Course Catalog Contents
- Law & Justice* — L106/L106A
- Lawyering Process I — L105
- Lawyering Process II — L110/L110A
- Legal & Bar Success Foundations — L342
- Legal Research* — L100R
- Moot Court — L450
- Professional Responsibility — L203
- Property (or Property I) — L204
- Property II* — L227A
- Torts (or Torts I) — L101
- Torts II* — L231A
* Business Organizations, Lab II, Lab III, Law & Justice, Legal Research, Property II and Torts II are required only for certain students. Please see the Student Handbook, Vol. I, Section 1.3.
Core Elective Courses
- Advanced Criminal Procedure — L233
- Advanced Legal Analysis and Strategies: Bar Exam Multiple Choice — L347
- Advanced Legal Research: Essential Skills — L406T
- Advanced Legal Writing — L241
- Advanced Property — L227B
- Advanced Torts — L231
- Asylum & Refugee Law: Trial Skills — L647T
- Civil Rights in the 21st Century Seminar — L680
- Criminal Justice, Social Justice, and Community Justice — L243
- Critical Race Theory Seminar — L271
- Death Penalty & the Law — L244A
- Demonstration Law Seminar — L461
- Education Law — L254
- Employment Discrimination — L245T
- Employment Discrimination Seminar — L245A
- Entertainment Law Seminar — L232S
- Externship — L610/620
- Gender & Sexual Orientation Under the Law — L258A
- Gender & Sexual Orientation Under the Law — L258T
- Gender & Sexual Orientation Under the Law Seminar — L258
- Health Law Seminar — L257
- Immigration Law — L223
- Immigration Law Seminar — L223S
- Independent Study — L500/L500A
- Intellectual Property Seminar — L232C
- International Human Rights — L234A
- International Law Seminar — L224
- Introduction to Bar Strategies — L340
- Introduction to Critical Race Theory — L646
- Labor & Employment Law — L225
- Law & Justice Practicum — L106P
- Law Review — L400-402
- Mass Communications Law — L242
- Mock Trial Competition — L452
- Moot Court Competition — L451/L451A
- Negotiations — L642/L642A
- Non-profit Law — L239
- Perspectives on Social Justice: DC and Puerto Rico Statehood — L701D
- Perspectives on Social Justice: Legal Strategies for Economic Inclusion — L701H
- Perspectives on Social Justice: Medicaid — L701K
- Perspectives on Social Justice: Race in America — L701G
- Perspectives on Social Justice: Racial Disparities in Youth Justice — L701L
- Perspectives on Social Justice: The Trailblazing Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — L701J
- Race and the Law — L251A
- Race and the Law Seminar — L251
- Reproductive Rights Seminar — L260S
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities Seminar — L252A
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities — L252B
- Service-Learning Practicum & Seminar — L360
- State & Local Government Law — L236
- Supreme Court Practice — L246T
- System Change: Theory & Practice — L602
- Technology Law and Policy– L270
- Technology Policy — L230T
- Trial Advocacy — L300A
- Trial Advocacy: Criminal Defense — L300D
- Trial Advocacy: Deposition Skills — L300B
- Trial Advocacy: Trial Theory, Complaints, and Discovery — L300C
See the Student Handbook for complete degree requirements.
[L100R] Legal Research (1 credit)
Satisfactory completion of this course is required only for those students who satisfactorily completed Lawyering Process II (L110) in Spring 2023 or earlier. This course introduces students to the basic principles and processes of legal research. Students learn how to locate and use secondary sources, statutory law, case law, and regulations using free and subscription-based online resources.
[L101] Torts (4 credits)
This course is a survey of basic tort law, including topics such as intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability. Limitation: This course replaced Torts I (L101A, 3 credits); students who have satisfactorily completed Torts I cannot earn credit for this course.
Beginning Fall 2022, all students must satisfactorily complete at least 4 credits of Torts. Satisfactory completion of a required course that awards letter grades is defined as earning a grade of “C-” or above. Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have not taken or must retake Torts I (L101A, 3 credits) can meet the Torts requirement by satisfactorily completing Torts (L101, 4 credits). Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have satisfactorily completed Torts I (L101A, 3 credits) but have not taken or must retake Torts II (L231A, 3 credits) can meet the Torts requirement by satisfactorily completing Advanced Torts (L231, 3 credits).
[L103] Criminal Law (3 credits)
In this course, students are introduced to topics that include mens rea and actus reus, the elements of common law felonies and misdemeanors, and the principal defenses to criminal charges.
[L104] Contracts I (3 credits)
The required first semester Contracts I course covers key common law concepts including offer and acceptance, bargained for exchange, enforcement of promises on the theories of reliance and unjust enrichment, defenses to contract, conditions and terms, anticipatory repudiation and breach, and remedies. The course also introduces students to core competencies such as analyzing cases and applying narrow holdings to new facts.
[L105] Lawyering Process I (3 credits)
This course begins with an intensive look at the skills entering students need to learn faster and more effectively in the law school classroom. Students learn about the legal system, the lawyer’s role in that system, case briefing, case and statutory analysis, case synthesis, class preparation, and note-taking. In addition, students complete several writing assignments that enable them to receive early critical feedback. Students also start to learn about the basic principles and processes of legal research, using free and subscription-based online resources. The course provides an in-depth understanding of legal reasoning, research, and writing in the context of objective, predictive analysis.
[L106/L106A] Law & Justice (1 credit)
Completion of this course, including its 40-hour community service requirement, is required only for those students who matriculated prior to Summer 2020. Law & Justice is an intensive one-week course focused on issues of justice, poverty law, affirmative action and other critical issues. At the conclusion of the classroom component, students provide 40 hours of community service in group or individual projects, under the supervision of faculty advisors.
[L107A/L102] Civil Procedure I (2 credits)
This course is the first of a two courses that provide an introduction to the principles and rules governing the federal civil litigation process. After an overview of the civil justice system, the course focuses on jurisdictional issues addressing the proper court(s) in which an action may be filed.
[L107B/L107] Civil Procedure II (4 credits)
This course builds upon the foundation of Civil Procedure I, focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with particular attention to pleading, joinder, motions to dismiss and summary judgment, discovery, appeals, and the effect of prior judgments on litigation. Prerequisite: Civil Procedure I.
[L108] Criminal Procedure (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the individual rights created by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and to the enforcement of those rights by means of the exclusionary rule.
[L109] Contracts II (3 credits)
In the second semester, Contracts II introduces students to analysis of statutory law through intensive study and application of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the primary law governing contracts for the sale of goods in the United States. The course also touches on Article 2A (Leases) and the Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Prerequisite: Contracts I.
[L110/L110A] Lawyering Process II (3 credits)
This course continues the development of the legal reasoning, research, and writing skills introduced in Lawyering Process I, and incorporates methods of persuasive argument. Writing exercises emphasize the kinds of research and writing tasks lawyers must do, which may include client letters, office memoranda, pleadings, motions, contracts, and persuasive briefs. Students continue to develop their research skills to locate and use sources of law such as statutes, cases, and regulations. Students also have opportunities to develop their bargaining skills through a negotiation exercise and their advocacy skills through an exercise simulating argument on a motion. Prerequisite: Lawyering Process I.
[L201] Constitutional Law I (2 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to the structure, text, history and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. The course covers the nature and scope of judicial review, separation of powers, and federalism.
