Prior Course Titles >

Prior Course Descriptions


Two Credit Externship A student may take an externship that he/she has been selected for through the Externship Application Process for 2 credits. Students may also secure their own externship placement which is subject to approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. For more information about Student Secured Externship contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or Externship Coordinator. Students work 12-15 hours a week for a total of 168 semester hours engaging in a variety of legal work under the supervision of a judge or attorney. Students may not receive compensation for work done in the Externship. Students must secure a full-time faculty member to be an advisor prior to registering for the externship. Students meet with the faculty supervisor at least every other week, and the faculty supervisor must contact the supervisory attorney monthly during the term. Students are responsible for completing weekly journals and time sheets and writing a paper reflective of the clinical experience and the substantive law involved in the placement. The faculty advisor must approve the terms and conditions of the work and the subject and length of the paper. Students may take no more than two externships for a maximum of six academic credits during law school. The externship placements must be substantively different. A student must successfully complete 32 hours of law studies before enrollment in an externship. A student may not simultaneously enroll on more than one clinic, more than one externship, or a clinic and an externship. Other requirements and further information about this course are available from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or Externship Coordinator. A 2 credit Externship Form must be completed for enrollment in the 2 Credit Externship Seminar. The Mandatory orientation for all students doing an externship in the fall semester is Thursday, August 16, 10:00am to 2:00pm.
Access to Justice Equal access to justice for all is a bedrock principle of our democracy but what does that mean? What constitutes equal access? How is justice defined? And how, as a practical matter, can this principle be realized for the vast number of people whose low and moderate incomes prelude their hiring an attorney? This course will explore these and other questions which arise and emerging initiatives designed to assist self-represented (pro-se) litigants, and the responsibility of the courts in access to justice. This will be a seminar style course, limited to 20 students, and will focus in particular on the Massachusetts justice system, including the courts. There will be a heavy emphasis on discussion and guest speakers, as well as opportunities for field trips. Students will be responsible for a final project designed to enhance access to justice. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Administrative Law This course examines the system through which a vast array of government power is exercised in the United States: the administrative process. Its focus will be the ways in which private interests are arranged, rearranged, and/or protected in that system against the background of the public interest. The course will address agency powers to gather and utilize information, promulgate regulations, and adjudicate rights and remedies under applicable statutes and regulations. Judicial review of adverse agency action will also be explored.
Advanced Criminal Law This course's goal is both to broaden and to deepen the students' understanding of criminal law. We will study in depth matter not addressed-or covered only briefly-in the first year. Topics may include crimes (such as theft offenses, rape, attempt, complicity, and conspiracy), defenses (such as self-defense, necessity, duress, diminished capacity and mental illness) and both constitutional and prudential limitations on criminalization and punishment.
Advanced Environmental Law Seminar This seminar will examine advanced environmental law topics at the forefront of current policy debates about how we balance the needs of environmental protection in an industrialized society. The seminar will include an in-depth consideration of the law and policy concerning global climate change, energy law, disaster response, international environmental law, and the intersection between environmental law and land use development. Students enrolling in the seminar must prepare a final paper, make a presentation to the class, and actively participate in class discussion. Students will work with the professor to select a topic for the research paper, which can be drawn from topics covered in class or another topic of interest to the student and acceptable to the professor. Prerequisite: Environmental Law: Pollution Control.
Advanced Legal Research & Writing Advanced Legal Research and Writing is a qualified writing course that will further develop and refine the research, analysis, citation, and writing skills introduced in the first-year course. With close supervision and guidance, students will be expected to develop their own research strategies using a wide range of research materials. Students will be responsible for maintaining a research log and bibliography for each project. The writing component of the course will consist of trial motion memoranda, nonlitigation-drafting projects, or appellate briefs. The students will also present an oral argument and serve on an appellate panel, based on the appellate briefs. The course will include peer assessment, self-editing, small group, and individual conferences, and class presentations. The class will meet once a week for two hours. Enrollment is limited to 24 students.
