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Curriculum Guide

academic programs

First-Year Program
Second- and Third-Year Program
Upper-Level Writing Requirement
Lawyering Skills Requirement
Perspectives on Law and Justice Requirement
Graduation Requirements
Principles of Course Selection
Course Descriptions & Registration

FIRST YEAR PROGRAM
First year students are required to take Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Property, Torts, Criminal Law and Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing. These include both traditional courses as well as those emphasizing the sources of law, professional responsibility issues, and lawyering skills.

In the spring semester, first year students choose a three credit elective from a menu of classes that are also available to upper level students. For the 2014-15 academic year these include Evidence, Corporations, Jurisprudence, Legal Interviewing and Counseling, and Advanced Contracts, Sales in Practice.

Civil Procedure
Using the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this course introduces rules governing the conduct of litigation. After an overview of the entire sequence of events from commencement to final disposition of a lawsuit, specific topics are considered in detail.

Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law introduces the concept of judicial review of legislation and executive action. The course also focuses on the express and implied powers of the federal government and the effect of the interstate commerce clause on federal and state power.

Contracts
The concept of what constitutes a contract is followed by detailed study of the various principles that govern the enforcement of contracts. Common law rules are emphasized, but attention is also given to the statutory changes imposed by the Uniform Commercial Code.

Criminal Law
This course examines the elements of crimes, defenses that the accused may assert, and the methods and rationales for punishing criminal conduct. Attention is given to the common law of crime as well as to the Model Penal Code.

Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing
LRR&W provides students with a problem-based curriculum that equips them with the analytical, research and written communication skills essential to the practice of law.  Instruction is characterized by a fully integrated research curriculum, classroom discussion of analysis, and comprehensive, individualized feedback on a series of predictive and advocacy memoranda assignments.

Property
This first-year course covers the substantive law of real property. Topics include initial acquisition, property theory, the right to exclude, land use regulation, servitudes, conveyancing, landlord-tenant law, zoning, and takings.

Torts
This course examines non-consensual relations among individuals and emphasizes negligence law, the measure of damages, and newer developments such as products liability.

SECOND AND THIRD YEAR PROGRAM
With the following exceptions, all upper-level courses are electives.  All students are required to take Constitutional Law II, Professional Responsibility, a course satisfying the “Perspectives on Justice and the Law” requirement, a course satisfying the Upper Level Writing requirement, and a course satisfying the “Lawyering Skills” requirement. 

Students are required to take the Professional Responsibility survey course (LAWS219); this course is the only course that will satisfy the one-course professional responsibility requirement.

More than 70 courses, are offered each semester. Multiple courses in one or more areas broadens students' knowledge, judgment, and technical skills, ultimately strengthening their abilities as lawyers.

 ABA UPPER-LEVEL WRITING REQUIREMENT

Academic Year 2015-2016
All Boston College Law School students are required to take an upper level course with a significant writing experience in order to graduate.  It can be taken at any time during the second or third year.  The courses, competitions and publications that fulfill this upper level writing requirement are listed below.

*Courses denoted with an asterisk are listed with a 2/3 or 3/4 credit option.  Students who opt for the higher number of credits will fulfill the upper level writing requirement.

