Electives are offered on a periodic basis at the discretion of the Dean.


Administrative Law 2 Units: Elective; Pass/No Pass    

Statutory and Executive laws frequently empower administrative agencies to flesh-out the law and administer its commands. As such the bureaucratic regime created thereby engenders a complex set of legal rules. These rules may be found in Administrative Procedures Acts and agency rules. The regulatory complex so created, the sources for authority, the processes and rules of the agency and predicates for successful challenges thereto make up the substance of this class.

Admiralty Law 2 units: Elective; Pass/No Pass

An introduction to the principles of admiralty law addressing the general concepts of jurisdiction, carriage, cargo, salvage, and injury to seamen and others involved in maritime activity.  The course explores the similarities and dissimilarities of admiralty principles and those of the common law pertaining to Contracts, Torts, and Property.


Advanced California Civil Procedure: Law and Motion Practice 2 units: Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course provides practical introduction to basic procedures practice with special attention to the Code of Civil Procedure, Rules of Court and the forms provided by the Judicial Council.  Major class projects may include a Demurrer (including the so-called “General Demurrer” and Response thereto, and a Motion and Defense of a Summary Adjudication proceeding.  Students will be required to prepare, among other things, appropriate and evidentiary sound Declarations; and Points and Authorities.


Advanced Contracts 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The usual law school course in contracts presents the law of contracts, but does not emphasize what transactional lawyers do in putting together contracts once their clients have acceded to the “deal points”.  This course addresses the problems on placing intent to paper, the need to anticipate problems, and the standard “forms” and boilerplate the careful scrivener is likely to consider and use in translating the client’s instructions to a sound contract in fact.

Advanced Criminal Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The Seminar focuses on selected California Criminal Law “cutting edge” issues, including the death penalty; the so-called “Three Strikes” law; Proposition 36, the Drug Treatment Initiative; and Proposition 21, the so-called Juvenile Justice Initiative.

Advanced Evidence 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass.

The law of evidence is both difficult and theoretical.  This course presents a refined and detailed approach to the problems and solutions of arcade recent developments in the law of evidence.

Advanced Legal Writing 2 units; Required; Pass/No Pass

This fourth-year course consolidates skills in legal analysis and written communication of information. It emphasizes concise, coherent analysis in a variety of subject areas. Students are instructed in organizing complex legal arguments in a number of advanced writing exercises.


Advanced Torts 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course focuses on the practical application of substance torts concepts to actual cases the practitioner may encounter in the areas of personal injury and business. Determining the elements of the tort to be alleged, appropriate defenses to the claims and the lawyer’s fitting responses thereto will be developed in the careful and intense study of 7 actual cases from event to verdict.  The class will address the methods of fact-finding and issue analysis required of the prudent lawyer to vindicate the client’s position, whether plaintiff or defendant.


Agency. 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

In many transactions it is more efficient for one person or entity to be represented by another. When one, an agent, is authorized to act on behalf another, a principal, the principal is deemed to be duty bound and rights entitled to the consequences of the agents act. The creation of such a relationship and its effect form the basis of this introductory class.

Honors Seminar Attorney Client Relationship 1 unit; Elective;Pass/No/Pass

The nature of this relationship beyond professional ethics is explored in a practical way including problems of professional liability.  Pre-Requisite Professional Responsibility.  Class limited to 5 students.  Please petition the Dean for approval to enroll.


Bankruptcy 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course broadly explores the history, theory and procedure of U. S. Bankruptcy law with special emphasis on property, tort and contract implications of the Bankruptcy Act. The objective of the course is to provide a reasonably practical, as well as theoretical familiarity with the law in preparation for handling bankruptcy issues in private practice.

