Course Descriptions for Spring 2017 1L Electives

Elective Selection Form Due Wednesday, November 23rd.

  1. Review course descriptions for the various Spring 2017 1L electives (below).
  2. Print out the Spring 2017 1L Elective Selection Form and complete it.
  3. Submit the Form to Room 5110A by Wednesday, November 23rd.

Note: Property final exam will be held on May 11th; Torts final exam will be held on April 29th.

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 dates:  May 3 (Kempinen); May 1 (Klingele); May 2 (Findley).  
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I. (Two sections: both taught by 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. Take-home final exam. 

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS I. (One section: Prof. John Ohnesorge). This course counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. This is an introductory course that begins with law of principal-agent relationships, the most basic business form, then surveys state laws governing the formation and operation of closely-held business associations such as general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and closely-held corporations.  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 1st.

CIVIL PROCEDURE II. (One section: Prof. Cheryl Weston).  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 date: May 9th.

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.

LEGISLATION & REGULATION.  (One section: Prof. Anuj Desai).  This course meets the Legal Process graduation requirement and counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege.  The course provides an introduction to the federal laws and governmental institutions that shape significant aspects of social and economic policy. The course addresses legislation, statutory interpretation, regulation and administrative agencies. Legislation and regulation play the dominant role in shaping law and governance in the modern American legal system. While numerous other law school courses involve statutes and regulations or legislatures and administrative agencies, this course considers the overarching questions about these laws and institutions:  how statutes are enacted and agency regulations issued, what tools lawyers use to shape statutes and regulations, how judges interpret them, etc.  The main goal of the course is practical.  All lawyers, irrespective of the area of law -- from securities law to criminal law, from environmental law to tax, from labor and employment law to contract drafting, from military law to bankruptcy, etc. -- must understand statutes and regulation.  This course is aimed at providing students with a deeper understanding of these forms of law and the institutions that make this law, and to help them better appreciate the role that lawyers play in the American legal system as it operates in practice. To think like a lawyer, and hence to represent or advise clients, requires an ability to do so in the context of the regulatory state.  Final exam date:  May 4th.  

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