Academics

MANAGING PRIVACY RISKS: LEGAL AND BUSINESS PERSPECTIVES (BUSN-377) 2 credits
The goal of this course is to enable students to intelligently counsel clients in managing privacy-related risks in business. The course is designed to both inform and sensitize students to common pitfalls, legal and reputational risks, and other concerns such that students will be better able to assist clients in recognizing and avoiding problems. In pursuit of these goals, students will learn when to ask questions, and how to interact with technologists and business management professionals - i.e., non-lawyers who are essential to these business conversations. This is a discussion-oriented course that will require students to contribute to the class sessions. Classes will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Each class will be centered on privacy focused case studies and situations where business, technology and legal goals meet and in some cases conflict. There is no textbook. Online resources are readily available.

No prerequisites

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MEDIATION CLINIC (ALDR-410) 3 credits
The Mediation Clinic offers students the opportunity to delve deeply into the theory and practice of mediation by serving as co-mediator in employment discrimination cases. The class will be comprised of a classroom component and a casework component. In the classroom component, students will explore and develop the skills necessary to serve as mediators and will participate in a series of mock mediation sessions. In the casework component, students will observe, prepare for and co-mediate (with faculty support) actual employment discrimination cases. Students will also be required to engage in on-going debriefing sessions, to keep a journal of their observations and experiences, and to submit their journal to the instructor. The EEOC schedules its mediations for an 8-hour period. Any particular mediation may take less or more than this.

Prerequisites: One or more of the following: Mediation, Mediation Advocacy, and Collaborative Law (ALDR-302); A 40-hour mediation training provided by an organization approved by the Professor; Education, training, and work experience equivalent to either (1) or (2) as determined by the Professor. Restrictions: Students must meet the clinic's conflict of interest rules. Meeting notes: Students will be required to observe a mediation and to participate in a second mediation. Each of these mediations will be scheduled for a full day.This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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MEDIATION SKILLS (ALDR-302) 3 credits
This course covers the practical skills and theoretical knowledge base that are fundamental to representing clients in mediation and to serving as mediators. Such topics include, for example, the components of the mediation process, intake, reframing and other active listening skills, negotiation dynamics, dealing with strong emotions, issues of culture and power, caucus, ethics, techniques for overcoming obstacles and achieving settlement, achieving durability of agreements and closure, and effective advocacy in mediation. Once students become strongly grounded in these fundamentals and skills, at the end of the semester we study how advocates might use many of these mediation and problem-solving skills in a creative new manner of representing clients in settlement negotiations called Collaborative Law. Once a week, the sections of the course meet together to discuss assignments and to observe and to critique skills demonstrations. Later in the week, each section meets in a Lab setting, which provides in-depth practice of mediation skills in a small, supportive environment. Students are graded on a final exam and class participation, which includes such things as class contributions and participation in simulated role plays and self-reflection. There are no prerequisites for the course, but Client Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiations is a very helpful introduction to some of the skills taught. This course meets the law school's requirement of a professional skills development course. It is also a prerequisite for the Mediation Clinic.

No prerequisites. Note: Formerly titled: Mediation, Mediation Advocacy and Collaborative Law
This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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MEDICAL LIABILITY (HLTH-420) 3 credits
The course will examine history, policy, and practice related to liability for medical error. In addition to the doctrines of informed consent and duty-to-treat, students will address many of the practical challenges involved in determining liability of individual providers and healthcare institutions. The course will also look at recent proposals, including some that have been enacted, for health-care-related tort reform.

No prerequisites.

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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS (BUSN-305) 2 or 3 credits
This course will begin with a brief overview of the financial techniques used by lawyers, investment bankers, and corporations to evaluate proposed acquisitions of capital assets. We will then consider the possible motivations for such acquisitions. No math is involved and no economics beyond the introductory college level course. The remainder of the course is a consideration of the legal (but non-tax) issues concerning corporate acquisition transactions in both friendly and hostile settings. Some of the doctrinal issues under state corporate law such as the equivalency problem (de facto mergers) and sale of control by a controlling shareholder will be familiar from the Business Entities course. Our consideration of those issues here will be more intense and better informed than in the basic course. Finally, we will examine the federal regulations governing tender offers and proxy contests. Throughout the course a recurrent emphasis is on the lawyer as planner and counselor rather than the lawyer as adversarial advocate.

