcast regulation, telephone regulation, wireless spectrum issues, cable television regulation and broadband regulation. We will discuss the powers of local, state, and federal regulators and attempt to identify the jurisdictional boundaries among them. The course explores the regulatory theory underlying the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and attempts to predict the regulatory models that should govern the 21st century.

LAW 073 v05 Communications Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will survey the historical, current, and prospective legal and regulatory treatment of communications services, devices, service providers, and platforms. We will examine legal and regulatory issues regarding telecommunications services, mobile communications, broadcasting, cable, and broadband networks. The emphasis will be on the rules, policies, and processes of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), but we will also discuss the roles of Congress, courts, the Executive branch, states, and localities.  Armed with a firm background in statutory and regulatory models, students will explore current and future legal and policy questions regarding communications law, considering the challenges technological convergence and innovation pose for existing regulatory frameworks in areas such as competition, spectrum policy, broadband subsidy, and net neutrality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the regulatory framework for the communications sector, including the statutory framework for the FCC’s regulatory authority.
  • Understand the roles, as well as the institutional competence and limitations, of the other key players in communications law and policy – Congress, the Executive branch, courts, states, and localities.
  • Deepen students’ understanding of major communications policy topics, so that they can identify key concepts and attendant arguments in play.
  • Analyze communications issues in an interdisciplinary manner, recognizing the intersection of economics, technology, policy, and law. 
  • Practice skills useful to participating in the regulatory advocacy process by drafting a short, mock ex parte letter to the FCC on a designated issue.  Skills practiced will include, among others, making legal arguments, discussing policy rationales, and appealing to policymakers’ agendas.

LAW 200 v01 Communications Law: Law and Policy in the Internet Age

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The advent of the Internet has spawned massive leaps in technology and the way Americans use communications services to reach that technology. This course examines how courts, legislatures, and regulatory agencies react to constant change in communications technologies. We will focus on specific technological advances to explore the way legal, economic, social, and technological forces shape and are harnessed by legal systems faced with challenges to the status quo. The course will draw on leading communications law cases, statutes, and FCC and FTC actions. Students will explore the legal and lobbying battles raging today in Washington and across the world that are fueled by technological change, in areas such as net neutrality, privacy, broadband subsidy, competition, and spectrum policy. We will try to focus in particular on questions currently before the courts, the FCC and Congress. Note that the focus of readings and in-class discussion is on physical communications technology, not on policies relating specifically to social media sites (although such topics are not out-of-bounds for paper topics).The goal is to deepen each student's understanding of major communications law topics, to determine if a comparison of these topics reveals a set of common legal, policy, and political reactions to technological change, and to provide future policymakers with the tools to respond to change more effectively.

The class will meet for two hours once per week. Grades will be based on class participation (25%) and a final paper/oral presentation (75%). There are no course prerequisites. While there is overlap with Communications Law and Policy on several issues, we cover different issues in total. For students with no communications law background, we will cover the basic background on the law and policy needed to understand the issues addressed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Deepen each student's understanding of major communications policy topics in dispute.
  • Determine if a comparison of these topics reveals a set of common legal, policy, and political reactions to technological change.
  • Provide future policymakers with the tools to respond to change more effectively.
  • Provide insight to the role legal constraints play in policy debates and policy plays in legal challenges.
  • Improve oral and written advocacy skills through writing and presenting an advocacy white paper.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1513 v00 Community Development Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Community Development is the work of partnering with local communities to tackle complex social problems, where racism, economic and social inequality are often intertwined. Students will have the unique opportunity to integrate critical theory and practice within the context of a real-time community development project spearheaded by the professor. Students will gain exposure to the deal structure, financing and legal documents governing the increasingly controversial disposition of public land in mixed income/mixed use developments. Grassroots organizers, attorneys and government officials working in the field will participate as guest speakers and conversants from time to time. Student papers may range across a wide spectrum of topics dealing with some problem confronted by the professor’s initiative or, more generally, by community development practitioners in the field.

Recommended:

LAW 1513 v02 Community Development Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This course provides a unique opportunity for students to integrate critical theory and community development practice into a praxis of community development that reflects on the power dynamics legitimated and sometimes disrupted by the histories and current practices of the field.

This praxis of community development centers a community wealth building, reparative, and sustainable economy approach to the challenges and opportunities experienced by practitioners working in or with marginalized and divested communities impacted by apartheid, colonial, and neo-colonial practices. This emerging praxis is part of a Next Systems movement rooted in what is often called the Solidarity Economy. The latter centers racial equity and community-owned, democratically accountable, organizations and enterprises in reducing the disparities in wealth, health, and wellbeing.

Prerequisite: There are no required prerequisites for this course.

Recommended: Previous exposure to community organizing and/or economic development in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors, or experience in urban planning and/or affordable housing could be helpful but is not required. Interest in the field and curiosity are far more important.

Note: This course is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

This course will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 091 v11 Comparative Constitutional Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

How do we lose and save a constitutional democracy? How can democratic backsliding be prevented? What should we consider in designing a constitution? Can constitutions exist without constitutionalism? What is an authoritarian constitution? How do constitutions transitions and change occur? What forms of judicial review do courts employ? Is it possible to have an unconstitutional constitutional amendment? How do courts across the world interpret constitutions? Can constitutions be employed abusively?

Comparative constitutional law has exploded in contemporary constitutional practice and as a field of study. Events around the world—from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and Latin America—underscore the importance of understanding how constitutional democracies are born and how they can collapse. In this course, we will explore constitutions in global perspective, examining issues of constitutional structure and rights across comparative constitutional systems. We will cover topics like constitution-making, constitutional change, constitutional amendment, judicial review, and constitutional adjudication. Drawing on examples across the world, we will also examine individual rights issues, such as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, as well as constitutionalism in times of emergency and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also consider how constitutions can be abused and the question of whether and how constitutionalism might be able to endure in fragile democracies.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar.

LAW 091 v10 Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

How to lose and save a constitutional democracy? How to prevent democratic backsliding? How to design a constitution? Can constitutions exist without constitutionalism? What is an authoritarian constitution? How do constitutions transitions and change occur? What forms of judicial review do courts employ? Is it possible to have an unconstitutional constitutional amendment? How do courts across the world interpret constitutions? Can constitutions be employed abusively?

Comparative constitutional law has exploded in contemporary constitutional practice and as a field of study. Events around the world—from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and Latin America—underscore the importance of understanding how constitutional democracies are born and how they can collapse. In this course, we will explore constitutions in global perspective, examining issues of constitutional structure and rights across comparative constitutional systems. We will cover topics like constitution-making, constitutional change, constitutional amendment, judicial review, and constitutional interpretation. Drawing on examples across the world, we will also examine individual rights issues, such as freedom of religion, as well as constitutionalism in times of national emergency and in fragile democracies.

J.D. students who wish to write a fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar. J.D. or LLM students taking the seminar for 2-credits will not need to write a paper. There are no prerequisites for taking the class.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Comparative Constitutional Law course.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 828 v01 Comparative Corporate Governance

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Course Objective and Rationale:

Corporate governance has received a considerable amount of attention worldwide More than a decade ago, the global financial crisis clearly demonstrated that poor corporate governance practice could have disastrous consequences not only for the companies and shareholders but also for the capital or financial markets and the economy as a whole. The recent global health crisis has heightened an urgent need for more sustainable corporate governance rules and practices which, in turn, can help clearly distinguish the line between ownership and control in the company, balance the interests of shareholders, board members, and other stakeholders, and ensure their accountability towards the society as a whole. As such, local rules and recommendations are now supposed to improve corporate productivity at the same time as more sustainable businesses.

Several countries around the world have increasingly launched reforms with the objective to better off corporate governance and the long-term performance of their companies. Despite this strong attention for corporate governance worldwide, as well as the tremendous impact of globalization, paradoxically, more is to be done. Adopting a comparative perspective allows legal, institutional, cultural and sociological factors to be considered as relevant determinants or limits to better off managerial governance and companies’ performance.

This very rich theme cannot be completely dealt with in a few hours in class. However, we may highlight some very interesting useful aspects for lawyers and practitioners. The course aims at providing more in-depth reflection to understand corporate governance law, regulation and practices in companies and seeks to encourage the need for comparative law as a means of thinking about law in a globalized economy. It is mainly focused on public-listed companies practice from such jurisdictions as US, UK and EU Member States ones.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Note: NOTE: In the Spring 2022 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 10, 2022 through Thursday, January 13, 2022, 1:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed between January 21 and January 28, 2022.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 079 v08 Comparative Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Comparative law involves the study of several global legal systems - including common law, civil law and religious law – with a goal of preparing students who may find their future careers require knowledge of more than one legal system. It may also be of interest to students who desire to examine the theoretical underpinnings of other countries’ laws and courts out of academic interest.  While the goal is to explore the application of comparative methodology to national and regional legal regimes, the focus will be on both the theoretical underpinnings of the comparative legal method and the historical development of the process for comparing rules, principles, and institutions of different countries. The course also emphasizes the current use of the comparative method in both public and private law by legal actors such as lawyers, judges, and legislators.  In the light of contemporary developments, the course will also provide students the international perspective to make substantive connections between the American common law and other legal traditions, and consider recent debates whether national legal systems and institutions are converging or whether differing economic, political, and social environments are leading to greater diversity and possibly even conflict.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the upperclass course, Comparative Law: Focus on EU and US or the first year elective by the same name. 

LAW 1791 v00 Comparative Law: China in Context

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course surveys the legal system of the People’s Republic of China, using China as a vehicle for asking broader questions about law and legal comparison.   It is meant to be inviting to all students, including those with no background in China who wish to better understand the legal system of an increasingly important global power.   Topics will include: China’s traditional legal order and encounters with the West; the sources of law in contemporary China; courts and dispute resolution; the legal profession; the criminal justice system; selected topics in administrative law, constitutional law, economic law, environmental law, family law, international law, and labor law; China in transnational litigation; and the evolving use of digital technologies in Chinese law.  As with any course in comparative law, a key aim will be to deepen understanding of our own legal system through close and careful examination of another.

LAW 079 v07 Comparative Law: Focus on EU and US

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course consists of an introduction to legal comparison with a focus on private law. The course is divided into two parts. The first part presents the functions and aims as well the methods of comparative law in general. After an overview of the legal systems in the world, the course analyses the civil law system in Europe and compares it with the common law system in the United States. It also shows how international and transnational laws address some of the differences between the two systems. While the course focuses on substantive law issues, in the fields of contract and tort, it also examines some structural issues -- such as the court systems, the education of lawyers and the role of judicial review. The second part of the course aims at providing an understanding of the ways in which EU law impacts the evolution of national law. Special attention is devoted to the link between private law and the Single Market, but also to the cultural and linguistic obstacles that come up in the process of harmonization of national laws in Europe. Overall, the course also aims at providing a practical introduction to issues of European law faced by American lawyers. Further it will show how legal comparison is a means for thinking about the law in broader terms.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first year elective by the same name.

Note: In Spring 2025 this course will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:10-1:10 pm on the following dates: 1/13, 1/15, 1/22, 1/27, 1/29, 2/3, 2/5 2/10, 2/12, 2/19, 2/20 (Monday classes meet), 2/24, and 2/26. 

LAW 1098 v00 Complex Litigation

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course will focus on complex procedural issues that arise in modern litigation. The overall focus of the course is on multi-party, multi-jurisdictional disputes and the increased regulatory role that courts play in the system of dispute resolution. The first part of the course will focus class actions, including the requirements for class certification, judicial review of class settlements, the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act on class action practice (CAFA), and the intersection of class actions and contracts for arbitration of disputes. Considerable time will also be spent on multi-district litigation (MDL) practice including the modern development of bellwether trials; the unique aggregation problems that arise in the context of international disputes; the strategic choices available to lawyers handling complex cases, and the strategic and economic dynamics of settlement.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society).

LAW 950 v01 Complex Securities Investigations

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course is designed to provide a practical survey of a complex white-collar (securities, commodities, and other financial frauds) investigation from inception through the Wells process, civil and criminal charging decisions, and trial. Representing a public company, its officers, employees, or directors requires a thorough understanding of the tools and strategies employed by criminal prosecutors and civil regulators. We will consider a variety of common practice issues including managing concurrent SEC and DOJ investigations; structuring and conducting the internal investigation; responding to SEC document subpoenas; conducting witness interviews; and, the application of various privileges. The course will cover substantive legal issues related to securities fraud, market manipulation, cryptocurrency regulation, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), among others. Further, students will gain practical knowledge of the issues and opportunities arising through interaction and negotiation with the SEC and DOJ during the investigative process, and the strategic decisions of waiver and cooperation to achieve the optimal result for the client.

Recommended: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure or a course in White Collar Crime

LAW 080 v00 Computer Crime Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will explore the legal issues that judges, legislators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys confront as they respond to the recent dramatic increase in computer-related crime.  In particular, we will consider how crimes online challenge traditional approaches to the investigation, prosecution, and defense of crime that have evolved from our experience with crimes in physical space.  Topics will include: the Fourth Amendment online, the law of electronic surveillance, computer hacking and other computer crimes, cyberterrorism, the First Amendment and the Internet, and civil liberties online.

Although much of this class involves computer and internet technology, no prior technical background or knowledge is required.

Any technology that needs to be understood will be explained in class, and students should not hesitate to ask for other technical explanations.

LAW 1384 v00 Computer Programming for Lawyers: An Introduction

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class provides an introduction to computer programming for law students. Students will learn to code in Python, a language which is both easy to learn and powerful. There are no prerequisites, and students without training in computer science or engineering should be able successfully to complete the class.

The course is based on the premise that computer programming has become a vital skill for non-technical professionals generally and for future lawyers and policymakers specifically. Lawyers-- irrespective of specialty or type of practice--organize, evaluate, and manipulate large sets of text-based data (e.g. cases, statutes, regulations, contracts, etc.) Additionally, lawyers are increasingly asked to deal with quantitative data and complex databases. Very simple programming techniques can expedite and simplify these tasks, yet these programming techniques tend to be poorly understood in legal practice and nearly absent in legal education.

In this class, students will gain proficiency in various programming-related skills. Recognizing that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing what it means to program, the course will instill both fundamental programming knowledge and, once basics are established, techniques for using AI to solve complex problems. The course is designed to give students the skills and understanding necessary to create time-saving programs amid a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

The course will also feature discussions around the social and ethical implications of computer programming, with a focus on privacy, intellectual property, consumer protection, equity, and antidiscrimination.

This class will consist of weekly lectures, consisting of both lectures and guided group and independent activities. There will also be weekly labs, in which students will go over issues they might be having with the problem set and work in small groups with their TA.

Students will be required to complete problem sets between class meetings. To obtain a passing grade, students must complete problem sets, participate in class sessions, and demonstrate that they have learned the assigned skills.

At the completion of this class, students should be able to write simple to moderately complex computer programs that can automate text-handling and data-handling tasks that would be difficult or impossible to perform without programming skill. Students will also gain a solid foundation of programming knowledge and skills they can build upon to progress toward mastering more advanced programming techniques and other programming languages.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students who have completed at least one computer programming course in college or graduate school or who have mastered at least one computer programming language are not eligible for this course.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session and the first lab session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session and the first lab session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This course will meet twice each week. There will be 1 two-hour lecture with all enrolled students.  Later in the week there will be a second class session consisting of a one-hour lab.

LAW 1499 v00 Computer Programming for Lawyers: Intermediate

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This class builds on Computer Programming for Lawyers: An Introduction by introducing students to intermediate-level concepts of computer programming and computer science relevant to legal practice. The students in this course will serve as the Teaching Assistants for the introductory course, which will always be taught concurrently. In addition, students in this course will complete at least one substantial programming term project.

Enrollment in this course is by prior permission of the Professor only. All students must have prior computer programming experience. Students who have successfully completed the introductory course meet this requirement. Other students must demonstrate comparable prior experience, but this experience need not be formal training or professional experience. Students need not possess a technical degree, and self-taught programmers are welcome.

The course is based on the premise that computer programming has become a vital skill for non-technical professionals generally and for future lawyers and policymakers specifically. Lawyers, irrespective of specialty or type of practice, organize, evaluate, and manipulate large sets of text-based data (e.g. cases, statutes, regulations, contracts, etc.) Increasingly, lawyers are asked to deal with quantitative data and complex databases. Programming techniques can expedite and simplify these tasks, yet these programming techniques tend to be poorly understood in legal practice and nearly absent in legal education. In this class, students will gain proficiency in various programming-related skills.

A secondary goal for the class is to introduce students to computer programming and computer scientific concepts they might encounter in the substantive practice of law. Students might discuss, for example, how programming concepts illuminate and influence current debates in privacy, intellectual property, consumer protection, antidiscrimination, antitrust, litigation and criminal procedure.

This is a hands-on class. Each student will spend most class sessions using his or her own computers, reading, writing, and debugging code. Every student must bring to every class a computer, on which free software will be provided to be installed.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students should contact Professor Adler at (wta13@georgetown.edu). Priority will be given to students who express interest at least one month before classes start.

Withdrawal Policy: Students in Computer Programming: Intermediate serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs) to students enrolled in Computer Programming for Lawyers: An Introduction. Because the introductory class cannot operate without a minimum and stable number of TAs, it is essential we ensure a fixed enrollment for the intermediate class, by adopting special rules for dropping the class.

A student enrolled in Computer Programming for Lawyers: Intermediate may drop the class no later than 3pm on Monday, August 5, 2024 and only by notifying Professor Adler in writing.

LAW 363 v01 Conflict Management Systems Design Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar is an interactive workshop designed to introduce students to the theory, principles and practice of conflict management systems design with the goal of training students to assume this new and creative professional role. Lawyers are increasingly being called upon to act not simply as litigators or deal-makers, but also as “process architects” for institutions, organizations and governments. In addition, they are being asked to design, tailor and manage systems to handle "streams" of disputes in an effective and efficient manner, such as those arising from commercial transactions, mass torts, natural disasters, government programs and restorative justice initiatives.

Students will be expected to read, write, discuss, critique and participate in simulated exercises. After an overview of conflict management theory and principle, students will, through readings, discussions and exercises, study seven actual systems that reflect conflict management design principles. Then through a series of additional hands-on role plays and simulations, students will have the opportunity to develop systems design skills and work on a mock consulting team during class. The practical and ethical implications of systems design work will be explored, as well as opportunities for synthesis of systems design skills into legal practice.

The class meets four weekend days. Due to the intensive and interactive nature of the seminar, attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. Students will also be expected to participate in a simulation (approximately three hours) between the two weekend sessions. Grades will be based on class participation including team work, discussions and simulations (25%), the quality of a 7-page journal analyzing a class consulting team simulation and applying systems design principles (25%), and a 14-page client proposal on a topic of the student's choice (revising a current system or designing a new system to manage conflict and resolve disputes) which demonstrates application and mastery of conflict management systems design skills.

Prerequisite: A law school skills-based class on negotiation or mediation is required, such as Negotiations Seminar; Mediation Seminar; Mediation Advocacy Seminar; Negotiations and Mediation Seminar; or Multiparty Negotiation, Groups Decision Making and Teams. The two-credit sections of International Negotiations Seminar do not satisfy the prerequisite for this class.

Note: This seminar is open to J.D. students only.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

NOTE: In the Spring 2023 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

LAW 084 v04 Conflict of Laws (Private International Law)

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

In our increasingly globalized world, litigation frequently transcends state or national borders.  Transnational litigation implicates the three main topics addressed by the field of Conflict of Laws (also known as Private International Law):  Jurisdiction/choice of forum; choice of law; and enforcement of foreign judgments.  This course focuses on how U.S. courts resolve these issues (although some attention will be paid to how other countries address them).  Special attention will be devoted to the extraterritorial application of US law and to conflict of laws issues that arise in transnational litigation involving Business & Human Rights. 

LAW 611 v12 Congressional Hearing Simulation: Updating the Fair Labor Standards Act for Today's Economy

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 “the most far-reaching, far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted in this or any other country." The historic FLSA established the minimum wage, created a standard workweek, outlawed child labor, and instituted certain work safety protections for minors. Over eighty years later, many argue that the law is too rigid for today’s 21st-century workplace and the gig economy. Others contend that the law must be strengthened to better protect workers, many of whom face job insecurity; wage theft; or lack of health, retirement, and unemployment benefits. Most agree that the law needs to be updated -- but how?

In this dynamic and realistic Week One simulation, students will prepare for and conduct a Congressional hearing on updating the FLSA. Working in teams, students will gain experience in the key components of preparing for and conducting a hearing including writing, delivering, and responding to opening statements, testimony, and questions. Students will play the roles of witnesses such as Department of Labor leadership, business leaders, worker advocates, and others, as well as Democratic and Republican Congressional Members of Congress/staff. Additional Members of Congress will be played by outside experts. Upperclass teaching fellows will help guide student preparation for the hearing and serve as Members of Congress in the simulation.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 309 v02 Congressional Investigations Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar deals with Congress’ powers to conduct oversight and investigations of the Executive branch. This seminar will cover the scope of Congressional inquiries and investigations, Congress’ subpoena powers, grant of immunity powers as well as hearing and rulemaking powers, the use of select committees, the GAO, and other special investigative techniques. The course will examine the use of prehearing depositions, rights of witnesses, preparation of witnesses, the role of the press and the interaction between Congress and prosecutorial functions including investigations conducted by special and independent counsel statute. In addition to the traditional use of lectures, class discussions and outside speakers, the course will be built around mastering the subject matter and surfacing ethical issues by working on complex problems. Students will be expected to work in small groups on contemporary issues to simulate the work of Committee members, Committee Staff, White House Counsel Staff and members of the news media.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Congressional Oversight of the Executive Branch.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 309 v03 Congressional Investigations Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar explores the range of issues involved in congressional investigations, with special attention paid to the differing perspectives of the major players, both inside and outside of Congress, in a congressional investigation. Congressional investigations involve a unique interplay of legal and political issues. Legal issues -- involving such matters as the rights of private institutions and private citizens who may be implicated in a congressional investigation, the legal and political ability of the Executive Branch to resist congressional probes, the authority of the Judicial Branch to interfere with or limit the conduct of congressional investigations, and the relationship of congressional investigations to related criminal and civil inquiries conducted by other governmental entities -- must be factored into the political calculus of the contending political forces involved in a congressional investigation. Political determinations -- which underpin such issues as the scope and duration of an investigation or whether witnesses should be interviewed, deposed or called to testify live at a hearing -- may have significant legal ramifications. This seminar will address these issues at both the practical and the theoretical levels. As part of the course, class members will be asked to participate in mock problems concerning different aspects of the process.

Recommended: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Congressional Oversight of the Executive Branch or Congressional Investigations and the Modern Government Inquiry.

LAW 1486 v01 Congressional Oversight of the Executive Branch

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

“Quite important as lawmaking is vigilant oversight of administration.”

“The informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.”

Woodrow Wilson1

The above quotes capture the central theme for this seminar, which explores Congress’ oversight of the Executive Branch. Oversight and investigation are one of Congress’ primary means of asserting its role in the Constitutional scheme of separated powers. Historically, this assertion creates tensions that forces interplay among the three coordinate branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. This course will examine these issues as well as review the tools Congress uses to execute its powers. This includes the full range of Congress’ compulsory powers through the issuance of subpoenas, grants of immunity, contempt rulings, and enforcement actions in civil and criminal court. Students will use major investigations as case studies to demonstrate these processes. Students will be asked to assume roles as various actors in the process, which includes members of Congress and their staffs; officials in the executive branch, and the judiciary.


1Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1885), 303

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will understand the interplay among the three coordinate branches as a result of our constitutional structure, and how these structural relationships impact law and policy-making.
  2. Students will understand the tools at Congress’s disposal to effect legislative oversight and congressional investigations. To borrow a phrase from one of our texts, “you will learn how the worlds of lawmaking, law-implementing, law-interpreting, and law-enforcing connect.”

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System; prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Congressional Investigations Seminar or Congressional Investigations and the Modern Government Inquiry.

LAW 1724 v00 Conservative Legal and Political Thought Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The course will introduce students to the writings of the main conservative legal theorists, their contribution to modern legal theory and participation in modern legal theoretical debates. Students will read about the internal debates within the legal conservative movement by focusing on the split between libertarians and traditionalists within the movement including debates regarding “originalism” and “textualism” as conservative interpretive approaches to the law.

The course will be divided into three sections: The first section of the course will address the question: Who is a conservative? The second: Who is a legal conservative? And the third: What is a conservative method of legal interpretation?

LAW 822 v00 Consolidated Returns

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course studies the law and regulations governing the taxation of corporations filing consolidated federal income tax returns. This course is highly recommended for students who intend to practice corporate tax law because it will focus on consolidated return principles that affect corporate tax planning, mergers and acquisitions. The course will cover the following subjects: eligibility to file consolidated returns; treatment of business transactions within the group; treatment of dividends and other distributions within the group; adjustments to the basis of stock of members of the group; treatment of acquisitions of another consolidated group; treatment of dispositions of subsidiaries of a group; consolidated return treatment of the group's favorable tax attributes; use of disregarded entities by a consolidated group; and treatment of earnings and profits accounts. The consequences of filing consolidated returns in specific situations are considered as each topic is covered.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation (formerly Taxation I); Corporate Income Tax Law I.

LAW 089 v00 Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar deals with the distribution of powers between the president and Congress in the areas of war, diplomacy, international organizations, foreign assistance, commerce, money, etc. as well as the distribution of powers between the national and state governments. Such related matters as the impact on individual rights and the political question doctrine in this context are also discussed.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I (or Democracy and Coercion).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Foreign Relations Law.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class.

A student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal BY PROFESSOR PERMISSION ONLY.

LAW 1884 v00 Constitutional Dimensions of Environmental Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Since the 1970s, environmental law has provided an important context for the development of constitutional doctrines. These developments have accelerated in recent years as environmental issues have risen to the forefront of the political debate and received increased attention from parties across the political spectrum. This course focuses on recent jurisprudence, and current developments in environmental law that relate to constitutional issues. To that end, students will examine recent agency rules, appellate briefs, and court decisions. At the outset we will discuss constitutional limits on  Congress’s power to enact statutes addressing environmental harm. We will then turn to how courts interpret Congressional delegations of authority to administrative agencies including separation of powers issues. Finally, we will address constitutional limits on judicial review. The course will also include conversations with guest speakers from the federal government, state government, and private sector who have worked directly on developing the challenged actions and litigating the cases we will discuss.

The course materials will include agency regulations and guidance documents, excerpts of merits briefs and oral argument transcripts, as well as published opinions.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System.

Recommended: Administrative Law and Environmental Law.

LAW 1601 v00 Constitutional Impact Litigation Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

This project-based practicum course will give students the unique opportunity to be part of the constitutional litigation and policy work of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP). Led by attorneys with deep experience in trial and appellate advocacy, national security law, and federal prosecution, ICAP pursues strategic litigation in federal and state courts at all levels to defend constitutional rights and values while working to restore confidence in the integrity of our governmental institutions.  Recent work includes safeguarding rights to free expression, assembly, and democratic participation; combating threats from unlawful private militias and political violence; fighting the criminalization of poverty and other forms of criminal legal system overreach; defending the rights of young people and marginalized communities; and preserving fundamental separation-of-powers principles. ICAP often works in close partnership with non-profit organizations, pro bono teams of law firms, and law school clinics. Students will participate in a two-hour weekly seminar and carry out an average of 15 hours per week of work with ICAP and its partners on strategic litigation and litigation-adjacent policy development.

SEMINAR: Drawing on experience from ICAP’s cases as well as prominent historical and current examples of impact litigation, the seminar will focus on the history of public and social justice litigation and its uses, criticisms, and obstacles. Seminar participants will discuss with the practicum’s Professors and other lawyers on the ICAP team strategies for bringing impact litigation, including identifying and selecting plaintiffs, test cases, venues, and legal theories, as well as engaging the public. Students will receive specific instruction on how to prepare research memoranda useful to litigators exploring which cases to take and which arguments to make; on what makes for successful, persuasive briefing of constitutional arguments; and on how to explain complicated legal issues to the public, in forms such as short op-eds and other public education materials.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work an average of 15 hours per week on constitutional litigation and related projects handled by ICAP.  Work flow will depend on litigation deadlines and demands.  Students should not expect the workload to be even from week to week, and some weeks may require a significantly greater number of hours while others may require very few. Students’ roles may include providing litigators with memoranda conveying research on relevant legal issues; drafting portions of briefing materials; mooting oral advocates for argument; drafting press releases and/or op-eds relevant to ICAP’s litigation; and assisting with litigation-adjacent policy development. Students also may be involved in fact gathering related to ICAP’s litigation, including reviewing and analyzing publicly available data. 

Prospective students should review ICAP’s website for examples of previous work.  Examples include obtaining injunctions against unlawful private paramilitary activity by far-right extremists and militias; challenging bail practices and fines and fees that unconstitutionally discriminate against indigent defendants; representing “sanctuary cities” against challenges to their policies; obtaining an injunction against anti-protest legislation designed to chill First Amendment rights; representing the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol in obtaining presidential records relevant to its investigation; suing the Wisconsin fraudulent electors and the attorneys who conceived of the scheme; and representing homeless residents of Grants Pass, Oregon, in challenging the enforcement of a law seeking to criminalize their existence in the community.  Students will undertake multiple projects over the course of the semester, engaging with not only the Professors, but also with ICAP’s other litigators. Students will be expected to work both independently and in teams, just as they would on an impact litigation team.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law II (or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II). Additionally, J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Procedure, Property, or their first-year elective). 

Mutually Excluded Courses: The practicum portion of this course is designed to immerse students in all facets of ICAP's litigation and related work, from developing new litigation ideas and fact-gathering, to legal research and writing in support of briefs and pleadings at the trial and appellate court levels, to working with clients and co-counsel, to the logistics of assembling court filings, to preparing for court arguments, to developing policy materials that complement ICAP’s litigation objectives.  Experience has shown that students are best able to take advantage of all of the experiential learning opportunities that ICAP offers--including participating in case-related meetings and conference calls and observing moot courts--when they are not concurrently juggling the practicum with an externship or internship.  Thus, although concurrent externships and internships are not prohibited, students are encouraged to take advantage of these other excellent learning opportunities during a different semester from the practicum, and applications from those who are planning a concurrent externship or internship with a commitment of over 15 hours per week will be disfavored.  

Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This course will be offered during both the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters. Students will be permitted to enroll in the course for only one semester, i.e., Fall 2024 OR Spring 2025.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students should submit a résumé and written statement (maximum of 300 words), articulating their interest in the practicum and noting any relevant academic and work experiences, especially in the field of constitutional law, to Professor Mary McCord (mbm7@georgetown.edu) and Professor Kelsi Corkran (kbc74@georgetown.edu).  Students should indicate whether they are applying solely for the fall semester or spring semester or whether they would accept placement in either the fall or spring. Students also should indicate in their applications whether they are planning to apply for or are committed to an externship or internship during the same semester(s) in which they are applying for the practicum-seminar, and how many hours are required by the externship or internship.  The instructors will follow up with any students planning a concurrent externship or internship in order to address any potential conflicts of interest. 

For Fall 2024, students should request permission at least one week before registration begins. After that, students will be admitted on a rolling basis until all seats are filled, after which students will be placed on a waiting list.  The deadline to submit requests for the spring practicum will be announced at a later date.  

This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working an average of 15 hours per week.

This is a five-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits will be awarded for approximately 15 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks (165 hours). Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and practicum components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1609 v00 Constitutional Interpretation Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Analyzing text is a deeply important part of legal practice in public law, whether statutory or constitutional law.  It cuts across a wide variety of subject matter areas, from very basic aspects of the Constitution to any statutory topic imaginable. Whatever the subject matter, whether health care law, presidential emoluments, or internet privacy, certain problems of legal analysis recur.  How should courts analyze legal texts?  Where should judges go to look for meaning when the text is vague or ambiguous?  Should texts be updated to reflect current norms?   What does it mean to look for the drafter’s intent?   Should approaches toward statutory and constitutional text be symmetrical or not?  This seminar will introduce students to these problems and provide essential skills for reading both constitutional and statutory text.   Materials will be provided by the instructor or invited guests. Students will be graded on short reaction papers due every two weeks.   Given the theoretical nature of the topic, law review students are especially encouraged.

LAW 1880 v00 Constitutional Issues in Corruption & Election Crime Enforcement

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will explore constitutional limits on legislative and prosecutive efforts to prohibit corrupt conduct involving payments to public officials, excessive or prohibited campaign contributions and independent expenditures, fraudulent fundraising by SuperPACs, and false statements by government employees. Students will review the historical evolution of relevant statutes, applicable constitutional principles, and Supreme Court and lower court decisions addressing constitutional limits on legislative and enforcement efforts.

The course will be organized chronologically within specified topics. The primary topics will include: Constitutional Principles; Bribery & Extortion; Fraud & Misapplication; Election Crimes; and Constitutional Privileges. The topics will span several consecutive classes with relevant case law assigned as the primary reading material.

 

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Criminal Procedure) and Constitutional Law I: The Federal System.

Recommended: Criminal Law.

LAW 004 v00 Constitutional Law I: The Federal System

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course addresses questions concerning the role of the Supreme Court in resolving legal problems that arise under our fundamental law, as well as issues concerning the Constitution's distribution of power between the national and state governments and among the branches of the national government.

LAW 004 v01 Constitutional Law I: The Federal System

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course is the basic course on United States constitutional law. The course explores the architecture of the United States Constitution and focuses on topics illustrating three core structural aspects of American constitutionalism: (1) the tradition of constitutional review by the judicial branch; (2) the configuration, interaction, and powers of the three branches of the national government; and (3) the Constitution’s distribution of power between the federal and state governments.

Note: This is a required course for first year students only.

LAW 215 v00 Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course focuses primarily on the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments (free speech, due process, and equal protection) and the role of the Supreme Court as ultimate interpreter and guardian of the Bill of Rights.

Note for Professor Barnett's Fall section: As a way to understand the structure of current doctrines, Professor Barnett’s course will stress how and why the doctrines evolved from the Founding through the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Warren and Rehnquist Courts to the Roberts Court today. The course will also stress the effect that slavery had on the original Constitution and the Reconstruction Amendments. Coverage will include the Second and Ninth Amendments. Professor Barnett's section will consist of a 3-hour unit consisting of two 85 minute class sessions and a 1-hour unit consisting of video presentations on the theory and practice of originalism that students can view at their convenience at any time before or during the semester.  Internet access on any device is not allowed during class; all laptop use is disallowed in Professor Barnett's course (unless necessary to conduct Zoom instruction).  

Learning goals for Professor Spann's section

The primary goal of the course is to teach students how to manipulate the doctri­nal rules and underlying policy consid­era­tions that govern the topics in the course, and to get students to confront the norma­tive implications raised by such vast amounts of doctrinal indetermi­nacy, especially for the law’s claim of neutrality toward subordinated groups. 

Note: Note for students in Professor Goodwin's section (LAWJ-215-07): Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 1881 v00 Constitutional Law: Federal Courts Tackle the Digital World

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

For more than a century, court decisions have lagged advances in technology. The advent of the Internet and developments in artificial intelligence, particularly generative artificial intelligence, have accelerated this gap. This course explores how federal courts are tackling disruptive technologies and digital challenges. The focus will be on a few select areas, including speech, Section 230 of the Communications in Decency Act, privacy, and artificial intelligence, though in reality the lines are blurred between these topics. We will look at cases that serve as the analytical foundation for these issues and consider contemporary judicial efforts to address the shifting legal and digital landscape in an ambiguous environment. Students will have an opportunity to engage in structured, in-class debates and exercises to highlight conflicting views in this arena. The course will also address how judges are engaging with technology in their chambers and courtrooms and how this engagement may impact the decision-making process.

Recommended: Constitutional Law

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1538 v00 Constitutional Law: The First and Second Amendments

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

This course will provide students the opportunity for intense and detailed study of cutting-edge issues arising under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Students will be required to read foundational Supreme Court cases in full (including concurrences and dissents) to enable them to discuss and debate the decisions and the analytical approaches used to reach them.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the week, I hope you will have learned to:

  1. Understand more deeply First and Second Amendment jurisprudence;
  2. Appreciate how difficult it is for the Supreme Court to decide close cases;
  3. Express your thoughts clearly and concisely and to disagree with colleagues without being disagreeable;
  4. See virtue in reading cases in their entirety, rather than in excerpt form;
  5. Recognize different judicial philosophies in Supreme Court opinions;
  6. Identify premises justices use as starting points for their analyses; and
  7. Write an exam that reflects command of First and Second Amendment cases.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note:

WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 1:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed during the week of Friday, January 17th through Friday, January 24th, 2025.  This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1512 v00 Constitutional Litigation and the Executive Branch

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Seminar Description

This seminar will explore the practice and strategy of constitutional litigation through a close study of high-profile constitutional challenges to Executive Branch action in recent years. 

We will begin with an introductory session focused on recent trends in constitutional litigation against the Executive Branch. Over the rest of the semester, we will closely study a series of cases, examining the course of each litigation and exploring key strategic judgments made by parties, amici, and judges. Students will leave the course familiar with every stage of a constitutional case, from the initial announcement of an Executive Branch policy, to the decision to file suit and the drafting of a complaint, to litigation at every level of the Judiciary and in the court of public opinion, to emergency applications in appellate courts, to the varied challenges that may follow a successful lawsuit. Along the way, we will consider the strategies and incentives of different litigants—including civil rights groups, private parties, cities, states, and legislators. We will also study the goals and strategies of lawyers charged with defending Executive Branch action (notably including the Office of the Solicitor General).  In addition to mastering how constitutional litigation unfolds, we will seek to develop a clear-eyed view of how lawyers approach the most important judgment calls involved in prosecuting and defending constitutional claims.

Although this list is subject to change in light of ongoing developments, we likely will cover many of these topics:

  • President Trump’s “travel ban” policies 
  • President Clinton's adoption of a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for military service
  • President Trump’s exclusion of transgender persons from military service  
  • President Trump’s threats to revoke federal funds from "sanctuary cities"  
  • President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy 
  • A motion filed by the Trump Administration’s Solicitor General asking the U.S. Supreme Court to sanction the ACLU in a suit concerning requests by juvenile undocumented migrants to exercise abortion rights
  • President Trump's compliance with the Emoluments Clauses  
  •  President Trump’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter
  • President Trump's exclusion of selected CNN and Playboy reporters from the White House 
  • The first impeachment of President Trump 
  • The sexual assault and defamation lawsuit against former President Trump by E. Jean Carroll
  • Former President Trump's assertion of an "absolute immunity" defense to criminal prosecution in federal court. 
  • The Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccination-or-test policies
  • The Biden Administration's student debt relief policies
  • Challenges to the FDA's decisions concerning mifepristone 
  • Challenges to the Biden Administration's interactions with social media companies 

Each week, students will study relevant court filings and opinions (from district courts all the way to the Supreme Court), complemented by contemporaneous legal commentary. 

We will expect all students to prepare for—and participate in—classroom discussion.

Learning Goals/Course Objectives

  1. Introduce students to the fundamentals of constitutional litigation, from its inception through appeal.
  2. Understand the ways in which claims and defenses may evolve throughout the course of litigation and proceed as a conversation between lower courts, courts of appeals, the Executive Branch, and Congress.
  3. Learn to analyze and critique actual pleadings, with an eye towards the parties’ litigation strategy, goals, and hurdles.
  4. Learn to analyze and critique judicial opinions on constitutional claims over the course of an entire litigation.
  5. Understand the aspects of modern constitutional challenges that have been common to earlier constitutional litigation against the government, as well as the features of the present landscape that are remarkable.
  6. Analyze how trends in constitutional litigation over the past decade relate to cutting-edge legal commentary.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure or Legal Process and Society; Constitutional Law I: The Federal System or Democracy and Coercion.

LAW 1908 v00 Constitutionalism in Greater China: China, Taiwan, Hong Kong

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

For over a century, constitutional governance has been seen as a key reformist goal in China. From the Qing Dynasty to the People’s Republic, would-be reformers, both inside and outside government, have pushed constitutionalist ideas as a means to strengthen the Chinese state, and to redefine the relationship between state and its citizens.

