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Course Descriptions

 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. 

Law and Social Policy 2 units; Honor Seminar; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

This seminar explores whether courts are an impartial branch of government concerned with finding facts and resolving conflicts in the law when they act to affect social policy or whether they are acting in such matters as supreme legislative bodies.  Additional issues to be confronted are: When can courts adjudicate such policies?  What considerations prevent the judiciary from action and what factors mitigate to overcome those considerations?  More importantly, how can an attorney recognize, create and exploit judicial proclivities in policy issues?

Law of Cruise Ships and Passengers. 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Over the recent years traveling on vacation aboard cruise ships has become popular and with popularity legal issues have proliferated. This course addresses those issues from embarkation to debarkation: ticket contract issues; passenger injury and illnesses; and unique maritime contract, criminal and tort actions.

Law of Domestic Violence 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass Seminar

This seminar examines the various methods of state intervention into domestic relations when matters of violence are involved. Current California law of the subject provides the courses nexus.

Law of Mobile Homes 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

In California nearly of a million people live within the 4,707 mobile home parks (excluding those exempt from state regulation). The law pertaining to mobile homes and mobile home parks raises intersecting complex issues such as manufacture and responsibility for product defects, safety, owner and ownership questions and landlord-tenant rights and duties. These issues are so complicated that state and federal law impose statutory regulations on many of these matters. Twenty nine separate pieces of legislation were reviewed by the California Legislature in 2008 alone, relating to some of these issues of which 17 were Enrolled and sent to the Governor. Two separate code divisions regulate Mobile Home Parks (MPA) and Mobile Home Residency (MRL). This course addresses the myriad of laws necessary for the lawyer to have a fundamental knowledge of the law of mobile homes.

Law of Politics 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

The course addresses California and Federal law pertaining to qualification for candidacy and state and federal law regulatory campaign financing.  

Legal Malpractice 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

In a complex and litigious society professional liability is both threat and fact.  This course addresses not only the elements and proofs required to state a professional liability claim against a lawyer, it teaches the defenses and safeguards against such claims.

Legal Philosophy 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

An issue sometimes debated in legal education is whether lawyers are technicians or something more.  This debate sometimes surfaces in discussions about the purpose of legal education:  is the appropriate focus in law school passing a Bar Examination, learning the law, its reasonings and role in seeking Justice in or for a good society (whatever such a society is), or something else?  This honors seminar course is based on the premise that any functioning legal system rests on a consensus, conscious or unconscious, articulated or unarticulated, that posits the nature and appropriate function of a legal system.  Following the premise, the course explores the components making up the nature and function as well as the province of the law.  The course might be appropriately entitled: The Reasons Law School is Not Trade School or Why Lawyers Aren't Plumbers.

Legal Research & Writing 3 units; Required & Prerequisite to Moot Court; Pass/No Pass 

This first-year course provides integrated instruction in legal research, analysis and writing. The curriculum alternates short task-based exercises with longer assignments that require effective legal research strategies and management of multiple authorities in legal writing. Primary and secondary sources are explained. Various methods for updating legal authority are also included. The initial research component emphasizes manual library research and later, computer-assisted legal research. 

Legislative Advocacy and Statutory Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

This course is a comprehensive study of the California state legislative process, creation of statutory law and how advocates and advocacy impacts the process.  There will be limited discussion of federal and local legislative processes.  Significant time will be devoted to this interactive course to activities such as drafting legislation, reading and analyzing bills, as well as participating in mock hearings and legislative meetings.

Moot Court 2 units; Required; Pass/No Pass 

Emphasis on the skills, techniques, and format of appellate brief preparation, procedure in reviewing courts, oral presentation of facts and law, and the persuasive argument.

Moot Court (Honors Class) 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

This course is open only to students who have successfully completed the Moot Court and who have received the recommendation of the professors who taught that course. The course seeks to prepare students for Moot Court competitions.  

Mortgage Seminar 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Study of the various security devices affecting interests in real property in California and the tension created in law as a result of a judicial model that often treats the borrower as a necessitous person requiring legal protection and the lender as the author of all onerous contract terms by which the borrower is bound.

Mortgage Seminar 2 to 4 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

This honors seminar involves intense study of the regulation of security devices affecting interest in real property with particular emphasis on the limits on freedom of contract imposed by California's unique approach to land security and the reasons and purported justifications therefore.  Open only to students who have successfully completed the California Real Estate Finance course. 

