Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
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Course Catalog

Below students can find information about required, elective and specialized courses offered at Memphis Law.


Alphabetical Course List

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

•Skip to Electives and Specialized Areas of Study

Administrative Law
Course 311
3-hour practice foundation menu course

Administrative agencies execute law affecting almost every aspect of daily life, including labor and employment, environmental, intellectual property, insurance, transportation, and health laws. This course does not focus on the substantive law of any particular agency; it instead examines principles and procedures common to all agencies, derived in large part from the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act. The course will examine the sources of agency authority, the limitations on agency actions, the procedures that agencies must use in rulemaking and adjudication, and the availability and scope of judicial review of agency actions.

Admiralty and Maritime Law
Course Number 312
2-hour elective course

This 2-hour course will focus on traditional admiralty and maritime law concepts, including an examination of the Jones Act, unseaworthiness, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the general maritime law.  The course will cover issues relating to maritime contracts and liens, limitation of liability, issues relating to collisions, allisions, and breakaways, fleeter’s liability, and issues relating to admiralty jurisdiction.  The course will also review the available defenses and damages.  While the concepts taught are applicable to all areas of maritime practice, the primary focus will be on maritime law as it applies to the inland waterways of the United States.

Advanced Appellate Advocacy
Course 523
1- or 2-hour skills course

Advanced Appellate Advocacy is a skills course for students participating on Moot Court Travel Teams. It focuses on developing and practicing skills in brief-writing and oral advocacy. Students who both write a competition brief and argue orally are eligible for two credits. It is a non-classroom course and students should enroll during the semester in which they compete in an inter-school competition.  Students are able to take the course more than once, if they compete in more than one inter-school competition.  The Director of Advocacy may award grades of Excellent, Pass, or Fail, based on the recommendation of the team’s coach.

Advanced Brief Writing Seminar
Course 453
2-hour research/writing course

This class is designed to offer students who have some experience with writing briefs the opportunity to hone their brief-writing skills.  The class will discuss how to research an issue in depth and present a case persuasively, considering issues such as developing a theory of the case, arguing thematically, using the components of the brief effectively, using precedent effectively, and structuring the argument persuasively.  Students will have substantial latitude in selecting an issue to brief.  Students will write a brief to a court of last resort and will present the case orally. This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

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Advanced Constitutional Law: Law and Religion
Course 396
2-hour elective course

This course explores the intersection of law and religion with an emphasis on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Students will consider the U.S. Supreme Court's Religion Clause doctrine in the context of various topics including exemptions for religious believers, religious organizations and antidiscrimination law, school vouchers, school prayer, religious displays, religious speech, and religious voices in politics.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law

Advanced Trial Advocacy
Course 524
1-hour skills course

Advanced Trial Advocacy is a skills course for students participating on mock trial travel teams.  It focuses on developing and enhancing the skills necessary to put on a basic trial.  It is a non-classroom course and students should enroll during the semester in which they compete in an inter-school competition.  Students are able to take the course more than once, if they compete in more than one inter-school competition.  The Director of Advocacy may award grades of Excellent, Pass, or Fail, based on the recommendation of the team’s coach.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

ADR-Arbitration
Course 313
2-hour skills course

This course is designed to provide second- and third- year law students with a background in arbitration practice.  The course will address both the substantive law of arbitration and the development of practical skills critical to representing a client in an arbitration proceeding.  Grades will be based on written assignments, oral presentations, and class participation.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Prerequisite (Recommended): Professional Responsibility and Evidence.

ADR-Labor
Course 315
2-hour skills course

This course offers Negotiations and Mediation skills to prepare the student to properly represent clients in labor mediation and other alternative dispute resolution techniques. This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Prerequisite (Recommended): Professional Responsibility and Evidence

ADR-Mediation
Course 316
2-hour skills course

This course offers negotiation and mediation skills to prepare the student to properly represent clients in mediation. This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Prerequisite (Required): Professional Responsibility and Evidence, prior to or concurrently

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Antitrust
Course 318
3-hour elective course

Antitrust law is concerned with government regulation of business, particularly with the public policy concerns associated with increasing concentration of industries. The course focuses primarily on the federal laws commonly referred to as the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, the Robinson-Patman Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. Business activity that is analyzed includes horizontal restraints, vertical restraints, monopolization, price discrimination and mergers.

Prerequisite (required): Constitutional Law

Appellate Advocacy
Course 309
3-hour skills course

Appellate Advocacy is a writing skills course that builds on Legal Methods II. The course covers the basics of appellate advocacy: analyzing an issue on appeal, writing an appellate brief, and preparing and delivering an oral argument.   The course offers instruction in brief writing through regular writing assignments, culminating in an appellate brief.  It also offers instruction in how to prepare and deliver an oral argument.  Students write a brief and give and judge oral arguments.  Grades are based on the written work, oral arguments, and other aspects of class participation.

This course is integrated with the Advanced Moot Court Competition, although class members are not required to compete. The Advanced Moot Court problem will be the basis of class discussion. The Advanced Moot Court brief will be the draft brief for the course. Students will rewrite that brief for the final grade. The Advanced Moot Court Competition will give students the opportunity to practice their arguments for the final in-class argument.

The course will be scheduled around the Advanced Moot Court Competition. Classes will focus on brief-writing until the Advanced brief is due. Classes from the time the brief is due until the competition starts will discuss oral argument. Class will not meet during the Advanced Competition so students can devote their attention to competing. Students who complete the Advanced Moot Court Competition and one other competition are eligible for one credit in addition to the two credits for this course.

All students are highly encouraged to take this course to learn the basics of appellate advocacy and develop writing skills. This course is extremely important for students who wish to participate on moot court competition teams or become a member of the moot court board.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

 

Banking Law
Course 385
2-hour elective course

Banks have traditionally occupied a unique role in the operation of the financial system. This role has been magnified by the consolidation that has occurred in the financial services industry and the internationalization of the economy. This course will cover basic banking law: the structure of banking regulation, bank charters, bank holding companies, and lending and deposit issues. It will then go on to explore the recent consolidation of banking, insurance, and securities services.  The course will examine the mechanics of key bank operations including, syndicated lending, underwriting and the securitization of debt securities. The course will also consider various international banking issues pertaining to the operation of foreign banks in this country and the offshore operations of United States banks.

Bioethics & the Law
Course 304
2-hour elective course

This course examines the legal pillars of contemporary medical ethics and, more broadly, "bioethics."  It will focus particularly on [a] informed consent, [b] end of life, [c] medical research, and [d] the financial challenges of modern health care.  The materials and discussion will emphasize the ways in which, historically, bioethics is rooted heavily in case law and the difficult human stories those cases addressed.  And they will emphasize the day-to-day clinical realities that must be understood if difficult bioethical/legal questions are to be addressed insightfully and appropriately.

Business Organizations I
Course 211
3-hour practice foundation menu course

This course is a survey of agency law and selected statutory provisions, common law doctrines, and administrative regulations related to the formation, operation, and dissolution of general partnerships, limited partnerships, and corporations, along with the rights and responsibilities of the primary internal stakeholders of these entities.  Class discussions of cases include both ethical issues associated with practicing law within the context of business situations, and practical perspectives to forward students’ development of lawyering skills while mastering terminology and substance.  Although the broad framework of business serves as a backdrop for the legal doctrine, the course is designed to be accessible to students without a business background.

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Business Organizations II
Course 211
3-hour practice foundation menu course

This course is a survey of agency law and selected statutory provisions, common law doctrines, and administrative regulations related to the formation, operation, and dissolution of general partnerships, limited partnerships, and corporations, along with the rights and responsibilities of the primary internal stakeholders of these entities.  Class discussions of cases include both ethical issues associated with practicing law within the context of business situations, and practical perspectives to forward students’ development of lawyering skills while mastering terminology and substance.  Although the broad framework of business serves as a backdrop for the legal doctrine, the course is designed to be accessible to students without a business background.

Child and Family Litigation Clinic
Course 509
4-hour skills course

This clinic offers student attorneys the opportunity to develop the core legal skills determined by the ABA’s MacCrate Report to be fundamental to the successful practice of law.  This is foremost a litigation clinic, which allows student to practice essential skills necessary in a litigation practice, in the context of representing children.  Due to the nature of a child and family law practice, this Clinic has a strong interdisciplinary bent.