[L202] Evidence (4 credits)
This course surveys key provisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, including relevance, hearsay, impeachments, and authentication of documents. It also looks at common law privileges. The course emphasizes conveying to students a functional knowledge of the rules of evidence.
[L203] Professional Responsibility (2 credits)
This course examines the ethical problems implicit in the role of the legal profession in a democratic society governed by the rule of law. Topics include the lawyer-client relationship, duties to the court, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, delivery of legal services, and disciplinary rules and mechanisms.
[L204] Property (4 credits)
This required course is an introduction to the law of property. Topics include the acquisition of property, possessory estates, future interests, co-ownership, marital interests, leasehold estates, landlord tenant law, land transactions, recording systems, servitudes, zoning, and eminent domain. Limitation: This course replaced Property I (L204A, 3 credits); students who have satisfactorily completed Property I cannot earn credit for this course.
Beginning Fall 2023, all students must satisfactorily complete at least 4 credits of Property. Satisfactory completion of a required course that awards letter grades is defined as earning a grade of “C-” or above. Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have not taken or must retake Property I (L204A, 3 credits) can meet the Property requirement by satisfactorily completing Property (L204, 4 credits). Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have satisfactorily completed Property I (L204, 3 credits) but have not taken or must retake Property II (L227A, 3 credits) can meet the Property requirement by satisfactorily completing Advanced Property (L227B).
[L205] Constitutional Law II (4 credits)
In this course, students will examine the sources, history and applications of the major areas of constitutional law which involve our “rights and liberties.” These areas of law include Equal Protection, Substantive Due Process and fundamental liberty interests, Procedural Due Process, and the First Amendment. The course uses a combination of methods, including a modified Socratic method, lectures, and class discussions; classes involve recitations by students of fact patterns, holdings, and implications of assigned case readings in give and take interchanges with the instructor. Constitutional Law I is not a prerequisite, but is recommended.
[L206A] Business Organizations (3 credits)
Satisfactory completion of this course is required only for students starting law school Summer 2022 or later. Business Organizations provides students with an introduction to the various forms of business entities recognized by the American legal system: the sole proprietorship, the common law partnership, the corporation, and the limited liability company. Students will gain a mastery of the common law concept of agency underlying the legal treatment of each of these different entities and a thorough understanding of the duties and liabilities that attach to the agent-principal relationship in general and as it appears in each of the various entities. This course will also focus on the nature of artificial “persons” within the meaning of the law, the rights they may obtain, how those rights are enforced, and who may enforce them. Finally, this course covers equitable doctrines that may be used to disregard the typical limited liability protections of business entities. No knowledge of business management or accounting principles is necessary. Limitation: Students who completed Business Organizations I (L206) or Business Organizations II (L207) may not earn credit for this course.
[L227A] Property II (3 credits)
Satisfactory completion of this course is required only for those students who satisfactorily completed Property I (L204A, 3 credits) rather than Property (L204, 4 credits).
Beginning Fall 2023, all students must satisfactorily complete at least 4 credits of Property. Satisfactory completion of a required course that awards letter grades is defined as earning a grade of “C-” or above. Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have not taken or must retake Property I (L204A, 3 credits) can meet the Property requirement by satisfactorily completing Property (L204, 4 credits). Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have satisfactorily completed Property I (L204, 3 credits) but have not taken or must retake Property II (L227A, 3 credits) can meet the Property requirement by satisfactorily completing Advanced Property (L227B).
[L231A] Torts II / Products Liability (3 credits)
Satisfactory completion of this course is required only for those students who satisfactorily completed Torts I (L101A, 3 credits) rather than Torts (L101, 4 credits).
Beginning Fall 2022, all students must satisfactorily complete at least 4 credits of Torts. Satisfactory completion of a required course that awards letter grades is defined as earning a grade of “C-” or above. Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have not taken or must retake Torts I (L101A, 3 credits) can meet the Torts requirement by satisfactorily completing Torts (L101, 4 credits). Students who entered prior to Summer 2022 and who have satisfactorily completed Torts I (L101A, 3 credits) but have not taken or must retake Torts II (L231A, 3 credits) can meet the Torts requirement by satisfactorily completing Advanced Torts (L231).
[L342] Legal and Bar Success Foundations (3 credits)
This is a comprehensive course for graduating students in their final semester of law school. The course is focused directly toward driving student achievement on the bar exam by working to build critical exam skills. The course will be delivered in a series of focused lessons which include a brief refresher on a subject followed by a skills workshop on that topic. Students will learn through practicing essays and multiple choice exam questions, and will receive detailed written feedback on their answers.
[L450] Moot Court (2 credits)
This course covers the appellate process and continues the development of legal research, analysis, and writing skills begun in the Lawyering Process courses. Students are provided with a case on appeal and prepare a written appellate brief for one side. At the end of the semester, they present an oral argument in that case. Prerequisites: Lawyering Process I and II.
[LLAB] 1L Lab (0 credits)
1L Lab is a required non-credit, pass-fail course for first-semester 1L students. This course links the oral, written and legal analysis skills associated with the core competencies to the substantive law that is taught in first year courses. The lab sessions focus on skills needed for success in law school, including class preparation (reading and briefing cases and statutes, strategies for understanding legal terminology, note-taking and the importance of reflection; and exam preparation (synthesizing, preparing an outline and a problem-solving attack plan, and written communication skills such as responding to essay questions).
[LLAB2] Lab II
First-year students with a first year Fall semester cumulative grade point average (CGPA) below 2.500 must enroll in Lab II or another course designated by the Director of the Academic Success Program in the second semester. See UDC Law Student Handbook Section 6.3.
[LLAB3] Lab III
Second-year students with a first year Spring cumulative grade point average (CGPA) below 2.500 must enroll in Lab III or another course designated by the Director of the Academic Success Program in the Fall semester of their second year. See UDC Law Student Handbook Section 6.3.
Students, please see Clinic Quick Links for clinic prerequisites, conflict of interest and student practice rules.
[L900/L950/L952E] Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic introduces law students to civil and administrative litigation in the housing law and allows students to develop practical and fundamental lawyering skills while providing legal representation, assistance, and counseling to tenants in the District of Columbia. This clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to practice law in the context of a dynamic legal services program with dedicated and intensive attorney supervision while working alongside students from other local law schools. This is an off-premises clinic in which students participate alongside students from other D.C. law schools in the Housing Litigation and Advocacy Clinic at Rising for Justice.
[L901A/L951A/L951E] Tax Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
UDC Law’s Tax Clinic provides students with hands-on experience representing taxpayers with active tax controversies before the IRS, in U.S. Tax Court and, in limited instances, state tax agencies. Students primarily represent low income, Metro DC residents. Tax Clinic students assist in a wide range of matters, including claiming family-based tax credits, resolving tax return audits, and addressing the denial or suspension of tax refunds. Students may work on federal and DC tax policy matters, as well as conduct community outreach and assist in the delivery of technical tax advice to community organizations. Classroom work includes coverage of relevant tax doctrine, tax practice and procedure, and tax policy issues. Tax Clinic faculty closely supervise student practice and prepare students to interview and counsel clients in order to provide effective and ethical legal representation. The Tax Clinic prepares participating students for tax litigation, poverty law practice, and policy work.