Mortgages: Real Estate Finance 2 Units; Prerequisite-Real Property I; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The utilization of real property as security for the performance of a contractual promise is a critical component of our commercial society as has been shown by our recent economic duress; this class addresses the fundamentals of so-called mortgage law including the concept of security, the various forms of security agreements and the enforcement of such agreements. Prerequisite: Completion of Real Property I.

Negotiation & Mediation 2 units; Elective Honors Course; Pass/No Pass 

This is an Honors course requiring interested students to submit a Petition to the Dean.  Admittance is based on approval by, and at the sole discretion of the Dean.  The course explores the theoretical and practical aspects of negotiating and mediating disputes with emphasis on the collaborative negotiation model. The objectives of the course are to: (1) familiarize students with various negotiation models as a foundation for creating their own negotiating style; (2) develop an understanding of the context in which particular negotiation and mediation strategies are successfully employed; (3) explore ethical considerations and their impact on negotiations and mediations; (4) develop proficiency in negotiation through role plays and other practical exercises; (5) acquire basic skills essential to service as a mediator, including convening, conducting joint sessions, caucusing and assisting in the creation of durable and enforceable agreements. 

Patent Prosecution 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The class will focus on acquiring practical patent skills through:1.  Learning strategies to effectively function as a patent attorney2.  Applying strategies to assignments and discussions3.  Using real lessons learned from real trials (e.g. Samsung v. Apple, etc.) and/or patents to model how to effectively use and/or protect intellectual property.  Each class and assignment focuses on a patent skill which will enable you to be a more marketable patent prosecution graduate. The extent to which you focus on these classes and assignments will determine your ultimate skill set at the conclusion of the course. The following Apple/Samsung patents may be used through the class:1. U.S. Pat. No. 7,844,915 to Platzer et al. (technical field: scrolling on mobile device; assignee: Apple)2. U.S. Pat. No. 7,698,711 to Jeong (technical field: multi-tasking on mobile device; assignee: Samsung).  ntive to lawyer's practice, working with inventors, the patent claim, the patent office and responses to its inquiries, evaluation of the strength of patents, monetization of the patent, agreements between patent holders, with management of the IP profile and portfolio.

Personal Property 2 units; Required; Letter Grade 

A study of the law attendant to tangible and intangible personal property that provides an analysis of ownership; possession; methods of acquisition, transfer, and hypothecation; and remedies to vindicate ownership or possession of such property. Attention is devoted to the problems of bailment and common carrier responsibilities. The course also serves as a brief introduction to the concepts of so-called intellectual property. 

Products Liability 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

The history of products liability from its antecedents in strict liability and warranties to the modern test of consumer expectations and chain of commerce are carefully analyzed together with the policy issues that led to the development of this tort as well as of the criticism that it operates to reduce entrepreneurship and to limit markets and choice. 

Professional Responsibility/Ethics 3 units with an additional 1; Required; Letter Grade 

This course entails study of the legal profession as an institution; the development of a sense of professional responsibility; privileges and duties as a member of the legal profession; review of the fundamentals of ethics and their application to legal problems; study of the Model Rules of the American Bar Association and the Rules of Professional Conduct of The State Bar of California.  An additional unit has been added to the class in order for students to analyze, describe and resolve issues connected with the professional and ethical practice of the law.

One unit of the course will be devoted to writing including Opinion Letters relating to rule compliance and advice.

Race and The Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Provides an overview of the differing legislative and judicial approaches to the so-called American Dilemma where race and the quest for equality intersect.  The problems of social stigmas and prejudice and efforts to seek equal justice under the law are reviewed from a historical and Constitutional perspective. Constitutional issues from Dred Scott v Sandford to Lopez v. Union Tank Car, as well are racial profiling are explored in depth. 

Real Estate Negotiations 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

This course addresses the strategies integral to successfully negotiating the purchase and sale, exchange or leasing of real property with the principals, professionals and regulatory authorities.  The course is open only to students who have successfully completed the Real Property I and II and who have received the recommendation of the professors who taught those courses or who have completed the second year and obtained a grade of 84 or higher; or on recommendation of the Dean. 

Real Property I (Estates and Co-ownership) 4 units; Required; Letter Grade 

This is a yearlong course for 2nd year students that provide an introduction to the law of property that focuses on interests and estates in land as historically developed in England and the United States and the co-ownership of estates and the consequences thereof. 