Student attorneys primarily represent children as court-appointed Guardians ad Litem in juvenile court in child abuse and neglect or termination of parental rights proceedings.  There is a great demand for court-appointed attorneys in juvenile courts in Tennessee, both in child representation and parent representation, and this Clinic prepares graduates to undertake these roles.  In addition, student attorneys might represent a child in education matters, delinquency hearings, adoption, guardianships, conservatorships, administrative matters such as children’s SSI, or miscellaneous other problems that might take the student to chancery, probate, or circuit court, to administrative agencies, or even to the appellate courts.  Through giving a vulnerable population ‘voice’ in the legal system, the Child and Family Litigation Clinic awakens within students who will be tomorrow’s litigators, advocates, lawmakers and judges a spirit of compassion, a sense of fairness, and an understanding of equal justice.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Prerequisite (Required): Professional Responsibility and Evidence
Prerequisite (Recommended): Juvenile Law and Trial Advocacy

Civil Procedure I
Course 114
3-hour required course

This course focuses on determining the proper court for litigation of civil suits, including understanding of subject matter and territorial jurisdiction, venue and service of process.

Civil Procedure II
Course 124
2-hour required course

This course focuses on those doctrines that determine the scope and size of a lawsuit and the formulation of issues, including claim and issue preclusion and joinder of claims and parties.  Various devices for disposition of a civil action are also examined, such as pretrial motions, discovery, judgments as a matter of law, and post-trial motions.

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Civil Procedure III
Course 321
2-hour elective course

This course covers complex, multiparty litigation with an emphasis on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing joinder of parties, intervention and class actions, as well as transfer and consolidation of multidistrict litigation.

Civil Rights
Course 322
3-hour elective course

This course covers § 1983 litigation and aims to make students familiar with issues that arise in prosecuting or defending a § 1983 action.  TOPICS:  Action under color of state law, statutory claims, Fourth Amendment, Eighth Amendment, Due Process, Immunities, Municipal Liability, Eleventh Amendment, and if time allows, Recovery (including attorney’s fees), and Jurisdictional issues.

Prerequisite (Required): Constitutional Law 
Prerequisite (Recommended): Criminal Procedure
 
Commercial Law
Course 700
4-hour elective course

This course examines core concepts of the Uniform Commercial Code, focusing on Sales (Article 2), Negotiable Instruments (Article 3), and Secured Transactions (Article 9).  Related areas of law (i.e., bankruptcy, payment systems, consumer law, etc.) and aspects of commercial and business practices will be discussed as required.  This course is intended to provide an overview of commercial law for students who will not be enrolling in each of the commercial law trilogy (Sales, Commercial Paper, and Secured Transactions), but who wish to obtain a significant exposure to the structure and operation of the Uniform Commercial Code, as well as to fundamental commercial law and business practices. 

Note: Students who already have completed two or more of the commercial law menu courses will not be permitted to enroll in Commercial Law Survey.  Students who have completed Commercial Law Survey may take one of the other commercial law courses in order to gain in-depth knowledge about the chosen area; the student may take both Commercial Law Survey and one other commercial law course in the same semester.

Commercial Paper
Course 323
2- or 3-hour statutory menu course
Bar course

The law of commercial paper is concerned with the facilitation of banking and other commercial transactions through the use of negotiable paper.  The course focuses on Articles 3, 4, and 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code and on relevant federal legislation affecting payment systems.

Comparative Law Seminar
Course 441
2-hour research/writing course

Despite accelerating globalization, the world remains governed by an overlapping set of fragmented legal regimes. This seminar will survey a number of non-U.S. national legal traditions from historical, critical, and comparative perspectives.  Topics of current interest will include studies of horizontal and vertical legal harmonization and regionalism. This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

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Conflicts
Course 324
3-hour elective course
Bar course

This is the study of the legal problems that arise when cutting across state and national boundaries.  Emphasis is on the understanding and application of the traditional and modern approaches to choice of the applicable law, jurisdiction of the court, and the recognition of foreign judgments.

Constitutional Law
Course 212
4-hour required course

The objective of this course is to become familiar with major topics of constitutional debate and to learn to make a constitutional argument.  Coverage:  Article III, Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, Articles IV & VI, Due Process, Equal Protection and (time allowing) First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion.

Contracts
Course 121
4-hour required course

This course addresses contract formation and breach of contract.  Coverage includes:  the meaning of the word “contract”; the doctrine of consideration and when promises may be unenforceable due to the absence of bargained-for exchange; the elements of and the subtle twists associated with offer and acceptance; the requirement of a writing for certain types of contracts; the extent to which courts “police” the substance of a bargain to prevent unfairness and limit contract enforcement; the process of defining the scope of a contract; and the interpretation of contract language.

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Copyright
Course 325
2- or 3-hour elective course

This course covers the subject matter of copyright, limitations on the subject matter of copyright, infringement of copyright, and defenses to infringement.  This course will teach concepts fundamental to Copyright Law so that students will understand and be able to apply them to analysis of issues arising in factual settings.

Corporate Finance
Course 384
2-hour elective course
 
This course is designed to familiarize the student with basic concepts of corporate finance, including certain valuation methodologies, related accounting concepts and legal and administrative requirements. It will focus on the lawyer's role in corporate practice, dealing primarily with public companies, debt and equity financings and the terms and provisions of relevant instruments, such as preferred stock, subordinated debentures, warrants, stock options and various classes of common and preferred stock. It also will cover various aspects of mergers and acquisitions, tender offers and anti-takeover defenses.
 
Prerequisites: Business Organizations; Mergers and Acquisitions is helpful but not required.
 
Corporate Law (Corporate Finance) Seminar
Course 440
2-hour research/writing course 

This course is designed to familiarize law students with the principles of corporate finance, which is the various ways that businesses obtain money to “finance” their operations. In particular, corporate finance law addresses how businesses manage financial constraints that affect their operations and investments decisions. Businesses use a variety of financial instruments to raise money such as loans, bonds, and securities. Each type of financial instrument gives the holder (owner) of the financial instrument a certain type of legal claim against the businesses’ assets.  In the world of corporate finance, the distinction between lawyers and investment bankers has become blurred. Whether, rendering a fairness opinion, preparing for an appraisal hearing, litigating securities class action or derivative suits, issuing new securities, taking a firm private via an LBO or public via an IPO, negotiating a merger agreement, acquisition or divestiture, corporate lawyers and investment bankers work side-by-side, and lawyers without an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance are at a distinct disadvantage. Moreover, this course will provide important tools for litigators in identifying, preparing, and cross-examining financial expert witnesses. Even students who do not plan to venture into the corporate world will benefit from this course. The financial principles covered are essential for lawyers intending to do estate or tax planning, litigate divorces, or write the bylaws and compensation agreements for partnerships or closed corporations. In addition to the principles of finance, the course addresses the legal norms and economic constraints that affect a corporation’s choice of capital structure, including contemporary approaches to interpreting the scope of provisions commonly found in debt and preferred stock instruments. This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

Prerequisite (Required): Business Organizations I

Corporate Tax
Course 334
3-hour statutory menu course

The course focuses on the federal income tax aspects of corporate formation, capital structure, distributions to shareholders, redemptions of shareholders, liquidations, taxable acquisitions and reorganizations, and nontaxable reorganizations.

Prerequisite (Required): Basic Income Tax

Criminal Law
Course 126
3-hour required course

This course introduces students to basic principles of substantive criminal law (under the common law and one Model Penal Code), the principals of criminal culpability and the analysis of criminal statutes.  Topics include: the criminal act, mens rea, homicide, attempt, complicity, conspiracy and defenses.

Criminal Procedure I
Course 223
3-hour practice foundation menu course

An examination of principles of constitutional criminal procedure, with a focus on search and seizure, the right to counsel, the law governing interrogation and confessions, and pre-trial identification procedures and other selected issues.

Criminal Procedure II
Course 326
2-hour elective course

Covers all aspects of criminal procedure from pre-arrest through post-conviction and habeas corpus. Upon completion of course, students should have a thorough and practical understanding of criminal procedure, particularly Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Cyberlaw
Course 386
2- or 3-hour elective course

Cyberlaw introduces students to the criminal and civil laws governing computer networks.  Following a brief survey of the infrastructural regulation of the Internet, this course emphasizes the practical application of the major federal statutes governing online activity.  The course focuses on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and other significant computer crime provisions.  The course also examines the scope of the Fourth Amendment in an online setting.  Time permitting, the course may cover the legal issues involved in virtual property in virtual worlds, challenges posed by encryption, and copyleft software licensing.

Prerequisites (Recommended): Criminal Procedure I and Copyright

Debtor-Creditor Law
Course 327
3-hour elective course

This course provides an introduction to state and federal debt collection and avoidance laws with heavy emphasis on the consumer portions of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

It is recommended, but not required that students complete Secured Transactions before attempting this course.

