Public Interest Law

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 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 v00 Administrative Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 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 first-year elective by the same name or the first year electives, The Regulatory State or Legislation and Regulation, or Government Processes, or Legislation and Regulations: Law, Science, and Policy.

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 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 v06 Advanced Criminal Procedure

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course examines the process of criminal litigation beginning with the filing of charges and continuing through the trial. Topics covered include the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in the charging function, the preliminary examination and grand jury, bail, joinder and severance of defendants and charges, the right to a speedy trial, discovery, trial issues, the right to confrontation, the presentation of evidence, and jury instructions.

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 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 1604 v00 Affordable Housing Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 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.

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 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 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 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 Litigation (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 litigation unit 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 litigation group 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.

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 | 9 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 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 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. See https://pceinc.org/topics/publications/. 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.

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: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

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.

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 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, he/she 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.

LAW 1494 v00 Civil Litigation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 6 credit hours

The Law Center offers a one-semester, six-credit clinic focused on civil litigation, principally in federal district court. The clinic focuses on teaching students basic litigation skills: including, among others, interviewing clients, drafting complaints, conducting discovery, taking and defending depositions, drafting motions for summary judgment, and, on occasion, taking appeals. The clinic does not focus on a single area of law. Instead, it takes on meaningful public interest cases that are especially good teaching vehicles, including open government cases, cases involving administrative agencies, and consumer protection cases. The clinic’s clients are public interest, civil rights, environmental and other non-profit organizations, as well as individuals in need of legal services.

Students joining the clinic will be expected to work for at least 21 hours/week, including attending the two-hour weekly seminar. Students are also expected to participate in weekly rounds sessions, supervision team meetings for their case teams, and bi-weekly individual meetings with the faculty director and fellow.  Students will be engaged in substantial legal and factual research, drafting pleadings, motions, and substantial briefs, meeting with clients and opposing counsel, and attending court proceedings.

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

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

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 062 v01 Civil Rights

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course studies the statutory, common law, and constitutional issues that arise in federal civil rights litigation. For the fall semester of 2018, the course will focus on the primary civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which is used for constitutional (and some other) claims against state and local governments and their officials. Such constitutional torts include most prison litigation and police misconduct litigation and provide the basic vehicle for claims for both damages and injunctions. The course is constructed around the fundamental issues of recognition of constitutional claims (prisoners' rights to medical care, safety, and humane conditions, free citizens' rights to freedom from unnecessary force, unreasonable searches, equality, etc.) and creation of offsetting defenses (absolute and qualified immunity, sovereign immunity, etc.). The course will offer at least two "workshops" that give students an opportunity for practical experience in implementing these concepts and the policies behind them. Some attention will be given to related statutes that may supplement § 1983.

Learning Outcomes.  You should learn at the highest level of proficiency 1) topics listed in the primary syllabus and the theories and policies justifying them, 2) methods used by attorneys in the area of civil rights for finding or developing “law,” 3) professional skills (such as case analysis, potential case evaluation, how to listen and take notes, how to speak in public) used by attorneys in the area of civil rights, and 4) how to appreciate your own biases and limitations in doing all the above. The primary course evaluation is by the final exam.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties. This prerequisite can be waived by the professor for students who have taken the substantial equivalent or show they have other preparation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: This course may not be taken in 2019-20 by persons also enrolling in the Civil Rights Policy Seminar in 2019-20.

LAW 1684 v00 Civil Rights and Violence Against Women (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 practicum will focus on innovative efforts to redraft the Violence Against Women Act’s civil rights remedy to withstand constitutional scrutiny. 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.

The #MeToo movement tells us that the law has been deeply inadequate in responding to sexual assault and harassment. One reason, among others, is that Title VII and Title IX do not provide adequate remedies. They only apply in certain contexts and do not allow suit against the primary person responsible for the sexual assault and/or harassment that occurred.

Once upon a time, a federal remedy did exist to fill these gaps. The Violence Against Women Act’s (VAWA) civil rights remedy was in effect for six years before the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in United States v. Morrison. During that time, plaintiffs sued for harassment, sexual assault, and/or battering in a variety of contexts, including for example, workplaces, gyms, and doctor’s offices.

Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense), who led the effort to pass the original civil rights remedy, is the project partner for the course. Under the supervision of Professor Nourse, students will work on a variety of legal and policy projects throughout the semester that will inform Legal Momentum’s and (and other advocates’) next steps in the effort to revive this important civil rights remedy.   This year, the practicum will build on the prior two years research in this practicum, by focusing on a new federal model law, and a new state model law against sexual harassment and assault.

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 Wednesday, June 8, 2022. After June 8, 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 094 v01 Civil Rights Policy Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar studies the statutory, common law, and constitutional issues that arise in federal civil rights litigation. For the spring semester of 2019, the seminar will focus on the primary civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which is used for constitutional (and some other) claims against state and local governments and their officials. Such constitutional torts include most prison litigation and police misconduct litigation, providing the basic vehicle for claims for both damages and injunctions. Like the course in Civil Rights, the seminar will cover both judicial creation of constitutional claims as well as defenses against those claims.  Primary policy attention will be given to police misconduct litigation, an active area with substantial new developments and altered landscape over the past five years. The central policy issues in the area test the breadth of judicially created claims, the offsetting construction of defenses against such claims, and the resulting balance struck by the Court.  That balance suggests that the Court is moving rapidly -- and with surprising unanimity -- toward a new view pf police misconduct litigation.

Learning Outcomes.  You should learn at the highest level of proficiency 1) topics listed in the primary syllabus and the theories and policies justifying them, 2) methods used by attorneys in the area of civil rights for finding or developing “law,” 3) research methods, including appreciation of both theory and practice, for analyzing policy justifications for proposed legal norms, and 4) how to appreciate your own biases and limitations in doing all the above. The primary course evaluation is by the traditional two-draft seminar paper.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties. This prerequisite can be waived by the professor for students who have taken the substantial equivalent or show they have other preparation.

Note: The seminar will meet double-time for the first five weeks of the semester and only a few times thereafter for presentation of papers.

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.  Students registered in the 2 credit section must write a research paper of at least 4,000 words.

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 088 v00 Class Action Law and Practice

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

Class actions in such diverse areas as securities and corporate governance, employment discrimination, toxic torts, mass accidents, and consumer fraud have challenged the capacity and creativity of federal and state courts throughout the Nation. New forms of class suits continue to pose challenging questions for the judiciary. This seminar will focus on the class action device as an attempt to resolve disputes on an aggregate basis. The principal focus will be on emerging procedural and constitutional issues raised in recent and pending class action suits, and the treatment of those issues in the Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. The seminar will explore these issues by evaluating class actions in a variety of settings, focusing on appellate decisions that have resolved (or failed to resolve) significant issues in class action law and practice as well as case-studies of pending or recently decided class actions. The seminar will cover all phases of a class action, including pleading and other pre-certification issues, the certification decision, appeals from class certification decisions, class notice, settlement issues, trial, and the legal doctrines governing simultaneous overlapping federal and state-court litigation.

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

LAW 528 v01 Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR)

J.D. Clinic | 12 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 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 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 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. 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.

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 9, 2023, through Thursday, January 12, 2023, 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 20th through Friday, January 27th, 2023.  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

This seminar will explore the practice and strategy of constitutional litigation through a close study of recent constitutional challenges to Executive Branch action.

We will begin with a brief overview of major trends in constitutional litigation against the Executive Branch. We will then address specific 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 the varied challenges that may follow a successful lawsuit. Along the way, we will consider the strategy 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.

Although this list is subject to change in light of ongoing developments, we likely will cover many of the following topics:

  • President Trump’s "travel ban"
  • The exclusion of transgender persons from military service
  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell
  • The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
  • DACA and DAPA
  • Threats to revoke federal funds from sanctuary cities
  • The (unsuccessful) addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census
  • Requests by juvenile undocumented migrants to exercise abortion rights
  • The challenge to President Trump’s policy of blocking critics on Twitter
  • President Trump's compliance (or lack thereof) with the Emoluments Clauses
  • Efforts by the House of Representatives to compel testimony by former officials
  • Efforts by cities, states, and the House to obtain President Trump’s tax returns
  • The impeachments of President Trump

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.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure or Legal Process and Society; Constitutional Law I: The Federal System or Democracy and Coercion.

LAW 1270 v00 Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy Seminar

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

Over the past fifty years, American households have increasingly relied on borrowing to make ends meet. For most families, growth in household debt has outpaced growth in wages. Credit fills the gap between stagnant incomes and rising expenditures. As a result, many families struggle under unmanageable debt obligations. 

 
This course focuses on the laws that govern consumer credit and debt collection: state and federal lending and consumer protection laws, rules allocating rights and remedies between debtors and creditors, and federal bankruptcy law. We will examine both legal doctrines and the public policy debates that shape their development. The course is divided into four units. First, we will consider why families incur debt, where they borrow, and how debt fits into the household balance sheet. Then, we will explore how particular types of loan products are regulated, including “fringe” products like payday loans. Third, we will examine what rights the law gives to creditors to collect, such as through foreclosure of residential mortgages. We will likewise study the scope of debtors’ substantive rights and procedural protections, and the limits they place on debt collection activities. Finally, we will delve into the law of consumer bankruptcy, exploring the policy goals of the bankruptcy system and the 2005 bankruptcy reforms. Throughout the course, we will consider not only the formal legal rules governing household debt, but also how those rules work in the real world. 
 
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES 
At the end of the course, students should be able to: 
• Demonstrate knowledge of the key laws governing consumer debt and bankruptcy and of the recurring debates related to policymaking in this field 
• Research and master the existing literature on a topic in the field of consumer debt and bankruptcy, and make an original contribution to it 
• Evaluate and critique arguments presented in the course readings and other legal scholarship 
• Communicate ideas and arguments in an organized fashion, both orally and in writing

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 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 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 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 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 1485 v00 Criminal Justice Technology, Policy, and 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 practicum will explore the impact of technology on the criminal justice system, and will teach students how to design, build and understand technologies that affect criminal justice processes and policy. 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: Seminars will review the design, deployment, and impact of technologies throughout the criminal justice system, from law enforcement surveillance and monitoring tools to algorithmic risk assessments used in bail decisions and sentencing. Students will be asked to view these tools through two critical lenses: how well these tools further their stated policy aims, and how technology changes power relationships between government and citizens. Throughout the semester, students will also hear from guest speakers that are using technology to tackle police misconduct, expungement, and other criminal justice policy issues. To complement this policy discussion, students will learn techniques to design, deploy, and analyze criminal justice-focused technology. These exercises will teach analytical approaches to developing and understanding technology systems, including: activity-centered design, system mapping, specification building, tool selection, and prototyping. (No computer science or coding knowledge is necessary to take this course.) The semester will conclude with a pitch day, where students will present a policy or procedural problem they have identified in the criminal justice system that could be addressed through technological tools, and present their proposed design for a solution.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work with clients and the practicum instructors to identify problems in the criminal justice system that could be improved through the use of technological tools, then design such tools working in small teams. Potential practicum projects could include digitizing Miranda warnings, using text messages to lower failure to appear rates in juvenile court, or determining how to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to help people whose criminal records have been expunged but whose record information is still available online.

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 course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this 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 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 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 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 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. 

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 

 

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 professors.

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: LL.M. students require permission from the professor to enroll.

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.

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 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 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 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 papers and/or briefs in 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.

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 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 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, and related state analogues. The course examines the doctrinal and theoretical aspects of employment discrimination law through a rigorous analysis of court decisions, statutes and regulations. 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 2009 v01 Energy Trading and Market Regulation

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

Energy markets are dynamic and growing rapidly, creating new business opportunities and legal challenges not only for traditional energy companies such as utilities, pipelines, natural gas producers and independent power producers, but also for newer market entrants including investment banks, demand response providers, smart grid and renewable energy companies, storage providers, hedge funds, and large industrial and commercial consumers of natural gas and electricity. The course will focus on the economic regulation of physical energy markets by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), primarily the regulation of transmission, price and competition in the electric and natural gas markets. We will examine six main areas: (i) restructuring and deregulation under the Federal Power Act and Natural Gas Act; (ii) the current model of energy market enforcement and compliance derived, in large part, from securities market regulation; (iii) the legal, regulatory and market responses to ongoing challenges, including market based pricing, market structure and the prevention of market manipulation and market power abuse; (iv) foundational laws and policies governing energy markets and non-discriminatory transmission by wire and pipeline of the electricity and natural gas commodities; (v) “hot topics” such as carbon pricing in organized wholesale electricity markets, the shale gas revolution, the impact of subsidies for certain resources, pipeline and electric transmission infrastructure development and cost allocation, and integrating demand resources and renewables; and (vi) the constant interplay among Congress, federal and state energy regulatory agencies and market participants. Students will gain an appreciation for the legal and market challenges confronted by market participants. Some 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, two quizzes during the semester, and class participation.

LAW 1277 v00 Environmental Dispute Resolution Seminar

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

The Environmental Dispute Resolution Seminar is an advanced practice course for students considering a career in any facet of environmental law or related regulatory fields. It explores the characteristics of environmental disputes and, through simulations, sharpens students’ skills in client communication, persuasive writing, oral advocacy, as well as negotiation and litigation strategy. The Seminar centers around simulations based on a complex civil environmental law dispute that initiates as a negotiation, proceeds to litigation, and culminates in a court-ordered mediation with a third-party neutral. The course examines the roles lawyers play in each approach, as students assume the role of attorneys from a governmental agency, public interest organization, and outside counsel for a corporate defendant. Through these practical applications, students evaluate the utility and limitations of various approaches to resolution. The Seminar further develops each student’s understanding of the key strategic decisions an attorney must make during various phases of dispute progression and resolution, including pre-enforcement determinations regarding compliance counseling. Students will ultimately write a major motion that will fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement, submitting a draft for review and comment before the final product. Environmental Law is a prerequisite for this course.

Prerequisite: Environmental Law.

Strongly Recommended: Foreign-trained LL.M. students must have completed a course in U.S. civil procedure, and U.S. Legal Research Analysis & Writing is strongly recommended.

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 virtually all of our major federal environmental statutes. To this day, these laws 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 | 12 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 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 that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks outside of the law school. 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 balance, 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 be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Georgetown Law defines "an individual otherwise qualified to supervise" as someone qualified to assign, review, and give substantive feedback on a student's legal or policy work. Students are responsible for finding their own placements. Students may not be compensated for the work at their placement, nor may students 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: Students must be fully eligible to start work at their field placement (i.e., security clearances and/or background checks complete) by the last day of summer registration or they will be dropped from the Summer 2022 J.D. Externship Program and companion seminar.

Note: For the 2022 Summer Session, students are permitted to conduct their fieldwork remotely in the J.D. Externship Program.

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 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-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.

Additional, detailed course mechanics and requirements will be outlined in the seminar syllabus.

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 2022 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 2022 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Friday, April 1, 2022 and will close on Friday, April 29, 2022. 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 2022 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, May 2, 2022.

For additional information on the summer externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2022 Summer Session Student Extern Manual.

Canvas:

The J.D. Externship Program uses Canvas to administer this course, so comfort with that platform is essential. All course materials will be posted to your seminar's Canvas page. You will upload all assignments through Canvas, using the "Assignments" drop box for your seminar. If you encounter difficulty navigating Canvas and/or need a refresher on using the site, please contact IST at lawhelp@georgetown.edu.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program as a full-time or part-time student (per their student status) BEFORE their externship begins in order to participate in the J.D. Externship Program.

Notes:

Two Externship I Seminars 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 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.

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

This course is mutually exclusive with the Government Lawyering (Fieldwork Practicum) and all prior D.C. Advantage practicum courses.

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 that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks outside of the law school. 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 balance, 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 10 or 15 hours per week for at least 11 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Georgetown Law defines "an individual otherwise qualified to supervise" as someone qualified to assign, review, and give substantive feedback on a student's legal or policy work. Students are responsible for finding their own placements. Students may not be compensated for the work at their placement, nor may students work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 10 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 15 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: Students must be fully eligible to start work at their field placement (i.e., security clearances and/or background checks complete) by the last business day before the Add/Drop deadline or they will be dropped from the J.D. Externship Program and 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.

Additional, detailed course mechanics and requirements will be outlined in the seminar syllabus.

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 2022 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 2022 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 and will close on Friday, August 12, 2022. 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 2022 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, August 15, 2022. Registration for the Fall 2022 J.D. Externship Program will remain open until there are no seats left in the program or until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022, whichever occurs first.

For additional information on the fall externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the forthcoming Fall 2022-Spring 2023 Student Extern Manual.

Canvas:

The J.D. Externship Program uses Canvas to administer this course, so comfort with that platform is essential. All course materials will be posted to your seminar's Canvas page. You will upload all assignments through Canvas, using the "Assignments" drop box for your seminar. If you encounter difficulty navigating Canvas and/or need a refresher on using the site, please contact IST at lawhelp@georgetown.edu.

Prerequisite:

Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program as a full-time or part-time student (per their student status) BEFORE their externship begins in order to participate in the J.D. Externship Program.

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 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.

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 that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks outside of the law school. 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 balance, 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 10 or 15 hours per week for at least 11 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Georgetown Law defines "an individual otherwise qualified to supervise" as someone qualified to assign, review, and give substantive feedback on a student's legal or policy work. Students are responsible for finding their own placements. Students may not be compensated for the work at their placement, nor may students work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 10 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 15 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: Students must be fully eligible to start work at their field placement (i.e., security clearances and/or background checks complete) by the last business day before the Add/Drop deadline or they will be dropped from the J.D. Externship Program and 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.

Additional, detailed course mechanics and requirements will be outlined in the seminar syllabus.

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 2023 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 2023 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 and will close on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 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 2023 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. Registration for the Spring 2023 J.D. Externship Program will remain open until there are no seats left in the program or until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, whichever occurs first.

For additional information on the spring externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the forthcoming Fall 2022-Spring 2023 Student Extern Manual.