[L902B/L952B/L950E] Youth Justice Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
Students in this clinic will develop important lawyering and other skills representing children, youthful offenders, parents/guardians, or other interested stakeholders in delinquency appeals, sentencing challenges, or other cases or causes that present youth justice issues. The clinic’s work seeks to supplement traditional juvenile court delinquency representation with a range of advocacy efforts in various venues to address the special needs, vulnerabilities, and capacities of youth. Clinic students handle various aspects of advocacy and representation, such as: drafting appellate briefs and other litigation-related documents; developing and implementing case strategies and plans; engaging with clients, parents/guardians, and youth justice partners; negotiating with adversaries and others; and advancing youth-centered arguments in appellate courts and other settings.
[L903A/L953A] Whistleblower Protection Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Whistleblower Protection Clinic introduces students to the law and skills required to provide policy advocacy and representation (both to defend against retaliation and to make a difference) for government and private employees who are threatened with retaliation for speaking out against fraud, waste, mismanagement, abuse of authority, environmental dangers, and public health and safety problems. The clinic involves students in work on administrative hearings, appeals, congressional testimony, media involvement, investigations, development of record, and legal research on the track record of whistleblower laws. This is an off-premises clinic in which students are supervised by an attorney adjunct professor at the Government Accountability Project.
[L905/L955] Legislation Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Legislation Clinic trains students to be effective legislative lawyers, who are skilled in working with text, law, policy, and politics to help achieve legislative or regulatory reform and develop thoughtful public policy. The Clinic’s seminar focuses on relevant substantive law, processes (such as how legislation is enacted and regulations are promulgated on the local and federal levels), ethics (such as system reform obligations, lobbying restrictions, and working with groups), and skills (such as client counseling, oral advocacy, legislative research, and drafting policy materials like talking points, bills, or white papers). The field experience complements the seminar component by providing students the opportunity to represent the community and community-based organizations under faculty supervision on employment, gender, and other social justice policy projects.
[L906/L956/L956E] Community Development Law Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Community Development Law Clinic (CDLC) focuses on transactional (or non-litigation based) advocacy skills. The clinic’s clients are organizations involved in affordable housing development, small business development and community services, such as childcare. In their field work, students will serve in the capacity of corporate counsel to the clients, advising and assisting them in a wide range of concerns, which may include choice of entity, organizational structure, tax status, fiduciary duty of corporate officers and directors, regulatory compliance, government programs, financing and contractual relations. The clinic emphasizes transactional-based lawyering skills, including problem solving, client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, legal research and legal drafting. Trial practice skills are not addressed in this clinic. The clinic will also cover substantive law and policy related to the subject matter presented by the cases. In the small business component of the clinic, students represent small D.C. business enterprises in need of free legal services. Students advise clients on business structures, prepare articles of incorporation, bylaws, advise clients regarding basic tax law, zoning, licensing requirements; and mediate business disputes.
[L910/L912/L912E] Immigration & Human Rights Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
Students in the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic learn about the specialized area of immigration law with a particular focus on removal defense in immigration court and asylum representation. Students represent clients under the supervision of the clinic director. In addition to attending the required twice-weekly seminar, students meet in teams with their supervisor and participate in case rounds. Students represent clients at interviews with immigration officials and/or litigate in Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Clinic advocates for clients living in Washington, DC, and the greater metropolitan area and focuses on cases before the Arlington immigration court and Arlington asylum office. Students in the clinic will gain substantive expertise in humanitarian immigration law, build critical interviewing skills, develop fact investigation, engage in legal analysis and legal writing, along with oral advocacy before the asylum office and/or in immigration court. The Clinic aims to stand beside clients and advocate using trauma-informed, client-centered, and critical lawyering.
[L920/L921/L921E] Criminal Defense and Racial Justice Clinic (7 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The Criminal Defense and Racial Justice Clinic exposes students to public defender work, teaching them how to use a range of advocacy tools to combat mass incarceration and racial injustice in the criminal legal system. Students will work on teams to take on a mix of advocacy projects, including representing clients accused of misdemeanor and low-level felony offenses at every stage of their criminal case; helping incarcerated people gain freedom through parole or other post-conviction avenues; and collaborating with local non-profits to engage in community education and policy projects. Under the guidance and supervision of the Clinic Director, students will engage in client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, discovery practice, motions research and writing, legal analysis, case theory development, plea negotiations, trial advocacy, sentencing advocacy, and persuasive storytelling. In the Clinic seminar, students will workshop their cases and explore broader topics such as professional responsibility and ethics for the defense attorney, client-centered lawyering, cultural humility, the criminalization of poverty, the history of policing and mass incarceration, and racism within the criminal legal system. Through client representation, classroom lectures and discussion, reading assignments, court-watching, case round discussions, mock exercises, feedback, and reflection, students will learn what it means to provide zealous, compassionate, and client-centered representation.
[L940/L941/L940E] General Practice Clinic (7 or 10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
The General Practice Clinic focuses on representing and advocating for survivors of domestic violence. Student attorneys will take on a mix of advocacy projects in the DC legal community and direct client representation in family law litigation cases. Student attorneys will work in teams, under the supervision of clinic faculty, to engage as the primary legal team on their client or advocacy work. Students engaged in litigation will prepare each stage of the litigation process, including drafting pleadings, preparing pre-trial motions and discovery, negotiating with opposing parties or counsel, and, when applicable, bringing the case to trial. Students working on advocacy projects will be in direct discussion with stakeholders, working to make a concrete impact on improving access to justice for survivors. In the clinic seminar, students will develop the legal skills and knowledge necessary to complete their case and project work, including client interviewing and counseling, client-centered lawyering, professional responsibility and ethics, negotiation skills, evidence, and components of trial practice. Students will also have opportunities to reflect on and discuss, as a law firm, their experiences in case and project work, and will work together to refine their approach to legal problem-solving, decision-making, and the exercise of professional judgment.
[L911-L999] Independent, Extended & Elective Clinics (1-10 credits) (ALWR Opportunity*)
Independent, Extended & Elective Clinics for one or more credits may be arranged based upon completion of an Elective/Extended Clinic Form and approval by the clinic supervisor and Associate Dean for Experiential & Clinical Programs. Please note that Independent, Extended & Elective Clinics may not be used to satisfy UDC Law’s clinic graduation requirement. Students should refer to the Student Handbook, e.g. Sections 1.5, 1.6.2., 3.3, and 4.4, regarding enrollment in additional/non-required clinic credits.
Core Elective Courses
Students who started law school before Summer 2022 are required to choose at least three courses from the following Core elective courses. See the Student Handbook for complete degree requirements.
[L206] Business Organizations I (3 credits)
This course focuses primarily on the organization, operation, and dissolution of unincorporated business entities. It covers the basic legal and economic principles governing the law of agency-principal relationships, partnerships, limited partnerships, joint ventures and limited liability companies. NOT a prerequisite for Business Organizations II.
[L207] Business Organizations II (3 credits)
This course continues the study of business relationships begun in Business Organization I. It focuses on the basic legal and economic principles related to the organization, operation, and dissolution of corporations, with a significant emphasis on issues and problems of closely held corporations and federal corporate law issues. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations. Business Organizations I is not a prerequisite, but is recommended.