Decedents' Estates
Course 213
3-hour required course

Coverage includes intestate succession, wills, and trusts. Objectives include mastery of fundamental principles under the Uniform Probate Code, the Tennessee Code, and case law.

Disability Law and Practice
Course 521
4-hour skills course

Disability Law and Practice introduces students to existing and developing laws and policies related to the expanding field of disability law.  It will cover legal protection of individuals with physical and mental disabilities from discrimination in employment and public and private programs, including public accommodations, education, and higher education.  It will provide an overview of civil rights statutes that deal with persons with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and its 2008 Amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1970, and the Fair Housing Amendments of 1988.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its regulations will be covered in detail.

This course focuses on the application of these laws to actual practice.  In lieu of a final examination, students will complete 4 written assignments that include preparation for a client interview, writing a due process complaint letter, drafting an expert witness examination, and preparing a witness cross examination.  Students will team up in pairs and will present either the Plaintiff’s side or the Defendant’s side of a mock special education due process hearing before an administrative law judge.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

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Discovery
Course 377
2-hour skills course

This course covers the pre-trial practices used by one party to obtain facts and information about a case from another party in order to assist the party's preparation for trial. Students study depositions, interrogatories, production of documents, requests for admissions, and other pre-trial discovery practices. The course is hands-on and requires students to draft pleadings, conduct discovery activities, and make a number of motions. The course places particular emphasis on electronic discovery and discusses counsel's duty to properly identify, preserve, collect, review, and produce electronically stored information (ESI), as well as on the basic technological knowledge litigation counsel should possess. The course covers the growing case law in the area and prepares students through exercises in mock information technology interviews, depositions, and exercises in proper written discovery practice as they relate to electronic discovery.  The course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Divorce Law Practicum
Course 305
3-hour skills course

The Divorce Law Practicum is a semester-long course designed to convey the essential principals, skills, and values that a lawyer must embrace and master in order to provide competent counsel in the practice of divorce law.  Working in the context of a simulated case file and related mock writing and advocacy opportunities, students will consider the potential effects of the substantive law, procedural rules and ethical guidelines, as well as the accepted customs and practices of lawyers.

Designed for students who have completed the fundamental Family Law survey course, the 3-hour Divorce Law Practicum will closely examine the primary areas of divorce practice.

Civil Procedure and Family Law is a required prerequisite or a concurrent enrollment in Family Law. While not a prerequisite, students who have completed Evidence and/or Trial Advocacy may be given preference for enrollment.

Education/Civil Rights
Course 310
3-hour elective course

This course explores the intersection of education law and policy as it meets constitutional and equal protection law.  Students will be asked to consider policy decisions that impact civil rights in various areas, including student assignment, student admissions, and student instruction, and relate them to disparities across lines of race, ethnicity, gender, native language, and religion.

Elder Law
Course 374
3-hour elective course

Coverage includes ethical issues, age discrimination in employment, income maintenance, health care, long-term care, housing, guardianship, health care decision making, elder abuse and neglect, and basic estate planning. The objective is to provide an overview of principal issues facing the practitioner of Elder Law. 

Prerequisites (Required): First-year courses.
Prerequisites (Recommended): Decedents' Estates and Professional Responsibility.

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Elder Health Law Advocacy Clinic
Course 510
4-hour skills course

The Elder Health Law Advocacy Clinic will provide students with the opportunity to 1) represent low income elderly patients facing legal issues related to health care, such as advanced health care decision making, Medicaid and Medicare eligibility, nursing home quality of care and residents' rights issues, hospice care, and medical futility; 2) engage in collaborative health policy discussions and initiatives with aging network providers; and 3) conduct community education efforts targeting health law issues of concern to the elderly.  During orientation, student attorneys will interface with the Long Term Care Ombudsman for West Tennessee and various other aging network health care providers, while also becoming acquainted with pertinent ethical issues, substantive health law issues affecting elders, administrative law relating to TennCare and Medicare appeals and Clinic office procedures.   After the initial three weeks of orientation, students will participate in weekly case review meetings with their supervising clinical professor and other class members to discuss issues and progress in their cases, policy initiatives and community education efforts.  Students are expected to devote 15 hours per week (which includes seven office hours and a weekly one-hour twenty-minute case review session) on Clinic activities.

Prerequisites: Professional Responsibility and Evidence
Recommended:  Health Law, Administrative Law and Elder Law

Employee Benefits
Course 371
3-hour elective course

In 2005, United Airlines terminated its four employee pension plans, with court permission, setting off the largest pension default in the three decades of government guaranteed pensions. In 2006, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors Corp., Alcoa Inc., IBM Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. were among U.S. companies that reduced pension liabilities by freezing their defined benefit plans.  Also in 2006, in response to the collapse of Enron, WorldCom and Tyco, in addition to numerous corporate bankruptcies, Congress passed 900 pages of new pension legislation, entitled the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the most sweeping legislation since the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).  Currently, and for the past several years, employers are and have been cutting health care coverage as insurance costs continue to soar each year.  The current year of 2009 is setting up for a “perfect storm” in the pension world as the global bear market combined with strict new funding requirements for pension plans have put many employers in a lose-lose situation with respect to fully funding their pension plans with little Congressional relief in sight.  Also, the AIG scandal will undoubtedly spur new legislation related to excessive executive compensation issues.  Additionally, approximately 10,000 ERISA cases are filed in federal court every year.

With employee benefits issues, laws, and regulations changing so rapidly and at the forefront of the news, business and legal worlds, employee benefits law has become one of the fastest growing and most critical areas of the law today.  Employee benefits issues affect not just traditional “pension” lawyers but also affect the practices of many practicing lawyers, including the corporate lawyer, the domestic relations lawyer, the litigation lawyer, the estate planning lawyer and the general practitioner.  This course will provide an introduction to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans, welfare benefit plans, and executive compensation plans.  It will be an applied problem method of instruction with emphasis on questions, issues and problems involving employee benefit plans likely to arise in a general litigation or business transaction practice.

Environmental Law
Course 328
3-hour elective course

This survey course provides a broad, practical understanding of several important federal environmental statutes and related case law. The course is designed to introduce students to the variety of environmental challenges addressed by environmental laws, the difficult policy issues surrounding environmental problems, the legal complexities of environmental regulatory and administrative schemes, and issues associated with compliance and enforcement.  The course focuses on the following federal acts:  the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

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Estate and Gift Tax
Course 335
3-hour elective course

A study of Federal Estate & Gift Taxation through an examination of the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, revenue rulings and case law. The object is to gain a working knowledge of the law.

Estate Planning
Course 329
2-hour elective course

Analysis of all aspects of Wills, probate procedures, trusts, Living Wills, Guardianships, Durable Powers of Attorney, Irrevocable Trusts, Estate Tax savings techniques, generation skipping techniques, life insurance in estate planning and probate avoidance techniques.

Prerequisites (Required): Estate and Gift Tax and Decedents' Estates

Evidence
Course 221
4-hour required course

Considers the presentation of and admissibility of factual information in the trial of a case: including the determination of relevance; proof of writings and other real evidence; qualification, examination and impeachment of witnesses; privileges; opinion testimony; and the application of the hearsay rule. Emphasis is on the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Evidence Seminar
Course 420
2-hour research/writing course

This course will deal with a broad spectrum of expert opinion testimony. It will cover the concept of expert testimony in general, standards for admissibility, discovery, and the practical aspects of using and challenging experts. It will consider the varied types of expert evidence such as: tests for alcoholic intoxication, speed detection devices, methodology for questioning the authenticity of documents, firearms identification, arson and explosives investigation, fingerprint identification, examination of trace evidence, pathology, serology and toxicology of body fluids, identification and analysis of illegal drugs, identification by DNA analysis, behavioral science evidence, and lie detection. In each area the class will discuss foundation for admission, methods of challenging admissibility, techniques for effective cross-examination, and methods of presentation of complex evidence through photographs, charts, videos, and other demonstrative resources. Students will have the opportunity to conduct simulated examinations of witnesses, laying the foundation and following the procedure for offering different types of evidence, and will examine in depth a topic of their choice for a written assignment and for the topic of a class discussion.  This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement. 

Prerequisite (Required): Evidence

Externships

Fair Employment Practices
Course 330
3-hour elective course

Focuses on statutes banning discrimination in employment and other fair employment issues. Federal and state laws dealing with discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, disability, and national origin will be examined. Questions regarding affirmative action and "reverse discrimination" will be discussed. The course will also look at the recent erosion of the employment at will doctrine and a variety of special employment-related topics.