Prerequisite: Business Entities (BUSN-300). Restriction: Students may not receive credit for both Mergers and Acquisitions: Law and Lawyering (BUSN-307) and Mergers and Acquisitions (BUSN-305). Title Change: former title was Corporate Acquisitions. 

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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS (BUSN-305) 3 credits
This course covers mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. A primary course objective is for each student to gain a well-rounded understanding of the legal framework and rules governing these transactions. Our focus, however, is broader. Throughout, we will examine the role that mergers and acquisitions play in the contemporary corporate world and the broader world. We will consider the use of these devices as a strategic tool to provide growth, enhance competitive position, transform a company or industry, and create shareholder value. We will also consider the impact of these transactions on constituencies other than shareholders, and on society in general. At the end of the course, each student should have not only a mastery of the legal rules governing mergers and acquisitions, but also an enhanced understanding of the nature of the modern corporation.

Prerequisites: Business Entities (BUSN-300) or The Modern Corporation (BUSN-150). Restriction: Students may not receive credit for both Mergers and Acquisitions: Law and Lawyering (BUSN-307) and Mergers and Acquisitions (BUSN-305).

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MODERATE MEANS PRACTICUM (LPRC-425) 3 credits
Students in this course will learn and apply interviewing, issue spotting, focused legal writing, and practice management skills while working with individuals seeking assistance with family law, consumer, or housing matters. The Moderate Means Program is a partnership between the three Washington law schools and the Washington State Bar Association to help serve the large group of individuals who are financially ineligible for government-funded free legal services but unable to afford to pay market rates for legal assistance. The first seven weeks of the Practicum will be devoted to training in substantive law, practical skills, legal ethics, and program procedural matters. In the second half of the semester, students will interview clients and prepare materials for referrals to attorneys available to take on the actual representation. Eight hours of office-hours a week will be required.

This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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MODERN PAYMENT SYSTEMS FROM BARTER TO BITCOIN (COMM-300/COMM-610) 2 credits
An examination of the legal nature of the payment and competing "paradigms" of payment systems suggested by both historical antecedents and new developments at the intersection of finance and technology, including a study of the Uniform Commercial Code, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and the Uniform Law Commission's ongoing effort to draft a Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Act.

No prerequisites.

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MULTI-FORUM INDIAN LAW ADVOCACY: THE ELWHA RIVER CASE STUDY (INDL-362/INDL-615) 2 credits
This course will consider lawyers' roles in the restoration of the Elwha River, including the historic removal of the two dams that began, physically, in September 2011. We will look at the legislative process and history behind the Elwha River Restoration Act, which made restoration possible; engage implementation issues ranging from silt to salmon to sacred sites; and study the relevant substantive areas of administrative law, environmental law, and federal Indian law. We will seek to understand the perspectives and roles of the various "stakeholders," including the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe; the U.S. National Park Service; the state of Washington and city of Port Angeles; and various private entities. This course may include a field trip. Although there are no pre- or co-requisites for the course, Federal Indian Law and Environmental Law Fundamentals or Natural Resources Law are recommended.

Recommended but not required: Federal Indian Law (INDL-300) and either Environmental Law Fundamentals (ENVL-300) or Natural Resources Law (ENVL-165).

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MUNICIPAL LAW (GOVT-305) 2 credits
This course provides an in-depth analysis of the law of municipal corporations (cities, counties, special purpose districts) from the perspective of the corporation counsel, such as the city, district, or prosecuting attorney. Particular emphasis will be placed on the powers, authorities, and immunities of the municipal corporation or political subdivision, the legislative body, and various municipal officers. The course will also examine municipal functions and the provision of services such as zoning and development permit processing, public works contracting, code enforcement, licensing, public utility franchising, taxing, police and fire protection. Students should expect to develop an understanding of the interplay between municipal services and applicable laws, such as competitive bidding, open public meetings acts (sunshine laws), appearance of fairness, public disclosure acts, initiative and referendum, growth management, and the public duty doctrine. There will be special emphasis on the role of the corporation counsel in public meetings and hearings before the legislative body, planning commissions, hearing examiners, and other administrative bodies.

No prerequisites.