[L208] Administrative Law (3 credits)
This course examines the role of the administrative branch of government in the legal system. In particular, it explores the nature and scope of the power of administrative agencies and the restraints on administrative power imposed by the Constitution, statutes and the common law. Topics include the delegation of power to administrative agencies, administrative investigations, the right to be heard, formal and informal decision making processes and procedures, administrative adjudication and rule-making, and judicial review of administrative actions.
[L209] Wills and Estates (3 credits)
This course examines the rules governing intestate and testate distribution of property and the execution, alteration and revocation of wills. The course also covers the creation of both public and private trusts, rights of beneficiaries, and responsibilities of fiduciaries. Students also are exposed to the modern alternatives of the living trust and the living will. Prerequisite: Property or Property I.
[L210] Uniform Commercial Code I (formerly Commercial Law I) (3 credits)
This course presents an integrated study of the law governing modern commercial transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a broad collection of laws tested on many bar exams. It focuses primarily on Article 2 (sales) and Article 9 (secured transactions), the UCC topics tested most frequently on the Uniform Bar Examination. Prerequisites: Contracts I and II.
[L212] Taxation I (Federal Taxation) (3 credits)
Whether rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen, all persons are impacted by U.S. Federal Tax Laws. What you do for a living has tax consequences – earning a living as a corporate executive, a ride sharing driver, or restaurant server. What happens in your personal life has tax consequences – getting married or divorced, having children, incurring student debt for school, defaulting on debt, selling or buying property, and receiving gifts. The Federal Tax system is becoming increasingly complex and that makes it difficult to navigate the system for those who cannot afford accountants and tax lawyers, or who are poor or uneducated or for whom English is not a first language to navigate the system. In this course you will learn the basic concept of Federal tax law under the Internal Revenue Code as well as an individual taxpayer’s rights and obligations. You will also learn the skill of how to carefully read a statute and apply it. We may discuss the policy reasons for choices Congress and Courts have made in adopting certain tax rules. Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to understand the workings of Federal Tax system, identify tax issues in underlying transactions, and advise clients or understand how to find answers to issues raised.
[L214/L214A] Family Law (2 or 3 credits)
This course examines relationships of adults and children from political, economic, and social welfare perspectives. Students will analyze a wide variety of subject areas with a view towards understanding the balance between state involvement and the individual’s or family’s rights to privacy in the areas of domestic relations. The course surveys developments in the law relating to marriage, divorce, child custody and support, alimony, division of property, and other issues affecting familial relationships. In addition, course materials address the relationships between children, adults and the state concerning domestic violence, child neglect and abuse, adoption, the foster care system, kinship care, reproductive rights, nontraditional family relationships, and new biomedical technologies. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations.
[L216] Federal Courts (3 credits)
This course addresses the constitutional and statutory provisions–as well as the jurisdictional doctrines and concepts–that shape and limit the role played by the federal courts in the American legal system. Subjects covered include the origins of federal judicial review, Congressional power to curtail federal jurisdiction, limitations on the ability of the federal courts to enjoin state court proceedings, and requirements for U.S. Supreme Court review of lower federal and state court judgments. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations.
[L217] Remedies (3 credits)
This course is organized as a case survey and study of various remedies available to those who have suffered wrongs for which others are held civilly liable. Students examine a range of topics: monetary remedies; the various means of measuring money damages; injunctive, declaratory remedies; and restitutionary claims and remedies. The course covers the availability of such remedies in a variety of tort, contract, and property contexts.
[L219] Conflict of Laws (3 credits)
Three main areas are covered in this course: 1) jurisdiction; 2) choice of law; and (3) enforcement of judgments. Jurisdiction addresses the authority of the forum court to issue binding decisions against or for out-of-state parties. Choice of law concerns determination of which state’s or country’s laws must apply in a multi-state or international dispute. Finally, enforcement of judgment deals with the effect of a judgment rendered in one jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of that jurisdiction. These subjects are tested on many bar examinations and are also of practical importance in civil litigation practice.
Elective courses may not be offered every year.
[L106P] Law & Justice Practicum (2 credits)
As graduates of DC’s public law school, many of you will choose a career in public interest law here in DC, as change agents on commissions, as legislative staff, as agency personnel, as organizers and program positions in government and non-profits – and eventually as judges and leaders of agencies and organizations. This 2-credit elective class, requiring 20 hours of community service, is an opportunity to expand your experiential learning about the many facets of public interest law while gaining useful frameworks for making choices that will influence your future career. The class is open as an elective to all students except 1L’s. If you entered prior to Summer 2020 and have not yet completed the 40-hour Law & Justice Community Service graduation requirement, this course also offers you the opportunity to do so. To earn credit for both courses, you must have completed 60 hours total of community service.
[L223] Immigration Law (3 credits)
This course covers basic immigration law through the casebook method. Interwoven with the casebook approach is a substantial amount of lecturing devoted to the practical aspects of practicing immigration law. Historical perspectives relating to policies and legislation are provided. Depending on the semester, students enrolled in Immigration Law may have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum.
[L223S] Immigration Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This seminar provides a survey of immigration law to encourage critical thinking about what our immigration policies should be. Topics are presented primarily from a practitioner’s perspective to provide a concrete understanding of the immigration process. These issues concern not only whom we should welcome but whom we should expel and the procedures by which the government seeks to remove them. Students will complete this seminar with an understanding of nonimmigrant visas, family-based and employment-based immigration benefits, and naturalization. Additional focus will be placed on humanitarian immigration programs such as asylum, the U.S. Refugee Program, and trafficking-related benefits. The syllabus and discussions may be adjusted to respond to current events, such as legislative developments regarding immigration reform, and the expressed interests of the students. The readings, exercises, and discussions are also designed to provide background and to generate ideas for the writing of an original paper. This paper will provide the student with an opportunity to undertake research, engage in critical legal thinking, analysis, and drafting. The completion of a paper, which can be certified for the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR), is a goal of the seminar.
[L224] International Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will examine the nature and sources of international law, the law of treaties, the role of international law in municipal law, international dispute settlement, the status of individuals and states in international law, and the role of the United Nations and international organizations.
[L225] Labor & Employment Law (3 credits)
This course covers the theoretical and practical components of how the workplace is regulated in the United States. It focuses on statutory and judicial language that covers aspects of the employment relationship. Topics include: employment-at-will labor standards such as wage payment, overtime, family and medical leave, and accommodations; privacy; duty of loyalty; termination of employment and related issues like restrictive covenants, unemployment insurance, and reductions in force; occupational safety and health; retaliation; and mandatory arbitration.
[L227B] Advanced Property (2 credits)
Description to be added. Prerequisite: Property or Property I. Limitation: This course replaced Property II; students who satisfactorily completed Property II cannot earn credit for this course.
[L230T] Technology Policy (1 credit)
Privacy, surveillance, and algorithmic policy is exploding. Meanwhile, harms are omnipresent, not entirely understood, and disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. This turbo course will introduce students to technology governance and policy, particularly the different tools, players, and positions affecting policy right now and in the past. Because of the varied nature of technology policy right now, this course will expose students to a wide variety of legislative and administrative assets. Topics will include Algorithmic Bias, Transparency and Accountability; Data Privacy; Health Data, particularly for sensitive parties like individuals seeking abortions or in marginalized groups; Government Surveillance; Policing Surveillance; Content moderation and Section 230; Data Security and Antitrust Interventions. Students will hear from experts, analyze rulemaking processes, compare different laws, utilize legislative history, and more. The course will be held over five weekend days in-person. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L231] Advanced Torts (3 credits)
This course covers such topics as strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities, products liability, nuisance, civil rights violations and misrepresentation. Prerequisite: Torts or Torts I. Limitation: This course replaced Torts II; students who satisfactorily completed Torts II cannot earn credit for this course.