Real Property II (Acquisition of Ownership and Conveyances) 4 units; Required; Letter Grade 

This is a yearlong course for 3rd year students that addresses how interests in land are acquired, the consequences of acquisition, the transfer of such interests, the effects thereof, and restrictions on such interests whether imposed privately or by government. 

Real Property I and II (6 units); Required; Letter Grade 

This is a yearlong course for 2nd year students that provides an overview to the law of real property, focusing on interests and estates in land; the co-ownership of such interests and estates; the acquisition of ownership and lesser interests in real estate, the nature of that ownership, restrictions thereon, the consequences of ownership and methods and procedures connected with transfers of such ownership.

Real Property Sales Contracts: The California Deposit Receipt   2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass 

The course introduces the student to the basic document encountered in real estate transactions; the agreement of sale or so-called deposit receipt.  Starting with the role of the broker and issues of agency, the course turns to the purchase and sale agreement and the usual terms therein.  In reviewing the agreement, attention is devoted to the usual conditions found in such agreements, pertinent to the state of property, state of title, and financing the transaction as well as the negotiation of the terms of those conditions and their satisfaction.  Additional matters, such as options, escrow and closing are also considered.  

Honors Seminar: Religion and the Constitution 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course considers contemporary issues in religious liberty, including significant reported and pending cases. The student will be expected to learn the impact of the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment as unique topics in Constitutional law and the various principles applied by the courts in deciding such cases.

Religion and The Law  2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The confluence of the State and Religion is recognized by the First Amendment to the Constitution of United States. The intersection of establishment and free exercise of Religion raise important and arcane issues. What is religion? What is the difference between the rule of law and the ethical codes of religion?  Which has the greater power over citizens the religious institution, or the governmental authority of the state? How does each power co-exist with the other? Such issues exist in a broader context as well as current world events prove.   In the Western tradition, the balance of power between religion and state has shifted over the centuries. In the United States, the balance takes a particular form as expressed in the First Amendment.  The free exercise clause protects individuals freedom of religious practice and liberty of conscience, and is more than toleration of different religions. The establishment clause puts limits on the states authorization or protection of a particular religion--or non-religion--and it also protects believers from governmental assault on their conscience in the name of the law.   How have the courts interpreted the place of religion in American society, yet drawn some kind of division between the realm of church and that of  state and are these even viable ways to express what the courts have done?  How should we analyze how judicial decisions have affected expression of religious belief in the U.S.?  Because lawmaking activities include more than case law, we will also look at other literary forms, such as essays by scholars, statutes, legislative debates, and presidential proclamations and addresses.

Remedies 3 units; Required; Letter Grade 

This course provides a review, using both a historical and an analytical approach, to remedy jurisdiction and the principles of remedies with respect to contracts, torts and real property. Topics include the powers of courts of equity; specific performance; specific relief against torts; special equitable remedies; interpleader; cancellation and surrender of contracts; removal of cloud of title; declaratory judgment; the merger or union of law and equity, both procedural and substantive. 

Second Amendment: Constitutional Touch Stone 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course will take up the substance of one of the most controversial Amendments to the United States Constitution. With a Second Amendment case now pending before the United States Supreme Court, the course will provide a unique opportunity to study constitutional law in real time.

Sex and the Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This course is designed to explore the rapidly expanding legal and constitutional issues involving sexual orientation and gender identity. Issues to be covered include the recent reversal on sodomy; the ongoing cases regarding sterilization and abortion; the recognition of same sex relationships, including marriage and parenting; gender identity issues; the public policy re-emergence of abstinence; and conflicting implications raised by how the various First Amendment freedoms apply within the context of sexuality.

Significant Issues in Modern Constitutional Law Seminar 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

This seminar will examine a variety of issues at the forefront of disputes in modern constitutional law, such as abortion, free speech and hate speech, religious freedom and the role of religion in public life, affirmative action, equal protection in such areas as sexual orientation and same sex marriage, and the role of the Supreme Court in adjudicating these issues. The seminar is intended to assist students in thinking critically about constitutional issues that they are likely to encounter in the public forum. Students will develop an appreciation for the subtleties and complexities of constitutional reasoning. 

Statutory Interpretation 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Statutes form the foundation for resolving most legal disputes, and they impact virtually every aspect of the practice of law.  This is particularly true in so-called Code states such as California where fundamental law is stated in our statutes.  So, too, in Federal law.  Knowing how courts analyze statutes and regulations is an essential skill for the successful lawyer. In this class students will practice the observant reading of text and learn how to clearly define issues and frame winning arguments following the analytical models used by the courts.  They will learn the importance of distinguishing between competing theories, such as Legislative Intent or Plain Meaning.  Students will learn the time-tested rules and canons of statutory interpretation, and how to use legislative history to further support a case. This course will also provide a foundation for understanding the relationship between the legislature and the courts in the area of statutory and regulatory interpretation.

Substantive Law Application 2 units; Required; Pass/No Pass

This first-year course emphasizes the development of skills in critical thinking, legal analysis and writing through a series of carefully structured exercises that provide instruction in case analysis, application of legal precedent and substantive law. Students learn to apply the legal doctrines they learn in substantive courses to a set of practical problems.

Survey of Environmental Law 1 unit ;Elective; Pass/No Pass 

This introductory course will focus on the variety of legal mechanisms that regulate the environment including common law property and tort doctrines such as nuisance and negligence, as well as the major federal statutes such as RCRA, CERCLA, NEPA, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. The course will explore the scope and selection of regulatory tools, risk assessment and environmental ethics. In light of the public controversy over the range of environmental and natural resource regulation the political context for environmental regulation will also be explored.

Torts 6 units; Required; Letter Grade 

The course addresses the invasion of legally protected interests of one person by another and study of the simple social obligations which an individual owes to others according to the traditions of the common law and subsequent development. Individual torts are considered within the broad categories of intentional invasions, negligent invasions and absolute liability. Also included are issues related to defamation; deceit; interference with business, political and family relations; and addressing the major problem of determining who should bear the loss incurred through the tortuous act of another. 

Trademarks: An Introduction 2 Units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course will answer the following questions: What is a trademark and how are rights in trademarks acquired? What is the test of trademark infringement and what are the remedies therefore? What are defenses against infringement? How does unfair competition and trademark dilution differ from trademark infringement? How do rights in domain names differ from trademarks? How do trademark rights impact advertising, performers rights and authors rights? What are the formalities of trademark registration? What are the dynamics of a trademark law practice?

Trial Practice 2 units; Required; Pass/No Pass 

This course provides students with a general introduction to trial practice, procedures and strategies through a combination of lectures and practical skills exercises. 

Uniform Commercial Code 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

Introduction to Commercial Law surveying primarily Articles 2, 3, 4 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Coverage includes an examination of the reciprocal rights, duties and responsibilities of sellers and buyers of goods. The course also examines the payment system, focusing on the principles of commercial paper and bank deposits and collections, including the relationship of the commercial bank and its customer. 

Water Law and Policy 1 unit; Elective; Pass/No Pass

The course is an overview of California water law and policy, using the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a case study.  The objective is to explore the historical, political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technological factors that shape the laws and institutions that value, allocate, distribute, use, and preserve water.  Through focusing on a case study and integrating perspectives from both water policy and ecology, the class will learn about water resource management challenges and dilemmas.  The course will consider current water law and policy challenges that attempt to balance people and economics against the needs of watershed and wildlife. 

White Collar Crimes 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass

White-collar crime generally relates to crimes having their origin in financial activity. Often sounding in fraud, the reach of such crimes extends to securities violation, misrepresentation of financial documents, and breaches of fiduciary duties by management or controlling parties or both, as well as other fiduciaries. This course addresses the elements of and defenses to such crimes and notes the unusual rules that sometimes obtain when the accused is deemed to be a fiduciary. 

Wills & Trusts 6 units; Required; Letter Grade  

This course covers such issues as intestate succession; execution and revocation of wills; incorporation by reference and related issues; planning, creating, and administering trusts; duties and liabilities of trustees; charitable trusts; and the nature and application of the rule against remotely contingent interests.

Workers Compensation Law 2 units; Elective; Pass/No Pass  

This course surveys the law relevant to the practice of Workers Compensation law before the State of California Workers Compensation Appeals Board and covers topics from forms, pleadings, procedures and appeals to issues of accidents, occupational diseases and the relationship between tort law and workers compensation law. 

Workers Employment Rights 2 units; Honors Seminar; Elective; Pass/No Pass

Employment law is a particularly complex maze of rights and duties imposed by state and federal codified law, as well as the common law. Practice in the area not only divides between transactions and litigation, but between employer and employee. As a consequence of this divide it is not unusual for an attorney to represent only one side of the employer/employee partition.  This seminar represents a survey of the law and its issues from the employee perspective of Wrongful Termination; Sex, Age and Race Discrimination; Sexual Harassment; Wage and Hour Violations; and Whistle Blowing cases.