ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits)
Analyzes the regulatory, adjudicatory and policymaking powers of federal, state and local government agencies and their effect on private interests.
ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME LAW (3 credits)
Analyzes the many issues faced in maritime law, including torts, contracts, state and local environmental laws, and international treaties.
ADVANCED APPELLATE ADVOCACY (3 credits)
Focuses on the skills needed to effectively represent clients in complex appellate settings.
ADVANCED CRIMINAL LAW (3 credits)
Focuses on elemental criminal law and the inchoate crimes. A continuation of the topics and types of crimes studied in 1L Criminal Law. There are restrictions to enrollment for this class. Visit Required Courses to learn more.
ADVANCED CRIMINAL MOTIONS PRACTICE (3 credits)
Taught by an Appellate Court justice, this class focuses on criminal motions, suppression of evidence, and other motions for prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys.
ADVANCED CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (2 credits)
Explores selected topics associated with Constitutional criminal procedure such as Fourth Amendment issues, the exclusionary rule, and the reach of Miranda, in the context of effective trial and appellate advocacy.
AGING AND THE LAW (3 credits)
Explores critical legal issues facing the elderly, including incapacity, asset management and protection, long term care, Medicaid eligibility, medical decision making. Focus will be on the use of trusts, powers of attorney, powers of appointment, health care proxy, and Medicaid and tax law. Prerequisite: Wills and Trusts
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (2 credits)
Deals with mediation, arbitration and other alternative methods of resolving disputes.
ANIMAL LAW (3 credits)
Explores the emerging area of Animal Rights and protections for animals under federal and state laws, as well as new types of advocacy for family pets.
AVOIDING TRAPS FOR NEW LAWYERS (Online) (3 credits)
Provides an historical perspective of the origins of western law, and then focuses upon tort law, manufacturers liability, governmental responsibility, and the role of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
BAIL TO JAIL (3 credits)
Examines the criminal procedure process from arrest and arraignment through sentencing. Variations offered: Bail to Jail – Street Level Drugs; Bail to Jail – Criminal Practice.
BANKRUPTCY LAW (3 credits)
Deals with the policies and legal principles of the federal bankruptcy laws. Focus is placed on claims cognizable in bankruptcy, the rejection and assumption of executory contracts, automatic stays, Chapter 11 reorganizations, “fresh start” rules, jurisdiction, and other matters.
BAR ESSAY WRITING & ANALYSIS (3 credits)
This course focuses on honing and improving students’ analytical and writing skills, with a special emphasis on the analytical and writing skills used for successful completion of the essay portion of the bar examination. Students will explore issue spotting techniques and methods of analysis; learn helpful tips for writing essay exams; receive personalized feedback on essays; and review the substantive law necessary to write the essay exam. This is an intensive writing class, and students should expect to complete one in-class essay assignment each week, in addition to other assignments, exercises, and scheduled readings. Students are highly advised to have completed all six substantive courses tested by the Multistate Bar Exam before taking this course. There are restrictions to enrollment for this class. Visit Required Courses to learn more.
BUSINESS ENTITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS (3 credits)
Examines the legal rules governing the personal and business relationships which arise in agency relationships, partnerships, and corporations.
BUSINESS OF THE PRACTICE OF LAW (3 credits)
This course will introduce law students to the business aspects of the legal profession. The course format will be based around a sample business plan, through which the core business functions of strategic planning, financial accounting, operations, information systems, market analysis and organizational structure will be applied to the practice of law.
The business of law continues to overwhelm the practice of law. No matter where you will find yourself after law school -as a solo practitioner, in a small, medium or large law firm, in an urban legal clinic, in an in-house legal department or working within some part of the judicial system -you will almost certainly be faced with the various business aspects of the practice of law, whether it be management and marketing issues or financial, operational and technology issues. Many lawyers today join the legal profession unprepared for the business of law and, as a result, fail to recognize the importance of the business of law, which will inevitably lead to less than complete satisfaction with the practice of law.