Canvas:

The J.D. Externship Program uses Canvas to administer this course, so comfort with that platform is essential. All course materials will be posted to your seminar's Canvas page. You will upload all assignments through Canvas, using the "Assignments" drop box for your seminar. If you encounter difficulty navigating Canvas and/or need a refresher on using the site, please contact IST at lawhelp@georgetown.edu.

Prerequisite:

Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program as a full-time or part-time student (per their student status) BEFORE their externship begins in order to participate in the J.D. Externship Program.

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 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.

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 that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks outside of the law school. 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 balance, 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 be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Georgetown Law defines “an individual otherwise qualified to supervise” as someone qualified to assign, review, and give substantive feedback on a student’s legal or policy work. Students are responsible for finding their own placements. Students may not be compensated for the work at their placement, nor may students 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: Students must be fully eligible to start work at their field placement (i.e., security clearances and/or background checks complete) by the last day of summer registration or they will be dropped from the Summer 2022 J.D. Externship Program and companion seminar.

Note: For the 2022 Summer Session, students are permitted to conduct their fieldwork remotely in the J.D. Externship Program.

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. The seminar meets 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-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.

Additional, detailed course mechanics and requirements will be outlined in the seminar syllabus.

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 2022 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 2022 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Friday, April 1, 2022 and will close on Friday, April 29, 2022. 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 2022 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, May 2, 2022.

For additional information on the summer externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the 2022 Summer Session Student Extern Manual.

Canvas:

The J.D. Externship Program uses Canvas to administer this course, so comfort with that platform is essential. All course materials will be posted to your seminar's Canvas page. You will upload all assignments through Canvas, using the "Assignments" drop box for your seminar. If you encounter difficulty navigating Canvas and/or need a refresher on using the site, please contact IST at lawhelp@georgetown.edu

Prerequisite: Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program as a full-time or part-time student (per their student status) BEFORE their externship begins to participate in the J.D. Externship Program.

Students must have taken a prior externship seminar i.e., Externship I, Diverse Placements, or one of the subject matter externship seminars (Civil Rights, Environmental, Financial, Judicial, Policy and Legislative, or Prosecution) before enrolling in this course.

Students must obtain permission from the Experiential Education Office to participate in a second externship for academic credit. Students request permission through the externship application.

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 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.

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

This course is mutually exclusive with the Government Lawyering (Fieldwork Practicum) and all prior D.C. Advantage practicum courses.

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 that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks outside of the law school. 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 balance, 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 10 or 15 hours per week for at least 11 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Georgetown Law defines “an individual otherwise qualified to supervise” as someone qualified to assign, review, and give substantive feedback on a student’s legal or policy work. Students are responsible for finding their own placements. Students may not be compensated for the work at their placement, nor may students work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 10 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 15 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: Students must be fully eligible to start work at their field placement (i.e., security clearances and/or background checks complete) by the last business day before the Add/Drop deadline or they will be dropped from the J.D. Externship Program and 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.

Additional, detailed course mechanics and requirements will be outlined in the seminar syllabus.

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 2022 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 2022 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 and will close on Friday, August 12, 2022. 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 2022 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Monday, August 15, 2022. Registration for the Fall 2022 J.D. Externship Program will remain open until there are no seats left in the program or until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022, whichever occurs first.

For additional information on the fall externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the forthcoming Fall 2022-Spring 2023 Student Extern Manual.

Canvas:

The J.D. Externship Program uses Canvas to administer this course, so comfort with that platform is essential. All course materials will be posted to your seminar's Canvas page. You will upload all assignments through Canvas, using the "Assignments" drop box for your seminar. If you encounter difficulty navigating Canvas and/or need a refresher on using the site, please contact IST at lawhelp@georgetown.edu.

Prerequisite:

Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program as a full-time or part-time student (per their student status) BEFORE their externship begins in order to participate in the J.D. Externship Program.

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 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.

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 that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks outside of the law school. 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 balance, 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 10 or 15 hours per week for at least 11 weeks (110 or 165 hours total) in a judicial, governmental, or nonprofit field placement. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise a legal extern at the field placement. Georgetown Law defines “an individual otherwise qualified to supervise” as someone qualified to assign, review, and give substantive feedback on a student’s legal or policy work. Students are responsible for finding their own placements. Students may not be compensated for the work at their placement, nor may students work on pro bono matters at a for-profit entity. Students earn 2 pass/fail credits for 10 hours of fieldwork/week or 3 pass/fail credits for 15 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: Students must be fully eligible to start work at their field placement (i.e., security clearances and/or background checks complete) by the last business day before the Add/Drop deadline or they will be dropped from the J.D. Externship Program and 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.

Additional, detailed course mechanics and requirements will be outlined in the seminar syllabus.

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 2023 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 2023 Guaranteed Externship Application will open on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 and will close on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 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 2023 Waitlist Externship Application will open on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. Registration for the Spring 2023 J.D. Externship Program will remain open until there are no seats left in the program or until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, whichever occurs first.

For additional information on the spring externship enrollment process and deadlines, please see the forthcoming Fall 2022-Spring 2023 Student Extern Manual.

Canvas:

The J.D. Externship Program uses Canvas to administer this course, so comfort with that platform is essential. All course materials will be posted to your seminar's Canvas page. You will upload all assignments through Canvas, using the "Assignments" drop box for your seminar. If you encounter difficulty navigating Canvas and/or need a refresher on using the site, please contact IST at lawhelp@georgetown.edu.

Prerequisite:

Students must have completed the required Georgetown Law first-year program as a full-time or part-time student (per their student status) BEFORE their externship begins in order to participate in the J.D. Externship Program.

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 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.

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

FIRST-YEAR WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet on the following days: Monday, January 10, 2022, through Thursday, January 13, 2022.

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 29, 2021 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 3144 v00 Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy

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.

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 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 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 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.

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 1208 v00 Food Law Seminar

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

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 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 | 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-third of the grade for the semester.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

LAW 493 v01 Global Health Law

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

Global Health Law is the flagship course for 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 a compulsory unit in the National and Global Health LLM and the Global Health Law and Governance LLM.

No longer an emerging field, global health law encompasses international law and policy that directly or indirectly affects global health, including treaties, regulations, global strategies and other non-binding standards, and national and international jurisprudence. The field of study includes both legal instruments designed to protect public health as well as the interaction between legal instruments from other international legal regimes and public health considerations and concerns. This course provides a strong foundation in these laws and policies, including governance of the World Health Organization, the International Health Regulations, and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

In examining the application and effectiveness of global health law, this course provides a normative foundation for global health issues including infectious diseases (such as COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and influenza) and noncommunicable diseases (such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease and their causes, including obesity, tobacco, and alcohol).

In this course, students will hear from leading voices in global health and the law and benefit from the expertise of Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law I.

Note: Required for the Global Health Law LL.M.

 
 

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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 international humanitarian 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 and removal.

  • Understand different policy-making options and the tension between discretionary decision-making and compulsory enforcement.

  • Appreciate the choices and limitations facing various decision-makers in the immigration context, as well as the experience of migrants and asylum seekers in the immigration system.

  • Assess separation of powers concerns using examples from the immigration field.

  • Make a nuanced assessment of popular news stories and debates about immigration law, paying special attention to the role of various decision-makers at play.

  • Summarize and critically analyze various proposals for reform of the immigration adjudications, deportation proceedings, and the asylum process.

  • Master a substantive legal issue related immigration by producing a paper and/or presentation on a legal debate in the area. Develop writing and presentation skills by participating in this exercise.

  • Practice critical reading of law review articles and cases.

Recommended: Immigration Law and Policy.

Note: This course requires a paper. Students must register for the 3 credit section of this 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 1650 v00 Income and Public Benefits

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Few areas of law define a society’s values more clearly than public benefits for low-income people.  Policy judgments in this area connect closely to issues about the distribution of wealth and income, race, gender, and immigration, and personal autonomy, and they will be in mind throughout the course.

Policymakers, advocates, and researchers tend to look at these issues separately instead of viewing them in the intersection which represents the real world.   The 1996 welfare law represents dramatically the consequences of making policy decisions without connecting them to a broader framework.  American public benefits for low-income people have always been fragmentary, but the 1996 law was a watershed event that hurt millions of the poorest Americans more than any poverty policy decision since the New Deal. 

The question now is whether we can heal the injury and build from there.  The challenge is to build a more comprehensive understanding and consequently go toward a future that goes in the right direction.  To that end, we will read a mix of historical materials, basic social science research and theory, policy analysis, and cases.  The course will cover the history of the basic structure of the relevant programs, their current configurations, and ideas for the future.

The heart of ending poverty consists of intersecting policies that include good jobs, job supports, in-kind income, and cash assistance, along with other items including child development, education, health, community development and housing, justice both criminal and civil, support for people with disabilities, many kinds of human services, and more.  We will not be able to look in depth of all of that, but it is imperative to know that they are all crucial, and they will be framed in issues of distribution, race, gender, and immigration throughout.

Each student will be expected to write two short reaction papers or one long paper during the course of the term on a topic related to that week’s readings.  This would help focus discussion for that week. 

LAW 3145 v00 Indigenous Health Law and Access to Health Care

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

Internationally the United Nations recognizes indigenous peoples and their special rights associated with identity and culture. Many countries have formal systems intended to support indigenous peoples with instruments of law, policy, and custom. This course will examine those international instruments, treaties, court cases, and Congressional acts to explore what it means for the Right to Health to exist, the ways that right is recognized among indigenous peoples, and major shortfalls in achieving equity through these paths. American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) experience serious health disparities in key morbidity/mortality indicators. AIANs are also a bell-weather subgroup in the US for unusual disease such as bubonic plague or the rapid dissemination of novel infectious disease such as happened among tribes in the covid-19 pandemic. In addition to risk and vulnerability that contribute to health disparities, sovereign nation status of the 573 federally recognized tribes in the US and the Indian Health Service that serves them are particular structures shown to mitigate despair and promote future well-being in remarkably difficult circumstances. There are unique laws, operations, and tensions that undergird these structures. Recent actions to strengthen treaty obligations and extend equity movements to indigenous peoples are gathering energy to address health and justice disparities.

This course focuses on the laws and systems foundational to access to care and health services for Indigenous peoples in the US. The course will include discussions on self-determination, sovereignty, funding, social determinants of health, inter-generational trauma and additional elements of Indigenous health law in the US and compare these to other Indigenous health systems particularly those in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The course is designed to provide practical skills for students interested in health equity and justice,  Indigenous access to care, Indigenous health law, and policy implementation. The course illuminates, in particular, outcomes of shared American history and distinctive obligations, systems, and opportunities to address ethnic disparities.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and interpret relevant authorities and limitations that underpin Indigenous access to health care
  • Identify and understand specific regulations, guidance, and laws applicable to providing health care to US tribal governments
  • Gain knowledge on the right to self-determination
  • Master vocabulary and terminology associated with Indigenous rights and health law
  • Understand the linkage of national health systems to the United Nations including the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Compare and analyze legal instruments and structures from other countries, including New Zealand, Australia, and Canada with the United States

Recommended: Administrative Law; Federal Indian Law.

LAW 3114 v00 Industry Epidemics: NCDs, Commercial Risk Factors and the Law

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

This seminar will examine the role of law and policy in addressing modifiable risk factors that contribute to the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Risk factors to be addressed include: tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and the harmful use of alcohol. Materials and discussions will probe questions such as: What are the best regulatory practices to deal with NCDs risk factors? How do transnational corporations contribute to the spread of non-communicable diseases? How different international legal regimes come into play in addressing risk factors? What are the opportunities and challenges of using law & policy to address NCDs’ commercial risk factors? Throughout this course we will have opportunities to consider how law and policy shape contemporary legal discussions related to NCDs, such as tobacco plain packaging, alcohol sponsorship, childhood obesity, commercial speech and food labelling, and targeted marketing strategies.

The course will take a global approach grounded in constitutional law and different international legal regimes (WTO, Human Rights Systems –Regional & Universal—, among others). The course will explore how the rise in NCDs prevalence in both developed and developing countries is mainly driven by transnational corporations, globalization and foreign direct investment. Additionally, case studies will explore a variety of examples from jurisdictions spanning the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Latin American countries, including taxes to discourage consumption of unhealthy products, laws restricting advertising and promotion, and laws and policies to promote access to information to consumers.

Students will be equipped with an understanding of specific issues, such as the role of law compared with policy, the strengths and weaknesses of different regulatory strategies and the role and responsibilities of the relevant industries in promoting the right to health. After exploring a series of foundational themes and issues through the first half of the course, the remainder will focus on in-depth case studies and experiences in regulating the risk factors from a comparative perspective and future challenges.

This seminar requires attendance and participation in seminar discussions, preparation for class, writing response posts, and the submission of a final paper.

Course goals:

  • Understanding of the various risk factors contributing to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • Understanding of various models of regulation of NCDs risk factors.
  • Understanding of complex risk factors regulatory issues across various constitutional systems and international legal regimes.
  • Understanding the interaction between regulation of NCDs risk factors and issues like gender and freedom of speech.
  • Understanding the role of transnational corporations in the increased prevalence of NCDs.

LAW 342 v02 Information Privacy Law

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

This course examines "information privacy," an individual's right to control his or her personal information held by others. The aim of the course is to understand how courts and the Congress seek to protect information privacy as new technologies and new institutional practices emerge. The course traces the origins of the right to information privacy in American law, through Constitutional law, tort law, and modern statutory law. Case studies of landmark privacy legislation illustrate how expectations of privacy are translated into legal frameworks. The course looks at recent controversies involving domestic surveillance, identification systems, social network sites, DNA databases, locational privacy, and drones. The course also considers the impact of the European data protection law, new business practices and investigative techniques, and the availability of cryptography and other Privacy Enhancing Technologies on the future of privacy law in the United States. Guest speakers include leading privacy officials from government and practitioners from the private sector. More information is available at the Privacy Law and Society website.

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

LAW 342 v03 Information Privacy Law

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

This course provides an introduction to information privacy law both on the books and on the ground. Topics covered include the constitutional, common law, and consumer protection foundations of U.S. information privacy law; the European approach to privacy and data protection; the “life cycle of data,” with particular regard to regulatory issues and new challenges posed by algorithmic and/or data-driven practices; and sectoral privacy regimes in national security, employment, health, education, finance, and communications.

Learning goals for this course: Critical mastery of the existing doctrinal, statutory, regulatory, and policy landscapes and the complex interrelationships among them; critical mastery of the privacy compliance considerations that confront both private- and public-sector organizations; awareness of international differences in the treatment of information privacy issues and some comparative exposure to European information privacy and data protection law in particular.

LAW 342 v05 Information Privacy Law

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

This course serves as an introduction to the field of "information privacy law." The goal of the course is to equip students with the vocabulary, legal toolkit, and conceptual knowledge to enter the this rapidly-expanding area of law as a practitioner, an academic, or something in between. The course will trace the development and meanings of privacy in American law from the famous 1890 Harvard Law Review article "The Right to Privacy" by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis to the modern problems of privacy in the information age. Particular emphasis will be placed upon modern policy problems involving privacy, including privacy and the media, Fourth Amendment law, health privacy, Internet privacy, FTC regulation, emerging technologies, the problems caused by government and private-sector databases, and the prospects of federal privacy reform in 2021. The focus of the course is on US law, but we will necessarily examine the internationalization of the field, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the "Right to Be Forgotten." Attendance and participation are essential.

Note: Please note that laptop computers are not permitted in class.

LAW 1612 v00 Innovative Policing: From Theory to Practice (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 innovative efforts to transform policing and our criminal justice system. 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.

SEMINAR: Nationwide, high-profile police shootings and the documentation of patterns of police misconduct have triggered the emergence of broad-based protest and reform movements. Here in Washington DC, relations between DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the community it serves have been relatively positive compared to many other regions, but MPD nonetheless struggles to ensure it polices effectively, fairly and collaboratively in a diverse and changing city. What’s more, even “good” policing is part of a criminal justice system that both reflects and drives racial, ethnic and socio-economic rifts in American society.  Through this practicum, students will work with MPD and community groups to transform the training and education MPD provides its officers and new recruits.  Students will gain the skills and knowledge lawyers need to play an effective role in the effort to transform policing and our criminal justice system. 

PROJECT WORK: Project work will be comprised of three components: 1) student projects, conducted either individually or in groups; 2) once per month leading break-out groups of officer recruits at the MPD training academy; and 3) helping to support and expand Georgetown Law’s Police for Tomorrow Fellowship Program.  Through some or all of these components students will have the opportunity to work directly with police officers and community groups to learn their perspectives on policing and our criminal justice system—a critical component of reform efforts.

Student Projects.  Student projects will be based on a combination of student interest and Program on Innovative Policing needs.  Students may be assigned to work on a project on their own, or with a team of students.  Projects may include researching and writing up innovative projects and best practices in policing; developing workshops for the Program on Innovative Policing’s MPD Academy or Police for Tomorrow work; developing and implementing legislative initiatives related to policing; designing law enforcement curricular modules for use at MPD or other departments; and developing and implementing outcome metrics to evaluate innovative police projects.

Police for Tomorrow--MPD Training Academy. Students will lead break-out groups of officer recruits during monthly sessions for recruits and officers in Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department on topics such as: implicit bias, race and policing, homelessness, history of policing/DC, use of force, persons in behavioral or mental health crisis, youth and policing, alternatives to arrest, active bystandership and other vital topics. As noted above, some students, as part of their student projects, may help develop workshops and design law enforcement curricular modules for MPD’s training academy.

Police for Tomorrow--Fellowship Program. The practicum will help support and expand the Georgetown Law-MPD Police for Tomorrow Fellowship.

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 on policing, criminal justice, or education is recommended but not required.

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 will be offered during the Fall 2020 semester. 

THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students must submit to Professor Christy Lopez (christy.lopez@law.georgetown.edu(i) their resume and (ii) a statement of interest. After May, if seats remain open in the course, students will be admitted on a rolling basis.

This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting.