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NEGOTIATIONS (ALDR- 303) 3 credits
Negotiation skills are foundational to virtually every lawyer's practice, regardless of specialty; whether or not you are prepared, you will negotiate. This course will address theory and practice, providing the students with foundational skills and experience, as well as the conceptual framework to continue to build their skills through the negotiation experience they accumulate over the course of their careers. Theory and skills will be based on the classic and excellent texts Getting to Yes by R. Fisher and W. Ury of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and Bargaining for Advantage by G. R. Shell of the Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop. Students will develop practical negotiation skills through simulated negotiation exercises covering a wide variety of complexity and practice areas, ranging from cooperative partnership-formation scenarios to competitive litigation or purchase/sale situations. The course design will include one two-hour session discussing the readings and preparing for the week's simulation, and a second two-hour session devoted to the week's simulated negotiation exercise, obtaining in-depth training from an experienced negotiator. Students will have the opportunity to self-critique, with the aid of some videotaped exercises, in this smaller, supportive environment. Grades will be based on class participation, professionalism, and effort and skill in simulations. There will also be brief written exercises related to the simulations, and brief quizzes on the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct. No exams.

No prerequisites. Students who have taken ALDR-301 in Fall 2015 may take the course for two credits; the negotiation exercises will be different and will progress to a more advanced level, but they will be excused from the readings done in the prior class and the related class time.

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NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CLINIC (TAXL-400) 2 credits
Students in this Clinic will have the opportunity to put their interest in and knowledge of business and tax law into practice. Working in teams of two, students will work with individuals and community groups interested in creating a non-profit organization. Students will counsel their clients on the most appropriate entity for their purposes and prepare and file the documents necessary to create the organization, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws and state and federal tax documents. Students will also advise their clients about the various state laws and regulations with which the clients will need to comply. Students will receive the additional knowledge and skills necessary to do this legal representation in a classroom component. Beginning the third week of the semester, students must also maintain office hours in the Clinic offices twice a week for two hours each session. Office hours will be established based on the schedules of each student team. 

Prerequisite: Individual Income Taxation (TAXL-300). Pre or co-requisite: Taxation of Charitable Organizations (TAXL-325); or Nonprofit Organizations, Trust Law, and Philanthropy (ESTA-320); or a two-part, four-hour workshop (will be offered for enrolled students early in the semester). Restriction: Must meet conflicts of interest rules.
This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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ONLINE ADVANCED LEGAL RESEARCH (LRES-360) 2 credits
Online Advanced Legal Research is an online version of Advanced Legal Research (Legal Research Methods). Building on the research fundamentals acquired in Legal Writing I, this course will enhance the student's research skills through instruction on resource selection, research strategies and search techniques. Emphasis will be placed on gaining familiarity and competence with the materials most commonly used by attorneys in day to day practice. We will work with print sources, on-line databases, and free sources of law on the Internet. Cost-effective and efficient research will be stressed.
Because this course is offered completely online with no regularly scheduled class meeting times, students taking this course must be comfortable learning and using new technology platforms. It is recommended, but not required, that students be able to access a physical law library to use certain print materials. Students should expect to spend an average 6 to 10 hours per week working on the course. In addition to readings, students must turn in research assignments each week. During weeks 4 and 8 (of the 8 week course), students will work on exams. These are sets of complex research questions requiring students to conduct research and demonstrate mastery of the skills taught in the previous weeks. 

Prerequisite: Legal Writing II (WRIT-200). Restrictions: Course must be taken pass/fail. Students may not receive credit for more than one of the following courses: Advanced Electronic Legal Research (LRES-350); Advanced Legal Research (LRES-300); and Online Advanced Legal Research (LRES-360).

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OPEN GOVERNMENT LAW (GOVT-330) 3 credits
This course will examine state and federal laws designed to facilitate public access to government decision-making and information. Beginning in the middle of the 20th century and flourishing in the post-Watergate era, the "Sunshine Laws" - named after Louis Brandeis's comment that "sunlight is the best of disinfectants" - have become critical tools for citizens, reporters, and litigants, and are a growing duty of (and burden on) government agencies. They carry implications for personal privacy, national security, and public corruption. Students will learn the theory behind these statutes and the nuts and bolts of their application. This is a particularly vibrant area of practice in Washington, and the course will pay considerable attention to the state's laws.

No prerequisites.

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PATENT LAW (INTP-305) 4 credits
This is an introductory course in patent law. It is designed to provide would-be patent lawyers and non-patent lawyers alike with an understanding of the fundamentals of the United States patent law and the work of the United States Patent Office. Topics will include patentable subject matter, the requirements for patentability (utility, novelty, nonobviousness, and enablement), conduct requirements in the U.S. Patent Office, reissue and reexamination of patents in the Patent Office, patent infringement analyses, and remedies for patent infringement, patent licensing and misuse considerations. The cases and materials have been selected so as to focus, where possible, on technologically simple inventions. No technical background is necessary.

No prerequisites. 

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PATENT LITIGATION LAB (INTP-306) 1 credit
This course will examine the typical events in the life of a patent infringement lawsuit from the initial awareness of an infringing product through trial. Students will learn how to analyze patents and patent prosecution histories to evaluate whether a product infringes a patent. They will learn how to prepare or will draft for themselves a cease and desist letter, noninfringement or invalidity opinion letter, complaints, answers, motions to transfer, protective orders, motions for preliminary injunctions, expert reports for technical, legal, and damages experts, and jury instructions. The course will also discuss trial exhibits and witnesses in a patent infringement trial.

Recommended but not required: Patent Law (INTP-305). Restriction: This course must be taken pass/fail.
This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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PATENT PROSECUTION LAB (INTP-308) 1 credit
In this course, students will examine the events commonly associated in preparing and prosecuting a patent application. During the course, students will conduct a patentability search, prepare a patentability opinion letter, and draft a patent application. They will also analyze and prepare responses to patent office actions rejecting the application. Students will either learn how to prepare or will draft for themselves additional documents that are typically encountered in a patent application process, such as declarations, assignments, information disclosure statements, preliminary amendments, and terminal disclaimers.

Recommended but not required: Patent Law (INTP-305). Restriction: This course must be taken pass/fail.
This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION (ADVC-345) 3 credits
This class introduces students to personal injury claims/ litigation from the plaintiff and defense lawyers' perspectives. The goal is to provide both key substantive law and practical exercises and tips for handling personal injury litigation. Instructors will use video clips and actual case pleadings in course materials and provide hands on experience for students to develop practical critical thinking. Fact patterns will be introduced and used throughout the course and will include premises liability and vehicle accident cases and use Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence.

Students will learn how to handle personal injury case from beginning to settlement resolution. Since most cases settle, there will be less emphasis on trial and more emphasis on mediation and settlement negotiations, recognizing that the law school has a separate trial practice course.

Prerequisite: Evidence (EVID-200).
This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.

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PLEA AND SENTENCING (CRIM-318) 2 credits
This course will examine the plea and sentencing process.

Any understanding of how the American criminal justice system actually works must begin with the fact that about 90% of all cases across the country are resolved by the defendant pleading guilty. The plea bargaining process that leads to those guilty pleas is under more scrutiny than ever given recent United State Supreme Court decisions. The roles of the prosecuting attorney and of the defense counsel will be discussed in this context.

In the late 20th century, American sentencing policy was characterized by a shift toward determinate sentencing and mandatory minimum penalties. In recent years, concerns about racial disparity and over-incarceration have led to a re-examination of - and some moves away from - these policies. Currently, many jurisdictions are also experimenting with treatment courts designed to address the special challenges posed by defendants with chemical dependency and other features of mental illness. We will look at how these collaborative courts are transforming a system designed on an adversarial model.

No prerequisites.

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POVERTY LAW (POVL-300) 3 credits
This course aims to create a critical dialogue about the role of law in addressing issues affecting the most impoverished members of our community with a special emphasis on housing, homelessness and racial disparities in access to opportunity and criminal justice. The interdisciplinary course materials that we will be using throughout the semester have been selected to help students engage in critical analysis about the roles government, politics, non-profit policies and the legal community play in perpetuating poverty, and also in constructively addressing it.

The course will explore:

  • specific questions and histories concerning housing, homelessness, policing and imprisonment, public benefits, disaster relief, immigration, and other legal issues facing low-income populations;
  • how societal, governmental, and justice system responses to inequality have resulted in the "silo-ing" of both problems as well as responses to them, resulting in "blindness" to intersecting forms of bias and oppression that compounds unfairness and suffering;
  • how we might conceptualize different ways the law and justice system can ally itself with community-based social movements and governance frameworks aimed at redistributing wealth and life chances instead of perpetuating the unfairness and oppressive conditions perpetuated by the status quo.

