Prior Course Titles >

Prior Course Descriptions


Labor Law This course traces the development of American Labor Law, from its early beginnings at the dawn of the industrial revolution, through the great depression of the 1930s, the post-war years, and the modern era. It considers how workers have joined together to improve their material well-being, and how society regulates the inevitable conflict between workers and management. The course studies the National Labor Relations Act and its interpretation by the courts and the National Labor Relations Board. Areas covered include the right to join unions, to engage in collective bargaining, and the procedures to resolve labor disputes, jurisdictional disputes, board procedures, representation, elections, unfair labor practices, strikes and job actions, picketing, lockouts, secondary boycotts, arbitration of disputes, and union organizing.
Labor Law Arbitration This course will present an in-depth view of the law of labor arbitration and the law of the labor contract. Because it is a QWC, the course will emphasize writing skills in the arbitration context. Rather than writing a large research project, the students will instead have weekly writing assignments of between five and ten pages per week. By breaking the writing down into smaller components, the student will be able to demonstrate a steadily improving understanding of the complexities of legal writing as well as learning about such issues as what disputes may be arbitrated, the drafting of the issue for arbitration, preparation of a pre-hearing memorandum, the content of arbitration, post-arbitration briefs, and actions to confirm or set aside awards. The course will explore the labor contract in a number of contexts, which may include discipline and discharge, pay disputes, promotion, layoffs and recalls, mandatory overtime or any of the other types of disputes which go to arbitration. Enrollment is limited to 16 students. Prerequisite: Law 708 Labor Law and Law 781 Public Sector Labor Law.
Land Finance & Transfer This course focuses on the law and practices that govern the financing of real estate transactions, from single-family residences and residential sub-divisions, to multi-family apartment buildings and commercial real estate. The course examines in great detail the law of mortgages, including the creation and transfer of mortgage interests, lien priorities, foreclosure, and bankruptcy. Prerequisite: Law 511 Property.
Land Use Planning This course will cover the fundamentals of land use currently in place in the United States. This will begin with the "takings" issue and go on to examine public zoning schemes and private land use, control through the use of covenants and private associations. Subdivision control statutes, "approval not required" plans and design standards for residential and commercial developments will also be covered. Throughout the course there will be discussions on how the practitioner can work most effectively with the boards that administer the zoning regulations. The course will conclude, time permitting, by examining active topics such as special district zoning and the impact of non-zoning enactments such as wetlands protection laws and other environmental statutes on land use decisions. Students may not take both this course and LAW 624 Land Use Controls.
Landlord & Tenant This course focuses on the landlord-tenant relationship in the residential rental market with emphasis on recent court decisions and various selected state laws that have attempted to lessen the problems of substandard or inadequate rental housing, housing discrimination, problems of lead paint poisoning, and related issues. Eviction proceedings, discrimination litigation and consumer remedies are covered in detail. Enrollment is limited to 45 students.
Law & Education This course focuses on the legal issues in public education. Topics may include student and employee free speech rights, religion in the schools, Constitutional issues in the discipline and dismissal of school employees, teacher tenure, special education, desegregation, state constitutional issues regarding funding and access to education, state statutory provisions regarding financing of education, and reform of the public schools.
Law & Health Care Entity This is a survey course that will cover a variety of issues relating to health care access, delivery and reimbursement for services. Topics will include the duty to provide care, discrimination in access to health care, insurance contract interpretation, federal regulation of insurance including ERISA, professional relationships in health care enterprises, and fraud and abuse.
Law & Social Change This seminar offers an investigation of issues faced by lawyers representing low-income clients and serving under-represented, disenfranchised groups. Cases, theoretical readings and historical texts are interwoven with several ends in mind: first, to provide a glimpse into the range of public interest work lawyers are engaged in and the intellectual foundations that guide these efforts; second, to consider the contexts in which the tools of public interest advocacy are more or less effective, with particular emphasis on the relationship of public interest lawyering to social movements of disenfranchised groups in American society. Third, to expose students to ethical issues and career development challenges that arise for public interest practitioners. The course grade will be based on students completing a variety of short written exercises, class participation and a major research paper. There will be no final exam. Enrollment limited to 20 students.