Bar Review 0 units; Required; Pass/No Pass

This course will accurately set student expectations for what they will encounter on the California Bar Exam (CBX) and prepare them to succeed in passing it. Instructors with previous experience coaching students in the various aspects of bar preparation will combine to offer LLSSJ 4th year students a cutting edge value-added experience that will realistically map for them a road to first-time passage of the CBX along with the tools necessary to accomplish that.  Among those tools: substantive bar subject review of previous course work, classic mnemonic memory devices for committing large amounts of material for recall under stress, test-taking skills for approaching essay, multi-state, and performance exams, tips and tricks for simplifying complex areas of the law for easy recall, the truth about how the bar examiners attempt to throw radar chaff on the screen of what should be straight-forward legal analysis, with tips for keeping ones head under CBX test conditions, and finally emphasis on rationally planning ones course of study so that no area is neglected and proper emphasis is given to each subject tested.

Basics of Legal Writing 0 units; Required; Pass/No Pass

This course provides a practical approach to the fundamentals of legal writing. Students will gain experience with the elements of analyzing and briefing legal issues, structuring legal argument, and the essentials of solid analytical and persuasive legal writing. Principles taught include reading for specific purposes, framing complex ideas, composing effective prose, and word-smithing. The curriculum includes a series of in-class writing assignments, a weekly writing exercise, and one final paper.

Business Organization 4 units; Required; Letter Grade

The class analyzes the legal structure and characteristics of various business organizations using the corporation as the basic model. Topics include the utilization of agents; the promotion of business; selection between the various forms available; the attributes of each and problems and issues in formation; the distribution of power and benefits within the organization; the limitations on conduct and the consequences of action or inaction imposed by the applicable duties of care, duties of loyalty and special fiduciary responsibilities emanating from federal law and state law (whether by statute, regulation or common law); the procedural requirements of litigation inter se; capital structure and financing; and the fundamental changes that may occur in the organization such as dissolution, sale of assets, mergers, as well as the rights and duties attendant thereto.

California Civil Procedure: Pleading and Law and Motion Practice 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course focuses on California state court procedure and is a very practical and important course for students. Among the subjects discussed will be pleadings, discovery, motion practice, and trials. Pertinent parts of the California Code of Civil Procedure, Civil Code and Rules of Court will be reviewed.

California Real Estate Finance (Mortgages) 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course covers the use of real property as security for the repayment of borrowed funds and other obligations. It focuses on the obligation contract between debtor and creditor; the security agreement (mortgage, deed of trust, equitable and other mortgage substitutes) and the rights and remedies of the party in the event of failure to perform either in the context of California’s “one action” or anti-deficiencies rules, or both. It should be noted that it is estimated that roughly 20% of the real property MBE questions on the General Bar Exam concern “mortgage law.”

California Residential Landlord-Tenant Litigation 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Students will study the residential tenancy from its creation and the issues involved, to its termination in Unlawful Detainer and the problems of litigation when a person is ousted from their residence.


California Special Courts 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

California has developed a system of “special courts” to address “special needs” of a complex society.  Starting with Probate Court, the state now recognizes Juvenile Court, Drug Court, and Family Law Court.  The special jurisdiction, expertise and procedures of these courts are analyzed together with their commonality and roots in the common law-equity system.


Civil Procedure 4 units; Required; Letter Grade

This course studies Federal and California Rules of Civil Procedure which govern civil cases from filing to final disposition. In the first semester, the course surveys each of the procedural stages followed by a detailed consideration of issues relating to personal and subject matter jurisdiction; venue; and conflicts of law. The second semester focuses on pleadings; joinder; discovery; pretrial disposition; trial; appeal; pendent jurisdiction and preclusion.

Community Property 3 units; Required; Letter Grade

The course involves the careful study of the origin, history and development of community property law in California; rights and interests of the respective spouses in the community, including agreements and dissolution; and differentiation of separate and community property.


Comparative Constitutional Law 2 Units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The Constitution of the United States, a document which has proven both resilient and dynamic is often looked upon as a model to be emulated by political entities on the cusp of democracy and in the early stages of building a constitutional structure.  This course focuses on the developing constitutional structure of Iraq and the extent to which that evolving process may be informed by American constitutional principles or by the constitutional principles and interpretations adopted by Islamic countries.  The course then explores a number of broad constitutional questions such as the essential prerequisites for the development of a constitutional democracy, the challenge of coexistence between constitutionalism and Islamic law, and the tension between the need for a viable and independent federal judicial branch and the demand by large ethnic and religious communities for autonomy from a central government which has historically disenfranchised them.


