Public Interest

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.

Drafting a Solar Farm Bill Practicum

Skills - 2 hours. Drafting a Solar Farm Bill is a practicum in which the class acts as an advisory law firm for its client, a solar farm bill solution and its facilitator, the educational non-profit Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute (CSAI). The class objective is to provide the client with a white paper that can advise CSAI in its development of a massive solar farm bill, financed by green bonds.

Race and the Law

Discussion – 2 hours. This course will examine major cases, statutes, and events in the law, both on the books and in action, dealing with nonwhites. The course will include discussion of the situation of African Americans, Asians, Indigenous People, and Latinx People, from the Colonial era to the present. In addition to examining legal doctrine and policy, it will explore how the contemporary United States has been shaped by racial discrimination.

Advanced Topics in Administrative Law

Seminar – 2 hours. Much of our modern federal government relies on administrative agencies exercising authority delegated to them by Congress. Federal courts have traditionally deferred to agencies’ implementation of the statutes they administer, although these courts also set aside (or “vacate”) agency actions they find to be unlawful. In recent years, however, several justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have openly called for revisiting several administrative law doctrines that underlie this system.

Humanizing Deportation

Practicum - 2 hours. This practicum will focus on student's investigation, research, interviewing and client counseling skills. The course is an outgrowth of the UC Davis Humanizing Deportation Project, an interdisciplinary storytelling project that has catalogued over 200 stories of deported individuals throughout Mexico. Students will review the stories in the archive, research possible forms of immigration relief for deported individuals, and identify possible candidates for legal screening.

Comparative Criminal Justice

Seminar - 3 hours. This seminar explores the ways political units in different countries attempt to maintain social order and advance criminal justice. Students examine the people, policies, and institutions responsible for adjudicating alleged criminal law violations around the globe. They also learn about how rules of professional responsibility and legal ethics guide the behavior of the institutional actors who participate in these criminal processes.

Advanced Aoki Criminal Justice Practicum

Students who completed one semester of the Criminal Justice Practicum will work on claims of innocence, wrongful conviction, and other miscarriages of justice. Students will draft papers for prosecutors' offices, will make formal internal presentations, and possibly appear in court.

Graduation Requirements: May satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement OR count towards the Professional Skills Requirement, student must choose one.
Final Assessment: Other (Briefs, motions, memoranda)
Grading Mode:  Letter Grading

Administrative Law

Lecture - 3 hours. Course examines how the U.S. Constitution and the federal Administrative Procedure Act constrain and regulate decision making by government agencies and officials. Topics include administrative due process, separation of powers, delegation of authority to agencies, procedural requirements for agency adjudication and rulemaking, and the extent and limits of judicial review. This course is highly recommended for anyone intending to practice in any public law area or at the intersection of public/private law.

Civil Rights Law

Discussion – 2 hours. This course focuses on litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the federal civil rights statute which provides the primary vehicle for claims by individuals that their federal rights have been violated by state or local officials.  We will address the substantive legal doctrines that govern § 1983 cases, the doctrines that govern the constitutional claims most frequently arising in the § 1983 context, affirmative defenses, and related civil procedure and practice considerations.  There will  be a single, final exam; class participation counts heavily in grading.