Academics

LABOR LAW (EMPL-350) 3 credits
This course explores the law governing employees' collective action in the workplace, and covers topics including: union organizing; the establishment of the collective bargaining relationship; primary and secondary economic pressures (strikes, boycotts, etc.); the administration of collective bargaining agreements; and union democracy. Although much of the course material will focus on the law applicable to private-sector workers and employers, the course will also discuss some of the ways in which public sector workers are treated differently than their private-sector counterparts. Additionally, the course will cover constitutionally-imposed limits on labor activity in the public sector.

Recommended but not required: Administrative Law (ADMN-300).

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LAND USE REGULATION (PROP-315) 3 credits
A study of the public land use planning process and such regulatory techniques as zoning, subdivision regulation, growth management, planned unit development, shoreline management, and environmental impact analysis. Attention will be given to both the procedure and substance of legal controls, the problem of administrative discretion and legal accountability, coordination of land use policies and controls within and among different units of government, the interrelated roles of planner and lawyer, and emerging methods of land use control.

No prerequisites. Restriction: Students may not receive credit for both Land Use Regulation and Land Use: Washington Law & Practice (ENVL-307).

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LAND USE: WASHINGTON LAW AND PRACTICE (ENVL-307) 2 credits
This course provides an overview of land use policy and practice using Washington law as an example. After a brief introduction to the national and historical context for the contemporary "smart growth" movement, the course will explore Washington's statutory land use planning and permitting framework, how that framework drives local development regulations, and how property owners must navigate those regulations. Among the elements of the framework are the Growth Management Act, the Shoreline Management Act, the Land Use Petition Act, subdivision and impact fee statutes, and constitutional limitations on government property regulation. Throughout the course, students will analyze examples of land use issues arising in contemporary news coverage and discuss how policy and political considerations help shape the regulatory framework that, in turns, helps shape the physical landscapes around us.

No Prerequisites. Restriction: Students may not receive credit for both Land Use: Washington Law & Practice and Land Use Regulation (PROP-315).

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LANDLORD/TENANT LAW (POVL-350 ) 2 credits
The class will focus on the landlord-tenant relationship including common law principles, the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, and the Unlawful Detainer Process. The class will also deal with public housing, the Fair Housing Act, and the American with Disabilities Act. Finally, the class will look at the interaction of housing law and the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

No prerequisites.

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LATINOS AND THE LAW (JURS-380) 2 or 3 credits
Incorporating insights from history, social science, popular culture, political science, and critical race theory, this course is open to anyone interested in understanding or serving the legal needs of the Latino population, now nearly one out of six Americans and one out of ten Washingtonians.
During the semester we will cover a number of issues associated with this fast-growing group that connect to a number of bar-tested subjects such as property, contracts, torts, criminal procedure, and constitutional law. Class discussions will emphasize creative and compassionate solutions to daunting policy issues such as immigration limits, affirmative action, and the role of states in immigration enforcement. Grading will be based on a student paper relating to the course themes, as well as class participation.
Topics:

  • Latino histories, including Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans;
  • criminal justice system;
  • immigration policies and histories;
  • housing policy and the subprime mortgage crisis;
  • Spanish language rights;
  • public education and affirmative action;
  • cultural stereotypes and hate speech;
  • workplace discrimination;
  • the role of politics;
  • and rebellious lawyering for social justice.

No prerequisites.

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LAW AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS (JURS-387) 3 credits
This course will critically examine the relationship between law and social movements, specifically engaging texts and materials that interrogate law's role in both criminalizing and co-opting social movements. Often in the legal profession and in legal academia, as well as in popular culture, we hear of the relationship between law and social movements primarily in terms of the use of legal strategies such as litigation and policy reform to secure rights and freedoms for oppressed and excluded groups. Many people come to law school with the aim of utilizing legal skills to support and bolster the equality claims of marginalized populations. The materials used in this course will problematize the assumption that the primary role of law with regard to social movements is to support emancipatory progress. We will instead take the opportunity to look broadly at the meanings of key concepts such as discrimination, freedom, liberation, power, governance, and violence as they relate to the stories that lawyers, movement activists, governments, and the media tell about the role of law in movements for social change. Our examination will engage "law" beyond strictly jurisprudence and look at the construction of legality and illegality with regard to dissent. Our inquiry will aim to cultivate deeper understandings of the current parameters and possibilities within social movements given the incentives and disincentives provided by various technologies of legal intervention over the past half century.