No prerequisites.

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PRODUCTS LIABILITY (TORT-300) 3 credits
Products liability law combines the two great common subjects: tort, with its focus on personal injury and vulnerability, and contract, with its basic assumptions about marketplace bargaining and risk allocation. Product liability law has blossomed in only three decades, making it a rich and provocative source for exploring competing legal institutions, law and politics, and law and culture. This course analyzes consumer remedies and theories of recovery in the products area, focusing on the legal effects of buying and using, as well as producing, advertising, and selling consumer products. With its emphasis on problems and on practice concerns, this course is ideal for those who contemplate a civil litigation practice.

No prerequisites.

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PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (PROF-200) 3 credits
Legal ethics, including lawyer-client relations, lawyer-public relations, and lawyer's responsibility to the legal profession and the courts. Detailed coverage of the ABA Code of Professional Responsibility, cases and materials on professional responsibility, and important Washington law.

No prerequisites.
This is a required course.
This is a bar tested course.

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PROPERTY II (PROP-325) 2 credits
The course will provide a critical introduction to property topics not covered in the first-year property course. Real property topics will include a comprehensive look at the Supreme Court jurisprudence of the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the development of zoning and land use regulation, nonpossessory rights and the law of fixtures. Personal property topics will be chosen at the start of the semester, depending on class interest, from a list including the law of finders, salvage and sunken treasure, accession, confusion, gifts, bailments, liens, pledges, emblements and joint bank accounts. For each topic, the course will cover the principal rules, their development as well as the fundamental principles and policies that support them. Readings will include leading and significant cases as well as influential essays, articles and book chapters.

No prerequisites.
This course covers bar tested topics.

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PROSECUTION CLERKSHIP (CRIM-450) 6 credits
The Prosecution Clerkship has four principal components. First, students will learn the basic operations, policies, and ethical responsibilities of the KCPAO. Second, they will be placed in one of the office's specific practice groups (e.g., domestic violence, sexual assault, or economic crimes), where they will assist deputy prosecutors with case preparation, including writing briefs, interviewing witnesses, and evaluating possible charges, with the ultimate goal of playing a meaningful role in one or more trials during the semester. Third, students will regularly participate in arraignments, bail hearings, change of plea hearings, probation review hearings, or other court calendars to practice courtroom skills and to appreciate the typical progression of a case through the criminal justice system. Fourth, in the seminar component, students will reflect on their individual experiences, share their questions and concerns, and learn about the broader issues facing the criminal justice system, including prosecutorial discretion, discovery obligations, mass incarceration, racial disparities, and ethics.

Prerequisite: Evidence (EVID-200). Pre or co-requisite: Professional Responsibility (PROF-200). Restrictions: Must be Rule 9 eligible. Students must meet the KCPO's conflict of interest rules. Must successfully complete a background check (includes fingerprinting).
This course fulfills the professional skills requirement.
This course counts towards the clinical/externship credit cap.

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PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW (INTL-300) 3 credits
Public international law principally concerns law made by and usually for States. The field deals with many aspects of the functioning of the international community, including activities that occur within or across State boundaries. The course aims to give students a global understanding of public international law, covering the basic concepts, principles, norms and rules that govern relations between States and their interactions with other international actors/objects. As the emphasis is on providing students with critical and practical skills in legal reasoning, research and writing on international issues, the course offers a rigorous foundation for advanced courses in the field of international law. Lectures are presented with particular attention to the impact, influence and development of public international law challenges, through the lens of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). The core areas addressed are 1) the nature and sources of international law; 2) territory and sovereignty; 3) international law in domestic courts; 4) international Indigenous law; 5) sanctions and the use of force; 6) international human rights law; 7) international humanitarian law; 8) international refugee law; 9) international criminal law; 10) international law of the sea; 11) international environmental law; 12) international trades laws; and 13) international dispute resolution. So, whether a student chooses to go into private practice of law, work as a domestic public lawyer or pursue advocacy in international law, this course will be a valuable asset.

No prerequisites.

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