To the Student Body:
Various changes have resulted in new opportunities for the following fall electives: Problem Solving Workshop, Probate Practice, Seminar on Prosecution Function, and Expert Evidence. The following courses also still have space available: Special Education Law, Individual Taxation, and Trial Advocacy I (Thursday evening). Please see the details below:
We have lifted restrictions on enrollment in Professor Lee’s Problem Solving Workshop. The Workshop is intended to help prepare students for the actual practice of law by allowing them to actively engage in the kind of situations that confront practicing attorneys every day. Students will confront client problems the way practicing lawyers do, from the very beginning. They will learn how to develop a case before all the facts are known, before the goals are clarified, and before any options have been explored or chosen. Students will be assigned to work collaboratively and to submit group work product, as is often the case in practice. Short writing assignments, given throughout the semester, will be in the form of legal analysis and advice given by lawyers to clients.
This course is based on the Problem Solving Workshop instituted at Harvard Law School in 2010, and will use simulation materials developed for that program. The University of Akron School of Law was one of the first law schools outside of Harvard to pilot this popular course, now being offered for the third time.
If you are interested, please register by Friday, May 31, as the course will not be offered unless there is sufficient enrollment to support the designed exercises.
We have changed the prerequisites for this course. Wills, Trusts, and Estates II is no longer required. Students may take this course if they have completed or are currently taking Wills, Trusts, and Estates I. This is a very practical immersion in probate practice, including the probating of a will, presentment of claims and other aspects of a contest over a will or estate. These are all common aspects of the general practice of law.
We have determined that Prosecution Function can count toward the Litigation Certificate. This course seeks to bring to the law student an understanding of the prosecution side of the justice system. An effort is made to discuss the dual and sometimes conflicting role of the prosecutor as chief law enforcement officer and chief dispenser of justice. Topics include prosecutorial discretion, pleas bargaining, practical aspects of discovery, police-prosecutor relations; sentencing; victim-prosecutor relationships. In addition, there will be some discussion of prosecutorial type roles in a non-criminal context. Guest lecturers will participate in classroom discussions. Students will role play and describe research on approved topics. A final, in depth paper, on the approved topic is required.
Expert Evidence also counts toward the Litigation Certificate. This three hour seminar will combine combine doctrinal learning, skills training, and group projects. The aim of this course is to provide the student with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of expert testimony, first by delving more deeply into the FRE governing experts and the contemporary cases interpreting those rules. The course will also develop and sharpen your speaking and writing skills and engage you in hands-on learning about a variety of types of expert evidence. Segments will include forensic science, behavioral science, medical malpractice, engineering and computer reconstruction, and many other substantive subjects related to the practice of experts.
You should also consider the following courses, in which there is still space available:
The issues addressed in Special Education Law arise in every school district and probably every school. There is a need for lawyers well-versed in these issues. This course examines federal and state law governing the provision of special education services to children with disabilities. It will review landmark litigation and legislation that led to the development of a comprehensive federal and state regulatory scheme under which disabled children are afforded a free appropriate public education. Students will review and discuss the social norms and policies that have shaped the development of special education law. The course also will examine in detail the process under which a child is identified as disabled, the development of an individual education plan for a disabled child, the determination of an appropriate education placement for a disabled child, and the rights and remedies available to parents and disabled children in the event of a disagreement with school authorities. Although not a primary focus of the course, we also will discuss how the field of special education law presents unique challenges to lawyers representing any of the parties (child, parent or school administrator) given the various pressures on (and priorities of) the parties.
Every lawyer needs a strong foundation in tax law in order to serve clients competently. This course is everything you have ever wanted in a law school course and more. Want to be a litigator? We discuss why you need to be careful in drafting your complaints due to their tax implications upon ultimate recovery or settlement. Want to be a real estate attorney? We cover the ins and outs of determining tax gains and losses, how to construct a tax-free like-kind property exchange and the intricacies of recourse and non-recourse lending. Going into family practice? Come to this class and learn about the tax implications of negotiating property settlements, child support and alimony payments. Want to be an estate planner? We cover the tax consequences of gifts and inheritances and the use of trusts to shift income to others. Want to be a transactional business lawyer? No business deal gets done unless it is tax viable, so come and learn the tax business basics. Want to be a legislator? We dissect the statutory language of the Internal Revenue Code and see how complex concepts can be crafted in legislative text. Want to be a judge? We discuss the process of statutory interpretation at length and the role of judges in forming the law. Just want to be able to save a few dollars on your own taxes when you start raking in the big bucks in practice? Come and learn about itemized deductions, home mortgage interest deductions, and whether you can write off the cost of getting that LL.M degree. All this and much, much more await you! And of course, the jokes are always pithy and a unique necktie is guaranteed to be on display at every class. Ability to add and subtract useful, but not actually required.
Two of Ohio’s most respected litigators provide highly practical training in trial advocacy. The course covers all aspects of the trial, including, voir dire, opening statement, direct and cross-examination, evidentiary foundations, objections, and closing arguments. Students will learn primarily through being on their feet engaging in trial exercises. They will take turns playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses. The teachers in this course act as judges and give constructive criticism. The course will also address issues of professionalism and professional responsibility.