Advanced Topics and Evidence Advanced Topics in Evidence is Evidence II. It builds on the basic Evidence course in two ways. First, it explores in detail topics that are either not covered or are covered somewhat quickly in the introductory course: privileges, expert witnesses, burdens of proof and presumptions, and best evidence and authentication rules. Second, it deepens one's understanding of several basic topics - hearsay, impeachment and character evidence -- by examining their constitutional law underpinnings through a study of the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Prerequisite: :LAW 553 Evidence.
Advanced Business Torts Business Torts loosely refers to causes of action for economic harm between businesses or individuals acting within a business context, other than for breach of contract. This course will survey a variety of such causes of action not covered in depth in the basic contracts and torts courses, but which form the core of many lawyers' civil litigation practices. Topics covered may include breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, misrepresentation, tortious interference with contract and economic advantage, investor litigation, trade secrets, employment torts, unfair competition, and violation of state unfair trade practices statutes. Throughout the course, an emphasis will be placed upon the practicalities of business-related civil litigation, including strategy, the economics of business litigation and "best practices" lawyering. There is no casebook required for this course.  All case materials and readings are available electronically or as handouts.
Advanced Criminal Law This course's goal is both to broaden and to deepen the students' understanding of criminal law. We will study in depth matter not addressed-or covered only briefly-in the first year. Topics may include crimes (such as theft offenses, rape, attempt, complicity, and conspiracy), defenses (such as self defense, necessity, duress, diminished capacity and mental illness) and both constitutional and prudential limitations on criminalization and punishment.
Advanced Independent Study In this form of independent study a student undertakes substantial and innovative study and research culminating in the writing of an original, high-quality research paper. The student work shall be overseen by a panel of at least two faculty members and shall culminate in the student making an oral defense of the research paper before the faculty panel. The subject matter of the paper shall be mutually agreed upon by the student and faculty supervisors. Periodic meetings shall be held with the student and the faculty supervisors to discuss the substantive area of the law the student is writing about and to review progress on the paper. All of the faculty members involved shall participate in the grading process. Before the student begins work, the faculty members shall decide the grading policy for the Independent Study: Advanced Research and that policy shall be communicated to the student. The faculty members must choose either a numerical (55-99) or a pass/fail grading system and must settle upon a method under which each faculty member involved has a voice in determining the final grade. Requirements: A student who has successfully completed 43 credits of law studies may take Advanced Research with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. An Advanced Research Form must be completed and signed by the faculty instructors and approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before registration in Advanced Research. Each Advanced Research, including its scope, coverage, credit hours (from 1 to 3 credits), course guidelines, and method of grading must be approved by the faculty instructors and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs after full disclosure by the student of the content and scope of all prior independent studies (LAW 951 and LAW 952) undertaken by the student. A student may take up to 3 independent study courses at the Law School (including both LAW 951 and LAW 952). No more than 2 of the 3 may be taken in any one semester, and no more than 1 of the 3 may be taken under the sole instruction of any one faculty member.
Advanced Legal Research This advanced legal research and writing tutorial will further develop and refine the research, analysis, citation, and writing skills introduced in the first-year course. With close supervision and guidance, students will be expected to develop their own research strategies using a wide range of research materials including traditional and on-line sources. Students will be responsible for maintaining a research log and bibliography for each project. The writing component of the course will consist of either a trial motion memo or a non-litigation-drafting project and an appellate brief. The students will also present an oral argument based on the appellate brief. The tutorial will include peer assessment, self-editing, small group and individual conferences, and class presentations. The class will meet once a week for three hours. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
Advanced Research This course offers an in-depth analysis of legal research methods and sources, covering both print and electronic formats. Classes will include a combination of lectures, discussions of readings and techniques, online training, and hands-on research exercises. Emphasis is placed on critically evaluating the content and organization of research resources, and understanding their appropriate use. No prerequisites. This course can be used to satisfy the Professional Skills Requirement. Limited enrollment: 24 students.