The goal of the course is to provide students with a running start on the business of law, through an understanding of the core business subject areas and how these have been successfully applied to the practice of law.
CASE PREPARATION AND STRATEGY (3 credits)
A study of the actions taken and strategies used in a lawsuit from the time a lawyer is first contacted by a client to the end of a trial. Variations offered: Case Prep – Top Gun Trial Advocacy; Case Prep – DUI/Gun Charges; Case Prep – Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial; Case Prep – Boot Camp. Prerequisite: Evidence.
CIVIL PROCEDURE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (4 credits)
A study of the procedural rules governing civil litigation and the methods used to resolve legal disputes.
CLINIC (3 or 6 credits)
In the clinic course upper level students obtain “hands-on” experience working in various legal settings in the public and private sectors. Prerequisites: 45 credits, Evidence, not on academic probation during the prior 2 semesters, and certification under Rule 3.03.
COLLABORATIVE & ALTERNATIVE JUSTICE (3 credits)
Focuses on alternative approaches to the existing criminal justice system, and asks if there are more humane and progressive ways to approach legal matters.
COMPARISON OF MASSACHUSETTS AND NATIONAL LAW (6 credits)
Examines the laws of Massachusetts and sister states, and helps prepare students for the bar examination. There are restrictions to enrollment for this class. Visit Required Courses to learn more.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits)
Explores the reach of federal power, its relation to the powers of the states, and the civil rights of individuals that are protected by and from governmental power.
CONSUMER PROTECTION (3 credits)
Deals with the protection of consumer interests. It deals with such topics as truth in lending, warranties, credit advertising, billing practices, credit cards, debt collection, credit reports, and false, unfair and deceptive practices.
CONTRACTS (5 credits)
Deals with the elements and requirements of contracts and with questions relating to the enforcement of contracts.
CONVEYANCING (3 credits)
Considers all aspects of real estate transactions, including negotiations, contracts, title requirements, delivery of closing documents, and post-closing remedies.
CREATING AND MANAGING A SMALL FIRM/PRACTICE (2 credits)
Analyzes the small or solo practice as an occupational alternative. The pros and cons of going it alone or associating with other solo practitioners are thoroughly reviewed. The complications and stress which universally attend partnership are explored in depth.
CRIMINAL LAW (3 credits)
Focuses on the elements of crimes and their defenses.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (3 credits)
Analyzes procedural questions relating to criminal law, including such constitutional issues as self-incrimination, search and seizure, right to counsel, and admissibility of confessions.
DRAFTING CONTRACTS I AND II (3 credits each)
Teaches students to draft contracts, ranging from simple ones to complex ones. Students study requisite techniques and requirements of drafting, and regularly draft sample agreements.
DRAFTING WILLS AND TRUSTS (2 credits)
Teaches students to draft simple wills, reciprocal wills, pourover wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, Medicaid trusts, and other estate planning documents. Prerequisite: Wills and Trusts.
E-COMMERCE & CYBERCRIMES (3 credits)
This course examines the law relating to the developing field of electronic commerce or electronic business. The course is divided into four parts. The first part of the course will examine the legal regimes for electronic commerce including jurisdiction, rule shopping and choice of forum over online transactions. The second part of the course will cover setting up shop online including trademarks and domain names, access and site owner liability. The next part of the course will cover electronic transactions and include making contracts online and electronic payments. The final part will cover regulations including the downloading and exchange of music, software and taxation of transactions conducted over the internet. The course will examine cases and specific examples of e-commerce businesses, which demonstrate how these legal issues apply to particular scenarios.The course presumes no knowledge of computer systems, e-commerce, or law.
EDUCATION LAW (3 credits)
Surveys the laws affecting public and private educational institutions at all levels. Issues covered include collective bargaining, tort liability, and student rights.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (3 credits)
Analyzes the nature and causes of environmental pollution and of emerging legal techniques for its control.