This course will look at the path of constitutional development in what might be called greater China: the People’s Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Our core question will be  straightforward: to what extent has the goal of constitutional governance been fulfilled? If the goal is not yet reached, what are the key barriers to further constitutional development? In each of these three jurisdictions, our answers will vary – often quite significantly, given the differing paths that each place has taken. But in all three cases, our answers will help us to better understand how political power is exercised in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and what limits – if any – the constitution document places on state power.

In each case, we will examine the constitution to understand its formal provisions on key constitutional questions, including structure of government, separation of powers, and protection of human rights. At the same time, we will ask who is able to push for constitutional change, and how they are able to do it. What role can social movements, rights activists, and rights lawyers play in pushing for constitutional change? How do they use the constitution as a political platform to advance their own agenda? And how does the Party-state use its own constitution to push its own political and legal goals?

Recommended: Prior course on the Chinese legal system, or prior academic work related to Chinese history or politics.

LAW 622 v01 Consumer Finance

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to consumer financial products and their regulation. It aims to acquaint students with the operation and uses of various consumer financial products, the structure of the markets in these products, the business concerns in offering these products, and the regulatory schemes governing them. The course covers consumer credit products, such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, rent-to-own, and overdraft; consumer deposit and payments products, such as bank accounts and prepaid cards; and consumer financial information products, such as credit reports.  It also covers cross-product issues, such as debt collection, discriminatory lending, cost disclosure, and usury. The course pays particular attention to the complex allocation of regulatory jurisdiction allocation over these products among various federal and state agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. 

LAW 1452 v00 Consumer Protection Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Consumer protection law seeks to address a wide (and ever-evolving) list of deceptive, fraudulent and unfair practices. In this course, we will survey the laws, players, and industries that are affected by consumer protection law. Among other subjects, we will cover advertising practices (including native advertising), mortgage fraud, privacy, identity theft, payday lending, and higher education.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Approaches to Consumer Protection.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1355 v00 Contemporary Bias and Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

In this course, we will draw from social and behavioral science to analyze how contemporary bias (structural, implicit, explicit) shapes outcomes for marginalized groups and the role of law in protecting individuals from such bias.  We will critically analyze the effect of various legal and policy reforms, examining whether the reforms are likely to reduce or exacerbate existing inequalities. We will discuss inequality in several domains (e.g. policing, voting rights, housing, education, and employment) with a focus on intersectional identities (e.g. race, gender, class, citizenship, sexuality). The final project will give students the opportunity to build on what they’ve learned to propose their own legal, policy, or organizational reform, along with an activism strategy designed to persuade key decision makers to take action.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1915 v00 Contemporary Free Speech Problems

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech” commands the First Amendment.  This course explores how that charge has played out in practice by analyzing some of the most challenging free speech issues of our day, with a particular focus cases involving competing First Amendment rights.  Topics include: incitement, threats, hate speech, protests, boycotts, aiding and abetting, campus speech, coercion and/or retaliation by public officials, jawboning, doxxing, anonymous speech, compelled speech, associational rights, the rights of “platforms,” and speech about abortion post-Dobbs.  Students will delve into the relevant legal doctrine, as well as its theoretical and analytical underpinnings, while also developing skills as advocates by applying that doctrine to actual cases.  Students will be expected to make meaningful contributions to class discussion.

Recommended: Constitutional Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Arguing Free Speech in the 21st Century Seminar.

 

LAW 458 v00 Contract Law Seminar: Franchising

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Franchised businesses account for approximately 40 percent of retail sales in the U.S., more than a trillion dollars a year, and have about 10 million employees. Franchising is growing: a new franchise opens in the U.S. roughly every eight minutes of every working day. Although most people may associate franchising with “fast food restaurants,” franchising is prevalent in many areas of the economy, including automotive, hotel, various retail establishments, and numerous business services, among others. With the explosive growth of franchising, which really began in the 1950s, has come the development of franchise law as a separate discipline during the past 60 or so years and significant growth in the number of lawyers who practice in this field. Thus, franchising and the evolving practice of franchise law have a great practical impact on the U.S. and global economy.

Franchise law is a combination of contract and statutory law and is heavily influenced by trademark, antitrust and other areas of business law. Franchise agreements tend to be lengthy multi-year trademark licensing agreements. Because franchising involves distribution of goods and services, antitrust and other competition law considerations must be taken into account. Franchising is also regulated at both the federal and state level. Many franchise sales are regulated by state and federal disclosure requirements, analogous to SEC requirements. Automotive, petroleum and certain other franchise relationships are regulated by specific statutes, while various states generally regulate aspects of the franchise relationship, such as termination or renewal of the relationship. There is a substantial amount of litigation in franchising, involving not only disputes between franchisors and franchisees, but also franchise employees, consumers and others. Many common law contract concepts, such as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” have evolved and continue to evolve in the context of franchise law. Franchising is also growing rapidly outside the U.S.; accordingly, a variety of laws and regulations of other countries are relevant.

This course will cover the legal and practical business basics of franchising, including, structuring of the franchise relationship and the analysis of franchise agreements; the sales process and disclosure requirements; the relationship of franchising, employment, trademark, antitrust and other generally applicable statutes; contract and other common law concepts that affect the franchise relationship; statutes regulating the franchise relationship at the state and federal levels; automobile, petroleum and international franchising; and franchise-related dispute resolution. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a paper and class participation, including mock negotiations at the end of the semester.

Learning Objectives:

My principal goal is for you to gain a general understanding of franchise law. In addition, I want you to become comfortable reading complex contracts, specifically franchise agreements, and to be able to analyze and negotiate a franchise dispute.

Prerequisite: Contracts (or Bargain, Exchange, and Liability) or, for foreign-educated LL.M. students, Foundations of American Law, Introduction to U.S. Legal Systems or a Contracts equivalent course from the home country.

Note: NOTE FOR THE SUMMER 2021 SECTION: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom. Students may choose to participate from the classroom or via Zoom while the professor is participating remotely. Students who want to participate in person must be in the University’s COVID testing protocol and follow all other safety measures.

LAW 002 v01 Contracts

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

Introduces students to the law of contracts, the branch of law primarily concerned with private exchange. The course considers how individuals and businesses make binding agreements and the consequences of doing so. The major topic areas are the bases for enforcing contracts; the agreement process; contract interpretation; remedies for breach of contract; arbitration clauses; good faith and best efforts; and the problems of substantive and procedural unfairness and unconscionability. Special attention will be paid to the connection between the cases studied and the drafting and negotiation of contracts. Reading materials include judicial opinions, the Uniform Commercial Code, and excerpts from legal and professional journals. The course provides a foundation for subsequent studies in commercial law.

The primary goal of the course is to teach stu­dents how to manipulate the doctrinal rules and underlying policy considera­tions that govern the topics in the course, and to get students to confront the norma­tive implications raised by such vast amounts of doctrinal indetermi­nacy.

Note: This is a required course for first year students only.

LAW 110 v03 Copyright Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines the law of copyright and its role within the overall framework of intellectual property law. Topics covered include the subject matter requirements for copyrightability; the rules that govern determination of authorship, the rights that copyright law confers on authors and the limitations and exceptions to those rights; the rules governing indirect liability of intermediaries and liability for circumvention of technological protections; and the scope of copyright preemption.

Learning goals for this course:

Critical mastery of the existing copyright statutory, doctrinal, and policy landscapes; critical mastery of strategic considerations in copyright licensing and litigation, in technology ventures that implicate copyrights, and in copyright policymaking.

LAW 110 v07 Copyright Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines copyright law, providing a basic understanding of its objectives and principles. Topics covered include subject matter requirements for copyrightability; rules that govern determination of authorship; rights copyright law confers on authors; rules governing indirect liability of intermediaries and liability for circumvention of technological protections; and scope of copyright preemption. The course will also consider the tensions between copyright holders and technology that threatens traditional content business models.

LAW 110 v08 Copyright Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will cover the system of legal protection for creative expression and content dissemination in the United States, with a particular emphasis on policy and policy implications. Topics covered include: requirements for copyright protection, copyrightable subject matter, authorship, useful articles, Section 106 rights (including moral rights), copyright infringement and its elements, exceptions (especially fair use), copyright licensing (via the music industry), copyright infringement (with a focus on substantial similarity analysis), direct and secondary liability, and remedies. When applicable, we will include and encourage discussion of the historical, cultural, political and racial contexts in which copyright law arose, and how lawmakers have (and haven’t) accommodated evolving norms.

LAW 1830 v01 Corporate Boards Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course will focus on the optimal functioning of privately-held and U.S. publicly-listed companies, as well as on the duties of directors and their advisors in times of crisis or significant change for the corporation.  At the conclusion of this seminar, you will have navigated multiple real-life crises that the largest public and private companies face in the course of their business, and will be equipped to play a significant advisor role to corporate boards or other stakeholders requiring commercially-savvy legal representation in corporate crises.  These are the matters that involve the country’s most experienced and capable corporate boards, advised by the best-in-class law firms, investment banking firms, public relations firms, and consulting firms, among other advisors.  Over the course of the semester, the class will analyze eight case studies for public and private companies facing a material, and in some cases, company-threatening crisis.  The course will immerse students in the most commonly recurring disruptive events that cause trauma to private and public companies.  Those disruptive events include commercial failure of the company, allegations of fraud, antitrust inquiries, activist aggression, SEC investigations, DOJ or federal or state Attorney General investigations, senior executive failures or departures, public relations crises, company-threatening civil or criminal litigation, political interference, competitive displacement, and the other most frequently-recurring fact patterns.  We will first identify and analyze the legal issues that frame the viable legal options, and then identify and evaluate the commercial interests of the company.  Within that legal and commercial framing, we will analyze the self-interests, objectives, and risk-reward calculus that drive each stakeholder’s likely decisions and actions.  

We will then role play the response plan to address the crisis, with each student playing a different role – some students will constitute the corporate board, both management and independent directors, some will role play the largest public or private shareholders, one or more will be the company’s founder(s) where relevant, and the remaining students will be the lawyers representing these and other relevant stakeholders. The seminar will focus on mastery of the legal and commercial framework that frames the viable decision trees, as well as mastery of the skills and considerations necessary to navigate the dynamics and multi-dimension nature of corporate crises. This course will also focus on the fundamental record-establishing legal documents that reflect corporate board decision-making through crises, including the preparation of presentations, agendas, resolutions, minutes, and other legal, business, and strategy documents for boards and board committees. 

Professor Green will provide case studies a week in advance along with the roles each student will play.  The students will then use the week leading up to each class to conduct legal and other research, to communicate amongst themselves, with other classmates, and with external stakeholders and shareholders. The Chair/CEO will present the facts of each case and run the board meeting with the assistance of the General Counsel, the CFO, and other stakeholders.  Professor Green will lead follow-up sessions to discuss and critique each management team’s presentation and materials and the performance of the students assuming each role.  

In addition to prepared case studies, Professor Green will provide reading materials taken from the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist, and the other leading business-focused media reporting on current real-life corporate crises.  We will discuss and analyze the circumstances attendant to on-going public corporate events, and will apply what we are learning in our simulations to what is likely unfolding in the boardroom in these actual situations.  Students will learn the legal and commercial framing of these scenarios and will gain insight into what is likely happening behind the scenes to manage each reported crises we study.  

In addition to the case studies, we will spend several classes reviewing and discussing the reading materials and will have panel discussions as well, including guest panelists who are expert lawyers and senior executives at companies who have worked through significant corporate crises. 

 

Note: This course has a mandatory attendance policy.  Students are expected to attend all classes, including make-up classes.  Attendance will be taken in the first 10 minutes of class.  The faculty reserve the right to adjust grades based on class participation, including attendance.  

Enrollment Policy:  In Spring 2025, this course is restricted to third year students in the Business Law Scholars Program.  

Withdrawal Policy: Students who expect to graduate as Business Law Scholars may not drop or withdraw from this class, unless also withdrawing from the Business Law Scholars Program.

LAW 1830 v00 Corporate Boards Seminar: The Duties of Directors and their Advisors

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

In this seminar we will simulate meetings of a board of directors of US listed public companies facing significant challenges or threats. Every two weeks, the class will examine a case study for a company in crisis. The class will be divided into teams of three to four students who will serve as members of management to conduct a board meeting. Typically, the students will serve as Chairman of the Board/CEO and other members of management, including General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer, although those positions may vary, depending upon the details of the case. The student teams may also elect to have team members serve as outside financial, legal, or communications advisors to management and the board. The balance of the class will act as board members and will receive position descriptions for their director respective roles. Every two weeks, the board will face one or more corporate governance challenges as the company confronts a crisis. This course will emphasize the preparation of presentations, agendas, resolutions, minutes, and other legal, business, and strategy documents for boards and board committees. As stated above, student teams will take turns serving as the Chairman of the Board/CEO, General Counsel, and Chief Financial Officer (or a different member of the management team, as deemed appropriate), leading the board of directors through a discussion of the most critical issues in each case study. The management presenters will have two weeks leading up to each class to conduct legal and other research, to communicate amongst themselves, with other classmates, and with external stakeholders and shareholders (as played by Professor Kamerick). The Chairman/CEO will present the facts of case and run the board meeting with the assistance of the General Counsel, the CFO, and other members of management. Professor Kamerick will lead follow up sessions to discuss and critique each management team’s presentation and materials and the performance of the students assuming the roles of board members. The course will focus on the customary functioning of United States publicly listed companies, as well as on the duties of directors and their advisors in times of crisis or significant change for the corporation.

Note: This course will meet on the following days, 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: 1/23, 2/6, 2/23, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17, 4/28.

This course has a mandatory attendance policy.  Students are expected to attend all classes, including make-up classes.  Attendance will be taken in the first 10 minutes of class.  The faculty reserve the right to adjust grades based on class participation, including attendance.  

Enrollment Policy:  In Spring 2023, this course is restricted to third year students in the Business Law Scholars Program.  

Withdrawal Policy: Students who expect to graduate as Business Law Scholars may not drop or withdraw from this class, unless also withdrawing from the Business Law Scholars Program.

LAW 611 v16 Corporate Compliance in the Financial Sector: Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This course will introduce students to the law and practice of corporate compliance, with particular reference to the financial sector and a critical compliance area for that sector: anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT). Through mini-lectures, simulation exercises (e.g., drafting of corporate compliance policies, in-house client counseling on compliance issues, briefings of senior executives on key compliance issues, identification of compliance failures, and reporting of potential wrongdoing to law enforcement and regulators), and oral and written feedback, students gain exposure to the key skill sets that lawyers performing corporate-compliance roles routinely use. This course can also serve as an introduction to materials covered in upper level elective courses such as Federal White Collar Crime or International White Collar Crime. The course does not require students to have any prior exposure to corporate-compliance issues from their first-semester courses.

For class each day, students will have certain assigned readings before class (which may include scenario-based fact patterns and mock documents for the next day’s exercises), and handle questioning in mini-problems involving witness questioning in both civil and criminal practice. The scenario for the course, as it expands during Week One, is expected to include situations such as (1) drafting and markup of a corporate AML/CFT policy to ensure appropriate inclusion of legal and other requirements pertinent to the topic; (2) client interviews involving corporate executives and employees with questions about interpretation and implementation of the AML/CFT policy; (3) public speaking to corporate executives, in the form of concise briefings on key AML/CFT-related issues and developments; (3) identification of potential AML/CFT compliance failures through questioning of corporate executives and employees; (4) reporting of potential wrongdoing to law enforcement and regulators through Suspicious Activity Reports; and (5) recommendations of possible disciplinary action against selected corporate executives and employees who appear to have engaged in various forms of misconduct. Students can expect to participate in each of the scenario-based exercises each day of class and to enhance their and their classmates’ learning through a highly participatory and supportive environment.

Note: FIRST-YEAR WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025.

This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only. Details regarding the registration process will be provided to students during the fall semester via email, information sessions, and on the Week One website.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, December 2, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 1864 v00 Corporate Criminal Liability: Theory and Practice

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The modern economy is dominated by corporations. When the activity of those corporations results in harm – whether through the promotion and sale of unsafe products, corruption and bribery of government officials, misrepresentations about financial affairs, the uncontrolled release of toxic chemicals or pollutants, or as a result of industrial accidents -- governments increasingly look to apply criminal sanctions to the corporations and corporate executives. But the bases, purposes, and proper application of corporate criminal liability have been insufficiently studied, theorized, and appreciated, and while many find the notion of corporations having rights difficult to accept, the corporate criminal law in the US is premised on the idea that they have obligations above and beyond those held by their officers and employees. This course examines various approaches to corporate criminal liability both as a matter of theory and, through case studies focusing on some recent prominent federal prosecutions, in practice.

Recommended: Prior experience with Criminal Law is helpful but not required.

LAW 114 v05 Corporate Finance

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3-4 credit hours

This course will provide students with a foundation in the financial and legal aspects of a business’ capital structure. It is designed to put students in a position to collaborate on and communicate regarding corporate finance matters with clients and other stakeholders such as bankers, investors and regulators. The course covers many of the subjects included in a business school finance class (e.g. discounted present value, valuation of risk, financial statement analysis, the capital asset pricing model and, most importantly, business valuation), while emphasizing the legal aspects of the capital structure, including the contractual and statutory regimes governing preferred and common equity, bonds, loans and other debt instruments and convertible securities. Other financing instruments will also be considered including leases, derivatives and structured products.  The course concludes with the application of corporate finance principles in contexts such as investment funds, mergers and acquisitions and financial restructurings.

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes: 

The primary goal of this class is to have students gain a broad-based understanding of corporate finance so that they will be able to collaborate and communicate with clients and other stakeholders, such as bankers, investors and regulators on corporate finance matters and transactions.  More specifically, learning outcomes include:

  • An understanding of how businesses raise capital, how they make investment decisions and how they return capital to their investors and the role of lawyers in these activities.
  • An understanding of the theory and methods used to value projects and enterprises, including both extrinsic and intrinsic approaches.
  • An appreciation of the varying perspectives of clients, finance professionals, accountants and lawyers in approaching a business’ capital structure.
  • Working knowledge of the principal substantive legal aspects of corporate finance matters, including statutory, regulatory and contractual concepts, so that the student can be operational on such matters as a new lawyer.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the terminology used by corporate finance professionals, and the ability to utilize such terminology in approaching legal assignments.

Prerequisite: For Professor Flax's sections: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations.

For Professor Cuttino's sections: Prior enrollment in Corporations. 

Recommended: While not required, students will find it helpful to be familiar with the concepts covered in an introductory financial accounting course.

Note: Note for students in Professor Cuttino's sections: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 113 v06 Corporate Governance Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar will focus on current issues in corporate governance in the context of seminar requiring a substantial written paper. We will consider how these developments relate to current theories of corporate governance and to the development of corporate governance laws and best practices in the United States and several other jurisdictions. The seminar will meet weekly to discuss assigned readings; students will be expected to produce topic outlines and a draft of their final papers during the term as well.

Among the subjects to be considered are: (1) the need – in the context of large public corporations - for corporate governance rules due to the separation of corporate control from ownership; (2) the governance-related duties and responsibilities of corporate directors, officers and controlling shareholders; (3) competing theories of ‘shareholder primacy’ and ‘director primacy’; (4) the changing roles of institutional investors seeking improvements in corporate governance; (5) activist investors and the competing governance theories of short term vs. long term investment strategies; (6) “shareholder democracy” and “shareholder primacy,” including such issues as majority voting, say-on-pay, proxy access, shareholder engagement and controlled or dual-class share structures for corporations; (7) corporate social responsibility, diversity in the boardroom and the role of non-shareholder stakeholders (local communities, environmental advocates, employees, creditors, consumers, etc.); (8) the role of corporate lawyers in corporate governance (including who is the “client” – the board, management or shareholders); (9) the interactions between state corporate law and federal securities law and various regulators; and (10) new international perspectives on corporate governance.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Recommended: Securities Regulation and/or Corporate Finance.

LAW 1917 v00 Corporate Governance Workshop: ESG & Related Issues

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

In this class, students will study, comment on, and develop scholarship of their own on topics related to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices of corporations, social enterprises, and other business or nonprofit entities. The class begins with introductory materials and discussion to ground students in the theoretical and practical debates underlying ESG and related topics.

After introductory classes discussing the themes of the course, the professor will invite prominent legal scholars (primarily from other institutions) to present papers on ESG and related issues.

The paper topics may include:

  • ESG disclosure and reporting
  • ESG shareholder proposals (e.g., civil rights and racial equity audits) and anti-ESG shareholder proposals (e.g., anti-discrimination and anti-climate change proposals)
  • Board diversity, including gender, sexual orientation, and racial diversity
  • Critiques of ESG, stakeholder governance, sustainable business, and social enterprise
  • ESG practices of social enterprises (e.g., benefit corporations) and nonprofit organizations
  • The role of institutional investors, proxy advisors, shareholder activists, and lenders in ESG practices
  • International perspectives and comparisons of ESG practices, social enterprise, or related topics  
     

The specific topics considered will vary depending on the interests of the speakers, but the general focus will be topics related to ESG and corporate governance, broadly understood.

Professor Alicia Plerhoples will lead the workshop. This is a small and focused course and thus reading and active participation are essential. The format for the paper presentations will be 15-25 minutes of presentation by the speaker followed by a group discussion. The primary goal is student-centered discussion and participation, but students will also be exposed to views provided by other Georgetown faculty and members of the larger DC-area ESG & social enterprise community who attend the workshop.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes: The objectives of the course are to (i) give you familiarity and understanding of the current academic literature on ESG and related topics, (ii) teach you to analyze, critique, and engage in academic legal writing, and (iii) refine your own analytical and writing skills.

Recommended: Corporations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Corporate Purpose and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Issues Seminar.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1742 v00 Corporate Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Every day, corporations must assess the legal consequences of many fearsome possibilities. Some involve garden-variety business risk: Will a bank’s trading desk make a big bet that goes wrong? Others involve major changes to the business environment: Are the company’s assets particularly vulnerable to harm due to cyberattacks or climate change? And some deal with the company’s own legal compliance: Will employees lose their way and engage in illegal business? In this course, we will take a detailed look at the role of law and lawyers in governing these risks.

The course will take a dual approach to understanding the role of lawyers in corporate governance, risk management, and compliance. First, we will look at the history, corporate-law doctrines, and regulatory structures that have greatly raised the importance of these so-called “GRC” processes in recent years. Second, we will take a hands-on approach to assessing challenges to lawyers serving in GRC roles within regulated businesses, at outside law firms, and at regulatory agencies. The work of the seminar will include short presentations and case-study simulations.

Although the legal frameworks that we will consider will be U.S.-focused, the course will also explore the global nature of governance, risk management, and compliance as a legal and corporate phenomenon. At the end of the course, my aim is that students will possess a new set of perspectives through which to engage with some of the most important debates within the field.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 848 v00 Corporate Income Tax Law I

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Examines the U.S. federal income tax effects of certain basic transactions involving corporations and their shareholders. Principal subjects covered include corporate formation and capital structure, distributions to shareholders, redemptions, and liquidations. Major emphasis is upon Internal Revenue Code Sections 301-362 and related Treasury Regulations.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Recommended: Corporations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. course, Corporate Taxation (formerly Taxation II).

LAW 850 v00 Corporate Income Tax Law II

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Continues the study of provisions of the federal income tax law applicable to corporations and their shareholders. Detailed study is given to corporate reorganizations under Subchapter C, including acquisitions, divisive reorganizations, and recapitalizations; the treatment of boot; the basis provisions; the assumption of liabilities; and related matters. Consideration also is given to carryovers of corporate tax attributes, including restrictions applicable to loss corporations.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation (formerly Taxation I).

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporate Income Tax Law I.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. courses, Corporate Taxation (formerly Taxation II) or Corporate Tax Planning in Practice: Structuring and Negotiating the Deal.

LAW 1267 v00 Corporate Legal Department Practicum (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and perform fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will provide students with an appreciation of the work that lawyers do in corporate and non-profit organization legal departments. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and do approximately 10 hours of fieldwork each week in the legal department of a corporation or association in the Washington, D.C. area. Past sponsors have included one of the nation's largest banks, a multinational information technology corporation, major software companies, an international manufacturing company, a public utility, a power generator, charitable corporations, internet start-ups, and major trade associations.

SEMINAR: The two-credit, graded, seminar portion of the practicum will focus on the competencies that lawyers need to be successful in corporate legal departments, how corporate clients make use of the work of their lawyers, how business considerations shape the work that lawyers perform, and the major legal issues with which various companies must contend. The seminar also will prompt students to develop sensitivity to the constituencies outside the corporation on which a company’s activities may have an impact. Classes will include discussion of assigned readings, problem-solving exercises, and discussions of students’ placement experiences. Students will be assigned a mid-term paper on a subject relating to in-house law department practice, and will make a presentation at the end of the semester on a topic of their choosing that relates to the student’s fieldwork and/or areas discussed during the seminar portion of the course. Grades will be based on class participation, the mid-term paper, and the final presentation.

FIELDWORK: In the two-credit, mandatory pass-fail, fieldwork portion of the practicum, students will work under supervision for approximately 10 hours each week in the legal department of a corporation in the Washington, D.C. area. Please note that due to the nature of the work, some periods will be busier than others and there may be times when students will need to work more than 10 hours in a given week.

Students will be responsible for paying their own transportation to/from their fieldwork location.

Learning Objectives:

This practicum is designed to teach the practical skills needed by lawyers practicing in the general counsel’s office of an organization. While such a lawyer will rely on training received in law school that is applicable to lawyers wherever they may practice, the role of the in-house lawyer is different from that of the private practice lawyer for a number of reasons, including that the in-house lawyer is an employee of the client, may be looked to for both legal compliance and business promotion services, will be interacting daily with numerous other employees of the organization, and may often not have the luxury of time to prepare carefully researched answers to difficult legal questions.

The course will teach the skills described in the syllabus topics through weekly seminar discussions, in-class simulations of tasks and situations facing in-house counsel, experiential learning from students’ field assignments, and in-class discussions of students’ field work experiences.

Prerequisite: Corporations and prior or concurrent enrollment in a professional responsibility course. J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course. Students may not receive credit for this practicum and the course In-House Counsel: Law and Practice.

Note: This course is open to JD students only.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students must submit a CV, a description of any relevant background in business or non-profit organizations, and a statement of interest in the course to Professor Peter Morgan (peterwebbmorgan@gmail.com) by 5:00 p.m. on October 2, 2024. After the October 2 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis. Any student who is offered a seat in this course will be directly enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. The student will have one week only in which to drop the course. After that time, a student may only drop the course with the permission of the professor and the Assistant Dean of Experiential Education. Permission will be granted only if remaining in the practicum would cause significant hardship to the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both seminar and fieldwork components.

This course may be suitable for evening students who can attend the weekly seminar and participate in the required amount of fieldwork.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for the supervised fieldwork. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the fieldwork.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 2070 v00 Corporate National Security Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Corporate National Security Law explores important legal issues arising out of the U.S. government’s reliance on the private sector for its national security, and the increasing convergence and conflict between national security, technology, and the private sector. The course will focus on: (1) privatization and insourcing/outsourcing issues for the U.S. government in the national security arena; (2) government contracts issues in the national security sphere; (3) export controls; (4) classified information and secrecy issues; and (5) emerging issues at the intersection of national security, technology, and the private sector. 

LAW 1747 v00 Corporate Purpose and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Issues Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

In a seminal 1970 essay, economist Milton Friedman famously wrote that a corporate executive’s responsibilities are solely to the company’s stockholders and that the stockholders’ desires are for the corporation “to make as much money as possible.”   Many credit this essay with inspiring a widely held notion that a corporation’s purpose is to make money for its stockholders without considering the interests of the greater society.  Others, including some investors, have argued that corporations should be evaluated on issues beyond their financial performance, and in recent years many of these issues have been grouped under the acronym “ESG,” standing for a corporation’s environmental, social and governance practices. Conditions and events such as climate change, the pandemic, the BLM movement, voting legislation and growing economic inequality have heightened ESG awareness.  Notable business groups, academics and others have explicitly or implicitly rejected the Friedman position and have argued that corporations have significant ESG-related obligations.

This seminar will consider issues related to the purpose of a corporation and its obligations to its stockholders and the larger group of stakeholders, the fiduciary duties of corporate directors in the context of ESG, agency issues associated with differing interests of stockholders and management, the role of the SEC and other regulators in corporate ESG matters, considerations of investors focused on ESG issues and their ability to influence corporate ESG actions, reporting of ESG-related information by companies and ratings of companies on the basis of that information and the impact of ESG considerations on corporate performance and profitability.  We will also consider particular ESG issues and how corporations have addressed them. There is no textbook for the seminar.  Readings will include legal, academic and general articles and materials on the subjects being covered.

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes: 

The primary objectives of this course are for students to develop an understanding of the often-conflicting considerations that affect a corporation’s handling of ESG issues and the perspectives of investors who make investment decisions on the basis of ESG considerations. This will include an understanding of state corporate law fiduciary considerations, the application of federal securities, labor, banking and other laws to ESG activities and the impact of corporate governance principles.   Students completing the course should be in a position to advise clients and colleagues on these considerations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Sustainability for Big Law and Big Business or Corporate Governance Workshop: ESG & Related Issues.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1540 v00 Corporate Tax Planning in Practice: Structuring and Negotiating the Deal

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This seminar employs simulations to develop the skills specific to planning, negotiating and drafting to address the federal income tax aspects of corporate transactions. The course examines multiple variations on common transaction scenarios, each with increasing complexity, including:

  • Taxable acquisitions of a business (including considerations related to making elections under Sections 338(h)(10) and 336(e));
  • Tax-free reorganizations (including issues related to the application of the step-transaction doctrine); and
  • Spin-off, split-off and “Reverse Morris Trust” transactions.

This seminar will be taught across six class sessions. Students will be presented with three different factual scenarios, relevant background materials, and a list of potentially applicable legal authorities. Each scenario will be addressed over two classes, with students analyzing facts in the first class to determine potentially relevant structures, including reviewing draft documents, and analyzing applicable law. Draft agreement mark-ups, memoranda or presentations will be due one week after class. An “issues list” or other “high-level” memorandum or presentation for the client mark-up may also be due. In the second class, students will present their recommendations and evaluations of tax benefits and costs to the client and interpret responses prepared by the opposing counsel. The students will work with instructors on the matter who will give out assignments, review written material, and otherwise coordinate the teams.

Prerequisite: Corporate Taxation; Federal Income Taxation.

Recommended: Corporations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Corporate Income Tax Law II or Tax Planning for Corporate Acquisitions Seminar.

Note: This course is open to J.D. students only. LL.M. students may not register for this course, and this course will not count toward the tax specialization credits required for the Taxation LL.M. degree.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

LAW 422 v00 Corporate Taxation

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course focuses on the federal tax treatment of transactions between a corporation and its shareholders, as well as the tax treatment of mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate reorganizations. Corporate tax rules play a major role in the structuring of most major corporate transactions, as well as the everyday practice of corporations, so an understanding of these (often quite complex) rules are essential not just to tax practice but to corporate practice generally. Students in this class are exposed to these rules, as well as some of the many creative ways corporations (and their lawyers) have structured their affairs to get the most beneficial tax treatment available. While the focus is on the traditional corporate form, it is contrasted with alternate forms of business operation, especially partnerships and subchapter S corporations.  NOTE: Students who plan to take the Business Planning Seminar or the course in Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions should take Corporate Taxation, a prerequisite for that seminar and course, as early as possible in their upperclass years.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate courses, Corporate Income Tax Law I or Corporate Income Tax Law II.

LAW 121 v01 Corporations

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

Students should note that Corporations is a prerequisite for Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and many corporate law seminars.

This is a basic course in business corporations. Brief coverage is given to factors bearing on choice of organization, including partnership attributes, process of corporate formation, corporate privileges and powers, corporate capital structure, and limited liability. Close examination is given to the governance structure of the corporation and the fiduciary obligations of directors and officers. The particular nature of the public corporation is explored. Topics studied may include stock trading by corporate insiders, transactions in corporation control, and the procedural problems in stockholder derivative suits. Along with a focus on such policy questions as federal-state jurisdiction, the nature of the corporate governance system, and the role of the corporation in modern society, the course deals with the role of the lawyer in corporate matters.  Finally, in Professor Zytnick's section, the course serves to introduce the students to basic concepts in accounting, investment, business, and law and economics.

LAW 121 v05 Corporations

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

Students should note that Corporations is a prerequisite for Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and many corporate law seminars.

This is a basic course in business corporations. This course explores the governance structure of the corporation and the fiduciary obligations of directors and officers, with a particular focus on the nature of the public corporation. Topics studied may include: the role of shareholders in contrast with the role of directors and officers, the issues surrounding transactions in corporation control, and the procedural problems in stockholder derivative suits. Policy questions such as federal-state jurisdiction, the nature of the corporate governance system, the role of the corporation in modern society, and the role of the lawyer in corporate matters may also be included.

Note: This course will not cover alternative entities or federal securities law.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 121 v06 Corporations

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

Students should note that Corporations is a basic course that is a prerequisite for Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and other advanced business law courses.

This course covers the practical aspects of organizing and operating various types of business entity, as well as the policy considerations relating to their governance and to the roles of large businesses in society. It covers choice of entity, including the attributes of partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations; the process of forming different types of entity; and the nature and limitations of limited liability associated with corporations and limited liability companies. It considers planning and structuring different types of entity, including capital structure and governance mechanisms. The course pays particular attention to the practical and policy considerations of governance in the large, public company as well as the fiduciary obligations of officers and directors. In order to provide a basis for understanding cases related to liability for breach of fiduciary duty, students will be exposed to the procedural aspects of derivative suit litigation. In connection with the major policy issues in corporation law, students will discuss the role of the lawyer in advising business clients. Other topics studied may include insider trading and transactions in corporation control. 

LAW 118 v00 Counseling the Corporation in Crisis

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore the multifaceted problems facing corporate lawyers, both inside counsel and law firms, in advising a public company and especially the board of directors in times of extreme stress. It will be taught through a series of classes which first review the basic legal principles (corporate law, fiduciary duty and professional ethics) and then require the students to apply them in a series of "moot board of directors' meetings." Students will be given a corporate crisis and asked to make a written and oral presentation to a board of directors. The board will be composed of the professor, other practicing lawyers or business people and other students. Grading will be based 80% on the final oral presentation and final 15-page memorandum to the Board of Directors and 20% on class participation throughout the semester. Guest speakers will include general counsels of several large public companies.

Recommended: Corporations, Evidence, and Federal White Collar Crime are strongly recommended.

LAW 1805 v00 Courts and Congress

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines the relationship between the federal judiciary and the Congress, and its role in shaping the administration of justice.  How do lawmakers exercise effective and appropriate oversight while fostering a system of federal courts that discharges the judicial power of the United States?  How does the Judiciary maintain independence within a system in which Congress has so many controls over the Third Branch?  How can the two branches work together to sustain and strengthen the federal courts as an essential part of our government?

Anticipated session topics include: the Judicial Conference of the United States, legislative cooperation, appropriations, judgeships, confirmations, and oversight.  Most seminar meetings will include discussion with practitioner guests.

Grading will be based on: (1) class attendance and appropriate contributions to seminar discussions, including written questions for guests submitted in advance of each class meeting; (2) two short memo assignments; and (3) a capstone exercise of proposing a congressional action and responding to a classmate’s proposal.

LAW 512 v01 Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 14 credit hours

Please see the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course. 

LAW 003 v00 Criminal Justice

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

Introduces the administration of the criminal justice system and serves as a foundation for the advanced courses offered in upperclass years. The course explores the development and operation of the constitutional provisions regulating the federal and state governments in the enforcement of their penal laws and analyzes in depth each step in the criminal process, including some or all of the following issues: search and seizure, arrest, interrogation, the right to counsel, plea bargaining, right to jury trial, and sentencing.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Criminal Procedure or Democracy and Coercion. Students may take both this course and Criminal Law.

Note: This course is open to J.D. students only and is restricted to evening students and transfer students from other law schools.

LAW 003 v01 Criminal Justice

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

Introduces the administration of the criminal justice system and serves as a foundation for the advanced courses offered in upperclass years. The course explores the development and operation of the constitutional provisions regulating the federal and state governments in the enforcement of their penal laws and analyzes in depth each step in the criminal process up to the decision to charge, including some or all of the following issues: search and seizure, arrest, interrogation, identification procedures, and the right to counsel. 

LAW 512 v00 Criminal Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 14 credit hours

Please see the Criminal Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Criminal Justice Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course. 

LAW 1652 v00 Criminal Justice II: Criminal Trials

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course traces the litigation of criminal cases from the time the police hand the case off to the prosecutor through final judgment, sentencing, and post-trial relief.  Among the topics covered:  pretrial release and bail; prosecutorial discretion in charging; venue; defendant’s right to counsel and the role of defense counsel; grand jury and preliminary hearing; joinder and severance; gag orders; discovery; right to speedy trial; privilege against self-incrimination and grants of immunity; plea bargaining and guilty pleas; jury selection; sentencing; double jeopardy; and post-trial processes to correct erroneous judgments (appeal and habeas corpus).  The course focuses principally on Supreme Court decisions, but also visits where appropriate the rules of criminal procedure.  This course includes all the topics covered in the two-credit Advanced Criminal Procedure course, but uses the extra credit hour to dig deeper on the most interesting issues and includes post-trial procedures not usually covered in Advanced Criminal Procedure.  

Recommended: It is desirable but not essential that the student have taken Evidence before or is taking it contemporaneously.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Advanced Criminal Procedure.

LAW 1655 v00 Criminal Justice Reform Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course will familiarize students with the history, law, policy, and advocacy for criminal justice reform in the United States. The course will examine criminal justice reform from both policy and advocacy perspectives. The course will examine: 1) the problems with the American criminal justice system; 2) the institutional actors involved in the effort to create criminal justice reform; 3) the strategies that reform advocates use in pressing for criminal justice reform through both policy change and litigation; and 4) the successes advocates have made in reforming the American justice system.

LAW 1845 v00 Criminal Justice Seminar: Confronting and Reimagining Judicial Writing in Foundational Criminal Cases

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Historically, legal opinions, and the law that they establish, have been shaped from a perspective that is largely white, male, and privileged. At the same time, legal opinions and the law have largely ignored the perspectives of racial minorities, women, and other marginalized groups. This course will focus on these missing perspectives and ask what the law would be like if the experiences and needs of these citizens were given equal consideration in criminal law and procedure.

Through an exploration of judicial writing and attorney advocacy in key cases, I will invite students to consider the analytical and writing choices judges have made in key criminal judicial decisions by looking beyond the page. After learning about critical race and feminist perspectives of law, and the use of rhetoric, storytelling, and metaphor in judicial writing, students will assess how race and gender are handled and whose perspectives are and are not discussed in key legal opinions. They will also read and critique published rewritten feminist and critical race opinions in many of these cases. Ultimately, students will rewrite legal opinions of their own with a better understanding of the judicial audience.

Note: This course will enroll via waitlist.

LAW 126 v00 Criminal Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course examines society's control of unwanted behavior through criminal law. The particular focus is on the general elements of a criminal offense cutting across all criminal codes rather than on the elements of individual crimes. Some attention is given to the basic theories of punishment and criminal culpability as contrasted with civil forms--e.g., tort law or civil commitment--for controlling deviant behavior.

LAW 126 v02 Criminal Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This introductory course involves the jurisprudence of substantive criminal law. Among the topics we will discuss are the general elements of a criminal offense, the structure of criminal justice administration, the exercise of discretion throughout the criminal justice system, and justifications and excuses. Certain substantive offenses may also be covered. Some attention will be given to the basic theories of punishment and sentencing.

LAW 126 v03 Criminal Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course examines the body of public law that is designed to punish blameworthy or antisocial behavior. The course begins by introducing the general principles governing all criminal offenses–the general part of the criminal law–and then examines how these principles apply to a variety of specific offenses as well as the exculpatory defenses. Attention is paid to the basic theories of punishment which provide the students with the theoretical tools they need to construct cogent arguments for how far the criminal law should be extended to suppressed the undesirable behavior.