Alternative Reproductive Technology Just days after the turn of the last century, Justice O’Connor commented in a family law case that, “[t]he demographic changes of the past century make it difficult to speak of an average American family. The composition of family varies greatly from household to household.” Among these demographic changes and family composition are families formed by access to alternative reproductive technologies (“ART”). While some states have attempted to update laws to reflect the reality of the growing number of families created and shaped by access to ART, many more have exclusively had their legal regimes shaped by common law developments and a mosaic of regulatory and non-regulatory public policy. This course will focus on the broad range of topics with which individuals and their families intersect when accessing ART. Topics included, among others, will be: surrogacy; use, ownership and control of frozen embryos, second-parent adoption for non-genetic (sometimes same-sex) parents, insurance coverage, regulation of donor insemination; relevant provisions of uniform laws; and, role and enforcement of contracts in this area. The course will include a practice component as well as coverage of doctrine. A basic family law course is a prerequisite for this class.
American Legal History This course overviews the development of American legal culture from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century During the four centuries of its history America and its legal culture have constituted an important part of a long historical process of modernization of western civilization that entailed massive changes in human life and culture. The goal of this course is, within the broad process of modernization, to study selected law and lawmaking related to the development of three concepts that are foundational to American legal culture. They are democracy, the market economy, and community,(and the sources of its authority). Within the context of these themes, the course considers a wide range of law and lawmaking. Examples include property, contract, tort, debtor-creditor, and constitutional law, as well as historic movements to codify American law. Since this is a QWC, each student will write three papers, constituting thirty pages of writing, throughout the course. American Legal History is a course in the Public Interest concentration. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. *Occasionally offered as a QWC.
Analytical Methods for Lawyers This course will provide an introduction to the analytical tools that help lawyers think and act more strategically and effectively regarding their clients problems and the lawyers practices. These tools are important to resolving increasingly complex decisions and understanding and applying commonly used quantitative analyses. Much of the subject matter will be taught through real world exercises that are derived from legal problems that lawyers must frequently resolve. The course's subject matter includes: decision analysis, game theory, strategical contracting, finance, and statistical analysis.
Antitrust Law This course is a study of the legal devices used to control private economic power and competition among business enterprises. It includes an examination of the legal restrictions on monopoly, horizontal and vertical trade restraints, and, to the extent time allows, mergers under the Sherman, Clayton, and Federal Trade Commission Acts.
Bankruptcy This timely course constitutes an intensive overview of federal bankruptcy law. The course begins with the Chapter 7 and 13 liquidation and reorganization provisions of the Bankruptcy Code available to consumer debtors and goes on to examine the Chapter 11 reorganization provisions of the Bankruptcy Code available to business entities. Students are exposed to the perspectives of both debtors and creditors in the bankruptcy process. Students may not enroll both in this course and in LAW 719 Debtor-Creditor Relations. It is strongly recommended that LAW 746 Secured Transactions be taken previously or concurrently.
Bar Prep This Bar Exam Preparation Course is designed to prepare students for the bar exam and their eventual legal practice. The course will provide a refresher on the substantive law tested on the Multistate and State portion of the bar exams and delve into the development of test-taking skills, including both essay and multiple choice portions of the exam. This will include how to read, analyze, structure, and write essays. Further, the course will expose students to the multiple-choice questions on the Multistate exam. This will include teaching how to critically read fact patterns and answer/choices, to properly assess wrong answer choices, and to avoid common traps and pit-falls. The final syllabus and assignments will be based upon a diagnostic assessment to determine the areas where the class would benefit the most. Students will receive detailed feedback on their essay writing and multiple-choice skills.
Bioethics This is a survey course that will cover a variety of bioethics topics through the lenses of law, ethics, medicine, and public policy. Topics may include reproductive technologies and rights, medical decision-making, end of life care, distributive justice topics, and research on human subjects. This course also serves as a prerequisite to the QWC: Topics in End-of-Life Law.
