Wayne State University

Seminars

Access to Justice Seminar
LEX 8002 Cr. 3
This seminar will examine history, policies, practices and laws that demonstrate how our legal system addresses access to justice for people with economic needs or other restrictions that prevent them from using the system effectively.  The seminar will examine issues in both the criminal and civil areas.  Students will gain useful knowledge about how lawyers are uniquely suited to improve access to justice.  They will consider career options in access to justice.  These include following a public interest career, performing pro bono legal service for the poor and exercising leadership in government and elsewhere to bring changes that enhance access to justice for all. Students will learn through lectures, readings, research, site visits and by hearing from expert guest speakers.

Advanced Issues in Bankruptcy
LEX 8005 Cr. 3
Prereq.: LEX 7051 Bankruptcy

This seminar focuses on more specialized areas of the Bankruptcy Code than those covered in any depth in the basic bankruptcy course. Among those topics that may be covered are the means testing provisions, sovereign immunity, Chapter 9 on municipality bankruptcy, Chapter 12 on bankruptcies for family farmers or fishermen, Chapter 15 on cross-border proceedings, provisions dealing with stockbrokers, provisions dealing with labor agreements, mass tort claims, environmental claims, aircraft banckruptcies, partnership bankruptcies and bankruptcy tax provisions. Students will be expected to write a substantial research paper.

Advanced Topics in Corporate Governance
LEX 8000 Cr. 3
Prereq.: LEX 7156 Corporations or consent of instructor

This seminar will address various timely topics in corporate governance. Students will develop an analytical framework for exploring the economic logic of corporate law with respect to its various constituencies. Fiduciary duty obligations of directors and senior officers toward various corporate constitutencies such as shareholders, debt holders, creditors and other stakeholders undeer changing circumstances will be a major focus of the seminar. Some issues we may explore include proxy access, board function executive pay and corporate takeovers.

Ancient Greek and Roman Law
LEX 8010 Cr. 3
This seminar is an introduction to the legal systems of ancient Greece and Rome. For Greece, the focus is on the law of Athens during its classical period in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. For Rome, we will look at the law as it developed over the centuries during the Republican period and the Empire, as transmitted through the compilations of Justinian in the sixth century C.E. Students will be required to write a paper on a subject relating to the course material. Completion of the paper will satisfy the law school writing requirement.

Citizenship
LEX 8029 Cr. 3
This seminar discusses the legal understanding of citizenship. How has the concept of citizenship evolved over time? How do we (or should we) decide who is and is not a citizen, in the U.S. and in other nations? What does it mean to be a citizen? If you are a citizen, what rights flow from that status? Completion of this seminar satisfies the law school writing requirement.

Commercial Law Seminar
LEX 8031 Cr. 3
Prereq. or Coreq.: LEX7756 Secured Transactions

Advanced study of an area of commercial law; assigned readings. Final grade based on paper and seminar discussion leadership, on topic selected by student from instructor's list.

Consumerism and Democracy
LEX 8037 Cr. 3
Role of consumerism in democratic self-governance, both pre-Amer­ican Revolution and today. Two short and one long research-based papers required.

Contemporary Legal Theory Seminar
LEX 8036 Cr. 3
Prereq: LEX 7426 or consent of instructor

Recent contributions to jurisprudence and philosophy of law concerning issues such as: nature of law and legal systems; relationship between law and moral­ity; civil disobedience and our obligation to obey the law.

Contract Drafting Seminar
LEX 8039 Cr. 3
Prereq. or Coreq.: LEX 6200 A&B

This seminar will explore and develop the knowledge and skills which are necessary for sound drafting of agreements. Each seminar meeting will mix substantive issues of Contract Law with a discussion of important drafting issues that can arise. Students will draft several contracts, increasing in complexity over the term, and their drafts will be critiques and reviewed both by facultyand other students, The final grade will be deterimed by both the student's performance on the drafting and editing tasks and also the student's participation during the seminar meetings. Meets the professional skills requirement.

