Course Descriptions

[A-B, C-D, E-F, G-H, I-J, K-L, M-N, O-P, Q-R, S-T, U-V, W-X, Y-Z]
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King Scholars Jurisprudence (2)
626C
(Formerly DCL 359)
Prerequisite: King Scholar A course in jurisprudence available to King Scholars as part of the King Scholarship Program.

Students entering with a King Scholarship must enroll for the King Scholars Jurisprudence class during their third semester at the Law College. Matriculating students receiving a King Scholarship must enroll for the King Scholars Jurisprudence class in their next regular semester.


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King Scholars Seminar (2)
626D
(Formerly DCL 404)
Students who have a King Scholarship must enroll for the King Scholars Senior Paper course in their last regular semester at the Law College.

Prerequisite(s): King Scholars Jurisprudence

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Labor and Employment Law (4)
511E
This is an introductory labor and employment law course, which will initially explore the application of the National Labor Relations Act as amended. Subjects include the jurisdiction, organization and procedures of the National Labor Relations Board; the protection of the right of self-organization; company domination of or assistance to the union; discrimination against employees; remedies for unfair labor practices; unit determinations including micro-units; strikes, boycotts and picketing; judicial review of labor arbitration awards; successorship and the impact of bankruptcy on the duty to bargain; the duty of fair representation; union security agreements/fair share contracts; and, the union’s power to compel concerted activities. The course also will cover foundations of employment law, including an examination of the employment relationship and terms and conditions of employment. A substantial portion of the course will cover federal legislation and related case law, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Prerequisite(s): Students may not take this course if they have taken Labor Law or Employment Law.

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Land Use Planning (3)
566B
(Formerly DCL 401)
THIS COURSE MAY BE OFFERED AS EITHER 2 OR 3 CREDITS.
Explores the principal methods of local government control of land use, with special emphasis on the theory and practice of zoning and eminent domain. Analyzes judicial response, through the use of nuisance and "takings" doctrines, to local land use planning efforts.
Prerequisite(s): Property

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Law and Economics (3)
515
Law & Economics or as sometimes named The Economic Analysis of Law or the New Law and Economics consists of the application of economic theory – primarily microeconomics and the basic concepts of welfare economics – to examine the formation, structure, processes, and economic impact of law and legal institutions. The purpose of this course is: (A) to provide a brief review of i) microeconomic theory and ii) the history of law, sufficient to (B) undertake a survey of the dominant schools of thought that comprise the field of Law & Economics. The various schools of thought that compete in this marketplace of ideas, include i) the Chicago approach to law and economics, ii) public choice theory, iii) social norms and law and economics, and iv) the new institutional economics. The goal is to have students understand the jurisprudential niche occupied by the several schools of thought that comprise the field of Law & Economics in present-day legal scholarship ... to come to appreciate the history of the people, the places, the ideas, and the resources that established prestigious Law & Economics Programs and Centers at the nation’s elite law schools ... always with a focus on their impact on the nation’s political economy. Each of these schools of thought places a significant emphasis on the interrelations between law and economy. The schools of thought presented are both competing and complementary perspectives on, or approaches to, the study of the development and the reformulation of law. Each is devoted to its own examination of the interrelations of legal and economic processes and thus, the nation’s political economy. As such, the materials covered in the course are of fundamental importance not only for those working in the fields of economics and law, but also to those in the contiguous disciplines of political science, philosophy,
psychology, and sociology.
Prerequisite(s): After taking this course, students may not take Analytical Methods for Lawyers - Microeconomics (509A), nor may they be taken concurrently.

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Law and Gender (2)
541N
This course will focus on Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Law. The seminar will explore privacy, the regulation of sexual activity, marriage, religious exemptions, employment discrimination, education, and legal theory. Students will be encouraged to examine law and sexuality in the context of constitutional and statutory protections and limitations that could inform multiple areas of study or work on behalf of LGBTQ clients in the future. This semester long course meets once per week and will require regular class participation, an oral argument, and a final paper or appellate brief.

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Law and Interpretation (2)
579R
This course will explore the ways in which judges and other legal actors interpret the law. Anyone who has studied law for even a short period of time quickly becomes aware that there are a variety of legal and jurisprudential tools that judges can use in interpreting the law. In this course we will explore the various tools judges use in interpreting cases, as well as a number of the theoretical schools that influence or help us understand judicial decision-making. We will do this by analyzing cases and by studying the various tools/theories relevant to legal interpretation. The course will cover legal interpretation in the contexts of constitutional, statutory, and common law. The hope is to look underneath the cases and try to understand how great legal minds (judges, lawyers, and scholars) can look at the same or similar facts and law, yet reach significantly varied interpretative results.

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Law and Religion (3)
579K
(Formerly DCL 530)
This course will focus on church/state law -- the legal doctrines that have arisen in cases under the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The course will explore the role of law in various religious traditions and the role of religion in law and public discourse. Topics addressed include school prayer, government aid to religious institutions (including school vouchers and charitable choice), government endorsement of religious symbols, the role of public forum doctrine in religion cases, freedom of religious expression, and the freedom to practice one's religion.

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Law Externship (3)
625A
An externship is a voluntary, for-credit opportunity with government agencies, judiciary, and non-profit or public interest agencies. Students are able to complete two 3-credit externships during their law school careers, if desired, after earning 24 law school credits. Externships require a minimum of 12-15 hours per week, for the duration of the semester, a bi-weekly report of legal work performed, a mid-semester seminar, and a final paper. The Career Services Office holds informational meetings each semester about the Externship Program. Additional information regarding externships is found at http://www.law.msu.edu/career/externships.html
Students who have earned six (6) credits in the Canadian Summer Externship Program in Ottawa (course 634) are not eligible to enroll in another externship.


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Law Externship Seminar (0)
625D
Classroom component for students enrolled in an externship.

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Law Practice Management (2)
592
This course focuses on the business fundamentals needed to build a strong law practice of sustaining value, regardless of firm size. It introduces students to the common forms of private practice (partnership, professional corporations and sole practitioners), governance, economic considerations, compensation systems, personnel management, necessary capital investment, systems development and compliance issues. It also examines individual practice management challenges, such as personal marketing, client management, pricing and project management, personal business planning and managing professional relationships.

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Law Review (4)
628
Participation is by invitation or writing competition upon satisfactory completion by full-time students of two full semesters and by part-time students of three full semesters. Four semester hours of ungraded credit earned upon successful completion of a casenote, a comment and all required production work.

Prerequisite(s): Credits completed and GPA

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Legal Analysis and Writing (3)
600J
This course will prepare students for success on the bar exam by focusing on three subjects tested on the MBE. Students will improve their ability to respond to multiple-choice MBE questions and narrative MEE questions, receiving formative feedback on essay writing. At the end of each of the three sections of the class, an exam will test students' mastery of the material through multiple-choice and essay questions. A cumulative final will not be given.

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Legal Issues with Energy Development and Wildlife (2)
565C
This course will explore emerging issues in energy law and policy that relate to fish and wildlife. The class is responsible for publishing The Wildlife Law Call, a newsletter on current case law and articles pertinent to energy development and wildlife issues. Students are graded on their individual contribution to this publication.

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Legislation (3)
579P
(Formerly DCL 329)
This course starts with the premise that understanding the legislative process is important for sophisticated legal analysis in an age of legislation. The course therefore studies different theories of the legislative process, as well as the accompanying doctrines and theories of statutory interpretation. It also examines structures of representative democracy and deliberative decision making, including the principle of "one person, one vote," reapportionment of legislative districts, term limits, the line-item veto, and regulations of campaign finance. Finally, the course considers the use of direct democracy as an alternative to republican government and examines the role of administrative agencies in the implementation and interpretation of statutes. By the end of the semester, students will have a greater understanding of the various public law institutions in the United States, their relationships to one another, and how this knowledge can be used to construct persuasive arguments regarding the application of positive law to particular legal problems.

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Licensing Intellectual Property (2)
533F
(Formerly DCL 516)
The class focuses on managing an intellectual property portfolio to maximize a client's return on investment in intellectual property assets. Unlike other intellectual property courses that focus on obtaining intellectual property rights, the scope of those rights, and the remedies for infringing, this course emphasizes the identification, valuation, and management of intellectual property assets both as a source of revenue and as part of a larger offensive or defensive litigation strategy. Topics covered also include intellectual property assets, management, and licensing in the context of tax and antitrust law. Students will be required to draft part of a license agreement or agreement to transfer ownership of an intellectual property asset. Time permitting, this course will also cover cross-border intellectual property transactions. At the conclusion of this course, a student should appreciate the role of intellectual property as part of creation and management of a larger enterprise.

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Local Government Law (3)
580C
The level of governance closest to the people, local governments play a central role in many of the most important decisions affecting civic life today, including where we live, how our neighborhoods develop, and how we educate our children and police our communities. This course is designed to introduce students to the legal world of local government. By examining and discussing a variety of materials—ranging from legal opinions to scholarly writings to news articles—we will explore sources of local government authority, limits on local government power, and the context in which local governments operate. Our course will cover three core topics. First, we will aim to understand and define the concept of local government. Second, we will consider the relationships that define local government law—relationships with the state, with the federal government, and with other nearby localities. And third, we will turn our focus to local government administration, with an emphasis on how municipalities govern and the stakeholders who exercise local power. At the conclusion of the semester students will possess foundational tools for future practice in local law and policy.

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