Business Organization This course focuses on the fundamental conceptual framework of business organizations law including the formation and conduct of business in the partnership, corporate, and limited liability company forms. It provides an introduction to the terminology of business organizations and finance, and transmits some sense of what a business lawyer does. (Required Course)
Business Planning The course focuses on the legal issues arising in connection with the start-up and operation of closely-held business enterprises and the role of the lawyer as an advisor to these entities and their owners. Numerous case studies are used to expose the student to a broad range of structural planning issues and the practical and analytical challenges of the planning process. There is a heavy emphasis on planning traps and creative planning strategies. Different types of closely held businesses are analyzed, compared, and contrasted in case studies that raise important issues in co-ownership planning, enterprise funding, choice of entity planning, multiple entity planning, owner compensation, life insurance planning, structuring profit and capital interests, profit distribution planning and diversification, exit and business transition planning, employee relations and benefits, and retirement planning. Numerous drafting considerations and implementation mechanics also are reviewed. The course is designed to broaden the student=s substantive knowledge on a broad range of issues and to help the student develop three essential planning skills: (1) the ability to identify and address business objectives, not just legal issues, (2) the ability to evaluate and apply specific strategic options, and (3) the ability to effectively communicate with non-lawyers. Prerequisite: Completion of LAW551, Business Organizations, although LAW 747, Income Tax I is NOT a prerequisite, students should be prepared to learn some tax matters during this course.
Business Planning & Advising This seminar examines the legal problems faced by entrepreneurs during the early stages of start-up and operation. This course will acquaint students with many of the legal issues associated with entrepreneurial ventures including choice of entity, financing arrangements, ownership agreements, and general business issues. The objective is to give participants an introduction to the legal problems they are likely to encounter as lawyers for the enterprise. Prerequisites: Completion of LAW 551, Business Organizations and completion or concurrent enrollment in LAW 747, Income Tax II. Recommended, but not required: LAW 717, Corporate Tax or LAW 671, Partnership Tax. Limited to 16 students.
Chinese Law China is the most populous country in the world, and in many respects its law and legal system are unique. This course will begin with a brief review of the historical development of law in China, and some of the forces that have shaped it. It will also take a look at how law is made in contemporary China, and at its legal profession. But in the main the course will consist of studying the various fields of contemporary Chinese law. There will be an examination at the end of the course that will constitute the primary basis for the grade each student receives.
Civil Procedure The object of this course is to introduce the student to the civil litigation process, including the attendant jurisdictional questions, court organization, and pleadings and rules of practice in state and federal courts. In addition, an analysis of the litigation process is undertaken, with emphasis on discovery, pretrial procedures, trial, judgment, and appellate review of the decision. (Required Course)
Civil Rights & Policing Misconduct This course offers an introduction to federal civil rights litigation, principally under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, in the context of claims of misconduct such as wrongful arrest, imprisonment, and other wrongful denials of liberty; wrongful prosecution; excessive force; illegal search and seizure; wrongful interference with first amendment rights; and failure to protect. It will also examine immunity, defenses, and supervisory and government liability.
Closely Held Business As part of the advanced curriculum in the law of business organizations, this course provides an in-depth analysis of the myriad legal problems involved in the formation and operation of closely held businesses, i.e., those businesses whose ownership interests are not publicly traded. We will consider unincorporated business entities - including the general partnership, the limited partnership (LP), the limited liability partnership (LLP), and the limited liability company (LLC) - as well as the incorporated closely held business in the form of the close corporation. The main issues discussed for each form of business organization are the mechanics of entity formation; management and control of the closely held business; financial rights and liabilities of the entities owners; fiduciary duties among the entities owners; the transferability of entity ownership; and exit rights during dissociation and dissolution. Prerequisite: Law 551 Business Organizations.
Commercial Loan Documentation Drafting The area of commercial law involves the application of practical skills introduced in payment systems, secured transactions and bankruptcy. This course will offer the student the opportunity to acquire ‘hands on’ experience in the drafting of commercial loan documents. Specifically, this drafting course will take the student through the particulars of a commercial lending transaction from the drafting of the commitment letter through the opinion letter at closing. Each student will prepare and submit certain assigned integral documents to close such a financing.