ESTATE TAXATION (3 credits)
Examines Massachusetts and federal estate tax provisions and planning issues arising under them.
EVIDENCE (3 credits)
Surveys the rules governing the use of evidence in trials.
FACTUAL INVESTIGATION (2 credits)
Addresses the need for attorneys to find information, both by examining archival material and interviewing witnesses. Also addresses the legal and ethical requirements guiding an attorney’s own investigation, and techniques of delegation and supervision when the attorney is required to relinquish investigation to a licensed professional.
FAMILY LAW ADVOCACY CLINIC (3 or 6 credits)
Provides upper-level students with hands-on clinical experience representing clients under attorney supervision in the diverse areas of family law practice in Massachusetts.
FAMILY LAW (3 credits)
Analyzes the legal rules governing marriage, divorce, distribution of marital property, child custody, adoption and children’s rights.
FAMILY LAW MEDIATION AND NEGOTIATION (3 credits)
Educates and trains the student in the art of mediation and negotiation using family law, divorce, guardianship, probate and custody issues as a focus. Prerequisite: Family Law.
FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES (3 credits)
Focuses upon First Amendment issues such as defamation, invasion of privacy, obscenity, ownership of speech, flag burning, prior restraint, and reporters’ privileges.
FIRST AMENDMENT LAW (3 credits)
Survey course covering fundamentals of First Amendment jurisprudence relating to Freedom of Expression, Association and Religion. Course focus is on contemporary Supreme Court cases, including those addressing hate speech, display of the Ten Commandments in public places, and aid to parochial schools, as well as how the current Court’s First Amendment law compares with that of Courts of the past. Course will also cover issues such as free speech in times of military conflict, popular opinion of First Amendment freedoms, and the role of religion in governmental regulations. Prerequisite: Constitutional Law
HEALTH CARE LAW (3 credits)
Examines the American health care system, including the organization and regulation of health care institutions.
HUMAN RESOURCE LAW (3 credits)
This course is designed to examine the body of laws that address the legal rights of and restrictions on employees and employers in the workplace. This body of law includes federal discrimination statutes, civil rights, collective bargaining, and fair labor standards. In addition, we will examine corresponding Massachusetts Laws that grant employees’ rights in the workplace. The laws will be examined, through case analysis and case studies, with specific focus on how those laws impact the biggest concerns facing Human Resource Managers in the workforce today.
IMMIGRATION LAW (2 credits)
Focuses on immigration law and policy, the rights of aliens, and administration and enforcement of the immigration laws by executive agencies.
INDEPENDENT THREE-HOUR STUDY (3 credits)
A student in this course writes a significant research paper on a topic of his or her choice under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: 45 credits, Evidence, Motions, no academic probation during prior 2 semesters.
INDIVIDUAL TAXATION (3 credits)
A study of the rules governing federal income taxation of individuals.
INSURANCE LAW (3 credits)
Explores legal issues of insurance, such as risk classification, indemnity, insurable interests, subrogation, rights at variance with policy provisions, and claims processes.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (2-3 credits)
Surveys the laws involving patents, trademarks and copyrights and their interrelation with the legal areas of contracts, torts, and property law.
INTERNATIONAL LAW (3 credits)
Introduces the student to aspects of the legal structure of international relations, exploring issues involving jurisdiction, sovereign immunity and international conflict resolution.
INTERVIEWING AND COUNSELING (2 credits)
This hands-on course trains students to interview and counsel effectively. Instructional techniques include videotaped roleplaying, student observation, and critiques by the instructor.
ISSUES IN INTERNET LAW (3 credits)
This course explores legal challenges presented by the Internet, communications and information technologies. We will address, in particular, the interaction of emerging legal and technological rules for the Information Society of the 21st Century. Topics include governance, jurisdiction, intellectual property, privacy and electronic commerce.
ISSUES IMPACTING WOMEN (3 credits)
Societal and legal issues impacting women. The purpose of this course is to (1) provide some historical background of womens’ rights, women lawyers, and other female trailblazers; (2) to provide an understanding of contemporary issues facing women; (3) have students deal with practical considerations for balancing careers & family; (4) assist students in effectively dealing with health, harassment & glass ceiling issues.
JUDICIAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM (3 or 6 credits)
Selected students work with Superior, District, and Probate Court judges in Massachusetts, researching and writing memoranda and decisions, and assisting judges during hearings and trials. Prerequisites: 45 credits, Evidence, not on academic probation during the prior 2 semesters, a grade point average of at least 2.5, and certification under Rule 3.03.
JUVENILE LAW (3 credits)
Examines the juvenile justice system, its philosophy, purpose and structure. Neglect and abuse cases, status offenses, and juvenile delinquency proceedings are covered, with special attention to children’s rights.
LAND USE REGULATION (3 credits)
Analyzes the legal doctrines governing use of land in modern society. Attention is devoted to zoning, land use planning, subdivision regulations, rezoning, variances, environmental restrictions, conditional uses, and mandatory dedications.
LANDLORD-TENANT LAW (3 credits)
A study of issues arising between owners of property and their lessees, with emphasis on specific Massachusetts statutes and judicial decisions.
LAW OFFICE TECHNOLOGY (1 credit)
Law Office Technology aims to make students aware of the four essential components necessary to make any law office run smoothly and efficiently: (1) case management, (2) document management, (3) on-line research, & (4) speed and security issues. Because the instructor understands that some students will come to the class with greater computing skills than others, he structures each class in ways that will take advantage of the advanced skills of some while improving upon the skills of others. The instructor uses both on-line and hard copy resources to impart the necessary knowledge to students to enable them to hit the ground running after they hang shingles for small or solo law offices.
THE LAW OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE (3 credits)
Focuses on the laws covering search and seizure, the privilege against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel during police custody interrogations.
LEGAL ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (3 credits)
Analyzes the ethical rules governing the legal profession and the conduct of lawyers and law firms. There are prerequisites for completion for this class. Visit Required Courses to learn more.
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING (2 or 3 credits)
Students in this course study models of the legislative process, the actual operation of legislative structures, delegation of legislative power, and the application and interpretation of statutes.
MASSACHUSETTS EVIDENCE (2 credits)
Taught by a judge, this course focuses on the practical and effective use of Massachusetts rules of evidence.
MEDIATION, CONCILIATION, AND NEGOTIATION SKILLS TRAINING (2 credits)
Focuses upon training students to mediate and negotiate assorted legal problems.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE (3 credits)
Examines various issues in medical liability, including causation, damages, claims against multiple defendants, and examination and cross-examination of medical experts.
MOTIONS AND LITIGATION PRACTICE (2 credits)
Teaches students how to draft the various special documents used in trial courts and helps them to refine their legal writing skills by drafting concise, clear, and effective pleadings.
NEGOTIATION IN THE LEGAL CONTEXT (2 credits)
Surveys leading theories and common practices of legal negotiators. Emphasis will be placed on weekly exercises designed to enhance negotiating skills.
NEW HAMPSHIRE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE (2 credits)
This course focuses upon the rules governing the practice of law in New Hampshire.
ORAL ADVOCACY AND COMMUNICATION (3 credits)
An intensive course in communication and advocacy. Fundamental skills of communication, drama, and speech are stressed. Reviews of student performances on videotape, demonstrations and discussions are utilized to hone students’ advocacy and communication skills.
PRODUCTS LIABILITY (3 credits)
Examines the law relating to suits against manufacturers and distributors of defective products.
PROSECUTION AND ADJUDICATION (3 credits)
Focuses upon pre-trial and post-trial strategies in criminal proceedings.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (1 credit)
This one week course is offered to enhance students job-seeking skills through resume-building, LinkedIn tips, interview pointers, and networking.
REAL ESTATE FINANCING AND CONVEYANCING (3 credits)
Examines the financing of commercial and large scale residential real estate projects, from the perspective of both the lender and the developer.