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

LAW 230 v00 International and Comparative Law on Women's Human Rights

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

In many parts of the world, women are discriminated against, abused, treated as property, and even murdered because they are women. But today, there is a substantial body of international and regional human rights law that can be used to change the national laws that permit these practices or fail to protect women against them. In addition, many countries have begun to give women equal rights in many fields. Thus, there is now a body of human rights and comparative law that advocates can use to advance equal human rights for women.

This course provides students with an overview of that law. It introduces them to the many forms of discrimination and violence women still face and teaches them about the major human rights treaties that can help women achieve equality with men. These include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the regional human rights treaties from Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Students study the work of the human rights bodies that measure state compliance with these treaties, including their guidelines and case law on issues affecting women. The course also examines comparative law on human rights issues such as sex-based discrimination in employment, inheritance, and family law rights, domestic violence and female genital mutilation, polygamy and its impact on women and children, and women’s lack of reproductive rights.

National court decisions from countries in both common law and civil law jurisdictions show how courts are using international and regional human rights law to help resolve domestic law issues. As some issues pose difficult conflicts between women’s right to equality with opposing assertions of religious and cultural rights to discriminate, the course also examines how human rights bodies resolve those conflicts and asks how they should be resolved.

Note: For J.D. Students: Students Enrolled in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic must take this course as a pre- or co-requisite, but it is also open to other J.D. students and to LL.M. students.

LAW 166 v00 International Efforts to Combat Corruption Seminar

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

International anti-corruption has become an increasingly “hot topic” among lawyers and policymakers: governments, international organizations, and technical experts all identify corruption as a serious impediment to comprehensive economic development. If left unchecked, corruption threatens to undermine the effectiveness of development initiatives in both the public and private sectors. Growing enforcement of legal instruments such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act have placed anti-corruption squarely on the agenda of a wide variety of transnational organizations. With so many variant actors invoking the importance of anti-corruption, lawyers must not only have a working knowledge of what corruption entails, but also understand how the development of an international anti-corruption legal framework is changing the way business is conducted in a global economy.

This course explores the international legal framework of anti-corruption, the scope of anti-corruption instruments, the methodologies employed by international actors enforcing these instruments, and the policy dilemmas implicated by these endeavors.

Given the dynamic nature of anti-corruption initiatives, the course presents an interdisciplinary, interactive approach to the subject matter. The class will introduce and discuss perspectives from academic texts, policy papers and media. It is hoped that this broad-based approach will provide students with a strong theoretical foundation in anti-corruption law, foster a practical understanding of international anti-corruption work, and inspire students to integrate this avenue of study into their future professional endeavors.

Students will complete a research paper 20-25 pages in length.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will have a working knowledge of the role anti-corruption policy and political institutions (i.e., FCPA, OECD, and UNCAC) play in the field of anti-corruption. Students will be able to engage in professional discussions on the historical context of international anti-corruption efforts, the state of the current political and international climate, and the future of anti-corruption by making connections between past policy and current events. Students will be able to articulate original views, back them up with research and defend them through strategic thinking by engaging with guest-lecturing practitioners and the final oral presentation. Students will further deepen their knowledge on a particular topic within the field by conducting a research paper in which they will need to provide insightful analysis making connections among historical and current policies, institutions, and governments.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in at least one course in private or public international law might be helpful but is not necessary.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Global Anti-Corruption Seminar.

LAW 145 v00 International Environmental Law

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

The course focuses on international law applicable to the leading environmental and natural resource issues.  It provides a framework for identifying and addressing the legal issues, links international law with relevant national laws, and focuses on ways to strengthen compliance with international obligations.  The course covers climate change, ozone depletion, transboundary pollution and hazardous waste disposal; natural resource issues of fresh water (both surface and ground water), marine resources, and biodiversity; the links between human rights and environment and between environment and trade; and the financing of sustainable development.  Special attention is given to cutting edge issues, such as synthetic biology and climate intervention. 

Learning goals for this course: To enable students to become effective counsel, litigators, negotiators, arbitrators, judges, or legal advisors on a broad range of international environmental and natural resource problems; to understand international negotiations; and to be able to apply legal concepts developed in the course within different national settings for implementing international law. 

LAW 227 v04 International Human Rights

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

This course examines the law, institutions, and advocacy strategies designed to protect international human rights.  We will analyze civil and political rights and economic and social rights, as well as international humanitarian law, and explore key enforcement mechanisms at the national, regional, and international levels. The evolving role of NGOs and civil society actors in advancing human rights, and the responsibility of corporations, will also be examined. Both progress and enduring challenges in making human rights real “on the ground” will be a focus of this course, together with the need for effective enactment of legal standards, enforcement of those standards, and empowerment of affected communities. Current legal issues and strategies concerning climate change and human rights will also be highlighted.  

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate course, International Human Rights Law.

LAW 814 v00 International Human Rights Law

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

This course provides an intensive survey of international human rights law and practice, with a principal focus on interpretation and implementation of human rights obligations, commitments, and norms in the practice of states. The course has three main components: in the first unit, we examine the development of the substantive law of human rights and its sources (including treaties, customary international law, and non-binding international instruments). In the second unit, we examine implementation of international human rights in the international, regional, and domestic systems, focusing on UN organs such as the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies as well as regional systems such as the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights.  Finally, in the third unit we look at the application of the substantive law and implementation mechanisms in the context of current issues in international human rights, including in the context of atrocities, and the refugee crisis. The course highlights selected contemporary ethical problems in international human rights law such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and torture; application of human rights obligations, commitments, and norms to non-state actors (including corporations); positive duties on states to protect individuals from abuses by non-state actors; universality of human rights and cultural relativism; and the need to protect human rights while countering terorism, including issues relevant to U.S. law and practice. Along the way we examine issues related to international immunities, impunity, human rights litigation under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, and international criminal tribunals. 

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law, or the J.D. course, International Human Rights.

LAW 814 v02 International Human Rights Law

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

How can the international legal system address some of human kind’s greatest weaknesses? This course provides an intensive survey of modern international human rights law and the legal institutions and systems of oversight that support it. Through a mixture of lecture and class discussion, we will look at how and why these mechanisms developed, and critically analyze how they -- as well as States, non-State actors, and individuals -- succeed or fail in practice to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional, and domestic levels. We will cover the foundations of the modern system including the International Bill of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, as well as subsequent developments including treaties and declarations regulating the use of certain weapons, prohibiting torture, protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, protecting refugees, promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, eliminating racial discrimination and discrimination against women, and establishing the international criminal court. We will also look at how “soft law” has developed to address emerging human rights-related fields such as corporate social responsibility and data privacy protection. Highlighting contemporary issues in international human rights, we will ultimately ask ourselves how current international human rights mechanisms can address today’s conflicts, including refugee crises, natural resource disputes, and international campaigns against terrorism.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law (or equivalent).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law and Practice.

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

LAW 1755 v00 International Human Rights: History, Theory, Promise and Critique

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

This course will examine the philosophical and historical underpinnings of international human rights law. Students will encounter early conceptions human rights protection, alternative visions for the modern human rights framework, the development of international human rights law, and critical perspectives on the evolution and implementation of human rights.

Students will be encouraged to critically examine the successes and failures of the normative framework for the protection of human rights, whether we have achieved the universal realization of human rights, and ways in which the system might be reimagined or strengthened. Particular attention will be paid to the legal framework applicable to the protection of the rights of non-citizens, including migrants, refugees, and stateless persons. Contemporary case studies will be used to illustrate the challenges in resolving protracted situations of statelessness or displacement, and how gaps in international legal protection may exacerbate looming human rights crises, including those related to global climate change.

There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, students may find it beneficial to have taken International Law I: Introduction to International Law and/or the introductory course to International Human Rights.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will gain an understanding of some of the historical movements in the creation of human rights and political forces driving outcomes.
  • Students will learn how to assess the strengths of the international human rights regime and identify key areas and methods of critique.
  • Students will gain the ability to think critically about our assumptions about the structure of international law and human rights in order to imagine ways in which international human rights can be strengthened towards the universal realization of rights.
  • Students will strengthen their written and verbal communication skills through written reflections, papers, and classroom discussion.
  • Students completing a paper for the writing requirement will gain mastery over their chosen topic related to international human rights law, enhance the clarity and precision of their writing, and sharpen their skills in conveying their understanding through an oral 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. The 3 credit section is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 076 v00 International Migration and Development

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

This course is for students who are interested in acquiring a broader knowledge and a better understanding of research related to international migration and development.  Topics covered include:  past, present and anticipated future trends in international migration, including the various factors (e.g., economic, social, political) that influence population movements; elements of the normative and legal frameworks upon which migration policies may be based; relationships between international migration and economic development, economic growth and economic competitiveness, poverty alleviation, social networks and social support systems, national and international security, transnational organized crime, and human rights, among other issues; and institutional arrangements that enhance international cooperation to promote safe and orderly migration.

Learning Objectives:

This course offers an overview of the theoretical debates in the field of international migration and the empirical data upon which these debates hinge.  Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1.     Describe recent trends in migration at national, regional and global levels;
  2.     Compare theories of international migration from different disciplinary perspectives and different units of analysis (e.g., individual, household, national, global), identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each;
  3.     Analyze the usefulness of current international legal frameworks in defining the rights of migrants and states’ responsibilities to protect those rights;
  4.     Assess the economic and social impacts of migration on both origin and host societies;
  5.     Understand and analyze the concept of “brain drain” in describing high-skilled migration;
  6.     Understand and analyze the concept of “social remittances”;
  7.     Compare processes of immigrant integration;
  8.     Understand the ways in which smuggling and trafficking undermine international migration;
  9.     Understand the ways in which climate change and development projects contribute to migration; and
  10.     Understand the various mechanisms for managing international migration.

Students should also be able to:

  1.     Demonstrate critical thinking, research and writing skills;
  2.     Evaluate empirical evidence; and
  3.     Articulate and defend findings (real or proposed) from their research papers

Note: Priority is given to students fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and to students enrolled in the Certificate Program in International Human Rights Law.

See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-076-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 691 v00 International Trade and Health

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

The objective of this 2 credit seminar is to introduce students to the relationship between international laws governing trade and efforts to protect and promote human health. The course will focus on the impact of the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on domestic health measures as well as on international efforts carried out under the auspices of the World Health Organization. Students will learn, and be asked to think critically about, how the international trade regime affects national regulation in the interests of human health.

The course will address the following subject matter:

  1. Introduction to 'trade and health': issues and underlying theories.
  2. The prohibitions and exceptions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in a health context.
  3. Risk regulation, the precautionary principle and sanitary measures (such as import safety measures).
  4. International standards and technical barriers to trade, such as labeling measures.
  5. Trade in health services, health worker migration and the General Agreement on Trade in Services.
  6. Access to essential medicines under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and TRIPs plus agreements.
  7. The fragmentation of international law: cross-fertilization between international trade law and global health law.
  8. Policy coherence, legitimacy and participatory governance at the WTO.

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.

LAW 959 v00 International Trade, Development & the Common Good

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

This course will examine the connection between trade law and development, including aspects of international and regional trade agreements, comparative law, and diverse areas of market regulation at the national level. Overall, the seminar will highlight the role of law and regulation as a driver for sustainable development and inclusive growth and link broader legal frameworks and policy debates with the needs of individuals and enterprises. It will engage students in ways in which economic law can help encourage sustainable and inclusive development and will assess challenges associated with legal and regulatory capacity and the uneven implementation of laws in practice. Cross-cutting and inter-disciplinary approaches in the field, such as socio-legal approaches, human rights, food security, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and gender and trade will also be discussed throughout the seminar.

The seminar will take place in three phases. In Phase I, the seminar will explore the historical and institutional relationship between trade and development, including World Trade Organization (WTO) disciplines, regional trade agreements (RTAs), and other relevant international legal frameworks.  Phase II will focus on different issues and will cover a number of substantive aspects of trade and development in depth, all of which impact stakeholders and communities and hold greater potential to contribute to the common good.  Specific areas of focus will include domestic market regulation and investment, non-tariff measures, regulation of services, trade facilitation, agriculture, labor and environment, intellectual property rights, gender, and digital trade.  Phase III of the course will consist of an in-class exercise to apply the theory and substantive legal approaches discussed in Parts I and II in the context to practical trade and development challenges. 

Readings will be drawn from a variety of viewpoints and sources – law review articles, white papers, academic journals, newspapers and magazines, and excerpts from books – and will cut across trade and economic law, inclusive economic development, and business.  The readings will highlight different aspects of the legal and regulatory environment in the context of encouraging sustainable and inclusive development globally and at the grassroots level. Discussion questions will be provided for each session, which can be used as the basis for class preparation

The course will also incorporate short, practical case studies that illustrate how different issues in trade, development, and economic regulation can be applied from the perspective of different stakeholders (entrepreneurs, countries, and communities).  Seminar members will be asked to assume roles in discussion of these case studies, which will count towards class participation and lay the groundwork for the final paper.  Questions to guide the case study analysis will also be provided. 

In addition to the readings assigned for each session, optional background readings will be included for students wishing to explore a topic in greater depth (additional background reading is recommended for students who have not taken a trade law course, but the course does not have any prerequisites). 

Note: Only the 3-CR section will fulfill the WTO & International Trade Certificate List C requirement.

LAW 520 v00 International Women's Human Rights Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the International Women’s Human Rights 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 1767 v00 Intro to Humanitarian Crises

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

This course provides an overview of major principles, theories, operational concerns, and public policy issues related to complex humanitarian emergencies. The course highlights selected contemporary crises, examining causes and consequences of these emergencies. Examples include Ukraine, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Myanmar and others. A particular focus is the role of humanitarian issues in foreign policy and international relations.

Note: This course is cross-listed with the School of Foreign Service and meets on the main campus. Main campus classes run Wednesday, August 24 through Tuesday, December 6, 2022. Be aware this course may run on a different calendar than the Law Center during weeks where there is a holiday. Please take this into consideration when creating your schedule so that you have flexibility to attend the class on a different day, but at the same time.

See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-1767-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The WR section is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 063 v00 Issues in Disarmament: Proliferation, Terrorism, and Great Power Rivalry Seminar

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

This seminar addresses modern military weapons – their development, acquisition, proliferation, use, control, and elimination – considering a set of problems that will raise the most difficult security concerns for the United States and the rest of the world in the post-cold-war era. In the seminar, we will explore a wide range of weapons technologies--including nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional armaments--and the political and legal mechanisms that constrain them. The seminar will address historical allegations concerning the dissemination and use of these weapons; the rise and fall of various strategic doctrines; the bureaucratic processes of government decision making; and the evaluation of relevant ethical considerations surrounding possession and use. The bulk of the seminar will focus on contemporary legal and political issues such as ongoing treaty negotiations, export controls, verification of compliance, enforcement of treaty commitments, and the dismantling of redundant weaponry. The seminar is particularly recommended for those interested in exploring careers in public international law, but will also be relevant to others interested in the role of the lawyer in influencing United States public policy more generally. Each student will prepare a substantial original research paper and participate in small exercises designed to provide some simulated experience in characteristic legal tasks, such as drafting, analyzing, briefing, etc.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Proseminar in National Security Law.

LAW 532 v02 Juvenile Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 9 or 14 credit hours

Please see the Juvenile Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Juvenile 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 in the first semester. 

LAW 264 v03 Labor Law: Union Organizing, Collective Bargaining, and Unfair Labor Practices

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

The subject of labor law deals principally with the relationship between employers and unions. This course covers union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining disputes, strikes, lockouts, grievance-arbitrations, and related litigation. The student will develop skills that can lead to a career with management-side law firms, union-side law firms, the National Labor Relations Board, and public interest organizations.

This course will focus on the National Labor Relations Act. We will cover the scope of employee rights to engage in union activities; employee rights to engage in concerted activities even in the absence of a union; the National Labor Relations Board procedures for elections and unfair labor practice charges; the collective bargaining process; the duties of successor employers; strikes and lockouts; grievance and arbitration procedures; and a union’s duty of fair representation.

We will also cover secondary boycotts, federal/state pre-emption, and discuss how the Railway Labor Act (covering the railroad and airline industries) compares with the National Labor Relations Act.

LAW 264 v04 Labor Law: Union Organizing, Collective Bargaining, and Unfair Labor Practices

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Labor law is the law governing workers’ collective action, union organizing, and collective bargaining. This course will focus on labor law in the private sector, which is governed mainly by the federal National Labor Relations Act, as amended. We will cover the legal regulation of workers’ collective action, union organizing campaigns and processes, workers’ rights to strike and their limitations, the collective bargaining process, the powers and procedures of the federal National Labor Relations Board, and the relationship between federal labor law and individual constitutional rights. The student will develop skills that can lead to a career with the National Labor Relations Board, union-side law firms and/or unions, management-side law firms, and other worker advocacy organizations.

LAW 292 v07 Law and Development

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

This three-credit survey course is designed to introduce students to the different dimensions of law and development, integrating legal, historical, academic, and practical models and approaches.  The course will cover a range of issues and substantive areas of law, including economic and social development and rule of law approaches; human rights law; comparative law; peace and security; international economic law (including trade, finance, aid, and investment);  labor, environmental, and health law; market regulation; institutional models for advancing law and development; gender; and sustainable development.  It will also examine the increasing role of technology and data in law and development and the connection between law and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Throughout the semester, the course will explore how different areas of law address questions of equity, inclusiveness, vulnerability, and environmental sustainability.  There are no prerequisites for this course, and it is intended to be both an introduction to law and development and a complement to other course offerings at Georgetown Law.  

The course is divided into three parts.  The first part begins with an exploration of the foundations of law and development, including an examination of the issues, debates, and academic literature.  This portion of the course will examine the role of governments and institutions in law and development (including the World Bank, WTO, IMF, UN system, donor organizations, regional organizations, and others), as well as how rules are designed and implemented from the perspective of individual and community stakeholders.  Part I of the course will also highlight the evolution of different approaches, theories, and models within law and development, including economic approaches (structural change approaches, dependency theory, neoclassical/neoliberal approaches, endogenous growth theory, post-Washington consensus models, and others), promotion and criticism of rule of law approaches (legal pluralism, institutionalism and new institutional economics, constitutionalism, international vs. national law approaches, legal empowerment, informality, and others), and current movements such as law and political economy and TWAIL (Third World Approaches to International Law).   