Comparative Constitutional Law This course explores topics arising in the comparative study of constitutional systems and law, including those of Canada, Germany, India, South Africa and Great Britain. The course will first address structural issues, including comparative approaches to the separation of powers, judicial review and federalism. The remainder of the course will address comparative approaches to individual rights, including reproductive rights, freedom of expression and the rights of minorities. Throughout, we will consider how comparative constitutional study can offer insights into our own system, and the legitimacy of U.S. lawmakers or judges relying upon or referring to foreign constitutional law. Students will be evaluated on written thought responses to the reading assignments, a presentation and a short research paper. Limited to 20 students.
Conflicts of Law This course deals with the legal ramifications of disputes involving connections with two or more states. When such disputes reach the courts, what law should be applied and how should the determination be made? The course explores choice of law questions and the various methods and theories courts and scholars have proposed and adopted to answer them. The contrasting points of view regarding choice of law are analyzed in terms of which policies best promote the goals of individual states, as well as harmony and efficiency in the federal system. The course may also deal, briefly, with constitutional questions concerning choice of law, judicial jurisdiction, and recognition of judgments.
Constitutional History This course traces the institutional growth of the Supreme Court from its early tentative beginnings to its present strength while examining the Court's role in the historical development of the United States from the Founding to the Constitutional Revolution of 1937. Students will study selected decisions of the Court in their political, economic, and social context with emphasis on the changing character of the Court, the impact of great justices, and the influence of extra-legal elements in constitutional decision making. The class will address, among other topics, the Court's role in promoting economic development, slavery and race and the Constitution, civil liberties during wartime, and the limits of judicial power. Students will do significant reading in secondary materials in addition to reading the cases considered.
Constitutional Law This course is a study of the allocation of governmental authority and the limitations on that authority as defined by the Constitution of the United States. The course will deal with the problems of defining the scope of federal power, the relationship between the federal government and the states, the scope of state authority, and the rights of individuals with an emphasis on those rights guaranteed by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. (Required Course)
Consumer Protection This course will deal with federal and state statutes and regulations that protect the consumer. This course will cover the fundamental causes of action and defenses in current consumer protection law. The course will examine common law antecedents of modern consumer protection law, contract and tort-based causes of action, consumer credit, compulsory disclosure statutes and consumer contract formation issues. Limited to 6 students. Prerequisite: Evidence and Consumer Protection
Contracts This course introduces students to the law governing the entrance into legally enforceable agreements. With a focus on the rights and duties of contracting parties. In focusing on how promissory relationships are created by the parties, the course emphasizes how these relationships are interpreted, limited, discharged, breached, and enforced. Ethical and equitable considerations affecting the contracting parties, as well as professional and business utilization of contracts, are also studied.
Conveyancing This course concerns the legal aspects of the purchase and sale of real estate, beginning with the real estate broker and concluding with the closing process. The course covers in detail the purchase and sale agreement and remedies for the breach of the agreement; title examination and title insurance; property description and deed drafting; RESPA forms and regulation and closing adjustments; the closing process; and ethical considerations in representation of parties in real estate transactions. Enrollment limited to 45 students.
Copyright Law This course will focus on the legal protection given the creators of literary, artistic, musical, and related works. The course emphasis will be on copyright law's attempt to balance the rights of creators with the public's interest in access to creative works.
Corporate Tax A study of that body of law devoted to the federal taxation of corporations with emphasis on the tax problems of small businesses, including the formation, structure, and distribution of profits by corporations. Also studied are stock redemptions, accumulated earnings, and personal holding company taxes. Taxation of partnerships will be included in the three-credit course. Prerequisite: LAW 747, Income Tax II.