Conflict of Laws 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Conflict of Laws is the study of how law is applied when courts decide legal issues that have connections to and implications for diverse legal systems, both foreign and domestic. Often referred to as Private International Law in civil law jurisdictions, it is a particularly topical subject since the frequency of Conflict of Laws issues confronting legal practitioners is on the rise given the growth of international trade and travel. This course will focus more heavily on choice of law, and to a lesser extent, on jurisdiction and recognition. In addition, quality time will be spent learning and discussing the various approaches to Conflict of Laws that have been espoused over the years by some of the law’s greatest thinkers.


Constitutional Adjudication 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This class offers a close review of major decisions in constitutional law stressing the reoccurring themes of Constitutional law such as equal rights, freedom, and the limitation thereof. Methods and techniques by which legal cases make it through final adjudication by our highest court are discussed as well as the political stress placed on the Supreme Court in adjudicating sensitive political cases consistent with recognized constitutional principles.


Constitutional Law 6 units; Required; Letter Grade

A comprehensive study of the American constitutional system comprised of U. S. Supreme Court interpretations of the most frequently litigated clauses of the U. S. Constitution; emphasis on procedures by which constitutional issues are raised and determined with materials appropriate for the process of decision; national and state power; separation and delegation of powers; due process of law; equal protection under the law; and First Amendment and other civil liberties.


Contracts 6 units; Required; Letter Grade

A basic study of the fundamental principles governing the law of contracts, including offer, acceptance and consideration; parties affected by contracts, including joint obligations, conditions, interpretation, assignments and contracts for the benefit of third persons; illegality and discharge; study of the Statute of Frauds and Parole Evidence as they pertain to contracts.


Construction Law; 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course provides a background in construction law, with an emphasis on practical application of legal concepts pertaining to construction contract agreements to remedies for their breach.  Students will be called upon to analyze construction contract clauses, and to learn to advise clients about the risks and benefits of such clauses as they relate to indemnity, remedies (with particular consideration of ADR), attorney’s fees and insurance.


Copyright Law; 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Copyright, although one of the oldest statutory laws, is the subject of today’s headlines in actions such as Viacom vs. Google, involving the issue of whether internet videos infringe copyrights of media firms.  This course will explore the nature of copyright in contrast to other forms of intellectual property protection.  The course will cover copyrightable subject matter, ownership and federal registration.  Scope of copyright, particularly for software and media, will be examined, together with general limitations on copyright including fair use.  How copyright should be applied to new technologies, such as digital file sharing, also will be addressed as well as infringement actions, damages, injunctions and license agreements as negotiated settlements.  Brief treatments of international copyright and federal preemption will be included.

Corporate Counseling; 1 Unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The class explores the expanding role of in house counsel in the corporate world.  Among the subjects to be discussed will be conflicts; corporate governance; skills and techniques of corporate counseling; and interaction with employees, shareholders and investors, and the Board of Directors.

Criminal Law 6 units; Required; Letter Grade

Fundamental problems in the substantive law of crimes and its administration; the content of criminal law; punishable acts and omissions; mental state requisite to punishment; scope of liability under modern law for conspiracy and attempt, and for participation in crimes committed by others; enforcement of the law; and an introduction to criminal procedure.

Criminal Procedure 3 units; Required; Letter Grade

This course studies the validity of arrests, searches and seizures, and motions for suppression; the right to counsel and proceedings preliminary to trial; plea bargaining; prosecution and defense tactics and strategies.


