Course Descriptions for Spring 2016 1L Electives

Elective Selection Form Due Friday, November 20th

  1. Review course descriptions for the various Spring 2016 1L electives (below).
  2. Print out the Spring 2016 1L Elective Selection Form and complete it.
  3. Submit the Form to Room 5110A by Friday, November 20th.

Note: Property final exam will be held on April 30th; Torts final exam will be held on May 12th.

(One section: Prof. Miriam Seifter).  This course satisfies the Legal Process graduation requirement and also counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. Law created by federal agencies affects vast areas of modern life, ranging from environmental protection to financial markets to national security. This course is an introduction to the federal administrative state. We will study both the powers that agencies possess and the constitutional, statutory, and other limitations on those powers. The course will explore the relationship of agencies to Congress, the courts, the President, and the public; the procedures through which agencies operate; and the availability and scope of judicial review of agency action. Along the way, the course will consider the rationales for delegating power to agencies, the implications of the design of regulatory institutions, and the values that do or should guide agency conduct.  Final Exam date: May 10th (Take-home exam).

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. (Three sections: Prof. Ben Kempinen; Prof. Cecelia Klingele; Prof. Keith Findley).  This course satisfies the Criminal Procedure requirement for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, as well as the 60-credit rule.  The course is an introductory survey of the criminal justice process with emphasis on appropriate controls on the discretion of system actors (a) trial judge - sentencing, (b) police - arrest or cite, (c) prosecution - the charging decision, and (d) allocation of decision-making authority between defendant and defense counsel. Students examine how human discretion rather than statutes or rules dominate the various systems which comprise the criminal justice process. The course is strongly recommended for participation in the Law School's criminal law-related clinics. Final Exam date all sections: May 6th.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I. (Two sections: Prof. Ann Althouse; Prof. Asifa Quraishi-Landes).  This course satisfies the Constitutional Law I requirement for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, as well as the 60-credit rule.  The course covers the basic structure of government in the United States, with emphasis on the federal government. Includes the role of the federal courts and the doctrine of judicial review; the rise of federal power, as reflected particularly in shifting definitions of "interstate commerce," the doctrine of separation of powers, with emphasis on current issues of legislative and executive branch authority; and judicial and other limitations on the exercise of authority by the states. Final Exam dates: May 3rd (Althouse); May10th (Quraishi-Landes).

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS I. (One section: Prof. Lisa Alexander). This course counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. This is an introductory course that covers basic issues relating to the law of principals and agents, and surveys state laws governing the formation and operation of closely- held business associations, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and closely-held corporations.  Non-profit organizations and social enterprises may also be considered.  The course deals with choice of business entity, forming and financing business enterprises, and management rights within such enterprises.  This course is strongly recommended for all students, not just those who plan to practice business law. Final Exam date: May 8th.

INTERNATIONAL LAW. (One section: Prof. Alexandra Huneeus). This course satisfies the Legal Process graduation requirement and also counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. The course provides an introduction to public international law. We begin with an introduction to the international legal system, which differs from our national legal system in intriguing ways. As we learn the primary rules and institutions that govern this unique legal system, we ask the fundamental questions: Where does international law come from? Whom does it govern? How is it enforced? How is it different from domestic law? Once we master the basics, we turn, in Unit II, to the question of how this international system interacts with our more familiar national legal system. While our main focus will be on foreign affairs law of the United States, we will also look at other countries’ foreign affairs law. In Unit III, we turn to specific substantive areas of international law, focusing on current topics, such as the international response to the crisis in Syria (humanitarian law and international criminal law). While students will have the opportunity in their second year to take some advanced courses, even if they have not taken this first introductory course, this course will be the basic entry point for the full range of transnational and international law courses offered in the second and third years. The course is also the first step in the International Law Concentration. Final Exam date: May 4th.

CIVIL PROCEDURE II. (Two sections: Prof. Cheryl Weston; Prof. Linda Greene). This course satisfies the Jurisdiction of Courts requirement for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, as well as the 60-credit rule. This course covers topics associated with the placement of a lawsuit:  subject matter and personal jurisdiction; venue and motions to transfer; the Erie Doctrine (the application or non-application of state law in Federal diversity actions); the rules of joinder; and the preclusive effect of judgments.  The course covers the interpretation of several key federal statutes and a number of important U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning matters of judicial federalism and due process.  Civil Procedure II addresses the wealth of opportunities for litigators to exercise choice in planning and responding to litigation, focusing on using the tools of procedure to make good tactical choices on behalf of clients.  It is a fundamental course for all law students who intend to litigate or to participate in transactions that might lead to litigation.  Class assignments may include, along with case analysis, problems intended to gauge whether students are able to apply the law being studied in the context of specific facts.  Final Exam dates: May 9th (Greene); May 5th (Weston).

CONTRACTS II (One section: Prof. Steph Tai). This course counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. Contracts II deals with cutting-edge legal problems in commercial contracts. In particular, we will focus on ways in which contracts are used to create private systems of governance. As such, we will examine the legal structures created by franchise agreements, terms of service, and end-user license agreements. We will focus not only on appellate opinions, but also on the institutional structures created through these contracts. No Final Exam: Paper.

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