Criminal Law This course deals with the competing interests and policies that come into action when the individual clashes with society. The course also explores the underlying philosophical premises of various penal rules. The theories and purposes of punishment, the relationship between law and morality, definitions of criminal intent, principles of necessity, justification and excuse, and inchoate crime and group criminality may also be studied. (Required Course)
Criminal Law Clinic Students in the Criminal Clinic work as student assistant district attorneys within the Hampden County District Attorney's Office. By court rule, students in the Clinic are authorized to practice in any District Court case, which includes a mix of both misdemeanors and felonies. Typical of the offenses litigated by students in the District Court are possession and/or distribution of controlled substances, domestic violence offenses including assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and violation of a restraining order, larceny, assault and battery on a police officer, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During the course of the semester, a student attorney will appear in three different sessions of the District Court: the arraignment session (in which students represent the Commonwealth in bail hearings), the motion session (in which students prepare and litigate oppositions to motions to suppress and motions to dismiss) and, ultimately, the trial session (in which a student prepare and litigate jury and jury-waived trials.) This clinic allows students to gain substantial exposure over the course of the semester to the entire process of litigating a criminal case. In addition to the fieldwork as a student attorney within the Hampden County District Attorney's Office, there is a classroom component which operates as a combination seminar/simulation. This part of the course is quite intensive for the first three or four weeks of the semester as well as the week prior to the start of classes. Students must attend a two day orientation the week before classes begin, no exceptions will be made to this mandatory orientation. Following this initial training period, the class will meet at the designated time for a two-hour session on a weekly basis for the balance of the semester. Prerequisites: LAW 553, Evidence and LAW 706, Criminal Procedure Investigation. Enrollment is limited each semester to eight third-year full time and fourth-year part time students who have been selected through the clinic application process. No student may maintain outside legal employment while participating in this clinic. All students will be CORI/criminal records checked by the District Attorney's Office. A student is required to be SJC Rule 3:03 eligible. A student must successfully complete 32 hours of law studies before enrollment in a clinic. A student may not simultaneously enroll in more than one clinic, more than one externship, or a clinic and an externship.
Criminal Pre-Trial Practice This course is aimed at developing student written and oral advocacy skills in the pre-trial phase of criminal litigation. The course will concentrate on the pre-trial stages of a hypothetical criminal case. The course will allow students to work on this case from the pre-trial conference up to jury selection. Students will brief and argue typical evidentiary and discovery motions arising prior to trial. The course will also address pre-trial strategies and preparation, including motions in limine and jury instructions. At the end of the term students will present oral arguments on motions to suppress statements, identification and evidence. The course will require at least 4 hours of preparation per session. Class attendance is mandatory. Enrollment is limited to 16 students.
Criminal Procedure: Adjudication This course examines the constitutional basis of criminally accused persons' post-arrest rights, in the context of, e.g.: bail and pretrial release, discovery, the right to counsel, guilty pleas, burdens and standards of proof, selection and composition of the jury, confrontation, effective assistance of counsel, jury instructions, double jeopardy, and other rights incident to criminal trials, appeals, and collateral review. Completion of LAW 706 Criminal Procedure: Investigation is NOT a prerequisite to enrollment in this course.
Criminal Procedure: Investigation This course examines the constitutional limits on police investigations. The course focuses primarily on the development of federal constitutional law (4th, 5th, and 6th amendments) in the United States Supreme Court as a way to balance society's need for effective law enforcement against the rights of individuals to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, coercive interrogations, and unfair pretrial identification procedures. Completion of LAW 796 Criminal Procedure: Adjudication is not a prerequisite to enrollment in this course.
Criminal Procedure: Simulation This course concentrates on the procedural stages of two hypothetical criminal cases from arraignment through trial. The principal purpose of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to improve their writing and trial skills in the context of preparing and trying a state criminal case. Students will be required to research, write and re-write pretrial motions along with supporting affidavits and memoranda of law and to litigate two simulated exercises, a pretrial motion to suppress and a jury trial. Prerequisites: LAW 706 Criminal Procedure: Investigation and LAW 553 Evidence. Students, who have not taken or registered to take LAW 905 Criminal Law Clinic, will be given priority in registering for this course. Enrollment is limited to 16 students.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) examines how the social category of race is defined and produced by the law but also how race shapes and gives meaning to the law. CRT challenges both the substance and style of conventional legal scholarship by rethinking or outright rejecting formal notions of equality, individual rights and color-blind approaches to solving legal problems. By deploying both controversial and innovative methodologies, Critical Race scholarship has transformed how we understand the relationship between race, social power, and the law. This course will discuss the origins and major tenets of Critical Race Theory, examine the development of Critical Race Theory as a significant paradigm of legal scholarship and advocacy, and outline its connection to Critical Legal Studies, Feminist Jurisprudence, and Queer Theory.