Law & Terrorism The attacks of September 11, 2001, have presented unusual and arguably unprecedented challenges to American legal values and institutions. This course will explore some of the ways in which our legal system is responding to those challenges. We will examine these responses from various perspectives: positive (How have legal institutions been engaged in combating terrorism?), normative (To what degree have responses of our legal system compare to responses to terrorism in other nations?). We will consider the USA Patriot Act of 2001, the confinement of suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, the indefinite detention of resident aliens since September 11, the seizure of assets of organizations suspected of ties to terrorism, the terrorism-related prosecutions commenced by the United States government and other related topics. We will consider each topic from the perspectives of statutory, constitutional, and where relevant, comparative and international law. Assessment is based on a research paper, brief written responses to assigned reading, a short presentation, and class participation. There is no final exam for this course. Enrollment is limited to 24 students.
Law of European Union The course begins with some background on the history of European Union law, as well as the major lawmaking institutions of the European Union and the process and jurisprudence of how these institutions make law. It will then consider specific areas of the law of the European Union. Some of the areas of law covered during the course will include: human rights; antitrust law (competition law); labor law; intellectual property; and some other aspects of business law.
Law Office Management This course will introduce students to the operation and management of solo practices, law firms, and corporate legal departments. Practices and techniques that assist in the ethical, professional, and profitable representation of clients while reducing stress and crisis situations will be presented through presentations, readings, and guest lecturers. Topics to be covered include: business planning; time management, accounting and billing; client recruitment and relations; technology and office systems; stress management and personal support; ethical responsibilities and professionalism.
Law Review Students who are members of Law Review are required to attend the mandatory weekly Law Review staff meeting for both the fall and spring semesters. Members of the Junior Staff receive 2 credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring for the successful completion of their Junior Staff year. Senior members of the Law Review receive between 2 and 6 credits per year, depending on their position on the Law Review. The Associate Dean must approve departures from these semester credit allocations.
Legal Services Clinic In this course, students work in the office of Community Legal Aid (CLA), a local non-profit organization charged with providing free civil legal services to low-income and elderly persons. Under the supervision of the program's attorneys, students assume primary professional responsibility for actual cases, including client interviews, counseling, case development, negotiation and representation of clients in court and administrative proceedings. Students work at CLA for 16 hours a week and earn four credits for the fieldwork. Students must also enroll in a one credit seminar concurrent with their semester of fieldwork. Prerequisites: In the semester prior to the fieldwork, students must enroll in a two credit seminar (Laws 910 Legal Service Clinic: Skills Seminar) that uses simulations, reading and discussion to develop the lawyering skills necessary for client representation. Law 553, Evidence is also a required course. Evidence may be taken concurrently with the Clinic. A student is required to be SJC Rule 3:03 eligible. Enrollment is limited each semester to 8 students selected through the clinic application process. 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.
Legal Services: Skills Seminar Students participating in the Legal Services clinic must complete a two credit lawyering skills seminar as a prerequisite to their semester of field placement. The class focuses on substantive law and issues related to poverty law practice, and developing basic lawyering skills, including professionalism and ethics, client interviewing, counseling, case planning, fact investigation, oral advocacy, negotiation and litigation skills. Enrollment is limited to the 8 students who have been selected for the Legal Services Clinic for the subsequent semester.
Legislative Advocacy & lobbying This course examines lobbying and legislative advocacy. With legislatures central to our system of government, whether at the Federal or State level, attorneys need to be familiar with government relations practices and legislative processes. Topics may include the constitutional basis for and history of paid lobbying; the regulation of lobbying as a profession, including the legal and ethical restrictions; the role of money and politics in lobbying; and practical elements of how to be an effective lobbyist. Limited to 24 students. *Occasionally offered as a Professional Skills Course.
Litigation in the Pretrial Phase This course is aimed at refining students' written and oral advocacy skills in the pretrial phase of litigation. In weekly exercises, students will brief and argue typical motions arising prior to trial. The course will also address pretrial strategy, both in preparing pleadings, planning discovery and drafting motions. At the end of the term, students will draft a larger memorandum and present a more extensive oral argument on a motion for summary judgment or to dismiss. The course will require at least four to six hours of preparation for each session. Class attendance is mandatory. Enrollment limited to 16 students.
LRW Legal Research and Writing is a required first-year course designed to introduce students to the essential problem-solving and communication skills of the legal profession. The legal research and writing faculty work closely with students in smaller classroom settings to introduce techniques of legal analysis, the basic sources and processes of legal research, and the principles of legal writing and oral advocacy. Through a series of assignments of increasing complexity, students learn how to analyze legal problems, research legal issues, frame legal arguments, and gain experience in drafting the major forms of predictive and persuasive legal writing. This full-year course culminates in an oral argument in a simulated court setting during which each student argues a motion based on a brief written by the student. (Required Course)
Mass Practice & Procedure I This Professional Skills course provides students with practical skills relating to litigation in the state courts of Massachusetts. Students engage in simulated litigation relating to civil cases, domestic relations cases and estate matters. In doing so, students develop a useful understanding of how the practice of law is grounded in the Massachusetts Rules of Court as well as relevant statutory and case law authority. Limited enrollment 24.