Criminal Sentencing in California 1 unit: Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course commences with the theories of Criminal Sentencing (e.g. Retribution, Rehabilitation and Public Safety); reviews the history of the California System (Determinate Sentencing, Indeterminate Sentencing, and Back to Determinate Again); The Determinate Sentencing Act of 1976 (The Triad of Possible Terms, Reduction of Judicial Discretion and Use of Enhancements); and concludes with consideration of the death penalty and Three Strikes.

Domestic Violence; 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

 The practice of domestic violence law requires an understanding of legal systems as well as complex social issues. The class will begin with an understanding of domestic violence, how it manifests in families and its impact on victims and children. Ethical DV practice will be discussed within an interdisciplinary context, including law enforcement, mental health, community base organizations, and remedies in the criminal and family courts. Students will see domestic violence has broad implications for practice beyond criminal and family law, including child welfare, elder abuse, immigration, employment law, housing and federal law.

Drafting Complex Legal Documents 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

A new lawyer frequently finds that the skills required in practice are vastly different from what was acquired from law school. This course uses the drafting of complex legal documents as a starting point for what is practically required of a transaction attorney.

Education Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course takes a generic view of the law pertinent to educational issues from federal and state Constitutional requirements to student discipline.  The breadth of issues covered will test the student’s facility with contracts, torts and constitutional law concepts.

Elder Law 2 units; elective; Pass/No Pass

Elder Law is the study of the legal issues of the elderly. The aging population expects to remain at their homes, protect their assets through estate planning, protect their health through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Social Security, and Insurance. They need a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with their diversified issues and can offer them legal advice with compassion. Substantive topics to be covered include delivery of legal services to the elderly, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, guardianship, conservatorships, long term care contracts, and health -care directives.

Election Law 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

This course is for students who have an interest in the political process and the establishment of election laws and procedures. The course will begin with a historical perspective on the right to vote, representation, districting criteria, minority vote dilution, election administration, the establishment of political parties, and campaigns.  The course will then analyze the landmark decisions of the US Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Electronic Evidence 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

During this course, students will study the laws regulating the preservation, discovery, admissibility and presentation of electronic information for legal proceedings.  The cases and material will cover three aspects of this subject matter:

  • Legal-Students will be study and use the federal and California Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure and Rules of Evidence governing the preservation, discovery, admissibility and presentation of material compiled, maintained or presented in electronic form;

  • Technical-Students will be exposed to basic electronics with a view toward understanding the technical language used to describe electronic information and the devices and software used to create, store, retrieve and present it.  Students will be given an opportunity to use evidence presentation software to create and present electronic evidence;

  • Psychological-Students will study materials on effective use of electronic evidence to produce good decision making in our justice system.

The goal of the course is develop an understanding of how evidentiary issues are affected if the information is in or is converted to electronic form.  Class time will be allowed for actual hands-on practice of the evidence presentation hardware and software.  Access to a computer for work in class and between classes will be extremely helpful.

Employee Rights 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course offers a hands-on approach to representing employees in the workplace

Employment Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course is a survey of the development of and current issues and cases in employment law with an emphasis on California law. It includes a discussion of the evolution of both the Federal and State statutory regulation of the employment relationship including the National Labor Relations Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and various other state and federal statutes. The course explores the employment relationship, terms and conditions, employment contracts, employee/employer rights and terminating the relationship. In addition, it reviews the erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine and the growth of wrongful discharge litigation.

Entertainment Law Seminar 2 units: Elective; Pass/No Pass

This is an exploratory course that studies the intersection of creative arts and property, and the commercial exploitation of both.  Using the creation, development and marketing of video games as a model, the course examines both the common law foundations of Entertainment Law and the special legal rules developed to cover the special needs of the industry.

Evidence 6 units; Required; Letter Grade  

The course addresses the rules of common law, California and Federal Rules of Evidence with special attention to hearsay, relevancy, privileges, character evidence, real proof, judicial notice, and other doctrines affecting the admissibility of evidence in judicial proceedings.

Family Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course addresses the legal rights and responsibilities in both marital and non-marital relationships.  Topics include dissolution and separation; maintenance; child custody and support; domestic violence and child abuse; adoption and termination of parental rights.