LAW 790 v09 Criminal Law Across Borders

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

“Criminal law across borders” studies two bodies of law. One is domestic (national) criminal law applied to crimes committed outside national territory. The other is crimes under international law: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. These are the “core crimes” tried by courts like the Nuremberg Tribunal, the tribunals for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Along with the substantive law on these issues, we examine procedural law on topics such as jurisdiction, extradition, and immunity from prosecution. The course will also examine the problems confronting international criminal justice today, including the political backlash against holding leaders accountable for core crimes. The aim of the course is to introduce students to basic doctrines of international criminal law, as well as doctrines concerning the extraterritorial application of U.S. criminal law. It also provides an overview of the work of international criminal tribunals and the challenges they face. The course combines law, policy, and history.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate course or the JD course, International Criminal Law.

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

LAW 1756 v00 Criminal Law Theory in Context

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar will introduce students to contemporary theoretical thinking about substantive criminal law. We will explore some of the most pressing problems in criminal jurisprudence, as well as some perennial ones, through the lens of the tension between morality and context.

Philosophers of the criminal law have traditionally turned to moral reasoning when trying to justify or critique penal laws. Morality purports to dictate how individuals ought to act toward one another as a matter of universal truth, and therefore views social context as detrimental to analytical clarity. Sociolegal and critical scholars, on the other hand, highlight the relevance of contingent factors, such as material conditions, historical narratives, and political power relations, for proper understanding of the criminal law. However, they generally stop short of offering compelling normative theories to guide our way forward. The seminar will examine the prospects and perils of both views, explore whether they can be reconciled, and consider prominent alternative frameworks that are gaining traction in recent scholarship.

Students will become familiar with the central philosophical puzzles underlying the criminal law as well as with cutting edge theoretical approaches for tackling them. We will pay attention to both general issues, like criminalization (what to impose liability for), defenses (when to relieve of liability), and punishment (what form liability ought to take), and pertinent issues at this historical moment, like hate crimes, gun violence, and prison abolition.

There are no prerequisites. For JD students, prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Law is recommended, though not required.

Recommended: For JD students, prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Law is recommended, though not required.

Note: The 3 credit section of this seminar (LAWJ-1756-09) is restricted to J.D. students only.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1610 v00 Criminal Practice Seminar: White-Collar Crimes in a Transnational Context

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar explores white-collar criminal practice in the transnational context.  “Transnational” cases generally involve the potential application of one or more country’s laws to alleged criminal activity that crosses borders. We begin by introducing students to the general differences in the legal structures, concepts of criminal law, and varied standards for corporate and individual liability, that apply in civil and common law systems. We will study the substantive U.S. law that is implicated in many transnational prosecutions and learn when U.S. law applies extraterritorially. The substantive provisions we study may include proscriptions on corruption, fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, data breaches/hacking, or violations of economic sanctions. We will explore the tools available for obtaining evidence abroad, as well as some of the national laws and regulations that impact transnational investigations. Some of the challenges we will explore are regulations regarding data privacy, employment laws, national security/state secret laws, and blocking or economic protection statutes. At the conclusion of the class, we will consider a number of case studies that illustrate issues companies face in attempting to forge a global resolution among regulators and prosecutors from different countries. These include managing competition between sovereigns, joint and parallel national investigations, and the division of penalties.

Learning Outcomes

This course, as its title suggests, is designed to expose students to important issues they will face in the transnational practice of law. One of our goals, then, is very practical: to give students information they will need to be successful practitioners in this area.

Another goal is to challenge students to take a step back and think about larger questions:  When criminal conduct crosses borders, which sovereign should prosecute?  Should U.S. criminal law extend as far as it does? Is it fair or efficient to permit multiple countries to address such conduct criminally?  Should expedited evidence-gathering tools be available to both the defense and prosecution?  What liability rules would best serve the purposes of punishment?

Like all writing seminars, the class also seeks to enhance students’ ability to conduct legal research, capacity to engage in critical thinking, and prowess in communicating effectively, in writing and in class.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 128 v01 Criminal Procedure

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

An examination of the basic Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment principles that govern the interaction of the police and suspects in the investigation of crime. From stop and frisks to coerced confessions, the course will examine the constitutional doctrines developed to regulate police behavior and the admissibility of evidence. The core concepts will include the definition of a "search," the meaning of probable cause and reasonable suspicion, the requirement of a search warrant and the many exceptions to the warrant requirement, Miranda and related limits on interrogation, and the pre-trial right to counsel. The course will also focus on the role of the courts in enforcing the constitutional guarantees, particularly through the exclusionary rule.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Thorough Understanding of the Primary “Substantive” Fourth Amendment Issues in Criminal Cases and Certain Civil Cases
  2. Thorough Understanding of Primary “Remedial” Fourth Amendment Issues in Criminal Cases
  3. Thorough Understanding of the Primary “Substantive” Fifth Amendment Issues Related to Interrogations and Confessions
  4. Thorough Understanding of the Primary “Remedial” Fifth Amendment Issues Related to Interrogations and Confessions
  5. Thorough Understanding of the Sixth Amendment Issues Related to Uncounseled Confessions and Pretrial Line-ups
  6. Thorough Understanding of Sixth Amendment Issues Related to the Effective Assistance of Counsel

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Criminal Justice or Democracy and Coercion.

Note: This course is offered only to transfer students from other law schools who have not had a first year course in constitutional criminal procedure.

LAW 1780 v00 Criminal Procedure and the Roberts Court Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In this seminar, we will explore select Criminal Procedure cases decided by the Roberts Court. In each class, we will study either one or two cases in depth. Topics may include search and seizure, exceptions to the warrant requirement, excessive force, ineffective assistance of counsel, right to jury trial, double jeopardy, the right to confront witnesses, and Bivens liability, among others. Before each class, we will provide students with notes and discussion questions to facilitate their preparation and guide their discussion.

Students will be required to write a final paper of 15-20 pages double-spaced on any issue relating to criminal procedure. The grade on the final paper will be the starting point for the final grade. The grade may be adjusted upward or downward by one-half grade based on class participation.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 3111 v00 Criminal Tax Law and Procedure

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines the life cycle of a criminal tax case, including the warning signs that a civil tax case may be referred for criminal investigation, applicable privileges, potential defenses, the opening of an administrative investigation, sources of information, authorization of a grand jury investigation and prosecution, best practices in plea negotiations, trial strategies, sentencing, and collateral and civil tax consequences.  The course also will address current priorities of IRS Criminal Investigation and the Department of Justice, and cases pulled from the headlines.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Recommended: Tax Practice and Procedure; Criminal Law; and Criminal Justice (Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 1848 v00 Critical Issues Facing the Department of Justice: DOJ's Mission, the Rule of Law, Exercise of Discretion, Enforcement Policy Priorities, and Seeking Justice: Role of Defense Counsel

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The Department of Justice is one of the most important and powerful executive branch departments in government.  DOJ prosecutors make decisions that have a profound impact on the lives of individuals and the ongoing success of business entities.  In this and recent, past administrations, the actions of DOJ have been the subject of intense public and congressional scrutiny resulting in difficult questions being raised as to the future role of the Department. 

Drawing on my experiences as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, in senior leadership positions at DOJ (including Acting Deputy Attorney General, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions) and my work as a defense attorney in private practice, this course will focus on many, critically important issues confronted by the Department and defense bar. It will review significant roles played by DOJ including its responsibility as a prosecutorial and civil enforcement agency, as legal advisor to the President and government agencies, litigator to defend federal statutes, regulations and programs, and as policymaker in areas related to its mission.  This course will consider DOJ’s organizational structure, the importance of the rule of law, the senior leadership’s decision-making process, and exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and the longstanding norms that guide DOJ’s operations across a wide range of duties.  Issues confronted by DOJ attorneys, in both civil and criminal arenas, many times present some of the most consequential legal and policy questions facing this nation.

This course will also consider the increasing criticism by political actors and the media that DOJ has been “weaponized” as well as the vital importance of DOJ acting with integrity and independence free of political influence in the face of this criticism. This will also include a discussion of the power of the President to direct the Attorney General to initiate a specific criminal investigation and prosecution as addressed in the July 1, 2024 Supreme Court decision in Trump v. United States.

This course, in part, will examine the principles of federal prosecution, the vital work of the Solicitor General’s Office, the Office of Legal Counsel, the National Security Division, the role of DOJ in international affairs and the roles of DOJ law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF&E, and U.S. Marshal’s Service.  It will examine the unique role of the Attorney General as a member of the President’s Cabinet including the White House Communications policy.  This course will also review the line between enforcement policy driven by the President’s agenda and a commitment to independent, objective law enforcement with a goal of seeking justice.  Readings will include DOJ prosecutorial guidelines, policy memoranda, case law, Office of Legal Counsel opinions, speeches by DOJ’s senior leadership and news articles.

Recommended: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law

LAW 599 v00 Critical Legal Theory Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar focuses on radical challenges to traditional legal thought in the areas of race, gender and sexuality, including work from legal realism, critical legal studies, radical feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory and queer theory. No prior background in jurisprudence or philosophy is necessary.

LAW 1795 v00 Critical Race Theory

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Critical Race Theory places race and racism at the center of American law. This course will describe the origin story of Critical Race Theory along with the current anti-Critical Race Theory backlash. It will examine the role that race plays in creating legal doctrine. The course will examine racial biases in judicial decision making in many courses covered in the first year of law school, but not exclusively those courses. Legal doctrines covered in the following subjects will be analyzed: Civil Procedure; Torts; Contracts; Criminal Procedure; Criminal Law; and Property. The course will also consider whether Critical Race Theory has influenced judicial precedent and what Critical Race Theory judicial opinions might look like.

COURSE GOALS

By the end of the semester, students will:

  1. Understand the role that racism has played in shaping American Legal doctrine in first year subjects.
  2. Be equipped to critically evaluate the role of racism in shaping other areas of law.
  3. Enhance their critical reading skills.
  4. Enhance their critical thinking skills.
  5. Enhance their ability to have difficult conversations about racism in a productive manner. Self-reflection is a key ingredient here.

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

LAW 807 v00 Cross-Border Transactions in Latin America

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

The course is designed to give students an overview and practical insight on the legal aspects of doing business with or investing in Latin America. The course will focus on Mexico, but will also address legal issues associated with doing business in Central and South American countries. Topics will be discussed from the perspective of U.S. investors doing business in the region, and will cover the legal implications of cross-border distribution, licensing and joint venture arrangements, acquisitions and direct investments, labor planning and creditor rights.

Recommended: Contracts, Corporations, and International Business Transactions.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1615 v00 Crypto Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar will examine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple's XRP, and their possible roles as commodities, payment instruments and investments. It will also briefly touch on “Initial Coin Offerings” ("ICOs")—fundraises by startups identifying technology-based problems and proposing the sale or financing of technology-based solutions. The primary focus will be on the US financial services regulators and their evolving treatment and regulatory approaches to digital assets beginning in 2013 up to the present.

Cryptocurrencies and ICOs have recently attracted more attention—and investment dollars—than early stage venture capital. However, governmental authorities around the world worry that they are under-regulated (or unregulated), pointing to a recent spate of fraud, market volatility, and potential money laundering associated with virtual transactions. This seminar will explore the regulatory framework for digital currencies and payments, and examine the evolving reforms and regulatory efforts arising in the sector. The course will cover topics including the differences between key cryptocurrencies; the varying regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens as “commodities” vs. “securities;” the mechanics of an ICO; and money laundering and bank secrecy laws.

Mutually Excluded Courses:
Students may not receive credit for this course and Digital Assets and the Law.

Prerequisite: A course in securities, banking, or derivatives, one of the following or similar courses: Advanced Studies in Federal Securities Regulation; Derivatives Regulation; Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change; Financial Regulation and Financial Crises; Federal Regulation of Financial Institutions; Initial Public Offerings; Securities Regulation; Securities Regulation of Financial Institutions and the Securities Markets; or The Law of Money Seminar.

LAW 1633 v00 Current Developments in International Taxation Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In 2017 the United States enacted a historic tax reform package that represents the most significant change to the U.S. international tax regime since 1986. Four years later, at the multilateral level, world leaders agreed to a fundamental reform of the international tax system involving a global minimum corporate tax.  Then in 2022 the United States did not follow through on implementing that agreement, leaving the question of whether the U.S. will implement the global minimum tax to 2025, when various provisions of the 2017 act phase out. 

 
This course will study current developments in US and multilateral international tax policy. We will consider the major international tax questions at stake in Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the OECD project as well as the legislative questions at issue for corporate taxation in the United States in 2025, and the relationship between the negotiations at the OECD and U.S. international tax policy developments. We will also speak with government representatives involved in crafting legislative proposals and negotiating multilaterally.
 
Students will write short papers with respect to the primary materials we examine, and write a final paper reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses (or lack thereof) of the new international tax regime, or particular statutory and regulatory provisions therein of students’ choosing. 

Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax and International Tax (or U.S. International Inbound Tax and U.S. International Outbound Tax).

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 2038 v00 Current Issues in Tax Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This colloquium will offer students an opportunity to examine current tax policy issues in depth and at an advanced level, with discussions led by policymakers, economists, and other tax experts. The course will discuss various current and recent legislative proposals at a detailed level and examine the economic, tax policy, and political considerations underlying the decisions that have been made in each proposal.  This will include cross-border tax, capital taxes, energy tax, consumption taxes and other politically salient tax policy topics. It will explore the economic and policy literature surrounding the issues of economic welfare and competitiveness. The course will also examine issues such as tax expenditures, debt vs. equity, cost recovery, and various tax incentives. Reading materials generally will be supplied and will include economic and tax policy papers, legislative proposals, and technical explanations. The course is intended to be highly interactive with students discussing design and policy issues with leading experts in the field. The grade for this course will be based primarily on papers that students submit addressing policy topics discussed by the guest speakers. Useful class participation will be taken into account as a plus in determining the final grade. There will be no final exam.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

LAW 014 v01 Current Issues in Transnational (Private International) Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar provides an introduction to the increasingly important field of private international law as well as an opportunity to explore in depth specific issues now under active consideration in the various international and regional organizations working on the development, codification and harmonization of private international law. Beyond the “classic” PIL questions of jurisdiction, choice of law, judicial assistance and enforcement of judgments, we will explore such topics as international family law (including international adoption, abduction and enforcement of child support and family maintenance), alternative dispute settlement mechanisms (including international mediation and commercial and investment arbitration), as well as the cross-border aspects of such topics as data protection and privacy, bankruptcy/insolvency, secured transactions, securities law, intellectual property, transport of goods by sea, letters of credit, leasing law, consumer protection, and even wills and trusts. You may write your papers in any of these areas (among others).  All students will be expected to choose a topic to research, write and present to the class.

This course requires a paper and an oral presentation. It is open to J.D. and LL.M. students. For J.D. students who choose the 3 credit “writing seminar” option, the objective will be to research and write analytical papers of publishable quality on discrete topics of current importance in transnational practice. Students will be required to satisfy the WR requirement including (1) selection of a paper topic approved by the professor, (2) submission of an outline, followed by feedback from the professor, (3) submission of a draft paper of at least 6,000 words exclusive of footnotes, followed by feedback from the professor, and (4) submission of a final paper of at least 6,000 words exclusive of footnotes, incorporating the professor’s suggested revisions. The paper must use legal forms of citation, where appropriate.

Learning goals for this course:

Familiarity with substance of "Private International Law", where it is developed and how; understanding of the relationship between international and domestic law; ability to research effectively in the field; ability to write coherently and present conclusions orally. 

Recommended: International Law I.

Note: This course requires a paper. Students must register for the 3 credit section of the course if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1127 v00 Cyber and National Security: Current Issues Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will examine legal and policy issues related to cybersecurity -- that is, hacking and other intrusions on global computer and communications networks. The primary focus will be the national security implications of cybersecurity and the current challenges that senior lawyers, policymakers, and the private sector face in addressing those issues.  The course will look at international and U.S. domestic law and will examine cyber issues both from the perspective of (1) the U.S. government entities that seek to use cyber tools to further military and other national security aims, and (2) the many government and private sector actors who must defend against the use of these tools use by others.  The goal of the course is to introduce students to the complex legal and policy issues that senior national security decision-makers must address and to provide insight into the practical challenges they present.  The focus of the class is law and policy, not technology.  You do not need a technical background to take the course.

Recommended: International Law and/or national security related course.

LAW 3171 v00 Cyber Threat Landscape: Legal Considerations at the Crossroads of the Public and Private Sectors

LL.M. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The cyber threat landscape is constantly changing: threat actor tactics and technological advances, including the proliferation of AI solutions, are rapidly evolving as the legal field tries to keep pace. While cyber defense and national security considerations are often thought of as governmental responsibilities, the private sector has a critical role to play in addressing cybersecurity threats. The management and mitigation of, and defense against, cybersecurity risks is multifaceted, and the public and private sectors are closely intertwined in this effort. 

This advanced, discussion-based seminar will focus on the intersection of the private and public sectors in the cybersecurity field with a particular focus on legal considerations and challenges the private sector faces in the industry. We will cover a range of topics, including: intelligence and information sharing; cybersecurity threats, updates, and trends; private sector cybersecurity laws and regulations; cybersecurity investigations and threat actor disruptions and prosecutions; and challenges and tensions between the public and private sectors in these contexts. At the end of the seminar, students will participate in a live “tabletop” cyber-attack simulation with the goal of developing practical skills in the practice of cybersecurity law. 

 

LAW 1545 v00 Cyber Threats, Information Security and Technology in the Practice of Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

For all practical purposes, nearly every substantially-sized legal matter presents critical challenges that require attorneys to embrace and understand how to handle significant volumes of data and documents and to advise clients on the security risks threatening that information. Today’s lawyers need to be prepared to handle the increasing levels of vital threats and risks posed against their clients and their data.

This hands-on seminar will take students through an exciting, practical exploration of the ways in which the use of powerful technology-based tools is fundamentally transforming the practice of law as we know it. Data and information security as concerns are creating a ‘new normal’ in terms of how lawyers can be best prepared to help their clients, through an important understanding of technology-based solutions, to augment traditional legal representation.

In this course, we will examine some fascinating dynamics of the legal practice, as shaped by ‘information as risk’ as a new fundamental principle, with a focus on the importance of handling those concerns and evaluating how they could impact client risks and affect case outcomes.

This seminar will visit an expansive range of subtopics including data forensics, data analytics, cyber security, data privacy, Internet of Things, deep/dark web, social media, cloud computing, structured and unstructured data, and the emerging roles of lawyers as data and information-risk experts.

From an exploration of essential electronic discovery principles through non-traditional evidentiary concepts, for in-house, government, and outside lawyers alike, this seminar will prepare students to enter the job market with an enhanced understanding of what organizations require of lawyers, especially from technology and information-risk advisory perspectives.

Through a series of lectures and demonstrations that will feature industry-recognized experts, this seminar will provide valuable insights that will illuminate the fascinating interplay of technology and law, with particular focus on how case outcomes can be shaped by leveraging an understanding of data, security, and technology.

Recommended: Evidence; Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society).

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 611 v24 Cybersecurity Incident Response: Legal Leadership During Cyber Crisis

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This one-credit pass/fail Week One course will introduce relevant cybersecurity legal obligations by simulating a variety of real-life cyber threats. Students will learn about the complex legal considerations related to cyber incidents, including the various stakeholders in a cyber incident, the overarching legal frameworks, and the risk landscape that shapes incident response. Students will daily apply these legal considerations in fast-paced, intense scenarios. 

This introductory course will provide an overview of the legal and ethical obligations applicable to all lawyers, as well as a foundation for upper-level cybersecurity and privacy courses. The course will include a daily substantive lecture and related simulation(s). The course will begin with simpler scenarios and build in complexity throughout the week. By the end of the course, the simulations will involve each student individually representing a different stakeholder with different priorities and objectives, each characterizing the complex landscape of considerations that influence how a cyber-incident response could play out. Students will taste what it feels like to be a lawyer working day-to-day in cyber-incident response—the messiness, the uncertainty, the high stakes, and the fun of working under such conditions. 

The goals/student learning objectives for this course include:

1. Experience a variety of cybersecurity incidents and the corresponding legal decision-making processes associated with responding to such incidents. 

2. Develop and sharpen lawyering skills, to include applying legal requirements in the face of uncertain and evolving facts, communicating complex legal issues orally with non-lawyers (e.g., with board members), and drafting documents in compliance with statutory requirements while keeping business and legal risk considerations in mind. 

3. Gain knowledge of cybersecurity law, including statutory and regulatory obligations, government relations, and cyber-incident management. 

4. Engage in effective problem-solving and prioritization of obligations related to cyber-incident response when faced with ambiguous information and tight deadlines. 

5. Identify and appreciate ethical considerations related to cyber-incident response.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division 1E students only during the initial J.D. student registration window. Full-time Day Division 1L students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 1, 2024.

FIRST-YEAR WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 09, 2025.

This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only. Details regarding the registration process will be provided to students during the fall semester via email, information sessions, and on the Week One website.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, December 2, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 2052 v00 Cybersecurity Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This interactive lecture course will explore various legal and policy issues related to enabling a safe and secure Internet and protecting government and private sector networks. The topics to be discussed include relevant U.S. legal authorities, cybersecurity roles and responsibilities of government agencies, private sector cybersecurity risk management, information sharing, Internet governance, and the application of international law to nation state activity in cyberspace. Lectures by the professor and occasional guests with relevant expertise will be used to stimulate class discussion. Students will be assigned a reflection assignment following each of a number of in-class table top exercises. There will be a four-hour take-home exam that must be completed during the first week of the exam period.

LAW 1825 v00 Cybersecurity Risks, Rules and Responsibilities

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class will focus on the laws, standards and liabilities that govern cybersecurity. The course will examine cyber threats and risks such as ransomware/extortion, destructive malware, critical infrastructure attacks, personal data breaches, email account take-overs, exfiltration of proprietary data and intellectual property, exploitation of software and internet hardware vulnerabilities, insider threats, malicious and defensive use of artificial intelligence, and state-sponsored cyberattacks. 

Students will examine the roles of various government agencies such as the White House, FBI, DOJ, NSA, HHS, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commerce Department, Treasury Department, the intelligence community, financial regulators, and their respective international counterparts, etc. 

The roles of boards of directors and corporate governance will also be explored. Readings will include a broad range of cybersecurity laws and regulations, executive orders, judicial decisions, enforcement actions and settlements, government and expert reports, agency guidance, corporate filings, and news articles. Current cyber developments will be discussed regularly, and students will be expected to participate actively. 

LAW 459 v01 Deals: The Economics of Structuring Transactions

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course examines how attorneys and other professionals create value through transaction engineering. The course is organized in two parts. The first part of the course studies various barriers to transacting, including collective action problems, information problems, risk and uncertainty, and contracting over time, and a range of responses grounded in game theory, contract theory, and decision theory. The second part studies a series of real transactions. Students will be divided into work groups, each of which will be responsible for selecting and presenting a transaction to the class. Grades will be based on an individual problem set, the group presentation, and a take-home final examination.

Course Objective and Learning Outcomes: The objective of the course is to understand the proper role of deal lawyers. It forwards the idea of deal lawyers as transaction cost engineers who seek to increase the value of transactions by devising mechanisms to mitigate common barriers to efficient bargains. We study four types of barriers—collective action problems (free rider and holdout problems), information problems (moral hazard and adverse selection), risk and uncertainty, and contracting over time—and a number of responses (contractual and other mechanisms) grounded in game theory, contract theory, and decision theory. By the end of the course, I expect students to (i) have a good understanding of these barriers and the responses that deal lawyers have devised to overcome them and (ii) demonstrate the ability to recognize these barriers in different transaction contexts and to fashion solutions to them.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Securities Regulation.

LAW 1708 v00 Death Penalty Litigation Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

This is a project-based practicum that will involve students in ongoing death penalty cases and teach them the legal framework for death penalty litigation. Professor Sloan has been active in death penalty litigation and representation, including two recent Supreme Court victories on behalf of a death row inmate in Texas: Moore v. Texas, 137 S. Ct. 1039 (2017) and Moore v. Texas, 139 S. Ct. 666 (2019).

In their project work, students will work on legal research related to ongoing death penalty litigation on behalf of death penalty defendants and inmates. Students also may have the opportunity to draft, or contribute to, briefs and motions related to ongoing death penalty litigation. Students will work with organizations and practitioners litigating death penalty cases. Among the organizations and individuals that have partnered with this practicum are the Southern Center for Human Rights, the Miami-Dade Public Defender, the Federal Public Defender, and individual death penalty litigation practitioners. Other organizations and individuals are likely partners as well.

In the seminar, students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the ongoing debates on death penalty issues – both broad jurisprudential issues (such as the meaning of the Eighth Amendment and relevant state constitutional provisions) and specific doctrinal topics (such as intellectual disability, insanity, and mitigating evidence in the death penalty litigation context). It also will be helpful to students to understand the experiences of death penalty litigators. Readings on these subjects will be woven into the seminar.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Capital Punishment Seminar or The Death Penalty in America Seminar.  Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic, or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This is a four-credit course.  Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for the 10 hours/week of project work.  Both the seminar and project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and practicum components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1551 v00 Decarbonizing the Energy Sphere: A Federal Regulatory Approach

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Burgeoning climate concerns, abetted by technological advances, have permitted new federal regulatory strategies to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sphere. Relying mostly on precedents less than four years old, this course will explore environmental policy involving wholesale energy sales, transmission of electricity, and transportation of natural gas. We will apply the legal framework of statutes organic to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a starting point to examine incentives and impediments to new wind and solar generation and strategies such as carbon pricing. The operation and continuing relevance of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act in competitive wholesale markets with also be examined.

The course will further address how seemingly local concerns, such as rooftop solar, may implicate federal energy regulation and policy interests. Turning to pipelines, we will examine how National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act requirements affect authorization of new construction, applied concepts of environmental justice, law and policy regarding export of liquified natural gas, and potential remedies for pipeline construction subsequently found to have been unlawfully authorized, among other topics.

Decarbonizing the Energy Sphere: A Federal Regulatory Approach will provide students the foundation to critically assess the balance of environmental values and ubiquitous consumer demands, such as reliability and affordability. Case readings will be paired with a policy text to undergird discussions of means within the broader investment and technological context to achieve environmental objectives. Our examination of policy options will be informed by consideration of a broad array of stakeholder interests. By gaining exposure to major environmental controversies in federal energy regulation, students will gain deep practical knowledge and develop insights into the formulation of decarbonization strategies.

To provide opportunities to apply course concepts and materials, students will participate during class time, and with ample advance notice, in oral argument and judging. By creating an outline in support of scenario-based legal positions and arguing for them in a supportive environment and reaching a determination in the context of a well-defined legal controversy, students will gain experience in the advocacy and evaluation of complex, contemporary legal issues where federal energy and environmental law intersect.

Recommended: Administrative Law.

LAW 134 v00 Decedents' Estates

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course addresses intestate succession; wills, their execution, revocation, and contest; nonprobate transfers; the nature, creation, and termination of trusts; and the interpretation and legal consequences of dispositive provisions, including problems involving survivorship interests, class gifts, powers of appointment, and the rule against perpetuities. Modern planning for elder incapacity and the fiduciary responsibilities of wealth management trustees are discussed.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Property.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Wills & Trusts.

LAW 1783 v00 Decentering the Police in Community Safety Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This practicum will focus on actionable steps to decenter the role of policing in community safety efforts in order to make cities and neighborhoods safer and reduce the harms of policing. Students will participate in a weekly two-hour seminar and carry out approximately 15 hours of project work each week under the direction of the course professor.

SEMINAR: Nationwide, high-profile police killings and the documentation of patterns of police misconduct have brought about broad-based movements for change. There is a growing recognition that even lawful policing causes unnecessary harm and that we have over-relied on policing to meet community safety needs. A modern, evidence-informed approach to community safety requires decentering the role of police to make space for entities that can better carry out some responsibilities currently delegated to police. The seminar portion of this course will provide students an understanding of the history of policing and explore theories of why policing has evolved as it has. We will take close looks at particular harms and inefficiencies of the current public safety system that over relies on policing to meet a broad array of social challenges, from drug addiction and homelessness, to mental health crisis, trauma, and preventing violence. During seminars, students will hear from a broad spectrum of actors and stakeholders in the public safety system. 

PROJECT WORK: Through this practicum, students will work on projects that explore and implement innovative approaches to community safety. Projects may involve research to enhance understanding of what is needed to make communities safe; implementing ideas that broaden the scope of who is involved in creating and maintaining community safety; or working directly to reduce the harms of current policing. Students will gain the skills and knowledge lawyers need to play an effective role in the effort to transform policing, community safety, and our criminal legal system. Student projects may be completely individual or in pairs, and may involve working with Georgetown Law’s Center for Innovations in Community Safety on projects currently underway.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.  Second year evening students can take Criminal Justice concurrently.  Transfer students can take Criminal Procedure concurrently.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students should submit a résumé and written statement (maximum of 300 words), articulating their interest in the practicum and noting any relevant academic, work, or other experiences, especially in the field of policing, criminal legal system reform, and/or civil rights, to Professor Tahir Duckett (tahir.duckett@georgetown.edu). Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as Professor Duckett is admitting students on a rolling basis.

This is a five-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits will be awarded for approximately 15 hours of supervised project work per week.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and practicum components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1815 v00 Decentralization, Finance, and the Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar will examine the concept of decentralization and finance as it is applied across various issue areas:  securities law, antitrust law, intellectual property, and financial stability.  

Decentralization has attracted enormous attention with the rise of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance. However, the term “decentralization” is a term of art rather than a legal concept—although the norms and general understanding of particular uses of the term can have decisive legal consequences.  In this seminar, students will compare and contrast the contexts and settings in which the decentralization conversation has had particular salience, particularly when applied to Web 3 and blockchain technologies.  Guest speakers will additionally visit the class to provide real world applications and perspective.  A basic understanding of what a cryptocurrency is will be useful to students taking the course.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 3153 v00 Decolonization, Global Health & the Law

LL.M Seminar | 1 credit hour

The history of global health is inextricably linked to colonial conquest. The early interventions of what was then called international health were developed within colonial settings and to a large degree, were dependent on the coercive power of colonial rule. Shaped by colonial ideas that colonized peoples were incapable of improving their own health, the existence of local medical knowledge and existing public health infrastructures in colonized lands were subverted and colonial health services were designed primarily to protect the health of European and American personnel who were essential to upholding the colonial economy.” (Zeinabou Niamé Daffé et al, 2021)

COVID-19 has demonstrated that the modern global health systems, built on the foundations of colonialism, continue to perpetuate practices and laws that often result in inequitable access to health services and products, and unequal enjoyment of the right to health. Created on the foundations of tropical medicine. The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, has made decolonizing human rights in global health an integral part of her mandate and to that end has proposed the idea of a forthcoming Lancet O’Neill Commission on Racism and Structural Discrimination in Global Health Law.


The course will provide a historical context to students of the impact of racism and colonization on modern day global health. It will examine the historical role of the law in entrenching racially discriminatory health law and polices, and examine the opportunities for reform through the work of the forthcoming Lancet O’Neill Commission on Racism and Structural Discrimination in Global Health, co-chaired by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng and Dr. Ngozi Erondu.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 003 v02 Democracy and Coercion

J.D. Course | 5 credit hours

What is democracy? What would be required to realize aspirations to democracy in a country like the United States, with a history of enslavement, dispossession of Native peoples, highly unequal application of the criminal law, and more broadly persistent inequality? How has constitutional law shaped controversies over the terms of democratic life in the United States? What role should criminal law enforcement play in a democratic society and how, if at all, should constitutional law inform the criminal process? This course will explore these questions regarding democracy, coercion and constitutionalism, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, with particular attention to U.S. constitutional law and constitutional criminal procedure.

Note: This is a required course for Curriculum B first year students only.

LAW 1916 v00 Democratizing Work Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course explores the “future of work” in the context of mounting social challenges such as rising inequality, political turmoil, the climate crisis, and rapidly evolving AI technologies. Within this context, a historical debate on democratizing work is gaining steam globally. Focused on collective strength, a culture of care, and sustainability, this movement argues that shifting power to workers is key to solving longstanding issues like poverty, while also getting closer to ideals of democracy. Workers engage in a myriad of activities to shift power and accomplish these goals, including traditional labor reform, independent unions, employee ownership, and worker-owned cooperatives. While exploring these approaches, we will critically examine the relationship between political democracy and economic democracy within the workplace and beyond.

This course will feature guest speakers including academics, policymakers, community organizers, and artists who are on the cutting-edge of both theory and strategy in the areas of workplace justice, health, and economics.  The core themes will focus on the intersections of race, class, and gender hierarchy. The readings and speakers will offer interdisciplinary perspectives from law, economics, political science, history, and sociology. In each class session, invited speakers will present a public lecture, followed by in depth discussion with enrolled students. This course fulfills the ILO #8 and WR requirements.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Critically examine the relationship between political democracy and economic democracy within the workplace and beyond (ILO)
  • Critically examine the history of race, class, and gender hierarchy, and how these shape extraction, commodification, and exploitation in the context of work (ILO)
  • Critically examine how the law has facilitated or reinforced the social challenges explored, such as race/class/gender inequality, poverty, precarity, and the climate crisis (ILO)
  • Analyze, critique, and propose strategies to implement democratic principles and processes into mainstream business arrangements, such as corporations and nonprofits.
  • Critically examine how the current social, economic, and political context present both opportunities and challenges for building solidarity and coalitions for a just society (ILO)
  • Critically examine the social constructions of race, class, and gender, reflecting on why they exist and whom in society they benefit (ILO)
  • Write a scholarly research paper incorporating these learning objectives (WR)
  • Verbally present research arguments in a presentation

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 969 v00 Derivatives Regulation

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Derivatives, including virtual currencies, are a large, dynamic and rapidly evolving part of the world's financial markets.  The size and importance of these markets alone would make derivatives regulation a worthy part of law school study, particularly for those interested in financial markets.  Add to that a significant change in the regulatory framework on a scale unseen since the 1930's and it is clear that there has never been a better time to study the legal issues and operational challenges for market participants.  This course will focus on the regulation of derivatives under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended by Dodd-Frank, and as implemented by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  This course is designed as a “Derivatives 101” equivalent, providing a broad overview of the regulation of derivatives.  No prior knowledge of derivatives is required to succeed in this course.  The course will include an in-depth look at the new regulatory requirements and issues with respect to (i) market transparency and integrity, such as preventing market manipulation, disruptive trading practices, and so-called excessive speculation; (ii) the increasing use of automated trading systems and high-frequency trading in commodity markets; and (iii) the interplay between Congress, the federal market regulators, and the entities subject to financial market regulation. Students will be presented with the same questions of law confronting attorneys advising entities trading in derivatives markets, regulators, and the courts.

LAW 611 v15 Designing Financial Regulation Post Crisis

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This Week One, project-based simulation course is designed to introduce students to the policymaking process within the realm of financial regulation. Many people can list numerous contributing factors of the 2008 global financial crisis, and most have heard of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. But what did the Dodd-Frank Act actually set out to accomplish? What regulations have U.S. financial regulators implemented to improve financial stability since its passage in 2010? In light of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, did those regulations achieve their objectives? The goal of this course is to explore these questions by having students simulate financial regulatory policymaking through in-class debates and group presentations.

Over the four days of this course, students will get up to speed on key financial regulatory measures implemented in the United States over the past decade. Then, acting as financial regulators, they will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the regulatory framework. Students will focus on the main macroprudential aspects of bank capital regulations, including the quantification of their costs and benefits.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 847 v00 Developing & Financing Infrastructure Projects

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will use recent transactions involving infrastructure projects (domestic and international) to illustrate the legal techniques and financial issues involved in project development and financing. The course will address case studies involving energy projects, telecom, toll roads, mining, ports, airports, other infrastructure and professional sports facilities. Class discussion will include analysis of how project risk analysis is done and review of key documents used to develop, construct and finance projects. Students will participate in simulated contract negotiation and drafting exercises representing designated parties to a transaction. Coverage will include different sources of financing, including banks, capital markets, ECAs and multinational entities. There will be both a final examination (open-book) and a short drafting exercise that will be graded. Class on 11/2 will be a Special Negotiation Workshop, for which the class will be divided into groups to negotiate a financing term sheet for a model transaction. 

The required course textbook is: 

E.R. Yescombe, Principles of Project Finance (London: Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier, 2014) (2d Edition). Please note that the second edition is materially different from the first edition, and all page number and other references in this syllabus and in the course will be to the second edition.

Additional case studies, such as Henry A. Davis, ed., Project Finance: Practical Case Studies, Second Edition (two volume set: Volume I – Water and Power, and Volume II – Resources and Infrastructure), and other materials not in the above publication will be provided.

Learning objectives:

The course is based on four major themes and aims to teach students to analyze issues in light of each theme: (i) allocation of risk, (ii) non-recourse or limited recourse arrangements, (iii) effective contract structures, and (iv) financeability. The class will focus on both theory (risk analysis and mitigation) and practice (critiquing and drafting agreements). Both the written assignment and the workshop will focus on practical matters relating to practice issues.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Domestic and International Project Finance & Development: Case Studies; or the J.D. course, International Project Finance; or International Project Finance and Investment and Project Development and Finance.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Environmental and Energy Law LL.M.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

NOTE: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY at the Special Negotiation Workshop which may be offsite. The Special Negotiation Workshop will meet on Saturday, November 2, 2025 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Failure to attend the Special Negotiation workshop may result in a withdrawal. The Special Negotiation Workshop will be held at Haynes Boone, 800 17th St NW. The specific room and instructions for admission will be provided by the professor.

LAW 131 v02 Disability Discrimination Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course covers the Americans with Disabilities Act, its amendments, regulations, and interpretive guidance as they relate to discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, the programs, services, or activities provided by government entities, and public accommodations. The course will take a pragmatic approach to exploring the rights and responsibilities arising from this law and will focus on such issues as defining disability, the concept of qualified persons with a disability, reasonable accommodations, medical exams and disability-related inquiries, program access, and public accommodations.

LAW 3082 v00 Dispute Settlement in International Trade: A Comparative Examination of WTO, Regional & Bilateral Systems

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course involves an in-depth look, in a seminar-type setting, at different state-to-state dispute settlement systems in the international trade area.  Although the principal focus will be WTO dispute settlement, the course will also examine the new or re-invigorated mechanisms in regional agreements (e.g., RCEP, CPTPP) and bilateral trade agreements of the United States (USMCA, CAFTA) and the EU. In addition to examining the treaty provisions themselves, the course will involve the close reading of arbitral decisions, as a medium to examine real-world systemic issues regarding dispute settlement, such as the function of terms of reference, approaches to treaty interpretation, confidentiality, coherence between different bodies of international law, the role of precedent, standard of review, the scope of appellate review, implementation and compliance, and remedies. At the same time, students will gain familiarity with some of the leading substantive issues in international trade law. 

Recommended: Background in international trade law and in public international law generally.

Strongly Recommended: A introductory course in international trade law is strongly recommended.

Note: This course will have a final exam.

LAW 1518 v00 Doing Justice: Trial Judges Explain How Tough Decisions Are Made

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

As any judge who has served on a busy trial court can attest, there are many assignments where the cases come at you so hard and fast that there is barely time to step into the box and take your stance before the next one comes zooming in. And that is true of the “easy” cases. In addition, there are cases where the judge has to wrestle with a problem so complex, or so emotionally draining, as to test the fortitude and impartiality of even the most competent and experienced jurists. These might be called “go to the mountain top” cases.

In busy trial courts, “mountain top” cases can appear in the garb of criminal, civil, probate, or family cases. Often the judge is unable to find any guiding legal precedent and is forced to navigate uncharted waters in search of the “just” result. Sometimes controlling legal precedent exists, but following it will lead to an unjust result. And then there are cases where the judge has very wide discretion to apply a vague legal standard, like “the best interest of the child” in contested child custody proceedings, or finding the “right sentence” in a criminal case, where the statutory range might run from no prison time at all to life in prison.