The second part of the course will introduce students to the different substantive dimensions of law and development.  This segment will allow students to both understand the legal foundations of different aspects of law and development and explore intersections between different areas of law as they relate to development, highlighting the cross-cutting nature of law and development.  Topics will include human rights law, international economic law (finance, investment, and trade), conflict and resource control, gender and development, corruption and development, development assistance, and law and development aspects of health, environment, and climate change. 

The third part of the course will focus on issue-based and regional case studies, allowing students to apply what was covered in the first two parts of the course in different contexts and explore ways in which law has been – or could be – a driver for development.  Issue-focused case studies will include land tenure and contracts, labor, agriculture and food security, intellectual property rights, and data and development.  Regional case studies will include Africa, Asia (with some focus on China and India, among other countries), and Latin America.  In this part of the course, students will also assess which law and development approaches have been best suited to different circumstances, economies, cultures, and communities. 

Learning Objectives

The course has several interconnected learning objectives:

  • Understand the legal, historical, economic, and political context of different aspects of law and development, individually and in relation to each other;
  • Examine different normative approaches to law and development, globally and regionally;
  • Interpret academic research, relevant excerpts from international treaties, provisions in bilateral and regional agreements, and laws and regulations, building an understanding of the inter-connected nature of different legal instruments;
  • Assess law and development challenges facing governments and international institutions, identifying possible approaches and trade-offs;
  • Understand how economic, social, and sustainable development can be further incorporated into soft and hard law, as well as international, regional, and national law;
  • Introduce students to different roles for lawyers in the field of law and development; and
  • Equip students with the knowledge and tools to approach law as a tool for promoting social, economic, and sustainable development. 

LAW 199 v03 Law and Regulation of Drugs, Biologics and Devices

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

This course explores the legal, regulatory and policy issues that shape the research, development, and commercialization of drugs, biologics, and medical devices in the United States. We will consider the history and role of federal regulation of medical technologies; legal and ethical issues in the development and testing of new therapies; managing incentives for innovation, including patent, regulatory and data exclusivity; tort liability and its function in the regulation of the life sciences industry; and other issues. We will explore these issues using real-world examples, including the government and industry response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Administrative Law.

Note: This is a required course for the Food and Drug Law Certificate.

LAW 1433 v00 Law and Religion (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 is designed to give students familiarity with the field of law and religion. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and undertake 10 hours/week of fieldwork with organizations that work on issues related to religious freedom.

SEMINAR: President Obama called religious freedom "central to the ability of peoples to live together." Professor Martha Nussbaum observes, "America now contains a religious diversity unparalleled in its history."

This seminar will examine society's ability to enable those with the deepest of differences to live in community peaceably. Substantively, it will promote an understanding of the law that governs the relationship between religion and government, defines protections for the free exercise of religion, and provides the framework for civic life among people of all religions and none. Although law and religion will be the uniting theme of our work, there is a broad range of modalities that we can pursue in this field—litigation in workplace disputes, amicus briefings for the Supreme Court, researching the effect of public policy initiatives—providing a myriad of opportunities to hone professional legal skills.

Seminar participants will gain doctrinal competency in current religious freedom law, engage in a principled examination of religious freedom as an essential Constitutional and basic international human right, and gain experience interacting on a “hot topic” issue in a professional manner by focusing on common ground and building principled consensus.

Interested students who have any questions or would like more information about the seminar or field placements should feel welcomed emailing Professor Inks directly at sci2@law.georgetown.edu.

FIELDWORK: Students will perform legal work under the supervision of an attorney mentor for 10 hours/week with organizations that focus on issues related to religious freedom. Some examples include: the ACLU, the ADL, DOJ, The Interfaith Alliance, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Congress, The Christian Legal Society, The Native American Rights Fund, and Alliance Defending Freedom.

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.

Note: Both enrolled AND waitlisted students are encouraged to e-mail Prof. Inks as soon as possible (but a CV is not necessary) to let her know if they have any preferences in where they want to work or the kind of work they would like to do. Students are NOT required to find their own work placements. If a student has a specific request or pre-existing relationship with an organization, every attempt to accommodate that will be made. No special previous experience is required for this practicum.

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 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.

LAW 135 v01 Law Firm Economics and the Public Interest: Advancing the Commitment to Pro Bono Publico through Law Firms and Other Legal Institutions

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The point of this course is to provide the tools and some of the experience of working in or with a large law firm pro bono practice. We do this through three primary means: lecture (not just from the professors, but also from law firm and legal services leaders in the community); reading current materials on pro bono and the state of the legal market; and role-playing, using our mock law firm, Zimmerman Strasburg & Scherzer. Each student will have a specific role in that fictional law firm, and we will provide access to more firm financial information than you will likely have at any other firm when you start (and certainly more than you would ever have from the outside). Alas, it is fictional – but trust us, it is realistic.

To understand how pro bono works in a large law firm, you first need to be familiar with how a large law firm itself works, both internally and in the market. The beginning of this course focuses on what we broadly call “law firm economics,” but just as well could be called “operations” or “management” or “finance.” We want you to understand these subjects so that you can answer this question – and then argue or defend the answer in the future: how is it that the Top 100 revenue-producing law firms in the United States contribute, on average, about 60 hours of free legal services per attorney each year? What does the donation of 1½ weeks of productivity do to the firm’s bottom line?

Then we will focus on the how and why of pro bono practice. Where did this impulse to provide free legal services come from? How do law firms decide which matters to take, and which to decline? There is a vigorous debate in the law firm pro bono community about “what counts” as pro bono work – there is even a small treatise with that very name (included in the reading materials). Beyond the issue of qualification, how do law firms determine their pro bono priorities? How does pro bono fit within larger law firm management goals?

We will also explore pro bono from other points of view: public interest providers, law schools, corporate in-house counsel and the media. What role do these organizations play in the provision of pro bono legal services, and how do they interact with large law firm pro bono practices?

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 9, 2023, through Thursday, January 12, 2023, 6:00 p.m. - 9:20 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 1296 v00 Law of Religion

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

This course will examine the way in which U.S. law-principally the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment-treats religious belief, religious exercise, and religious institutions. We will spend part of the semester examining the Supreme Court's treatment of the Religion Clauses. We will also address current questions and controversies, including issues such as: defining "religion" for purposes of constitutional law; governmental burdens on, and discrimination against, religious exercise; state aid for religious activities and to religious organizations, including pursuant to school voucher and "charitable choice" programs; the role of religion in public education and in the public square; the constitutionality of statutory exemptions for religiously motivated conduct; and religious institutions' claims to legal autonomy.

LAW 1542 v00 Law, Policy, and Practice of Disasters and Complex Emergencies

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

This course is a “disaster law” simulation based on the post Hurricane Katrina legal reforms, particularly the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act. That bill, along with ones passed in response to Hurricane Sandy, reorganized the United States emergency management system and highlighted the particular issues of vulnerable groups.

This simulation course will give students an in-depth experience of working on disaster law issues in the context of a legislative inquiry and hearing. Students will conduct mock interviews, review legislation and legal precedent, and then conduct a legislative hearing to determine whether further changes to the law are necessary. This course present students with the opportunity to work in an emerging area of law, honing their legal skills with a focus on disaster victims and vulnerable populations.

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).

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 315 v00 Literacy and Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

In this seminar, we use children’s literature and participatory methodology to explore the relationships between law and literacy simultaneously as we bring to the surface fundamental principles of law, justice, and democracy. We do this using a dynamic, experiential approach, with examples from children’s literature, children’s writing, and learner-centered teaching methodology and a combination of readings, interactive seminars, and placements involving weekly reading with emergent readers.  We examine learning theories and practices regarding emergent literacy and discuss their legal, educational, and social implications. Readings are drawn from law, educational theory and practice, and children’s literature. We explore the variety of learning approaches that now inform literacy instruction in America. Legal implications to be considered include restrictions on literacy due to historical oppression and educational disadvantage, equal protection and diversity, freedom of speech, school finance, discipline, gender, and English as a second language.  We also focus on the relationship between interactive, experiential learning, civic skills, and the democratic process. 

Students are required to spend at least one hour per week working with an emergent reader. The placement may be a literacy program at a local school or center (e.g., the Early Learning Center at Georgetown Law), or some other arrangement of a participant’s choice, approved by the instructors (e.g., siblings, relatives, or parents/grandparents). The reading sessions may be conducted in person or online. Writing requirements include both a monthly 5-page journal and a short paper. The paper may be a conventional paper or, the more frequent choice, the writing of a children’s book that integrates legal and educational issues and which is accompanied by a short analytical essay describing the book’s connections between literacy and law. Please contact the professors for more information.

LAW 410 v04 Local Government Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course surveys the legal environment, political values and policy debates that shape local government in the United States. After completing the course, students will be able to identify many of the key doctrinal principals, and analyze how they apply to the socio-economic context of federalism today. Some of the topics for discussion include: (1) the forms and powers of the various types of local governments (e.g. cities, counties, and special districts); (2) the allocation of power between states and their local governments and the role of local governments in the federal system; (3) the pivotal role of local government in the regulation of private land use; (4) local sources of revenue and limits on borrowing; (5) recent trends in blight, suburbanization, sprawl and redevelopment; and (6) inter-local cooperation and regional governments. The course also will challenge students to explore the tension between the historical movement toward greater local home rule and the modern favor for “smarter growth” and regional solutions. Finally, the course will enable students to exercise and develop skills of particular relevance to local decision-making: statutory interpretation, working effectively in groups, and understanding the dynamics and procedural context of local government proceedings.

Learning Objectives:

This course aspires to empower its students to:

  • Recognize and apply several core legal doctrines that enable and constrain the existence of various local government entities.
  • Describe how several prominent strains of American political theory have guided the historical development of local government law.
  • Apply several constitutional principles and legal standards that regulate local government functions – for example, local taxation and expenditures, land use regulation, education, public safety and the other local services.
  • Understand the menagerie local entities and appreciate how alternative forms of governance impact a lawyer’s ethical obligations.
  • Explain the predominant funding mechanisms for local government, and analyze how state and local policies can affect the viability of local government.
  • Identify several state and federal policies that can impair the sustainability of local government.
  • Develop and deliver principled arguments about how socio-economic policy issues relate to legal doctrine, intra-regional wealth, sprawl and alternatives to local government.

Note: Although no prerequisites are required for this course, Professor Gardner strives to highlight connections between the material discussed in class and other substantive legal topics. Third- and fourth-year students will be encouraged to share learning from related courses – for example, civil procedure, constitutional law, administrative law, land use law and other legal subjects. In particular, this course will offer a meaningful segue leading to (and from) courses in land use and administrative law.

LAW 1317 v00 Military, Veterans and Society (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.

SEMINAR: Through this practicum, students will learn the legal and policy underpinnings for the U.S. military personnel system and veterans affairs system. Students will also be exposed to background materials which explain the illustration of these systems. Students in this practicum will also gain experience and expertise in policy analysis, including legal analysis, policy and programming analysis, cost analysis, and political analysis. For most weeks of the course, we will conduct a "deep dive" into one substantive issue or framework issue for the community. The objective of this course is to train students to prepare policy analyses and/or draft legislation focused on veterans and military personnel policy, with the course objective being a written policy analysis or legal analysis, delivered to the seminar with an oral briefing.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work with the professor to develop or support a policy analysis paper, draft legislative proposal, or research contribution that relates to contemporary research on veterans and military personnel issues. Students will select a project within the scope of veterans and military personnel policy (such as by writing a detailed analysis of that issue/bill, complete with detailed recommendations tied to their analysis of the issue). An illustrative example might be veterans’ access to care issues, which a student could analyze in the context of available VA population data and expenditures data, producing a recommendation for greater use of public-private partnerships and purchased care, accompanied by draft legislation that would amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to enable this recommendation. Another example (from a past class) could be a quantitative and qualitative analysis of military appeals court rulings on the issue of "unlawful command influence" and implications for policymakers and commanders seeking to address sexual assault in the ranks. Students will work directly for Prof. Carter, who previously directed research and policy work othese issues at CNAS and the RAND Corporation, and will also have the opportunity to engage with other policy analysis organizations, veterans service organizations, legislative offices, and advocacy groups throughout this course.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling (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.

This practicum may be suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and participating in 10 hours/week of project work.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for 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.

LAW 1606 v00 Motherhood and the Law Seminar

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

This course will examine society’s notions of motherhood and how various laws affect becoming and being a mother.  Specific topics include laws that affect reproduction, pregnancy, leave from work following childbirth, parenting decisions, when to legally punish mothers and lastly navigating motherhood and professional identity as a lawyer.  Some of the questions that will run through this course include: 

  1. Given the importance of caring for children, how should the law construct expectations of parenthood?  
  2. How does the law shape our notions of the responsibility of motherhood?  
  3. Is there common ground among political opponents on issues related to law and motherhood?
  4. What laws should be implemented to better support mothers in the United States?

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. The 3-credit section is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 1458 v01 National Security and Human Rights Seminar

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

The struggle to respect and ensure human rights while also protecting national security raises important and complex legal and policy challenges. This course will examine current issues at the intersection of human rights and national security, with a focus on the use of force.

The first half of the course will cover the legal frameworks governing the use of force, including the UN Charter and jus ad bellum, the law of armed conflict (also known as the law of war or international humanitarian law), human rights law, and the U.S. Constitution. Students will examine how the rise of transnational terrorist organizations and advancements in armed drone technology have blurred the line between wartime and peacetime legal rules and placed tremendous pressure on these legal frameworks in the decades following the 9/11 attacks. By the end of this portion of the course, students will be able to analyze uses of military force in the daily news to determine whether the use of force is lawful under domestic and international law.

The second half of the course will cover key issues at the intersection of national security and human rights including: U.S. drone strikes, indefinite detention and the use of military commissions at Guantanamo, the CIA’s torture program after 9/11, the climate crisis, and more. Where feasible, we will cover current events and have practitioners from the field join us for a discussion of the topic. In past years, we have had speakers from the State Department, Defense Department, Congress, and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First.

Student learning objectives for the course are to use class sessions and the preparation of a paper:

  • To become familiar with basic human rights standards that govern the use of force in law enforcement settings, with particular emphasis on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • To become familiar with basic international law standards that govern the grounds for resort to force (jus ad bellum) and regulate the way force may be used in armed conflicts (jus in bello or law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law);
  • To gain an appreciation of the complex ways in which many current security threats and responses to them have features that do not fall squarely into the categories of either crime subject to law enforcement operations or armed conflict subject to conventional military operations; and
  • To become familiar with a range of complex issues at the intersection of national security and human rights and the diversity of professional opportunities in these areas.

Strongly Recommended: International Law; National Security Law; Law of War; Foreign Relations Law; Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs; International Human Rights Law; or the first-year elective International Law, National Security, and Human Rights.

LAW 819 v01 National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework

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

This course will explore the relationship between national security and immigration. The course will first provide a historical backdrop of this issue and continue with threshold national security issues that have immigration implications. Particularly, the current legal framework that surrounds this issue will be explored to include specific provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as peripheral legal issues such as material support of a terrorist organization. Other national security questions will be discussed to include protecting the borders, criminal immigration prosecutions, and population control. Lastly, this course will explore the conflict between individual rights and national security and attempt to answer the threshold question of whether it is appropriate to use immigration laws as a national security enforcement tool.


This course is oriented toward the practitioner due to the focus this course places on the legal framework and litigation strategies necessary for removing or detaining individuals who are national security threats. At the same time, we will spend time learning how to defend against the government using the immigration statutes as a national security tool. To facilitate this, students will not learn through lectures and group discussions alone, but also through examining real legal documents that have been filed in the United States District Courts and the Courts of Appeals. Students will also have the opportunity to examine a real A-file in order to practice issue spotting.


In the 3-credit version of this class, students will be required to submit a paper proposal, rough draft, and highly researched analytical paper approximately 30-35 pages in length.


Note: The 3-credit section meets the J.D. writing requirement.

Note: The J.D. section will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 1619 v00 Natural Resources and Energy Law and Policy Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

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

This course will give students an experiential learning experience in the field of natural resources and energy law and policy. Students will work individually or in groups on real-world legal and/or policy problems related to natural resources or energy for clients or stakeholders currently engaged in this rapidly changing subject area. 

The seminar portion of the course covers the key elements of natural resources and energy law and policy related to the experiential learning projects. Students will study the relevant statutes, case law, and underlying policies relating to these natural resources and energy issues. The course is primarily domestic in its focus, but some topics and examples of international natural resources and energy law and policy will be included. During the course, students will draw on pertinent and practical legislative and administrative materials.

Throughout the semester, we will focus on building real-world legal and policy skills. We will discuss the successes and failures of natural resources and energy law and policy, the trade-offs between preservation and development, future prospects for effective resource management and conservation, and the skills needed to effectuate successful outcomes on behalf of clients.

This is a four-credit course, with two credits awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for work outside of class on experiential learning projects. The class is designed to be appropriate for both law students and public policy students.

Course Goals:

  1. The course is intended to help you develop your legal skills. During the experiential portion of the course, you will develop legal skills by working on a real-world legal or policy problem for a client. You will prepare a written analysis appropriate for delivery to the client. You will also prepare an oral presentation of your work, including findings and recommendations for the client. In undertaking this project, you will develop in-depth expertise on a natural resources issue as assigned. 
  2. In preparing the written analysis for your client, you will have an opportunity to hone your legal writing and analytical skills. You will consider and determine how best to present your analysis and findings to the client in written form.
  3. You will also develop your skills in oral communication as you prepare and deliver a formal oral presentation of your project for the class and also for your client.
  4. By the end of this course, you should have a broad understanding of the overall legal framework for the administration of domestic natural resources. The focus will be on federal law and policy as it relates to the experiential projects being undertaken by the class, but you should also gain insights into selected state and international topics, particularly the interaction between federal and state law and policy. 
  5. The course should provide you with a context for evaluating ongoing and fast-changing legal and policy issues and controversies relating to energy and natural resources.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Natural Resources Law: Energy, Water and Land Resources. 

Note: This is a four-credit course, with two credits awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for work outside of class on experiential learning projects.  The course is 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.

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

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 329 v00 Natural Resources Law

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

This course surveys the laws governing the ownership, conservation, exploitation, and preservation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, such as wildlife, wilderness, parks, rangeland, water, minerals, and forests. The course explores the philosophical, constitutional, historical, and economic underpinnings of natural resource law as well as the role of interest groups in natural resource policy formulation. Current issues, such as those relating to takings and federalism, are also examined.

LAW 1649 v00 Non-Profit Organizations

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

Advocacy organizations are key players in modern political debate. Many GULC students will go on to work for, with, or against a variety of advocacy groups in their careers. At the same time, traditional charitable entities such as hospitals, churches, and schools make up nearly 1/6 of the U.S. economy. This course addresses the rules of the road for both advocacy groups and charities: how they function, how law empowers and constrains them, how they get and manage their money. In-class exam. No prerequisites.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students cannot receive credit for this course and Non-Profit Organizations Seminar.

LAW 326 v00 Non-Profit Organizations Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar examines the nature, formation, classification, and governance of non-profit organizations under state and federal law. Emphasis is on tax exemption and unrelated business income; powers and duties of officers and directors; tort liabilities of members, agents, officers and directors; legal issues in fiscal management; antitrust implications; and joint ventures with for-profit corporations. Issues that receive special treatment include: lobbying and political activities; First Amendment religion, speech, and association issues; and liabilities for "public interest" service providers. This seminar includes a general overview of tax considerations for non-profit organizations, but not in depth; tax matters are covered in depth in Tax Treatment of Charities and Other Nonprofit Organizations, which is offered in the Graduate Program.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students cannot receive credit for this course and Non-Profit Organizations.

LAW 755 v00 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Law & Policy

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

This course will provide students with an understanding of the current matrix of nuclear non-proliferation treaties, multilateral arrangements, laws, regulations, initiatives, proposals, and organizations that aim to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear terrorism. The goal is to examine the full array of tools employed by the United States to address nuclear proliferation, as well as how the Executive Branch brings these tools to bear through the inter-agency process and its joint efforts with Congress and international partners.  Virtually every element of the nonproliferation toolbox was deployed to address the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, so considerable time will be spent examining these critical cases.  We will also examine how the nuclear programs of India and Iraq shook and ultimately altered the nonproliferation regime.  Throughout the course, we will consider nonproliferation efforts in the context of great power strategies, alliance obligations, and regional rivalries, on how these factors influence the decision-making of proliferating countries and countries seeking to prevent proliferation.  A continuing theme in the course will be the evolution of nonproliferation tools over time and the role of and lawyers in that evolution.

LAW 1209 v02 O’Neill Institute Practicum: Regulating Alcohol, Tobacco & Food in International and Comparative Law (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 course explores the challenges and opportunities of using law to address risk factors that contribute to the rising prevalence of NCDs, such as unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. By taking an international and comparative approach, it navigates the theory behind the regulation of risk factors to NCDs in relation to concrete examples from around the world, with a particular emphasis on Latin America, where considerable progress has happened in recent years. 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: In every class, students will learn substantive content and develop lawyering skills, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the role of law in relation to risk factors to NCDs, including in policy, advocacy, and litigation. Specifically, students will be introduced to NCDs (definition, risk factors, and global burden); understand the role of corporations as drivers of NCDs; learn about regulations to address NCDs, such as pricing and taxation, labelling and packaging, and restrictions to marketing and advertising; and explore the strengths and weaknesses of regulatory, advocacy, and litigation approaches to NCDs. In navigating these topics, students will develop a set of lawyering skills, including generating and using evidence, monitoring policy, building coalitions, conducting scenario-planning, engaging decision-makers, segmenting audiences, and framing arguments.

PROJECT WORK: On the experiential/field-work side, students will work with external partners of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law (and the newly created Global Center for Legal Innovation Food Environments) on legal and policy projects related to NCDs and the law. For example, students may draft alternative reports to UN bodies analyzing compliance with human rights obligations related to unhealthy diets, tobacco use, or alcohol consumption (e.g., “shadow reports”). Such a report could analyze the prevailing legal frameworks in a particular country and highlight strengths and weaknesses in the statutory and regulatory language. By working with the O’Neill Institute and civil society organizations, the course gives students the opportunity to use law to address critical health challenges.

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.

LAW 1720 v00 Police Abolition Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This course will study policing transformation through an abolitionist framework. The course will first look at abolitionist theory and its application to policing. It will then look at the implications of this framework for immediate and mid-term change-making efforts in policing and beyond. We will explore the interplay between police abolition, the “defund” movement and more “traditional” police reform efforts, critiquing each. We will look at what police currently do and the extent to which current policing promotes, or undermines, public safety. We will question how “public safety” is commonly defined and consider what role law enforcement would play if we were to define public safety differently. We will consider how the role of police (at least as currently constituted) in promoting public safety might be decreased (eliminated?) and how we would protect physical well-being if that were to come about. Throughout this course we will consider whether the police abolitionist framework might help us more effectively address institutionalized racism and entrenched class inequity as we seek to transform policing.

Students may take this course to fulfill Georgetown’s Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. If you take this class to fulfill your Writing Requirement, you should be prepared to devote a considerable amount of time in the course developing a paper proposal about a conflict, crisis, or controversy within policing; 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 elements of the Writing Requirement as set out in the Georgetown Law Student Handbook of Academic Policies.

Course Readings

  • Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler. 
  • Additional Readings will be listed in the course syllabus and will be posted on/linked to in Canvas

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 1750 v00 Police Accountability Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Alongside newer demands to end our over-reliance on policing to keep us safe, are renewed calls for more effective mechanisms for police accountability.  This course will focus on the nuts-and-bolts of police accountability, from exploring the efficacy and costs of the exclusionary rule, prosecutions of individual police officers, and Section 1983 cases, to USDOJ’s reinvigorated pattern-or-practice investigations, civilian oversight, and “front-end” oversight in the form of state and federal regulation of police. Along the way we will consider subsidiary topics like qualified immunity, the Monell doctrine, and even the role of insurance companies in holding police accountable. We will consider how new or pending legislation at the federal, state, and local levels can be expected to improve (or undermine) police accountability, and discuss how this all fits in with efforts to reform, remake, or abolish policing.

Students may take this course to fulfill Georgetown’s Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. If you take this class to fulfill your Writing Requirement, you should be prepared to devote a considerable amount of time in the course developing a paper proposal about a particular aspect or type of police accountability; 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 elements of the Writing Requirement as set out in the Georgetown Law Student Handbook of Academic Policies.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice or Criminal Procedure.

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 1360 v00 Policing in the 21st Century: Law Enforcement, Technology and Surveillance

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will explore the intersection of contemporary surveillance practices with the need to safeguard civil liberties, and investigate how new technologies are being used to manage and control populations of people, in particular racial and religious minorities and immigrant communities. The course will place special emphasis on the evolving right to privacy in an increasingly cyber- and technology-oriented world, the expansion of government surveillance during the Obama and Trump administrations, and the implications of new law enforcement technologies on civil liberty protections. Our texts will include a variety of sources ranging from case law, legal scholarship, government manuals and congressional testimony to congressional letters, TED Talks, and digital publications.

We will investigate a variety of electronic and non-electronic forms of surveillance, including social media monitoring, stop and frisk, license plate readers, drones, suspicious activity reporting, predictive policing, countering violent extremism programs, and NSA data collection. Throughout the course, we will specifically discuss how these technologies can be used to stifle dissent and protest.

We will discuss how judges and legislators have responded to these surveillance technologies, and pay special attention to the legal tools, doctrines, and defenses available to the government in surveillance-related matters. We will simultaneously investigate the different avenues through which today’s surveillance practices can be challenged, including lobbying, litigation, and private industry innovation. Specific reforms that will be discussed include encryption, informed consent, body cameras, diversity, community policing, and abolition.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 508 v02 Policy Clinic (Harrison Institute for Public Law)

J.D. Clinic | 8 or 14 credit hours

Students in the Policy Clinic provide services to make democracy work several policy themes. Recent projects include:

  • Community equity – Combat gentrification and displacement in low-income communities of color, develop a community support fund, develop a community resilience hub.
  • Health and food – Organize a consortium to improve working conditions in university food supply chains, expand access to oral health services, reinvent a better food chain for institutions (universities, hospitals, schools, and shelters), analyze social determinants of health (housing, food security, etc.) for state health officials.
  • Labor and human rights – Organize a consortium to improve working conditions in university food supply chains (same as health above), protect worker rights in global supply chains for the FIFA World Cup and other mega-sporting events.
  • Trade and climate – Develop mutually supporting climate and trade policies, develop options for international cooperation on climate policies through “climate clubs,” recommend strategies to decarbonize steel production without violating WTO rules, and identify strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while preserving manufacturing jobs.

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

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

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

Learning outcomes for this clinic: Students are supervised, evaluated and graded on three skill sets, each of which has specific evaluation criteria in the Policy Clinic Operations Guide.

  1. Management and professionalism – includes “managing up” with supervision meetings, initiating self-evaluation, managing effort and deadlines, collaborating, and expectations in a professional culture.
  2. Analysis and strategy – covers legal, policy and strategic analysis.  It includes identifying issues that require analysis, learning the context efficiently, using diverse sources to avoid bias, explaining analytic methods, using a logical framework, and drawing conclusions that meet client needs.
  3. Communication, writing and speaking – includes organizing documents and presentations, meeting audience needs for context and decision-making, relating analysis through stories and examples, presenting visual information, and editing for plain language, clarity, and English style.

Recommended: Legislation and Administrative Law. Also, for climate projects: Local Government Law; and for trade or human rights projects: International Law I, International Trade (various titles), World Trade Organization: Law, Policy and Dispute Settlement, and International Human Rights.

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

LAW 1288 v00 Politics of Litigation and Litigation of Politics

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

Many of the most important and intense political disputes in American history have come before the federal courts. From the controversy about the midnight judges reflected in Marbury v. Madison, to the conflict about slavery at the core of Dred Scott, to the rise of interest group litigation by civil rights, religious, environmental, and other organizations, those opposed to prevailing laws and policies have taken their grievances to court. In recent years, a new breed of political litigation has proliferated. Increasingly, the losers in legislative and electoral battles have leapt immediately into the judicial arena, challenging the constitutionality of the laws enacted over their objection or the way elections are run. Increasingly, politicians and the entities they control have deployed litigation as another tool in the partisan arsenal. And increasingly, federal courts have become the arbiters of political disputes between the other two branches of the Federal Government, and between the Federal Government and the States, and between political candidates.

This course will use the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act as an initial case study of how political disputes play out in litigation, from the trial courts to the Supreme Court. We will follow the pattern of political litigation into the Trump and Biden Administrations, and assess the lessons from the partisan shift in the litigation. We will consider how and why partisan disputes generate litigation and discuss the issues this litigation raises regarding the appropriate role of courts in our democratic system. In large part, the perspective will be practical, as we explore the legal, strategic, and tactical choices advocates make in bringing high profile political cases, in framing the legal issues, in harnessing the rules of procedure, and in managing the political features of the case -- both offensively and defensively, and both inside and outside the courtroom. We will discuss the hurdles litigants face in seeking to strike down federal laws, the particular challenges of representing the U.S. Government in defending those laws, and the conflicting pressures that bedevil advocates on both sides of the cases. In some of our sessions, students may be asked to strategize or to argue from the perspective of the plaintiffs or the defendant in the cases.

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

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Federal Courts and the Federal System.

LAW 408 v03 Poverty Law and Policy (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 8-10 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course is designed for students who wish to work for a public interest law organization that deals with issues connected to poverty. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar (in both the fall and spring semesters) that focuses on the framework, history, and current issues related to American poverty. Students will also work for a public interest law organization that works on issues connected to poverty; students may work for either 10 or 15 hours/week in both the fall and spring or 30 hours/week in one semester only.  In addition, students may work for 10 hours/week in the fall and 15 hours/week in the spring or vice versa.

SEMINAR: Classes in the fall will cover the definition of poverty, the history of antipoverty policy, welfare, work supports, and safety net issues. Spring classes will feature guest lecturers covering education, health, housing, homelessness, juvenile justice, and child welfare. Students will be involved in participatory exercises in the course of both semesters: in the fall, mock press conferences, testimony to Congress, and meetings with public officials; and in the spring, a group project on developing a plan for neighborhood transformation, using materials studied through the year. A final paper will be required. Students will earn four graded credits for the seminar (two credits each semester); one grade will be provided at the end of the year.

FIELDWORK: In the four, five, or six-credit, mandatory pass-fail, fieldwork portion of the practicum, students will work with a public interest law organization that deals with issues connected to poverty. Students may work for either 10 or 15 hours in both the fall and spring, 10 hours in the fall and 15 hours in the spring or vice versa, or 30 hours/week in one semester only. The host organization may work from either a national or a local perspective on issues connected to poverty. Placements might involve a focus on poverty per se or “poverty and…” e.g., civil rights, women, education, housing, health, juvenile and criminal justice, child welfare or immigration. Depending on the organization, activities at placements could include litigation and/or policy advocacy, including governments on all level and in either the executive branch or the legislative. Students may propose and arrange their own placements; these must be approved by Professor Edelman. Alternatively, Professor Edelman is available to assist in finding and setting up the placements. Depending on the number of hours worked, students will earn four, five, or six pass/fail credits for the fieldwork; one grade will be provided at the end of the year.

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 or another practicum course. If students complete their fieldwork hours for this practicum entirely in one semester, they may be eligible to enroll in a clinic for the other semester.

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


This course may be suitable for evening students who can attend seminar and participate in fieldwork during business hours.


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, 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 1537 v00 Practicum on Helping Pro Se Litigants (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in a weekly seminar and engage in related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will focus on assisting those representing themselves in divorce, child custody, and child support matters in D.C. Superior Court. Working under the supervision of attorneys at the DC Affordable Law Firm who are involved with the Family Law Assistance Network (FLAN), students will be responsible for handling client intake and providing family law related information and community education services to individual and groups of D.C. residents in areas of the city such as Ward 8. Ward 8 is an area with a 36% poverty rate, where its residents largely address their legal problems without the benefit of counsel. The assistance may be hybrid for the Spring 2023 Practicum, with some services at DC Superior Court and some virtual. Students will also be preparing information about family court law and procedure for self-represented parties. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out up to 10 hours/week of fieldwork with DCALF lawyers. 

SEMINARIn the seminar, students will learn about: (i) family law and procedure in the District; (ii) the types of information self-represented parties often need when they have to represent themselves; (iii) the best means for helping self-represented persons in crisis situations; (iv) developments nationally on involving non-lawyers, such as law students, in providing needed information and public education to self-represented parties; and (v) requirements and restrictions set forth in the District’s unauthorized practice of law provisions (DC court of Appeals Rule 49) that governs the services students in the Practicum will be able to provide.

FIELDWORKIn the fieldwork component of the course, students will: (i) get guidance from DCALF attorneys in handling pro se litigant intake and providing basic information about DC Superior Court Domestic Relations Branch law and procedure; and (ii) prepare easily understood on-line and print family law public education materials.

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 family law is recommended but not required.

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

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

This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending seminar and working 10 hours/week 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 fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. 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. 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 1264 v00 Professional Responsibility: Ethics in Public Interest Practice

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Public interest lawyering is counter-cultural in the legal profession, but the substantive law governing lawyers is generally the same regardless of practice area. This course examines the regulation of the legal profession with a focus on the ethical issues most often encountered by public interest lawyers. Most class meetings will be devoted to applying the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and other lawyer law to problems chosen from the text and other sources. Issues will include confidentiality and publicity; allocation of decision-making authority; conflicts of interest between individual clients and the broader client community or particular social justice movement; settlement and fee shifting; and special problems in organizational, class, and mass representation. The course will also examine the history of public interest law, issues confronting the public interest movement, and career options.

Note: This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement for the Public Interest Law Scholars program ("PILS").

LAW 364 v06 Public Health Law and Ethics

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

This course explores the interwoven dynamics of legal and ethical aspects of public health issues in the United States and abroad, including infectious diseases, tobacco use, obesity, and the environment, among others. This course will be valuable for students interested in global health law, as well as students looking to broaden and deepen their expertise in preparation for a career in health law more generally.

This course will proceed in three movements. First, it will consider the conceptual foundations of public health law in the United States through the lens of governance, ethics, and human rights, affording particular attention to the statutory and regulatory powers and duties of federal and state governmental entities to protect the health and safety of the population. Second, it will examine the sources of tension between the objectives of public health and civil liberties including, among others: labeling and advertising restrictions and free speech; disease surveillance and privacy; and considerations in personal versus population-based conceptions of health. Lastly, this course will conclude by considering emerging public health issues at the intersection of law and ethics, such as biosecurity, vaccine policy, and the role for public health in broader discussions around health care reform in the United States.

LAW 364 v07 Public Health Law and Ethics

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

This course explores the interwoven dynamics of law, ethics, and science in public health through examination of core legal theory and practice-based examples. With COVID-19 ushering law, policy, and decision-making around public health into broad public awareness, this class will draw upon current and emerging issues in society, enabling students to apply legal and ethical concepts to real-world scenarios. By spotlighting recent and historical examples of public health law in action, including COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, tobacco use, obesity, the environment, and the broader social determinants of health, this course will be valuable for students interested broadly in health law and equity, as well as students seeking to deepen their expertise in public policy.

Students will learn the conceptual foundations of public health law in the United States, with particular attention to the statutory and regulatory powers and duties of federal and state governmental entities to protect the health and safety of the population and the judicial decisions that shape them. Sources of tension between public health goals and objectives and civil liberties will be interactively contemplated, including, among others: disease surveillance and privacy; labeling and advertising restrictions and free speech; and considerations around individual versus population-based conceptions of health. Throughout the course, students will engage with public health law through applied learning—case studies and exercises—focused on addressing public health issues, comparing national and global responses, and developing legal and policy strategies that integrate health equity.

LAW 586 v00 Race and American Law

J.D. Course | 4 credit hours

With such watershed events in the civil rights movement as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the civil rights acts of the 1960s, the eradication of racial subordination in America seemed an achievable goal. Yet, in America today, racial minorities continue to experience social and economic disadvantages, and race relations remain strained in many respects. Whether law has aided or impeded the cause of civil rights in the past and the extent to which law can help to resolve racial issues in the present and future are questions of considerable controversy. This course will examine the response of law to racial issues in a variety of legal contexts. Topics will likely include the meaning of race and racial discrimination, intimate relationships, child placement, employment, education and integration, policing and criminal punishment, free expression, and political participation. Classes will center on candid discussion and participatory exercises about the issues raised by the assigned material. The course will cover most of the seminal "race" cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 1548 v00 Race and Democracy: Voting Rights in America

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

Race and Democracy: Voting Rights in America assesses the impact of white supremacy ideology on American Democracy. The course uses the struggle for Black voting rights as the primary framework for exploring this relationship.

Over the course of the term, students 1) develop a working knowledge of how the ideology of white supremacy has impacted voter registration, participation, and representation 2) acquire critical tools to identify, analyze, and dismantle narratives, policies, and practices rooted in the history of white supremacy and 3) develop an appreciation for the role social movements have played in both reenforcing and disrupting the structural and systemic barriers to a multiracial and multicultural democracy.

Recommended: There are no prerequisite requirements for this course, although courses in constitutional law can be helpful.

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.

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

LAW 1607 v00 Race, Inequality and Progressive Politics: Voting Rights in America

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

Race, Inequality and Progressive Politics: Voting Rights in America explores 1) the role of race and inequality in the evolving progressive vision of American democracy 2) lessons learned from successive backlashes to the progressive vision and 3) the implications of this history for the future of progressive politics in America.  Tracking the historical evolution of progressive politics from 19th century Reconstruction to 20th century Civil Rights, this course locates the defining characteristics of American Progressive thought in an Ideology of Equality that consists of the following: 1) a critique of entrenched economic, political and social inequality 2) the reconstruction of government’s role in remedying inequality and 3) the development of a community-based, participatory democracy – a robust civil society supplementing the work of progressive government.

Learning Objectives and Methods: Over the course of the semester, students 1) develop a working knowledge of how race and inequality impact voter registration, participation and/or representation 2) acquire critical tools to identify and analyze dominant ideologies and narratives reinforcing inequalities and 3) explore innovative public policy and civil society solutions to the inequalities plaguing voting rights and electoral politics in American democracy.   

LAW 1335 v00 Race, Inequality, and Justice

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

Course Organization and Overview

This course explores the law’s response to the problem of economic inequality. By 2015, the political and economic conversations have recognized the stark and unacceptable wealth and economic differences that underlie growing political and social instability. We will approach the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective that includes sociology, psychology, history and cultural studies. The course offers an introduction to the work of classic economic thinkers such as Adam Smith, and contemporary economists and legal scholars including Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, Richard Posner and Ian Ayres. The primary focus of the course however will be an exploration of the limits and failures of conventional rational choice approaches to explaining the questions arising from economic inequality for members of groups who have experienced pervasive race, gender and other forms of cultural subordination.

We will explore the conceptual framework of marketplace distribution of commodities, the cultural determinants of market value, and the claims of subordinated communities for economic equality. We will develop an understanding of the silence of the Constitution on questions of economic inequality. We will draw upon the insights of a wide range of social science research to map the consequences of the lack of a coherent legal framework to govern questions of distributive justice.

This course does not require a technical background in quantitative economics. The primary material will be drawn from sociology, history, psychology, narrative economics, and critical race theory.

Theme

The case study for this seminar this year will be the economic and social conditions of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. We will explore the impact of the cumulative economic and social deficits of that city. We will take advantage of our course discussion and research to investigate this dramatic example of economic and social inequality in America. This recent example of the explosive combination of police abuse and the underlying condition of wealth and income inequality is just the most recent example of long term neglect. We will try to figure out what factors surround the anger at the criminal justice process of stop and frisk and the implementation of the “broken windows theory” of police enforcement practices that have created police estrangement from many low wealth communities of color. The Freddy Grey Riots and the long-term political, economic and sociological dynamics of Baltimore provide an important to delve more deeply into the connection between police practices and the economic death of cities such as Baltimore.

We will ask are there important counter examples to Baltimore and Ferguson.

LAW 1753 v00 Racial Equity in Education Law & Policy Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Students in the Racial Equity in Education Law & Policy Clinic engage in legislative lawyering to address issues of educational inequality along racial lines in U.S. public education. Clinic students work on behalf of clients (that range from non-profit organizations to coalitions to youth-led groups) to devise legislative and policy interventions to address client's policy priorities. Students may engage in legislative lawyering on issues such as school resource inequities, school segregation, discriminatory school discipline policies or practices, and inclusive curricular offerings. 

Please see the Racial Equity in Education Law & Policy Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Racial Equity in Education Law & Policy Clinic PDF.

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

Recommended: Courses such as Administrative law, Congressional Procedure, Civil Rights are recommended.

Mutually Excluded Courses:

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

LAW 1728 v00 Reading the Police Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

During this seminar our class will read six books about policing in the United States.  We will spend two weeks on each book.  The first week we will discuss the book with each other. The second week the author will visit the class to discuss the book. Some author visits will be in person; others will visit via video conference.

Through studying these books and speaking with their authors we will learn how theories of policing have changed over time; how policing is influenced by, and in turn influences, law and politics; the role that race, gender, age and socio-economic status have played in shaping how policing happens; the connection of policing to mass incarceration and its attendant  harms; and we will probe some of the biggest challenges facing policing currently, such as combatting gun violence and police interactions with youth.

The books we will read are:

  • Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence by Patrick Sharkey
  • America On Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s by Elizabeth Hinton
  • Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing by Issa Kohler-Hausmann
  • Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell
  • The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth by Kristin Henning
  • Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City by Rosa Brooks

Reflection and Summaries: All students are required to submit a 500 word reflection paper on each book after we have read the book and before we have discussed it with the author.  Reflection papers will be submitted via Canvas by noon two days before class (i.e. every other noon on Monday) so that they can be made available to the authors before our discussion. Reflection papers will be graded and late papers will be penalized. In addition, all students will submit a 500 word summary of the reading before the first week’s discussion of each book. Summaries will be graded pass-fail and must be submitted each week by 5pm the day before class (i.e. every other Tuesday at 5pm). I will note these dates on the Canvas calendar for this class.

Grading

Your grade for the class will be based upon: 1) attendance and the quality of your participation; 2) reflection papers for each book; and 3) weekly reading summaries.

Prerequisite: Criminal Justice or Democracy & Coercion or Criminal Procedure or Instructor Approval.(LL.M.s are welcome).

Note: To accommodate author schedules, at least two classes will be held on Wednesday afternoon from 3:30pm-5:30pm, rather than the normally scheduled class time.

LAW 440 v04 Refugee Law and Policy

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

This course examines domestic refugee law and policy, with particular focus on asylum and other refugee-related claims for protection that arise in the U.S. legal system. Students will become familiar with the key actors in the asylum and refugee law arena, including the U.S. Congress, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the federal courts, and international entities.

The course objectives are: (1) to equip students with an understanding of the principles of refugee policy, asylum law, and the United States' procedures for refugee protection, and (2) to provide students with a practical appreciation for how refugee policy is formed and a working knowledge of asylum law, which will serve as a foundation for academic research, clinical study, employment, pro bono work, and/or internship opportunities within the U.S. government and the NGO community.

In addition to focusing on the refugee definition as interpreted by U.S. courts, we will examine the processes for adjudicating asylum claims -- where the system works and where it fails. We will also seek to understand the limits of asylum law and explore the toughest issues facing asylum adjudicators and policy makers today.

LAW 1445 v00 Reproductive Justice Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Reproductive Justice is a concept developed by Black Women activists in the 1990s to provide a different framework to explore how systemic oppression impacts reproductive decision-making. Acknowledging that abortion and contraception were often not the primary reproductive concerns of many marginalized women, including women of color, young women, women with disabilities, undocumented women, and queer women, activists adopted a framework that considers the contexts in which reproductive decisions are made. This approach centers social, racial and economic justice, and focuses as much on the rights to have and raise children as it does on the right to not have them though access to safe and legal abortion care and contraceptive access.

This course will focus on the rights to not have a child, to have a child, and to raise a child. While abortion will be discussed in several of the units in which it is relevant, due to the truncated semester, the course will not focus on abortion or contraception. Students may, however, focus their writing requirement on abortion or contraception. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach to the issues, incorporating various bodies of law (family law, welfare policy, criminal law) along with an historical analysis, social science, and current events.

Note: NOTE FOR THE SUMMER 2021 SECTION: This professor has committed to teaching this course from the classroom on campus. Students may participate in-person or remotely.

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.

This course will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 3090 v00 Reproductive Rights

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

This course will explore the history and law of reproductive rights in the United States.  The majority of the semester will be spent analyzing the constitutional framework, jurisprudence and federal and state regulations governing forced sterilization, contraception and abortion from the 1920s until today.  We will consider the historical, social and religious context of the regulation of reproduction; gender, race and socioeconomic class issues; and the practical impact of the regulations in effect today. This course is primarily focused on reproductive rights in the United States, but we may consider comparative international perspectives.

Please note that this course will not cover regulation of parenting, adoption, foster care, assisted reproductive technologies or related reproductive health topics, or reproductive justice in any meaningful detail.

All students are expected to read the assignments, attend class, and prepare for active discussion every week. Depending on course enrollment, I may assign small groups of students to assist me in leading each week’s discussion of the assigned materials.  Short oral presentations on current events or topics of particular interest will likely be assigned during the second half of the semester.

Grading: Class participation, including oral presentations, and/or short reaction papers will represent at least 35% of the final grade.  A take-home exam will account for the remaining 65%.

Recommended: Constitutional Law I

LAW 611 v18 Restorative Justice: Law and Policy Intersections

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Restorative justice has been part of American law and policy for more than three decades. It exists as an alternative approach to addressing harm across multiple public systems (i.e., juvenile and criminal justice, education, and child welfare) as well as in community-based settings. In the context of harm, restorative justice is a distinct form of conflict resolution that aims to redirect society’s retributive responses. For example, crime, in the context of restorative justice, is not considered just an offense against the state but rather viewed as a wrong against another person and indicative of a broken relationship between the offender, the victim, and the community.

More recently, restorative justice has expanded into mainstream reform conversations—particularly around addressing mass incarceration and securing justice—and gained a new urgency following nationwide protests in response to racial violence and anti-Blackness. The increasing exchange between criminal justice reform and restorative justice cannot be ignored. Proponents and opponents of the expansion of restorative justice in law must think carefully about the existing U.S. restorative justice scheme, to ensure the construction and refinement of restorative justice laws do not yield undesirable state and local practices.

This Week One course provides an introductory examination of restorative justice in U.S. law in an intensive and condensed format. First, it will review the most common uses of restorative justice in the U.S. in public systems. This includes consideration of the application of restorative justice values, frameworks and practices in contrast to retributive theories. Next, using American criminal law as a case study, it will examine contemporary ethical and legal issues emerging from the legalization of restorative justice. The capstone requires application of the course materials in a simulated negotiation, development, and drafting of a restorative justice law.

The course aims to improve students’ effectiveness as future lawyers. The course design promotes learning through the application of knowledge and performance of skills to gain expertise. Students will develop skills associated with legal analysis, legal writing, professional collaboration, negotiation, and self-reflection.

Learning Objectives:

  • Familiarity with fundamental restorative justice theories and principles.
  • Ability to describe and analyze the application of restorative practices.
  • Development of an informed perspective of the nature of restorative justice in public systems.
  • Identification of legal and ethical intersections in the U.S. restorative justice scheme.
  • Identification and assessment of challenges and possibilities for restorative justice.
  • Practice of introspection through experiential exercises.

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 30, 2020 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 611 v14 Restorative Justice: Theory and Practice in Criminal, Education, and Community Settings

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a distinct form of conflict resolution – rooted in indigenous traditions – that aims to redirect society’s retributive response to harm. For example, crime, in the context of RJ, is not considered an offense against the state but rather a harm against another person with impacts that reverberate through the community. Harm represents an imbalance in the community, not just the missteps of individuals. RJ elevates the role of those involved in and affected by harm in seeking acknowledgment and understanding; restoring relationships, emotional, and material losses; and addressing root causes of the harm through dialogue and problem solving. Across the country RJ has emerged in public systems (i.e., juvenile and criminal justice, education, child welfare) and in community-based settings. This has increasingly placed lawyers (and judges) in the role of decision makers regarding the use of restorative justice at different stages of the juvenile and criminal justice process (i.e., pre-trial diversion, deferred adjudication, sentencing, and re-entry); co-architects of restorative justice programs; policymakers implementing and integrating restorative responses into legislation; and practitioners of RJ in a variety of settings.

We will be learning about the theory and practice of Restorative Justice – and as it relates to the theory and practice of punitive justice – through a variety of local case studies. Last year these included sexual harm at institutions of higher education such as Georgetown, police reform, community-based paroling, and domestic violence services in the District. This year's topic areas are still to be determined, but may include some or all of the above. These are some of the most complex, politically charged, and emotionally sensitive issues for RJ to address. We will also discuss the broader history and legal debates around RJ in the US as it manifests in criminal justice systems, educational systems, and community contexts. As such, we will consider the challenges and possibilities for restorative justice on campus, the DC area, and beyond, ending our final class with a simulated restorative process to gain an experience for what readings and academic discussions cannot offer.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Identify key restorative principles and practices.
  • Articulate the problem in each of the case studies; assess traditional responses to these problems and the legal environment within which they take place; and identify the potential of Restorative Justice.
  • Describe the application of RJ in criminal justice, educational, and community settings, identifying and assessing legal challenges and possibilities.
  • Experience restorative processes for community building and responsive to harm.
  • Practice introspection through course exercises.
  • Introduce and/or enhance fundamental skills and professional ethics that restorative practitioners need to practice.

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 403 v04 Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice

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

This course offers students an opportunity to learn about the expanding field of practice focused on strengthening the Rule of Law. It begins with a review of various definitions of the term, recognizing that many approach the same end through various means. It employs a case study methodology, including specific sessions with U.S. and foreign judges and other legal practitioners active in reform efforts. Topics include: Democracy and the rule of law; access to justice; criminal procedural reform; court administration and case management; commercial court reform; alternative dispute resolution (ADR); judicial independence and accountability; national security and transitional justice; indicators to measure the rule of law; and the role played by legal actors in addressing corruption, both within and outside the legal system. We will consider the rationale behind rule of law reforms by examining experiences, including in the U.S., which seek more competitive market economies, stronger law enforcement, gender equality, or social justice in response to an increase in demand populations, not only formal "users" of justice services. The course will also address the often overlapping or inconsistent agendas of bilateral donors, international organizations (e.g., U.N., World Bank, IMF, USAID, U.S. Military, among others) in the discussion and analysis.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of the course. Students will have acquired an understanding of the various definitions of ‘rule of law’ and the factors leading to and preventing successful reform efforts.
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired some understanding of the differences and similarities among international financial institutions (IFIs) and their approaches to Rule of Law to be able distinguish varying objectives (e.g. democracy promotion, economic development, human rights and social justice, anti-corruption and law enforcement).
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired a vocabulary and understanding of overlapping (and even inconsistent agendas) to be able to identify the “drivers” of reform and provide inputs for the design or evaluation of Rule of Law reform efforts.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law is suggested but not required. Familiarity with international organizations would be useful but not required.

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

LAW 1450 v00 Segregation Seminar: History and Future for Education, Housing and Opportunity

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

The course will cover segregation in public accommodations, residences and education, historically and currently. Although the workforce, marriage, and access to citizenship and voting were segregated for centuries in the U.S., employment discrimination, anti-miscegenation, immigration and election law are beyond the scope of this course. Students will learn that the US is racially segregated in housing and education and that segregation is discriminatory. They will grapple with the fundamental question of why segregation exists and the role of law in creating and responding to segregation. Students will gain a historical perspective on the ideology of white supremacy that animates segregation. They will learn that the chief consequence of segregation is inequality, for everyone, people of color and whites. Among those consequences are mass incarceration, health and wealth disparities, wasted human capital due to lack of opportunity, racial hostility, militarized policing in certain neighborhoods (Ferguson & all its antecedents and successors), environmental degradation, and suburban sprawl. Students will also learn strategies for dismantling segregation and, hopefully, help develop innovative solutions in their research papers.

LAW 373 v00 Seminar on Humanitarian Crises

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

This research seminar will provide an opportunity to critically examine a number of humanitarian crises, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Haiti (earthquake -2010), Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, West Africa (Ebola-2014), and Yemen. Each of these crises will be analyzed in terms of: their causes; efforts to prevent, respond to and recover from the crisis; the extent to which international legal frameworks were applied and the impact of the crisis on legal principles; the engagement of different actors (from military forces to local faith-based communities); the extent to which humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence, and impartiality were compromised in humanitarian response; the relationship between refugees, internally displaced persons and ‘trapped populations’ as determinants of international attention; and difficult operational issues around access, negotiations with non-state actors, and the relationship between security concerns and humanitarian response.

Prior to the first class, law students must read the 1951 Refugee Convention and a very short excerpt, pp. 30-39, from a chapter by Andrew Schoenholtz on "Improving Legal Frameworks" in The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration (2005).

Recommended: At least one course in Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, or International Humanitarian Law. 

Note: See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-373-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1353 v00 Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Sex Characteristics and International Human Rights 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 the professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics from an international human rights law perspective. 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.

Background: Every day, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people are victims of multiple human rights violations, which are directly linked to the lack of acceptance (by society and the State) of their non-normative sexualities, gender identities or gender expressions. Some of the most common human rights violations of LGBTQ people include killings, torture, ill-treatment, “corrective” or punishing rape,"conversion therapy," discrimination in schools, in the workplace and in accessing health services, among many others. Intersex persons face human rights violations because of the general lack of acceptance of their bodies that differ from the socially accepted standards of “female” and “male” bodies. Because of their sex characteristics, intersex people often face human rights violations including irreversible non-consented and non-medically necessary genital surgery at the early stages of infancy and throughout childhood, as well as forced sterilization, among others.

SEMINAR: The course will take a close look at some of the human rights violations faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, or other people perceived as such, as well as the corresponding States’ obligations under international human rights law. The students will analyze landmark and recent decisions emerging from regional and international human rights monitoring bodies, which have developed standards around these categories. This analysis will provide a solid legal foundation for students to develop their projects for external partners.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work, under the direction of the professor, with external partners on legal and policy projects, including conducting legal research and drafting memoranda on specific human rights issues faced by LGBTQI people, preparing shadow reports to present before international human rights bodies, conducting analysis of legislation or a related case, among others. External partners vary every year, and include international and domestic leading human rights organizations working on the promotion and protection of the rights of LGBTQI people at the international level.

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.

LAW 1173 v00 Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 9 credit hours

Please see the Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic website for more detailed information about the clinic.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Social Enterprise and Nonprofit 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 1525 v00 Special Topics in Immigration

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

This course will give students an in-depth look at rapidly developing areas in immigration law. Students will become familiar with the variety of adjudicators in the immigration system, navigating the relationship between Asylum Officers, Immigration Judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the federal courts. We explore legal topics that often arise before these adjudicatory bodies, focusing on those that generate the most frequent—and complex—litigation. Specifically, we focus on detention and bond, corroboration requirements for asylum seekers, and “categorical approach,” under which adjudicators determine whether a criminal conviction renders a respondent removable and ineligible for relief. Students will also become familiar with constitutional challenges to immigration statutes or procedures as they appear in immigration courts and the extent of executive authority under the immigration laws. Finally, we introduce students to judicial review under the Immigration & Nationality Act, the immigration rule of lenity, and the role of deference doctrines in immigration cases.

This course also provides experiential training in the field of appellate immigration practice. Instead of writing a final paper or exam, students will participate in a moot court exercise. Each student will draft the pleadings and prepare arguments for an immigration-related case currently pending in a court of appeals. During this process, the professors provide each student with individualized feedback on her brief-writing and oral advocacy.

Learning Objectives:

Through this course, students will:

  • Better understand judicial review under the immigration laws and the immigration adjudication procedures.
  • Develop familiarity with asylum law, exclusion and removal grounds, and detention under the immigration laws.
  • Gain knowledge of administrative legal practice, including concepts like administrative exhaustion requirements, administrative appeals procedures, and judicial review.
  • Become familiar with appellate practice, including concepts like standard of review and findings of fact.
  • Develop oral advocacy skills, including the ability to respond to present a legal argument and respond to questions from appeals judges.
  • Prepare pleadings in an immigration case at the appellate level, including researching relevant caselaw and succinctly stating the facts of the case.

Recommended: Immigration Law and Policy.

LAW 410 v07 State and Local Government Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

States are the “laboratories of democracy” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, and contemporary theories of localism argue that policy change can be driven by innovation at the municipal level.  Each state has its own Constitution, its own court system, and its own legislative process. States and local governments enjoy substantial law-making and regulatory authority; bear significant responsibility for the financing and provision of most domestic public goods and services; and are key sites for political participation.  This course surveys the legal environment, political values and policy debates that shape state and local governments in the United States. After completing the course, students will be able to identify many of the key doctrinal principals and analyze how they apply to the socio-economic context of federalism today. Some of the topics for discussion include (1) the allocation of power between states and their local governments and the role of state and local governments in the federal system; (2) distinctions between state constitutions and the US Constitution in form and powers including elected judiciaries, legislative procedure, line item vetoes, direct democracy and fundamental rights; (3) the Tenth Amendment, cooperative and coercive federalism, and the role of states as a counterweight to federal power; (4) the pivotal role of local government in the regulation of private land use; (5) state and local sources of revenue, balanced budget provisions, and limits on borrowing; (6) recent trends in blight, suburbanization, sprawl and redevelopment; (7) federal pre-emption of state authorities, and the conflict between plenary state power and local autonomy; and (8) inter-local cooperation and regional governments. The course will examine the role of governors and mayors as policymakers, and how horizontal federalism serves as a driver of national policy in areas including civil rights, immigration and climate change. The course also will challenge students to explore the tension between the historical movement toward greater local home rule and the modern trend to regional solutions. Finally, the course will enable students to exercise and develop skills of particular relevance to state and local decision-making: statutory interpretation, working effectively in groups, and understanding the dynamics and procedural context of state and local government proceedings.

Learning Objectives:

This course aspires to empower its students to:

  • Recognize and apply several core legal doctrines that enable and constrain state governments and various local government entities.
  • Describe how several prominent threads of American political theory have guided the historical development of state and local government law.
  • Apply several constitutional principles and legal standards that regulate state and local government
  • Explain the predominant funding mechanisms for state and local governments, and analyze how state and local policies can affect the viability of local government.
  • Identify several state and federal policies that can impair the sustainability of local government; and federal policies that constrain the autonomy of states in performing their core functions.
  • Develop and deliver principled arguments about how socio-economic policy issues relate to legal doctrine, intra-regional wealth, housing and land use policy and alternatives to local government.

Recommended: Although no prerequisites are required for this course familiarity with constitutional law, property law and administrative law are helpful.

LAW 435 v01 State Government Law and Policy

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

"There will always be a new federalism" one scholar said. In recent years, the federal government has taken on increasing responsibility for state programs that traditionally have been within the purview of state government, including health, education, and job creation. The states have not accepted this diminished role, and in state legislatures and federal courts across the nation, a battle is being played out over the constitutional limits of federal power. This course will examine the balance of powers between the three branches of state government and the intergovernmental relationship between state and federal levels. We will start with an examination of Tenth Amendment, Commerce Clause, and coercive federalism jurisprudence, focusing in particular on National Federation of Independent Business v. Sibelius (the Affordable Care Act case). We will also look at state constitutions and the role of state courts of final jurisdiction in the protection of individual rights and the roles of these courts as a counterpoise to federal courts, the role of the governor, the relationship of state governors to their legislatures, judicial independence in states that elect their judges, and states as lobbyists of the federal government. We will consider the choice advocates make between litigating or pursuing state legislative change to advance policy objectives. There will be two assessments, both involving role-playing, which will require student papers as well as one-on-one evaluation of oral presentations. For these, students will be expected to work on contemporary issues simulating the work of state legislative committee staff, Governor's counsel staff, and state-level lobbyists. Participation will be a component of assessment for the class. Limited to 20.

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

LAW 415 v00 Strategic Intelligence and Public Policy Seminar

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

This seminar will explore several significant legal and policy concerns presented by the conduct of foreign intelligence activities in peace and war. To the extent possible we will focus on current issues. We will discuss the role and history of Congress in authorizing, overseeing and regulating intelligence activities. We will also briefly review the constitutional authorities (primarily Art. II) of the President to undertake activities protecting the national defense in the absence of specific statutory authority, as well as the role of the federal courts in resolving national defense disputes.

More specifically we will discuss legal and structural issues associated with covert action, espionage, electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and its impacts on privacy interests. We will consider the crimes of insurrection, conspiracy, and litigation issues involving the use of classified information in criminal and civil cases, including the use of secret evidence in criminal prosecutions. This discussion will include the state secrets privilege and the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA). We will examine unauthorized disclosures of classified information and whistleblower protections. And finally, we will briefly discuss the role of a free press in our democracy.

The overall approach of the seminar will be to have an open analysis and interesting discussion of these and possibly other related topics. Questions are welcome and can be addressed to Prof. Zirkle at zirklej@georgetown.edu.

Note: The Summer 2022 sections of this course will enroll via waitlist. The Writing Requirement section (LAWJ-415-06) is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 1397 v00 Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

Please see the Street Law website and this video for more information.

OVERVIEW: Street Law is a project-based practicum where Georgetown Law students teach practical law courses at DC public high schools. Street Law instructors help the local community better understand the law, identify how it impacts them, and develop legal and analytical skills. Law students will be assigned to a DC public high school class or the DC Jail to teach law and law-related concepts for the semester. Law students are immersed in the practical application of law and exercise actual lawyering skills (public speaking, legal research, and writing, advocacy, etc). The curriculum focuses on the purpose of laws and legal reasoning, legal negotiations, criminal justice, and human rights. The course capstone is a human rights “mini” mock trial where the high school students perform as lawyers and witnesses and compete against other Street Law classes. This practicum allows law students to gain invaluable lawyering skills while actively giving back to the local community.

SEMINAR: The seminar provides instruction in the law and legal concepts, classroom management, lesson planning, and student assessment using interactive methods. Outside of the seminar, faculty provide intense support for each student to support their learning and growth.

PROJECT WORK: Law student instructors are placed in DC public high school classrooms based primarily on their academic schedules for the semester. All high school classes will be taught in person. There, they will work for at least 10 hours/week preparing for and teaching a course in practical law. Law student instructors have the primary responsibility for the instruction and grading of their students. Street Law faculty and fellows observe each law student instructor and conduct post-observation debriefs at least three times per semester. The instructional methods are subject to change to accommodate Georgetown Law and DC Public Schools COVID policy.  

ORIENTATION: There is a four-day interactive orientation from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., dates to be announced, where law students will experience the student-centered teaching methodology they will use in their own classes. Attendance at the orientation is mandatory.

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION: Students enroll in this course via MyAccess. Students are encouraged to enroll in this practicum course and the spring semester practicum course Street Law: Mock Trial Advocacy. A background check will be required.  

After registering via MyAccess, please email Street Law Professor Charisma Howell at ch329@georgetown.edu to set up an informational interview with Street Law staff.

 

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 or another practicum course. Students may not receive credit for this course and the summer course, Street Law: Corrections and Community.

Note:

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

Evening students who can commit to attending the seminar are encouraged to apply to this course as there will be opportunities to undertake the necessary 10 hours of project work during evening and/or weekend hours.

This is a five-credit course. One credit will be awarded for the orientation, two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar, and two credits will be awarded for at least 10 hours of project work per week. There will be one combined grade for all five credits.

Students who enroll in this course are automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After 12:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, July 29, 2022, 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 project components.

Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars, field placements, and scheduled events. If a student must miss a seminar, a Street Law event, 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 1398 v00 Street Law: Mock Trial Advocacy (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4-5 credit hours

Please see the Street Law website for more information about the program.

OVERVIEW: Street Law is a project-based practicum course where Georgetown Law students teach a course in mock trial advocacy at DC public high schools or a variety of community settings ranging from adult and juvenile correctional facilities to treatment centers for alcohol and drug addiction. Street Law instructors help the local community better understand the law, identify how it impacts them, and develop legal and analytical skills. This project-based course will focus on trial and litigation skills and prepares high school students and community members to compete in the Annual City-wide Mock Trial Tournament. Law students help their students prepare for a complicated criminal or civil trial. The law students develop a thorough understanding of trial procedure, law, and effective advocacy skills. This practicum allows law students to actively give back to the local community while gaining invaluable lawyering skills.

SEMINAR: Seminars are devoted to teaching law and legal reasoning, mock trial advocacy skills, classroom management, lesson planning, and student assessment using interactive methods. Outside of the seminar, faculty provide intense supports for each student to support their learning and growth.

PROJECT WORK: Law student instructors are assigned to regular DC public high school classrooms or other community placements based primarily on their academic schedules for the semester. There, they will work for at least 10 hours/week preparing for and teaching a course in practical law. Law student instructors have the primary responsibility for the instruction and grading of their students. Street Law faculty and fellows observe each law student instructor and conduct post-observation debriefs at least three times per semester. The experience of guiding students through the mock trial process is remarkable and unforgettable. The analytical and critical thinking skills that high school students and community members develop, thanks to the law student instructors, are invaluable for their future endeavors.

ORIENTATION: There is a four-day orientation required for this practicum course conducted in mid-January. During orientation law students will participate in lesson plans that they will use in their own classes and learn about the student-centered teaching methodology. In-person attendance at the orientation is mandatory. Evening division students should reach out to practicum faculty to discuss orientation schedule conflicts. Attendance at this orientation is mandatory for students who did not already take the fall semester Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights practicum.

NOTE: Students who took the fall semester Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights practicum course before the Fall 2022 semester (e.g., in Fall 2021) may need to attend one of the four days of orientation. Students should speak with Professor Howell for more information.

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION: Students enroll in this course via MyAccess. Students are encouraged to enroll in this practicum course and the fall semester practicum course Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights. Alternatively, students who enroll in this course may take the summer course, Street Law: Corrections and Community.

After registering via MyAccess, please email Street Law Professor Charisma Howell at ch329@georgetown.edu to set up an informational interview with Street Law staff.

 

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 or another practicum course.

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

Evening students who can commit to attending the seminar are encouraged to apply to this course as there will be opportunities to undertake the necessary 10 hours of project work during evening and/or weekend hours.

This is a four or five-credit course. One credit will be awarded for the four-day orientation (if the student did not participate in the fall), two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar, and two credits will be awarded for at least 10 hours of project work per week. There will be one combined grade for all four or five credits. Students taking this course and the fall semester Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights practicum are not required to attend the spring orientation and will receive four credits for this course.

Students who enroll in this course are automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After November 14, 2022, 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 project components.

Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars, field placements, and scheduled events. If a student must miss a seminar, a Street Law event, 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 948 v00 Tax Treatment of Charities and Other Nonprofit Organizations

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

Studies the treatment of charities and other nonprofit organizations, including private foundations, churches, hospitals, trade associations, social clubs, and political organizations under the federal income tax law. Among the topics covered are the characteristics of the various classes of exempt organizations, the legislative policies underlying their exemption from tax, problems associated with qualification for and retention of exemption, joint ventures, the unrelated business income tax including corporate sponsorship, the declaratory judgment remedy, implications of racial discrimination, international activities and the treatment of lobbying and political expenditures.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation (formerly Taxation I).

LAW 1659 v00 Technology (Un)leashed: the Future of National Security Law

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

Traditional ways of thinking about National Security Law have left the United States relatively unprepared for the technological revolution. Private actors control global communications systems, social media, satellites, and currencies, all of which are vulnerable to manipulation. Autonomous systems and vehicles, such as drones and driverless cars, can be weaponized by states or non-state actors to devastating effect. In the interim, Fourth Amendment doctrine’s terrestrial ties are failing to address the explosion in personal data generation and its subsequent collection and analysis by government actors—even as myriad questions accompany the application of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) to autonomous weapons systems and the cyber realm. 

Technology (Un)leashed: the Future of National Security Law focuses on technologies that mark the frontiers of National Security Law, exploring the current state of their development and future trajectory. It provides students with the opportunity to do a deep dive on the related constitutional, statutory, regulatory questions and the implications for international law. For the 2019-20 academic year, the course will examine big data, surveillance law, algorithmic analysis, and the Internet of Things; social media; and automation and artificial intelligence. 

The goal is to help students to develop the intellectual flexibility required to understand and respond to the challenges posed by new and emerging technologies; to identify and address related ethical concerns; and to anticipate myriad, related issues and interests so that they can more effectively represent their clients in the future. Readings will be a combination of tech-focused and scientific articles as well as legal source material (case law, statutes, and regulatory measures) and (potential) client-specific information. Grading centers on briefs, meeting preparation, papers laying out proposed solutions, and students’ performance in class and on the final exercise.

Note: There will be an all-day exercise in this course held on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.  

LAW 1605 v00 Technology and the Free Press Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

In the past two decades, technology has dramatically changed the American press. The Internet and mobile devices have revolutionized the creation and consumption of news. The economic structure supporting the press, and newspapers in particular, has crumbled. Readers are finding more of their news through platforms like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Even though these companies have disavowed the “media” label, they play editorial roles—deciding what speech is allowed into the new public square and even shaping that speech.

These rapid changes lead to numerous legal questions: What is the “free press” in an era when journalists are pushed to amass clicks? Who is a journalist when access to publication technology has been democratized? Are reporter shield laws still relevant when technology allows the government to covertly spy on journalists? Does law have a role to play in combatting so-called “fake news”? Can and should the First Amendment (or other law) protect the press from being squeezed by technology platforms? More generally, what is law’s role in protecting journalists, the press, or the journalistic process? This course aims to encourage deep thinking, discussion, and writing about the answers to these questions.

Among the learning objectives for this course are: developing an understanding of how the law conceives of the press, journalists, and the audience for news; determining what legal questions arise as a result of how technology is impacting the press; creatively considering whether and how law can address these questions; improving legal research techniques as well as the ability to closely read and analyze both scholarly work and legal authorities; developing, organizing, and writing a seminar paper that is not merely descriptive but sets forth a thesis and defends it; and refining the ability to give and receive feedback as we workshop drafts.  

LAW 1625 v00 Technology Policy and Practice

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Discover what it means to "practice" technology policy through an innovative and experiential class using cutting-edge technology issues to teach practical writing, legal, legislative and policy making skills that can be applied to any legal and policy matter (e.g., competition, national security, health, tax policy).

Students can expect to leave with an understanding of key technology legal and policy issues and having acquired “skills of the trade” for legislative advocacy, including: persuasive advocacy for policy issues, formation of policy campaigns, legislative strategic planning, drafting of policy documents, and stakeholder politics. Specifically, students will develop practical legal and policy making skills, such as drafting talking points, creating a strategic legislative campaign, and learning the art of an elevator pitch. Students will learn skills that can help them pursue a wide-array of careers, from a law firm to the White House.

There is no prerequisite course required. Each class will incorporate pre-class preparations and an in-class skill building exercise.

Learning Objectives:

Goals:

  • Receive substantive knowledge of legal issues related to technology

  • Develop skills for successful legislative advocacy and policy making with a focus on stakeholder perspectives and tech policy issues

  • Develop legislative strategy skills needed for planning and implementing legislative advocacy/policy campaigns

  • Develop oral and written skills specific to policy making

Outcomes:

  • Students will gain substantive knowledge of technology policy issues.

  • Students will develop practical written advocacy skills through drafting advocacy papers, talking points and testimony to Congress.

  • Students will develop practical written advocacy skills for drafting testimony from the perspective of a Congressperson or policy maker.

  • Students will develop legislative strategy skills - such as how to coalition build, critically review a lobbying strategy plan, evaluate a media plan and other crucial aspects of policy campaign.

  • Students will develop oral advocacy skills for delivering prepared testimony to Congress.

  • Students will develop oral advocacy skills for delivering an elevator pitch.

  • Students will develop oral advocacy skills for preparing and implementing an effective meeting for policy making.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy.

LAW 1748 v00 The Death Penalty in America Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar will consider the past, present, and future of the death penalty in the U.S.  Topics will include the Eighth Amendment framework; capital-eligible offenses and limitations; the role of race; intellectual disability, insanity, and mental status; juvenile offenders; procedural requirements in capital cases; actual innocence claims; methods of execution; juror qualification; and the allocation of issues between judge and jury.  The course also will cover current abolition initiatives under state constitutional, legislative, and clemency initiatives.

Student learning goals: Students will gain both a jurisprudential understanding and practical insight into the death penalty and its administration.  Students will intensively explore this challenging constitutional and legal area, and will write on an important selected issue.

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

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 3083 v00 The First 1000 Days: Global Health Law & Policy from Gestation to Age Two

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

The first 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday significantly impacts a child’s ability to grow, learn, and thrive and affects a country’s health and prosperity.  This course approaches this period with a Reproductive Justice (RJ) lens, emphasizing social supports, financial assistance and other tools that advance the right to have and raise children.  Both in the US and throughout the world, factors such as race, language, income, education, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation all impact one’s ability to carry a healthy pregnancy to term, and the opportunities babies have to grow and thrive.

Increasingly, law and policy has been recognized as a high-impact and robust approach for accelerating progress in supporting women who are pregnant and lactating, along with infants through their first 24 months.  In various jurisdictions, policymakers enact courses of action, regulatory measures, laws and policies, and set funding priorities with direct or indirect effects on providing the essential building blocks for families during the 1,000-day window of opportunity.  This course focuses on policies, programs and practices across the globe—at the national, tribal, state and local levels—that improve or hinder a mother and child’s health and well-being.  Students will examine the evidence informing these courses of action, along with the historical and contemporary legislative, regulatory and judicial aspects.  This course applies the RJ framework to an area that has primarily been viewed as one of public health.  In doing so, students will build a deeper understanding of the social factors and inequities that impede public health initiatives and widen health disparities.  Topics and themes include preconception care, infertility, assisted reproductive technology, maternal and infant mortality disparities, newborn screening, immunizations, maternity and paternity leave policies, breastfeeding relevant policies and practices, dietary and physical activity guidance, social assistance programs, food and nutrition labeling, childcare supports, and other environmental and policy strategies to support maternal and child health.

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

LAW 3134 v00 The Intersection of Employment and National Security Law

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

Federal employees and contractors safeguard our nation’s most sensitive information and secrets. However, many do not consider that national security is a major consideration when employing civil servants or making decisions regarding their continued employment.  As of 2017, over 4.3 million Americans possess a security clearance and even more have access to sensitive, unclassified information. Security clearances and suitability reviews assess the reliability, trustworthiness, and character of prospective employees. 

Because security clearance and suitability adjudications often determine whether a person is hired - and in some cases, fired - they invoke the application of employment protections under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. The decision to deny employment based on a security clearance or suitability decision is considered an adverse action. While some actions are subject to judicial and/or administrative court review, others are not.  Therefore, executive orders, federal regulations, and agency guidance are necessary to ensure that vetting is both thorough and fair. In the last decade, courts and agencies have grappled with issues ranging from discrimination to the stigmatization of mental health issues in security clearance and suitability adjudications.

This course will examine the intersectionality of national security issues and employment; specifically, how national security concerns shape vetting in federal employment from security clearances to suitability reviews. Moreover, it will serve as an introduction to understanding the interplay of federal case law, executive orders, federal regulations, and agency guidance in this area.

LAW 1019 v00 The Law of Public Utilities: Bringing Competition to Historically Monopolistic Industries

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Our major infrastructural industries—electricity, gas, telecommunications, transportation and water—were historically controlled by monopolies. Since the 1980s, efforts to introduce competition into these industries have met obstacles. Battles before legislative bodies, regulatory agencies and courts, at the state and federal levels, have produced a distinct body of law. That body of law—the law of introducing competition into historically monopolistic industries—is the subject of this course.

From the principles learned in the course, students have written papers on such diverse topics as renewable energy, internet, movie production, chicken slaughtering, student loans, pharmaceutical research, Uber, Flint's water crisis, utility corporate form, law school admissions, farms seeds and insecticide, Youtube, private space travel, rare minerals used in solar and wind facilities, Facebook, cloud storage, electric storage, and telemedicine at the VA. Some of these papers have made their way into professional journals or law journals.

Regardless of the industry or era, the regulation of infrastructural monopolies and their competitors has  five common elements: its mission (to align business performance with the public interest); its legal principles (ranging from the state law on exclusive monopoly franchise to federal constitutional protection of shareholder investment); policy flexibility (accommodating multiple public purposes, from service reliability to environmental accountability to protection of vulnerable citizens); reliance on multiple professional disciplines (law, economics, finance, accounting, management, engineering and politics); and formal administrative procedures, such as adjudication and rulemaking.

Today, political challenges are causing policymakers to stretch regulation's core legal principles. Four examples of these challenges are: climate change (e.g., To what extent should we make utilities and their customers responsible for "greening" energy production and consumption?); universal service (e.g., Should we bring broadband to every home, and at whose cost?); privacy (How do regulators induce personal changes in energy consumption while protecting the related data from public exposure?); and protection of our infrastructure from hackers, terrorists and natural catastrophes.

Complicating these political challenges are two sources of constant tension: ideology (e.g., private vs. public ownership, government intervention vs. "free market"); and state-federal relations (e.g., Which aspects of utility service are "national," requiring uniformity; and which are "local," warranting state experimentation?).

This field has many jobs, as new issues emerge and as baby boomers retire. Lawyers play varied roles. They advise clients who are suppliers or customers of regulated services, represent parties before regulatory tribunals, advise those tribunals or their legislative overseers, and challenge or defend those tribunals on judicial review.

Note: The 3-credit Writing Requirement section of this course is restricted to J.D. students only. The 2-credit Paper section of this course is restricted to LL.M. students only.

LAW 3085 v00 The Nuremberg Trials, the Doctors Trials

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

The Doctors Trial considered the fate of twenty-three German physicians who either participated in the Nazi program to euthanize persons deemed "unworthy of life" (the mentally ill, mentally retarded, or physically disabled) or who conducted experiments on concentration camp prisoners without consent. The Doctors Trial lasted 140 days. Eighty-five witnesses testified and almost 1,500 documents were introduced. Sixteen of the doctors charged were found guilty. Seven were executed.

The Doctors Trial provides a significant and important example of human rights violations and serves as a lesson in law and bioethics vital to understanding how law evolved from an initial eugenics policy to and including the horrible examples that framed human atrocities during WW II. 

This course will highlight examples from Jeanne Guillemin's "Hidden Atrocites, Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial", Joel Dimsdale's  "Anatomy of Malice" examining the psychological assessments necessary for the trials, and Vivien Spitz's "Doctors from Hell", delving deep into the actual court transcripts from the proceedings. Ben Ferenz's work, one of the actual prosecutors at the trials, will also be included as insight into this tragic period. 

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

LAW 1454 v00 Topics in LGBT Civil Rights Seminar

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

This seminar will address aspects of the long and ongoing work to win LGBT freedom, equality, and inclusion. Topics likely will include the freedom to marry, challenges to so-called “sodomy” laws, the efforts to establish the rights of transgender individuals, LGBT parenting, and employment discrimination, as well as such matters as how the movement is structured, how political and legal groups and strategies interact, etc. The approach will be to talk not only about the development of the legal doctrine but also about the cultural and political context in which the struggle has taken place, and how that context contributed to the willingness or unwillingness of courts and politicians to embrace the cause. Readings will include briefs, case law, and selections from secondary sources. Students should finish the course with an understanding of how the law in this area has evolved, where it is going, and how the LGBT movement illustrates some more general aspects of how successful civil rights movements in this country operate.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

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 1600 v00 Toxic Chemical Law and Advocacy (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a fieldwork practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and conduct related fieldwork at an outside organization focused on toxic chemical law. For example, have you ever wondered what is in the food and drink we consume besides the raw agricultural products such as coffee beans or milk? In this course, students will explore the how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act and other statutes, and the the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) under the Consumer Product Safety Act work together (or don’t) to regulate toxic chemical products in consumer products that are consumed or used in the U.S. every day such as coffee, soft drinks and yogurt. Students will develop real-world lawyering skills such as fact gathering, legal research, drafting, developing guidance or advice, crafting advocacy strategy and more. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and also undertake 10 hours/week of fieldwork at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public-interest nonprofit that advocates on behalf of consumers, and other non-governmental organizations.

SEMINAR: The authority of the FDA, EPA and CPSC to regulate the safety of toxic chemicals in consumer products has evolved as the manufacturing of everyday products has become increasingly industrialized and affected by an array of new technologies that cause the food and drink we regularly consume to contain potentially harmful chemicals. This seminar will utilize legislative and administrative materials as well as case law to enable students to critically evaluate the processes by which the federal government regulates toxic chemicals in consumer products and compare and contrast regulatory schemes for different consumer products. The course will also touch on related topics such as the role of the Federal Trade Commission in the regulation of marketing trade practices related to chemicals in consumer products.

FIELDWORK: In the fieldwork component of this course, students will be assigned to projects at the Environmental Working Group or a similar non-governmental organization. They will have an opportunity to learn how such institutions play a role in representing consumer interests in product safety issues being debated in both the administrative and legislative processes, and in matters subject to litigation.

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 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) 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.

LAW 1497 v00 Urban Law and Policy Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar will explore a range of legal and policy problems currently affecting American cities including housing and land use, concentrated poverty and racial segregation, expanded efforts to police crime, recent efforts to regulate harmful products (sugary drinks, tobacco, guns, unhealthy food), innovative efforts to encourage economic development, and strategies to expand social justice, among others. We will analyze the underlying social, economic, and political causes of these problems and the responses made by policymakers and courts. We will examine the limits of existing legal doctrines concerning local government powers at a time when local government units are being asked to take on more and more responsibility for improving society and regulating the conduct of citizens in local jurisdictions. Grades will be based on active participation in class discussion and a research paper. The last few weeks of the course will be devoted to student presentations of their research. Students seeking to use this course to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement must sign up for the three credit section.

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.

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.

Laptops and tablets are not allowed in the classroom.

LAW 1458 v00 Use of Force, National Security, and Human Rights Seminar

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

The struggle to respect and ensure universally recognized and protected human rights while also protecting national security raises important and complex legal and policy challenges across a range of issues from the "war on terror" to climate change. This course will address current issues at the intersection of national security and human rights, with an emphasis on the novel and complex questions about the nature of conflict, national security threats, and the place of human rights in the context of the struggle against transnational terrorism after 9/11. These questions are especially salient with regard to state use of force, which involves the deployment of violence against individuals, as well as their seizure, detention, and trial.

In general terms, the current legal approach to dealing with these issues tends to present decision makers with a binary framework that was created with the assumption that conflict between states is the primary threat to international peace and stability. The absence of armed conflict is presumed to constitute peacetime, when human rights law requires that states deal with threats to the peace through law enforcement operations in which lethal force may be used only as a last resort, and exercising physical control over individuals is strictly constrained. Movement from peacetime to war occurs when states use armed force against one another, or when the use of force between non-state organized armed groups (against one another or against a state) reaches sufficient intensity and duration. During this period, the traditional paradigm assumes that international humanitarian law (IHL) largely governs state conduct, and that the demands of human rights law must be adapted to the IHL regime.

International terrorism by non-state actors presents challenges to reliance on this binary peacetime-wartime framework. One possible response is to regard terrorist violence as presumptively occurring during peacetime, which means that terrorism must be addressed under a law enforcement paradigm, which is governed by human rights law. Some critics, however, argue that the scale of destruction inflicted by international terrorist attacks is more akin to wartime damage than domestic criminal activity, and that law enforcement is insufficiently flexible to permit preventive operations. They argue that that international terrorists therefore should be treated as engaged in armed conflict that triggers the application of IHL.

Rules governing the use of force under IHL, however, run the risk of being excessively permissive when applied in settings that do not involve segregated battlefields but terrorists embedded in large civilian populations whose behavior is not unambiguously hostile. Service members are also being increasingly required to carry out activities more akin to law enforcement when undertaking operations amidst these local populations. One response to this is a call for greater incorporation of human rights principles into armed conflict operations in some settings.

There is a pressing need to develop legal concepts to guide operations that blend human rights and national security concerns in a way that does justice to the distinctive nature of many conflicts in the contemporary world. Some commentators and scholars argue that we should eschew the legal categories of human rights law and IHL and focus on forms of regulation that involve highly contextual assessment of the complex competing considerations at stake in particular situations. Others argue that traditional legal categories establish important presumptions, and that human rights law in particular is more flexible about the use of force than many observers realize. Still others suggest that we should consider a new third category to guide the use of force that draws on elements of both law enforcement and armed conflict. This course will assess these and other positions in the debate, with the aim of exploring how best to respond to the challenges that international terrorism and other forms of non-traditional state violence pose for the use of force.

Student learning objectives for the course are to use class sessions and the preparation of a paper:

  • To become familiar with basic human rights standards that govern the use of force in law enforcement settings, with particular emphasis on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • To become familiar with basic international law standards that govern the grounds for resort to force (jus ad bellum) and regulate the way force may be used in armed conflicts (jus in bello or law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law); and
  • To gain an appreciation of the complex ways in which many current security threats and responses to them have features that do not fall squarely into the categories of either crime subject to law enforcement operations or armed conflict subject to conventional military operations.

Prerequisite: Any of the following: International Law I: Introduction to International Law; National Security Law; Law of War Seminar; Foreign Relations Law; Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar; International Human Rights; International Human Rights Law; or first-year elective International Law, National Security, and Human Rights. A prior course in public international law or international human rights will also satisfy the prerequisite.

LAW 1515 v01 Water Law Seminar

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

This course provides a survey of the key elements of domestic water resources law and policy, as well as selected international topics. Students will study the relevant state and federal law, legal opinions and interpretations, and development of underlying policies relating to water resources. The course will provide an overview of the basic doctrines relating to water law – prior appropriation and riparianism, and will consider hybrid systems of water allocation developed to address today’s needs and challenges. Students will examine the legal issues surrounding water as a shared regional resource in both domestic and international contexts. The course will review the law of federal and Indian reserved water rights. Finally, the course will address some of the pressing water resources topics of today, such as sustainable management and climate change adaptation in watersheds and river basins in the U.S. and around the globe. We will also address strategies and challenges for addressing future international and domestic water needs. Throughout the course, we will consider the successes and failures of water resources law and policy and prospects for effective water resources management, including conservation, infrastructure development, and the importance of sound science. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, as well as to complete a final paper. This is a two-credit seminar.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Water Law Seminar: Allocation and Use in Times of Scarcity.

LAW 1671 v00 Winning the Freedom to Marry: How It Happened, Lessons Going Forward

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Goals of the Course.   This course will examine and tease out lessons from the successful movement spanning more than 40 years to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the U.S., with particular attention to the central Freedom to Marry campaign and the transformation of hearts and minds as well as the law. The course will include study of some key court decisions, as well as history and advocacy materials such as briefs and publications, and will look beyond litigation and legal doctrine to the mix of methodologies, movement dynamics, and elements of success that shape effective advocacy. There will be an emphasis on inviting students to put themselves in the shoes of those confronting challenges and opportunities at key junctures in the past several decades, as well as to think about how the Freedom to Marry elements of success and playbook of tactics can be adapted to other organizations, other movements, and other countries.

Evaluation Criteria.  The grade will primarily be based on a final paper, and may also be adjusted upward or downward based on class participation.  

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2020, through Friday, January 10, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 11:35 a.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 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.

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LAW 1622 v00 Wrongful Convictions

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

This course will survey the problem of wrongful convictions. We will first examine the primary causes of wrongful convictions, including “junk science,” false confessions, prosecutorial misconduct, misidentifications, jailhouse snitches, and ineffective assistance of counsel. Next, we will explore the legal landscape of actual innocence litigation, including habeas corpus, Section 1983, and the lingering question of whether innocence alone is a constitutional basis for relief. Finally, we will consider the moral, ethical, and philosophical implications of wrongful convictions for our justice system, and the difficulty of administering a functioning system while also correcting its mistakes.

Learning Objectives:

  1. We hope that, by the end of this class, you will have a working understanding of the most common causes of wrongful convictions and the most common issues that arise when litigating them.
  2. We also hope that, throughout the course, you will develop a broader sense for what the fact of wrongful convictions means for our criminal justice system overall, and what if anything we can improve.
  3. Finally, we hope that you will develop and demonstrate improved critical thinking, persuasive writing, and oral advocacy through the written and oral components of this class.

Full-time Faculty

Peter B. Edelman
Philip G. Schrag
David C. Vladeck