LAWS4485     Advanced Legal Writing (All sections)
LAWS6610     American Indian Law (Witten Spring)
LAWS7735     American Jury (Brassard Spring)
LAWS3344     American Legal Education (Coquillette Spring)
LAWS4471     Appellate Advocacy (Carey Fall)
LAWS4471     Appellate Advocacy (Daly Spring)
LAWS8858     Attorney General Clinical Program Seminar (Barnico/Sweeney Fall/Spring)
LAWS7708     Business Law and Health Care Enterprises (Hashimoto Spring)
LAWS6663     Children’s Law and Public Policy (Sherman Fall) *
LAWS7732     Church and State – Constitutional Issues (Brown/Caggiano Fall) *
LAWS8824     Corporate Governance & Risk (Jones Spring)
LAWS3393     Death Penalty (Dowden Fall)
LAWS9969     Environmental Law (Plater Fall) **
LAWS3322     Environmental Law Seminar Advanced (Plater Spring)
LAWS9942     Family Court Practice (Ginsburg Spring) *
LAWS4000     Feminist Jurisprudence (Young Spring)
LAWS8612     Financial Services Regulation (McCoy Fall)
LAWS7654     Health Care: The Affordable Care Act (Chirba Spring)
LAWS3952     Human Rights and Global Proverty (Young Spring)
LAWS4420     International Criminal Law (Barrozo Fall) *
LAWS4436     International Human Rights Law (Kanstroom Fall)
LAWS4496     Judge and Community Courts Seminar (Cratsley Fall)
LAWS6673     Law of War, War Crimes and Genocide (Ryan Spring)
LAWS7482     Law of Toxic Substances (Fowley Spring)
LAWS2190     Professional Responsibility (Tremblay Fall) *
LAWS4459     Semester in Practice Seminar (West Fall; Anzalone Spring)
LAWS6607     SIP: International Human Rights Seminar (Kanstroom Spring)
LAWS9957     Sports Law (Yen Spring)
LAWS9667     Supreme Court Seminar (Greenfield Spring)
LAWS7783     Trial Practice (Curtin Fall) *
LAWS8871     Wrongful Convictions (Beckman Fall)
LAWS7799     Independent Studies – if writing a paper of 30 pages or more.

Competitions  (Selection process required)
LAWS3335     European Union Moot Court (Perju)
LAWS9994     First Amendment (Daly)
LAWS6691     Frederick Douglass Moot Court (Daly)
LAWS5500     J. Braxton Craven Moot Court (Barnico)
LAWS8881     Jessup International Moot Court (Carey and Wirth)
LAWS9995     Immigration Moot Court (Kanstroom/Daly)
LAWS5515     National Criminal Procedure Moot Court (Bloom)
LAWS6618     National Environmental Law Moot Court (Plater)
LAWS9982     National Moot Court (Carey)
LAWS3386     Religious Freedom (Kalscheur)
LAWS4447     Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court (Liu)

Publications  (Selection process required)
LAWS9986     Journal of Law and Social Justice (Greenfield)
LAWS9989     Environmental Affairs Law Review (Plater)
LAWS9987     International and Comparative Law Review (Wirth)
LAWS9999     Law Review (Wylie)
LAWS9983     U.C.C. Reporter Digest (Hillinger)

All 2 credit Independent Studies will satisfy the ABA writing requirement if writing a paper of 30 pages or more.

* Students who opt for the higher number of credits will fulfill the upper level writing requirement.

**This course will satisfy the ABA writing requirement if the student selects the research paper option.

LAWYERING SKILLS REQUIREMENT

Academic Year 2015-2016
Courses will satisfy the “Lawyering Skills” requirement at Boston College if they engage students in real client or simulated lawyering exercises, such as interviewing and counseling, negotiation and mediation, oral advocacy, and drafting or problem solving in either transactional or litigation contexts.  Participation in a third year intermural Moot Court or Mock Trial team will also satisfy the lawyering skills requirement.

LAWS4426     Advanced Legal Drafting for Civil Litigation (Savery Spring)
LAWS7797     Advanced Legal Research (All Sections)
LAWS3323     Advanced Contracts: Sales in Practice (Holleman Spring)
LAWS4452     Advanced Evidence: Trial Objections (Cassidy Spring)
LAWS4462     Advanced Innocence Clinic (Whitmore Fall)
LAWS3310     Advising the Business Planner (Gennari/Marr Fall)
LAWS4471     Appellate Advocacy (Daly Spring)
LAWS8856     Attorney General Program (Barnico/Sweeney (Fall/Spring)
LAWS4402     BC Innocence Program Clinic (Whitmore Fall or Spring)
LAWS8887     BC Innocence Program Externship (Beckman Fall)
LAWS6605     BC Defender Seminar (Herrmann Fall)
LAWS4468     BC Law Prosecution Clinic (Sarda/Fall)
LAWS9978     Civil Litigation Clinic (Anderson/Minuskin Fall/Spring)
LAWS3334     Civil Motions Practice (Brassard Fall)
LAWS3326     Community Enterprise Clinic (Tremblay/Pantin Fall or Spring)
LAWS7770     Corporations Lab (Quinn Fall)
LAWS4424     Criminal Justice Clinic (Herrmann/Sarda Fall)
LAWS4010     Department of Revenue Tax Clinic (Fatale Spring)
LAWS9930     Dispute Negotiation (All sections)
LAWS6609     Environmental Law: Clean Water (Doliner Spring)
LAWS4478     Environmental Legal Research (Shear Fall)
LAWS9942     Family Court Practice (Ginsburg Spring)
LAWS4417     Housing Law Clinic (Minuskin Spring)
LAWS7793     Immigration Clinic (Holper Fall/Spring)
LAWS4470     Immigration Law Research (Breda Fall)
LAWS3341     Immigration Practice (Holper Spring)
LAWS4488     International Business Transactions (Garcia Fall)
LAWS3374     Insurance Law Research (Breda Spring)
LAWS6642     Introduction to Civil Litigation (Minuskin Spring)
LAWS4498     Judge & Community Courts (Cratsley Fall)
LAWS8838     Judicial Process - Trial (Devlin-Joyce Spring)
LAWS8838     Judicial Process – Appeals (Macgowan Spring)
LAWS3389     Juvenile Rights Advocacy I (Sherman (Fall)
LAWS3389     Juvenile Rights Advocacy II (Sherman Spring)
LAWS7480     Law of Toxic Substances (Fowley Spring)
LAWS7787     Legal Interviewing & Counseling (West Spring)
LAWS8667     Legal Practice Externship (Barnico Fall/Spring)
LAWS8823     Life Cycle of a Chapter 11 Restructuring (Baldiga Spring)
LAWS3332     Litigation Skills: Fact Development (Mahoney Fall)
LAWS5510     London Program (Wirth Spring)
LAWS4443     Local Government Law (Levine Spring)
LAWS9925     Mediation (Gray Fall/Spring)
LAWS6250     Natural Resource Remedies (Barash Spring)
LAWS6980     Negotiation (Biondi Fall/Spring)
LAWS7755     Ninth Circuit Appellate Project (Hong Fall/Spring)
LAWS5660     Paris Program Externship (Wirth Spring)
LAWS8840     Patent Law (Olson Spring)
LAWS6641     Real Estate Finance (Levine Fall)
LAWS4489     Semester in Practice (All Sections)
LAWS6607     Semester in Practice: International Human Rights (Kanstroom Spring)
LAWS4489     Semester in Practice: Public Interest (Sarda Spring)
LAWS9667     Supreme Court Seminar (Greenfield Spring)
LAWS7778     Tax III (Darby Spring)
LAWS9960     Tax Law Research (Neary Spring)
LAWS7696     The Government Lawyer (Pelgro Spring)
LAWS7783     Trial Practice (All sections)

Competitions  (Selection process required)
LAWS3335     European Union Moot Court (Perju)
LAWS9994     First Amendment (Daly)
LAWS6691     Frederick Douglass Moot Court (Daly)
LAWS5500     J. Braxton Craven Moot Court (Barnico)
LAWS9981     Jessup International Moot Court (Carey and Wirth)
LAWS9995     Immigration Moot Court (Kanstroom/Daly)
LAWS5515     National Criminal Procedure Moot Court (Bloom)
LAWS6618     National Environmental Law Moot Court (Plater)
LAWS9982     National Moot Court (Carey)
LAWS3386     Religious Freedom (Kalscheur)
LAWS4447     Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court (Liu)

PERSPECTIVES ON JUSTICE AND THE LAW REQUIREMENT

Academic Year 2015-2016
The “Perspectives on Law and Justice” requirement at Boston College Law School is designed to insure that students take at least one offering that examines the normative ideal of justice from a theoretical, historical, or comparative perspective.  Students may meet this requirement by completing a designated two or three credit class that explores the moral, philosophical, and cultural premises underlying legal doctrines, and how such doctrines can best be shaped and applied to promote a more just society.  Designated classes will engage students in systematic reflection examining the normative ideal of justice and the role played by law and lawyers in promoting justice.