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Family Law
Course 331
3-hour practice foundation menu course
Bar Course

This is a survey course in Family Law that focuses primarily on marriage, divorce, and issues related to dissolution of a marriage. There is an emphasis on Tennessee law.

Prerequisite (Required): Constitutional Law

Family Law Seminar
Course 421
2-hour research/writing course

This seminar examines current topics in family law with an emphasis on reproductive rights, the establishment of the parent-child relationship, and the evolving definition of family.

Students will write and present a substantial, publishable quality paper. This seminar satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

Prerequisites (Required): Constitutional Law and Family Law

Federal Courts
Course 333
3-hour elective course

This course covers the role of the Federal Courts in the U.S. Constitutional system, the Case or Controversy Requirement, Non-Article III Courts, the original jurisdiction of U.S. District Courts, Supreme Court review of state decisions, habeas corpus, abstention and injunctions against suit, and the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine.

Prerequisite (Required):  Constitutional Law

Federal Discrimination Seminar
Course 444
2-hour elective course

This seminar looks at current topics in federal discrimination law.  Topics include disparate impact analysis, affirmative action, gay rights, voting rights issues, and others.  Reading assignments are included in a packet provided by the professor and average 30-40 pages per week.  The packet includes excerpts from cases, law review articles, congressional testimony, and newspaper and magazine articles, as well as several short writing exercises.  Students will write one 25-page research paper, and present that paper in a class toward the end of the semester. This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

Food and Drug Law
Course 388
3-hour elective course
 
The primary focus of this class will be on the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act generally and the FDA, in particular. The course covers such contemporary issues as protecting against unsafe or mislabeled food, controlling carcinogens, color additives, expediting approval of AIDS and cancer drugs, assuring the safety of prescription drugs before and after marketing, importing drugs from abroad, switching drugs from prescription to nonprescription status, balancing the benefits and risks of breast implants, the compassionate use of experimental products, regulating complex new medical device technology, control of such biotechnology techniques, requiring adequate consumer and professional labeling for FDA-regulated products, and the relationship among international, federal and state regulatory enforcement. There are no prerequisites, but Administrative Law is recommended.
 
Franchising Law
Course 706
2-hour elective course
 
The impact of franchising is very significant, as franchised businesses contribute to over 11% of all private sector economic output, create over 15% of all private sector jobs, and account for approximately 3.4% of the gross domestic product of the United States.  With over 3,000 franchise businesses and 900,000 franchise establishments, there are nearly 9.5 million jobs in franchised businesses in our country.  It is most likely that practicing attorneys will have some meaningful involvement with franchising throughout their careers.

This course will cover all relevant aspects of US franchise law, including: its history;  the impact of trademark , trade secret, and antitrust laws on franchising; the governing federal and state registration laws; the unique franchise sales process and required documentation; and the typical contractual, business and real-life issues that arise with franchising.

The focus of the course will be on the practical side of providing legal assistance to franchisors and franchisees.  The intent of this course is to prepare the participants to be able to render meaningful and proper advice to clients in this highly regulated and pitfall-ridden business arena. Along with providing a basic understanding of the entire franchise process, this course will offer specific guidance on gauging the viability of franchise opportunities, gleaning relevant information from franchise disclosure documents, negotiation of franchise agreements and related documents, and handling the day-to-day issues most common to franchise relationships.   There are no prerequisites for this course and no prior experience in Intellectual Property is required.

 

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General Session Civil Litigation Clinic
Course 511
4-hour skills course

In the Civil Litigation Clinic, University of Memphis law students represent indigent clients in a variety of housing, consumer protection cases pending in the General Sessions, Circuit, and Chancery courts of Shelby County.  Under the direct supervision of licensed faculty, students engage in the examination of law and advocacy, actively navigating ethical, substantive, procedural, and evidentiary issues in the context of case work, classroom seminars, in-class case rounds and presentations, weekly case team meetings, and group and individual simulations.  Through the vehicle of live-client representation, students make continuous use of the essential skills they will utilize to address the ever-changing needs of clients upon graduation, including interviewing, counseling, analysis and evolution of case theory, legal research and drafting, conducting formal discovery and informal fact investigation, problem solving, negotiation, written and oral advocacy, pretrial practice, and trial practice.

Emphasis is additionally placed on allowing students in the Civil Litigation Clinic to reflect upon their experiences in light of issues such as rapport-building and control in the lawyer-client relationship, professionalism, diversity, the role of lawyers in social change work, and other questions related to lawyering and society.  Students also gain continuous exposure to collaborative lawyering, working together with supervising attorneys and class members to confront and address the many case, office, and time management issues arising in their representations.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Gun Control/Gun Rights Seminar
Course 494
2-hour research/writing course

This seminar covers a variety of topics related to the law of firearms violence, including the meaning of the Second Amendment, the history of the right to bear arms in civilized societies, modern gun control laws, civil litigation against the firearms industry, cultural factors affecting gun violence, and gun laws in other nations.  This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

 Health Care Insurance & Regulation Seminar
Course 434
2-hour research/writing course

In this seminar, students will engage in detailed investigation of how the health care system is designed post-enactment of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). It will use ACA as a vehicle through which to gain deeper understanding of how health insurance is structured in the U.S., and how ACA impacts (or is likely to impact) the "experience" of health care, at an individual or population – and private or public – level via federal and downstream state law and regulation. The primary intent will be to equip students with the knowledge to better understand the short- and long-term implications of ACA vis-à-vis the health care "system," and the skills to analyze policy developments to more effectively practice in an ever-changing health law landscape.

Students will be expected to write a substantial, publishable quality paper, and to present their work to the class. This seminar will satisfy the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

Prerequisite (Recommended): Health Law (can be taken concurrently)

Health Law I
Course 336
3-hour elective course

This course will provide broad coverage of health law issues, with a focus on individual experiences with the health care system, and patient-clinician and patient-institution interactions. It serves as a foundation for students interested in learning more about health law generally. Topics include access to health care and the "duty to treat" (and limitations thereon), licensing of health professionals and institutions, the patient-professional relationship, informed consent and confidentiality, health care professional and institutional liability, and quality in medical institutions. There are no Prerequisites for the class.

Health Law II
Course 708
2-hour elective course
 
This course does not require math skills or an accounting background. This class will examine how health care is funded through both private and public insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. The regulation of private health insurance will be reviewed, as the policy questions about addressing access to large uninsured population including EMTALA and the Affordable Care Act.   The course will also review the forms and structure of health care enterprises, with a focus on the creation and regulation of tax-exempt organizations. The fraud and abuse laws, including the False Claims Act, the
Anti-Kickback law and STARK will be also be reviewed.   Finally, the course will review how the antitrust laws impact the structure and conduct of health care providers. There are no Prerequisites for the class.

Health Law Organization, Regulation, and Finance
Course 302
2-hour elective course

This introductory health law course focuses on the regulation, structure, and financing of the American health care system. Regulation and structural issues may include the legal organization of health care institutions, accreditation, medical staff disputes, managed care, fraud and abuse, tax exemption, health care transactions, and antitrust. Access and financing issues may include private health insurance, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the continuation of health insurance under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and Medicare and Medicaid.

Health Policy Practicum
Course 705
2-hour skills course
 
In the Health Policy Practicum ("Practicum"), students will work with community partners to address a real-world policy issue negatively impacting health. Specific projects may change from year to year, and more may be added or amended, depending on community needs at a given time. Types of projects may include (non-exclusive list):
  • a literature review and analysis of a health policy issue;
  • a memo and/or "white paper" that addresses best practices and recommended next steps (for legal and interdisciplinary audiences) with respect to a given health issue;
  • a needs assessment to develop health policy priorities;
  • development of a policy or set of policies to address a health issue; or
  • analysis of existing policies to identify gaps, funding needs for effective implementation, necessary adjustments to achieve policy goals, etc.

Students will work alongside and as support to community partners, with each student being assigned a lead Community Supervisor as determined in consultation with Practicum faculty and community partners (and based on the student's specific role on a given project).   Overarching supervision, and final grade assessment, will reside in Practicum faculty.

Prerequisites: Health Law or Public Health Law. (Recommended: Administrative Law (prior to or concurrently).) This course meets the experiential course requirement for students seeking the Health Law Certificate. 

Health Law Seminar
Course 400
3-hour full year research/writing course

In this course, students will write and present a paper on a topic in healthcare law.  This seminar will provide students with an opportunity to perform in-depth research and to experience an intensive and supervised writing process in the health law discipline.  The purpose of this seminar is to provide each student with writing instruction and exposure to the health law literature.   Students have the flexibility to choose from a wide variety of topics but, ultimately, the topic must fall under the umbrella of "health law." Students will also practice writing well by following a strict schedule to organize their thoughts and then learn about critique by presenting their topics to an audience.  This seminar takes place across both the fall and spring semesters.   The class will meet for 2 hours in the fall and 1 hour in the spring.  The fall semester will focus on topic selection, the writing process, and reading health law articles and culminate in a first draft.  The second semester will focus on student presentations and revising the first draft.  

Prerequisite (Required): Must have taken or be currently enrolled in Public Health Law, Health Law I, or Bioethics.

Housing Adjudication Clinic
Course 501
4-hour skills course

Students enrolled in the Housing Adjudication Clinic will have the unique opportunity to study law and lawyering from the standpoint of the administrative law judge rather than that of direct client representative.  Working under faculty supervision, students will be assigned to investigate, research, hear, adjudicate, and issue written opinions ruling on administrative appeals involving participants in the Memphis Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher Program who have challenged adverse decisions affecting their public housing assistance.  To complement their work as adjudicators, Clinic students will participate in a twice-weekly classroom seminar designed to survey substantive fair housing law, explore administrative law and procedure, provide skills training, and consider issues of ethics and professionalism that arise in the context of the hearings to which they are assigned. This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.  

Immigration Law
Course 337
3-hour elective course

The subject matter of Immigration Law.  OBJECTIVES: To teach concepts fundamental to Immigration Law so that students will understand and be able to apply them to analysis of issues arising in factual settings.

Income Tax
Course 214
3-hour statutory menu course

This course covers concepts of gross income, exclusions from gross income, deductions, capital gains, timing, and tax systems. An important objective of the course is to develop the skill of reading statutes and applicable regulations.

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Immigration Law Clinic
Course 500
4-hour skills course

Acting as attorneys, clinical law students fully prepare and litigate a one-day “merits” deportation defense hearing in Memphis Immigration Court.  The course affords students first-hand experience with trial practice and an introduction to the specialty field of immigration law known as “removal defense.”  It also affords opportunities for legal research and writing in the field of immigration and refugee law.” Professional Responsibility and Evidence are prerequisites, and Immigration Law is recommended but not required.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Insurance Law
Course 339
3-hour elective course

This course will focus on traditional insurance law concepts and cutting edge legal issues affecting insurance law theory and practice. The course work will include an examination of insurance history and fundamental concepts, insurance contract law, government regulation, insurable interest requirements, limitations of risk, defenses and duties of policy holders after loss.  The course will include a review of property, liability, life, health, disability, automobile and other forms of insurance coverage.  We will spend a considerable time with insurance coverage that attorneys will be called upon to consider and understand in most all types of practices.

Intellectual Property Survey
Course 395
3-hour elective course

The Intellectual Property Survey course covers the basics of intellectual property law including trade secret, copyright, trademark, and patent laws.  The course will involve both the transactional and litigation sides of intellectual property.  There will be both theoretical and real world application to intellectual property issues.

International Business Transactions
Course 399
2-hour elective course

This course consists of two parts.  The first part introduces the student to the environments within which transnational business operations take place.  Within this framework a basic introduction to Public International Law will be followed by a concise examination of the leading institutions of the World Economic Environment such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund.  On the transactional level the corporate actors in the transnational business environment will be introduced focusing on the special role of the multinational enterprise.  A comparative law overview of transnational legal practice opportunities will lead to a more comprehensive discussion on international litigation strategies covering forum selection, choice of law, international commercial arbitration, and other practical private international law problems.  The second part of this course presents problem exercises in transnational business, such as drafting and consulting on transnational sales, distributorship agreements, and licensing agreements.

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International Economic Law
Course 397
2-hour elective course

This course examines the core economic principles of international trade law, including the economic theory of comparative trade.  The course examines the law administered by the World Trade organization and domestic rules affecting international trade, including anti-dumping and countervailing duties law.  As time permits, the course also examines NAFTA.
 
International Human Rights Law
Course 306
2-hour elective course
 
This course provides an introduction to international and regional laws and mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights.  Students will begin by studying the history and evolution of basic principles of international human rights law.  Through
a critical examinination of the development and effectiveness of international and regional international human rights mechanisms, students will have the opportunity to explore contemporary human rights issues in more detail.  Selected topics may include:
The Role of Non-governmental Organizations, Socio-Economic Rights Litigation, Gender, Humanitarian Intervention and Refugees. 

International Law
Course 340
3-hour elective course

Introduction to public international law that also explores selected private transnational legal problems. Covers the nature and sources of international law, jurisdiction of states over persons and territory, recognition of states and governments, governmental immunities, the law of treaties and principles of state responsibility. Special emphasis is on the study of the international protection of human rights, legal controls on the use of force and selected transnational economic problems.

Judicial Externship
Course 617
2-hour elective course

The principal goal is to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the role that judges play in our judicial systems and the responsibilities that lawyers discharge in that system. Moreover, the program is intended to foster student research and writing skills; to facilitate student exposure to lawyering skills and values; to foster student oral advocacy skills through their participation in court activities and proceedings and close working relationships with judges; to give students an opportunity to study legal process through their participation in the work of a legal institution; and to expose students to issues of professional responsibility within the context of actual courtroom experiences and lawyer practices.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Jurisprudence
Course 342
2-hour elective course

General survey of jurisprudential subjects, including stare decisis, methods of legal analysis; methods of judging; legislative intent; Natural Law; Positive Law; Legal Realism; Sociological Jurisprudence; Critical Legal Studies; Feminist Jurisprudence; and Critical Race Theory.

Juvenile Law
Course 375
2-hour elective course

This course covers the parent-child relationship and its regulation by the state. Individual topics covered vary but generally include the following: abortion, contraception, medical care, adoption, abuse, termination of parental rights, juvenile delinquency, unwed father's rights, paternity, and guardian ad litems.

Prerequisite (Required): Constitutional Law

Juvenile Law and Practice
Course 303
3-hour skills course

This is a three credit survey course that covers doctrine, practice, and procedure regarding children's rights, juvenile delinquency, juvenile dependency (abuse, neglect, and abandonment), and termination of parental rights.  Because the right to family integrity on the civil side and a child's potential loss of liberty on the delinquency side serve as bedrocks for juvenile statutes and rules, the course, of necessity, dwells on constitutional law principles.  Practice in Tennessee courts will be highlighted. Students will be required to observe three hours of proceedings in the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County and write a reflection paper.   During the first five weeks of the semester, doctrine and drafting will be emphasized. During the last two weeks of the semester, trial skills will be emphasized, and students will be expected to conduct a mock juvenile trial.   Students will be graded on two written drafting exercises, their performance in the mock trial, and on a one (1) hour closed book examination.

Labor Relations
Course 343
3-hour elective course

This course is a study of labor relations law, with a special focus on the federal statutes. Primary emphasis is placed on union organization, employer responses, union economic weapons (strikes, picketing, and boycotts), internal union discipline of members, collective bargaining, and the role of the National Labor Relations Board. The problems involved in balancing the interests of management and labor, the individual and the group, and the state and federal governments will also be discussed.

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Land Use Law
Course 344
2-hour elective course
 
Land use law governs the way our cities are developed and redeveloped.  This two-hour course will focus on land use as practiced in Tennessee by examining pertinent case law, statutes and legal concepts related to the fields of planning, zoning and subdivision regulations.  The course will also cover federal statutes that affect local zoning, including Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871,  the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as pertinent sections of the United States Constitution and the seminal opinions they have promulgated.

Law and Medicine Seminar
Course 426
2-hour research/writing course

The Law and Medicine Seminar for the spring 2010 semester is a two credit hour advanced writing course. First preference for the Seminar will be given to students who previously have not completed the writing requirement. The Seminar will focus on Medical Liability.

The public regulation of health care, the financing and structure of the health care system, and bioethics issues are not the focus of this seminar. For these subjects, check the broader Health Law class, taught by Prof. Whittaker.

The seminar will focus on Medical Liability issues, but will not be limited to Medical Malpractice, although the procedural history of a medical malpractice action in Tennessee will be covered.

Paper topics may include medical liability in tort (medical malpractice, battery, informed consent, fraud) of medical doctors, nurses, and hospitals, both public and private. On the civil side, topics may include   antitrust issues; contract, confidentiality, and privacy issues; wrongful life, wrongful pregnancy, and abortions; medical liability for participation in end of life decisions; conversion cases, e.g. mishandling of stem cells and embryos, and the selling bodies and body parts. Other topics may include civil or criminal liability for overprescribing drugs, sex with patients with and without consent, and Medicare and Medicaid fraud.  Papers may be written about the products liability actions against pharmacists, prescribing doctors, and manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and other medical products. The liability of medical insurers and HMOs when they deny authorization of medical treatment may also be considered.

This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

Law & Technology Seminar
Course 403
2-hours research/writing course

This seminar explores legal issues arising from technology and technological advances.  While innovation can create massive societal benefits, it frequently also creates deep societal uncertainties.  Lawyers and judges are on the front lines of these debates.  This course covers a broad set of subject areas that lie at the intersection of law and technology.  These areas may include the challenges that new media platforms pose for traditional intellectual property, antitrust, and regulatory analyses; the laws governing the use of personal information by governmental and private entities; the application of the First and Fourth Amendments to digital interactions; jurisdictional and choice-of-law questions; and similar developing issues.

Students will research, write, and present a paper on a law-and-technology topic of their choice.  Potential topic areas for papers could include, for example: the dissemination of classified information by Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, the regulation of patent-assertion entities ("patent trolls"), or digital music and copyright infringement.



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Law Review
Courses 912, 913, 914
3- or 4-hour research/writing course

The University of Memphis Law Review is the law school’s scholarly journal, publishing articles written by law professors, judges, and practitioners, as well as student “Notes” written by members of the law review.  Students serving as staff members or editors earn credit writing their notes, editing and cite-checking articles, and fulfilling the other obligations necessary to publish 4 issues of the law review each year.   Students are selected to become law review staff members through a “write-on” competition held in the summer after the first year of law school that considers their performance on the write-on competition paper, their score on a legal citation style (i.e., Bluebook) test, and other factors.  In their second year of law school, staff members interested in becoming editors may apply in the Spring semester for positions on the editorial board.  A minimum GPA of 2.50 is required to participate in and remain eligible for law review. Successful completion of the Law Review Note satisfies the research/writing requirement.

Legal Argument and Appellate Practice
Course 347
2- or 3-hour research/writing OR skills course

This is a practical course which focuses on the skills involved in taking a first appeal. Students will work with a real trial transcript. The class will focus on identifying issues for appeal and will cover topics such as preservation of error, plain error, harmless error, and standards of review. Students will write a brief to a court of appeals and argue the appeal orally. This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Legal Drafting: Litigation Drafting 
Course 513
2-hour skills course

This course is designed to provide second- and third- year law students with the skills and knowledge necessary to draft client letters, pleadings, and motions involved in civil litigation.  Students will be challenged to refine their writing skills and strategic analysis of pre-trial issues in this practical based course.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Legal Drafting: Contracts
Course 597
2-hour skills course

This course is a transactional drafting course for second- and third- year law students.  The course is designed to provide students with the analytic skill of translating the business deal into contract concepts, and an understanding of the rules and techniques for good transactional drafting to enhance clarity and avoid ambiguity.   Students will be challenged to learn to think like lawyers and develop skills in translating that thinking into the contracts they draft, utilizing a variety of contracts and transactional practice areas.  This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Legal Ethics Seminar
Course 447
2-hour research/writing course

This seminar gives the students an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of selected issues in professional responsibility and professionalism. Coverage will include confidentiality, conflicts of interest, litigation tactics, perjury, the client-lawyer relationship, counseling clients, competence, admission to practice, professional discipline, delivery of legal services, and legal education.  Students research and write a paper on a selected professional responsibility or professionalism issue. This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.


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Legal Methods I
Course 113
3-hour required course

Objective: To produce competent practitioners using a guided approach to legal research, legal drafting, and legal analysis; emphasis on substance and form of objective legal research memos, the process of legal research, and the analysis of legal issues.

Legal Methods II
Course 123
2-hour required course

The objective of this course is to produce competent advocates.  LM II covers persuasive advocacy.  Building on LM I's emphasis on research, analysis, and objective writing, students further refine these skills by drafting a persuasive trial memo or appellate brief and arguing before a mock court.

Legislation
Course 348
2- or 3-hour elective course

Many law school courses focus on judge-made law and appellate opinions. The vast majority of American law, however, is enacted law—statutory and regulatory law. This course is designed to teach students how legislatures enact law.  Studying Article I of the U.S. Constitution as well as House and Senate standing rules, students explore how Congress is structured and how it operates to make law and policy. The course also discusses courts' relationship with statutory law and the canons of statutory construction.  Finally, the course teaches students how to draft legislation—at the end of the term the class will sit as a mock legislature debating bills drafted by students.

Mediation Clinic
Course 502
4-hour skills course
 
Students in the University of Memphis Mediation Clinic will study mediation from the
inside-out, analyzing in detail the communicative, strategic, and ethical dimensions of specific interventions that mediators make in the context of particular cases. The Clinic will primarily focus on the students as the mediators, but the students will also be asked to consider the issues from other points of view: as the disputant, as an attorney representing a client in mediation, and in the capacity of advising an organizational client about dispute resolution options. The Mediation Clinic has four primary components: (1) The training that is required by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 before one may become listed as a Rule 31 Mediator; (2) Ongoing student observation of mediations conducted by Rule 31 Mediators in General Sessions Court cases, Federal Court cases, and EEOC administrative proceedings; (3) Student participation as co-mediator with Rule 31 Mediators in Shelby County General Sessions Court cases; and (4) Weekly classroom seminar and case rounds designed to give students further training and feedback throughout the course of the semester.

Mental Health Law
Course 394
3-hour elective course

This course begins with a discussion of mental disorders from the medical perspective.  Next, attention is turned to the role of mental health experts in legal matters, with special emphasis on that to which they can and cannot testify and when a defendant is entitled to the assistance of an expert.  In this area, many of the cases involve the insanity defense, including those with the death penalty at stake.
The focus then turns to civil commitment, which is the largest part of the course.  In short, a person can be involuntarily hospitalized if he or she has a mental illness and as a result of that mental illness is either dangerous to himself/herself or others.  Both the substantive and procedural aspects of civil commitment are covered.  To see these in practice, students have the opportunity to observe civil commitment hearings, which are closed to the public.
Some time is also spent on the issue of competency and the appointment of a guardian or conservator.  Finally, students examine what mental issues are required to be disclosed on the Tennessee Bar Application, and the consequences of those disclosures.
 
Mental Health Law Seminar
Course 402
3-hour research/writing course
 
Students will write and present a paper of publishable quality on a topic involving mental health law, the specific topic to be selected by the student with the approval of the instructor. Students will perform in-depth research and will participate in an intensive, supervised writing process.  Significant time will be spent on instruction
regarding academic writing and in editing the student's own work and, occasionally, the work of other students.  In addition, the seminar will provide an opportunity to examine current topics in mental health law through reading assignments coupled with rigorous analysis and vigorous discussion amongst the seminar students under the guidance of the instructor. Approximately ten reading assignments will provide the material for analysis and discussion.  Reading assignments will comprise excerpts from cases, law review articles and other periodicals, and newspapers and magazines.  The seminar will take place across both the fall and spring semesters.  The class will meet for two hours each week in the fall semester and for one hour each week in the spring semester with a final, overall grade being assigned at the end of the spring semester. The fall semester will focus on topic selection, the writing process, editing, and the reading assignments, and will culminate in a high-quality first draft of the paper.  The second semester will focus on revising the paper and also will involve making a presentation to the seminar class based upon the paper. 
 
Papers that earn a grade of C or better will satisfy the Advanced Research/Writing Requirement. 

Mergers & Acquisitions
Course 301
2- or 3-hour elective

This course introduces students to the legal principles that underlie mergers and acquisitions. The advantages and disadvantages of various acquisition forms, such as mergers, asset acquisition, stock purchases, and tender offers are discussed. Significant focus is also given to the fiduciary duties and other obligations of company boards of directors, the role of shareholder voting, externalities arising from some merger/acquisition transactions, state anti-takeover statutes, disclosure requirements arising from the securities laws, and the effects of mergers and acquisitions on other constituencies (beyond shareholders and management). Prerequisite: Business Organizations.

Moot Court
Course 811
1- or 2-hour elective

Students can receive one or two credits for Moot Court by successfully completing intra-school moot court or mock trial competitions. A student who successfully completes two competitions is eligible for one credit. A student who successfully completes four competitions is eligible for two credits. Students generally register for credits in their final semester of study.

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  National Security Law
Course 308
2-hour elective course

This course is designed for upper level students, particularly those interested in employment opportunities in the significant number of positions with the U.S. Government, U.S. Military, or private practice.  Major areas to be covered will include the constitutional and legislative framework for Presidential power and the powers of Congress, using armed force abroad, detaining "enemy combatants" (terrorist suspects), intelligence gathering, Homeland Security, and future threats to national security.  Significant current events also will influence the scope of the course schedule.