Some cases are hard not only because of the subject matter, but also because they capture the attention of the entire community and become highly politicized. This can be especially challenging for elected judges, who know that whatever decision they make may become the fodder for an opposition campaign when they next stand for election, and may ultimately cost them their judgeship. These political realities do not lessen the judge’s duty to decide each case in accordance with the facts and the rule of law, by reference to neutral principles. But these requirements can make the exercise of that duty more agonizing, knowing that the decision is likely to be unpopular with at least one large segment of the population.

This seminar will provide students with a ring side seat in the arena of judicial decision-making. Students will not only have the benefit of reading 13 trial judges' stories, but they will also have the opportunity to dialogue with each author who will appear in the class that focuses on her/his story.

Learning Objectives:

By analyzing thirteen poignant stories written by trial judges who struggled with difficult cases, seminar participants should come away with valuable insights about the litigation process and the art of judging. Hopefully too, students will become enthused and empowered to become effective trial advocates and perhaps judges. Besides reading 13 stories written by judges about real life difficult cases, each student will select a judge and interview that jurist about his or her decision making process in a tough case or class of cases. The semester will culminate with students drafting a paper describing not only the issues requiring judicial decision, but also how the interviewed judge sets about deciding those issues.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society) or Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 518 v00 Domestic Violence Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Domestic Violence Clinic website for more information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Domestic Violence Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1794 v00 Domestic Violent Extremism Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

 This seminar is designed to provide an overview of the threat posed by domestic violent extremism (DVE) and the complex legal and policy issues raised by efforts to counter the threat.  Although not a new threat, in recent years domestic violent extremists increasingly have organized themselves into paramilitary units, committed racially and politically motivated violence, intimidated people seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, and threatened government officials fulfilling their responsibilities.  The increased threat on one side of the political spectrum has at times prompted corresponding threats from the opposing side.

Addressing domestic violent extremism raises a host of complex questions relating to law enforcement, national security, constitutional rights, and the appropriate scope of counterterrorism operations.  This course will introduce students to these issues, enhance their ability to engage in rigorous analysis of them, and enable them to formulate practical responses consistent with the rule of law and in respect of civil rights and civil liberties.  This analysis will be informed by an understanding of the history, nature, and sources of DVE, as well as the organizational and associational structures that it may take.

The learning objectives for this course are for students to:

(1) Become familiar with the history, nature, sources, and structure of DVE in the United States and its global connections;

(2) Understand and be able to analyze the wide range of constitutional issues that policymakers and lawyers must assess in attempting to address DVE;

(3) Understand and be able to analyze the statutory and common law legal considerations that are relevant in addressing DVE;

(4) Appreciate the policy considerations that should inform analysis of DVE; and

(5) Formulate potential responses to DVE at the federal, state, and local level that appropriately weigh competing considerations based on rigorous analysis of the issues described above.

Assessment

This seminar is intended to be interactive and thought-provoking.  I expect students to have read the assigned materials before each class session and to come prepared to participate in discussion on the relevant topic.  It is likely that students will have different viewpoints on some of the topics covered, and we must all be respectful and courteous to each other, as well as to any guest speakers, during our in-class discussions.  Thirty percent of the grade will be based upon contributions to class discussions.

Seventy percent of the grade for the course will be based upon a 2,500- to 3,000-word paper analyzing a legal or policy issue related to DVE and proposing an option or options for addressing it. The paper should not be a summary of an issue or rehash the work of others, but should demonstrate thoughtful analysis and creative, legally sound proposals.

Note: This course will meet in Spring 2025 on the following Mondays, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: 1/13, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/20 (Monday classes meet), 2/24, and 3/10.

LAW 160 v01 Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Documents: Contracts, Loan Documents, and Leases Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This course dissects the major commercial real estate documents – loan documents, contracts, and commercial leases – by focusing on the drafting and negotiation of each. The course will examine the interplay between substantive legal issues and practical business and strategy questions in determining the contents of these documents. Some of the issues covered include the economics of the transaction, the rights and the responsibilities of the parties and the consequences of default. A significant portion of the course will focus on the role of negotiations in the process of determining the terms of the document and will include simulated negotiations and role playing.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the LL.M. course, Drafting Contracts; or the LL.M. seminar, Drafting Contracts.

LAW 919 v00 Drafting Partnership & LLC Agreements

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course applies practical approaches to assist students in understanding the tax and business arrangements of joint ventures, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies, ranging from the common to the complex. The course also presents and analyzes the drafting techniques necessary to actually implement such arrangements by concentrating on the tax and business provisions in term sheets and limited partnership/limited liability company agreements.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation (formerly Taxation I), prior or concurrent enrollment in Taxation of Partnerships (recommended prior enrollment in Taxation of Partnerships).

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

While the first two days of this course meet during the Fall add/drop period, a student may only drop this course without a transcript notation prior to the start of the second class session by submitting a written request to the Office of the Registrar. After the start of the second class session, a student must seek permission from an advisor to withdraw.

LAW 1690 v01 Economic Analysis of Law

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic tools of the economic analysis of law in order to understand the effects of legal doctrines on behavior and for designing optimal legal rules. The course will focus on the economic analysis of central issues in different legal fields, including property law (the Coase Theorem), tort law (alternative liability rules), criminal law (economic model of crime, inspection games) contract law, and legal procedures (litigation and settlements).

Course Objective and Learning Outcomes

The objective of the course is to enhance your ability to give sound legal advice and make effective legal arguments by introducing you to selected concepts and methods from economics and game theory that are relevant to numerous areas of law and legal practice.

These concepts and methods include: decision trees, expected value, risk aversion, Nash equilibrium, game trees, backward induction, subgame perfection, moral hazard, adverse selection; Bayes' rule.

By the end of the course, I expect you to have a good understanding of these concepts and methods and to be able demonstrate a basic proficiency in applying them to:

Analyze situations involving strategic interactions (i.e., situations where the outcome depends on the strategies and actions of multiple parties) of the kind that lawyers and their clients often encounter in litigation and transactions.

Recommended: No prior background in economics or game theory is required; however, we will regularly use elementary algebra and a little bit of calculus. If you are completely averse to numbers don’t take this course.

LAW 1690 v02 Economic Analysis of Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the field of law and economics. Law and economics is the application of tools from microeconomics to perform positive and normative analysis of the law and the legal system. We will focus on five core legal subjects: torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and legal procedure. No prior background in economics is required.

LAW 1919 v00 Economic Justice in Infrastructure Regulation: Energy, Water, and Telecommunications

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Our nation's infrastructure abounds in justice failures. Consider: 

  • In Flint, Michigan, officials subjected thousands of families to lead-poisoned water. 

  • In Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria crippled an electricity infrastructure long neglected by its government-owned utility, leaving thousands of families without electricity.

  • Wildfires in Maui, arising in part from years of neglect by the utility, plantation owners, and government officials, have left thousands homeless.

  • Water flooding in coastal Charleston, South Carolina disproportionately affects marginalized communities.   

  • Navajos lack reliable electric supply in most of their territory.

Common to each of these situations is economic regulation.One or more public bodies created, encouraged, tolerated, or ignored conditions that allowed private behavior, often business behavior, to produce these adverse outcomes. This course will diagnose the causes and design solutions. Among the big-picture questions:

  • In the context of economic regulation, what is economic justice?  

  • Does our economic regulation of infrastructural industries produce economic injustice?  If so, with which actors does fault lie?

  • Does facially neutral statutory language—bland statutory commands such "just and reasonable rates," "consistent with the public interest," no "undue preference or advantage"—have non-neutral effects?

  • Do constitutional principles—such as the protection of private property—affect economic justice?

  • How do regulatory procedures, all influenced by conflicting interest groups, affect economic justice outcomes?

  • Should economic regulation address justice?  Or should it seek only to improve economic performance, leaving justice to other regulatory agencies or to political processes?

  • For all these questions, what roles can lawyers play? 

Recommended: Administrative Law.

LAW 1901 v00 Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights in the International Human Rights System Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Human rights are humanity's greatest ethical, moral, and legal capital. Seventy-five years ago, reeling from the devastation of world war, States came together to agree on a blueprint for preventing future cataclysms—respect for human rights—and codified that plan in foundational documents like the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The rights detailed in the UDHR—which encompass civil and political rights, like the right to free expression and a fair trial, and economic, social, and cultural rights, like the right to adequate food and housing—were seen as interdependent, indivisible, and mutually reinforcing: no right should be privileged above another.

But it wasn’t long before the ideological divide of the Cold War fractured this consensus, with the West generally prioritizing civil and political rights and the Soviet bloc generally emphasizing economic and social rights.

This course will explore the negative impact of that artificial division, which resulted in the demotion of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to “second generation” rights, with scant enforceability and justiciability, and the urgency of repairing the breach, particularly in the context of the climate emergency. The course will situate economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights (ESCER) in the international and regional human rights systems, with a special focus on the Inter-American system. The course will then examine in detail a number of specific ESCER, with an emphasis on the impact violations of these rights have on women, indigenous people, people of African descent and other populations in situations of vulnerability or historically discriminated against. The course will examine the contours of the right to a healthy environment and will explore the role and responsibilities of business and other economic actors in upholding such rights.

Learning Objectives:

Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, including current developments and controversies surrounding these rights. Students will be able to identify tools and gaps in the national and international realization of rights such as the rights to clean water and sanitation, health, education, housing, work, and a healthy environment.

The course will also train students to craft persuasive arguments for the legal defense of these rights at national and international levels and to advocate on key issues, such as the climate emergency and the obligation of corporate due diligence.

Students will learn to apply the principles of universality, indivisibility, and interdependence, with a gender and intersectional approach, to the analysis of ESCER.

Students will get a unique insider’s look at high-level advocacy for ESCER. I will share some of my own field experiences during the course and students will also have the opportunity to hear from some distinguished guest speakers.

Finally, this course aims to provide students not only with exposure to the legal principles underlying ESCER but a deep understanding of the impact of violations of these rights on the most historically discriminated populations. Exploration of each course topic will include the perspectives of people and communities most impacted by the lack of access and enjoyment of ESCER. This approach is designed to help build a community of practice and solidarity that will live on beyond the course.

Recommended: International Human Rights or International Human Rights Law.

 

LAW 1673 v00 Effective Human Rights Advocacy in Polarized Environments Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Human rights advocacy can be an uphill battle, even in the best of times.  And these are not the best of times. Progress is possible, but the problems we tackle need serious, hard-nosed strategies and activists with the skills to execute them. In this course we will explore and analyze key elements of successful human rights advocacy campaigns—goal-setting, messaging/communications, coalition-building, resource allocation—and develop the practical skills advocates need, especially in today’s politically polarized environment, to win.

The course will be grounded in real-world examples. We will explore and evaluate different theories of social change and study how those work (or don’t) in practice. Each week we will do a deep dive into a different element of successful campaign strategy.

Student Learning Goals: As a result of completing this course, students will be able to draft a strategic campaign plan for an issue or policy campaign. Students will learn how to evaluate advocacy strategies and how to choose which advocacy techniques are likely to succeed in which contexts.  Students will be exposed to leading experts in human rights advocacy, including staff from human rights organizations, congressional offices, messaging and communications experts, litigators and veteran human rights campaigners. Students will develop the analytical and practical skills necessary to build a successful campaign strategy.

In addition, students will be alerted to opportunities for participating in human rights activities and events outside of class. Students interested in a career in human rights will gain a richer understanding of the theories of change and the portfolio of advocacy tactics used successfully by practitioners in the field.

LAW 1182 v00 Election Law (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This project-based practicum course will focus on election law. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.

SEMINAR: The seminar portion of this course will focus on voting rights law--including the Voting Rights Act, constitutional protections on the right to vote and redistricting law--and will also cover some related areas of law, including regulation of campaign finance. In the area of voting rights, the course will specifically examine the state of voting rights law and litigation in the wake of the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County V. Holder. The course will cover issues such as voter ID laws and other burdens on the right to vote, felon disenfranchisement, racial and partisan gerrymandering, and other voting-related topics based on current events. In the area of campaign finance, the focus will be on the law governing limits on contributions to candidates and the disclosure of funds contributed or spent to influence elections. Cases challenging these regulations as violative of the First Amendment have proliferated in the post-Citizens United world. Throughout the semester, students will be assigned several writing assignments that may include: complaints for potential federal lawsuits alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act and/or the United States Constitution; briefs or motions in pending voting rights cases; and other legal documents directly related to ongoing work in the voting rights and campaign finance fields. This practicum course will give students the opportunity, among other things to explore and weigh the governmental interests involved in voting and campaign finance restrictions against the rights those laws may infringe.

PROJECT WORK: Students in this practicum will have the opportunity to draft legal memos related to current election law matters. Assignments will be based on pending cases and matters, but will involve a wide range of election law issues raising important questions of constitutional and statutory interpretation.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Prior enrollment in Constitutional Law II.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This practicum course is suitable for evening students who can attend seminar and participate in 10 hours/week of project work.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 195 v05 Election Law: Voting, Campaigning and the Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course examines federal and state law regulating the conduct of elections and the financing of campaigns. Included are aspects of federal and state constitutional law on speech, association, and equal protection; and particularly problems of apportionment, gerrymandering, race-conscious districting under the Voting Rights Act, and barriers to voting. With respect to campaign finance, we consider how much and what kinds of legal regulation are constitutionally appropriate regarding parties, candidates, independents, political action committees, corporations, unions, and individuals.

LAW 1703 v00 Elements of Clinical Pedagogy

LL.M Seminar | 2 credit hours

Required for completing the LLM in Advocacy, the Elements of Clinical Pedagogy seminar is a year-long program for clinical fellows that is taught by the fellowship program’s Co-Directors as well as members of the law school’s clinical faculty. During the two-day orientation and monthly seminar meetings, fellows are introduced to the theoretical and practical foundations of experiential pedagogy, supervision, and scholarship.

Note: This course is only open to clinical fellows and is not open to enrollment or audit by other JD, LLM, or SJD students. Clinical fellows or others with questions should contact Patrick Griffith, Assistant Dean for Clinical Programs (patrick.griffith@georgetown.edu). 

LAW 219 v00 Emerging Growth Companies and Venture Capital Financings

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course covers the legal and business issues that arise in the context of representing emerging growth companies and the venture capital investors who provide an important source of capital to such companies. In particular, the course will focus on the legal issues typically encountered by private companies at formation, financing, operation and key corporate events, including acquisition transactions and public offerings. Topics covered include corporate formation and governance, venture capital financing, employment and equity compensation matters, protection of intellectual property, securities laws compliance and exit strategies through merger, acquisition or initial public offering. The course will offer an introduction to these topics through the eyes of attorneys who practice in a Silicon Valley-based law firm active in the East Coast technology and life sciences market and will also include guest presentations by industry participants, such as venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs. The course will include a practice exercise designed to introduce students, working in practice teams, to the process of structuring and executing venture capital transactions.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

LAW 769 v00 Emerging Issues in U.S. Financial Services Regulation

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

From meme trading to cryptocurrencies to climate change disclosure, U.S. financial services regulatory issues are increasingly generating headlines. How do regulators address new and emerging issues? What happens when those issues do not fit neatly into the existing framework? This course will provide an overview and practical insights into how U.S. financial services regulation continues to evolve and adapt to address new challenges.
The course begins by describing how different pieces of the U.S. financial services regulatory framework fit together - including the roles of particular agencies and their varying missions - in order to set the stage for later classes. It will also introduce themes that will be explored throughout the course, such as tensions between investor protection and the facilitation of economic growth, and areas where there are both gaps in regulation and conflicts between regulators over who is responsible for certain products and activities.
The course is designed to make complex concepts accessible and to appeal to students new to financial services regulation, but also to be useful to those with prior coursework in securities regulation. Each segment will begin with an overview of a topic area followed by an exploration of current issues. For instance, the segment on the regulation of financial advice will begin by identifying the roles of the relevant players - including broker-dealers, investment advisers, and self-regulatory organizations - and then will delve into current debates, such as efforts to harmonize business conduct standards through Regulation Best Interest and the opportunities and dangers of app-based trading.
As another example, the segment on investment companies will first describe different types of funds - such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and private funds - and will then explore current issues such as the emergence of ESG investing and the exposure of individual investors to exotic types of assets and strategies.
The course will similarly explore other topics including: struggles to regulate cryptocurrencies and digital assets; similarities, differences, and tensions between securities and futures regulation; debates over how to expand private offerings while protecting Main Street investors; the financial crisis of 2008 and the failure to understand the risks created by combining asset-backed securities and derivatives; historic struggles to separate investment and commercial banking; and current efforts to protect the financial system from systemic risk, including concerns related to cybersecurity and business continuity.
As in previous iterations of this course, the professors will bring in guest speakers from government, law firms, and the financial services industry.
Grading: The course is structured to provide maximum support to ensure that students develop familiarity with the themes and questions raised in the course. Grading is based on class participation, a short practical assignment, and a final paper. To help with class participation, the professors will circulate discussion questions ahead of each class to help students prepare. Students will also work with the professors to choose a practical assignment that implements the concepts explored in class (such as making a slide presentation or writing a 1-2 page comment letter in response to a proposed regulation).

Strongly Recommended: Securities Regulation, which may be taken prior to this class or concurrently.

Note: J.D. students who wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar, while J.D. or LL.M. students taking the seminar for two credits will only need to write a short paper. The professors will also work with students to develop paper topics and provide feedback and support throughout the writing process.

LAW 1918 v00 Emerging Topics in Social Media Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Social media is revolutionizing what we buy, who our friends are, where we work, how we game, why we vote for certain candidates, and so much more. For the first time in history, anyone with an internet connection can speak and be heard across the globe in seconds, by audiences of one to one million. Rapper Travis Scott held a metaverse concert with tens of millions of viewers, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol generated huge campaign buzz with his charming digital avatar AI Yoon, and generative AI companies like ChatGPT and Midjourney can turn us all into Shakespeare, Taylor Swift, or Picasso (as long as they don’t try to manipulate us or take over the world). This is just the beginning—Meta is building AI that interprets brain waves, and Google has filed similar patents. Haptics allow users to physically feel feedback from digital images, integrating the experience. Such innovations will continue to transform our daily interactions, melding our digital and physical lives in ways we cannot yet fully predict. The impacts on society are profound, and yet social media is fundamentally a business. 

In most cases, a social media platform’s first loyalty is to shareholders. As social media swells, the legal frameworks lag far behind in recognizing the critical roles social media and the internet play in our lives. Courts are only now starting to tackle the thorny issues raised by social media across a variety of contexts.

This course offers an overview of social media law through the lens of its economic, policy, and national security implications. In the social media space, the realpolitik of corporate regulatory strategy collides with the pressing needs of society unlike almost anywhere else in the law. Students will leave this course able to converse about the major legal and policy issues in a practical and compelling way with anyone in the social media ecosystem—be it consumer advocates, regulators, platform leaders, entrepreneurs, financiers, engineers, or others.

Recommended: Constitutional Law.

 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Social Media Law or Social Media Law Seminar.

 

Note: UPPERCLASS WEEK ONE COURSE: This will meet on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 9, 2025. This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Note: Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar at lawreg@georgetown.edu. A student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1337 v00 Empirical Analysis for Lawyers and Policymakers Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar is intended to help students become better consumers of empirical work in the law and social sciences. By the end of the semester, students should: (1) understand the basics of some common empirical methodologies; (2) see how empirical work can inform public policy; and (3) have a better sense of the limits and problems inherent in empirical work.
 

Each week, we will cover one or more policy-relevant empirical papers that students will be expected to read. Students will submit a 1-2 page analysis of an assigned paper before class. Each paper will introduce students to a particular empirical methodology, or show how it might be applied in a particular policy setting.
 

Topics will be drawn from a variety of areas, including criminal law, education, health, development, and labor. For example, we might study questions like: what is the impact of education on earnings? How do 401(k) plans affect people’s savings decisions? How does a change in the minimum wage affect labor supply? Do minimum drinking ages reduce drunken driving deaths? What are the benefits and limits of randomized controlled trials?
 

Toward the end of the semester, students will be asked to write an 10-12 page paper that analyzes in detail an empirical paper of their own choosing. If there is time, students will be asked to present their analysis to the class in a final presentation.
 

Grades will be based on the short 1-2 page analyses, the 10-12 page final paper and presentation, and classroom participation.

Recommended: Some background in statistics or econometrics is helpful but not required. More important is a willingness to engage with unfamiliar material and a deep interest in learning.

LAW 3011 v00 Employee Benefits Practicum

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course will focus on the practical application of ERISA principles as applied to qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans and executive compensation. Students will draft plan documents and summary plan descriptions; review employee communications; draft memos and responses to participant inquiries; conduct legal research; conduct due diligence with respect to employee benefits in corporate transactions; negotiate and draft the asset purchase provisions of corporate transactions; negotiate and draft vendor contract provisions; review Securities & Exchange filings with respect to employee benefit plan footnotes and executive compensation disclosures; review the principles of employee benefits in bankruptcy; review principles of labor law as it impacts employee benefits in collective bargaining; review the avoidance and management of ERISA litigation; consider the legal ethics with respect to representing various parties in an ERISA dispute; and other practical considerations in dealing with employees, government agencies, participants, insurance companies and other vendors and plan sponsors.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation, Employee Benefits: Qualified Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits: Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits: Health & Welfare Plans.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Survey of Employee Benefits Law

Note: Required for the Employee Benefits Certificate.

LAW 3004 v00 Employee Benefits: Executive Compensation

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class will focus on the tax aspects associated with nonqualified deferred compensation, including the tax doctrines of constructive receipt and economic benefits, as well as the three different income tax regimes set forth in section 409A, section 457A and section 457(f), and the employment tax regime under section 3121(v). In addition to exploring the various rules and the Federal tax consequences under these and other Code sections, including sections 162(m), 280G and 4960, consideration will be given to the tax policy issues driving the varying treatment and the design, drafting and implementation of many types of executive compensation arrangements, including equity compensation awards, traditional nonqualified deferred compensation plans, SERPS, excess benefit plans, rabbi trusts and top hat plans. This class will also provide an introduction to the registration and reporting requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, respectively, regarding executive compensation arrangements.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Taxation of Nonqualified Deferred Compensation.

Note: This course is required for the Employee Benefits Certificate.

LAW 3003 v00 Employee Benefits: Health & Welfare Plans

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course focuses on the tax and ERISA aspects of employer-sponsored health and welfare benefit plans. The tax discussion will concentrate on the conditions for favorable tax treatment of health and welfare benefits (and other statutory fringe benefits), the cafeteria plan rules, the applicable nondiscrimination requirements, and the special rules applicable to funded welfare benefits. The ERISA discussion will focus on plan design, reporting and disclosure, claims procedures, and fiduciary duty rules. The course will integrate the tax, labor and public policy aspects of the Affordable Care Act and other health care reforms.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Tax & ERISA Aspects.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Health Law LL.M. Taxation LL.M.

This course is required for the Employee Benefits Certificate.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 3005 v00 Employee Benefits: Qualified Retirement Plans

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course provides a substantive overview of the design, policy, operation, and taxation of qualified retirement plans offered by U.S. employers. The course addresses the statutory requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA, as well as regulatory and other guidance issued by federal agencies. You will learn about retirement plan structure, communications, investments, distributions, and fiduciary obligations. The course will focus on the policy goals and compliance challenges behind qualified plan rules and will include practical strategies for advising clients.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: This course is required for the Employee Benefits Certificate

LAW 150 v04 Employment Discrimination

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course explores the legal mandate for equal employment opportunity in relation to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and other traits. The focus is principally upon Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also includes the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Post Civil War Civil Rights Acts, and state analogues to Title VII, such as the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. The course also discusses the evolution of employment discrimination law to address such traits as sexual orientation and transgender status. The course examines the doctrinal and theoretical aspects of employment discrimination law through a rigorous analysis of court decisions, statutes and regulations; explores the public policy issues underlying the law of employment discrimination; and discusses the strategic and tactical approaches a practicing attorney will consider in actually utilizing these laws to represent clients.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Evidence and Professional Responsibility.

LAW 150 v05 Employment Discrimination

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course explores the legal mandate for equal employment opportunity in relation to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and other protected categories. The course examines the doctrinal and theoretical aspects of employment discrimination law through a rigorous analysis of court decisions, statutes and regulations. The primary focus will be on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and related state and local laws. Legal readings will be supplemented with perspectives from psychology, sociology, and economics. We will also discuss the strategic and tactical approaches a practicing attorney will consider in actually utilizing these laws to represent clients.

LAW 263 v02 Employment Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course surveys the law regulating the fundamentals of the employee-employer relationship and examines a variety of public policy questions relating to employment standards regulation. The subjects covered may include: the common law doctrine of at-will employment and the development of contract and tort exceptions to that doctrine; statutory efforts to protect employees from wrongful discharge; the law of work-related invasions of privacy (e.g., drug-testing, genetic screening, polygraphs, etc.); the National Labor Relations Act; the regulation of employment compensation (e.g., Fair Labor Standards Act, prevailing wage laws); the regulation of workplace health and safety (e.g., Occupational Safety and Health Act). This course may also cover the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and workers compensation.

LAW 263 v03 Employment Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course examines the relationship between individual workers and their employers. Among the topics to be covered are the doctrine of employment at will and its common law modifications; employee privacy; the employer’s legal rights to own or control employees’ loyalty, skills, and intellectual products; wage and hour regulation; workplace health and safety; and mandatory arbitration of employment disputes.  The course will not cover anti-discrimination law or labor law.  Students who are considering either field as an area of practice are strongly advised to take the separate courses that focus exclusively on each of these topics.

LAW 1860 v00 Energy Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course covers the foundational legal and policy frameworks for energy systems in the United States, including: the management, development, transportation, and use of energy resources; the generation and transmission of electricity; and the future of energy systems. Throughout the course, students will engage with enduring themes of energy law: markets v. regulation; governance choices (including federalism); and the law’s approach to climate change and social justice with respect to energy resources. The professor will use a traditional textbook as well as contemporary case studies to offer students opportunities to test and apply their knowledge throughout the course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon the conclusion of the course, students will be able to comprehend, apply, analyze, and synthesize key energy-related statutes and regulations administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy, as well as typical frameworks administered by state public utility commissions and other state energy agencies.
  • Students will also be able to engage the core themes of energy law to analyze and critique existing legal regimes and new policy proposals.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Energy Law and Policy.

LAW 1472 v00 Energy Law and Policy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will present the framework for the governance of energy production, distribution and use in the United States, and provide a foundation for future coursework on these subjects. While the course will focus primarily on U.S. law, it will address some international subjects and examples. Topics will include the evolving U.S. fuel mix and market dynamics, utility restructuring and grid modernization, roles of state and federal governments, the role of different policymakers and regulatory bodies in overseeing U.S. energy systems, relevant environmental laws, and emerging policy issues. There are no prerequisites, although experience with administrative law or environmental law would be beneficial.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Substantive expertise
    • The physical nature of the energy system (how it is produced, distributed, and used)
    • Common terminology and acronyms related to energy and its regulation
    • Key statutes and regulations applying to energy production, distribution and use, and key cases interpreting this legal framework
    • Current issues being debated in energy law
  2. Understanding of governance structure
    • The roles and responsibilities of different policymakers and regulators (e.g., economic regulators, environmental regulators, natural resource managers, legislators) and how they relate to each other
    • State and federal responsibilities in overseeing the energy system
  3. Legal and policy skills
    • How to explore questions of regulatory authority by state and federal agencies
    • How to write analytically about legal and policy questions

Recommended: Administrative Law, Environmental Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Energy Law.

LAW 2009 v01 Energy Markets in Transition

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Energy markets are transitioning rapidly toward a lower carbon future in response to federal and state initiatives and the sentiments of activists, consumers and investors.  This transition is creating business opportunities and legal challenges not only for new entrants, such as the providers of renewable energy, energy storage and distributed energy resources, but also for incumbent market participants, such as utilities, pipelines, natural gas producers, independent power producers and large energy consumers. The course will focus on the economic regulation of physical energy markets by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), along with the interplay involving the Congress, federal and state regulators, market participants and other stakeholders.  We will examine five main areas: (i) the foundational laws (the Federal Power Act and Natural Gas Act) and legal doctrines governing FERC’s regulation of physical energy markets and the non-discriminatory transmission of electricity and natural gas by wire and pipe; (ii) the impact of restructuring wholesale electric power and natural gas markets pursuant to those laws; (iii) energy market enforcement and compliance policies, derived in large part from securities market regulation; (iv) what generation, transmission and pipeline infrastructure will be needed to ensure reliability and resilience as we transition to a lower carbon future; and (v) “hot topics” such as carbon pricing in organized wholesale electricity markets, the shale gas revolution, federal-state conflicts, pipeline and electric transmission infrastructure development and cost allocation, and integrating distributed resources and renewables  Students will gain an appreciation for the legal and market challenges confronted by market participants during this transition. One or more sessions will feature guest lecturers. There will be no final examination. Instead, each student’s grade will be based on a final paper that takes a position on a key legal or policy issue and defends that position persuasively, several short quizzes during the semester, and class participation.

LAW 142 v02 Energy Problems Seminar: Climate Change and Other Energy Issues

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar considers economic, political, and legal aspects of current problems in the petroleum, natural gas, electrical, nuclear, coal and alternative energy industries with particular focus on global warming and the impact of climate change policies on energy use in the United States and abroad. In addition to the connection between global warming and energy, the seminar will examine: (1) the nexus between U.S. energy policy and Middle East wars and diplomacy; (2) the future of energy deregulation; (3) tensions between state and federal efforts to address energy issues; and (4) the problems and prospects of introducing new fuels and fuel sources, including nuclear, hydrogen, and renewables, into the U.S. and world economies. As these subjects sweep across the entire economy, they touch upon several fields of law: administrative law, antitrust, constitutional law, environmental law, oil and gas law, public utility regulation, and international law (both public and private).

Note: This seminar requires a paper. Students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The 3 credit section is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 1737 v00 Entertainment Disputes

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course examines the types of disputes that generally arise in the entertainment industry and the various methods by which such disputes are resolved such as litigation, arbitration, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The course will incorporate a mix of “hands-on” assignments, written and oral, that will endeavor to provide actual advocacy, negotiation, and courtroom/arbitration/mediation experience. Finally, we will be joined in a few classes by special guest lecturers with expertise on these issues. 

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Copyright Law or Entertainment Law or prior enrollment in Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Note: Enrollment for this course is restricted to third and fourth year J.D. students. 

FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.  

LAW 137 v03 Entertainment Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course will explore legal and business issues that arise in connection with the development, production and exploitation of entertainment product, with a primary focus on theatrical motion pictures, television and digital content. Topics will include contracts and contractual relations in the entertainment industry; individual and publicity rights; protection of literary material; the protection of ideas; representation of clients in the entertainment industry; issues raised by exploitation of entertainment works in the distribution chain; the roles of agents, managers and creative executives; and so-called “backend” participation accounting. We will explore how digital innovation and technology has dramatically transformed the production and distribution of content and how relevant law, public policy and business principles apply to this industry (including the role of copyright and antitrust throughout the history of the business). The class will strive to emphasize real-world lawyering and how to advance a client's interests through careful business analysis, the crafting of contract language and legal interpretation.

Class participation is encouraged and will form some part of the grade.

Recommended: Copyright Law and/or Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

LAW 656 v00 Entrepreneurship and the Law: Evaluating Client Business Plans and Growth Strategies

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This two-credit course will focus on the processes and challenges of entrepreneurship and the legal and strategic roles that a lawyer plays as an advisor to early-stage and rapid-growth companies. Topics will include: the entrepreneurial mindset, capital formation, resource management, forecasts and projections, leadership and team building, the entrepreneur-attorney relationship, leveraging intellectual capital and related growth strategies. Students will work in teams on mid-term assignments and a final assignment that will include analyzing a business plan. The goal of these exercises is to develop the skills that are essential to the evaluation of business plans and strategic growth of companies and to build an advisory skill set. Guest speakers will include entrepreneurial leaders, accountants, investment bankers and others involved in the entrepreneurial advisory process. Students who are interested in representing and advising entrepreneurs and start-up companies or in becoming entrepreneurs themselves will benefit from this class. This class also will be beneficial for JD/MBA joint degree students.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Recommended: Corporate Taxation (formerly Taxation II).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Entrepreneurship: The Lifecycle of a Business.

LAW 1617 v00 Entrepreneurship: The Lifecycle of a Business

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is targeted towards law students who are interested in participating in an entrepreneurial venture at some point in their career, whether in a business or legal role (i.e., as internal or external advisor).  To be clear, it is a business class, not a traditional law class, although legal issues will be highlighted and addressed throughout, as they would be if taught to business students since business and legal issues are always closely intertwined. The primary objective of this course is to give students an understanding of and appreciation for the primary and critical steps in the lifecycle of a start-up, from inception to raising capital to scaling/business execution to exit. 

The course takes a real-world approach to learning, leveraging heavily off the extensive experience of the Professor, who has successfully executed two entrepreneurial ventures, as well as guest speakers with particular expertise in certain topics covered by the course and a simulation group exercise involving a real-life start-up scenario.  This perspective should help prepare students for the real-life challenges – and rewards – of engaging in entrepreneurship and business building.  This course is aimed at law students who are interested in participating in an entrepreneurial venture at some point in their career, whether in a business or legal role (i.e., as internal or external advisor).  

Course Goals / Student Learning Outcomes:

  • At the end of the class, students will understand how to, among other important topics:
    • start and structure a business with the right team and idea;
    • draft an effective business plan and raise capital from different sources;
    • build a collaborative company culture and infrastructure for scalability; and
    • exit the business while maximizing value.
  • The goal is to give students an understanding of and appreciation for the primary steps in the lifecycle of a start-up, from inception to raising capital to scaling/business execution to exit.
  • Students will gain an appreciation for the practical requirements and challenges (and rewards) of starting and building a business, as well as the attendant legal issues at each step in the start-up process.

Recommended: Corporations. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Entrepreneurship and the Law: Evaluating Client Business Plans and Growth Strategies.

LAW 1702 v00 Environmental Advocacy Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

In a warming world, environmental advocacy is more important than ever. This course explores an array of discourses – from art, literature, religion, and psychology, to science, economics, and law – and an array of strategies – from direct action, to community building, to lawsuits – environmental advocates might embrace in pursuing their cause. We will explore the potential contributions of non-legal environmental discourses and strategies to legal argument, and the potential contributions of law to these discourses and strategies. One basic aim of the course is for you to see the possibility that progress on environmental protection might come through discourses other than law and through strategies other than lawsuits, while also appreciating the profound role law plays in shaping the environment we have today.  Another is to help you think about what kind of advocate you hope to be.

Recommended: Recommended but not required: Prior or concurrent enrollment in environmental law, natural resources law, or international environmental law.

LAW 1855 v00 Environmental Justice Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This discussion seminar will explore topics in environmental justice from a range of perspectives, including historical accounts of the environmental justice movement, contemporary proposals as to how to respond to unfolding ecological crises, relevant case law and litigation, proposed legislation, domestic and international advocacy efforts, as well as imaginative literature and creative nonfiction. Our goals will be to arrive at a deeper understanding of pressing environmental problems, and, most important, to generate an array of compelling answers to the question, “what is to be done?”

We will begin by exploring accounts of our current environmental crises, their causes and impending consequences, and studying the beginnings of the environmental justice movement, which has sought for several decades to confront the racial and economic inequity of ecological harm. Our second meeting will explore several compelling contemporary proposals to address our current circumstances, ranging from domestic legislation and international diplomacy to organizing for a Global Green New Deal. In our third meeting we will focus on obstacles that impede meaningful change, both economic and political frameworks as well as legal efforts to preserve the status quo. Next, we will turn to creative nonfiction that explores various ways to think and work against these barriers towards a more sustainable and just future. Our fifth meeting will consider imaginative literature and art addressing the climate crisis to further expand our own imaginative horizons. Following our efforts to understand the potential and limits of past efforts to realize greater environmental justice, our sixth meeting will examine recent work addressing future possibilities for social movement advocacy, domestic and international organizing, litigation and legislation, and pushing for more fundamental changes to structures of collective governance and social life. In this penultimate week, we will read work associated with ecofeminist movements, indigenous environmental justice formations, the Black Hive of the Movement for Black Lives, the Sunrise Movement and other contemporary movement formations. In our final meeting, each seminar participant will share with the group a brief account of one additional idea and course of action they believe to offer an especially powerful response to our shared question, “what is to be done, now?”

Note: FIRST AND SECOND CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

 

LAW 1274 v02 Environmental Justice: Law, Policy & Regulation

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will introduce the concept of Environmental Justice in a variety of contexts, along with the specific legal challenges and remedies that arise from constitutional rights, statutory requirements, or executive actions. It will explore the frameworks that inform the analysis of environmental justice issues, including how an environmental justice lens can be applied to a wide range of areas to ensure access and equity focus efforts to resolve these complex issues.

Learning Objectives:

The primary learning objective for this course is to introduce to students how to incorporate environmental justice principles into their perspective and analyses of legal and policy issues. The course will seek to accomplish this through developing the following skills/competencies: (1) developing frameworks for answering fundamental environmental law questions and how environmental justice law can be used to enhance problem-solving to answer those questions; (2) identifying and applying existing laws and remedies to resolve environmental justice issues; and (3) developing creative environmental legal problem solving that addresses inadequacies of current law and its enforcement.

Recommended: Environmental Law.

LAW 146 v01 Environmental Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course covers the key laws developed to control pollution. The main focus of the course is on current statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Superfund Act (CERCLA and SARA), and the Clean Air Act. Other statutes, such as the Oil Pollution Act, as well as climate change, are addressed briefly. Common law and pre-1970s efforts to develop law to obtain control are also reviewed. Relying on their practical experience, the instructors address application and interpretation of the statutes, Congressional actions to extend and modify the statutes, regulatory implementation of the statutes by executive agencies, enforcement policy and practice, the role of states, citizens' groups and industry, and private efforts at clean-up. The professors use problems to help students understand the practical application of the statutes in real-world contexts.

Strongly Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Administrative Law.

LAW 146 v08 Environmental Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course focuses on legal strategies to regulate and remedy environmental harms. The course is designed to prepare transactional lawyers, regulatory lawyers, government counsel and litigators, as well as students interested in specializing in environmental law. A major goal of the course is to introduce students to the analytical skills necessary to understand and work in this and other predominantly statutory and regulatory fields. The course starts by reviewing economic, ecological and historical perspectives on protection of the environment. We also briefly cover common law environmental claims. We then turn to several cross-cutting public environmental law issues, namely discussion of regulatory design choices, federalism issues, a brief introduction to important administrative law concepts, cases, and doctrine, and analysis of the role of citizens as enforcers under US environmental laws. We then turn to in-depth analysis of key portions of several of the most significant federal environmental laws, including hazardous waste cleanup laws, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. We will also look at the developing body of law regarding climate change.

LAW 146 v10 Environmental Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Between New Year’s Day in 1970 and December of 1980, Congress enacted most of our major federal environmental statutes. To this day, these laws, as amended, form the core of this country’s approach to addressing environmental problems. All of the laws aim to achieve cleaner water, air, and land, while at the same time taking very different approaches to doing so. This course will introduce you to the major federal statutes on environmental protection, including but not limited to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Superfund law. You will come to understand the basic regulatory goals and mechanisms of these laws. You will also learn how one might choose among these goals and mechanisms in fashioning environmental policy. Ideally, you will come away with an informed judgment about how far we have come in protecting the environment and how far we still have to go.

Recommended: Administrative Law or a first-year elective on legislation and/or regulation.

LAW 528 v03 Environmental Law and Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 156 v01 Environmental Research Workshop

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Students in this class will have an opportunity to study, comment on, and develop scholarship of their own regarding environmental law and policy. The class will include introductory materials and discussion about attributes and methods of environmental scholarship.  Then the workshop will introduce you to some of the best academic scholars in environmental law who will present a work-in-progress.  In both advance written comments and through workshop discussion, students will engage presenting scholars regarding their scholarship.  Depending on the presenters’ paper subjects and others’ availability, the workshop might also include a few classes with responsive comments from an outside visitor from government, not-for-profits, law firms, businesses, or legal academe.

