General/Topical Survey

Empirical Legal Studies

Seminar – 2 hours. An increasingly popular trend in legal scholarship is the use of data (quantitative, qualitative, and, most recently, geospatial) to inform legal theories and socio-political debates. Indeed, it is rare today to come across a law review article or Supreme Court opinion that does not reference or rely upon some analysis of data to make a legal argument. Therefore, being able to be a critical consumer of empirical legal analysis is a skill that every lawyer should have.

Biodiversity Law

Seminar - This course will cover the law of biodiversity, with a focus on the laws of the United States. We will review the science of biodiversity and biodiversity loss, and then examine laws addressing biodiversity at the federal, state, and local levels. We will cover biodiversity law, ecosystem management, and emerging challenges like climate change and renewable energy development. The course will be graded based on short response papers and participation in class discussions.

Food Systems Law and the Environment

Seminar - 2 units.  Trade tariffs, fecal water pollution, and migrant workers’ rights: these are all issues that have been in the news this year.  A common thread: these issues all affect, and are affected by, aspects of our food system and the laws surrounding this system.  This course explores the various legal structures surrounding the governance of our food system; we will cover environmental regulation (or lack thereof), food safety laws, trade laws, and labor laws.  Indeed, the structure of our food system is especially in flux during this administration, given the upcoming passage o

Animal Law Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours.  Elective course for Environmental Law Certificate Program.  This course will survey the law’s understanding and treatment of animals by looking at the development of federal and state policies toward wild, captive, farmed, and companion animals.

Legislative Process

Discussion - 2 hours. The course covers fundamental elements of the legislative process, including legislative procedure, the legislature as an institution, lobbying, statutory interpretation, legislative-executive relations, and the Legislature’s constitutional powers and limitations.

Final Assessment: Paper

State and Local Government Law

Discussion - 3 hours There are roughly 80,000 local government entities in the United States which provide essential services and spend billions of dollars. This course takes a broad approach to state and local government law, both practically and theoretically. Topics to be covered include: federalism, relations between states and localities, governmental liability, zoning, educational equity, and public finance. Readings will be drawn not only from case law and statues, but from history, theory and public policy.

Final Assessment: Exam

Supreme Court Simulation Seminar

Seminar - 3 hours. In this course, students will take on the role of Justices of, and advocates before, the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Law of Policing

Discussion - 2 hours. What are the expectations and roles of the police in a democratic society? We need order maintenance and crime control, but to assume these tasks the police sometimes intrude upon interests considered fundamental to free societies.  How should courts and lawmakers respond to these challenges?

Legal Spanish for U.S. Lawyers

Discussion - 2 hours. The course will provide a brief review of basic Spanish and then move into more complicated grammatical structures, all within a legal context, which includes various areas of California law.  The focus of the course is to acquire specialized vocabulary and develop the capacity of students to provide direct legal representation to Spanish-speaking clients. Students will practice both oral and written communication and will learn how to conduct various types of interviews and meetings with clients.

Problem Solving and Analysis

Discussion - 2 hours. 3L’s only. A skills course focused on the development of analytical and organizational methods essential to successful completion of the Performance Test [PT] and MBE (multiple choice) components of the California Bar Exam. It will include PT writing assignments such as legal correspondence, different styles of office memoranda, trial briefs, and pleadings and motions. Students will receive individualized feedback on each of their written assignments.