Non-Profit Organization Tax
Course 370
3-hour elective course

This course covers the state law requirements regarding the organization and operation of nonprofit organizations. In addition, a heavy emphasis is placed on the federal income tax treatment of nonprofit organizations, including the requirements for obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status, the distinction between a public charity and a private foundation, the private foundation excise taxes, and the unrelated business income tax.

Prerequisites (Required): Income Tax.
Prerequisites (Recommended): Business Organizations.

Partnership Tax
Course 352
3-hour elective course

The course focuses on the federal income tax aspects of partnership formation, operations, sales and exchanges of partnership interests, operating distributions, liquidations and S Corporations.

Prerequisite (Required): Basic Income Tax
Prerequisite (Recommended): Corporate Tax

Patent Law
Course 390
3-hour elective course

The nature of patentable subject matter in the U.S. and the statutory requirements of utility, novelty, and nonobviousness are examined in detail. Students also consider the process of obtaining and enforcing patent rights. Such consideration includes an overview of the disclosure, enablement and claim requirements for a patent application, as well as the scope of protection granted to the owner of an issued patent. Remedies for patent infringement as well as defenses are also covered. A
technical background is not required for this course.

Prerequisites (Required): Property I & II - Courses 115 & 125
Prerequisites (Recommended): Intellectual Property Survey - Course 395

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Pre-Trial Litigation
Course 353
3-hour elective course

A study of pre-trial practice from Rule 11 through consolidated pre-trial order.

Privacy Law Seminar
Course 401
2-hour research/writing course

This advanced torts seminar focuses on the four privacy torts: appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, and false light. It explores not only the history, doctrinal requirements, and application of the privacy torts, but uses them as a vehicle and framework for exploring privacy as a societal value and individual right.

Problems in Bankruptcy
Course 354
2-hour elective course

Addressing, discussing, and solving selective bankruptcy problems involving, for example, home mortgages, trustee's avoidance powers, relief from stay, plan confirmation utilizing applicable Code and Rule provisions and decisional law.

Products Liability
Course 357
2-hour elective course

A complete review of the current status of product liability law, including an examination of the bases of liability (warranty, misrepresentation, negligence and strict liability); issues relating to proximate cause; issues related to industry liability, market share and enterprise liability; a review of defenses available (comparative negligence, assumption of the risk, product misuse; product alteration, governmental standards pre-emption, statutes of limitations and statutes of repose, learned intermediary doctrine, idiosyncratic reaction); a review of damages issues peculiarly related to product liability law; evidentiary problems such as those related to expert witnesses and spoliation; an examination on the type of entities who are liable under presently existing product liability law (employers, lessors, bailors, franchisors, used product sellers, real estate vendors, landlords and personal service providers); and an examination in detail of the Tennessee Product Liability Act of 1978.

Professional Responsibility
Course 224
2-hour required course

Examines the cannons, ethical considerations and disciplinary rules of the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  This course may be taken in the 2L or 3L year.

Property I
Course 115
3-hour required course

Coverage includes personal property, private interests in land, and the sale of land. Objectives include mastery of principal concepts of acquisition, retention, and transfer of property rights.

Property II
Course 125
3-hour required course

Coverage includes personal property, private interests in land, and the sale of land. Objectives include mastery of principal concepts of acquisition, retention, and transfer of property rights.

Public Health Law
Course 702
3-hours elective course
 
This course will offer a survey perspective of key issues at the intersection of public health (as distinguished from individual health or clinical treatment) and the law. It will examine the complex interplay between government's role in protecting and promoting population health, and individual liberties, privacy, commercial speech, and property rights.   It will begin by discussing the foundations of legal involvement in public health and traditional government powers (e.g., infectious disease control and surveillance, vaccination, food and water safety, environmental safety). A substantial amount of time will then be spent on legal, policy, and ethical issues raised by evolving notions of those governmental powers, including the power of government (including through use of tort law) to promote "healthy" behaviors (e.g., anti-obesity efforts), and to regulate "non-valued" behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol use; decisions not to be vaccinated or comply with infection control). A small part of the course will also touch on recent efforts related to bioterrorism, responses to natural disasters, and public health genetics. While US-focused, there will be opportunities to discuss global public health.

Realty Transactions
Course 358
2-hour elective course

This course covers transactional aspects of the buying; selling and financing of real property; professional responsibility problems; brokerage law; contracts; real estate closings; title examinations and title insurance; deeds of trust and mortgages; foreclosures; bankruptcy; income tax implications; and environmental issues.

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Remedies
Course 368
3-hour elective course
Bar course

This course studies the nature and measurement of the judicial remedies to which a party is entitled after establishing that a substantive right has been violated. It focuses on Coercive Remedies (injunctions, specific performance), Damages (compensatory, punitive) and Restitution.

Research I
Course 711
1-hour elective

Independent Research is intended to permit students with an avid interest in a particular topic to explore that topic at length under the supervision of a faculty member.  Accordingly, it is contemplated that students will generate the topic based upon the student’s interests.  In other words, it is not the purpose of Independent Study to enable a student to fill a gap in the student’s schedule or to satisfy graduation requirements.  Independent Study does not satisfy the advanced writing requirement, in whole or in part.  Students may enroll in Independent Research for not more than one credit hour.  In addition, permission of a supervising faculty member (who shall be a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty member) is required, as is approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  No more than a total of 8 credit hours may be earned by completion of any combination of the following:  Externships, Law Review, Moot Court and Independent Research.  All papers must comply with the terms set forth in the Requirements for Student Research Papers and any successor publication or communication.

Sales
Course 359
3-hour statutory menu course
Bar course

This course covers Article 2, and to some intent, Articles 2A, 5, and 7.

Prerequisites (Recommended): Contracts I and II

Secured Transactions
Course 222
3-hour statutory menu course

General survey of topics relating to the creation, perfection, and priority of security interests, as well as topics relating to the identification of types of collateral and rights upon default.

Securities Regulation
Course 361
3-hour elective course

This course considers federal regulation of the registration, issuance, and trading of securities in national, regional and private markets for securities. Materials in the course will examine the 1933 and 1934 Acts and other federal statutory provisions (for example, The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010) and their effects on markets for issuance and trading of securities. 

Prerequisites (Recommended):  Business Organizations I


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Sports Law
Course 372
2-hour elective course

This course is designed to introduce students to the legal, business and policy issues and disputes that arise in the world of amateur and professional sports. The course will approach topics from the perspective of various players in the sports industry, such as the sports lawyer, the corporate counselor, the university administration, team management, various sports regulatory bodies, the athletes and even the fans. In addition, we will discuss and dissect current events in the world of sports. 

Tax Seminar
Course 431
2-hour research/writing course

Assigned readings on various tax policy topics are discussed in class. In addition, each student prepares a research paper on a selected tax policy topic and presents that paper to the class. To further enhance writing skills, each student edits two other students’ research papers. This course satisfies the Advanced Research/Writing requirement.

Tennessee Civil Procedure Seminar
Course 429
2-hour research/writing course

The Tennessee Civil Procedure Seminar addresses the subject matter jurisdiction of  Tennessee’s various courts;  judicial jurisdiction with emphasis on Tennessee’s long arm statutes; venue;  statutes of limitation and repose;  pleadings;  pre-trial motion practice; discovery; trial practice including  jury selection, opening statements , presentation of evidence and objections under the Tennessee Rules of Evidence, jury instructions, closing arguments,  verdicts, and post trial motions; and appeals under the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Ethics issues as they relate to Tennessee Civil Procedure will be addressed as will enforcement of judgments. General Sessions Court and Juvenile Court practice.

Course materials will be made available on TWEN.  

Students enrolled in this seminar will prepare original research papers on a topic of Tennessee Civil Procedure, which may include topics regarding civil trial practice, rules of evidence, appellate practice, and ethics, among other topics. It is expected that student papers will be of a quality worthy of publication as a Note in a law review such as the UM Law Review.  Students will be expected to prepare initial and final drafts of their papers. Papers that earn a grade of C or better will satisfy the  Advanced Research/Writing Requirement.

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Tennessee Constitutional Law Seminar
Course 445
2-hour research/writing course

This seminar will explore state constitutional doctrine, with an emphasis upon individual rights provisions.  While development under the Constitution of Tennessee will be a principal focus, selected issues in other states will be examined as well, as will the methodology of state constitutional analysis. This course satisfies the Research/Writing requirement.