Students can fulfill their Georgetown Law upper level writing requirement with an opportunity to produce substantial, publishable legal scholarship on a topic related to environmental, energy, or natural resource law, broadly defined, and receive three credits for their efforts.  All students will provide all speakers and the professor with at least brief (no more than one page) of advance comments and questions.  Two credit students will provide more in-depth comments to three speakers and the professor, with such comments expected to be five pages in length and reflect careful reading of both the paper and, as necessary to provide knowledgeable comments, draw on selective delving into other scholarly or primary materials relevant to, or referenced in, the presented paper.  Our last session together will include a bit of debriefing, but will mainly be a session for three credit students to present their drafts and receive comments.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 754 v01 Epidemiology for Lawyers

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Increasingly, lawyers and policymakers are confronted with the need to evaluate scientific research about causes of good or ill health. Should the family of a person who was exposed to asbestos and later died of lung cancer sue? At what level should mercury in tuna violate regulatory standards? What measures can be employed to control the spread of an Ebola outbreak or to prevent obesity? Will mandatory quarantines save lives if a bioterrorist releases anthrax in a major city?

This class will provide students with a basic toolset in public health’s empirical methods.  Disciplines such as epidemiology, risk assessment, and biostatistics provide ways to systematically evaluate proposed policy and search for answers in the quest for better health. To illustrate how these methods are deployed in practice, we will discuss case studies from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Zika virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and novel avian influenza, among others. We will also examine US domestic health issues that engage questions of law, policy, and democracy.

Students who successfully complete this class will not be trained to be professional scientists. However, students will be able to:

(1) Understand fundamental epidemiological concepts;  

(2) Interpret health data and research; 

(3) Critically evaluate empirical claims;

(4) Identify when assistance from health experts is required; and

(5) Apply learnings to the development of policy and laws.

Lawyers with training in epidemiology will be able to more effectively respond to emerging and persistent issues in our complex society, whether they practice in health law, torts, environmental regulation, law enforcement, or human rights.  

Note: NOTE: In the Spring 2022 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

Not intended for MPH students. No prior knowledge of Epidemiology is assumed.

WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 10, 2022 through Thursday, January 13, 2022, 1:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 2042 v01 Ethics in Tax Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course provides students with an opportunity to consider and address the ethical issues that attorneys frequently encounter in different kinds of modern-day tax practice, either tax planning or controversy. Such contemporary issues relate to conflicts of interest, evidentiary privileges and confidentiality duties, tax return preparer penalties, tax opinion standards, tax shelters, federal-court petitions for injunctive relief and for review under the Administrative Procedure Act, and rules governing disciplinary proceedings. To help students to grapple with these issues, both individually and in collaboration with fellow students, this course will provide a legal framework and tools to analyze and address the tax lawyer's legal and professional obligations under the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as adopted by state disciplinary authorities, Treasury Department Circular No. 230 (the regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service), and the Internal Revenue Code’s penalty provisions.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: NOTE FOR SUMMER 2024: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom.

This is a distance-learning section. Students enrolled in the Executive LL.M. in Taxation, the Executive LL.M. in Securities & Financial Regulation, the MSL program, and the certificate in State and Local Taxation may take this course on a distance basis. All J.D. students and resident LL.M. students may not enroll in this course on a distance basis. 

LAW 462 v00 EU Law: Selected Topics in ECJ Jurisprudence

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

The course examines the role the European Court of Justice plays in the evolution of private law in Europe. It focuses on the way in which the court has interpreted the EU Treaty in order to ensure effectiveness of EU law, and analyzes some of the landmark cases in that area. The course also shows how the ECJ has dealt with the interpretation of directives, particularly in the field of consumer protection, and what impact this case law has on national law making.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam dates TBA.  This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 487 v02 EU Tax Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Tax harmonization within the European Union is very difficult to achieve. Most legislative measures of the European Union in this area require the consensus of all 27 member states. The only real engine of harmonization seems to be the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ itself cannot harmonize the tax systems, however, the Court can force the member states to open their tax systems for tax competition within Europe. The judgments delivered by the ECJ are most of the time very surprising, even to experts.

The course focuses on very recent judgments of the Court of Justice. By analyzing some selected judgments, students should learn about the guiding principles of European tax law, as they have been developed by the ECJ on a case to case basis, and about the approach of the Court and the role the Court plays. Students should get an impression about possible future developments of European tax law.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed during the week of January 18 and January 25, 2025.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1665 v00 European Patent Law & Practice

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Many of the high profile patent cases conducted in Germany concerned European Patents held by US companies (e.g. Qualcomm vs. Apple, Microsoft vs. Google/Motorola, InterDigital vs. Xiaomi).  It is standard procedure for US companies to litigate their European Patents in Germany as the most important venue for patent infringement lawsuits in Europe.

This course is designed to help students advise US clients when they consider filing patent infringement lawsuits in Europe or when they have to defend against allegations of patent infringement on German territory. At the end of the course, students will have acquired a basic understanding of patent litigation in Europe and of international patent law in general. This course provides an opportunity for students to understand all phases of a patent trial in Germany and before the prospective Unified Patent Court (UPC). It combines  elements of lecture and case studies, whereby the focus is laid on case studies.

Initially the course will provide an introduction to the principles of European patent law. A focus will be placed on patent infringement and nullity proceedings regarding European Patents in Germany. Especially the implications of the German bifurcation principle will be explored.  

In the second part, the course will conduct an in-depth case study of a recent patent infringement case which has been tried in Germany. The strategies both in the first instance and on appeal level will be explored. The case study will focus on the strategies of attorneys acting on behalf of patent holders and/or patent infringers. Issues of material law (literal patent infringement, infringement under the doctrine of equivalence) as well as procedural law (venue, enforcement) will be covered. 

In the following, the law relating to the enforcement of standard-essential patents (SEP) in Europe as established by the Court of Justice of the European Union and as applied by the national courts will be explained. Also the hotly debated anti-suit injunctions directed against litigation in Europe will be considered.

Given the range of competencies covered and type of work assigned, this course is recommended for students who intend to practice patent law.  

Prerequisite: Patent Law.

Note: NOTE: In the Spring 2022 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 10, 2022, through Friday, January 14, 2022, 2:55 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed between January 21 and January 28, 2022.  This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 816 v08 European Union Law: Foundations and International Reach

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

How -- and with what legal capacities -- can the European Union address challenges to its foreign policy and security interests like the war in Ukraine?  How has the EU led the way globally in establishing rules for the digital economy, in areas ranging from data protection law to dominant platform services?  How is the EU adapting to major changes in the global trade and investment system, ranging from a new focus on economic security to the retreat from investor-state dispute settlement?  What legal tools can “Brussels” deploy to rein in illiberal EU member states?  What is the legal and economic relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU following Brexit?
This two-credit survey tackles these and other topics in the course of providing a comprehensive introduction to the scope and operation of the law of the European Union. The first part of the course begins by focusing on the key legal and political dimensions of European integration. We next examine the EU judiciary and its relationship to national constitutional courts, followed by consideration of the EU’s increasingly important fundamental rights and rule of law frameworks. Our examination of the EU’s foundations concludes with the EU’s singular economic and political accomplishment, the Single Market.  
In the second part, we turn to several dimensions of the EU’s extensive international reach.  We focus on its role as an international actor, for example through adoption of economic sanctions, and on EU law governing external trade and foreign investment.  Several classes take up the EU’s growing body of legislation and jurisprudence on the digital economy, most notably its leadership on data protection, data privacy and the multifaceted regulation of large digital platforms. The EU’s response to the Ukraine war, and its expanding role in the security and defense area, is also considered.  Topical political, economic and institutional developments are addressed throughout the term.

The course has no prerequisites. International Law or related courses may be useful at the margins. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognizing and appreciating the legal fundamentals and doctrines that underpin the European Union, the historical and current context in which European integration has evolved, and the nature of the relationship between EU institutions and Member States.
  • Understanding general structure and specific instruments of EU primary and secondary law, in particular the text of essential articles in the EU Treaties, as well as gaining facility in identifying and working with a variety of EU law source materials.
  • Connecting and applying legal understandings to current/ongoing political developments involving the EU, member states and third countries, including by producing a professional-caliber legal research memorandum on an EU law topic of personal interest or selected from a list provided by the instructors.

Recommended: International Law or related courses may be useful at the margins.

LAW 1749 v00 Evenings with Outlaws Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

The goal of this (constitutional law and lit) seminar is to see what we can learn from those who, by choice or otherwise, find themselves placed outside the law—literally in some cases, metaphorically in all.  These are not figures who are merely challenging the constitutionality of a law or laws; rather, they are demanding a radical overhaul of our very idea of law.  For them, law as it exists has been a means to injustice. In each unit below (other than the Conclusion), I have paired background “lit” readings with constitutional readings.   The units are: 1)  A Covenant with Death?:  Our Founding Documents and Original Meaning (paired with Dred Scott); 2) Slavery by Another Name:  Prison Lit, Race, and Law (paired with case law interpreting the Thirteenth Amendment); 3) Fighting Faiths:  Archetypes of the Religious Outlaw (paired with case law interpreting the Free Exercise Clause); and 4) Outlaw Pedagogy (paired with case law on parental rights).  We’ll conclude the semester by looking at two very different presentations of the trial as a forum for justice:  “The Trial of Socrates” (Plato) and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”  The first is a tribute to law even when the law is manifestly unjust; the second is a bold (and often hilarious) mockery of the entire process. 

For their seminar papers, students will write about one figure or one work not covered in class.  For example, a student could write on Camus’ The Stranger as a portrait of the existential outlaw and provide an existentialist critique of a classically liberal constitutionalism.  Or, a student might focus on an author/work to consider whether the Constitution’s notion of equal protection can accommodate a genderqueer assault on the “naturalness” of binary gender categories.  Obviously, there are many, many worthwhile candidates.   Student work will meet all the upper-level writing requirements.

Cautionary note:  This course deals with sensitive, even volatile, subject matter.  Some subjects will be difficult, perhaps even painful, to discuss.  Some texts contain offensive language.  I expect all discussion to be conducted with courtesy, respect, sensitivity, and compassion.  Like all seminars, this one ought to be a forum for hard-earned learning:  a place where we can consider new ideas and reconsider old ones.  I make no claim to expertise in our “lit” subjects.  I will be learning along with you.  I hope that students will be full participants in suggesting additions to our reading list, in proposing new topical units for consideration, and in thinking boldly about how this seminar may evolve. 

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

NOTE: For the Fall 2021 semester, mandatory first class attendance rules will not be enforced for this course. Enrolled students will not be dropped if not in attendance at the start of the first class, and waitlisted students will remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist if not in attendance at the start of the first class. 

LAW 165 v01 Evidence

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course studies the rules of evidence and the reasons underlying these rules. Included are the subjects of relevance, examination of witnesses, privileges, expert testimony, admission and exclusion of evidence, writings, the hearsay rule and its exceptions, presumptions and scientific evidence, among other subjects relating to the regulation of proof at trials.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society) or Criminal Procedure or Criminal Law.

LAW 165 v04 Evidence

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course is a study of the Anglo-American rules of proof, focusing on the Federal Rules of Evidence. The scope and function of the rules are examined against the backdrop of problems arising in the trial of issues of fact. Topics include relevance, impeachment, character evidence, hearsay and its exceptions, lay opinion and expert testimony, the best evidence rule and authentication.

Recommended: Criminal Justice and/or Criminal Law. Students who have a question about whether their prior course in these topics will provide sufficient background may contact Prof. Rostain at tr238@georgetown.edu.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

In Fall 2024, class will meet for three hours each week, with fourth hour of weekly course content delivered asynchronously.

LAW 165 v07 Evidence

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course is devoted to creating in the students a thorough understanding of the Federal Rules of Evidence. While cases interpreting the rules will be studied, emphasis will be placed on creating in the students such a familiarity with these Rules that the students will be able to invoke them instinctively in the mere seconds a lawyer has to object to evidence. Understanding of each rule will be developed by the students applying each Rule to realistic problems. The professor, who was a judge, will attempt to create a courtroom in the class room and to teach the knowledge that a lawyer must have to try a case competently and in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Learning Objectives:

The learning objectives of this course are: (1) to understand the meaning and application of each of the Federal Rules of Evidence; (2) to appreciate how the courts have interpreted these Rules and what questions of their interpretation remain open and debatable; (3) to understand the restraints imposed upon the receipt of evidence by the constitutional rights to present a defense and to confront the witnesses against one self; (4) to have such a comprehensive understanding of the Rules and their application that the student will be able to object or respond to an objection to the receipt of evidence in the limited time permitted by the reality of trying a case to a jury; (5) to be able to try a case in a federal court competently because of one's knowledge of the Federal Rules of Evidence; (6) to appreciate the ethical requirement of being a competent trial lawyer and (7) to develop the knowledge necessary to be a competent lawyer in any proceeding where evidence is received.

Recommended: Civil Procedure (or the equivalent Legal Process and Society) or Criminal Procedure or Criminal Law.

LAW 165 v09 Evidence

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course will examine the rules of evidence with a particular focus on how these rules are practically applied by litigators in the courtroom. The course will focus primarily on the Federal Rules of Evidence, with additional consideration given to recent developments in constitutional law. Topics covered in this course will include relevance, hearsay (and its many exceptions), expert evidence, lay and expert opinion, character evidence, and impeachment of witness. We will consider these rules pragmatically with an eye toward crafting the most effective arguments for an audience of judges.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will analyze case law, including a close reading of cases and apply that law to fact
  2. Students will assess advocacy strategies by comparing the usefulness of different arguments in the courtroom
  3. Students will practice making and responding to objections with the goal of being able to quickly make such arguments in the courtroom
  4. Students will understand the policy arguments underlying the Rules of Evidence with the goal of being able to more fully understand their purpose.

Recommended: Civil Procedure (or the equivalent Legal Process and Society) or Criminal Procedure or Criminal Law.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course at a later date. Date TBA.

LAW 165 v10 Evidence

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course studies the Federal Rules of Evidence and the application of those rules in litigation. Included are the subjects of relevance, the hearsay rule and its exceptions, examination of witnesses, privileges, expert testimony, presumptions and scientific evidence, among other subjects relating to the regulation of proof at trials.

Learning Objectives:

Provide students with a working knowledge of how the rules of evidence are applied in court so that they can use that knowledge to be better trial attorneys and to better prepare for the bar exam.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society) or Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure or Criminal Law.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

LAW 1922 v00 Expelled from Democracy: A Legislative and Contemporary Analysis of Voting Rights and Incarceration

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course provides a comprehensive examination of the history of voting rights in the United States, with a specific focus on the disenfranchisement of incarcerated individuals. Beginning with an exploration of the foundational principles of voting rights in America, students will trace the evolution of suffrage from the founding era to the present day, analyzing key legislative and judicial developments at the federal and state levels. The course will then shift its focus to the disenfranchisement of incarcerated individuals, exploring the historical origins, rationales, and legal frameworks underlying this practice. The course will challenge the students’ ability to think critically about the law’s claim to neutrality and its differential effects on incarcerated individuals as members of subordinated groups, including those identified by race, gender, indigeneity, and class. Through case studies, legislative analysis, and guest lectures, students will examine the disparate impact of disenfranchisement policies on marginalized communities and explore contemporary efforts to restore voting rights to incarcerated individuals. By the end of the course, students will develop a nuanced understanding of the intersection of voting rights and incarceration, gain practical insights into legislative advocacy and reform efforts, and be equipped to critically engage with issues of democracy, equality, and justice in the modern era.

LAW 1491 v00 Externship I Seminar (J.D. Externship Program)

J.D. Externship Seminar | 3-4 credit hours

In the J.D. Externship Program, students work under the supervision of a field supervisor attorney to gain substantial lawyering experience. Working in collaboration with their field supervisors, students establish individualized learning goals for their experience and receive ongoing feedback in a real world practice setting. At the Law Center, students participate in a companion seminar to reinforce their field placement experiences. Through the seminar, students consider essential topics involving professionalism, ethics, professional identity, legal problem-solving, work-life integration, and the role of a lawyer. Through regular classroom engagement, students enhance their learning at the field placement and develop critical reflective practices that they will use throughout their careers.

Please refer to the J.D. Externship Program website for detailed program information.

Identifying a Placement:

Students are responsible for finding their own judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placements. The Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is available, by appointment, to discuss potential externship opportunities. In addition, the J.D. Externship Program has resources to help students identify an externship placement.

Fieldwork:

Students work for 18.5 or 27.5 hours per week for at least 6 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must conduct their fieldwork on-site to the maximum extent permitted by their field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Students may be compensated for the work at their qualifying government, judicial, or nonprofit placement. Students may not work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 18.5 hours of fieldwork/week for at least 6 weeks or 3 pass/fail credits for 27.5 hours of fieldwork/week for at least 6 weeks. During the summer session, students are permitted to extern at judicial, government, or nonprofit entities anywhere in the United States.

Note: Students can begin working toward their hours requirement (110 or 165 hours total) from the first day of the Summer Session. Students must complete their hours requirement by the last day of classes.

Note: In externships, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students' work in this course.

Note: Students must start their externships by June 7 or they will be withdrawn from the Summer 2024 J.D. Externship Program, including the companion seminar.

Seminar:

In addition to their field work, students participate in an interactive, one credit, letter-graded seminar, incorporating multiple opportunities for students' performance of various professional lawyering skills and development of professional competencies that are universal to numerous legal settings. The seminar meets approximately weekly (six times total) during the summer session. ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL SIX CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must timely attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

To receive academic credit, students must, at a minimum: (i) fulfill their applicable fieldwork hours requirement by the last day of classes; (ii) attend, participate in, and timely complete all assignments for the six externship seminar classes; (iii) receive a satisfactory Field Supervisor End-of-Summer Evaluation; and (iv) complete and submit all administrative assignments in a timely manner, including but not limited to:

  • The Rule 304(d) Agreement;
  • Weekly time sheets; and
  • The Student End-of-Summer Placement Evaluation.

Grading:

The fieldwork components of externships are mandatory pass/fail offerings and do not count towards the seven-credit limit on pass/fail courses. The one-credit seminar is letter-graded.

Registration:

To participate in the Summer 2024 J.D. Externship Program, students must first successfully complete the externship application, after they have secured a qualifying field placement. Upon application approval, students must then enroll and/or waitlist themselves, via MyAccess, for an applicable externship seminar.

The Summer 2024 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Monday, April 1, 2024 and will close on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Any eligible J.D. students who apply during this period with a qualifying externship placement will receive a seat in the summer externship program, although we cannot guarantee that the proffered seat will be in the student’s top seminar choice. Once the summer externship application opens, the application link will be available on the J.D. Externship Program website.

To the extent that there are still available seats in the summer externship program after the guaranteed application period closes, the Summer 2024 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 and will close on Monday, May 20, 2024.

For additional information on the summer externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2024-25 Academic Year J.D. Externship Program Student Extern Manual.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

One Externship I Seminar will be taught, via Zoom, using a distance learning model. If a student wishes to enroll in a distance externship seminar but will not have completed 28 credits or more by the beginning of the summer session, in advance of enrolling in the distance course, it is STRONGLY ADVISED that they review the rules related to distance education courses for the jurisdiction(s) in which they intend to sit for the bar examination.

The seminar is only open to J.D. students participating in the J.D. Externship Seminar for the first time. If you have previously received academic credit for an externship through the J.D. Externship Program, you must enroll in the Externship II Seminar.

Students who enroll in this course are responsible for enrolling in the seminar and fieldwork components as well. In order to enroll, students must add the course and the accompanying seminar and fieldwork sections in MyAccess simultaneously. The CRNs for the seminar and fieldwork sections can be found below in the “Class Notes” section. The seminar and fieldwork components may not be taken separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic, fieldwork practicum, or other externship course.

LAW 1491 v01 Externship I Seminar (J.D. Externship Program)

J.D. Externship Seminar | 3-4 credit hours

In the J.D. Externship Program, students work under the supervision of a field supervisor attorney to gain substantial lawyering experience. Working in collaboration with their field supervisors, students establish individualized learning goals for their experience and receive ongoing feedback in a real-world practice setting. At the Law Center, students participate in a companion seminar to reinforce their field placement experiences. Through the seminar, students consider essential topics involving professionalism, ethics, cultural competency, professional identity, legal problem-solving, work-life integration, and the role of a lawyer. Through regular classroom engagement, students enhance their learning at the field placement and develop critical reflective practices that they will use throughout their careers.

Please refer to the J.D. Externship Program website for detailed program information.

Identifying a Placement:

Students are responsible for securing their own judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placements. The Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is available, by appointment, to discuss potential externship opportunities. In addition, the J.D. Externship Program has resources to help students identify an externship placement.

FIELDWORK: Students work for 11 or 16.5 hours per week of fieldwork for at least 10 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must conduct their fieldwork on-site to the maximum extent permitted by their field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Students may be compensated for the work at their qualifying government, judicial, or nonprofit placement. Students may not work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 11 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 16.5 hours of fieldwork/week for at least 10 weeks     .

Note: Students can begin working toward the hours/week requirement (110 or 165 hours total) from the first day of regular, semester-long classes. Students must complete the total hours requirement by the last business day of classes.

Note: In externships, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this course.     

Note: Students must start their externships by Friday, September 13, 2024 or they will be withdrawn from the Fall 2024 J.D. Externship Program, including the companion seminar.

SEMINAR: In addition to their fieldwork, students participate in a biweekly (approximately), interactive, one-credit, letter-graded seminar, incorporating multiple opportunities for students' performance of various professional lawyering skills and development of professional competencies that are universal to numerous legal settings.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL SIX CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must timely attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

To receive academic credit, students must, at a minimum: (i) fulfill their applicable fieldwork hours requirement by the last business day of classes; (ii) attend, participate in, and timely complete all assignments for the six externship seminar classes; (iii) receive a satisfactory Field Supervisor End-of-Semester Evaluation; and (iv) complete and submit all administrative assignments in a timely manner, including but not limited to:

  • The Rule 304(d) Agreement;
  • Weekly time sheets; and
  • The Student End-of-Semester Placement Evaluation.

Grading:

The fieldwork components of externships are mandatory pass/fail offerings and do not count towards the seven-credit limit on pass/fail courses. The one-credit seminar is letter-graded.

Registration:

To participate in the Fall 2024 J.D. Externship Program, students must first successfully complete the externship application, after they have secured a qualifying field placement. Upon application approval, students must then enroll and/or waitlist themselves, via MyAccess, for an applicable externship seminar.

The Fall 2024 Guaranteed Externship Application opens on Monday, June 3, 2024 and will close on Sunday, August 11, 2024. Any eligible J.D. students who apply during this period with a qualifying externship placement will receive a seat in the fall externship program, although we cannot guarantee that the proffered seat will be in the student's top seminar choice. Once the fall externship application opens, the application link will be available on the J.D. Externship Program website.

To the extent that there are still available seats in the fall externship program after the guaranteed application period closes, the Fall 2024 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, August 12, 2024, and will close on Monday, August 26, 2024.      

For additional information on the fall externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2024-25 Academic Year J.D. Externship Program Student Extern Manual.    

Prerequisite:

Students must complete the required Georgetown Law first-year program (or seek and receive a waiver of this prerequisite) prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, and their first-year elective.)

Notes:

The seminar is only open to J.D. students participating in the J.D. Externship Seminar for the first time. If you have previously received academic credit for an externship through the J.D. Externship Program, you must enroll in the Externship II Seminar.

Students who enroll in this course are responsible for enrolling in the seminar and fieldwork components as well. In order to enroll, students must add the course and the accompanying seminar and fieldwork sections in MyAccess simultaneously. The CRNs for the seminar and fieldwork sections can be found below in the “Class Notes” section. The seminar and fieldwork components may not be taken separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic, fieldwork practicum, or other externship course.

LAW 1491 v02 Externship I Seminar (J.D. Externship Program)

J.D. Externship Seminar | 3-4 credit hours

In the J.D. Externship Program, students work under the supervision of a field supervisor attorney to gain substantial lawyering experience. Working in collaboration with their field supervisors, students establish individualized learning goals for their experience and receive ongoing feedback in a real-world practice setting. At the Law Center, students participate in a companion seminar to reinforce their field placement experiences. Through the seminar, students consider essential topics involving professionalism, ethics, cultural competency, professional identity, legal problem-solving, work-life integration, and the role of a lawyer. Through regular classroom engagement, students enhance their learning at the field placement and develop critical reflective practices that they will use throughout their careers.

Please refer to the J.D. Externship Program website for detailed program information.

Identifying a Placement:

Students are responsible for securing their own judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placements. The Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is available, by appointment, to discuss potential externship opportunities. In addition, the J.D. Externship Program has resources to help students identify an externship placement.

FIELDWORK: Students work for 11 or 16.5 hours per week for at least 10 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must conduct their fieldwork on-site to the maximum extent permitted by their field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement.    Students may be compensated for the work at their qualifying government, judicial, or nonprofit placement. Students may not work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 11 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 16.5 hours of fieldwork/week.

Note: Students can begin working toward the hours/week requirement (110 or 165 hours total) from the first day of regular, semester-long classes. Students must complete the total hours requirement by the last business day of classes.

Note: In externships, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this course.     

Note: Students must start their externships by Friday, January 31, 2025 or they will be withdrawn from the Spring 2025 J.D. Externship Program, including the companion seminar.

SEMINAR: In addition to their fieldwork, students participate in a biweekly (approximately), interactive, one-credit, letter-graded seminar, incorporating multiple opportunities for students' performance of various professional lawyering skills and development of professional competencies that are universal to numerous legal settings.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL SIX CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must timely attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

To receive academic credit, students must, at a minimum: (i) fulfill their applicable fieldwork hours requirement by the last business day of classes; (ii) attend, participate in, and timely complete all assignments for the six externship seminar classes; (iii) receive a satisfactory Field Supervisor End-of-Semester Evaluation; and (iv) complete and submit all administrative assignments in a timely manner, including but not limited to:

  • The Rule 304(d) Agreement;
  • Weekly time sheets; and
  • The Student End-of-Semester Placement Evaluation.

 Grading:

The fieldwork components of externships are mandatory pass/fail offerings and do not count towards the seven-credit limit on pass/fail courses. The one-credit seminar is letter-graded.

Registration:

To participate in the Spring 2025  J.D. Externship Program, students must first successfully complete the externship application, after they have secured a qualifying field placement. Upon application approval, students must then enroll and/or waitlist themselves, via MyAccess, for an applicable externship seminar.

The Spring 2025 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Tuesday, October 15, 2024 and will close on Friday, January 3, 2025. Any eligible J.D. students who apply during this period with a qualifying externship placement will receive a seat in the spring externship program, although we cannot guarantee that the proffered seat will be in the student's top seminar choice. Once the spring externship application opens, the application link will be available on the J.D. Externship Program website.

To the extent that there are still available seats in the spring externship program after the guaranteed application period closes, the Spring 2025 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, January 6, 2025, and will close on Monday, January 13, 2025.          

For additional information on the spring externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2024-25 Academic Year J.D. Externship Program Student Extern Manual.  

Prerequisite:

J.D. students must complete the required first-year program (or seek and receive a waiver of this prerequisite) prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, and their first-year elective).

Notes:

The seminar is only open to J.D. students participating in the J.D. Externship Seminar for the first time. If you have previously received academic credit for an externship through the J.D. Externship Program, you must enroll in the Externship II Seminar.

Students who enroll in this course are responsible for enrolling in the seminar and fieldwork components as well. In order to enroll, students must add the course and the accompanying seminar and fieldwork sections in MyAccess simultaneously. The CRNs for the seminar and fieldwork sections can be found below in the “Class Notes” section. The seminar and fieldwork components may not be taken separately.  A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic, fieldwork practicum, or other externship course.

LAW 1492 v00 Externship II Seminar (J.D. Externship Program)

J.D. Externship Seminar | 3-4 credit hours

In the J.D. Externship Program, students work under the supervision of a field supervisor attorney to gain substantial lawyering experience. Working in collaboration with their field supervisors, students establish individualized learning goals for their experience and receive ongoing feedback in a real-world practice setting. At the Law Center, students participate in a companion seminar to reinforce their field placement experiences. Through the seminar, students consider essential topics involving professionalism, ethics, professional identity, legal problem-solving, work-life integration, and the role of a lawyer. Through regular classroom engagement, students enhance their learning at the field placement and develop critical reflective practices that they will use throughout their careers.

Please refer to the J.D. Externship Program website for detailed program information.

Identifying a Placement:

Students are responsible for finding their own judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placements. The Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is available, by appointment, to discuss potential externship opportunities. In addition, the J.D. Externship Program has resources to help students identify an externship placement.

Fieldwork:

Students work for 18.5 or 27.5 hours per week for at least 6 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must conduct their fieldwork on-site to the maximum extent permitted by their field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement.

Students may be compensated for the work at their qualifying government, judicial, or nonprofit placement. Students may not work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 18.5 hours of fieldwork/week for at least 6 weeks or 3 pass/fail credits for 27.5 hours of fieldwork/week for at least 6 weeks. During the summer session, students are permitted to extern at judicial, government, or nonprofit entities anywhere in the United States.

Note: Students can begin working toward their hours requirement (110 or 165 hours total) from the first day of the Summer Session. Students must complete their hours requirement by the last day of classes.

Note: In externships, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Course of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students' work in this course.

Note: Students must start their externships by June 7 or they will be withdrawn from the Summer 2024 J.D. Externship Program including the companion seminar.

Seminar:

In addition to their field work, students participate in an interactive one credit, letter-graded seminar, incorporating multiple opportunities for student performance of various professional lawyering skills and development of professional competencies that are universal to numerous legal settings. 

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL SIX CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must timely attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

To receive academic credit, students must, at a minimum: (i) fulfill their applicable fieldwork hours requirement by the last day of classes; (ii) attend, participate in, and timely complete all assignments for the six externship seminar classes; (iii) receive a satisfactory Field Supervisor End-of-Summer Evaluation; and (iv) complete and submit all administrative assignments in a timely manner, including but not limited to:

  • The Rule 304(d) Agreement;
  • Weekly time sheets; and
  • The Student End-of-Summer Placement Evaluation.

Grading:

The fieldwork components of externships are mandatory pass/fail offerings and do not count towards the seven-credit limit on pass/fail courses. The one-credit seminar is letter-graded.

Registration:

To participate in the Summer 2024 J.D. Externship Program, students must first successfully complete the externship application, after they have secured a qualifying field placement. Upon application approval, students must then enroll and/or waitlist themselves, via MyAccess, for an applicable externship seminar.

The Summer 2024 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Monday, April 1, 2024 and will close on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Any eligible J.D. students who apply during this period with a qualifying externship placement will receive a seat in the summer externship program, although we cannot guarantee that the proffered seat will be in the student’s top seminar choice. Once the summer externship application opens, the application link will be available on the J.D. Externship Program website.

To the extent that there are still available seats in the summer externship program after the guaranteed application period closes, the Summer 2024 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 and will close on Monday, May 20, 2024.

For additional information on the summer externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2024-25 Student Extern Manual.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Notes:

The Externship II Seminar will be taught, via Zoom, using a distance learning model. If a student wishes to enroll in a distance externship seminar but will not have completed 28 credits or more by the beginning of the summer session, in advance of enrolling in the distance course, it is STRONGLY ADVISED that they review the rules related to distance education courses for the jurisdiction in which they intend to sit for the bar examination.

This seminar is only open to J.D. students participating in the J.D. Externship Program for the second time. If you are participating in the J.D. Externship Program for the first time, you must enroll in the Externship I Seminar.

Students who enroll in this course are responsible for enrolling in the seminar and fieldwork components as well. In order to enroll, students must add the course and the accompanying seminar and fieldwork sections in MyAccess simultaneously. The CRNs for the seminar and fieldwork sections can be found below in the “Class Notes” section. The seminar and fieldwork components may not be taken separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic, fieldwork practicum, or other externship course.

Note: In Summer 2024, this class will meet on the following dates: 6/3, 6/10, 6/17, 6/24, 7/8, and 7/15.

LAW 1492 v01 Externship II Seminar (J.D. Externship Program)

J.D. Externship Seminar | 3-4 credit hours

In the J.D. Externship Program, students work under the supervision of a field supervisor attorney to gain substantial lawyering experience. Working in collaboration with their field supervisors, students establish individualized learning goals for their experience and receive ongoing feedback in a real-world practice setting. At the Law Center, students participate in a companion seminar to reinforce their field placement experiences. Through the seminar, students consider essential topics involving professionalism, ethics, cultural competency, professional identity, legal problem-solving, work-life integration, and the role of a lawyer. Through regular classroom engagement, students enhance their learning at the field placement and develop critical reflective practices that they will use throughout their careers.

Please refer to the J.D. Externship Program website for detailed program information.

Identifying a Placement:

Students are responsible for securing their own judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. The Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is available, by appointment, to discuss potential externship opportunities. In addition, the J.D. Externship Program has resources to help you identify an externship placement.

FIELDWORK: Students work for 11 or 16.5 hours per week of fieldwork for at least 10 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must conduct their fieldwork on-site to the maximum extent permitted by their field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Students may be compensated for the work at their qualifying government, judicial, or nonprofit placement. Students may not work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 11 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 16.5 hours of fieldwork/week for at least 10 weeks.

Note: Students can begin working toward the hours/week requirement (110 or 165 hours total) from the first day of regular, semester-long classes. Students must complete the total hours requirement by the last business day of classes.    

Note: In externships, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this course.

Note: Students must start their externships by Friday, September 13, 2024 or they will be withdrawn from the Fall 2024 J.D. Externship Program, including the companion seminar.       

SEMINAR: In addition to their fieldwork, students participate in a biweekly (approximately), interactive, one-credit, letter-graded seminar, incorporating multiple opportunities for students' performance of various professional lawyering skills and development of professional competencies that are universal to numerous legal settings.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL SIX CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must timely attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

To receive academic credit, students must, at a minimum: (i) fulfill their applicable fieldwork hours requirement by the last business day of classes; (ii) attend, participate in, and timely complete all assignments for the six externship seminar classes; (iii) receive a satisfactory Field Supervisor End-of-Semester Evaluation; and (iv) complete and submit all administrative assignments in a timely manner, including but not limited to:

  • The Rule 304(d) Agreement;
  • Weekly time sheets; and
  • The Student End-of-Semester Placement Evaluation.

     Grading:

The fieldwork components of externships are mandatory pass/fail offerings and do not count towards the seven-credit limit on pass/fail courses. The one-credit seminar is letter-graded.

Registration:

To participate in the Fall 2024  J.D. Externship Program, students must first successfully complete the externship application, after they have secured a qualifying field placement. Upon application approval, students must then enroll and/or waitlist themselves, via MyAccess, for an applicable externship seminar.

The Fall 2024 Guaranteed Externship Application opens on Monday, June 3, 2024 and will close on Sunday, August 11, 2024. Any eligible J.D. students who apply during this period with a qualifying externship placement will receive a seat in the fall externship program, although we cannot guarantee that the proffered seat will be in the student's top seminar choice. Once the fall externship application opens, the application link will be available on the J.D. Externship Program website.

To the extent that there are still available seats in the fall externship program after the guaranteed application period closes, the Fall 2024 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, August 12, 2024, and will close on Monday, August 26, 2024.      

For additional information on the fall externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2024-25 Academic Year J.D. Externship Program Student Extern Manual.

          Prerequisite:

Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program (or seek and receive a waiver of this prerequisite) prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, and their first-year elective.)

Notes:

The seminar is only open to J.D. students participating in the J.D. Externship Seminar for the second time. If you are participating in the J.D. Externship Program for the first time, you must enroll in the Externship I Seminar.

Students who enroll in this course are responsible for enrolling in the seminar and fieldwork components as well. In order to enroll, students must add the course and the accompanying seminar and fieldwork sections in MyAccess simultaneously. The CRNs for the seminar and fieldwork sections can be found below in the “Class Notes” section. The seminar and fieldwork components may not be taken separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic, fieldwork practicum, or other externship course.

LAW 1492 v02 Externship II Seminar (J.D. Externship Program)

J.D. Externship Seminar | 3-4 credit hours

In the J.D. Externship Program, students work under the supervision of a field supervisor attorney to gain substantial lawyering experience. Working in collaboration with their field supervisors, students establish individualized learning goals for their experience and receive ongoing feedback in a real-world practice setting. At the Law Center, students participate in a companion seminar to reinforce their field placement experiences. Through the seminar, students consider essential topics involving professionalism, ethics, cultural competency, professional identity, legal problem-solving, work-life integration, and the role of a lawyer. Through regular classroom engagement, students enhance their learning at the field placement and develop critical reflective practices that they will use throughout their careers.

Please refer to the J.D. Externship Program website for detailed program information.

Identifying a Placement:

Students are responsible for securing their own judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placements. The Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is available, by appointment, to discuss potential externship opportunities. In addition, the J.D. Externship Program has resources to help students identify an externship placement.

FIELDWORK: Students work for 11 or 16.5 hours per week for at least 10 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must conduct their fieldwork on-site to the maximum extent permitted by their field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Students may be compensated for the work at their qualifying government, judicial, or nonprofit placement. Students may not work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 11 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 16.5 hours of fieldwork/week.

Note: Students can begin working toward the hours/week requirement (110 or 165 hours total) from the first day of regular, semester-long classes. Students must complete the total hours requirement by the last business day of classes.    

Note: In externships, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this course.    

Note: Students must start their externships by Friday, January 31, 2025 or they will be withdrawn from the Spring 2025 J.D. Externship Program, including the companion seminar.    

SEMINAR: In addition to their fieldwork, students participate in a biweekly (approximately), interactive, one-credit, letter-graded seminar, incorporating multiple opportunities for students' performance of various professional lawyering skills and development of professional competencies that are universal to numerous legal settings.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL SIX CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must timely attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend any class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

To receive academic credit, students must, at a minimum: (i) fulfill their applicable fieldwork hours requirement by the last business day of classes; (ii) attend, participate in, and timely complete all assignments for the six externship seminar classes; (iii) receive a satisfactory Field Supervisor End-of-Semester Evaluation; and (iv) complete and submit all administrative assignments in a timely manner, including but not limited to:

  • The Rule 304(d) Agreement;
  • Weekly time sheets; and
  • The Student End-of-Semester Placement Evaluation.

Grading:

The fieldwork components of externships are mandatory pass/fail offerings and do not count towards the seven-credit limit on pass/fail courses. The one-credit seminar is letter-graded.

Registration:

To participate in the Spring 2025 J.D. Externship Program, students must first successfully complete the externship application, after they have secured a qualifying field placement. Upon application approval, students must then enroll and/or waitlist themselves, via MyAccess, for an applicable externship seminar.

The Spring 2025 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Tuesday, October 15, 2024 and will close on Friday, January 3, 2025. Any eligible J.D. students who apply during this period with a qualifying externship placement will receive a seat in the spring externship program, although we cannot guarantee that the proffered seat will be in the student's top seminar choice. Once the spring externship application opens, the application link will be available on the J.D. Externship Program website.

To the extent that there are still available seats in the spring externship program after the guaranteed application period closes, the Spring 2025 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, January 6, 2025, and will close on Monday, January 13, 2025.

For additional information on the spring externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2024-25 Academic Year J.D. Externship Program Student Extern Manual.

Prerequisite:

Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program (or seek and receive a waiver of this prerequisite) prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, and their first-year elective.)

Note: This seminar is only open to J.D. students participating in the J.D. Externship Program for the second time. If you are participating in the J.D. Externship Program for the first time, you must enroll in the Externship I Seminar.

Note: Students who enroll in this course are responsible for enrolling in the seminar and fieldwork components as well. In order to enroll, students must add the course and the accompanying seminar and fieldwork sections in MyAccess simultaneously. The CRNs for the seminar and fieldwork sections can be found below in the “Class Notes” section. The seminar and fieldwork components may not be taken separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic, fieldwork practicum, or other externship course.