[L232C] Intellectual Property Seminar (2 credits)
This survey course will present an introduction to the four types of intellectual property: copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. The course will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of the bodies of lP Law, their underlying policies, and their real-life applications. Technological advancements and public policy considerations that impact intellectual property law will also be discussed. The course will also examine the substantive and procedural elements of infringement actions and their defenses.
[L232S] Entertainment Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will focus on legal and business issues faced by individuals and organizations working in art and entertainment fields and creative industries. The class will address complex legal issues influencing the information economy, providing an overview of copyright, trademark, contract, First Amendment, and tort issues that affect artists and arts organizations. Prerequisites: Contracts I and II. Enrollment is limited to twenty students. Students may work with the professor to write a seminar paper that will satisfy the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR).
[L233] Advanced Criminal Procedure (2 credits)
This course follows the procedures of a criminal case from arrest to appeal. Particular emphasis is given to grand jury, joinder and severance, refinements of double jeopardy, and jury deliberation. Strongly recommended for third-year students only. This area of law is tested on many bar examinations. Prerequisites: Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.
[L234A] International Human Rights (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will examine the nature and sources of international human rights law; its interrelation to international law; the law of treaties; international conventions and covenants; and the role of the United Nations and international organizations in the protection of human rights. The syllabus and discussions may be adjusted to reflect current events shaping international human rights such as the detention of foreign nationals or death penalty issues. The culminating exercise of this course will provide the student with the opportunity to conduct research, legal analysis, critical thinking, and the drafting of a paper, which can be certified for the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR).
[L236] State & Local Government Law (3 credits plus optional 1 credit practicum)
The course explores state and local government with an emphasis on the unique history and basis of the District of Columbia’s constitutional status, and the District’s still evolving path to Home Rule. We will compare the role of states like Virginia and Maryland to the District’s various roles as a federal agency, federal territory, a state-, county-, and city-level government, and as a social laboratory for Congress. We will focus on debate concerning the lack of voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District and for those federal territories, and the related civil rights issues, international law issues, and implications for democracy. We will meet D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwab and with the lawyers who filed the federal case and amicus briefs seeking voting representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate for the District of Columbia. We will also examine attempts to achieve District statehood including the Tennessee plan, the 2016 advisory referendum on the state of New Columbia, the 2016 constitutional convention, and the status of the Washington DC Admission Act introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton January 4, 2023 which, if approved would make the District the 51st state. We will review progress made toward budget and legislative autonomy; whether and to what extent there should be federal control over the D.C. criminal justice system; ethics and campaign finance reform, and pending rank choice voting legislation in the District and another state and local jurisdictions and the role of state and local governments in enforcing criminal laws and in protecting consumers. Consistent class attendance and preparation is required. Students enrolled in State and Local Government for three credits have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum. The optional practicum component provides an opportunity for students to work in DC Government or public interest organizations on emerging public policy questions involving DC Democracy or the work of the blue ribbon DC Taskforce on Jails and Justice chaired by Professor Broderick.
[L239] Non-profit Law (1 credit)
Non-profit Law is a survey of the law governing non-profit, tax exempt organizations and is also an introduction to the practice of non-profit law. From the doctrinal perspective, the course will focus on federal and state statutory law and regulations and case law that govern tax exempt organizations. In addition, the course will examine the role of the regulatory agencies, particularly the IRS, and the practical and strategic considerations for the lawyers that represent such organizations. The course also incorporates a consideration of the societal role of the non-profit sector and the policy implications for contemporary society. Students should leave this course with a comprehensive theoretical and practical vision of non-profit and tax-exempt organizations law and the role such organizations play in communities across this nation.
[L241] Advanced Legal Writing (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will reinforce and deepen students’ understanding of the research, writing and analysis “basics” gleaned from Lawyering Process and Moot Court, and it will require students to exercise critical thinking skills by engaging in substantial depth of analysis, reflection and revision through a series of discrete, rigorous writings. Students will prepare writings such as letters to clients (or opposing attorneys or third parties), office memoranda, and court memoranda. The evaluation of these writings will focus upon principles of organization, analysis and style. The syllabus of the course may also incorporate significant amounts of drafting, including documents such as statutes and regulations, contracts, interrogatories, and wills. The class size will be limited to provide opportunities for individualized attention, meaningful oral and written feedback on assignments, and heightened peer interaction. Some assignments will be rewritten, and some will be submitted in various forms, (such as outline, summary, first draft, and final draft). Students may also be required to submit research journals, although the journals will not necessarily be graded. The course will employ individual in-class exercises, collaborative group work, and role-playing. The rhetorical situation will also be emphasized, with students focusing on the audience, purpose, and tone appropriate to the different types of legal writing. Enrollment is limited; preference given to third-year students. Prerequisites: Lawyering Process I and II, and Moot Court.
[L242] Mass Communications Law (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This seminar course commences with an overview of the philosophical and constitutional foundations of free expression and examines areas such as defamation, privacy, various newsgathering and related torts, access to government information, and the role of media in a democratic society. Enrollment is limited.
[L243] Criminal Justice, Social Justice, and Community Justice (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This seminar examines recent developments in criminal justice policy and practice. Seminar students will research and discuss issues such as restorative justice, specialty courts, victims’ rights, immigration enforcement, jury nullification, juvenile justice, community policing, indigent defense, “innocence projects,” the collateral consequences of incarceration, the role of prosecutors and defense lawyers, and other subjects that explore the impact of criminal justice policies on society. The course explores both the role of legal institutions in incorporating a vision of social justice, as well as examines the lawyer’s role as a social justice advocate within the criminal justice system. The goal is that by the end of the class each student should have an understanding of the developing issues in criminal practice as well as a solid grounding in the interaction between criminal law and public policy. The seminar provides the opportunity to conduct research, legal analysis, critical thinking and reflection, and the writing of a paper that can be certified for the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR).
[L244A] Death Penalty & the Law (3 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
The course will examine the administration of capital punishment in the United States and the systemic problems that lead to wrongful convictions. The course will also examine policy reforms to prevent wrongful convictions creating a more fair and accurate criminal justice system.
[L245A] Employment Discrimination Seminar (2 credits)
This seminar covers the theoretical and practical components of workplace anti-discrimination law, covering the promise, coverage, and limitations of anti-discrimination statutes. The seminar focuses on federal laws that prevent employers from taking adverse actions against applicants and employees on the basis of membership in a statutorily defined group or from implementing a facially neutral policy that has a disparate impact on a statutorily defined group.