Cyber Crime & Digital Evidence This course is designed to be an introduction to Cyber Crime and Digital Evidence. In this course, the students will explore how our current age of information and technology offers new challenges to the existing framework of not only criminal law but also criminal procedure, particularly within the investigative arm of the Fourth Amendment. We will discuss the use of digital evidence in criminal cases and offer a broader framework of digital evidence within the context of the Fourth Amendment. Key questions include: How has the age of information and technology spawned new types of crimes? What new techniques and practices are required to identify cybercriminal activity? How are law enforcement agencies responding to the dangers that cybercrimes create? This course will explore a range of central issues from deciphering the existence of a person's reasonable expectation of privacy in cyberspace to how law enforcement techniques are shifting from traditional mechanisms of crime control to new regulatory rules, including the use of technology.
Discovery & Depositions Students will be provided with information upon which to write a complaint and answer, interrogatories, and request for production of documents. Students will then attend case theory sessions. The focus of the class shifts to skills-based training on how to take and defend effective depositions in the context of formal discovery. The main focus of the course will be on developing technical discovery skills. This course is interactive and will conducted in a style that replicates as closely as possible the actual discovery experience with an emphasis on the taking of depositions. Through a combination of classroom exercises and lectures, students will learn: What the discovery process is all about: Basic written discovery skills (complaint, answer, interrogatories, requests for production); How to develop a preliminary case theory; How to prepare one's own witness for deposition; How to prepare for the deposition of an adverse party/witness; Starting the deposition and the usual stipulations; How to take the deposition of an adverse party/witness; How to defend a deposition; The ethics of witness preparation and of taking the deposition; How to use a deposition (dispositive motions, settlement, trial, impeachment). Time permitting the class may also cover other aspects of litigation strategy and/or an exercise on negotiating and settling a case. Enrollment is limited to 16. *Occasionally offered as a Professional Skills Course.
Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Arbitration, Mediation NOT A SKILLS NOT LIMITED ENROLLMENT This course will focus on negotiation and other methods of dispute resolution, with emphasis on negotiated settlement, mediation and arbitration. Negotiation theory and alternative tactics and strategies will be examined, with focus on practical skills by way of example and simulated exercises. Various methods of alternative dispute resolution will be discussed in the context of different areas of legal practice and substantive law. Students who have taken LAW609, Negotiation: Strategies & Practice may not enroll in this course.
Domestic Violence This course combines a scholarly and practice-oriented approach to understanding the legal response to domestic violence. Throughout the course, we will focus on the social context of battering, including how the experience of abuse is shaped by race, cultural identity, economic status, immigration status, sexual orientation, and disabilities. We begin with how the law recognizes domestic violence in relation to divorce, child custody, support, visitation, and the child protection matters. We will then cover the various legal remedies in both civil and criminal contexts and examine their efficacy. These include tort liability for batterers, federal remedies for survivors, such as the Violence Against Women Act, and the role of protective orders in both civil and criminal courts. Violence against women as a human rights violation, sexual assault law, and the role of the domestic violence movement are also introduced. The focus of this course is to examine current challenges and shortcomings in the legal response to domestic violence, then draft proposals for alternative strategies for systemic change.
Elder Law This course will focus on the legal problems associated with the elderly and the aging. Areas of instruction will include social, psychological, legal, and financial aspects of planning for the elderly. Topics of special concern will include Medicaid benefits, nursing home institutionalization, estate planning, and social security benefits. Other topics to be discussed will include abuse of the elderly, insurance issues, tax issues, health care proxies and guardianship issues, and creating and maintaining an elder law practice.
Electronic Discovery This course is an introduction to the legal and practical issues related to electronic discovery and the use of electronic evidence in legal proceedings. Attorneys engaged in litigation must ensure compliance with the rules and regulations governing the preservation and production of electronically stored information. Lawyers and clients nationwide are struggling with the practical challenges of electronic discovery and the law is continuously evolving. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the legal rules governing discovery and develop practical knowledge and key analytical skills that can be used in practice.
Employment Discrimination This course concerns discrimination in the workplace, with emphasis on different theories of discrimination and the application of those theories in a variety of settings. The primary focus is on the text and interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended in 1991. Other areas studied may include the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Occasionally offered as a QWC.
Employment Law This course provides a foundational survey of key state and federal laws that protect employee rights and employer interests in the workplace. After beginning with a discussion of the various legal paradigms implicit in workplace regulation, the course is organized around five themes: (1) The Rise and Questionable Fall of At-Will Employment; (2) Job Security, Employee Mobility & Workplace Freedom; (3) Wage and Hour Legislation; (4) The Laws Governing Workplace Accidents and Safety, and (5) Private Dispute Resolution and Arbitration in the Workplace. The course will address these themes in the context of a globalized labor market, the safety net protecting the low-wage workforce, non-standard work arrangements, and the impact of web-based communications in the workplace. For questionable pedagogical reasons, "employment law" is usually separated from the study of "labor law." and from "employment discrimination law." Consequently, by design the course does not cover in great depth the National Labor Relations Act public sector labor law, or the laws protecting workers from status-based discrimination (e.g. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act the Americans with Disabilities Act). However, the course does introduce these laws and the legal rules governing the right to form unions and collectively bargain as well as the protections afforded to employees because of discrimination based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, etc. The readings are inevitably somewhat eclectic and the structure of this course attempts to grapple with what are truly academic distinctions separating one area of workplace law from another because employers and employees routinely grapple with workplace disputes that arise under a complex web of interrelated and sometimes conflicting legal rules. There is a final exam in this course.
Entertainment Law This course is designed as an introduction to the legal, business, creative, and ethical aspects of the practice of law in the firm, television and music industries, providing an overview of key areas such as contractual practices, personal and intellectual property rights, compensation, and creative control issues. While not a course on copyright or contracts, our focus will include an examination of the interaction between these disciplines and the arts, as well as an exploration of current topics such as grants of rights, duration of copyright, licensing, fair use, exclusivity, rights of privacy and publicity, and litigation. Prior completion of a course in Copyright Law is highly recommended but not mandatory.
Environmental Law Pollution This course is an intensive study of the major pollution control programs in the United States, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Superfund. In addition to the general characteristics shared by each, the course will consider several recurring issues of the administrative state, namely the interpretation of complex and programmatic statutes, the nature of administrative authority, and litigation strategies within statutory regimes generally.
Estate & Gift Tax This course is a study of the fundamental principles of federal taxation on property transfers at death and during the life of the transferor, including those transfers in contemplation of death, and those with life estates retained and retention of power to control. Consideration is also given to the martial deduction, the tax effects on various types of property transfers, and the generation-skipping tax. Prerequisite: Law 511 Property
Estate Planning This course is the study of the inter vivos and testamentary disposition of accumulated wealth. Students draft simple and complex estate plans. Emphasis is given also to the tax and non-tax considerations that influence the transfer and future management of wealth. Prerequisites: LAW 722 Estate and Gift Tax and LAW 748 Trusts & Estates. Enrollment limited to 20 students.
Evidence This course is an introduction to the basic rules of evidence governing the proof of facts in criminal and civil trials, with a focus on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Topics covered may include the role of the judge and jury; relevance; hearsay and its exceptions; character evidence; and the competency, examination and impeachment of witnesses. Classroom method focuses on discussion of selected problems and cases and aims at providing a foundation for advanced courses in evidence (such as Advanced Topics in Evidence and the Scientific Evidence seminar, trial advocacy, and criminal procedure), while providing all students with a common grounding in the basic rules of evidence. (Required Course)

1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119
Main University: 413-782-3111
Admissions: 413-782-1406 or 800-782-6665