LAWS3344     American Legal Education (Coquillette Spring)
LAWS4411     American Legal Theory (Wells Fall) Cancelled
LAWS6686     Anglo-American Legal History (Coquillette Fall)
LAWS4464     Authority and Leadership in Professional Life (Sarda Spring)
LAWS6605     BC Defender Program Seminar (Herrmann/Grant Fall and Spring)
LAWS4469     BC Prosecution Seminar (Sarda Fall)
LAWS9326     Bioethics and the Law Seminar (Kaveny Fall)
LAWS6663     Children’s Law and Public Policy (Sherman Fall)
LAWS7732     Church and State (Brown/Caggiano Fall)
LAWS9979     Civil Litigation Clinic Seminar (Anderson/Minuskin Fall or Spring)
LAWS3336     Community Enterprise Clinic Class (Tremblay/Pantin Fall/Spring)
LAWS4424     Criminal Justice Clinic Class (Beckman/Grant/Herrmann/Sarda Fall/Spring)
LAWS3930     Death Penalty (Dowden Fall)
LAWS3339     Environmental Law: Clean Water (Doliner Spring)
LAWS4439     European Union Law (Dillon Fall)
LAWS9735     Faith, Morality & Law Seminar (Kaveny Fall)
LAWS4000     Feminist Jurisprudenct (Young Spring)
LAWS6660     Foundations of Western Legal Thought (Kohler Fall)
LAWS4433     Globalization, Law and Legal Practice (Garcia Spring)
LAWS7707     Habermas: Law and Politics (Rasmussen Fall)
LAWS7654     Health Care Reform: Affordable Care Act (Chirba Spring)
LAWS4418     Housing Law Clinic Seminar (Minuskin Spring)
LAWS3952     Human Rights and Global Poverty (Young Spring)
LAWS7461     Human Rights Interdisciplinary Seminar (Hollenbach Spring)
LAWS7749     Immigration Law (O’Sullivan Fall)
LAWS4420     International Criminal Law (Barrozo Fall)
LAWS4436     International Human Rights Law (Kanstroom Fall)
LAWS8886     International Law (Wirth Fall)
LAWS6696     International Trade and Investment Law (Garcia Fall)
LAWS6642     Introduction to Civil Litigation Practice (Minuskin Spring)
LAWS6632     Jurisprudence (FitzGibbon Spring)
LAWS3389     Juvenile Rights Advocacy (Sherman (Fall)
LAWS3389     Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project II (Sherman Spring)
LAWS8804     Law, Leadership and Social Justice (Sarda Spring)
LAWS6672     Law and Religion (Kaveny Spring)
LAWS2192     Professional and Moral Responsibility (Coquillette Spring)
LAWS6608     Semester in Practice: International Human Rights Seminar (Kanstroom Spring)
LAWS6286     Universal History of Legal Thought (Barrozo/Perju Fall/Spring)
LAWS8871     Wrongful Convictions (Beckman Fall)

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
Students may enroll in any of the courses listed and described in the course description material, subject to prerequisite requirements for certain upper level courses and some limited enrollment courses.

In the first year, all candidates for the J.D. degree must follow the prescribed course schedule. Students must take 52 credit hours during their second and third years. Each student must take no fewer than 12 and not more than 17 hours each semester.

To graduate, students must be in residence, full-time, for 6 semesters and must successfully complete a minimum of 85 credit hours. To be considered a full-time student in residence, a student must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. After the first year, students are strongly advised to take 26 credit hours per year. This will allow completion of the remaining 52 credits while maintaining a manageable course load in the last two years.

 

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