[L245T] Employment Discrimination (1 credit)
Claims of employment discrimination have exponentially increased in recent years. Civil rights statutes, however, only offer limited protections to applicants, employees, or employers. This turbo course will introduce students to the reasons behind this new reality, including a discussion about the promises and challenges of federal civil rights laws that address workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, and military status. It will offer a high-level overview of the available statutory coverage, rights, remedies, and enforcement processes as well as the realities of practicing in this space. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L246T] Supreme Court Practice (1 credit)
In this turbo course, students will explore the many facets of bringing and litigating a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Students will learn about the distinct roles of the petition for certiorari, amicus briefs, and merits-stage briefing. By studying actual Supreme Court pleadings and related commentary, students will gain exposure to the strategic decision points and evolution of an appeal that precedes rulings that they are accustomed to reading in their other law school classes. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L251] Race and the Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course analyzes the socio-legal construction of race in America and explores how race relates to issues such as equal protection, education, individual civil rights, the criminal justice system, and the federal cause of action created in 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
[L251A] Race and the Law (3 credits)
This course examines the political, economic and social history of racism and its impact on American law. Although the scope encompasses traditional areas (e.g. Reconstruction and Civil Rights), there is a substantial emphasis on modern and emerging paradigms including, but not limited to, the Prison Industrial Complex, Critical Race Theory and a Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Depending on the semester, students enrolled in Race and the Law may have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum.
[L252A] Rights of Persons with Disabilities Seminar (2 credits)
This course explores disability law, justice, and theory. It covers the promise, coverage, and failure of existing federal and state statutes, with a focus on the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended by the ADA Amendments Act), and the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. Finally, it explores this in the context of disability and employment, education, public accommodations, institutionalization, government benefits/services, pandemic response, and personal autonomy.
[L252B] Rights of Persons with Disabilities (3 credits)
The course provides an introduction to the body of law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. After preliminary sessions focusing on types of disabilities, the history of unequal treatment afforded individuals with disabilities, and legal definitions of disability, class sessions will examine the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other federal laws addressing disability discrimination in areas such as employment, education, public accommodations, transportation, housing, residential institutions, and access to medical services. Each student will research a selected topic, produce a legal research paper, and present the student’s analysis and conclusions to the class.
[L254] Education Law (3 credits)
This course focuses on the laws that govern America’s primary and secondary schools (K-12) and higher education institutions (e.g., colleges and universities) and the interrelationship between these laws. Topics include campus safety issues and related efforts to protect freedom of expression and student privacy in that context, parameters of the right to equal educational opportunity and related efforts to increase equal access to education for all students, and rights of educators in the interrelated areas of labor relations, tenure, dismissal, and academic freedom.
[L257] Health Law Seminar (2 credits)
This seminar course will provide an overview of the healthcare system and its financing in the United States. The course will familiarize students with how the legal system affects disparities in healthcare. Students will be asked to examine strategies designed to reduce healthcare disparities including the ones recently highlighted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
[L258] Gender and Sexual Orientation Under the Law Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course covers constitutional, statutory, and judicial concepts of privacy, equality, and expression as applied to classifications based on sex, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity at work, school, and home. Topics may include criminal and civil laws governing sex-based discrimination, gender-based violence, family formations, reproductive rights, suffrage, trafficking, prostitution, sodomy, military exclusions, and other systems.
[L258A] Gender and Sexual Orientation Under the Law (3 credits)
This course covers the role of sex, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in constitutional and statutory law. The course explores the role these facets of identity play in various legal systems and topics, including employment law, reproductive rights, human rights, criminal law, family regulation, gender-based violence, and others.
[L258T] Gender and Sexual Orientation Under the Law (1 credit)
This turbo course covers the role of sex, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in constitutional and statutory law. The course explores the role these facets of identity play in various legal systems and topics, such as employment law, individual rights, criminal and family law, and others. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L260S] Reproductive Rights Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
This course will offer students the opportunity to explore a wide spectrum of issues within the framework of Reproductive Justice. Reproductive Justice encompasses the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to parent. We will address dynamic topics in social justice, human rights, and civil liberties as they intersect with reproductive justice, such as racial and environmental justice; LGBTQ liberation; freedoms of speech, religion, and association; freedom from illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment; rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and equality; and birthing, parenting, and family formation rights.
[L270] Technology Law and Policy (2 credits)
Privacy, surveillance, and algorithmic policy is exploding. Meanwhile, harms are omnipresent, not entirely understood, and disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. This course will introduce students to technology governance and policy, particularly the different tools, players, and positions affecting policy right now and in the past. Because of the varied nature of technology policy right now, this course will expose students to a wide variety of legislative and administrative assets. Topics will include Algorithmic Bias, Transparency and Accountability; Data Privacy; Health Data, particularly for sensitive parties like individuals seeking abortions or in marginalized groups; Government Surveillance; Policing Surveillance; Content moderation and Section 230; Data Security and Antitrust Interventions. Students will hear from experts, analyze rulemaking processes, compare different laws, utilize legislative history, and more.
[L271] Critical Race Theory Seminar (2 credits)
This course is an introductory survey of critical race theory, which is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to critiquing the law and legal systems. Critical race theory is distinguishable from conventional liberal thought about race, in particular, by its “deep dissatisfaction” with the traditional dialogue surrounding civil rights laws. It is here that we will spend most of our time together. Some critical race scholars would argue that the current law surrounding civil rights, first initiated in the 1960’s and 1970’s, relied on a “social compact around racial justice and racial power.” And that America agreed to embrace racial justice as long as racial power would continue to be treated as rare and aberrational rather than systemic. Liberal race reforms then acted to legitimize the basic myths of American meritocracy. And it is this flaw, some critical race theorists argue, that continues to haunt the country even in the face of our civil rights laws. This counter-narrative is not easy to accept when we have all been taught the opposite as a society throughout our cultural and legal history. The oppressed and the oppressor, the traditional liberal and the conservative are all taught racism is rare and our laws are fair. This is precisely why social justice oriented law students are well served by having even a basic understanding of critical race theory. The hope is that through this introduction students will reset their frame regarding what can and should be done under the law to bring about change. The course seeks to go about facilitating this introduction between student and critical race theory in three primary ways. First, the course will introduce students to the tenets and terminology of CRT. Second, the course will help students examine how those tenets might operate on our laws. Third, the course will offer students multiple opportunities to practice drafting narratives and counter-narratives informed by and in light of the CRT tenets.
[L300A] Trial Advocacy (2 credits, var. by semester)
This hands-on course covers problem analysis and strategy as well as courtroom presentation. Students practice basic trial tasks of opening statement, direct examination, cross examination, offers of exhibits, objections, and closing argument in two mock trials and in weekly in-court sessions. They also practice use of tools such as refreshing recollection and impeachment by different methods. Enrollment is limited; preference is given to third-year students. Prerequisite: Evidence.
[L300B] Trial Advocacy: Deposition Skills (1 credit)
This is a trial skills turbo course, relevant to theories of contract law, designed to provide a basic introduction to taking and defending depositions. The course will be held over four weekend days in-person. Attendance at all four sessions is mandatory. The emphasis will be on “learning-by-doing” in a simulated deposition setting. Class time will be focused on performance of deposition skills by utilizing a fictitious case. Students will, throughout the course, also utilize a National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) type-based method of developing testimonial evidence. This is not a policy or research course. The skills students will learn in this class are persuasion and advocacy skills that can be used in any courtroom, arbitration, negotiation or public speaking setting. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L300C] Trial Advocacy: Trial Theory, Complaints, and Discovery (1 credit)
This turbo course is designed to provide a basic introduction to pleading and discovery in a civil case. Using a simulated case scenario, students will gain familiarity with the purposes of initial pleadings; how to make an overall plan for case theory and development; the rules governing discovery requests; and the ethical issues that arise in preparing cases. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L300D] Trial Advocacy: Criminal Defense (1 credit)
Description to be added. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L340] Introduction to Bar Strategies (1 credit)
This bar enhancement turbo course will build on first-year bar tested topics to bridge students’ knowledge from their first-year course work to bar study. This course will expose students to best practices and strategies associated with bar exam essay writing and multiple-choice test taking in the context of the first-year courses. This will provide a solid foundation for students as they embark on their second year of law school study.
