- Review course descriptions for the various Spring 2015 1L electives (below).
- Print out the Spring 2015 1L Elective Selection Form and complete it.
- Submit the Form to Room 5110A by Tuesday, November 25th.
Note: Torts final exam will be held on May 2nd; Property final exam will be held on May 14th.
LEGISLATION & REGULATION. (One section: Prof. Anuj Desai). This course satisfies the
Legal Process graduation requirement and also counts toward the
60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. This course provides an introduction to the federal laws and
governmental institutions that shape significant aspects of social and
economic policy. The course addresses legislation, statutory
interpretation, regulation and administrative agencies. Legislation and
regulation play the dominant role in shaping law and governance in the
modern American legal system. While numerous other law school courses
involve statutes and regulations or legislatures and administrative
agencies, this course considers the overarching questions about these
laws and institutions: how statutes are enacted and agency regulations
issued, what tools lawyers use to shape statutes and regulations, how
judges interpret them, etc. The main goal of the course is practical.
All lawyers, irrespective of the area of law—from securities law to
criminal law, from environmental law to tax, from labor and employment
law to contract drafting, from military law to bankruptcy, etc.—must
understand statutes and regulation. This course is aimed at providing
students with a deeper understanding of these forms of law and the
institutions that make this law, and to help them better appreciate the
role that lawyers play in the American legal system as it operates in
practice. To think like a lawyer, and hence to represent or advise
clients, requires an ability to do so in the context of the regulatory
Note: Laptop computers are not allowed (unless the screen can fold forward and be flat on the desktop); any device that lies flat on one's desk is permitted.
Final Exam date: May 4th (Take-home exam).
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. (Two sections: Prof. Ben Kempinen; Prof. Merry Ross). This course satisfies the
Criminal Procedure requirement for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, as
well as the 60-credit rule. The course is an introductory survey of the
criminal justice process with emphasis on
appropriate controls on the discretion of system actors (a) trial judge -
sentencing, (b) police - arrest or cite, (c) prosecution - the charging
decision, and (d) allocation of decision-making authority between
defendant and defense counsel. Students examine how human discretion
rather than statutes or rules dominate the various systems which
comprise the criminal justice process. The course is strongly recommended for
participation in the Law School's criminal law-related clinics.
Final Exam date both sections: May 6th.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I. (Two sections: Prof. Ann Althouse; Prof. David Schwartz). This
course satisfies the Constitutional Law I requirement for the Wisconsin
Diploma Privilege, as
well as the 60-credit rule. The course covers the basic structure of
government in the United States, with
emphasis on the federal government. Includes the role of the federal
courts and the doctrine of judicial review; the rise of federal power,
as reflected particularly in shifting definitions of "interstate
commerce," the doctrine of separation of powers, with emphasis on
current issues of legislative and executive branch authority; and
judicial and other limitations on the exercise of authority by the
Final Exam date both sections: May 8th.
BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS I. (Two sections: Prof. Ken Davis; Prof. Lisa Alexander). This course counts toward the
60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. This is an introductory course that covers basic issues relating to the law of principals and agents, and surveys state laws governing the formation and operation of closely- held business associations, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and closely-held corporations. Non-profit organizations and social enterprises may also be considered. The course deals with choice of business entity, forming and financing business enterprises, and management rights within such enterprises. This course is strongly recommended for all students, not just those who plan to practice business law.
Final Exam dates: May 9th (Prof. Davis); May 10th (Prof. Alexander).
INTERNATIONAL LAW. (One section: Prof. Alexandra Huneeus). This
course satisfies the Legal Process graduation requirement and also
counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege.
The course provides an introduction to public international law. We
begin with an introduction to the international legal system, which
differs from our national legal system in intriguing ways. As we learn
the primary rules and institutions that govern this unique legal system,
we ask the fundamental questions: Where does international law come
from? Whom does it govern? How is it enforced? How is it different from
domestic law? Once we master the basics, we turn, in Unit II, to the
question of how this international system interacts with our more
familiar national legal system. While our main focus will be on foreign
affairs law of the United States, we will also look at other countries’
foreign affairs law. In Unit III, we turn to specific substantive
areas of international law, focusing on current topics, such as the
international response to the crisis in Syria (humanitarian law and
international criminal law). While students will have the opportunity in
their second year to take some advanced courses, even if they have not
taken this first introductory course, this course will be the basic
entry point for the full range of transnational and international law
courses offered in the second and third years. The course is also the
first step in the International Law Concentration.
Final Exam date both sections: May 11th.
CIVIL PROCEDURE II. (Two sections: Prof. Cheryl Weston; Prof. Linda Greene). This course satisfies the Jurisdiction of Courts requirement for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, as well as the 60-credit rule. This course covers topics associated with the placement of a lawsuit: subject matter and personal jurisdiction; venue and motions to transfer; the Erie Doctrine (the application or non-application of state law in Federal diversity actions); the rules of joinder; and the preclusive effect of judgments. The course covers the interpretation of several key federal statutes and a number of important U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning matters of judicial federalism and due process. Civil Procedure II addresses the wealth of opportunities for litigators to exercise choice in planning and responding to litigation, focusing on using the tools of procedure to make good tactical choices on behalf of clients. It is a fundamental course for all law students who intend to litigate or to participate in transactions that might lead to litigation. Class assignments may include, along with case analysis, problems intended to gauge whether students are able to apply the law being studied in the context of specific facts.
Final Exam date both sections: May 12th.
CONTRACTS II (One section: Prof. Steph Tai). This course counts toward the
60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. Contracts II deals with cutting-edge legal problems in commercial
contracts. In particular, we will focus on ways in which contracts are
used to create private systems of governance. As such, we will examine
the legal structures created by franchise agreements, terms of service,
and end-user license agreements. We will focus not only on appellate
opinions, but also on the institutional structures created through these
No Final Exam: Paper.
In addition to the above course descriptions, if you would also like to review some available course syllabi for some of the above courses, they are linked from this site (UW log-in required):