LAW 611 v01 Extradition Simulation: International Law, Human Rights, and Effective Advocacy

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This course is designed to complement the rest of the 1L curriculum in several ways.  First, it will expose you to selected elements of international and foreign law, beyond the usual concentration on the U.S. domestic law system.  Second, our focus will be principally upon treaty texts, rather than judicial decisions, within a system that does not rely upon binding precedents in the same ways you have already encountered.  Third, we hope to nurture your sensitivity to facts, as much as to law, as key elements in legal practice.  Finally, through a series of collaborative simulation exercises, we intend to engage you in active, experiential learning in a direct, powerful way.

The four-day simulation is based upon a hypothetical attempt by the United States to secure the extradition of two accused terrorists, who have been indicted in federal court for participating in terrorist acts on U.S. soil, but who are currently resident in Russia and in France.  The leaders in those countries appear willing to return the two suspects to the United States, but the effort may be blocked by those countries’ membership in the European Convention on Human Rights, which may bar extradition in cases where the accused would face the prospect of capital punishment or indefinite detention in harsh conditions.

Students will be assigned the role of counsel for one of the defendants or one of the governments, and will work in small teams on two primary tasks.  The first exercise is to prepare for and conduct a fact-gathering interview of one of the clients.  The second exercise is to plan, practice, and conduct a simulated hearing before the European Court of Human Rights.  Throughout, students will be guided by the instructor and by a team of teaching fellows in the development of essential lawyering skills, including fact development and analysis, problem solving, strategic planning, and effective oral advocacy.

Note: FIRST-YEAR WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet on the following days: Monday, January 8, 2024, through Thursday, January 11, 2024.

This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 27, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 173 v03 Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course examines the legal regulation of the domestic relationships of adults, married and unmarried. Topics covered include marriage and other intimate relationships, divorce, custody disputes, alimony, child support, and division of property. We will also spend some time thinking about the big theoretical and policy questions of the field, especially in regards to Assisted Reproductive Technologies and their potential for changing traditional notions of the family.

While there is a final, take-home exam for the course, 50% of your grade will be based on a negotiation exercise which will take place at the end of October. I will discuss the exercise and final exam during our first class.

LAW 173 v05 Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Family Law I: Marriage and Divorce is a survey course that introduces students to the fundamental legal concepts of family law. This course will examine the changing nature of the family and the state's role in recognizing and regulating personal relationships between adults and between adults and children. The covered topics include competing conceptions of the family and the values they reflect, regulation of entry into marriage, constitutional rights in the family context, the rights and obligations of nonmarital cohabitants, divorce and financial consequences of dissolution, including property division, spousal support, child custody and child support. Throughout the semester we will consider the broader historical, societal and political elements shaping family law.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

LAW 174 v01 Family Law II: Child, Parent, and the State

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course examines decision-making within diverse family structures. It considers the relational distribution of power and responsibility among child, parent, and the state. It will consider these broader questions through the study of selected topics including procreative decision-making, informed consent within the family unit, child abuse and neglect, reproductive technologies, and adoption. These topics address some of the most current, multi-faceted, and dynamic areas of modern family law to study. These areas are changing rapidly and profoundly in law, society, and politics. This course intersects with many other areas of law in complex ways, such as Torts, Contracts, Constitutional Law, and Professional Responsibility and provides great depth and breadth in job opportunities and law reform initiatives.

By the completion of this course, you should be able to:

· Analyze legal issues governing decision-making within family structures;

· Contextualize family decision-making using multi-faceted lenses grounded in social, economic, and policy considerations and recognizing the implications of legal frameworks across cultures, communities, and diverse family structures;

· Construct persuasive client narratives to achieve specific client goals;

· Advise clients regarding their rights and responsibilities as parents;

· Read and interpret statutory provisions regulating the family unit and analyze their constitutionality, their policy implications, and their effect on prospective clients.

LAW 174 v02 Family Law II: Children, Parents, and the State

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course explores the allocation of decisional power among the child, the family,  and various agencies of the state. We will analyze the tensions between parents’ rights and  state power, as well as children’s rights and parental and state power. The course will  examine the intersection and impact of race, gender, indigeneity, and class on the case outcomes for litigants in the context of establishing parental rights, children’s rights,  custody, adoption, abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, and juvenile  delinquency matters. Note: Students are not required to complete Family Law I: Marriage  and Divorce before enrolling in this course.

The overall themes and reading assignments for this course are directly related to Georgetown’s  Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO). Specifically, this course equips students with the capacity for critical thinking regarding the intersections of race, gender, indigeneity, and class in conjunction with legal principles and regulations pertaining to childhood, parenthood, parental  rights, children’s rights, state’s parens patriae role, custody, adoption, abuse and neglect,  termination of parental rights, and juvenile delinquency.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure

Recommended: Evidence

LAW 193 v03 Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

Banking Regulation today is at the cutting edge of federal power and regulatory experimentation. The financial collapse of 2008 was a near-death experience for federal banking regulators. We approach the subject with an intense focus on the dynamics of three critical pieces of the recent financial crisis: first, the development and growth of private markets for financial products; second, experimental regulatory strategies for controlling private risk taking and its effects on the integrated global financial system; third, the reemergence of areas of unique forms of hybrid power that combines private markets and government regulation.

This course examines the regulation of financial intermediaries. The stated goal of regulation is to ensure systemic stability and to pursue consumer protection. We will ask how well the balance between systemic stability and consumer protection had been maintained before the crisis of 2008. The course is devoted to federal regulation of banks, bank holding companies, financial holding companies and their affiliates. Topics include restrictions on activities of banks, holding companies and their affiliates, the history of and policy rationales for geographic restrictions on banking; special antitrust regulation of banks, debates about the role of capital adequacy requirements, community reinvestment requirements, bank supervision, and failed banks. With the market and legal changes of the past decade, the traditional market barriers between commercial banks and other financial institutions were largely dismantled. We will ask, did the federal response to the crisis produce a new paradigm for financial regulation? If it did not, why not?

The global financial crisis of 2008 provides a fertile laboratory for examining the fractured financial regulatory system, and the proposals for reform. The course will examine selected topics from the legislative agenda for reforming the financial regulatory system. These topics include among others, the role of subprime home mortgage lending and mortgage-backed securities in creating systemic risk, the consumer regulatory responsibilities of the Federal Reserve. We will identify some questions arising from the role of private credit rating agencies and securitizations in precipitation the financial collapse. and the competing claims of fairness, executive compensation and systemic risk, global financial responses.

The course begins with the basic overview of concepts applicable to financial intermediaries and ends with an assessment of the framework for future reform. We will pay special attention to the role of predatory consumer lending in sparking the collapse of banks. We will look at the fate of proposals to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, with independent rule making authority.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Financial Services: Regulation in the Age of Disruption or Banking and Financial Institutions Regulation or Financial Regulation and Financial Crises.

Note: All students are expected to attend class regularly.

LAW 193 v05 Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

Regulation of financial institutions is at the cutting edge of federal power and regulatory experimentation. The financial collapse of 2008 was a transformative experience for federal financial regulators, and shaped their approach to risk management for the next 15 years--until a series of bank failures in the spring of 2023 prompted fresh doubts about this approach.  

This course examines the regulation of financial intermediaries. The stated goals of regulation is to ensure systemic stability and to pursue consumer protection. We will ask how well the balance between systemic stability and consumer protection had been maintained before the crisis of 2008, and whether post-crisis reform has done a better job. The course is devoted to federal regulation and supervision of banks, bank holding companies, financial holding companies and their affiliates, as well as asset management firms and so-called shadow banking activities. Topics include restrictions on activities of banks, holding companies and their affiliates, debates about solvency and liquidity requirements, financial inclusion mandates, international coordination, digital asset markets and crypto activities, bank failure management, and systemic risk. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Financial Services: Regulation in the Age of Disruption or Banking and Financial Institutions Regulation or Financial Regulation and Financial Crises.

Note: All students are expected to attend class regularly.

LAW 178 v02 Federal Courts and the Federal System

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3-4 credit hours

This course addresses the role of the federal courts in our system of government, focusing on relevant constitutional and statutory provisions and jurisdictional doctrines and concepts. Representative topics include justiciability, congressional power to regulate the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, Supreme Court review of state court judgments, sovereign immunity, abstention, and habeas corpus.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

LAW 178 v03 Federal Courts and the Federal System

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course addresses the constitutional and statutory provisions, as well as the jurisdictional doctrines and concepts, that shape and limit the role played by the federal courts in our governmental system. Representative topics include Congressional power to curtail federal jurisdiction, limitations on the ability of the federal courts to enjoin state court proceedings, federal common law, the Eleventh Amendment/state sovereign immunity, federal habeas corpus, and the prerequisites for Supreme Court review of state court judgments. The primary emphasis of the course is on a critical analysis of these jurisdictional doctrines, although some time is spent on litigation aspects.  

LAW 421 v00 Federal Income Taxation

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This is an introductory course in federal income taxation which considers the principles and policies of the Internal Revenue Code regarding the taxation of individuals and businesses. Professor Brown's section covers the principles and policies of the Internal Revenue Code regarding the taxation of individuals.  Major topics include the definition of income, deductions and exclusions, assignment of income, accounting, and issues of timing. Emphasis is placed on the use of the Internal Revenue Code and administrative and judicial material.

Learning Goals for Professor Brown's section

That you learn how to read the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), not memorize it, so that when the Code changes – and it will – you will be able to understand the new provision.

That you engage the material during class, not merely transcribe the words that you hear.

That you strengthen your existing critical reading skills so that you become a skeptical reader which will better prepare you for the practice of law.

That you understand basic business terms and transactions, regardless of what area of the law you ultimately will practice.  The lawyer who understands her client’s business will prove to be invaluable to the client.

That you enhance your problem-solving skills. The successful lawyer of the 21st century must figure out a way to get to yes when the easy answer is no.

That you discover the relevance of tax policy issues to everyday life.

That you discover how federal tax policies have a racially disparate impact because of societal racism.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the graduate course, U.S. Income Tax: Policies and Practices.

Note: Tax LL.M. students cannot register for this course. 

LAW 1818 v00 Federal Income Taxation and Public Policy in the United States

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This course will study federal income tax administration and public policies relating to federal income taxation in the United States. The course will systematically go through a federal income tax return (IRS Form 1040) so that students will learn rules for filing tax returns, how to compute federal income tax liability, issues of tax compliance and eligibility conditions for various tax benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and tax-based financial aid for college. The course will also discuss how the administration of federal income tax programs affect individuals’ economic decisions. Students are expected to come away from the course with a broad understanding of how the federal income tax system functions in the United States, and how it relates to multiple other public policies. The course aims to be relevant for personal finance, understanding tools of data analysis and careers involving expertise in income taxation and public policy.

Note: This course is open to J.D. students only. LL.M. students may not register for this course, and this course will not count toward the tax specialization credits required for the Taxation LL.M. degree.

This course will meet on the main campus and will follow the main campus academic calendar.  The meeting dates are January 10, 2024 - April 30, 2024.

LAW 213 v01 Federal Indian Law

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course examines the body of law dealing with the status of the Indian tribes, their special relationship to the federal government, and the governmental policies underlying it. It will also focus on the legal interrelationships among tribal, state, and federal governments, tribal gaming and economic development, and tribal rights to natural resources.

LAW 530 v00 Federal Legislation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Federal Legislation Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Federal Legislation Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 722 v02 Federal Limitations on State and Local Taxation

LL.M Course/Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

As an instrument of federalism, the U.S. Constitution plays a vital role in defining state and local governments’ taxing powers. In some instances this is accomplished by express Constitutional provisions; in others, by express or implied grants of authority to the legislative, executive or judicial branches of government. This advanced state and local tax course will explore and analyze Constitutional provisions that limit (and sometimes expand) state and local taxing powers. It will include a historical review of Supreme Court jurisprudence that underscores the inherent complexities and tensions precipitated by the intersection of federalism and the underlying goals embodied within the Commerce Clause, Equal Protection Clause, Import-Export Clause, Privileges and Immunities Clause, and Supremacy Clause, among others. The course also will explore how issues of federalism have shaped various Federal statutory enactments, as well as pending pieces of federal legislation. For example, it will analyze how federalist tensions and statutory dynamics were balanced in a proposed congressional bill concerning state and local tax incentives. Additionally, the course will explore the impact of Treaties and international trade laws, as well as their related enforcement mechanisms, which continue to spawn new issues implicating the States’ powers to tax.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: Students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1166 v00 Federal Litigation Practice: Litigating Challenges to Federal Agency Decisions

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

The majority of civil cases involving the federal government arise from challenges to agency decisions ranging from contractor selection by government procurement officials to project approvals by both civilian and military agencies under various regulatory schemes implementing the nation’s laws, such as health, finance, and environmental laws. This class will provide students with the opportunity to learn in a variety of factual contexts how to litigate federal cases challenging agency decision-making on the administrative records prepared by agencies to support their decisions. Each class will focus on a particular stage in the litigation process. Students will be given reading and related litigation exercises that will be carried out in class. The class will culminate in filing a motion for summary judgment on the administrative record.

Over the course of this class, students will present three oral arguments to the professor, who will role-play as the presiding judge, based on briefing from real district court cases. The arguments will simulate as closely as possible real world federal court hearings. Some arguments will be recorded so that students may review their oral argument performance. Professor Jones will provide students with critique and feedback after each oral argument, with the goal of improvement by each student over time.

This class is designed for students who are interested in gaining practical experience in litigation for or against the federal government.  Through this course, you should:

  • Understand the basic stages of litigating federal cases involving federal agencies;
  • Become familiar with key administrative law concepts and how those concepts apply in a litigation setting;
  • Refine critical reading skills, including recognizing rules, facts, and analyses that are both helpful and harmful to your client’s interests;
  • Understand how crucial facts are in litigation, and how to tie those facts to a legal argument that benefits your client;
  • Demonstrate an ability to translate detailed arguments presented in legal briefs to clear, concise, and persuasive oral arguments before the court;
  • Gain experience presenting arguments orally in a formal, courtroom-like setting;
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage in effective legal analysis and advocacy through polished, readable, and concise written product;
  • Practice how to research, analyze, and write about legal issues under time constraints.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society).

Recommended: Administrative Law.

Note: This course is only open to J.D. students.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 635 v00 Federal Money: Budget Process and Appropriations Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The federal budget is where the nation’s priorities are expressed.  It allows the federal government to operate and shapes what the government will do.  It is also an important source of revenue for state and local governments and thus affects their own policy choices.  This course provides an introduction to the laws, rules, and practices that govern how the federal budget is put together and how the budget is executed.  We will study both traditional “regular order” and contemporary realities.  We will pay particular attention to sites of contestation and control with respect to the key institutional players of the legislative branch (including different committees within both the House and Senate, party leadership, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Government Accountability Office) and the executive branch (including the President, the Office of Management and Budget, agencies, and inspectors general).  We will also study the role of the courts in appropriations law. 

Note: No accounting or budget background is needed.

LAW 1631 v00 Federal Practice Seminar: Contemporary Issues

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will explore selected topics in Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, and Administrative Law in depth.  The seminar will focus on topics that have recently gained attention in the Supreme Court or that may arrive in the Supreme Court in the near future.  Each class will relate to only one or two such topics.  Examples of possible topics include nondelegation, federal preemption, arbitration clauses and the Federal Arbitration Act, personal jurisdiction, Chevron or other doctrines of deference to agencies, congressional power over Tribes and/or States, Dormant Commerce Clause limits on congressional power, class action scope and limits, and the major questions doctrine.  Depending on the topic, we may read Supreme Court decisions, scholarly literature, or Supreme Court briefs.  There will be one major writing assignment: a paper of approximately 20-25 pages in length that addresses a topic in civil procedure, federal courts, or administrative law.  The grade in the course will be based substantially on the final paper, but may be adjusted upward or downward one-half grade based on class participation.  We recommend but do not require completion of or simultaneous enrollment in Administrative Law or Federal Courts.  (NB: This two-credit course does not fulfill the J.D. Writing Requirement.) 

LAW 1844 v00 Federal Regulation of Biopharma: Commercial Considerations, Risk Identification and Mitigation

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar provides an overview of the principal legal issues impacting the commercialization, sale and marketing of biopharmaceutical products. It:

  • Provides an overview of the structure and operation of the biopharmaceutical industry, including manufacturers of innovator and generic products;

  • Explores the principal laws governing the sale and marketing of biopharmaceuticals, including relevant portions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, the False Claims Act, and the Federal Anti‐Kickback Statute;

  • Explores how these laws create liability for both biopharmaceutical companies and their executives for the manner in which such companies price, report prices on, communicate about, and interact with regulators and health care providers about their products;

  • Addresses industry‐specific government investigations, risk assessment, and compliance efforts; and

  • Concludes with a table‐top exercise in which students role play a government investigation.

LAW 455 v00 Federal White Collar Crime

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This advanced criminal law course covers selected substantive and procedural areas of importance in "white-collar" criminal practice. A portion of the class will be devoted to the study of certain statutes and their applications, including examinations of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, false statements and money laundering prosecutions. We will also study the United States Sentencing Guidelines and will explore the principles governing entity liability. The balance of the class will be devoted to an examination of subjects of particular concern to prosecutors and defense counsel in "white-collar" or business crime cases, including investigative and grand jury practices, privileges applicable in a corporate setting, immunity, plea bargaining, cooperation agreements, and the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings.

Students will be required to complete a number of short written assignments relating to the application of the Sentencing Guidelines, and the class will conclude with an examination.

Prerequisite: Transfer students need to take Criminal Procedure.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and White Collar Crime and Securities Fraud.

Note: Students may take this course and Advanced Criminal Procedure, but it is not recommended.

LAW 455 v02 Federal White Collar Crime

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This is an advanced course for the serious student interested in this area of law. It will cover procedural, substantive and practitioner oriented “tactical” considerations of “white-collar” criminal law. A student should have prior demonstrated interest in the subject area by having taken courses such as Evidence; Criminal Procedure; Constitutional Law or participated in one of the many GULC litigation clinics. The class will cover the principal federal “white collar” statutes, e.g., mail fraud, conspiracy, securities law, false statements, obstruction of justice and money laundering. Corporate criminal liability will be a course focus, covering necessarily related subjects, e.g., attorney-client privilege issues; “internal” investigations; government sponsored “Voluntary Disclosure” programs; litigation under the False Claims Act (Qui Tam); grand jury practice, document production, immunity, plea bargaining, co-operation agreements, discovery, and the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings, i.e., “parallel proceedings”. The class size is limited to maintain active class participation of interested students.

The class will conclude with a take home examination.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion), or Criminal Procedure.

Recommended: Criminal Law and Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and White Collar Crime and Securities Fraud.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on November 10.

LAW 455 v07 Federal White Collar Crime

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This advanced criminal law course covers selected substantive and procedural areas of importance in "white-collar" criminal practice. A portion of the class will be devoted to the study of certain statutes and their applications, including examinations of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, false statements and money laundering prosecutions. We will also study the United States Sentencing Guidelines and will explore the principles governing entity liability. The balance of the class will be devoted to an examination of subjects of particular concern to prosecutors and defense counsel in "white-collar" or business crime cases, including investigative and grand jury practices, privileges applicable in a corporate setting, immunity, plea bargaining, cooperation agreements, and the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings.

Students will be required to complete a number of short written assignments relating to the application of the Sentencing Guidelines, and the class will conclude with an examination.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Recommended: Criminal Law.

Note: Students may take this course and Advanced Criminal Procedure, but it is not recommended.

J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course at a later date. Date TBA.

LAW 175 v00 Federalism in a Changing Legal Landscape Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

The so-called “federalism revolution” of the past 30 years, reflected in a series of controversial Supreme Court decisions, has engendered reams of commentary and provoked widespread litigation challenging a range of federal statutes under constitutional provisions including the Commerce Clause, the Spending Clause, and the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments, as well as nondelegation principles and other related doctrines.

Rarely has so complex a body of interrelated law developed so quickly. The seminar will trace the development of the Court’s recent federalism jurisprudence both from a doctrinal perspective and as a study in the dynamics of judicial decision-making. A critical aim of the course will be to understand the values underlying the federalism debate, and to observe judges and justices of all persuasions seeking to reconcile those values with other priorities and with the institutional limitations of the courts. We also will consider the extent to which the Court’s recent jurisprudence, including new limitations on the federal administrative state, has altered the dynamics of federal-state relations and whether future decisions are likely to do so.

We will use the developing nature of the federalism jurisprudence as an opportunity to develop advocacy skills. Students will satisfy the writing requirement by writing a 25-page appellate brief in one of the cutting-edge cases designated on the syllabus or comparable academic paper. We will work closely with each student in developing the structure and argument of the brief or paper, and in moving from draft to final product. To develop oral advocacy skills and liven our discussions, the seminar will include a number of informal moot courts and debates.

LAW 1514 v00 Federalism in Practice: The Role of Governors and State Executives in Advancing Public Policy (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course explores the legal and practical dimensions of policy making at the state level, with a focus on the role of governors and other state executives (e.g., attorneys general, legislators, secretaries of state). Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and also undertake 15 hours/week of fieldwork with the National Governors Association, National Association of Attorneys General, National Conference of State Legislatures, or other state and local stakeholder group.

SEMINAR: This seminar will provide an overview of the constitutional underpinnings of federalism and the legal frameworks applicable to policy development and implementation (e.g., in healthcare, homeland security, emergency response, infrastructure and transportation); case studies on the challenges and opportunities of federal, state, and local cooperation; and practical guidance on the operation of governors’ offices and state agencies. It will also examine the role of the “Big Seven” associations in driving state and local interests at the federal level, and in facilitating the adoption of best practices across government. Students will be trained in written and oral communication for an audience of policymakers, and become skilled at distilling complex legal issues into actionable recommendations for executives. During the semester, students will hear from guest speakers who serve or have served in governors’ offices and state agencies, or who otherwise offer unique insight and expertise in topical issues. By the end of the course, students will understand how “good” public policy (ethical and effective) happens in the real world and the practical ways in which research/science, politics, ideology, tradition, and the law help to shape it.

FIELDWORK: Depending on students’ interests and the organization’s needs, students may be placed in NGA’s Center for Best Practices or one of the other “Big Seven” state/local associations, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Attorneys General, National District Attorneys Association, or Council of State Governments. Students will work with the organization’s staff and state officials as they resolve legal questions and develop recommendations for state policymakers, such as: (1) writing a model cyber vulnerability disclosure policy for state agencies; (2) providing guidance on the legal implications of health reform; (3) constructing a model framework for addressing citizen privacy in homeland security policy; (4) updating legal and procedural guidance for governors’ legal counsel; and (5) developing advocacy strategies for federal legislation that affects state interests.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: No other courses are required, but background coursework in constitutional law, administrative law, and statutory interpretation may be helpful.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course is suitable for evening students who can attend the weekly seminar and conduct 15 hours of fieldwork/week during normal business hours.

This is a five-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits for approximately 15 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The three credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as this practicum.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 189 v06 Feminist Legal Theory Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar will provide students with an opportunity to take a deep dive into different strands of feminist legal theory and examine closely emerging discourses in more modern feminism(s). During the first few weeks, we will read several classics in feminist thought, analyzing their basic pre-suppositions about sex, sexuality, gender, power relations, and the role of law in constructing them. From the beginning, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which feminist theory and activism within the legal field were often informed and limited by the specific class and race positions of their participants.

The emphasis of the seminar is on theory because theory is the lens through which we view and therefore act in the world. However, students will have an opportunity to write their papers on topics of their own choosing, which may involve a specific case or controversy related to feminist causes/ideas/themes within the legal field, or even outside. We will also be discussing specific feminist controversies throughout the seminar, after we have covered some of the different strands of feminist legal thought.

The seminar will be graded on the basis of class participation and a final paper. Class participation has three components. It includes participation in classroom discussions, a 500 word post engaging with one of the week’s readings (each student expected to post once during the semester), and a concrete contribution to the seminar’s Annotated Lexicon and Bibliography on #MeToo. The Annotated Lexicon and Bibliography will be a collective, collaborative enterprise by seminar participants. It will reflect our collective effort to reflect on and understand the relationship between older strands of feminism and the emerging feminist discourses after the #Metoo movement. 

The final paper will either be a 4000 word paper for the 2 credit option or a final paper that meets the requirements of the JD upper class legal writing requirement. The Law Center’s policy for such papers requires the submission of an outline, first draft and final paper. Both the first draft and final paper must be at least 6,000 words long (approximately 25 double-space pages) excluding footnotes. Students will write on topics of their own choosing, after discussing their topics with me. The final paper may be an extended discussion of materials introduced during the course of the semester or it may be a researched project.

A background in feminist theory may be helpful but is not a requirement, as we will cover some classic readings and build from there. 

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1853 v00 Finance and Political Economy Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Financial markets are political. Yet, legal education has historically relied upon an unsustainable distinction between law, politics and markets. The predominate framework for examining markets has been neoclassical economics—which put simply, suggests that the independent market forces of supply and demand driven by rational, self-serving actors, dictate market outcomes. This course offers students an alternative framework with which to interrogate financial markets. Specifically, it examines how political, technological, and socio-legal drivers have shaped consumer credit markets to be integral to the modern economy, for better or worse. Students will explore the history of consumer credit; interrogate select laws and policies (e.g., Truth in Lending Act, Community Reinvestment Act); and critically examine agencies that impact access to consumer credit (e.g., Federal Reserve, credit bureaus). In doing so, students will tap into broader debates on economic and racial justice, surveillance capitalism, and labor movements.

Learning Objectives: Throughout this course, students will:

  • Investigate, explain and apply normative frameworks for analyzing the relationship between law, financial markets, and the political economy.
  • Interrogate the use of theoretical frameworks like neoclassical economics and think critically about the supposed neutrality of law and politics in financial markets.
  • Examine the centrality of consumer credit in the modern economy, and consider the impact of such a political choice on differing class, gender, and racial demographics.
  • Hone legal analysis, research and writing, and public speaking skills.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 2044 v00 Financial Market Reform and Innovation

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines the ever-evolving regulation of financial markets, institutions, and innovative financial products. We will evaluate the emerging regulatory issues and reform of over-the-counter derivatives markets, analyzes changes to federal banking laws (including systemic risk regulations), and explores enhanced consumer protection rules.  The course will also explore advances in financial technology (commonly referred to as ‘FinTech’), specifically virtual currency. We will examine how virtual currencies are used by financial market participants and evaluate major developments in the regulation of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, and others.


This course will also compare and contrast 2008 Financial Crisis and 2020 Covid Pandemic. In particular, we will discuss financial impacts and policy responses. This course also provides a comprehensive overview of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”) and its ongoing implementation efforts by Federal financial regulators. The Dodd-Frank Act is the most consequential reform of the financial services industry since the Great Depression. We will analyze financial market reform efforts emerging regulatory issues that are intended to increase transparency in financial markets, reduce systemic risks, increase the safety and soundness of the financial system, and enhance protections for consumers.


Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, I hope you will have a comprehensive overview of the ever-evolving regulation of financial markets, institutions, and innovative financial products. You will gain a sense of the genesis and policy developments underpinning financial markets regulation, an overview of fundamental aspects of financial  reform in Dodd-Frank, its basic requirements, its overarching goals, and its upsides and downsides. You will not learn every detail of financial services regulation or every part of Dodd-Frank, but you should grasp the nature and structure of the central tenants of federal oversight of the financial services industry and its market participants.
Another aim of the course is skills-oriented. By participating in class discussions and preparing and presenting the Comment Letter Group Project, I hope you will hone your skills in speaking fluently and comfortably about legal issues. The Comment Letter Group Project is designed to give you real-world experience/exposure to what regulatory lawyers actually do in private and government practice in the financial services space. I want students to be able to identify an issue, think critically about how to solve it, employ legal reasoning to defend their approach, and practice legal writing. My specific expectations for the comment letter project are set out in the “Comment Letter Group Project” section of the syllabus.

LAW 193 v04 Financial Regulation and Financial Crises

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The global financial crisis of 2008 resulted in massive human suffering—9 million unemployed in the U.S. alone, and millions lost their homes. It also fundamentally altered financial regulation and American politics and reshaped social and economic dynamics—for example, the crisis led to the formation of the Tea Party, contributed significantly to political polarization and increased economic inequality.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused even greater human suffering, triggered economic and financial consequences that almost led to another financial crisis. The reforms implemented after 2008, as well as the implementation of emergency programs used in 2008, were likely the reasons we did not have another financial crisis.

Why did the 2008 crisis happen?   Why, throughout our history, have we periodically experienced financial crises?  What does this history teach us about the adequacy of financial regulation, and whether regulatory failures contribute to financial crises?

We will begin by briefly reviewing the historical development of the United States banking industry, and the regulatory structure governing it, to get an appreciation of the economic and political forces that have shaped the regulation of our financial system. This will include reviewing past financial crises—the Panic of 1907 and the Great Depression and the responses to them, including the development of the Federal Reserve System, deposit insurance and other major reforms.

We will then focus on the 2008 financial crisis. We will examine the forces that produced the complex financial system of the early 21st century, including the rise of the shadow banking industry and the growth of derivatives. We will examine the response to the crisis, which included drawing on emergency powers that were first created by Congress in response to earlier financial crises, as well as new authorities created in response to the events of 2008.  We will look at some of the difficult choices faced by government officials in responding to the crisis, as well as the role of individual accountability for behavior that contributed to the crisis.   We will also examine the reforms implemented as a result of the crisis.  

We will then turn to the pandemic, and look at its economic and financial consequences.  Why was there a risk of another financial crisis?  Did the reforms of 2008 help prevent a crisis?  How was the government’s emergency response to the financial stresses similar to or different from the 2008 response?

Finally, having started the course with a look at the beginnings of the American financial system, we will end with what many predict is the future:  cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies, the development of which has been accelerated by both the 2008 crisis and the pandemic.   Will central bank digital currencies replace cash?   If so, will they make our financial system more or less stable?  Can they make it more inclusive?

The course will include sessions with guest speakers who have been responsible for some of the critical policy decisions that we will discuss. 

Strongly Recommended: Corporations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. courses, Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change or Financial Services: Regulation in the Age of Disruption.

LAW 804 v04 Financial Reporting and Accounting

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine traditional accounting topics with emphasis on their practical application to the practice of law. It will do so based on the development of an understanding of corporate financial statements and the underlying accounting concepts used in preparing those statements and related accounting records. Issues will be considered against the backdrop of current SEC and professional requirements. Particular attention will be paid to current issues and enforcement trends raised by the SEC and to the latest pronouncements of the FASB, AICPA and SEC. Selected public filings will be analyzed to give students additional insights on the actual quality of reported earnings and financial condition of the reporting company, and the apparent effect of various alternative accounting methods.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you will have a fundamental understanding of the basic architecture of financial reporting and a working knowledge of the federal regulatory framework for public companies, as administered primarily by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You will learn the history of this framework, its primary goals, and its basic requirements. You will see how basic principles of administrative law regulate the financial reporting of public companies. You will become familiar with the structure of a Balance Sheet and Income Statement and the essentials of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Prerequisite: Prior enrollment in Securities Regulation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. courses: Accounting Concepts for Lawyers; Accounting for Lawyers; Introduction to Accounting; or the graduate courses: Accounting for Securities Lawyers; or Basic Accounting Concepts for Lawyers.

LAW 545 v01 Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

What happens when a business ends up in financial distress and cannot meet its obligations? This course is an introduction to the strategies a business can pursue to restructure its finances and the legal constraints on doing so.  These strategies include both a public, judicial process—bankruptcy—as well as private, contractual deals undertaken in the shadow of bankruptcy. 

The use of these strategies is shaped by tensions among a company’s various stakeholders about how to maximize and distribute the value of the company.  Restructuring law provides the rules for this stakeholder competition.  It sets forth distributional rules—who has the right to be repaid first, second, etc.—and governance rules—who decides what a restructuring should look like and when they can bind others to their decision. 

These rules provide a background term for nearly all business transactions. As such, bankruptcy law is important for every lawyer. Any lawyer advising a client needs to understand what will happen if a transaction—be it a financing deal, an asset sale, or a litigation settlement—doesn’t go as anticipated. 

Restructuring lawyers practice in a field that is immersed in actual business and financing operations because of the need to understand what a particular business needs to function on a daily basis. It is also a practice that combines transactional and litigation work and offers the opportunity to speak in court sooner and more often than almost any other practice area. Restructuring practice is highly specialized, but also universal because it interacts with nearly every other area of law—contract, environmental, labor, regulatory, tax, and tort—making the bankruptcy lawyer a jack-of-all-trades and the master of one. 

The law of restructuring is also critical to social policy. Bankruptcy is the forum for addressing nearly every major economic problem. It determines who bears the costs of:  mass torts; environmental harms; commodity price swings; changes in the labor market; and secular changes in the economy. 

No prior background is required for the course. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Bankruptcy or Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights.

LAW 193 v01 Financial Services: Regulation in the Age of Disruption

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This two-hour lecture and discussion course covers regulation of financial services providers, from traditional banks to fintechs, cryptocurrencies, DeFi, stablecoins and other challengers. The course provides a grounding in money and payments and how banks are structured and regulated: the balance sheet, the role of insured deposits, and the purpose of capital and liquidity. We review regulations designed to promote safety and soundness, privacy and cybersecurity, consumer protection, and international consistency. We then examine how fintechs, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and money market funds all attempt to disintermediate traditional banks, and the regulatory challenges they pose. We examine the 2007-09 Global Financial Crisis and the economic effects of the 2020 global pandemic, and the lessons learned from each. Grades in this course are determined by class participation and a final take-home examination.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Administrative Law and Corporations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change, or the LL.M. course, Financial Regulation and Financial Crises.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Securities and Financial Regulation LL.M.

LAW 2088 v00 Financial Statement Accounting for Tax Consequences

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course is important for the aspiring tax professional who desires to better understand and communicate with business decision makers concerning the consequential effects of transactions and how they will be reflected in the financial statement disclosures or tax related accounts found in the income or balance sheet. This course is important for the person who wants to best position themselves for job opportunities with some of the single largest U.S. and global employers of tax professionals (e.g., the Big-4 accounting firms) who place a premium on LL.M. (Tax) applicants with a basic understanding of the financial statement impact of various taxable events, which are important to many of their clients and the services they provide.

This one-credit pass/fail course is comprised of four conceptual modules: the first three modules focus on income based taxes; and, the fourth, non-income based taxes. The income tax modules are designed to first explain and illustrate the financial statement accounting rules applicable to a wide range of frequently encountered taxable events; and, secondly, illustrate how the financial accounting consequences arising from those events can drive the actions of business decision makers in a direction that may appear counterintuitive from a tax perspective only. Contemporary topics facing today’s decision makers will be selected for this course, and will be explained and illustrated through assigned readings, classroom examples, and case studies.

The first of the income tax modules, Basic Accounting Concepts, will offer the uninitiated a high level overview of the conceptual cornerstones that drive most of the significant accounting questions related to taxation. Further, this first module will define and illustrate the concept of “deferred taxation”, which is the financial statement mechanism used to reconcile the differing rules governing the recognition of transactions for financial statement and tax statement purposes; and, most frequently, where the accounting differences between US GAAP and IRFS arise. Other topics explained and illustrated herein will include: permanent differences; temporary differences involving deferred tax assets, deferred tax liabilities and the impact of changing tax rates; uncertain tax positions; undistributed profits of foreign subsidiaries; net operating losses; and, related financial statement disclosures.

The second income tax module, More Advanced Accounting Concepts, will drill down on other select topics where disparate financial statement standards exist between US GAAP and IFRS. Among the topics included in this module are: share-based payments; foreign non-monetary assets and liabilities; intercompany transfers of assets remaining within the group; tax basis and intention of management for settling assets/liabilities; the “initial recognition exemption”; and, the measurement of deferred taxes when different tax rates apply to distributed and undistributed profits.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 5:45 p.m. - 9:05 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed during the week of January 18 and January 25, 2025.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1744 v00 FinTech and Financial Democratization Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

“Fintech” often refers to the use of modern technologies and novel methods in offering financial services. This bourgeoning sector has significantly disrupted the financial marketplace, challenging the conventional roles of banks, other financial institutions, regulators, and policymakers. Legal scholars often evaluate how the novelties of Fintech fit or do not fit within existing legal regimes, and how such regimes should be modernized in response. Fewer scholars examine what might be the most transformative promise of Fintech – whether it does or can democratize the financial marketplace and how the law might facilitate (or frustrate) that aim. This seminar examines just this.

Seminar readings will illuminate the relationship between the financial marketplace and oft-marginalized communities and allow students to assess whether effective solutions to certain inequities lie in Fintech, fundamental policy reforms, or both. This course covers topics such as payment systems, credit markets, financial advising, savings, and security investing. It focuses on the U.S. marketplace, but will occasionally reference trends in international markets for comparative analysis. Readings are primarily drawn from legal, economic and sociological research, regulatory and legislative reports, cases, and popular news media.

The goal of this seminar is for students to develop views on the purpose and role of Fintech, the objectivity of financial markets and regulation, and whether financial democratization is a necessary or achievable aim for market providers. Students will further hone their critical analysis, research and writing, and public speaking skills.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

NOTE: For the Fall 2022 semester, mandatory attendance rules will not be enforced for this course; students will not automatically be dropped or withdrawn upon missing a class session. Students who miss class due to COVID-19 symptoms, quarantine, isolation, or other disruptions should contact the professor(s). Regular attendance and participation in all class sessions is expected, and students may be withdrawn, at the request of the faculty, if absent without good cause.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1442 v00 Fintech Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Technology-driven disruption has upended many industries – retail, entertainment, transportation, to name just a few – and now we are seeing it redefine financial services. The rise of Fintech is perhaps the most interesting industry transformation to study from a legal perspective because of the way it impacts complex financial services regulations. Regulatory frameworks that were created decades ago are being challenged by the rise of Internet and mobile-driven financial services providers. This course will hone in on a few areas where the US financial regulatory structure is being challenged by technological innovation and may require fresh thinking.

Financial services can be broken down into three distinct subsectors: 1) Insurance; 2) Retail Banking; and 3) Investment/Advisory Banking. This course will focus on how technology is transforming both retail and investment/advisory banking. Retail banking law was designed for a world of brick and mortar banks that accepted deposits and leveraged those deposits to provide commercial and personal loans. Investment/advisory banking law was designed for a world of a relatively small number of sophisticated investors. This traditional schema is being transformed, rapidly.

The smartphone is replacing the retail bank as the method by which a small business or consumer conducts their day-to-day banking activity. A 2015 report by Goldman Sachs found that 33% of millennials do not think they will need a traditional bank in the next five years. In fact, 73% of millennials reported that they are more excited about new offerings in the financial services space from the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon.

Moreover, in the financial services industry lines are blurring – financial tech companies are expanding financial services ecosystems and traditional financial services companies are expanding their digital capabilities. New business models are being created that leverage the data and capabilities afforded by the Internet, and seemingly diverse industries ranging from telecom to traditional banks are competing over similar financial services activities.

Crowdfunding, mobile payments, online lending, robo-advisors, and Bitcoin are new phenomenon that challenge existing regulatory structures. The SEC, Treasury Department, Office of Comptroller of Currency, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, Federal Reserve Bank, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Federal Trade Commission are just a few of the regulatory bodies that are increasingly exploring Fintech developments. Moreover, the courts have been faced with challenges to several federal and state laws that were written before modern technological innovations took hold and challenged existing concepts of Federalism. This class will focus in on these particular challenges, will question existing regulatory bodies, approaches and standards, as well as discuss the practicalities of alternative regulatory structures and rules.

The class will proceed in 4 parts. Part 1 will be an introduction to retail banking law and disruptions that are occurring due to Fintech. Part 2 will be an introduction to investment/advisory banking law and disruptions that are occurring due to Fintech. Part 3 will address cross-cutting horizontal disruptions. And, finally Part 4 will involve a high-level assessment of regulatory structures and approaches for Fintech. After this course, students should have a strong baseline knowledge of the myriad of legal and policy issues that exist in the Fintech arena.

