@WashULaw Cross-University Courses

The following courses are available from @WashULaw, the online Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law from the Washington University School of Law:

Intro to U.S. Law & Methods I: U.S. Legal System
This course is designed to introduce distinctive aspects of the U.S. legal system to lawyers who earned their first degree outside the U.S. The goal is to learn how law is found, made and changed in the U.S., rather than to learn any particular area of law. The objective is to learn largely through assuming the role of a lawyer resolving a practical client problem with U.S. legal sources, methods and institutions. The course is organized by various sources of law: common law, statutes and regulations, constitutional law and case law interpreting and applied enacted law. In addition, the jury trial and the importance of procedure are covered. In each subject, the class formulates what appears to be distinctive in the U.S. system. There is a final exam, in which problems similar to those resolved during the semester will be posed.

Fundamentals of U.S. Law I: Contracts
This course is designed to introduce foreign-trained lawyers to U.S. contracts. The course will be run using the Socratic method. Students are expected to participate in class discussions and will be called on at random. In addition to learning principles behind U.S. theories of contractual obligation, the course is intended to provide instruction in “how to succeed” in a U.S. law school class. Each week will include one session per week of detailed review of the week in class, focusing on strengthening academic skills necessary for effective participation and course management.

Intro to U.S. Law & Methods II: Legal Writing
This skills course introduces students to effective formats and style for written communication with U.S. educated lawyers and avoidance of plagiarism and exam-taking in U.S. law schools. In written comments and personal conferences as well as in class, professors emphasize prediction of probable court holdings through the analysis and synthesis of judicial decisions and statutes as well as the use of fact argument and analogy.

Fundamentals of U.S. Law II: Civil Procedure
This course is designed to introduce foreign-trained lawyers to the process of U.S. civil litigation, focusing on such topics as procedural posture, the sequence of events in pre-trial and trial practice, and standards of appellate review.  The course is intended to provide students with skills necessary to read and analyze American judicial decisions.  The course will be run using the Socratic method.  Students are expected to participate in class discussions and will be called on at random. Each week will include one session of detailed review of the week in class, focusing on strengthening academic skills necessary for effective participation and course management.

Business Associations
This course is a survey of the law of business associations, emphasizing corporations and issues and problems relating to corporate governance. The course will cover publicly and closely held corporations, the organization of business associations, the distribution of power and control between management and shareholders, with focus on the fiduciary duties of directors and officers. In this regard, we will explore the developing notions of fiduciary duties to shareholders and other stakeholders. The course will explore the rapidly evolving nationalization of corporate governance standards and its implications. The course will further focus on practical application of the material by applying the fundamentals of corporate organization through collaborative class exercises. Students may use laptops during this class. The final grade will be based on a final examination, although the professor reserves the right to consider class participation.

Professional Responsibility
The goal of this course is to help prepare students for the ethical dilemmas they will face as practicing lawyers. The course will examine the nature and types of lawyer regulation, client-attorney relationships, confidentiality rules, conflicts of interest, duties to courts, adversaries and third parties, client solicitation and billing, and access to legal services. The course will address the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, and will also consider ethical duties arising under common law and other sources of authority.  Most of the classes will focus on the skills of identifying and solving the ethical dilemmas lawyers face in practice and on the professional values of providing competent legal representation, improving the legal profession, and promoting justice and fairness. Regular class attendance and participation are required.

International Business Transactions
Cross-border business transactions are the mainstay of the modern global economy, and very few transactions can be negotiated or performed without due consideration of implications that may arise in such an international environment. Accordingly, understanding of the legal aspects of private transactions carried out across national borders can be indispensable to the modern legal practice. This two- unit course will provide a survey of such issues, including transnational sales, cross-border operations (including branch offices and subsidiaries), international business combinations (including mergers and joint ventures), and the role of international law (including treaties and international organizations such as the WTO and IMF). A series of problems will be used to explore the dynamics of planning, negotiating, creating and executing cross-border transactions. The course grade will be based on an in-classroom final examination, which will consist primarily of short essay questions, and class participation. The final will be open book. Although not required, it would be helpful to have taken or be taking International Law.

The course will emphasize learning the skills of negotiation by simulations, lectures, and exercises in which students will negotiate and watch their classmates and experts negotiate. Class members will conduct at least three negotiations during the course – a sales contract, a retainer agreement between an attorney and a client, and a complex multi-party dispute. In addition to the simulations and discussion of the readings, there will be instruction on drafting agreements and individualized advice about further steps to improve negotiation skills.

An examination of real and personal property, the estate concept, some of the problems of landlord and tenant law, future interests, easements and legal principles of property law as they apply to the use of property in our society.

Intellectual Property
This intellectual property course combines an overview of patents, trademarks, and copyrights with a focus on early stage issue recognition, planning and response. Specific topics will include patent searches, patentability opinions, business name selection, business product/service/domain name selection, and copyright registration. Instruction will include lecture, case studies, simulations and practical problems. Regular attendance and preparation are essential. The majority of the course grade will be based on a written final examination.