Criminal Law: Advanced Topics
LEX 8043 Cr. 3
This seminar will require students to write papers and give presentations on current topics of criminal law.

Current Issues in Intellectual Property
LEX 8047 Cr. 3
Prereq. or Coreq.: None but it will be helpful for students to have taken at least one course in the area of Intellectual Property or Cyberlaw

This seminar explores current controversies related to intellectual property. It focuses on issues and policy questions rather than doctrine; the class presumes some, limited familiarity with patent, trademark and copyright law, and will offer supplemental readings for for students who need additional background materials. The seminar examines topics such as expanding access to knowledge through licensing, the free culture movement, public versus private information, software security research and divisions over the proper role for IP rights in international law. Students will write a paper on a topic of their choosing and will participate in a series of on-line discussions for credit.

Current Problems in International Law
LEX 8048 Cr. 3
Prereq.: LEX 7408 International Law or permission of the instructor

This seminar provides an intensive focus on new and controversial issues of international law. The focus will change with each course offering in order to reflect recent developments. The readings, class discussion and paper requirement will provide an opportunity to understand how international institutions function, the justification for the norms they seek to enforce and the coherence of those norms with theories of international society.

Effective Oral Communication for Lawyers
LEX8067 Cr. 3
Prereq: consent of instructor

Exercise-based seminar to help students become more familiar with, and more skillful at, oral communication in the various settings familiar to a lawyer. Topics include: physiology of speech and sources of speech pathology; aspects of non-verbal communication; use of humor; stage fright; making communication interesting. Meets the professional skills requirement.

Energy Law:  Current Topics
LEX8068 Cr. 3
This seminar will provide an in-depth exploration of a particular topic regarding the regulation of energy production or consumption. Topics will vary over time, but may include the regulation of fuel sources and emissions in the U.S. transportation sector, the role of incentives and regulations in financing clean energy investments, and the impact of regulation on adoption of electric vehicles. Students will be responsible for a research paper and presentation to the class.

Environmental Law - Advanced Topics
LEX 8071 Cr. 3
This seminar will offer students an in-depth look at a particular field within the larger realm of Environmental Law. Topics will vary over time. Samples of topics are Environmental Justice; Toxic Torts and Cleanups of Contaminated Parcels; Problems of Air Quality and Climate Change; Intersection of Water Quality and Water Quantity Law; Preserving Biodiversity; Federalism, Sovereignty and Natural Resources; Free Market Environmentalism; and Managing Environmental Risk. Students will be expected to do individual research and make presentations to the class along with keeping abreast of reading and participating in discussions. The seminar may include additional student projects, including negotiation or drafting exercises.

Ethics of the Lawyering Experience
LEX 8075 Cr. 3
This seminar will explore the psychological and ethical dimensions of law and legal practice by engaging principally with works of fiction and selected legal scholarship. Students will write weekly reaction papers. The seminar does not satisfy the upperclass writing requirement.

Evidence Law: Advanced Topics
LEX 8081 Cr. 3
Prereq: LEX7266 Evidence or Consent of the Instructor

This seminar will require students to write papers and give presentations on current topics of evidence law.

Family Violence
LEX 8101 Cr. 3
Analysis of the utilization of the legal system to address issues of abuse within the family. Topics include: the response of the criminal justice system to various forms of family violence, such as marital rape, spouse abuse and child abuse; use of tort and injunctive remedies; examination of new and proposed legislation.

International and Comparative Business Law: Doing Business in China Seminar
LEX 8161 Cr. 3
Students will prepare papers and give presentations on the various aspects of business in China.

International Environmental Law Seminar
LEX 8141 Cr. 3
This seminar will provide a sophisticated and in-depth examination of international environmental law. Students will explore the use of treaties and other international mechanisms for dealing with international environmental problems. Students will be expected to do individual research and make oral presentations to the class, along with keeping abreast of reading and participating in class discussions. The seminar may include additional student projects, including negotiation or drafting exercises.

International Trade
LEX 8185 Cr. 3
This seminar studies the jurisprudence of the World Trade Organization and discusses current legal and policy issues of international trade.

Law and Behavioral Science Seminar
LEX 8245 Cr. 3
This course will examine how legal issues impact the various areas of behavioral sciences. Students will write a paper and give a presentation.

Law and Literature Seminar
LEX 8248 Cr. 3
This seminar will examine the connections between law and literature, with a focus on stories of adoption. Topics will include: the role of narrative in legal arguments and in legal decision making; the role of narrative and law, respectively, in constructing identity and literary criticisms of the law and of the legal profession. By examining these topics through the lens of stories of adoption, we will also consider several questions specfic to the theme of adoption, such as: shifting definitions of parenthood; the debate over nature vs. nurture; and the ways in which stories of adoptions also raise issues of class, race, gender and national identity. We will address these questions by analyzing novels, short stories, films, memoirs and legal cases from both the 19th century and the modern day. Authors will include Charles Dickens, George Eliot, P.D. James and Louise Erdrich. In addition to in-class presentations, students will be required to write a paper on a topic related to the subject matter of the course.

Law in Cyberspace
LEX 8256 Cr. 3
The seminar will examine the application of current laws to the Internet and a variety of proposals for new or revised laws to regulate the developing global information infrastructure. Topics will include recent applications of defamation, copyright, wire fraud and criminal threat laws to Internet activities; current proposals from both government and private sources for new legal regulation or revision of current intellectual property; communications; criminal laws; the problems that flow from asserting national laws in a medium with no national borders. The assigned texts will include conventional documents and research material available on-line. Students do not need their own computers to take the seminar, since it will be possible to complete all assignments using the Law Library's computer resources. A substantial research paper and a significant in-class presentation are required.

Law of the City:  Detroit
LEX 8260 Cr. 3
This seminar explores legal, economic, and policy issues regarding the contemporary American city, using Detroit as the case study. Themes covered will include race, class, positive rights, community organization and identity, economics, public education, environmental justice, and legal pluralism. Toward this end, students will read a mix of constitutional and statutory provisions, caselaw, administrative determinations, academic writing and current popular media. By discussing a different aspect of urban law each week, the seminar will provide students with an opportunity to explore a broad array of legal issues and opportunities in the urban environment around them. The seminar will explore both current law and potential policy reforms. Students will be responsible for a research paper and presentation on a mutually agreed-upon topic.

Medical and Psychiatric Malpractice Seminar
LEX 8268 Cr. 3
This seminar will examine current issues in the field of medical malpractice and psychiatric malpractice.

National Labor Relations Act: Current Problems
LEX 8271 Cr. 3
Prereq.: LEX 7501 Labor Law

The seminar will focus on legal issues pending before the Board and in the courts. The students will stand in the place of the National Labor Relations Board and render opinions on critical labor law issues. Students will read the actual briefs in pending cases, discuss the cases, vote on disposition and draft majority and dissenting opinions. Each student will be expected to write one majority and one concurring or dissenting opinion. Class discussions will concentrate on the NLRB's decision making process and judicial review of Board decisions. After the Wayne State University Law School Board panels have rendered their opinions, class discussion will focus on the draft opinions. The grade for the course will depend on class participation as well as written work. Students may elect to write papers based on the legal issues discussed by the class.

National Security Law Seminar
LEX 8280 Cr. 3
Prereq.: LEX 6700 Constitutional Law I Rec: LEX 7126 Con Law II , LEX 7408 International Law or permission of instructor
Limitations: Students who have taken LEX 7888 U.S. Foreign Relations Law may enroll only with prior permission of instructor.

National security law has emerged as a distinct area of specialization within government law practice, private law practice, and academia. The field draws upon aspects of international law, constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law, and other fields as they are brought to bear on a particular set of issues: who formulates and implements the national security policies of the United States? When do the nation's security interests trump competing values (civil liberities, transparency, fulfillment of the nation's international legal obligations)? In what respects is America's approach to these issues similar to or different from that of other countries? Readings include statutes, treaties, regulations, case law, and extensive secondary literature, all of which serve as a basis for a substantial research paper or law journal note.