No prerequisites.

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LAW AND THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY METROPOLIS (GOVT-335) 3 credits
In the 21st century, contiguous densely populated metropolitan areas are highly decentralized in governance, with multiple cities, special districts and central authorities providing infrastructure and services to an area often generally referred to by a single city's name, e.g., Seattle. Such areas have immense impact on the nation, with over 75% of US GDP produced on less that 15% of US land area, but have no legal status. This course will provide an in-depth analysis of the legal framework in which 21st Century metropolises operate and are governed, focusing on services and infrastructure provided directly or regulated by local government. Within the constitution and laws of the State of Washington, students will develop an understanding of the law pertaining to housing and transit/mobility services in the Puget Sound region and the multiple layers of government with regulatory authority over these services. Students will develop research in one of these areas, using current innovations such as ridesharing services and micro-housing as platforms for analysis, and present a paper illustrating an understanding of the challenges presented to rational service delivery by the decentralized legal framework and identifying incentives and disincentives to centralization of these services and regulatory authorities.

No prerequisites.

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LAW, LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE (JURS-345) 3 credits
This course examines the ways in which language lies at the heart of the law and, thus, of lawyering. For its inquiry, the course borrows from literature and literary criticism, rhetoric, linguistics, and jurisprudence. Early in the course, this inquiry should help you think about how legal language creates meaning. As the course unfolds, you will also think about how the language of the law contributes to, or determines, our sense of legal culture, our sense of community, and our sense of self. Ultimately, we will look at the relationship between law and justice. The course uses Herman Melville's Billy Budd to begin its inquiry. Topics that follow include the relationship between language and meaning in statutory interpretation and judicial decision-making; narratives in the law; law, language, and metaphors; the nature of legal rules; the nature of legal argument and its relationship to justice; and the relationship between legal language, legal professionalism, and ethics. Students will read and discuss a number of law-related literary works, including essays, short stories, novels, and plays. The format for the course is that of a graduate seminar. Students will read selected materials, participate in class discussion, and write several short and medium-length papers.

No prerequisites.

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LAW, POLICY AND MENTAL HEALTH (MENT-300) 3 credits
This course explores the evolution of society's response to the mentally ill in the civil and criminal justice systems. The focus is on both law and policy, as the two are often intertwined. The course begins with the civil commitment system and its relationship with the mentally ill. That relationship raises policy, fiscal, and constitutional issues. The criminal justice system and its relationship with the mentally ill adds another layer of complexity with the concept of "criminal" commitment. This includes both competency to stand trial and mental status defenses such as insanity. The course concludes by examining current attempts to synthesize the civil and criminal justice systems. These attempts include the concept of therapeutic justice and mental health courts, and other policy-based potential statutory and non-statutory programs designed to protect public safety and help the mentally ill move from jails to clean and sober housing and treatment.

We will cover a select number of topics in greater detail, to provide depth; we will cover the rest of the material more generally, to provide breadth. Owing to the nature of the subject matter, students can expect to be exposed to both legal and policy-based doctrine.

For each major topic area, students will attempt to answer three key questions: how does society define the public interest involved, how does one determine whether an individual poses a risk to that public interest, and what happens or should happen if he or she does fall within that definition of risk?

No prerequisites.

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LAW, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND ETHICS (JURS-323) 2 credits
Law, Social Justice and Ethics (LSJE) raise many questions about the role of law in society, the power of lawyers, and fundamental ideas of fairness and morality. Therefore, LSJE is designed to broaden your knowledge beyond descriptive and factual understanding of the law and legal studies. While students can happily acquire their law degree with good results by regurgitating black letter law, LSJE is primarily about big ideas, and will invite you to debate issues, explore values and principles, and ask questions to which there may not be definitive answers. That is why in LSJE we look at law critically (asking ‘why is it so?'), and in context (asking ‘what else is going on?'). This requires you to engage in analysis and evaluation, and constant reflection. These are skills that you will be required to demonstrate throughout your legal studies and in working life. The Seminar will also provide opportunities to meet law and social justice practitioners who are influencing social change, confronting moral dilemmas, and examining the efficacy of dispensing justice. Each section will critically analyze a specific topic, to inquire about theoretical, pragmatic and ethical choices to explore competing views of law, social justice, and ethics.