Mass Practice & Procedure II This Professional Skills course provides students with practical skills relating to litigation in the state courts of Massachusetts. Students engage in simulated litigation relating to criminal cases, landlord/tenant cases, mental health cases and juvenile law cases. In doing so, students develop a useful understanding of how the practice of law is grounded in the Massachusetts Rules of Court as well as relevant statutory and case law authority. Class limited to 24.
Mediation This course will provide training in both the theory and methodology of divorce and family mediation and essential mediation skills. The class is interactive, and students will have the opportunity, in almost every class to practice mediation skills. A basic understanding of Massachusetts divorce law and/or entry level family law course is strongly recommended. Some states, by statute or rule of court, set standards for court-based mediators. Massachusetts requires basic mediation training and professional practice under the supervision of a community-based mediation program before practitioners may serve as court-based mediators. This is a basic mediation course that qualifies successful students for an internship or practicum in a community dispute resolution program for supervised practice and for advanced mediation training. Mediators develop their skills through a lifetime of practice. This is the first step. Enrollment limited to 18 students.
Moot Court Tutorial Course The Appellate Moot Court course will serve as the means to gain selection to one of the school-sponsored intramural appellate moot court teams. Students in the course will receive intensive instruction in appellate brief-writing, working with a teammate, and appellate oral argument. Students will have the opportunity to meet with faculty about their writing and to receive extensive feedback on their oral argument skills. The class will culminate with a moot court competition and the selection of the law school's Moot Court Board. For more information about selection to Appellate Moot Court teams, see Note on Appellate Moot Court at
Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration 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 will participate in both a simulated negotiation and a simulated mediation. In addition, the course will cover the arbitration process from both a substantive law and practical skills standpoint. Students will have an elective opportunity to write an Arbitrator's Decision and Award as their final paper, based upon the evidentiary submissions in an actual case. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. Students who have taken LAW 609 Negotiation: Strategies & Practice may not enroll in this course.
Negotiation: Strategies and Practice This course will focus on developing an understanding of theoretical and conceptual models of the negotiation process. In-class simulations will provide students an opportunity to apply these concepts in an actual, interactive negotiation situation, both to reinforce their understanding and to allow an opportunity to develop an informed but personal approach to negotiating. Class attendance and participation are mandatory. Students who have taken or are taking LAW 769, Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration, may not enroll in this course. Limited Enrollment:20 students. This course can be used to satisfy the Professional Skills Requirement.
New York Practice & Procedure I This description is designed to introduce the New York Court System and its procedure, pursuant to the Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR). The concept of jurisdiction in the state will be examined in detail as well as the commencement of a civil action and its interplay with jurisdictional principles, within, and outside New York's boundaries. A variety of issues will then be reviewed, such as service, defects of same, defenses to, and appearances. Important emphasis will be placed on limitations of time in actions, such as intentional torts, and medical malpractice, taking into account laches, tolls, extensions, and interposing other claims.
New York Practice & Procedure II This course will build upon the concepts examined in New York Practice I, and address the intricacies of practice under the CPLR,(New York Civil Practice Law and Rules), focusing on what occurs after an action has been commenced. Topics to be covered include pleadings, affirmative defenses, bills of particulars, motion practice, motion to dismiss, summary judgment, default judgment, discontinuance of action, provisional remedies, disclosure, protective orders, selection of a jury, the trial proper, verdict, post appeal applications, and enforcement of judgments. New York Practice I is strongly recommended.
Non-Profit Law This class will focus on the unique legal status of non-profit organizations. Particular attention will be given to the different types of non-profit entities (including universities, hospitals, and religious organizations) and their organization, governance and regulation by both the federal government and the states. Specific topics will include the scope of non-profit activities; choice of organizational form; the powers and fiduciary duties of non-profit directors/trustees and officers; standing to sue non-profits, charitable immunity and limitations on the liability of non-profits; qualifications for federal tax-exempt status and related tax issues; forms of charitable giving and the regulation of fundraising; the investment and use of charitable giving and the other issues unique to non-profits.

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