[L347] Advanced Legal Analysis and Strategies: Bar Exam Multiple Choice (2 credits)
This course will expose students to best practices and strategies associated with bar exam multiple-choice test-taking. The course will also provide students with an opportunity to focus specifically on this test form and review certain bar exam subjects in the process. This will provide a solid foundation for students as they prepare for taking a bar exam post-graduation. Prerequisites: Contracts I and II, Civil Procedure I and II, Torts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Property, and Evidence. Ideally taken the year before the final year of law school (i.e. 2L Day or 3L Evening).
[L360] Service-Learning Practicum & Seminar (3 credits)
The Service-Learning Practicum & Seminar is a 3-credit course which consists of a seminar and a Spring Break service trip. During and after the service trip, students will reflect on their experiences through journaling or making a video (either individually or as a team project). Students will also produce work products during the service week, and together they will present a “Report-Back” event to the student body and faculty. The locations of our service-learning trips might change from year to year, but they will be in areas where long-term social justice problems need addressing, whether from a recent disaster, man-made or natural, or due to a history of poverty and civil rights abuses. UDC Law’s Service-Learning program has become well-known nationally for our “legal justice peace corps.” Working together, we engage in experiences that enrich learning by integrating meaningful community and humanitarian service with instruction and reflection. In the Seminar sessions, we discuss different models of social justice lawyering, professional ethics, the role of lawyers in assisting people and communities in crisis, as well as legal topics we will be working on during the trips. Enrollment is limited. Students wishing to take this course should register for it as soon as possible once registration opens.
[L400-L402] Law Review (1-4 credits)
Please see Section 3.4 of the Student Handbook for Law Review guidelines.
[L406T] Advanced Legal Research: Essential Skills (1 credit)
This turbo course is intended to develop research skills beyond the basic competencies of Introduction to Legal Research. Topics covered include a deep dive into the legal research process, statutory research, legislative history research, advanced case law research techniques, administrative law research, and practice-focused secondary sources. Students will gain hands-on, guided legal research experience using a variety of online resources. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply learned skills to conduct comprehensive, efficient legal research on a wide range of topics. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA. Students may receive credit for only one Advanced Legal Research course, L406 or L406T.
[L451/L451A] Moot Court Competition (1 credit in fall, 1 credit in spring)
The Moot Court Competition class prepares students for moot court competitions and appellate practice more generally. The class augments the written and oral advocacy skills students acquire in Lawyering Process and Moot Court courses. During the Fall Semester, students focus on various facets of written appellate advocacy, including drafting their respective moot court competition briefs. During the Spring Semester, students will focus on oral appellate advocacy, and prepare oral arguments for their moot court competitions. By the end of the course, students will have further developed the skills and confidence required to practice law at the appellate level. All students are required to participate in an external moot court competition to earn credit for the course.
[L452] Mock Trial Competition (1 credit in fall, 1 credit in spring)
The Mock Trial Competition course prepares students for mock trial competitions and strengthens litigation skills through applying legal reasoning and argument in the context of trial advocacy. The course is an experiential practice class in which students will participate in trial skill exercises, mock trial simulations, and, ultimately, participate in an external mock trial competition. During the Fall semester, students will focus on learning and strengthening courtroom advocacy skills and will begin the process of preparing for an external mock trial competition. During the Spring semester, students will continue to prepare for a mock trial competition and then compete in at least one mock trial competition. In order to earn credit for the course, students are required to compete in an external mock trial competition, maintain and submit trial preparation materials, and assist with the training of their teammates through feedback and mooting sessions.
[L461] Demonstration Law Seminar (2 credits plus optional 1 credit practicum)
The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” But like all other constitutional rights, the right to demonstrate is not absolute. This course will examine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of demonstrations, including public forum analysis, regulations of time, place and manner, rights of counter-demonstrators, permit systems, civil disobedience, demonstrations on private property, and more. We will also meet with the lawyers who filed the recent case Black Lives Matter v. Trump, challenging the constitutionality of the police actions taken against peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020 just prior to the president’s photo opportunity at Saint John’s church. Students enrolled in Demonstration Law for two credits have the option of enrolling in an additional one-credit practicum. The optional practicum component provides an opportunity for students to work with DC government or public interest organizations in the District of Columbia that are engaged in protecting or preserving the rights of demonstrators.
[L500/L500A] Independent Study (1-2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
Students may register for Independent Study by submitting an Independent Study Registration Form and a detailed proposal for approval to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The proposal must describe the work that will be done, the material that will be studied, the means of evaluation, and the name of the faculty member who has agreed to supervise and evaluate the work and award the grade. A student may earn a maximum of four credits in independent study over the course of the Juris Doctor program and may register for a maximum of two credits in any one semester. See Section 3.4 of the Student Handbook for more information.
[L602] System Change: Theory & Practice (2 credits)
Sooner or later, as a lawyer you will likely have the opportunity – either in your career or as an engaged citizen – to function as a change agent designing or advocating intervention strategies that go far beyond individual representation. You may become a member of a commission, a legislative staff person, a representative of agency personnel, a judge, an agency or organization head, a movement leader, a writer, a politician. As a changemaker, you will need different tools than case analysis, briefing decisions, and writing legal memoranda. You will need to understand what kinds of system change are possible, what those entail and what approaches offer the greatest possibility of effecting needed, sustained change. This systems change course imparts special competencies to enable students to interact with changemakers in different sectors (public, private, non-profit). It provides you with skills to strategize for change, produce work products, initiate modes of inquiry, and create social enterprises that will achieve your own true purpose.
[L610/L620] Externship (4 or 8 credits)
The goals of the externship program are to provide law students with expanded opportunities for 1) Developing and improving their legal skills; 2) Bridging the gap between legal studies and legal careers; 3) Exploring career areas of particular interest to them; and 4) Engaging in critical reflection, professional responsibility issues, and legal analysis. In the field placement component of the program, students spend a minimum of 200 hours (4 credits) or 400 hours (8 credits) at the externship site. Eligible placements can be with members of the judiciary, governmental agencies, or non-profit legal organizations. Students may not receive a salary, stipend, or other form of compensation from the externship site. In the contemporaneous tutorial component, students examine the broader social, political, economic, and policy-related ramifications of the work they are doing in the field as well as a variety of issues connected with the practice of law, including the role of lawyers in shaping public policy, the practice of public interest law, and the diversity of legal careers. Students in the tutorial are graded on the basis of class participation and attendance, written assignments such as journals of action and legal memoranda, and class presentations. Externship is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. Enrollment is limited. This course may not be taken concurrently with Clinic. Prerequisite: Successful completion of three non-Summer semesters of law school for full-time students or six non-Summer semesters of law school for part-time students.