No prerequisites.

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LAW, TECHNOLOGY, AND ETHICS IN THE AGE OF BUSINESS INNOVATION (INTP-394) 2 credits
This course examines how technology influences law, policy and practice. Students will explore various legal disciplines from the perspective of contemporary technology-oriented problems. Students will also examine the principal ethical dilemmas facing both attorneys and their clients or employers in relation to business innovation in the Digital Age.

Through case studies and guest speakers, students will address how to balance business objectives with legal and ethical solutions. They will be guided in a directed independent study of a topic of their choice, culminating in a publishable quality paper relating to one of the four major streams in the Law & Technology LL.M. program (Cybersecurity, Digital Commerce, Financial Technology and Privacy). This will be a seminar type class with a significant writing component.

Preferential enrollment given to LL.M. students. As space permits, 3L and 4L J.D. students who have also completed at least two of the required foundational classes for the LL.M. in Technology and Law can also enroll.

Prerequisites: Cyberspace Law in the Modern Era and Beyond (INTP-330) and Foundations of Privacy Law (INTP-321). Restrictions: JD students must be in their third or fourth year.

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LEGAL RESEARCH STRATEGY AND SOURCES (LRES-500) 1 credit
This short course is designed to build on students' existing research skills. It will discuss issues surrounding research and strategies for finding the applicable law. It will cover the availability, capabilities and limitations of several free resources. It will also cover advanced techniques for searching commercial databases as well as free databases.

No prerequisites.
Restrictions: Must be taken pass/fail. Students who completed Legal Research Skills: Free Sources (LRES-500 - Offered January 2013 & 2014) are not eligible to register for this course. 

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LEGAL WRITING II: WRITTEN AND ORAL ADVOCACY (WRIT-200) 3 credits
This course must be taken during the second year. In Legal Writing II, students learn how to research and write trial and appellate briefs and how to present oral arguments to trial and appellate courts. Students learn these skills by working on a real case, usually a criminal case. At the beginning of the semester, students are given a copy of the case file. Using the information contained in this file, they research and write a brief in support of or in opposition to a pre-trial motion and then argue the motion to their professor, who plays the part of the trial judge. After the motion has been decided, the students are given a copy of the trial record, which they learn to review. Once students have identified the issues on appeal, they then research and write an appellate brief. At the end of the semester, students deliver a twenty-minute oral argument to three practicing attorneys who play the role of appellate judges.

Prerequisite: Legal Writing I: Research, Analysis, and Writing (WRIT-100 and WRIT-105).
This required Course must be taken in fall or spring semester of the second year.

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LEGISLATION AND PUBLIC POLICY (GOVT-370) 3 credits
A course designed to expose students to the purpose, function, procedures, operations, and practical realities of the legislative branch of government. This course will provide a necessary theoretical background and a broader national perspective, but will also make use of examples, topics, and guest speakers drawn from the ongoing session of the Washington legislature.

No prerequisites.
This course is part of the Semester in Olympia curriculum.

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LITIGATING GOVERNMENTAL MISCONDUCT (CNLW-385) 2 credits
This class focuses on 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 and related doctrines. Section 1983 allows individuals to sue state actors, including police officers, police departments and municipalities, where the state actors allegedly violated a person's constitutional rights. Thus, Section 1983 is one of the primary vehicles for police misconduct litigation.

There is an elaborate body of law governing Section 1983 claims that covers matters relating to damages, governmental and individual liability, immunity, pleading and remedies. This course will review that law and in addition consider parallel doctrines for Bivens actions. (These are analogous actions brought against the federal government.) We will also consider awards of attorney's fees, which are provided for under 42 U.S.C. Section 1988. This is not a course on substantive constitutional law, but rather a course on the statutory structure by which alleged violations of constitutional rights are typically litigated.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law (CNLW-200).

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