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 bankruptcies, partnership bankruptcies and bankruptcy tax provisions. Students will be expected to write a substantial research paper.
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.
Asian Pacific American History and the Law: Perspectives on APA Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs
LEX 8015 Cr. 3
This seminar explores the Asian Pacific American civil rights movement with an overview of how federal and state laws have affected the Asian Pacific American (APA) experience and presence in the United States, covering a variety of civil rights cases and civil wrongs against APAs. The seminar will cover the APA historical timeline, exclusion laws, alien land laws, World War II internment of Japanese Americans, affirmative action as it applies to APAs, civil rights and racial hate crime violence, APAs in the marriage equality movement, bilingual issues in education and in the workplace, post-9/11 issues, immigration law reform, the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and the effort to change birthright citizenship and immigration laws, among other topics.
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.
Civil Rights Trip Seminar
LEX 8049 Cr. 2
This seminar gives students a rich, real-life introduction to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as how lawyers at preeminent civil rights organizations continue the work today. Enrolled students travel to Atlanta, Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham over spring break; meet with prominent civil rights attorneys; visit the legal, spiritual, and political landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement; meet survivors and activists from the movement, who provide them with first-hand accounts of the Selma to Montgomery March, the maneuverings of segregationist and progressive political figures in Montgomery, AL, and daily life during the Jim Crow and civil rights eras. Students prepare for the trip with several hours of direct instruction prior to spring break, a compendium of readings, documentary films, and group discussion on the 14th Amendment, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, critical race theory, narratives of African-American migration, white privilege, structural racism, implicit bias, and how legislation and enforcement intersect with each of these topics. Limit 6 students.
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.
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 faculty and other students, The final grade will be determined 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 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.
Detroit Equity Action Lab: A Collaborative Study of Structural Racism Seminar
LEX 8051 Cr. 3
This seminar introduces students to notions of structural racism as it impacts the city of Detroit. Students will work collaboratively with members of the Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) addressing racial equity in a wide range of sectors, such as civil rights, transportation, community development, health, education and housing. Students will develop awareness of the role and limits of law in addressing structural racism. In addition to examining the work of individual organizations, students will consider broader issues impacting racial equity and will explore interventions that might change public policy and public awareness as it relates to structural racism.
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.
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.
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
This seminar is designed as an introduction to the legal aspects of doing business with Chinese entities. After a brief overview of the historical context and the basic structure of the Chinese legal system, we will explore political, economic, legal and cultural issues U.S. companies typically encounter in conducting business with the Chinese. Specific topics include foreign direct investment, company law, intellectual property rights, labor law, banking and foreign exchange, anti-monopoly law, cyber and national security issues, and dispute settlement. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
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.
LEX 8185 Cr. 3
This seminar studies the jurisprudence of the World Trade Organization and discusses current legal and policy issues of international trade.
International Women's Human Rights Seminar
LEX 8195 Cr. 3
An in-depth study of the evolution of women’s rights as human rights examined in the context of legal instruments such as the UN Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other international treaties, and in the jurisprudence of women’s human rights in international tribunals. This course will also explore the role of global and regional human rights organizations in securing women’s legal rights, as well as domestic implementation of emerging norms in women’s human rights. Finally students will analyze the current legal discourse on women’s human rights and explore key issues in the light of specific world regions, cultures and religious traditions.
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 specific 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
Topics may include online speech (including regulation of harmful and sexually explicit speech); filtering and intermediary liability; virtual property; online contracts; trademarks and domain names; copyright; the problems that flow from asserting national laws in a medium with no national borders.
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.
Legal Change Seminar
LEX 8263 Cr. 3
What is the relationship between law and social change? How effective are changes in legal doctrine in changing social practices? Under what conditions, can we effectively use the law to promote social change? This course investigates these questions by studying the relationships among social movements, courts, legislatures, and other international and domestic institutions. Students will examine materials from actual legal reform movements, including equality in education and women’s rights, and evaluate strategies for legal reform and their impact on statutory and decisional law as well as social practices.
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 liberties, 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.
Race and the Law: Advanced Topics
LEX 8300 Cr. 3
This seminar will examine the role of the law in creating as well as maintaining race, racial hierarchies, and racial inequality. Contrary to the traditional view of racial subordination as solely a deviation from the liberal legal ideal, this course recasts the role of law as historically central to and complicit in upholding racial hierarchy as well as other hierarchies of gender, class and sexual orientation. The course will investigate these issues over the span of centuries, from the founding of the Americas to the present day. This course will explore oft-discussed issues at the intersection of race and law such as slavery, colonization, immigration, citizenship, nation building, national security, and affirmative action as well as less examined issues, such as sexual exploitation and unarmed police shootings.
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 institutional 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.
Tax Policy Seminar: Role and Impact of Congressional Oversight on Abusive Tax Strategies
LEX 8363 Cr. 3
Prereq: Taxation (LEX 7816)
This seminar will examine the international tax rules, the abusive strategies, and the responses by Congress and foreign governments. We will use excerpts from Congressional hearings to explore the role of Congressional oversight in identifying the noncompliance with existing laws, the role of foreign governments in facilitating abuses and illegal behavior, and the need for legislative or administrative action to address some of the abuses. We will consider policy options to reduce the incentives for businesses to pursue these strategies. We will examine professional ethics and the role of lawyers and other professionals in structuring these abusive transactions.
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.