Psychiatry and the Law
LEX 8286 Cr. 3
Insights of psychiatry relevant to the law and the practicing lawyer. Dynamics of behavior; theory and technique of interviewing; forensic psychiatry issues; mental hospitalization; personal injury; contractual and testamentary capacity; criminal law; family law. Patients are presented and discussed.

Regulation of Vice
LEX 8335 Cr. 3
Regulation of Vice (seminar) explores legal, economic, and policy issues regarding federal, state, and local regulation of vice (including alcohol, nicotine, drugs, gambling, and commercial sex). The current legal landscape will be studied, along with potential policy reforms. Students will be responsible for a research paper and presentation on a mutually agreed upon topic, which may include a specific regulation or vice law, proposed policy reform, comparative analysis from another jurisdiction, and state/local issues.

Reimagining Development in Detroit: Institutions, Law & Society
LEX 8003 Cr. 3
Prereq.: LEX 6500 Property

This seminar examines contemporary problems of community development from a perspective of institutional economics. Students will be introduced to the tools and theories of instutional economics and how these principles are increasingly applied to problems relevant to the City of Detroit. Students will write research papers applying these tools to issues such as race and regionalism, the role of faith based organizations in community development, abandoned land and community gardens, the structure of local governance, charter schools and the fate of the public schools, opportunity based housing and the state of health care safety net providers.

Religious Liberty in the United States
LEX 8338 Cr. 3
This seminar examines the relationship between Church and State in the United States. It addresses the First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses, as well as some related state and federal statutes, giving due regard to matters of history, legal doctrine, and public policy. In addition to in-class presentations, students will be required to complete a paper on a topic of their choosing within the parameters of the course. Completion of the paper will satisfy the law school writing requirement.

Sex, Sexuality and the Law in Contemporary U.S.A. 
LEX 8345 Cr. 3
This seminar is a broad based survey of the ways in which the law constructs people as sexual beings and regulates that being and her/his sexuality. The seminar has four main objectives: 1) to deepen student's understanding of contemporary U.S. laws that address sex and sexuality, 2) to come to understand some of the ways in which individuals and groups are impacted by those laws, 3) to learn and apply aspects of critical legal theories in legal analysis and 4) to strengthen written and oral legal analysis and communication. The seminar will be in a workshop format with class contribution making up a significant portion of the grade.

Sports and Inequality
LEX 8351 Cr. 3
This seminar will examine the legal and social implications of various forms of discrimination in both the professional and amateur sports contexts. Coverage will include a discussion of legal efforts to address discrimination in sports based on race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. Topics include racial inequalities on the playing fields and in the front offices of amateur and professional sports; the impact of NCAA eligibility criteria; the effects and future of Title IX; gender segregation and exclusion in professional sports and sexual violence; sexual orientation discrimination in sports; and sports opportunities for people with disabilities. Completion of the written final paper for this seminar would satisfy the law school's upperclass writing requirement.

The History and Culture of Race and Law
LEX 8369 Cr. 3
Prereq. or Coreq.: LEX 6700 Constitutional Law I or permission of the instructor
This seminar will explore in depth the history and culture of race in American society and how the American legal system has responded to issues of race. The seminar will cover the following areas: Race and the State; The Civil War and Reconstruction; Jim Crow, Brown v. Board of Education, and the Rise of Colorblindness; and Modern Developments in Law and Science. 

The Impact of Religion on Law
LEX 8372 Cr. 3
This seminar examines world religions to see to what extent for good or ill those religions have had an impact on secular law. The seminar DOES NOT deal with the First Amendment or Church-State issues. Student's papers should take one area of law and explain and evaluate the extent religion has impacted that area.

Urban Housing and Community Development
LEX 8401 Cr. 3
Legal, social and economic aspects of urban housing and community development, including local, state and national programs and policies.

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