Prerequisites (Required): Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure I

Torts I
Course 112
3-hour required course

Torts addresses civil wrongs, other than breaches of contract, for which the law provides a monetary remedy.  Torts I begins with coverage of the basic intentional torts (battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, and conversion) and the privileges or defenses to the intentional torts.  Most of the course, however, is devoted to the broad tort of negligence.  Simplistically, negligence law is the study of liability for accidental injuries.

Torts II
Course 122
3-hour required course

Torts II picks up where Torts I leaves off, with further consideration of the tort of negligence.  Other topics that may be covered include strict liability (of which products liability is the largest component), wrongful death, tort damages, and defamation and privacy.

Prerequisite (Required): Torts I

Trade Secrets
Course 707
2- or 3-hours elective course
 
Trade secrets are one of the four core areas of intellectual property law and the one most likely to be encountered in legal practice by non-specialists, as trade secret issues arise in areas as diverse as employment law, business formation, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, franchising, venture financing, development of new technologies, and contractual relationships of all sorts between competitors, joint venturers and vendors.

This course will cover the laws protecting trade secrets and confidential business information, including the various related doctrines that govern the ownership and use of information between employers and employees, fiduciary duties, non-compete agreements, and assignment agreements concerning new inventions and discoveries.

The focus of the course will be on the Uniform Trade Secrets Act now in effect in almost every state (including Tennessee), as well as the federal Economic Espionage Act. The "hot" topics in current trade secret practice, including what does and does not constitute an actual trade secret, the doctrine of inevitable disclosure, and real-world contractual restrictions on employee mobility through non-competes and non-solicitation covenants, will be covered in depth. Alongside this practice-oriented approach, the course will also explore certain public policy concerns, including the effect of trade secret laws on employee rights and on technological innovation. There are no prerequisites for this course and no prior experience in Intellectual Property is required.

Trademarks
Course 366
2-hour elective course
 
Considers legal and policy problems in the law of trademarks through case analysis and examination of the Lanham Act.  Topics include marks subject to protection, the federal registration process, likelihood of confusion, 'palming off,' and remedies.
 
 Prerequisite (Recommended): IP Survey

Trial Advocacy
Course 516
3-hour skills course

Trial Advocacy is a simulation course wherein students will learn about the various phases of jury trial in civil and criminal contexts, as well as the differences between jury and non-jury trials. Students will simulate jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments, and will learn how to introduce exhibits, present expert testimony, raise and respond to objections, and deal with problem witnesses. Students will have weekly simulation assignments and, in most sections, will conduct a full trial at the end of the semester. This course satisfies the upper-level skills requirement.

Prerequisite (Required): Evidence

Trust Law
Course 392
2-hour elective course

A comprehensive, theoretical study of the law of trusts, including the history, the necessary elements of a trust and the role of trustees.

U.S. Taxation of International Income
Course 385
3-hour elective course

The course will examine U.S. tax rules applicable to business and investment activities of foreign individuals and corporations in the United States (“inbound transactions”) and U.S. tax rules applicable to U.S. taxpayers who invest and conduct business abroad (“outbound transactions”.  Specific topics will include sourcing and characterization of items of income and deductions, the branch profits tax, foreign investment in U.S. real estate, the foreign tax credit, property transfers, controlled foreign corporations, and U.S. tax treaties.  Federal Taxation of Business Entities is a prerequisite but it may be taken concurrently.

Prerequisite (Required): Basic Income Tax
Prerequisite (Recommended): Partnership Tax
 
Voting Rights & Election Law
Course 704
2-hour elective course
 
Voting Rights & Election Law covers the law involving voting rights, election administration, and campaign finance.  Topics covered will include one-person, one-vote; political and racial gerrymandering; alternative electoral systems; election challenges and recounts; voter enfranchisement and disenfranchisement; and the regulation of campaign finance.   Both constitutional and statutory issues will be covered. 
 
White Collar Crime
Course 703
2-hour elective course 
 
This course will introduce students to the scope and significance of white collar crime in the United States and educate students about the substance and procedure of federal white collar crime prosecutions, with an emphasis on health care crimes. Students who take the course will become familiar with fundamental procedures of federal criminal investigation, prosecution and sentencing. Substantively, they will develop an understanding of the most frequently used federal white collar criminal statutes and those statutes most often used to prosecute health care crimes.
 
Prerequisite (Recommended): Criminal Procedure
 
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Electives & Specialized Areas of Study

Memphis Law's curriculum provides many elective courses which cover a wide range of substantive legal knowledge and lawyering skills.  The upper level curriculum permits students to take courses in specialty areas of law, develop fundamental lawyering skills, and concentrate their legal education in particular areas of interest.  These elective courses are listed by basic specialty areas.

Commercial Law
Bankruptcy Externship
Commercial Paper
Debtor-Creditor
Problems in Bankruptcy
Sales

Constitutional Law
Civil Rights
Education & Civil Rights
Federal Courts A
Federal Courts B
Tennessee Constitutional Law Seminar
 
Corporate/Business Law
Antitrust
Business Organizations II
Mergers & Acquistions
Securities Regulation
Secured Transactions
Unfair Trade Practices
 
Domestic Relations Law
Child and Family Litigation Clinic
Divorce Law Practicum
Family Law
Juvenile Law
Juvenile Law and Practice

Estate Planning and Probate Law
Elder Law
Elder Law Clinic
Elder Law Seminar
Estate and Gift Tax
Estate Planning
Trust Law

Health Law
Bioethics and the Law
Health Law
Health Law Organization, Regulation and Finance
Health Law Seminar
Law and Medicine Seminar
Mental Health Law

Intellectual Property Law
Copyright
Cyber Law
Patent Law
Sports Law

International and Comparative Law
Comparative Law Seminar
Immigration Law
International Business Transactions
International Economic Law
International Law

Jurisprudence, Interdisciplinary Study
and Public Policy
Education/Civil Rights
Federal Discrimination Seminar
Gun Control/Gun Rights Seminar
Jurisprudence
Law and Accounting
Law and Economics
Legal History
Mental Health Law
Social Welfare/Poverty Law Seminar

Labor and Employment Law
Fair Employment Practices
Labor Relations
NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) Externship
Worker's Compensation

Lawyering Skills Practice
ADR-Labor
ADR-Mediation
ADR-Negotiation
Advanced Appellate Advocacy
Appellate Advocacy
Business Planning
Child and Family Litigation Clinic
Criminal Justice Externship
Disability Law and Practice
Discovery
Elder Law Clinic
Ethics Seminar
General Sessions Civil Litigation Clinic
Judicial Externship
Juvenile Law and Practice
Legal Argument and Appellate Practice
Legislation
Memphis Area Legal Services Externship
Pre-Trial Litigation
Tax/Small Business Clinic
Trial Advocacy
Professional Responsibility
Scholarly Writing for Law Students Seminar
U.S. Attorney Externship
Writing For and About Litigation

Procedure/Civil and Criminal
Administrative Law
Civil Procedure III
Conflicts
Criminal Procedure II
Federal Courts A
Federal Courts B
Remedies
Tennessee Civil Procedure Seminar

Real Estate/Environmental Law
Environmental Law
Environmental Law Seminar
Land Use Planning
Realty Transactions

Taxation
Estate and Gift Tax
Federal Taxation of Business Enterprises
Non-Profit Organization Tax
Partnership Tax
Tax Seminar

Torts/Product Liability Law
Insurance Law
Privacy Law Seminar
Products Liability

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Upper-level Research Requirement & Skills Requirement

To graduate, a student must successfully complete the upper-level research requirement and the skills requirement.  See Academic Regulation 16.c.

Skills Course: 
A student must have two-credits of skills credit to satisfy the Skills Requirement.

  • ADR/Arbitration
  • ADR/Labor
  • ADR/Mediation
  • ADR/Negotiation
  • Advanced Clinic
  • Business Planning
  • Clinic
  • Disability Law & Practice
  • Discovery
  • Divorce Law Practicum
  • Externship
  • Juvenile Law and Practice
  • Legal Argument & Appellate Practice (satisfies either Skills or Upper-level Research/Writing, but not both)
  •  Legal Drafting: Litigation
  • Legal Drafting: Contracts
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Advanced Appellate Advocacy
  • Advanced Trial Advocacy

Upper-level Research/Writing Requirement: A student must have two-credits of research/writing credits to satisfy the Upper-level Research/Writing Requirement.

  • Successful completion of the Law Review Note
  • Legal Argument & Appellate Practice (satisfies either Skills or Upper-level Research/Writing, but not both)
  • Seminar

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Last Updated: 7/24/14