LAW 390 v00 First Amendment

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course offers a survey of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, particularly with respect to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and religious freedom. By the end of the course, students should have a thorough understanding of what activities receive First Amendment protection, and what government justifications must be demonstrated to rebut such protection.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 1834 v00 Follow the Science? Medicine in the Law’s Crossfire

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

More than ever, parties to bitterly-contested legal and political questions invoke medicine to support their side.  Abortion, LGBTQ rights, criminal responsibility, racial equity, and vaccines and other measures against COVID-19 are among the areas of conflict that have drawn medical science and judgment into the mix.  Often, physicians have been eager participants, sometimes going beyond what science shows.  Such participation has a long, oft-troubling history: biomedical expertise has been invoked to identify witches, “prove” the inferiority of racial and ethnic groups, and block women’s access to educational and professional opportunity.  This seminar will explore advocates’ use and abuse of medical science and judgment from America’s founding to the present, with an eye toward distinguishing between what courts, political leaders, and parties to conflict should and shouldn’t call upon medicine to do.  

LAW 1202 v01 Food and Drug Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will introduce students to the foundational laws and policies governing the production and distribution of foods, drugs and medical devices in the United States, focusing on the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the "Act") and the role of the Food and Drug Administration in enforcing the Act. The course will cover key concepts and definitions -- e.g., "food," "drug," "labeling" -- and federal statutory provisions designed to assure that such products are not adulterated or misbranded. Students will also receive an overview of the different agencies that have jurisdiction over foods, drugs and devices on the state and federal levels, as well as an introduction to the ways in which such agencies exercise their authority through rulemaking, guidance and enforcement activity.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Food Law Seminar. 

LAW 1600 v01 Food Justice Law and Policy (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

Rules governing food and agriculture can have a dramatic impact on the welfare of farmers, food and farm workers as well as the price of food, access to healthy food, the fate of rural communities, the environment, and animal welfare. This is a fieldwork practicum course that has both 1) a two-credit graded seminar exploring food justice and policy issues and 2) a two- credit fieldwork placement. The fieldwork credits are mandatory pass-fail. 

SEMINAR: This seminar portion of the course will advance the Law Center’s institutional learning outcomes by covering the policies, rules, and laws that govern food and agriculture, including laws and regulations related to farm subsidies, farm stewardship, pesticide safety, food safety, food labeling, food and farm labor, and animal welfare. The extent to which these policies have discriminated against farmers of color and food and farm workers and limited access to healthy food choices will be a major theme of this practicum. Students will have pervasive opportunities to think critically about the law’s claim to neutrality and its differential effects on subordinated groups.

FIELDWORK: In the fieldwork component of this course, students will be assigned to projects with the Environmental Working Group, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Earthjustice, or other food, farm, worker, environmental justice, and animal justice organizations working on these issues. They will have an opportunity to learn how such institutions play a role in advancing food justice issues being debated in both the administrative and legislative processes, and in matters subject to litigation. Students must work 10 hours per week for 11 weeks for two credits.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Administrative law, as well as food and drug law, and environmental law-related courses, are recommended but not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship, a clinic, or another practicum.

Note: This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working 10 hours/week (during business hours) on site at their field placements.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the field work.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1208 v00 Food Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar introduces students to the laws and regulations that govern our food. The seminar will focus mostly, but not exclusively, on the federal regulatory framework for food. Topics will include the legal definition of food, rules on food labeling, standards for food safety, provisions for food security, and regulation of the environmental consequences flowing from the agricultural practices that produce our food. Beyond the law itself, we will consider the scientific, economic, and ethical principles implicated by legal decisions concerning food.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Food and Drug Law. 

LAW 3093 v00 Foreign Investment & National Security: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore foreign direct investment in the United States from the national security perspective through an analysis of the Executive Branch inter-agency body known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  Students will review the evolution of CFIUS from the Exon-Florio amendment, to the Committee as it exists today, including, but not limited to, the relevant authorities, policy implications, case law, and transactional risk analysis frameworks upon which CFIUS.  The course will also examine current events in the national security space to determine how those events have informed recent legislative action taken by Congress with respect to CFIUS and how those legislative changes are implemented by the committee in regulation.

Recommended: National Business Law, National Security Regulation, National Security Law and the Private Sector.

LAW 1906 v00 Foreign Relations Colloquium

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Description forthcoming.

LAW 089 v03 Foreign Relations Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This is an advanced course on constitutional principles bearing on U.S. foreign relations: primarily, separation of powers, federalism and judicial review of Executive acts and Congressional legislation. It focuses on some of the most challenging issues that have divided the American polity from the inception of the Republic and continue to do so today, e.g., the allocation of foreign affairs power between the Executive and Congress; the scope of Presidential power to protect the nation in times of danger; and the proper role of the courts in deciding legal issues relating to national security.  We will study historical materials that inform the legal arguments on both sides of current controversies over Presidential and Congressional power and discuss foreign relations issues under judicial review in 2024. We also study the power to make treaties and executive agreements, the Supremacy clause and application of customary international law by U.S. courts.

Recommended: There are no prerequisites, but familiarity with basic principles of U.S. government is important.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the J.D. courses, Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar or U.S. Foreign Relations and National Security Law.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY.  Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

NOTE: For the Fall 2024 semester, mandatory first class attendance rules will not be enforced for this course. Enrolled students will not be dropped if not in attendance at the start of the first class, and waitlisted students will remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist if not in attendance at the start of the first class. 

LAW 009 v00 Foundations of American Legal Thought

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Foundations of American Legal Thought introduces students to styles of twentieth- and twenty-first century American legal thought. The course begins with classical legal thought and with the challenge posed by legal realism to classical conceptions of rights and legal reasoning. It then considers process theory, law and economics, legal liberalism, critical legal studies, feminist legal theory, critical race theory, conservative legal theory, and LGBTQ+ legal theory. Each week students attend a one-hour overview lecture given to all students in Curriculum B, and two hours of seminar, given in small sections. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the theoretical and historical underpinnings of the doctrines studied in their other courses, in particular the other Curriculum B courses.

Note: This is a required course for Curriculum B first year students only.

LAW 052 v01 Fourteenth Amendment Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar is designed to encourage students to think critically and creatively about the appropriate constitutional role for the principles of equality and liberty and, more broadly, about the manner in which Supreme Court functions as an institution. These goals will be accomplished by "reinventing" fourteenth amendment jurisprudence, free from the constraints imposed by the actual decisions of the Court. At the beginning of the semester, students will be assigned to individual "courts," which will meet to decide cases assigned every other week throughout the semester. The "courts" will be expected to vote on how the cases should be decided and to prepare written majority, dissenting, and concurring opinions as appropriate. Each student will be graded in part on the basis of the quality of any opinion that the student agrees to sign. By citing as authority only those cases previously decided by that court, each court will develop a body of hypothetical case law over the semester that must be distinguished, amplified, or, if necessary, overruled in dealing with the next set of cases. Students will be encouraged to remain in role and to attempt to develop a consistent judicial philosophy. Every two weeks, two of the “courts” will become “law firms,” which will analyze the case law developed by a third court, write briefs, and conduct an oral argument before the third court. Although little reading will be required for this seminar, students will be expected to produce a substantial amount of written work and to devote a substantial amount of time to meeting with other members of their court.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Students are not permitted to withdraw from the course after the first class, except for students who receive permission to withdraw from the professor.

LAW 196 v03 Free Press

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

"Congress shall make no law . . .," the First Amendment commands, "abridging the freedom . . . of the press." But Congress, the Executive Branch, and the courts have promulgated a host of laws governing both print and electronic media. This survey of mass media law explores such current topics as prior restraints on publication, defamation, privacy, newsgathering liability, media liability for unlawful conduct of third parties, compelled disclosure of sources, and access to information. Practical aspects of representing media clients are examined along with public policy implications of existing legal doctrines and proposals for change. Much of the course is discussion-based, and students will be expected to make meaningful contributions to that discussion, with class participation forming the basis for one-fourth of the grade for the semester.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES THE PROFESSORS’ PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should complete a brief Google form found here with a short explanation of their interest in the course by 5:00 p.m. on June 13, 2023.  Thereafter, the professors will admit students into open seats from the waitlist on a rolling basis.  PLEASE NOTE:  This course will not be offered during the 2024-25 academic year.

LAW 1812 v00 Free Speech on Campus: Law and Policy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Our society’s intense polarization has had serious consequences for our campuses, in no arena more significant than freedom of expression. In today’s toxic environment, how can students and faculty, and the numerous other stakeholders, pursue liberal, rational, open learning? How can they speak up without fear? How can campus administrators ensure safety and maintain civility? What speech is protected and what speech is deemed to be hateful? What legal redress can there be for threatening speech? What are the effects on all of us of a lack of free inquiry and civility on campus?

This course seeks to answer those questions as it considers the contours of free expression on campus. We will cover the distinctions between public and private colleges and universities, religion and free expression, and the relationship among free expression, academic freedom, shared governance, and freedom of association. We will consider the limits on expression, and where behavior crosses over the line from being protected to become the proper subject of disciplinary action or removal from the institution. We will also address the way in which the boundaries of free expression are foundational to institutions of higher learning. To say that expression is protected is a threshold issue, not the end of the discussion, bringing us to a compelling topic for the nation generally, and academia particularly: the relationship between free expression and civility in the public square.

Learning Objectives:

Our goal throughout the course will be to understand the breadth of issues faced by higher education institutions in their mission to further free and open debate and discussion, and also maintain a safe and appropriate learning environment for all members of the community. We will focus on applicable legal doctrines as well as the philosophical underpinning of free inquiry and academic freedom. Whether or not students seek to serve as a University Counsel, all need to understand the laws underpinning the fundamental freedom of expression. Our campuses are the places where knowledge is created and transmitted, and therefore what happens on campus matters beyond its confines.

There is also a skill-oriented aim of this course. Students will often be in the position of the college or university’s general counsel, or other members of the administration, having to articulate the standards that apply to the institution, making or recommending decisions in particular cases, or formulate campus policy. Students taking the course for 3 credits, who will write a significant research paper, will have the opportunity to develop their skills in legal research and writing as applied to a particular issue and will present their papers at the final class meeting.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1829 v00 From Formation to Exit - Capital Formation for Startups

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course is early stage financing from formation to a $75M Reg A+ round in hyper-speed. Students will play the role of the company’s outside legal counsel. Students will assist with formation, capital formation, and general legal guidance. They’ll assist with raising a $1 million pre-seed round from friends and family, a $5 million Regulation Crowdfunding Offering, and eventually a $75M Regulation A+ offering. Lastly, the company will receive a term sheet from a prominent VC which students will assess, issue spot, and advise the company thereon.

 

Strongly Recommended: Securities, Corporations

Note: UPPERCLASS WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 8, 2024 through Thursday, January 11, 2024, 6:00 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Note: Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar at lawreg@georgetown.edu. A student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1857 v00 From Nuremberg to Kyiv: Aggression and Accountability Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The Russian Federation’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine brings to the forefront the question of aggressive war. The 1946 Nuremberg Charter labeled aggression a “crime against peace,” and the Nuremberg Tribunal called aggressive war the supreme international crime. The UN Charter forbids the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state. In its turn, Russia has invoked its right of self-defense under the Charter.

Legal questions pale in comparison with the life-and-death issues on the ground—but the legal questions are important, and will have long-term consequences. They include questions about how to define international crimes, mechanisms of accountability (the International Criminal Court, a proposed special tribunal for aggression, domestic prosecutions), immunities, and the very nature of sovereignty.

The seminar will tackle these questions not only from a legal point of view, but also from the points of view of history, philosophy, political theory, and practical questions. We will look closely at the Nuremberg trials and the formative era of the UN. We will consider the question of whether the United States has also waged aggressive wars – in Vietnam, the Balkans, and Iraq. This will require an examination of so-called “anticipatory self-defense” (preventive war) and humanitarian military intervention as justifications for use of force.

Although the focus will be on crimes against peace, the seminar will also treat other core international crimes: genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

LAW 3152 v00 Front Lines and Foreign Risk: National Security Through the Lens of CFIUS and Team Telecom

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines how the United States increasingly relies on two committees to assess risks to national security arising from foreign investment in the United States and foreign participation in U.S. telecommunications. Specifically, this course provides students the opportunity to compare and contrast the assessment processes established by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (Team Telecom). To establish a foundation, students will consider the history of CFIUS and Team Telecom since the millennium and examine how successive administrations and Congress have shaped foreign risk reviews, which have dramatically increased in frequency, gravity, and complexity with greater public visibility. Students will assess how CFIUS and Team Telecom reviews fit within the broader U.S. national security strategy and will consider the increasingly prevalent view that economic security is national security. Students will learn that although national security priorities vary from administration to administration, bipartisan attention has continued to focus on risks related to foreign investment in the United States, particularly regarding the development of critical technologies (e.g., microelectronics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing among others). Throughout this course, students will be encouraged to consider how the government balances the benefits of foreign investment and participation, including promotion of economic growth, productivity, competitiveness, and job promotion, while protecting national security.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Foreign Investment & National Security: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

LAW 1930 v00 Gen AI and Big Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

The rapid rise of generative AI is creating new challenges for corporate law practice. Law firm leaders are concerned that using Gen AI. for legal tasks will create significant legal and financial risks. At the same time, clients are saying they will not pay for services provided by associates if those services could have been performed by AI. Caught between these poles, corporate firms are trying to figure out how Gen AI fits into their service delivery and business models. Meanwhile, several legal research/legal tech companies are developing increasingly sophisticated legal AI tools in the hope of harnessing the power of Gen AI for research, writing, and analysis to capture a piece of the very sizable corporate legal market. 

This course is intended to teach students how to use Gen AI in a corporate practice setting and expose them to the ethical, business, and other challenges that Gen AI poses for that sector. To learn how to research and perform legal tasks aided by gen AI, students will have the opportunity to work with Vincent AI, a cutting-edge legal research platform developed by VLex, a global legal intelligence that provides access to the most extensive collection of legal and regulatory information worldwide. We will also consider legal Gen AI through a broader lens and explore the ethical issues raised by legal Gen AI how it fits – or doesn’t -- into the traditional corporate law business model; and what the future of corporate practice might hold.

Learning Outcomes.

By the end of the semester, students will:

  • understand how to use legal Gen AI to assist in legal research, writing, and analysis.
  • understand the risks and benefits of using legal Gen AI
  • understand the professional responsibility issues raised by legal Gen AI
  • understand the opportunities and challenges legal Gen AI for corporate service delivery and Big Law’s business model.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Advanced Legal Writing with Generative AI.

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit. This class will meet in Fall 2024 on Wednesdays, 11:10 a.m. - 1:10 p.m. on the following dates: 8/28, 9/11, 9/25, 10/9, 10/23, 11/6, and 11/20.

Enrollment in the LAWG section of this course is restricted to students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. and the Master of Law and Technology programs.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

LAW 1075 v00 Gender and Immigration (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will focus on governmental protection for persons fleeing gender-based persecution and abuse. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and ten hours/week of fieldwork with law firms and nonprofit organizations in the D.C. metro area to assist lawyers representing clients fleeing their countries due to gender-related violence.

SEMINAR: In the two-credit, graded seminar portion of the practicum, students will discuss how shifting migration patterns and societal forces have caused more women and sexual minorities to leave their home countries and immigrate to the United States. In many countries, individuals face persecution and violence on account of their gender. This includes the use of rape as a weapon of war, domestic violence, so-called honor crimes, forced marriage, widow rituals, one child policies, forced sterilization policies, and female genital mutilation. During the seminar, students will study and learn through experience about the societal forces causing the forced migration of women and sexual minorities and how U.S. laws and policies address the immigration status of these immigrants. We will focus on forms of relief that, while available to both men and women, are primarily accessed by women and members of the LGBTQ+ community to obtain legal status in the United States. Specifically, we will focus on: asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, the Violence against Women Act, U Visas, and T Visas.

FIELDWORK: In the two-credit, mandatory pass/fail fieldwork portion of the practicum, students will work with lawyers from law firms and nonprofit agencies on real cases of immigrants fleeing their countries because of gender-based violence. Students will be assigned in teams to interview clients, prepare research and briefs, and assist the principal lawyer conducting the case. Students will also work directly with attorneys at local legal service agencies who are representing survivors of gender-based harm seeking legal status in the United States.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Immigration law courses, administrative law, and trial advocacy courses. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: LL.M students may enroll in this course, space permitting, provided they have excellent U.S.-based legal research skills, English language, and writing ability. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to working 10 hours/week (during business hours) for private law firms and nonprofit agencies.

Students are responsible for organizing their own transportation to meet clients in the D.C. metro area, which includes clients in Virginia.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be two class sessions in the first week – one at the regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting time and the second on Wednesday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. FIRST AND SECOND CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the first and second class sessions in order to be eligible for a seat in the class, and must attend both class sessions in their entirety.

Due to the case and team structure of this practicum, students may only drop this class up until the start of the second class session on Wednesday, January 17. After that time, students will only be permitted to drop the class with permission of the professors and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education AND only when remaining in the practicum course would cause significant hardship to the student.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The two-credit seminar portion will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as this practicum.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1272 v00 Gender and Sexuality

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will provide an introduction to the legal contexts and theoretical debates surrounding sex, gender, sexuality, and their intersections.  We will explore the way gender and sexuality have been debated, defined, and redefined in the contexts of gender identity and performance, sexual pleasure, reproductive rights, sexual violence, marriage, family organization, work, and education.  In these contexts we will consider the evolution of the law, the discursive effects of law, and the ways feminist and queer theorists have challenged and reimagined prevailing legal rules and cultural norms. In short, the class will probe the ways that law is gendered, sexualized, and raced, and with what overall effects on social institutions and practices.

Key topics will include:

  • The Mutual Influence of Identitarian Politics and Law 
  • Constitutional Law of Sex Equality, Liberty, and Religious Objection
  • Regulation of Sexual Conduct
  • Regulation of Reproduction
  • The Evolving Meanings of Marriage & Family
  • Sexual Harm & Consent
  • Gender & Sexuality at Work, School and other Institutions

Strongly Recommended: Constitutional Law II.

LAW 2065 v00 Gender and U.S. Foreign Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In recent years, the U.S. has developed a comprehensive policy framework that recognizes gender equality as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy and international law. This class will introduce and analyze these policies, including the U.S. National Security Strategy; Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017; U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally; U.S. Strategy on Women’s Economic Security; State Department and USAID policy guidance on gender. We will examine the legal basis for women's human rights, as well as the body of evidence linking women's advancement to development, prosperity, and stability. Issues covered will include gender and economic growth, peace and security, political participation, development, gender-based violence, and international institutions and treaties. This class will feature prominent guest speakers in the field.

LAW 1882 v00 Generative AI and the Future of Free Speech & Copyright Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

In this course, students will gain an understanding of the technical basics of generative AI models and the copyright, First Amendment, and intermediary liability legal questions that will shape these models’ development and use. Through course readings—including case law excerpts, law review articles, technical briefings, and policy white papers—class discussion, and experimentation with generative AI tools, students will develop familiarity with the capabilities and limitations of these tools and an understanding of how questions around generative AI relate to broader law and policy debates about freedom of expression in the digital age.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1298 v00 Global Anti-Corruption Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In 1977, the United States adopted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) to combat bribery of foreign public officials. As with many U.S.-led initiatives, it was seen at the time as naïve, quixotic, myopic, and doomed to failure. A little more than 20-years later, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) adopted its Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials, and as required by the Convention, the countries of Western Europe promptly adopted organic statutes modeled, in large measure, on the FCPA.

In the ensuing decade and a half, prosecutions of corporations for foreign bribery have become perhaps the most important prosecutorial priority for the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and certainly the most financially lucrative U.S. prosecution initiative. Transnational investigations have become a staple of these prosecutions. All 10 of the largest FCPA prosecutions have occurred since 2008; of these, eight have involved foreign corporations.

This course will cover the development of U.S., international, and foreign initiatives against public-official bribery. Because (at least in the US) most of these cases have been resolved without litigation, we will focus on critical, unresolved issues, such as the FCPA’s definition of a foreign “instrumentality” and a “foreign official,” as well as the scope of U.S. extra-territorial jurisdiction. In addition to addressing the substance of foreign and international laws and conventions, we will explore the critical issues that arise from the growing trend in trans-national investigations and prosecutions, including double jeopardy, res judicata, and international data collection.

We will explore these issues through fact-based, real-world scenarios drawn, in large part, from the “Bonny Island” case, which involved a scheme by four international corporations to bribe three successive Nigerian presidents (as well as a constellation of lower-ranking officials) to secure multi-billion dollar contracts for the construction of an LNG facility in Nigeria. We will use this factual setting to frame class participation and in-class exercises and projects, with the goal of sharpening critical thinking, tackling complex legal questions in concrete factual settings, and honing advocacy skills.

Learning Objectives:

We have the following expectations of learning outcomes:

  1. We expect each student to achieve mastery of the basic concepts underlying the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including the basic statutory terms, the elements of the various offenses, and the scope of U.S. jurisdiction. In our experience, it is impossible to fully understand and discuss more challenging questions about the scope or application of the statute without mastery of the fundamentals.
  2. We expect each student to gain an understanding of the roles and policies of the U.S. enforcement authorities, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the manner in which FCPA cases are investigated, prosecuted, and defended, as well as how the U.S. enforcement agencies would approach a problem and what outcomes are likely to result.
  3. We expect each student to gain an understanding of the global enforcement landscape for anti-corruption. Students are expected to achieve a basic understanding of the OECD Convention on Bribery, other international anti-bribery conventions, and the leading state laws, including the Brazil Clean Companies Act, the UK Bribery Act, and the French Sapin II. Students will also gain an understanding of the role of the World Bank and other multi-lateral development banks in the worldwide scheme.
  4. We expect students to learn the basic principles of anti-corruption compliance programs, and the manner in which anti-corruption compliance impacts the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of FCPA cases, as well as violations of similar foreign laws.
  5. Through scenario-based learning, we expect students to gain a facility in applying law to fact and an understanding of how governments and defense counsel approach challenging question of jurisdiction, enforcement, and punishment in a multi-jurisdictional, cross-border setting.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and International Efforts to Combat Corruption Seminar.  Students MAY receive credit for this course and Global Anti-Corruption Seminar with Professor Hagan.

LAW 726 v00 Global Competition Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course examines the current state of competition (or “antitrust”) policies and enforcement mechanisms around the world, using case studies from the US, EU, Asia and elsewhere. The international competition community is in the throes of a vigorous re-examination of the goals and tools of competition regulation and policy: has inadequate or ineffective competition regulation contributed to excessive industry concentration, income inequality, stagnant wage growth, and related harm to consumers and society? Or are existing competition enforcement tools sufficient to address actual competition problems, leaving other economic and social issues to be better addressed by other public policies and tools? Do digital markets and “platforms” require special rules? These issues present the challenges of accommodating competition policy to evolving political, economic and social demands.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students: Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law. LL.M. students should have some previous work experience or coursework in U.S. antitrust law or competition regulation in other jurisdictions; otherwise professor's approval required before enrolling.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: International Business and Economic Law LL.M. International Business and Economic Law LL.M. - List A International Legal Studies LL.M.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students.

LAW 726 v01 Global Competition Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will examine the development of competition laws around the world, differences in substantive standards among the major enforcement jurisdictions; the role of historical, political, and economic forces that affect those differences; and the possible consequences of those differences. We will start with a basic understanding of competition principles common to key jurisdictions including the U.S., Canada, the EC, the UK, and Japan, and will compare and contrast these with the principles applied in developing and transition economies, such as China, Mexico, India, and South Africa. Particular emphasis will be on current issues and trends including the role of antitrust in a digital economy, multi-jurisdictional merger control, and regulation of dominant firm conduct. We will also consider the role of competition policy in economic and political development generally.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students: Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law. LL.M. students should have some previous work experience or coursework U.S. antitrust law or competition regulation in other jurisdictions; otherwise professor's approval required before enrolling.

LAW 3028 v00 Global Drug Law and Regulation

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Globalization and the international trade of drugs and medical products have progressed beyond any single regulatory authority’s ability to effectively ensure the quality, safety, and effectiveness of these products. In the U.S., the importation of foreign sourced products has increased tremendously, accounting for over 80% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients. However, varying drug regulations have resulted in gaps in oversight causing differing views on the acceptable level of risk in public health leading to drug quality related deaths and other serious harms. One clear reason for this compromised system is the differences in how these products are regulated from country to country. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical and related industries are thriving in the global marketplace. This course is intended to be the first comparative survey into the regulatory frameworks of certain key countries, both developed and developing markets, along with international institutions, such as the World Health Organization, involved in promoting the access and development of safe, effective and quality medical products. This course will also identify the major international non-governmental stakeholders, and the multi-lateral schemes and treatises in which they operate that are intended to assist in the convergence of pharmaceutical laws and regulations.

LAW 493 v01 Global Health Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Global Health Law is the flagship course offered by Georgetown University Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. This course is open to both Georgetown JD and LLM students and is compulsory for students in the National and Global Health Law LLM and the Global Health Law and Governance LLM.

The survey course explores the roles that the law, lawyers, and legal institutions play in public health across the globe. Global health law encompasses international law and policy that directly or indirectly affects health, including treaties, regulations, strategies, and expert guidelines. This course provides a strong foundation in these instruments, laws and policies, including topics such as governance of the World Health Organization, Universal Health Coverage, the International Health Regulations, the role of the UN Special Rapporteur on Health, and the proposed accord on  global pandemic preparedness. The course also explores comparative national approaches to health governance, law, and policy.

The course is divided into three modules. Module 1 covers the foundations of global health law, providing overviews of public international law, international human rights law, international trade law, and the intersections between intellectual property law and health. Module 2 covers health systems and governance, including the World Health Organization, and public health ethics and principles. Module 3 addresses the human right to health and other key emerging topics in health law such as environmental law and health, the global campaign for Universal Health coverage, and the use of litigation to advance the right to health. The course culminates in students presenting proposals to reform international law to better protect and promote global and public health outcomes.

Students will hear from leading voices in global health law and benefit from the expertise of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, as well as other resources at Georgetown University and in the broader Washington, DC community.

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of the substantive foundations of global health law, including public international law; human rights law; global health governance; the interface between international trade and intellectual property law and health; and principles of public health law.
  2. Knowledge of the legal issues related to a range of global health challenges, including access to health care and prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases.
  3. Knowledge of the various roles that lawyers can play in advancing global health, including legal drafting, negotiating, litigation, and advocacy for law reform.
  4. Ability to use various skills relied upon by global health lawyers, including legal research, analysis and writing, strategic thinking, and communication. 

Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law I.

Note: Required for the Global Health Law LL.M.

 
 

LAW 594 v00 Global Health Law: An Intensive, Problem-Based Exploration

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In this intensive course, students will work with faculty and fellows at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law to gain an in­depth understanding of global health law through intensive examination and role play of one or more major problems in global health. Potential problems could include a naturally occurring infectious disease epidemic such as extensively drug resistant tuberculosis; a future epidemic such as pandemic Influenza (A) H5N; an intentional introduction of a lethal pathogen such as anthrax; and/or major chronic diseases caused by obesity or tobacco use. Students should come to this course with a basic level of understanding of global health law, including the major international health treaties and governing structures. When studying and role playing these kinds of problems, students will be asked to construct innovative methods of global health governance, drawing upon existing international health law and institutions, along with a vision for more ideal models. 

Full attendance and participation is required at all sessions. Class sessions will consist of a combination of lecture, case simulations, and discussion. Grades are based on student participation and a final paper.

Note: A student will be permitted to drop a course that meets for the first time after the add/drop period, without a transcript notation, if a student submits a written request to the Office of the Registrar prior to the start of the second class meeting. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1836 v00 Global Health Security and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course analyzes the subject matter of global health security as it is shaped by international agreements and national implementation and preparedness laws. As societies and economies are increasingly interwoven and interdependent, new forms of health security threats have arisen, and nations are now contending with such implications through established agreements like the International Health Regulations (2005), a draft new pandemic agreement, and various forms of “soft power” diplomacy to mitigate infectious disease risks. In recent years, the realm of health security has expanded greatly with more governments, companies, and NGOs working to solve problems and pursue opportunities. Most prominently, the COVID-19 pandemic has shattered existing paradigms of stability and security, with ramifications from the global perspective down to that of nearly every world citizen. Over an immersive weekend of overview and interaction, this course highlights prominent threat categories, namely the “3-D threats” of Disaster, Disease, and Disorder. This seminar will be devoted as an active legal laboratory in which student ideas are solicited and shaped with the participation of the class.

The objective of the course is to crystallize student understanding at the international, national, and local legal level, the perspective viewed by national and organizational leaderships, and to frame student thinking by developing a broad, contextual understanding of the situation of health security. The course will draw connections between direct experience with purposeful intent through class exercises. Practical frameworks will be employed to simplify the dynamics within complex situations, and to organize student thinking about actions and options. An overnight simulation activity assessing a humanitarian crisis between the first and second day invites analysis about cause-effect, goals-intentions, and interventions-consequences. Two special guest speakers will share experiences on the policy frontlines, further enriching classroom dialogue. The course relies on active participation that feeds a mutual learning environment and that catalyzes and reveals students’ ideas as they occur, thereby fostering an at-the-ready style of nimble thinking and conversing.

 

LAW 900 v01 Global Indirect Tax: The VAT

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

During this century, the United States has raised revenue chiefly through the income tax, which is a per capita or direct tax. In many other countries, fiscal authorities rely far more heavily on indirect taxes. With the pace of globalization accelerating, U.S. tax professionals increasingly advise foreign clients, for whom indirect taxes may constitute a large percentage of aggregate tax liability. A basic knowledge of how these taxes work is thus a valuable asset for any lawyer doing corporate or international tax work.

This course will introduce students to indirect taxation, exemplified by the European Union’s Value Added Tax (“VAT”) and Canada’s Goods and Services Tax (“GST”), two of the fastest-growing indirect taxes globally. The course will examine the economic and policy rationales for such taxes and study in detail how different types of value added taxes work, including tax calculations and cross-border aspects. Finally, the course will compare the VAT with the retail sales taxes imposed by many U.S. state and local governments and will consider the feasibility of adopting some version of a VAT in the United States. At the end of the course, students will have a broad technical understanding of indirect taxes and an appreciation of the policy concerns that animate legislative and academic discussion of this important subject.

This two-credit course will be divided into nine 3-hour class sessions. All sessions will be taught by global indirect tax professionals from KPMG’s Washington D.C. office.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1726 v00 Global Law Scholars 1L Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 0 credit hours

This year-long non-credit seminar meets approximately ten times a semester. Generally, this seminar aims to acquaint incoming GLS participants with the wide variety of practice areas in international and transnational law through presentations by faculty and practitioners. This also includes practical sessions with upper level law students related to navigating law school. 

Note: This course is open only to first year Global Law Scholars.

LAW 661 v00 Global Law Scholars Seminar I: Building an International Skill Set

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This one-credit (7 session) seminar is designed to provide participants in the 2L year of the Global Law Scholars program with a concrete introduction to some of the specific skills used by practitioners in the fields of international and transnational law. Sessions are presented by a mixture of Georgetown Law faculty and outside practitioners. In addition to an overview of the basic features of international negotiation, arbitration and litigation, and an introduction to comparative law, emphasis is given to research, technical writing, fact-finding and advocacy skills. Skill development is taught through a variety of mechanisms (i.e., case studies, workshop style methods, role-playing, etc.). Student preparation for the various sessions includes readings on both skills and theoretical background. Student evaluation at the end of the course is based on class participation and completion of a short piece of technical writing (i.e. white paper).

Learning goals for this course: Ability to research and write/present a substantive legal topic. Ability to work together as a group on an advanced level topic. Awareness of relationship between international and domestic law.

Prerequisite: This course is open only to second and third year Global Law Scholars.

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit. This class meets for seven sessions in the fall semester. Dates to be announced.

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 662 v00 Global Law Scholars Seminar II: Applying an International Skill Set

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This one-credit (7 session) seminar is designed to build on the experiences of the fall 2L GLS seminar (“Building an International Skill Set”) by affording participants an opportunity to apply the specific skills used by international and transnational lawyers in the context of a specific substantive area chosen by them. For 2013/14, the 2L GLS focused on constructing an international trade mechanism to promote corporate accountability in developing countries, specifically addressing environmental and human rights concerns. For 2014/15 the 2L group wrote an assessment of corporate compliance W.R. of 1502 of Dodd Frank in the area of conflict minerals. For 2015/16, the group conducted an in-depth analysis of implementation review mechanisms (CIRMs) in multilateral agreements. In 2016/17 the chosed topic was on use of armed force in outer space. Preparation for the group sessions includes background readings on the theoretical, practical and legal aspects of the relevant issues. Under the guidance of Georgetown faculty, participants determine in advance the goal of their work (for example, an analytical “white paper” on a particular substantive issue, a conference involving noted academics and experts, an advocacy effort, etc.). Student evaluation at the end of the course is based on class participation, contribution to the chosen goal, and completion of a short piece of technical writing.

Prerequisite: This course is open only to second and third year Global Law Scholars.

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward your seven credit pass/fail limit. This class will meet for seven sessions in spring semester. Dates to be announced.

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 068 v01 Global Revolutions, Civic Activism, and Civil Society

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Around the world, people are mobilizing to defend democracy, protect human rights, and promote sustainable development. We’ll study the international legal framework for civic activism, examining laws governing protests, social justice movements, and and nonprofit organizations. We’ll also explore the impact of national security, authoritarianism, and digital technology on civic space.

We'll take a global tour, comparing approaches in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. We'll discuss current events, play the role of UN Ambassadors, and help countries draft laws.

This class will provide skills and contacts to help you pursue a career in international human rights law. Past classes have spoken with UN officials, a lawyer for a group allegedly engaged in terrorism, and frontline human rights defenders.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the semester, you should have the ability to:

  1. Analyze international law governing the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression;
  2. Evaluate the extent to which national legislation complies with international law;
  3. Craft arguments to bring national legislation closer to international law and good practice;
  4. Communicate effectively with diplomats, government officials, and civic activists;
  5. Analyze ethical aspects that arise in crafting laws that affect the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression; and
  6. Assess the impact of law on nonprofit organizations, social movements, and protests.

Note: Space is limited.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety, or to make suitable alternative arrangements with the professor, may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 750 v01 Global Securities Offerings

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In this course, students will learn how to structure and execute global securities offerings. The course begins with a brief examination of the process of an SEC-registered offering in the U.S., and the ongoing requirements of SEC reporting companies, and then continues by examining how to conduct offerings, both domestically and internationally, outside of SEC registration. Topics include the registration requirements of 5 of the Securities Act, the various exceptions from registration, including Sections 4(a)(1), 4(a)(2) and 4(a)(7) of the Securities Act, the safe harbors pursuant to those exemptions, including Regulation S, Regulation D, Rule 144, Rule 144A, and the changes to certain of those rules and regulations by recent legislation, including the JOBS Act and the FAST Act. In addition to a thorough review of the rules and regulations in the course materials, this course seeks to give students insight into how those rules and regulations are used in practice, and into the mechanics of conducting various types of securities offerings, so that upon completing the course students are better prepared to address these topics in practice. The course was jointly developed by a senior SEC staffer and a private practitioner. Note that there is no pre-requisite for this course.

LAW 1646 v00 Global Tech Law: Comparative Perspectives on Regulating New Technologies

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

From AI to robots to social media, countries around the world are racing to regulate new technologies. Regulation is the principal mechanism to bring technology within an enforceable ethics framework. Will international competition create a race to the bottom to promote innovation at the expense of consumer protection? How can nations nurture their own Silicon Valleys consistent with their ethical values? We will examine how the same technology--from internet platforms, to algorithms, to drones, to self-driving cars, to smart cities, to sharing platforms --is regulated in various jurisdictions across the world. As countries across the world race to become the world's leader in artificial intelligence, how are they modifying their laws for a world of automated decision-making? What can countries or states or cities learn from each other? Just as there are technological network layers, there are regulatory layers: What is the proper regulatory layer for any particular technology or activity—the nation, the region, or the globe, or even city or state? In an era of unprecedented technological change, how we choose to regulate technology is more important than ever.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 565 v00 Globalization, Work, and Inequality Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

A backlash against globalization has emerged in advanced economies as a result of job loss, wage stagnation, precarious work and economic insecurity for the middle class. The liberal globalization of the last three decades is under attack for the unequal distribution of its gains and its failure to provide better opportunities for ordinary working people. Reimagining the global economy will require placing work front and center. This seminar will explore the changing nature of the workplace due to global competition and technological change. It will examine important policy debates about how best to create jobs, improve working conditions, and promote economic growth and well-being. We will analyze how a variety of factors, such as new modes of production and technologies, increasing participation of women in the economy, widespread migration flows, increasing global trade and capital mobility, and the rise of informal economies challenge the assumptions underlying traditional labor and employment regulation in both developed and developing countries. We will consider an array of innovative attempts – national, international, transnational, public, private and mixed -- to improve workplace conditions and assure employment opportunity consistent with economic growth and stability. We will also inquire about the moral and political commitments associated with various approaches.
There are no prerequisites. All students are welcome.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 202 v00 Government Contracts

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course analyzes the basic considerations in contracting with the federal government, including the sovereign's power to contract, the applicable statutes, regulations and executive orders, and sovereign immunity. Material covers methods of acquisition: sealed bidding or negotiation (competitive proposals); requests for quotations; Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracting; as well as the authority of government agents to contract. The materials also focus on the problems of contract performance, including changes; delays and suspensions of work; contract termination either for contractor default or for government convenience; and equitable adjustments and allowable costs. There is emphasis throughout the course on the practical as well as the substantive problems, including the dispute procedures before the boards of contract appeals and appeals to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, as statutorily mandated by the Contract Disputes Act of 1978; extraordinary rights and remedies, including recovery for defective pricing and fraud; and bid protest proceedings before the agencies, Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The course also includes a discussion of the changes to the government contracting process, to allow for "commercial item" contracting, as a result of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996.

Prerequisite: Contracts (or Bargain, Exchange, and Liability).

LAW 1110 v00 Government Enforcement Investigations: A Study at the SEC

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Government enforcement programs are more vigorous than ever, and lawyers on all sides of an issue need to be able to investigate and understand what happened. Investigative skills are an essential part of the toolkit of any attorney. Fact-finding and analysis are core elements of all legal work, but too often, lawyers are left to develop crucial, practical skills without guidance or training.

Government investigations – such as those into violations of the federal securities laws – require a unique skill set, above and beyond substantive knowledge of legislation and rules. Enforcement attorneys need skills to identify key documents, review large amounts of information, interview witnesses and then summarize their work in writing. The private attorneys representing companies and individuals need to do similar work.

The course attempts to provide practical skills in the context of broader ideas about how to investigate and about how the Securities and Exchange Commission investigates. This will include some substantive law and some academic critique of the SEC, but it will concentrate on practical issues like how to gather information, how to analyze it against substantive law, how to deal with lies, and why lawyers must make themselves comfortable with technical subjects.

Through this course, students will learn about how lawyers investigate through the lens of the SEC Enforcement Division’s securities enforcement investigation. Students will consider the life cycle of an Enforcement Division investigation – from the first tips through collecting information through deciding whether a violation has occurred – and gain an appreciation of how to use investigative powers responsibly. The course will rely heavily on publicly-available primary documents, including lawyer work product like subpoenas, transcripts, court orders, complaints and motions. The course will also include case studies for students to try their hand at making decisions.

The course will focus on the goals and tools of law enforcement, including how to start, plan and conduct an investigation. It will contrast those investigations with similar efforts by journalists, investors, and other government agencies. It will also examine investigations from the perspective of defense lawyers – both conducting their own investigations and responding to the government – so that students may learn how to act on behalf of private clients. We want students to think about and prepare for the investigations that they’ll do in their careers.