Federal Taxation 2 units; Elective; Letter Grade  

This course explores the federal taxation of individuals, business partnerships, and corporations; income, exemptions and deductions; timing problems; capital gains and losses; choice of taxable person; tax procedures; use of statutes, regulations, decisions, and other materials.

Financial Statements for Lawyers 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course introduces the student to accounting principles and issues and how they relate to the skills required of the careful lawyer.  The implications for the lawyer of accounting and financial practices on business decisions will form the focal point of the course. However, the course will not be overloaded with number crunching.

Government Contracts 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

The course addresses the special considerations imposed when an agency of the federal government is one of the contracting parties.

Immigration Law 2 units: Elective; Pass/No Pass

Exploration of the U. S. immigration system from constitutional, statutory, regulatory and policy perspectives forms the core of this course. Topics include source and scope of congressional power to regulate immigration; procedures for admission and removal; proposals for immigration reform; and the acquisition and loss of U. S. citizenship.

Independent Study Maximum of 2 units per semester with a maximum of 6 units during entire law school attendance; Elective; Credit/No Credit.

The Independent Study curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their legal education through non-classroom activities. Students may earn academic credit for approved Independent Study activities. Students interested in participating in Independent Study must review the Independent Study Handbook, which contains the guidelines and forms applicable to the Independent Study curriculum, and follow the procedures set forth therein. The Independent Study curriculum is comprised of the following three electives:

  • Directed Research: This course provides students with an opportunity to conduct thorough research on a topic of their choice and prepare a paper of publishable quality under the direction and supervision of a faculty member. Please be advised that students must obtain written advance approval from the Director of Independent Study in order to take this course. 

  • Internship: This course provides students with an opportunity to receive practical legal training under the supervision of a judge or an attorney. Please be advised that students must obtain written advance approval from the Director of Independent Study in order to take this course.  

  • Law Review: Members of the Lincoln law Review may receive credit for their academic work on Law Review through the Independent Study curriculum. 

Insurance Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

The course offers a survey of insurance law from the requirement of an insurable interest to the scope and limitations of coverage under various policies.  Topics include the nature of an insurable interest; the standard form insurance contract; the scope of coverage; and the rights and duties of the insurer and insured. The class emphasizes California law.

Intellectual Property I 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

A survey course introducing the law of trademarks, copyright and patents, including the bases for claims, the vindication of claims, and attacks thereon; the rights of the right-holder; the scope and breadth of the rights; and,  the duties of others with respect thereto.

Intellectual Property II 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

Using the Internet as an exemplar, the course investigates the laws response to new forms of intellectual property.  Initial exploration of regulation is made by study of traditional forms of protection to reach and govern emerging technology.  The thoughts of Stanford law professor Lawrence Lesser, particularly as expressed  in his book The  Future of Ideas are consulted to contemplate innovative responses to the law to a world changed by being connected and revolutionary technology. Cases such as New York Times v. Tasini and Random House v Rosetta Books are carefully analyzed.

International Commercial Dispute Resolution 2 units: Elective; Pass/No Pass

The expansion of global markets has heightened the need for the amicable settlement of transnational commercial disputes. While some international disputes will be resolved through litigation, most will not be settled in national courts.  What alternative resolution options are available to commercial disputants form the basis for this course? The course will emphasize the utility of mediation, conciliation, arbitration, as well as litigation as appropriate vehicles for the settlement of international contentions.

International Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

The intent of this course is to serve as an introduction to both public and private International Law. In addition to an historical overview of public International Law, the sources and fundamental concepts of international law will be reviewed, including the system of treaties, state sovereignty, the role of the UN, and emerging principles of customary law. Students will be exposed to the basic concepts of EU Law, Human Rights Law, as well as International Humanitarian Law. This course will also survey private international law, often called choice of laws, since it almost always involves resolution of differing principles and ways of legal proceedings among diverse legal  systems.