[L642/L642A] Negotiations (1 or 2 credits)
This course takes a twofold approach to creating better negotiators: first, a knowledge-based approach that offers students conceptual tools and frameworks to identify, monitor and evaluate different negotiating situations; second, a practice-based approach that will enhance the students negotiating skills by introducing concrete negotiating tactics and by offering them opportunities to practice these tactics within a constructive learning environment. Through role-play exercises, students will explore, test, and refine their negotiating skills and style. Students may receive credit for only one Negotiations course starting with the course number L642.
[L646] Introduction to Critical Race Theory (1 credit)
This turbo course is an introductory survey of critical race theory, which is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to critiquing the law and legal systems. Critical race theory is distinguishable from conventional liberal thought about race, in particular, by its “deep dissatisfaction” with the traditional dialogue surrounding civil rights laws. It is here that we will spend most of our time together. Some critical race scholars would argue that the current law surrounding civil rights, first initiated in the 1960’s and 1970’s, relied on a “social compact around racial justice and racial power.” And that America agreed to embrace racial justice as long as racial power would continue to be treated as rare and aberrational rather than systemic. Liberal race reforms then acted to legitimize the basic myths of American meritocracy. And it is this flaw, some critical race theorists argue, that continues to haunt the country even in the face of our civil rights laws. This counter-narrative is not easy to accept when we have all been taught the opposite as a society throughout our cultural and legal history. The oppressed and the oppressor, the traditional liberal and the conservative are all taught racism is rare and our laws are fair. This is precisely why social justice oriented law students are well served by having even a basic understanding of critical race theory. The hope is that through this introduction students will reset their frame regarding what can and should be done under the law to bring about change. The course seeks to go about facilitating this introduction between student and critical race theory in three primary ways. First, the course will introduce students to the tenets and terminology of CRT. Second, the course will help students examine how those tenets might operate on our laws. Third, the course will offer students multiple opportunities to practice drafting narratives and counter-narratives informed by and in light of the CRT tenets. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L647T] Asylum & Refugee Law: Trial Skills (1 credit)
This turbo course is a hybrid of a trial skills class, relevant to theories of relief from removal from this country. It will include discussion and analysis of current law governing the removal from United States of foreign-born individuals by utilizing a dozen precedential reported cases which set forth the prima facie elements of relief from removal. In the course, we will review eligibility requirements of these protections against removal using these same cases. Students will, throughout the course, also utilize a National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) type based method of developing testimonial evidence from historical case law that illustrates the prima facie elements for the forms of relief. This is not a policy or research course. The skills students will learn in this class are persuasion and advocacy skills which can be used in any courtroom, arbitration, negotiation or public speaking setting. Students will learn how to do basic opening statements, conduct direct and cross examinations of a fact witness and an expert witness, and will learn how to do a closing statement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L680] Civil Rights in the 21st Century Seminar (2 credits) (RALWR Opportunity*)
Share the foresight of a renowned civil rights leader. Weekly two-hour seminars address the most pressing social issues of today-and tomorrow. Topics include: racial profiling, racism and the death penalty, voting rights, equal protection of gays and lesbians, immigrant detention/asylum, and rights of children and people with disabilities.
[L701D] Perspectives on Social Justice: DC and Puerto Rico Statehood (2 credits)
This seminar will offer law students an unprecedented view of DC and Puerto Rico statehood from a perspective grounded on comparative constitutionalism. Often overlooked from the pedagogical canon typically embraced by the American legal academy, American law students are seldom exposed to the constitutional underpinnings of statehood: (a) What is Congress’ constitutional role in the statehood process? (b) Can Congress impose on the territories conditions for granting statehood? (c) If so what type of conditions (i.e. economic, fiscal, cultural, linguistic)? (d) What is the equal footing doctrine? (e) Does the Constitution place any limits on Congress’ authority to grant or deny statehood? More specifically, the complex (and ancient) constitutional relationship among Congress, the District and the territories is, for the most part, completely foreign to the typical American law student. This seminar will exclusively address the DC and Puerto Rico case studies. While dissimilar in many seminal ways (histories, demographics, geography and constitutional status), both jurisdictions offer invaluable platforms for exploring the metes and bounds of statehood today. While facing similar odds and challenges (having both confronted the fiscal cliff and the dire face of a fiscal control board), DC and Puerto Rico are currently engaged in a frantic debate regarding the desirability of achieving statehood. Students enrolled in this seminar will draft legal briefs and actively participate in a moot court exercise with some of the most renowned legal practitioners in the field.
[L701G] Perspectives on Social Justice: Race in America (1 credit)
This turbo course is a cross-curricular collaboration addressing racial injustice in America. Through topic-focused discussion groups, students explore the recent anti-blackness protest in our country. The course also creates a space for conversations about how we discuss race and racism as a law school community. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L701H] Perspectives on Social Justice: Legal Strategies for Economic Inclusion (1 credit)
This turbo course will examine “new economy” strategies to reverse the flow of capital from low wealth communities to Wall Street and to persons in the top percentiles. We will examine three strategies that are now taking root in some communities with some success. These include public banking, innovations in capital ownership of local enterprises, and cooperative and employee ownership of businesses. The course will focus on the knowledge required of lawyers working in the field. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L701J] Perspectives on Social Justice: The Trailblazing Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2 credits)
This course offers an analytical overview of the trailblazing life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an exploration made all the more timely since her death on September 18, 2020. Her passing leaves a gaping hole in the Supreme Court, as she was the leading, senior voice for progressive rights and equality. Over the years, Justice Ginsburg became a cultural icon, beloved by the broader community of activists and advocates for women’s rights and equal justice for all under the law. Her appeal crossed generations, races, genders, and many diverse communities. We will analyze and discuss the major gender discrimination cases that Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued as an attorney-advocate before she was a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1981). Once appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President William Clinton in 1993, her opinions and dissents became legendary. Her advocacy as a Supreme Court Justice made an enduring impact on gender equality, voting rights, Affirmative Action, LGBTQ equality, the Affordable Care Act, and other social justice movements and issues.
In this course, we will discuss Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s landmark cases (before and after she became a Judge and Justice), with a focus on her opinions (and dissents). We will also read articles and book chapters, and view videos of her interviews and recent documentaries that memorialize her legacy. In addition, we will explore the enduring nature and analytical basis of her jurisprudence. That is, we will critically analyze her approach to deciding cases and to interpreting the Constitution as a living document meant to lift people up. We will also look at her role as an attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, which she directed from its founding in 1972, and her pioneering clinical law work promoting women’s rights, while a law professor at Rutgers and Columbia law schools. Students will be asked to write short “critical thought” papers or reflective journal entries on matters related to Justice Ginsburg’s legacy. This is a social justice “active-engagement learning experience.” Students will be expected to fully prepare, analyze the cases and participate in the session discussions.
[L701K] Perspectives on Social Justice: Medicaid (1 credit)
This turbo course will teach health law through the prism of the Medicaid Program in the U.S. and more specifically, the District of Columbia. The course will help you navigate the practical application of Constitutional Law, federal statutes and local D.C. Code. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
[L701L] Perspectives on Social Justice: Racial Disparities in Youth Justice (1 credit)
Description to be added. Prerequisite: Successful completion of first-year curriculum and minimum 2.500 CGPA.
* See Section 1.6 of the Student Handbook for information on the Research and Legal Analysis Writing Requirement (RALWR) and Applied Legal Writing Requirement (ALWR).