Recommended: We do not assume students have taken any other classes. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Securities Regulation may give you some familiarity with issues covered in this class, but it is not necessary.

LAW 008 v03 Government Processes

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course examines the various instruments the legal system has to deal with social problems. It seeks to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each instrument as a means of dealing with social problems and to provide students with an understanding of why one rather than another instrument is chosen. Upon analyzing the various options, the course will then undertake an in depth analysis of the regulatory state. The emphasis will be on institutional analysis, exploring the institutional roles of public and private actors in the regulatory state and the procedural framework within which those various institutional actors operate.

Note: This is a required course for Curriculum B first year students only.

LAW 008 v04 Government Processes

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

This course introduces you to the modern administrative and regulatory state. You will come to understand both the tremendous power exercised by administrative agencies and the significant constraints (legal and political) under which they operate. You will learn to identify the design features that might make an agency constitutionally problematic, the factors that make one type of decision-making framework more appropriate than another, the prerogatives and limits of agencies in interpreting the statutes they are charged with administering, and agencies’ prerogatives and limits in adjudicating facts and exercising policymaking discretion. You will also learn to identify the factors that affect the availability and timing of judicial review of agency action.

Note: This is a required course for Curriculum B first year students only.

LAW 1527 v00 Habeas Corpus Post Conviction Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This practicum will combine policy and litigation, focusing on the doctrinal law and lawyering skills necessary to effectively litigate writ of habeas corpus cases and is more appropriate for 3L students with a little more experience. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 15 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.

Habeas corpus gives those detained in the United States an opportunity to challenge their confinement through a unique mechanism: the imprisoned person sues the warden overseeing his or her confinement. A writ of habeas corpus claims that the government (state or federal) has improperly confined a person against his or her will. “Habeas” refers to the procedural mechanisms that state and federal governments have put into place to enable prisoners to challenge their confinement. Habeas is the method by which a convicted prisoner, including a prisoner facing a death sentence, can challenge their conviction and alert a judge to an unconstitutional sentence.

SEMINAR: In the seminar, students will be introduced to basic aspects of habeas law, a unique field that uses civil law to challenge wrongs in the criminal sector of the American legal system. All students will be expected to attend a weekly 2-hour seminar that will introduce basic habeas concepts. The seminar will incorporate hands-on learning to teach the theories of habeas law to prepare students for their work in the practical component of the course. The seminar will have a final paper to address issues in a case study that students will review in the seminar throughout the semester.

PROJECT WORK: Each student will be assigned to a team supervised by an attorney engaged in high-stakes litigation in the areas of capital defense or criminal defense. Depending on the posture of the team’s case, students will be expected to provide substantive legal writing. For example, in a capital habeas case in state court, students will likely be heavily involved in the investigation, which will entail reading trial and hearing transcripts, interviewing or reviewing notes from interviews with witnesses, reviewing expert reports, and culling evidence to support legal claims. A student with a case in this posture might be expected to conduct legal research regarding the relevant potential issues to litigate and to prepare a legal memo outlining the anticipated issues, the necessary facts to develop the issues thoroughly, and any anticipated pitfalls. On the other hand, if a habeas case is in federal court, the students will probably be involved in more traditional legal research and assist in drafting briefs before the federal district courts or appellate courts.

Prerequisite: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Prior coursework or other experience in criminal procedure is recommended but not required. Due to the challenging nature of habeas law, it is recommended that students wait until their third year to enroll in this course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this course and an externship.

Note: This course is open to JD students only. THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students must submit a resume/CV and a statement of interest in the course to Professor Christina Mathieson  (cm1855@georgetown.edu) by 5:00 p.m. on June 11, 2024. After the June 11 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis. Any student who is offered a seat in this course will be directly enrolled and will have one week only in which to drop. After that time, a student may only drop the course with the permission of the professor and the Assistant Dean of Experiential Education. Permission will be granted only if remaining in the practicum would cause significant hardship to the student.

This course is suitable for evening students; project work does not need to be completed during business hours. Students enrolled in this course should, however, be available by email during business hours.

This is a five credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits will be awarded for approximately 15 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 183 v03 Health and Human Rights (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

This course explores the potential of using the law, and specifically, the human rights legal framework, to improve health. Students will be exposed to real life projects at the domestic level in a number of different jurisdictions, especially but not exclusively from Latin-America and Africa; as well as at the regional and international level, including the Inter-American Human Rights System and the United Nations Human Rights System. With this approach, students will strengthen not only their knowledge of the human rights framework within their familiar jurisdictions, but will also have the opportunity to develop comparative legal research skills.

The human rights framework that students will learn in depth in this practicum is not limited to the right to health but involves other related human rights that are also social determinants of health or that are instrumental to the effective realization of the right to health. Therefore, students will be exposed to the substantive expertise needed to successfully practice the strategic use of the integrality of the human rights framework in the specific context of health. Students will also be required to consider the use of other legal frameworks that have the potential of having a positive impact on health outcomes.

The variety of projects will take into consideration the complexity and different dimensions of the right to health as well as the nature of the legal obligations that it imposes in different contexts. We will offer projects that respond to current and pressing global challenges with respect to health, for example, projects exploring the right to health and other rights in the context of public health emergencies, the link between health and the environment, the structural disadvantage that specific groups face with respect to their health and the role of private actors, to name a few.

For the execution of their projects, students will work with external partners of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, in particular, the Health and Human Rights Initiative. (“HHRI”).

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

Evening students who work during the day are encouraged to reach out to the professor to discuss whether this practicum course would be compatible with their schedules.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1028 v00 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

One-fifth of the U.S. economy centers around health care industry sectors. This seminar examines criminal, civil and administrative tools used by federal and state enforcement authorities to police the U.S. healthcare system. We will focus on cases brought under federal and state False Claims Acts (FCA), the Anti-Kickback Statue (AKS), Stark laws, Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The seminar provides a survey of the enforcement activities of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of Inspector General at Department of Health and Human Services (OIG), and state Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) in matters against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies, physicians, hospitals, clinical practices, nursing homes, laboratories, and others. The seminar materials thoroughly cover the statues, safe-harbors, and regulations that govern the health care industry. We will also discuss risk mitigation strategies and compliance program best practices across industry sectors to provide insight into the impact enforcement has on (1) clinical decision-making, (2) costs to providers, payers, and patients, (3) patient safety, and (4) quality of care. In an effort to maintain a broad perspective with the diverse and frequently changing legal landscape in the area, in addition to the case book, materials discussed and presented in this course draw from news reports, trade publications, and U.S. government agency materials.

The class requires a paper of approximately 20-25 pages in length.

Recommended: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 206 v03 Health Care Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

This course is Georgetown Law’s introduction to the law and policy of health care provision and financing. No single course can serve as a comprehensive introduction, and this class won’t try. Rather, we’ll consider central themes and selected topics, with an eye toward the larger questions that drive legal, political, and ethical conflict in the health sphere. We’ll begin with some context – the non-medical determinants of health, which have much greater influence on population-wide health than does clinical care. We’ll then turn to the idea of a right to health care, then to the roles of markets and government in making care available and containing medical costs. Next up will be an introduction to the Affordable Care Act, with an eye toward its conceptual framework, its critics’ core objections, and the main problems that it has left unresolved. We’ll examine some of the legal conflicts that have arisen over the ACA, then turn to brief introductions to several other areas of health care law, including medical malpractice, antitrust, and the role of for-profit v. non-profit institutions. We’ll finish with consideration of racial disparities in health care and tension between medicine’s clinical and social roles.

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on our medical care system’s shortcomings, as well as the social inequities that shape Americans’ health and well-being. Our nation’s response to COVID will thus play a substantial role in this year’s edition of the course – as both a matter of national urgency and a window onto these shortcomings.

LAW 3165 v00 Health Care Privacy and Security

LL.M. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will explore the primary legal and policy principles surrounding the use and disclosure of personal data across the healthcare industry – the key privacy and security laws, regulations and principles that govern how the healthcare industry operates. We also will focus on the concepts surrounding the privacy of health information, and evaluate why this information should be treated differently than other personal information (if at all). We will learn through understanding the relevant legislative and regulatory provisions, and by applying a series of case/situation examples for class discussion. The overall goal of the course is to provide both an understanding of the relevant legal principles for health care privacy in general and to develop an ability to address how these issues arise in legal practice.  

This course will emphasize the primary privacy and information security principles set out in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) as a baseline framework for compliance, and will explore how these rules apply in theory and in practice. We will discuss the best approaches for overall HIPAA compliance. We also will explore emerging areas for privacy and information security, including new enforcement principles, issues related to security breaches and breach notification, and the emergence of “non-HIPAA” data as a new challenge to the privacy and data security regulatory structure (including important developments connected to the Dobbs decision and the COVID-19 pandemic). We will spend some time on issues related to privacy and medical research. We also will assess how these issues affect the business of healthcare, including a broad range of strategic and compliance issues affecting healthcare companies and others that use personal data. We will conclude with an analysis of these issues going forward – how the law and the health care system are changing and how the regulation of the privacy of personal health data can impact these developments.

 

Recommended: Information Privacy Law (recommended but not required)

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed during the week of January 18 and January 25, 2025.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 3140 v00 Health Equity and Social Justice

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine the social, legal, and economic systems in the United States that have precipitated health inequities for different populations throughout history. Students will develop an intense understanding of U.S. public health law and policy constructs and the varied social determinants of health that affect public health outcomes by exploring how past and current U.S. law and policy perpetuate disparities. This course will also explore how legal and policy reform can be utilized to promote health equity and eliminate injustices across populations. Topics covered in the course include health disparities in the U.S. among LGBTQ, immigrant, rural, and minority populations; substance use policy; maternal and child health; and environmental health. The course will utilize various learning modalities such as research review, discussion, case studies, and guest lecturers. By the conclusion of the semester, students will be equipped with tools to leverage the law to improve health outcomes and the skills necessary to become successful practitioners working at the intersection of public health administration and law.

LAW 2037 v00 Health Information Technology and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Health care decision-making and innovation are increasingly driven and made possibly by vast stores of data. The importance of data has created an inevitable push-pull dynamic between concerns for confidentiality and demands for medical progress and cost containment. Data is both a privacy risk and a tremendous asset. This course will explore the legal and ethical issues at the intersection of health information, including where data comes from, how it is and should be protected, how it can be used, and risks to its integrity and security. In doing so, this course will cover a range of topics including health information privacy, future use of data assets, and conflicts of interest.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Master of Law and Technology Technology Law & Policy LL.M.

LAW 627 v00 Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 2076 v00 Health Law and Regulation

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Beyond health insurance and the delivery of health care, goods and services related to individual and public health are highly regulated in the United States, and often serve as a basis for international regulations. These goods and services are a large and growing part of the U.S. and world economy, with some estimates being that more than one-quarter of U.S. food and medical products are regulated by the FDA alone. This regulation is carried out directly by a variety of State and Federal agencies (such as the FDA, the CDC, and the NIH) as well as indirectly through the purchasing power of federally financed programs, such as Medicare.

This course will include an introduction to the basic legal and regulatory frameworks within public health and an overview of the Constitutional limits and policy choices that have led to current law. The course will then move to a review of several major fields of regulation. From a high-level, this includes the regulation of health professionals, health systems, and medical or food products impacting human health. The course will then conclude with an examination of several contemporary problems, such as the safe and effective use of human drug products, infectious-disease prevention and control, ethical research practices, and rationing and allocation of limited resources.

The primary objective of the course is to teach students about the regulation of public health at the intersection of state and federal levels, recognizing that such regulatory frameworks often become the template for international policies. Students will be called on to learn the basics of two fundamental statutes—the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Students will also be called upon to follow examples of administrative change under these statutes, each year analyzing a new set of proposed regulations and sub-regulatory guidance documents. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe the major means by which goods and services used in both personal and public health are controlled, as well as areas in which future changes are likely.

Currently, there is no text or case book on this subject. The primary readings will be assigned by the professor.

Note: This is a required course for the US Health Law Certificate.

LAW 1828 v00 Health, Law and Islam

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The Muslim view is that the origins of Islamic legal code are rooted in the Muslim holy text (the Quran) and Sunna (the portion of Muslim law based on the prophet Mohammed’s words or acts), and it is this jurisprudence that gives Islamic religious practice its connection and sustainability in everything including health law and policy.

This seminar provides an overview of where Islam as a rule of law and global health intersect through subject specific segments. The seminar will start by exploring Islamic law and the history of healthcare under Islamic law and move into segments that discuss food hygiene jurisprudence, prophetic medicine as Sunna, bioethics and Islam, mental health and Islamic law, migrant health and Islamic law, and finally sexual, reproductive and human rights under Islamic law. It presupposes the Quran and Sunna as the legal documents and where relevant, the seminar will discuss comparative aspects to western perspectives.

This seminar supports the notion that global health law is part of a growing health diplomacy where it becomes vital to understand key aspects of how culture and religion can influence health, policy and the law locally and globally.

LAW 311 v01 Higher Education and the Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Higher education plays a singular role in our society. Colleges and universities are complex organizations and institutions with unique missions to discover, create and transmit knowledge, and to further social mobility. Higher education intersects with the law in a myriad of ways. This course examines the legal issues that shape higher education, particularly in the United States. The course covers the distinctions between public and private colleges and universities, religion and higher education, accessibility to and financing of higher education, academic freedom, shared governance, admissions, free expression, privacy and freedom of association, campus safety with a particular focus on sexual assault, and issues of race, disability, gender and sexual orientation. We will consider student rights and responsibilities, faculty issues concerning research ethics and the classroom, and the roles of presidents, governing boards, and university general counsels. Materials include relevant statutes and cases as well as readings from related fields. Our goal throughout the course will be to understand the breadth of issues faced by higher education in the United States in pursuing its mission, and the ways in which legal rules and norms relate to these issues.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note:

Students may take this seminar for either 2 or 3 credits. All members of the seminar are required to write a number of short reaction papers. Students taking the seminar for 3 credits are also required to write a research paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. 

 

LAW 216 v02 Historic Preservation Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

In recent decades, the preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes has become a significant basis for regulation of private property, as well as an important motive for public and charitable ownership. In the District of Columbia, for example, there are over 25,000 buildings and 60 historic districts protected. This seminar examines the theory and practice of historic preservation. The practical focus of the course will be on the nationally significant law and institutions in the District of Columbia and how they might be improved. Students will have opportunities to hear from recognized preservation experts and architects, visit several districts, attend public proceedings of the DC Historic Preservation Board, and meet with actual participants in controversial preservation battles. Each student must complete a substantial original research paper, as the seminar satisfies the upperclass writing requirement.

Recommended: Constitutional Law and/or Land Use Law.

Note: J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the two-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 220 v02 Homelessness, Poverty, and Legal Advocacy Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will explore the many facets of homelessness and poverty and the role of legal and community advocacy in addressing its causes and alleviating its consequences. Students will be introduced to the myriad societal problems and individual challenges that intersect in homelessness and will work on developing solutions to those problems and challenges. Throughout the semester, the class will be building towards developing a strategic advocacy plan to address one of these problems/issues. Students will develop the skills needed to lay the groundwork for such plan to become a reality. The course will be very skills focused, exploring the variety of tools in a public interest lawyer's tool box that stretch beyond traditional notions of legal practice.

Throughout the semester, students will engage in a number of in-class problem solving exercises which will require students to identify a client's problem(s) or issue(s); define the client's goals; and develop advocacy strategies to help the client attain those goals.

Each student is required to participate in or observe an advocacy-related activity (e.g., attending a Council hearing or community meeting or training) on an issue relevant to the course.

In lieu of one research paper, students will develop a portfolio of written materials to advance an advocacy strategy centered around a substantive topic of the student's choosing. The portfolio will include: strategic advocacy plan; sign-on or "dear colleague" letter; advocacy letter; fact sheet; testimony; social media materials; outreach materials and a plan for a community meeting.

Learning Objectives:

Our objective is for students to gain an understanding of the complex legal and social issues that intersect in homelessness, as well as the different ways lawyers can address such issues. We want students to think "outside the box" of a traditional law practice and become familiar with other tools that can help clients achieve their goals. Students will learn about the considerations that go into developing an advocacy strategy and how to prepare the materials needed to implement that strategy, crafting advocacy messages for varied audiences and decision-makers.

LAW 1403 v00 Hot Topics in Antitrust

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Antitrust is dynamic. In regulating business strategy, competition law is only as effective as its understanding of each industry’s idiosyncrasies. Novel business practices reflect changing technologies, market conditions, and strategies. Antitrust lawyers do not simply master doctrine. Fluent in the basic principles of antitrust law and economics, they understand industry conditions and the enforcement agencies’ agendas. Above all, they stay abreast of cutting-edge developments in the law.

This seminar bestows that understanding. We will discuss today’s most hotly debated antitrust questions, explore how foreign jurisdictions’ competition laws and enforcement ideals deviate from U.S. practice, and delve into the industry-specific issues that arise in fields ranging from healthcare to wireless technology.

Major points of focus include the evolving relationship between antitrust law and intellectual-property rights. We shall discuss post-Actavis issues in the pay-for-delay space, including no-authorized-generic promises by pioneer-drug manufacturers and whether the continuation of infringement litigation immunizes a reverse payment. Outside of the life sciences, urgent questions involve antitrust limits on IP aggregation by patent-assertion entities and practicing firms. Further, when does a “privateering” agreement between a practicing entity and a PAE implicate competition law? Does the owner of a standard-essential patent violate antitrust law in seeking to enjoin a technology user despite its prior assurance to license on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms? We shall also address antitrust limits on patent licensing and refusals to deal. Agency guidelines overseas, such as in China, and enforcement actions in Asia more broadly hint at the direction of international antitrust in this area.

In the larger field of antitrust and technology, some commentators argue that big data and privacy may implicate competition policy. In 2016, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office accused Facebook of abusing its dominance based on privacy and big-data theories. Do those allegations hold water? A recurring problem in antitrust, which has emerged anew in the pharmaceutical industry, is predatory innovation. A separate development goes to the nature of actionable conspiracies where the lines between vertical and horizontal agreements become blurred. The Apple e-Books saga, which came to an end in March 2016 when the Supreme Court denied cert., has important repercussions for the law in this space. We shall also address the ongoing debate about the reach of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which allows the FTC to reach beyond the Sherman Act to condemn unfair methods of competition. The FTC’s controversial 2015 statement of enforcement principles on Section 5 features here, and we shall ask whether it makes sense that the Justice Department and FTC can subject firms to distinct liability standards. We shall touch on pending legislation, the SMARTER Act, which touches upon those issues. A critical antitrust issue that remains unresolved is the scope of Noerr-Pennington immunity. Finally, we will discuss contemporary issues in healthcare-merger oversight.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in a basic antitrust course.

LAW 552 v01 Housing Advocacy Litigation Clinic at Rising for Justice, Law Students in Court Division

J.D. Clinic | 7 credit hours

Please see the Rising for Justice (Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic) website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Rising for Justice (Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic) PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1793 v00 Housing Law and Policy Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

In 1949, Congress enacted a broad Housing Act with the goal of providing “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.” In this course we will examine the laws and policies that have both advanced and impeded the United States’ achievement of this goal.  While the course focuses on the effects of housing laws and policies on low-income households and communities of color, we examine these effects with sharp attention paid to the ways in which housing laws and policies have privileged higher income households and white communities.  Through historical, sociological, political, and legal lenses, we examine housing law and policy holistically from Reconstruction to the present. Throughout the course, we will consider the role of affected communities in advocating for and/or resisting the laws and policies adopted.

Three broad themes animate this course.  First, we consider the question of a “right to housing,” including the extent to which such a right has been recognized, and the ways in which the absence or recognition of such a right has influenced law and policy.  Second, we discuss and debate the relative roles of the free market, regulation, and subsidization in expanding access to safe and affordable housing.  Third, we study the centrality of race to housing law and policy in the United States, including the historical and present role of racism in shaping housing outcomes.  Specific class topics include, among others, federal public housing and housing subsidies, exclusionary and inclusionary zoning, federal fair housing/antidiscrimination law, homeownership, homelessness, eviction, and substandard housing condition regulation. Across this range of topics, we will engage in both doctrinal and policy analysis.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this course, I hope you will be able to describe and discuss the major federal laws and policies that have shaped housing outcomes in the United States. I further hope that you will gain an understanding of the socio-political context in which such housing laws and policies developed, and that you will be able to describe the role of grassroots advocacy in pushing forward and/or resisting particular policies. Throughout this course, you will also gain a critical understanding of the role of race and racism in shaping housing law and policy.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1921 v00 How to Design Your Own Data Privacy Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Imagine you are the benevolent dictator of a country, and your population wants a new personal data privacy law. You are then tasked to design such a policy from scratch. This class discusses the many relevant decisions policymakers should make when shaping data privacy regimes.

In particular, this class covers: (i) what are the economic and non-economic reasons to regulate data privacy; (ii) what different bundles of rights are usually found in different data privacy laws, and how they interact with one another; (iii) the trade-offs involved in adopting a single comprehensive regime versus many sector-specific regimes; (iv) what are enforcement options to ensure that parties follow the laws on the books; and (v) how privacy laws interact with competition, innovation, national security, and other policies.

The focus of this class will be on consumer/citizen data privacy laws. While students will get exposure to black-letter law in many different fields, this course is not a general survey. Rather, students will be encouraged to think about law as institutional engineers. Data privacy is a field in flux, so class readings will be a mixture of privacy laws from different jurisdictions and academic articles in fields such as law, economics, computer science, and others.

Students should have some prior knowledge of privacy/data protection law before enrolling. Please check the requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Exposure to an array of doctrinal, statutory, regulatory, and policy landscapes in privacy law, and the complex interrelationships among them.
  • Exposure to privacy compliance considerations that confront both private- and public-sector organizations.
  • Awareness of international differences in the treatment of information privacy issues and comparative exposure to European data protection law in particular.
  • Refinement of analytical and writing skills.

Prerequisite: This is intended as an advanced data privacy seminar. Students should have some prior exposure to data privacy law and policy. More specifically JD students must have taken Information Privacy Course (LAWJ-342).  LL.M. students should have taken an introductory survey course in privacy law course in their home countries and/or have worked with the topic before the beginning of their Georgetown studies. 

Note: LL.M. students need professor permission to enroll in this seminar.  In order to receive permission to enroll, LL.M. students should send Professor Lancieri an email to fl505@georgetown.edu with a brief explanation of their prior coursework and/or professional experience. 

LAW 034 v10 Human Rights Advocacy in Action Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 7 credit hours

How can lawyers advocate effectively for solutions to pressing human rights challenges?

This project-based practicum enlists students in tackling real-world human rights challenges and creates a learning environment that equips students to analyze a problem, assess the legal and policy situation, and propose and execute strategies for change.

Students in this practicum receive intensive instruction from law professors and subject matter experts on both the relevant human rights law as well as effective strategies and tactics for human rights advocacy. Professor Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy and led Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations, as president and CEO before coming to Georgetown Law. Michelle Liu is an adjunct professor and has supported partner NGOs in several countries to promote women’s and children’s human rights through litigation and legislative reform. Melody Vidmar is the 2024–2026 Dash-Muse Senior Teaching Fellow and Supervising Attorney and has represented clients in all aspects of complex civil rights and liberties impact litigation before federal and state courts. Together with their professors and fellow classmates, students collaborate on a project that supports the mission and objectives of a chosen NGO partner of the Human Rights Institute (HRI). This collaboration gives students a unique opportunity to conduct legal and factual research, craft legal solutions, and develop an advocacy campaign with real-world impact. 

In partnership with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), the 2024-2025 Human Rights Advocacy in Action Practicum will explore avenues to advance Haiti’s case for restitution for its “independence debt,” a payment that Haiti’s former French colonial masters forced Haiti to pay in exchange for freedom from slavery and colonial rule. The catastrophic impacts of the independence debt on Haiti’s development and additional vestiges of colonialism on the Haitian economy and society continue to reverberate today. In addition to developing the case for restitution of this historic injustice, the Practicum will highlight the integral role Haiti’s restitution claim plays in the broader reparations movement. For more information about the project and partner organization, please visit HRI’s Practicum website here.

The practicum is a year-long course and comprises three mandatory components: a two-hour weekly seminar, project-related teamwork performed in and outside of class, and a week-long field investigation (likely involving international travel) during Week One in January 2025. 

Seminar

The seminar portion of the practicum will cover the substantive law and legal framework as it pertains to a particular human rights issue. Students will also use seminar time to propose and assess what legal remedies and accountability mechanisms may be appropriate and viable to address the human rights violation. Guest speakers with subject matter expertise may be invited to seminars to hold workshops and offer critique of student work. Finally, the seminar will also be the training ground for students to develop their critical thinking, public speaking, and persuasive writing skills through the formulation of a human rights advocacy campaign.

Project Work

Students will work in teams to complete a human rights project that furthers the mission of HRI’s partner organization. Depending on the particulars of the project, students may engage in any or all of the following:

  • conduct fact-based research on a human rights issue,
  • learn about the international human rights framework pertaining to the issue,
  • identify the legal gaps and barriers that are impeding justice, accountability, or the realization of human rights,
  • assess viable remedies and solutions to addressing such legal gap or barrier,
  • propose changes to legislation or draft a legal brief or policy report, and
  • develop a multimodal strategic campaign for human rights advocacy.

Field Investigation

Students will have the opportunity to conduct project-related field investigation during Week One. Students will have mandatory full-day obligations from Monday, January 6 through Friday, January 10, 2025. The field investigation may involve international travel to interview or consult with stakeholders, human rights advocates, community leaders, lawmakers, or other relevant individuals working on the ground. While the Practicum will not be traveling to Haiti, we will be working with IJDH to identify a field investigation location that will best serve the needs of the project. More details about the field investigation component of the course will be discussed and established in the fall semester.

Students will be required to complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program for ethical human subject research before Week One. Students must also have a valid passport with at least six months remaining from the first day of spring semester classes.

Learning Objectives

As a result of completing this practicum, students will be able to approach a human rights issue from the perspective of a legal advocate who is equipped to effect change.

Students will learn how to conduct desk research on human rights violations, as well as how to assess violations of human rights using international and regional treaties, international court jurisprudence, and other sources of law. Students will also learn how to conduct first-person interviews and/or meetings in a cross-cultural context.

Students will learn how to identify legal and political barriers that impede justice, accountability, and the realization of human rights. By working together with law professors and subject matter experts to formulate a viable, impactful, and victim-centric advocacy plan, students will develop the critical thinking and communication skills needed to become effective human rights advocates.

Credits

This is a seven-credit course. Three credits will be awarded in the fall—two for the seminar and one for the approximately five hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Four credits will be awarded in the spring—one for Week One, two for the seminar, and one for the approximately five hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project portion will be graded. The field investigation is an integral and required portion of the course. Students should consider their individual capacity to work cross-culturally with individuals who have experienced or are experiencing ongoing human rights violations. Permission to miss the Week One field-work portion of the course will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as a sudden illness or death in the family.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent (Fall 2024) enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law; International Human Rights Law; or the first-year elective, International Law, National Security, and Human Rights; or the first year elective, Transnational Law and Practice.

Full-time J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course. Part-time or transfer students may enroll prior to completing Property or their first-year elective.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may not concurrently enroll in another Week One course.

Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship, provided there is no scheduling conflict with any of the mandatory components of this practicum.

Note: This course is open to both J.D. and LL.M. students. This course may be suitable for part-time students with flexible work schedules. Interested part-time students should contact the current Dash-Muse Teaching Fellow to discuss their situation.

Application Process and Withdrawal Policy

THIS COURSE REQUIRES HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE PERMISSION TO ENROLL.

Students may apply by submitting a statement of interest, a resume, and a short writing sample to humanrightsinstitute@georgetown.edu. Selection criteria may include: a demonstrated interest in human rights, an ability to work independently and in a group, cross-cultural competence, and strong research, writing, and communication skills.

J.D. students who apply by 5 P.M. on April 8, 2024 will be informed of HRI’s decision on their application by April 23rd. These admitted students will be required to accept or decline the offer by 5 P.M. on April 25th. Applications received after April 8th (including from LL.M. students) will be considered on a rolling basis until 5 P.M. on July 26th or until all seats are filled.

Students who accept the offer to join the course will be directly enrolled.

Enrolled students will have one week (7 days) after the date of offer acceptance to drop the course without requesting permission. After that time, a student may drop the course only with permission granted by the practicum professors and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. Permission may be granted only if remaining in the course would cause significant hardship to the student.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 1777 v00 Human Rights Advocacy: Lessons from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and other Human Rights Campaigns

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

While the public tends to think about capital punishment in relation to a high court's ruling to prevent or allow an execution to go forward, the broader campaign to expose the flaws in the practice of capital punishment and to end the death penalty involves a complex interplay of strategies--federal and state legislative advocacy, strategic communications, and community organizing and litigation. Indeed, nearly every human rights challenge requires a combination strategy, with many moving parts that have different targets, different tactics, and require different skills. How does an advocate know which strategies are appropriate for which challenges?  How can you best prepare for some of the thorniest, most entrenched challenges to human rights? What tools are available to you?  And what if the combination of strategies creates ethical or other tensions? This course will explore the various ways in which litigation and policy advocacy can work together to bring about transformative change on complex and difficult human rights concerns. The discussion will be grounded in the long-term effort to end capital punishment in the United States and it will draw on lessons learned from other human rights campaigns.

This seminar will 1) introduce students to multidisciplinary campaigns for human rights and 2) explore how litigation and policy advocacy can be combined and leveraged to create opportunities to advance human rights.  Students will explore the range of strategies and tactics available and learn when and how to deploy them.  

At the end of the seminar, each student or team of students will have led fellow students through a logic model exercise, prepared a high level multidisciplinary strategy memorandum and led a mock coalition meeting to achieve alignment and engagement on their plan.

There is no textbook for the seminar.  Readings will include legal, academic, and general articles and materials on the subjects being covered.

Learning Objectives: The primary objective of this course is for students to understand the range of disciplines and tools available to them to implement a successful campaign and to identify synergies that can be achieved between litigation; policy advocacy, strategic communications and organizing. Students completing the course will understand which strategies to use when and how to navigate the potential conflicts between them.

 

LAW 1666 v00 Human Rights and Its Discontents Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

We live in an age of Human Rights. Human Rights, as law, discourse, institutional structure, activist organizations, subject activists and local constitutional expressions, can be considered the crowning achievement of Western humanist secular liberalism that has been able to universalize its dictates. And yet, especially since the 90s, critiques of human rights have compounded from those identified with the left of liberalism. Those critiques include: the socialist, the anti-imperialist, the democratic, the multiculturalist, the feminist, the libertarian and the anarchist. The critiques have been so powerful as to create a generalized sense of skepticism in the discourse of human rights within these quarters especially among an emergent generation of activists, scholars, and public intellectuals. Those critiques have been met by a counter critique by a new generation of human rights believers/activists. The bulk of the critique of the critique points to either an empirical evidence of the effectiveness of human rights discourse or to the internal incoherence of the critical claims.

LAW 034 v09 Human Rights Fact-Finding (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 7 credit hours

This project-based practicum course will give students the unique opportunity to participate in the Human Rights Institute (HRI) Fact-Finding Project. Through this course, students will gain the substantive background and skills needed to carry out a human rights investigation from beginning to end. Each year, the HRI Fact-Finding Project has focused on a policy-relevant human rights issue, including migrants’ rights, children’s rights, LGBT rights, and the role of human rights in the global economy. In the fall, students will participate in a two-hour weekly seminar and carry out at least 5 hours per week of project work. Over Week One students will carry out a virtual fact-finding investigation. In the spring, students will participate in a two-hour seminar every other week and carry out an average of 10 hours of project work per week. Students work closely with the Professor and Dash-Muse Teaching Fellow in conceptualizing and implementing each step of the Project.

SEMINAR: In the fall, the seminar will cover the substantive law and policy relating to health and human rights of migrant and refugee populations, as well as human rights fact-finding skills and methodology. In the spring, seminar classes will meet every other week and focus on the production of a human rights fact-finding report. Seminar sessions will be designed to guide students through each step of the human rights fact-finding process, including project design, interviewing, and reporting writing.

PROJECT WORK: Students will research a human rights problem in depth, conduct extensive outreach and interviews on the subject, and draft a comprehensive report on their findings. In January 2021, during “Week One,” the group will conduct interviews with victims or potential victims of human rights abuses and relevant stakeholders. The fact-finding investigation during the 2020-2021 academic year will be conducted virtually and take place from Monday, January 11 through Thursday, January 14, 2021 with a mandatory orientation on Friday, January 8, 2021. Students will be expected to work both independently and in teams.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law or International Human Rights Law no later than the Fall 2020 semester.

J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This course is open to both J.D. and LL.M students.

This practicum course may be suitable for evening students with flexible work schedules. Interested evening students should contact current Dash-Muse Fellow Melissa Stewart (Melissa.Stewart@georgetown.edu) to discuss their particular situation.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE PERMISSION TO ENROLL. J.D. student applications (comprised of a statement of interest, a resume, and a writing sample) are due by noon on Thursday, April 16, 2020. Admitted J.D. students will be informed of HRI’s decision on their application before they are required to make a clinic decision on April 20, 2020. Selected students will be required to accept or decline an offer to join the project by COB on Monday, May 4, 2020. J.D. students who have missed this deadline should contact Dash-Muse Fellow Melissa Stewart (Melissa.Stewart@georgetown.edu) to inquire whether seats are still available. Selection criteria include but are not limited to: a demonstrated commitment to human rights, experience interviewing or working with individuals affected by human rights violations, ability to work independently and in a group, and ability to complete complicated tasks on a deadline. LL.M. student application deadlines will be forthcoming this summer.

Additional information is available at https://www.law.georgetown.edu/human-rights-institute/our-work/fact-finding-project/.

This is a seven-credit course. Three credits will be awarded in the fall; two for the seminar and one for the approximately five hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Four credits will be awarded in the spring; one for the seminar, one for Week One and two for the approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project portion will be graded. Field-work is an integral and required portion of the course. Students should consider their individual capacity to work cross-culturally with individuals who have experienced or are experiencing ongoing human rights violations. Permission to miss the Week One field-work portion of the course will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as a sudden illness or death in the family. Students will receive a grade for the year-long course in the spring semester.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar, or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work, may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1858 v00 Human Rights, Then and Now Seminar: Philosophy, History, Prospects

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

“Human rights” names both a body of law and a moral ideal. The French revolutionaries issued a “Declaration of the Rights of Man” and the U.S. Declaration of Independence proclaimed rights that are both self-evident and unalienable. The British jurist Jeremy Bentham replied that the idea of unalienable rights is nonsense – indeed, “nonsense on stilts.” Today we confront similar philosophical debates. Millions believe that international human rights take priority over national politics and legislation. Is that true? Where do human rights come from? What are their limits? Most human rights treaties and declarations ground human rights in human dignity. But what is human dignity, and how does it ground rights? Which matters more, security rights or economic and cultural rights? – These are philosophical questions, and the first part of the seminar will focus on them.

Today the human rights movement faces grave political challenges. Human rights NGOs are under attack in many countries; the same with the International Criminal Court. Scholars warn of “the twilight of human rights law” and “endtimes of human rights,” and some argue that human rights treaties have made little practical difference. Others respond that the human rights movement has tangibly and measurably improved human well-being. Conservative critics warn of rights inflation and threats to state sovereignty; some on the left see the human rights movement as a minimalist substitute for global justice that fits too comfortably with neoliberalism.

This seminar will sample some of this writing and explore major philosophical and political issues about human rights today.

LAW 1286 v00 Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in the 21st Century: Legal Perspectives

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Slavery has been a phenomenon that has existed since before written history, yet it is only in the last 200 years that efforts to abolish it have gained traction. Today, increasing mobility, global supply chains, and continued social discrimination have created the environment for ongoing human exploitation, even though the formal practice of chattel slavery, or the legal ownership of one human being by another, is illegal virtually everywhere. Indeed, some estimate that there are more slaves today than at any other time in human history. Most recently, efforts to eliminate severe forms of human exploitation are being made under the banner of ending human trafficking (or more formally, trafficking in persons).

This course will provide students an overview of the multiple legal perspectives on combating human trafficking and modern slavery. This will include the definitional tensions between different perspectives, alternative approaches to addressing severe human exploitation, and an overview of the current U.S. legal framework for eradicating human trafficking and modern slavery and its weaknesses. Attention will be paid to commonly recognized principles in human rights, criminal and labor law, but also in such areas as corporate responsibility and immigration law. The class will use a range of materials, including international treaties, decisions of international and foreign tribunals, and more familiar U.S. statutory materials and legislative history (such as committee reports).

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the class, students should be able to

  • recognize many of the forms of and pervasive nature of human trafficking and modern slavery;
  • identify risks of human trafficking and modern slavery in most areas of practice they may choose in the future; and
  • have familiarity with emerging issues in the area of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Recommended: A prior course in public international law or international human rights.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Human Trafficking in International and Transnational Law.

LAW 037 v00 Immigration Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will examine the U.S. immigration system through legal and policy perspectives. We will explore the source, scope and constitutional limits of congressional power to regulate immigration; the executive branch implementation of immigration legislation, particularly procedures for entry and removal, and the extent of, as well as constitutional constraints on, Presidential power; and the administrative and judicial review of executive branch action. Close attention will be paid to how membership laws and policies are established and implemented: What laws and policies govern U.S. citizenship? Who is eligible to become a legal immigrant? How are annual admissions numbers set? How and why are family and employment priorities created? How does the U.S. protect refugees? With respect to the arrival of unaccompanied children from abroad, we will consider the laws and policies that govern how the U.S. government treats them. Unauthorized migration will also be examined to understand why some migrants do not use the legal route into the U.S. and what laws and policies the U.S. has in place to deter such unlawful movements at the border and control unlawful presence in the interior. We will analyze the impact of the major 1996 immigration control legislation and its implementation, with particular attention to detention and removal. We will closely examine the role of the Justice Department’s Immigration Courts, with special attention to access to justice issues. We will explore the extraordinary need for, and challenges of, immigration law reform, as well as the particular situation of the Dreamers, children without lawful immigration status brought to and raised in the United States by their parents. Finally, we will assess the various changes implemented by the Trump and Biden Administrations, particularly in connection with the treatment of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, the resettlement of refugees from abroad, and the removal of unauthorized immigrants.

LAW 037 v02 Immigration Law and Policy

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class will cover the constitutional and political framework for the U.S. Immigration System, enforcement and adjudication agencies, immigrants, nonimmigrants, removals and deportations, detention and bond, immigration hearings, judicial review, grounds for removal and inadmissibility, “crimmigration,” immigration reform, “Chevron” deference, refugee and asylum status and other international protections. It will also include reading and analyzing major immigration cases like INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987) (well-founded fear) and Matter of Kasinga, 21 I&N Dec. 357 (BIA 1996) (female genital mutilation).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework.

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1519 v00 Immigration Policy across the Branches

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Who can enter the United States as a visitor or an immigrant? Who will get asylum? Who will wait in a detention center? And when, according to immigration laws passed by Congress, over ten million migrants in the United States are unauthorized, who will actually be deported? American immigration law is the product of presidential policy, Congressional command, and various discretionary decisions made by executive officials including immigration judges and Border Patrol officers. This course will examine the relationships between these various decision-makers. We draw on examples from immigration policy throughout the years--from the Chinese Exclusion Act to former president Trump’s travel ban--to illustrate these issues. We also use case law from the Supreme Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and various federal circuits to understand how courts have evaluated these issues. Finally, secondary sources from historians and legal scholars help illustrate how various players the immigration system interact in practice. We will use this information to assess critiques of the immigration system and proposals for reform. These readings also introduce students to immigration related legal concepts including asylum, mandatory detention, and the use of the categorical approach to determining the significance of a migrant’s criminal history. Students will develop a familiarity with immigration practice as well as a more nuanced understanding of the legal and political issues that vex immigration law scholars.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a better understanding of the historic development of immigration law and policy.

  • Become familiar with legal concepts concerning asylum, immigration detention, and executive power over admissions