Internet Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

Modernity is characterized by technology and technology has required new law to address old issues.  The Internet is a choice example of old issues confronting new technology.  So privacy, identity theft, malicious mischief and spamming all invade interests that the legal system has traditionally protected.  This course seeks to identify how the law responds to this important, compelling and invasive technology.

Introduction to Child Dependency Law Elective;1 unit; Pass/No Pass

This course explores California law applicable to juvenile dependency proceedings involving child abuse and neglect.  Students will learn how to identify the factual and legal circumstances that warrant governmental intrusion into the parent-child relationship.  Judges must balance parental rights and children’s familial attachments against the devastation of physical abuse, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other manifestations of child abuse or neglect.  This course addresses both the theory and practice of child dependency law.  Topics include initial hearings, jurisdiction, disposition, statutory review hearings, termination of parental rights, paternity, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.  The primary source of law governing child dependency proceedings is the California Welfare and Institutions Code.

Introduction to Civil Appellate Practice 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course provides a quick overview of the civil appellate process, both in California and Federal Appellate Courts, acquaints students with the primary appellate research tools and the primary issues of appellate review: (a) the appellate verses writ process, (b) the extent to which appellate review is available, (c) procedure and deadlines affecting the commencement and prosecution of a timely appeal, (d) common issues affecting the preparation of the  appellate record and the presentation of facts to the court, (e) preparation of appellate briefs, (f) the standard of review and the extent to which appellate issues have been waived or preserved, and (g) oral argument.   The course is designed to provide a new attorney working with a firm that does not specialize in appellate practice with sufficient familiarity with the process to recognize and avoid the more common pitfalls to a successful appeal and be able research specific issues efficiently.

Introduction to Law 1 unit; Required; Pass/No Pass 

This course, offered to entering first-year students during the weeks preceding the commencement of the first-year of substantive courses is an introduction to the substance and process of law and legal education and explores the general sources of law; an introduction to legal reasoning; the case method and techniques used by the courts in resolving cases. Students are taught to analyze case law and statutes and to cultivate an understanding of the judicial and legislative processes. The course also provides students with an opportunity to practice briefing cases take a practice examination and receive individual feedback on their writing and analyses in preparation for the first-year substantive courses.

Jurisprudence Honors 2 units; Oxford Style Seminar/Tutorial

The Oxford style seminar is based on the tutorials at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge that pair one student and one professor. In our program the model is two or three students with one professor. An aphorism known throughout higher education notes that “The ideal learning tool is [a very knowledgeable professor] on one end of a log and a student on the other.” This seminar is intended provide that experience. Another objective is to accentuate the notion that legal education aims to address the fundamentals of the legal system as well as its plumbing.

Juvenile Justice Seminar 2 units; Pass/No Pass

Students will learn about the origins of the juvenile justice system and its founding principles. These theoretical concepts will then be grounded in common juvenile justice practices throughout the country. The course will focus on ethical and practical tensions that surround juvenile advocacy and will explore the local juvenile justice efforts in Santa Clara County from the perspectives of justice involved youth, community based judges, and attorneys.

Land Use Law & Policy 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

An exploration of the legal regulation of land use and development. The course considers local land use planning and controls, including comprehensive planning, zoning, subdivision controls and planned communities. In-depth discussion of major issues in land use, such as takings, transfers of development rights, growth management, and the environmental regulation of land use.

Law and Logic 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

It is an old and oft repeated maxim that law school teaches a new way to think.  If reasoning from the particular rather than the general is that new way, the adage is simply inaccurate for reasoning inductively, while less common than reasoning deductively, requires a device that has been known for centuries.  If, on the other hand, what is meant by maxim is that lawyers reasonings sometimes are not necessary logical, but nonetheless treated so, we have embarked on a unique aspect of the law and its practice particularly in Common Law countries.  When lawyers argue about the reasonable person, good-faith, subjective and objective standards, they seem to be doing something that has elements of logic, social theory, philosophy, politics and political power.

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