REAL PROPERTY (5 credits)
Analyzes the legal principles governing personal property and real estate.
REMEDIES (3 credits)
A study of contemporary problems both inside and outside the court system, as well as an historical review of the principles applicable to contract and tort actions, unjust enrichment, equitable doctrines, damages and restitution.
SECURED TRANSACTIONS (ARTICLE 9) (3 credits)
Focuses upon the law of secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW (3 credits)
Examines both federal and state laws and regulations related to school-age students with disabilities, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71B, and major case law related to special education. Students will also be exposed to related education laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitiation Act of 1973, and laws affecting student discipline, English language learners, residency, state and district-wide assessments, and the confidentiality of student records.
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW (3 credits)
Provides a comprehensive review of the field of representation of athletes and artists, including negotiations, contract development and long range impact of personal services contracts. Additional topics include collective bargaining agreements, players associations, and Title IX.
SUPREME COURT AND COURT OF APPEALS PRACTICE (3 credits)
Teaches oral and written advocacy before federal courts of appeal, the United States Supreme Court, and state supreme courts. Prerequisite: Research & Writing II.
TORTS (4 credits)
Focuses on the law governing liability for physical and economic injuries that one person causes another.
TRIAL COURT PRACTICE & PROCEDURE (3 credits)
Taught by trial judges, this course explores in depth how to master trial practice, including motions, jury and non-jury trials. Civil practice is covered in the fall and criminal practice is covered in the spring.
UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE (4 credits)
Focuses on the laws governing commercial transactions.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMES (2 credits)
Reviews white collar criminal issues, including securities fraud, mail fraud, environmental crimes, and illegal campaign contributions.
WILLS AND TRUSTS (4 credits)
Deals with the statutes and common law governing wills and trusts.
WORKER’S COMPENSATION (3 credits)
Examines the no-fault worker’s compensation laws of Massachusetts and other states, as well as the laws concerning social security disability.
WRITING & LEGAL ADVOCACY (3 credits)
The third of the successive legal writing classes at MSLAW, this course teaches the students how to take the skills learned in the first two semesters and use those skills while acting as an advocate for a client. Students in this course take the role of advocate and officer of the court. The students’ research and writing skills will be hone so they can apply good writing in a persuasive court document. In this class, students will become Westlaw certified, draft a legal memorandum of law to a trial judge, write an appellate brief and argue to a mock appeals court.
WRITING & LEGAL REASONING (3 credits)
The first of the successive legal writing classes at MSLAW, this course introduces students to IRAC, outlining, case briefing, and other skills unique to the study of law. Students will learn how to think critically and analytically and to write concisely and persuasively.
WRITING & LEGAL RESEARCH (3 credits)
The second of the successive legal writing classes at MSLAW, this course builds on the writing skills learned in the first semester and teaches students to write legal memoranda in an office setting. Students in this course take the role of advisor to a hypothetical client. Students will continue to formulate written rules, synthesize multiple authorities, place a rule in a rule structure (IRAC), analyze facts carefully, apply a rule to a set of facts and organize a written discussion. Students will cite legal authorities using proper legal citation format and will learn legal research strategies and the multitude of legal authorities through hands-on library and computer training.
Massachusetts School of Law's mission is to provide an academically rigorous affordable legal education emphasizing ethics, advocacy, leadership, and professional skills. MSLAW provides an accessible and affordable legal education to tomorrow’s leaders in law, business, and technology who seek to contribute to their communities as advocates, lawyers, and leaders. Lawyers have substantial influence in our society and MSLAW prepares its graduates to use that power to help their clients and obtain the societal advancement that a law degree has traditionally provided.
To accomplish its mission, Massachusetts School of Law brings together a diverse group of scholars, judges, expert practitioners and other professionals to provide individuals from all backgrounds a rigorous, professionally advantageous, affordable legal education so that they can improve their lives and better serve their communities.
The Massachusetts School of Law does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, disability, source of income, or status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities.