Accounting for Lawyers

In this course, students learn how financial accounting is used to measure and communicate the outcomes of business activities to parties inside and outside of an enterprise. The purposes of this course are to: (1) provide students with a basic understanding of the concepts and principles underlying financial accounting practices; (2) make students comfortable reading and understanding financial statements; (3) empower students to communicate with accountants; and (4) provide students with the technical tools that facilitate financial statement analysis. Note: This course will introduce Excel spreadsheets. It will also focus on accrual basis accounting.

CERT 901
Credits: 3

Administrative Law

This course is an introduction to the law of the administrative state—to the constitutional, statutory and judge-made rules governing what agencies may do, the procedures they must follow, and how they can be held to account. Topics include mechanisms for control of agencies by the legislative and executive branches; the constitutional basis for, and limits on, governance by agencies; the availability and effects of judicial review over agency action; and the features of agency rulemaking and adjudication.

BAR 901
Credits: 3

Advanced Clinic

Students who have successfully completed a clinic course may be eligible to apply for Advanced Clinic, with faculty approval. This second-semester clinic course is designed to significantly advance the student’s knowledge of the subject matter area studied in the first semester of clinic and to expand students’ knowledge of areas of practice in other clinics. Class sessions are devoted to case rounds discussions, and students take significant responsibility in crafting their own learning agendas. Acceptance to this course is limited and only permitted with faculty approval.

Credits: 4

Advanced Criminal Procedure

This course examines the constitutional, statutory and rule-based issues that arise in the formal processing of a criminal case. Subjects include the decision to charge, prosecutorial discretion, grand jury and preliminary hearing, joinder and severance, bail and pretrial release, discovery, plea bargaining and guilty pleas, speedy trial, jury composition and selection, pre-trial publicity, confrontation, cross-examination and the privilege against self-incrimination.

CERT 902
Credits: 3

Advanced Federal Income Taxation

This course examines the treatment of those taxation principles applicable to investment and business operations applicable to all taxpayers from a perspective that emphasizes tax planning and tax avoidance.
BAR 902
Credits: 3

Advanced Persuasion

This course first will review the way in which the received view of our legal system is modeled upon the supposition of rational decision-making by judges and jurors and the formalistic analysis lawyers adopt in their legal and factual advocacy. The course then will explore the anatomy and operation of the brain that explains why emotion and pattern matching are embedded in every decision. We next will address how lawyers can and must modify their advocacy to judges. argument to jurors, and persuasion of other stakeholders to track the manner in which the brain makes its decisions. Finally, the course will posit ways in which the substantive law, or dispute resolution process could and should be adjusted to better align with the actual pathway used by decision-makers.

Credits: 2

Advocacy I

This course introduces the fundamental skills of trial advocacy applicable in civil and criminal trials in any jurisdiction. In keeping with the theory that trial advocacy is best learned by "doing," each student will conduct written and oral exercises concerning the various stages of the trial process-pleadings, pretrial motions, discovery, settlement negotiations, trial preparation, jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination of lay witnesses, examination of expert witnesses, trial motions, and closing arguments. Students are able to evaluate their own progress through viewing videotapes of their performances. The class meets jointly for lectures, while the oral trial exercises are conducted in small sections.
Credits: 4

Advocacy II

Every week the entire class meets for a lecture and demonstration session, and also breaks into small group courtroom section meetings during which every student will present a trial exercise. The goals of the course are 1) to improve confidence in public speaking, 2) to learn how to prepare documents that conform to multiple sources of rules, and 3) to implement the unique protocol for factual, as opposed to legal, persuasion.

Credits: 3

Agricultural Law

This course will survey agricultural law issues including labor issues, land and water use, and food animal production and welfare. In addition, the course will focus heavily on the regulation of food production, food safety and food labeling. Finally, the course will review the emerging agriculture of medical cannabis and industrial hemp production.

Credits: 3


This course is principally an examination of antitrust law and policy in the U.S. as evolved through prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. There is brief coverage of leading market regulatory schemes such as those affecting marketing of foods, drugs, textiles, toxic substances, securities, and consumer products. In the antitrust area, commercial conduct alleged to violate price fixing, market allocation, tying, exclusive dealing, asset acquisition, and price discrimination norms are considered at length with some attention to state antitrust law.
Credits: 3

Appellate Advocacy

The primary goal of this course is to prepare students to be effective appellate lawyers, in any practice setting as well as in moot court competitions. This upper-level advanced skills course focuses on appellate theory, standard of review, advanced appellate brief writing, and the art of appellate oral argument. The course is designed to build upon the legal research and writing skills learned in the 1L curriculum; to hone and refine writing, research, and oral advocacy skills; and to develop the judgment necessary to be exceptional appellate advocates. Students will work with a partner to prepare a simulated appeal, and will be responsible for analyzing a record on appeal, developing core themes, telling a persuasive story, crafting persuasive arguments, and presenting those stories and arguments in both an appellate brief and in an oral argument. Student work will culminate in a final appellate brief and a series of oral arguments.

Credits: 2

Banking Regulation

This course will focus on banks as financial intermediaries and compare them to both the securities and insurance industries. The dual banking system of state and federal regulation will be explored as to bank formation, supervision and regulation. The course will explore the ownership and control issues affecting banks and the supervision and regulation of bank holding companies and their subsidiaries engaged in nontraditional banking activities. The causes of the financial crisis of 2007-2009, together with the reaction of financial institutions, the states, the U.S. Congress and the regulators to the crisis, will also be examined. The course will include an assessment of the deposit insurance system and the problems associated with troubled and failed banks. The course will emphasize the potential administrative enforcement, civil and criminal exposure of both regulated entities and individuals involved within those industries.
Credits: 2


The rights, duties, and remedies of both debtor and creditor are examined. The course covers the collection process, enforcement of money judgments, and insolvency proceedings. Federal bankruptcy law is emphasized.
Credits: 3

Basic Federal Income Taxation

The focus of this course is the federal income tax law and the tax policy considerations that inform the design of the structure of the law.
BAR 904
Credits: 3

Biotech, Pharmaceuticals and the Law

This course examines legal aspects of the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, including selected FDA-related laws and regulations; issues related to COVID-19; IP issues affecting the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors (including patent strategy and litigation); genetic testing; medical and data privacy; direct-to-consumer marketing of genetic tests; telemedicine; commercialization of pharmaceutical and biotech products; genetic property; and ownership of human tissues and cell lines. This course will also cover ethical considerations related to several of the highlighted topics. No exams; the major project is a term paper.

CERT 997
Credits: 2

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Law

This course will provide students with an engaging overview of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts to introduce them to the essential information every student should know about the legal implications of this emerging, disruptive global technology. The legal landscape includes government, payment systems, intellectual property, regulation, and civil and criminal liability.

Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt virtually every industry on a global scale in ways neither rivaled nor contemplated since the advent of the Internet. This course will involve individual and group work and challenge students to consider how this technology will impact their lives, their communities, and the world and prepare them to stay on the leading edge of innovation. Additionally, expert guest lecturers from the ecosystem (tech, law, business) will visit the class in person or via Zoom to present current issues, hot topics, and future trends.

Credits: 3

Business Entities I: Unincorporated Business Entities

This course surveys the law of unincorporated business entities. The agency law part of the course will focus on the agency relationship and, more specifically, the duties and obligations of principals and agents to one another and to third parties. Agency law concepts apply to LLCs, partnerships and other business entities. The partnership law part of the course will cover the fiduciary obligations of partners, partners' management and property rights, and partnership dissolutions. The final part of the course will examine limited liability entities, with emphasis on the formation, organization, and dissolution of limited liability companies.
BAR 905
Credits: 3

Business Entities II: Corporations

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of corporate law. The primary emphasis of the course is the body of state law that regulates the activities and internal affairs of business corporations. The course will focus on traditional state law principles of corporate governance, including the fiduciary duties of loyalty and care, the business judgment rule, and shareholder derivative suits. In addition to state corporate law, the course will cover some federal laws that regulate the activities of corporations, focusing on the disclosure requirements and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The course has two complementary objectives: (1) to provide a strong foundation in corporate law for students who intend to enter practice without taking further courses in corporate and securities law; and (2) to prepare students who plan to take Federal Securities Regulation and other advanced courses in anticipation of a career in business law. Business Entities I: Unincorporated Business Entities (BAR 906) is strongly recommended as a prerequisite to this course.
BAR 906
Credits: 3

Child Welfare Law and Policy Seminar

This seminar will provide critical analysis of child welfare policy, law and practice related to abused and neglected children. The course will also include analysis of other disciplines that work with abused and neglected children, through participation of faculty members of related Penn State Units, such as psychology, human development and medicine. The course will review the role of federal, state and local agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations in addressing the needs of abused and neglected children and their families. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of social welfare policies which address child abuse and neglect in a historical and cultural context. Students will develop an understanding of how policy is formulated. There will be an emphasis on critical thinking and analysis of policy processes, policy implementation, and impacts on diverse populations.
Credits: 2

Children's Advocacy Clinic

This course will provide instruction to students in the legal representation of children in various civil matters, including dependency, adoption, and custody actions. Students will be managing a caseload of clients. Students will meet directly with their clients, and correspond with agencies and opposing counsel. Students will appear at all court appearances with a supervising attorney. The supervising attorney will meet with students individually on a regular basis for case reviews. The classroom component of the course will focus on various substantive and skills issues, including lectures on child interviewing skills and lectures from physicians on the medical aspects of child abuse. Students may also choose to focus their work on legislative and policy issues related to children's advocacy by drafting legislation and policies on local, state, and national levels.

Credits: 4

Civil Liberties Litigation

Traditional courses in constitutional law analyze the boundaries of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. This course begins with the premise that constitutional rights have been violated, and examines the additional veneer of doctrines that determine whether a remedy will or will not be afforded for deprivation of those rights. In the course of analyzing these doctrines, the course will address advanced issues of constitutional law and theory, statutory interpretation, case analysis and litigation strategy for counsel for the civil liberties plaintiff as well as the lawyer representing the government and its officials.
CERT 904
Credits: 3

Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure concerns the rules, statutes, Constitutional provisions, and principles that govern the litigation of a civil case in federal court. The course begins with procedural due process, then familiarizes the student with the stages of a civil lawsuit including: pleading; structuring the lawsuit; discovery; termination of a lawsuit without trial (including settlement and use of dispute resolution processes); trial; and actions that may be taken after a jury verdict or bench trial. The course then addresses systemic issues related to how and where a lawsuit is filed including: personal and subject matter jurisdiction; venue; notice; removal; and which substantive law — state or federal — should apply in federal court. Although reference is made to state rules and laws, the course concentrates on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
REQ 901
Credits: 4

Client Counseling

This course introduces students to the dynamics of a productive attorney-client relationship, the goals of interviewing and counseling, and structures and techniques that can be used to achieve those goals. The focus is on developing students' skills in interviewing and counseling. Instruction consists of assigned reading, problem-solving exercises, group discussion, and practice through simulations.
Credits: 2

Community Law Clinic

This is a civil litigation clinic that focuses in the areas of family, disability, housing, and public benefits. Students will participate in civil hearings and traditional courtroom litigation, along with various opportunities for mediation and negotiation. Students will be exposed to issues including divorce, support, custody, adoption, protection from abuse, guardianships, social security and supplemental security income claims, special education, American with Disabilities claims, civil rights actions, health care directives, landlord/tenant, and public benefits. Cases will be selected based on educational value to students and expertise of the clinical faculty. Students who select a family law emphasis in their clinic work will enroll in the Family Law course as a pre- or co-requisite. Students who select a disability law emphasis in their clinic work will enroll in the Administrative Law course or Law of Individuals with Disabilities as a pre- or co-requisite. Preference may be given to students who have already taken either course.

Faculty approval is required.

Credits: 4

Comparative International Tax Law

This course treats the unique problems of Home country taxation of foreign income and operations of resident persons and enterprises and Host country taxation of foreign persons and enterprises from the perspective of many nation's perspectives.
Credits: 2

Conflict of Laws

In modern business and personal life, significant events frequently involve more than one state or nation. What law applies to multi-jurisdictional transactions? Which court has the authority to adjudicate any dispute that develops? This course examines the legal rules that have developed for resolving these conflict-of-law problems. Specific topics include: domestic jurisdiction, international jurisdiction, domestic choice of law, extraterritorial application of national law, conflicts between state and federal law, and enforcement of judgments.
BAR 907
Credits: 3

Congressional Investigations Seminar

This seminar will examine the law and procedures governing congressional investigations through a series of case studies. Case study topics will include the Teapot Dome scandal, the 1929 stock market crash Pecora hearings, the House Un-American Activities and Senate McCarthy committees, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Whitewater, as well as an examination of special investigative commissions which will include the Roberts Commission's investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Warren Commission's investigation of President Kennedy's assassination, and the 9-11 Commission's investigation of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. These case studies will be the vehicles for studying the substantive law and legal procedures that govern the conduct of congressional investigations, including congressional subpoena power and its limits, privileges available to witnesses, testimonial immunity grants, assertions of executive privilege, contempt sanctions, perjury and false statements sanctions, and the role of counsel in congressional investigations. In addition to making a case study presentation, students will write a seminar paper on a legal topic relating to congressional investigations and will make an in-class presentation on their seminar paper topic.
Credits: 2

Constitutional Law I

This course examines the roles assigned by the Constitution to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government and how federalism limits state and local authority.
REQ 902
Credits: 3

Constitutional Law II

This course examines the development of due process and equal protection law under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It includes examination of the structure of the Constitution’s protection of civil rights and civil liberties, as well as substantive and procedural due process, equal protection, and fundamental rights.
BAR 908
Credits: 2

Construction Law

This course examines the peculiar legal problems encountered on construction projects. It covers contract, tort and statutory law as adapted specifically to the construction industry. It analyzes the perspectives of an owner, developer, architect/engineer, contractor, subcontractor and bonding company, both in the context of private and public construction projects, commercial and residential. The principal areas of inquiry are contract structure, public bidding, theories of liability, payment and security mechanisms, claims related to time, disruption and extra work, and claims arising from construction defects.
Credits: 2


Contracts is concerned with the formation of contracts. The traditional offer and acceptance are analyzed in light of problems presented by modern bargaining techniques. Voidability of contracts formed by fraud, mistake, illegality, and unconscionable advantage is also stressed. The performance of contracts and the parol evidence rule are discussed.
REQ 903
Credits: 4


Copyright law is founded on the tension between incentivizing authors to create and disseminating information as widely as possible. The course will explore the legal and societal difficulties this creates along with emphasizing familiarity with doctrinal issues through practical exercises.
CERT 905
Credits: 3

Corporate Compliance

This course will introduce students to the growing field of compliance. Students will learn why compliance programs are necessary in the corporate environment, as well as how they can be structured and enforced. Students will learn about assessing risk and the different roles that boards and management play in compliance programs, and will learn about conducting investigations, taking corrective actions and communication with internal and external stakeholders.
CERT 934
Credits: 3

Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance is a survey course that focuses on how corporations use legal instruments to raise capital. The course uses an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on both the economics of valuation (risk/return, asset valuation) and the legal structure of capital instruments (stocks, bonds). Students will walk away with an understanding of how businesses raise capital, the strategic differences between capital sources and the role of lawyers in guiding these critical business decisions

Credits: 2

Court Appointed Special Advocate Practicum (CASA)

After completing the Introduction to CASA Training and Dependency Law course, students will begin serving as CASA volunteers. This course will support this service by focusing on the advocacy skills needed to represent a court appointed child’s best interest in the legal system. The course will complement the CASA volunteer work by helping students develop a fuller picture of each child’s life and using that information to advocate with judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.

Credits: 1

Criminal Law

Criminal Law is an introduction to the legal principles of criminal law. The course is taught by analyzing actual criminal cases involving crimes including: murder, conspiracy, hate crimes and crimes of sexual violence. The course also examines legal defenses such as justification and psychiatric excuse defenses. The course also incorporates principles of statutory interpretation.
REQ 904
Credits: 3

Criminal Procedure

This course explores part of the interface between the criminal justice system and the United States Constitution. It introduces students to constitutional analysis by examining the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments as apply to investigation of wrongdoing and police interrogation as well as to circumstances in which indigent defendants are guaranteed the assistance of counsel.
BAR 909
Credits: 3

Cybersecurity Law & Policy Seminar

This course is designed to give students an accessible and foundational understanding of the legal and policy issues associated with cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a concept that describes the tools and strategies used by entities to identify and respond to attempts by various actors to gain unauthorized access to, to cause disruption to, or to damage information systems. The course will start by providing a foundational understanding of the technical architecture and vocabulary in the field of cybersecurity and an analytical framework for assessing cyber-related events. The core of the course will introduce students to the domestic (federal and state) and international legal frameworks that govern cyberspace, and the institutions (both public and private) charged with operating in the cyber domain. We will do so by exploring a variety of case studies, including cyber events that have affected government agencies, individuals, and private companies.

Credits: 2

Cyberspace Law & Policy Simulation

This course is designed to introduce students to the cyber domain, to the domestic and international legal frameworks that govern cyberspace, and to the actors, institutions and entities operating in the cyber domain. The course will culminate in a two-day joint cyberspace simulation with students from the U.S. Army War College, which is designed to incorporate and test the knowledge and skills that students have acquired during the course’s earlier sessions. During the simulation, teams of students from the U.S. Army War College and Penn State Dickinson Law will represent governments and private sector entities while attempting to resolve an international cyberspace dispute.
Credits: 1

Education Law

Education in the United States is increasingly a regulated industry. Understanding the system by which we educate the nation’s children requires understanding a significant and complex hierarchy of laws and policy at the federal, state, and local level. This course will examine the interplay of law with fundamental areas of education policy and practice, including the basic premises of compulsory education; issues concerning exclusions of students; school control of student behavior and curriculum; teacher employment problems; and issues of funding, minority rights, disabilities, gender equity and access, and free expression. While the course will primarily focus on kindergarten to 12th grade education, some laws applicable to higher education will be explored.

Credits: 3

Elder Law Capacity: Advance Directives

Advance Directives — Strengths and Weaknesses. There are three basic types of written advance directives traditionally offered by lawyers to older clients the option of designating agents, in anticipation the clients will someday not have capacity to make their own decisions: General Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Decision-Making Directives, and End-of-Life Directives (also known as Living Wills). Consumers can purchase inexpensive versions of these documents from Legal Zoom and similar Alt-Law internet sites, or they can obtain customized documents for a higher price from experienced lawyers. I have collected sample documents and key cases we can use to explore use of such tools, while addressing legal principles such as agency law, personal autonomy and fiduciary duty law. This course will provide students with timely opportunities to explore topics faced by lawyers in a wide variety of transactional contexts.
Credits: 1

Elder Law Capacity: Guardianships

When individuals are unable or fail to plan in advance for the possibility of incapacity, it may be necessary for loved ones (or public officials) to seek appointment of a formal legal guardian of the person and/or the estate. On the one hand, a third-party may be appropriate to protect the individual from physical or financial harm; on the other hand, the process is often intimidating and can severely limit the individual’s autonomy and enjoyment of life. We will examine the legal standards for formal court appointments, the rules government oversight and accountability, and potential alternatives, including the concept of “supported decision” now recognized by statutes enacted in some states, including Texas and Delaware. This module will provide students with a practical opportunity to consider specific steps associated with filing or terminating a guardianship in the practice-state of their choosing.

Credits: 1

Elder Law Comparative: Filial Support Laws

Filial Support Laws — Why Are Some Jurisdictions Reviving Enforcement of these Elizabethan-Era Laws? During the last five years, Germany has initiated aggressive efforts to hold family members accountable for the cost of public services to indigent elders. In some instances, U.S. citizens are being asked to contribute to the costs for care of their indigent German-citizen family members, with German authorities threatening them with international enforcement through “support and maintenance treaties,” if they do not pay voluntarily. Other governments that are currently enforcing filial support laws on a domestic level include France and former Soviet countries (including Ukraine) – and Pennsylvania. This unit will allow the students to take a comparative law approach and examine modern examples of domestic and international efforts to enforce filial support laws that are being used by governments in an attempt to cover elder-care costs.
Credits: 1

Elder Law Comparative: Right to Die and End of Life Decision-Making

In the last fifteen years, a major shift in policies has occurred in many U.S. jurisdictions, either through statutory changes or case law, recognizing lawful means for individuals to choose to refuse or terminate life-sustaining measures and actively pursue assisted death. We will compare the different approaches to validating end-of-life choices and the barriers that may still exist. Students will have an opportunity to write a short, carefully considered policy piece, for or against the expansion of assisted-death.
Credits: 1

Elder Law Financing: Long Term Care Insurance

Long-Term Care Insurance — Why Hasn’t It Been More Successful? During the last 25 years, the long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry has gone from being hotly touted as the “best” alternative to Medicaid and thus an answer to the predicted crisis for funding elder care, to just a handful of providers (or state guarantee funds) who are struggling with solvency, while still expected to service more than 7 million policyholders. This unit will allow us to explore traditional insurance and contract law principles, and examine how funding for “private insurance” contrasts with “public benefits.” There are several pending cases involving insolvency for LTCI providers, and states are challenged to cover the policyholders with guarantee funds. These cases offer the students with opportunities to write relevant analytical papers from a consumer, business or government perspective.
Credits: 1

Elder Law Financing: Medicaid Planning

Medicaid, a state-federally funded welfare program, continues to play an important role in the financing for facility-based “long-term” care, especially for skilled care settings (the dreaded “nursing home”). In some states, “waiver” programs have also significantly expanded the potential for funding for individuals who wish to avoid nursing homes and want to living in their own homes or in less restrictive, community settings. Access to these programs can be fact-specific, complicated, and document intensive, but, when available, offer the possibility of maximizing existing family resources for care, and reducing the potential for inadvertent impoverishment of the healthier spouse. We will examine specific, classic fact patterns where families may wish to consider “Medicaid Planning” options to maximize financial options.

Credits: 1

Election Law

This course covers federal and state election law and will examine the constitutional basis for the regulation of elections, the development of the law in this area over the last 30 years, as well as criminal and civil enforcement of the law, the role of the Federal Election Commission, the formation and regulation of political action committees, as well as related federal tax law provisions impacting operation of political committees and advocacy organizations. The course will also examine the intersection of the election law with congressional ethics rules, lobbying regulations and representation of political candidates and entities in election law matters.

CERT 907
Credits: 2

Electronic Evidence Seminar

The seminar will cover the case law, procedural rules, evidence rules, and rules of professional conduct implicated by the unique attributes of information created and/or stored electronically, as well as the filing and courtroom presentation of documents in electronic format. There are three components to the course. The first part concerns the discovery of ESI, and covers the nature, sources, and terminology of ESI; the different formats of ESI and the implications for preservation and production of ESI attributable to the different formats; the evolution of the rules and case law regarding discovery of ESI; and the obligations of counsel with respect to the preservation of ESI. The second part of the course consists of filing in the federal courts’ electronic case filing system and the presentation of evidence using evidence presentation software. The final part covers Fourth Amendment and statutory issues involving electronic evidence.

Credits: 3

Employee Benefits Law

Employer-provided pension and health care programs play a critical role in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. They also affect corporations, financial markets, and the economy as a whole. Employee benefit programs are, in short, an important staple of modern law practice. This course surveys the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and relevant portions of the Internal Revenue Code. Classes examine what benefit plans must do regarding reporting and disclosure, accrual, vesting, funding, and fiduciary standards. The course covers health care reform, the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution programs, and the effect of stock market volatility on benefit programs. Students examine the policy goals underpinning federal benefits law. The course surveys major issues in ERISA litigation, including that statute's claims and remedies provisions, as well as its preemption of state law.
CERT 908
Credits: 2

Employment Discrimination

This course provides an in depth look at the Federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, Executive Order 11246 (affirmative action), and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871 (now 42 U.S.C. Secs. 1981 & 1983). We will review issues which arise under each category of prohibited discrimination: race, sex, sexual harassment, national origin, religion, age and disability. The course seeks to develop students’ skills through a rigorous examination of statutory text, regulations and court decisions on the multitude of issues which arise under these laws, including burden of proof and the role of statistics. We will also review the role of the Federal agencies which administer these statutes, the EEOC and the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The course will also introduce students to the interplay between Congress and the Courts as Congress has acted multiple times to amend these statutes in response to Court decisions which Congress found unsatisfactory.

BAR 910
Credits: 3

Employment Law

This course presents a broad survey of both the common law rules and major statutes that govern the relationship between employers and employees. Students will learn about the evolution of the law governing the workplace, and about the interplay of state and federal laws and regulations commonly encountered by attorneys practicing employment law. The topics covered include the legal nature of the employment relationship, employment at-will and its limitations, compensation for workplace injuries, worker safety, wage and hour laws, employee privacy, noncompetition agreements, the protection of trade secrets, and the arbitration of employment related disputes. While the course will provide a broad overview of anti-discrimination law, the substantial body of legal issues on that subject will not be addressed in detail. The course will not address Labor Law or Employee Benefits.
CERT 909
Credits: 3

Energy Law and Policy

This course is the introductory course in the regulation of energy in the United States. It also considers some of the international impact of U.S. energy policy. The course examines each significant form of energy (oil, natural gas, nuclear power, electricity, coal and renewables) in terms of the manner in which each form is regulated by various government institutions. To understand the various forms of regulation, we will also consider a substantial amount of economic, political and socio/psychological information.

Credits: 2

Entertainment Law

The course will provide a practical and comprehensive overview of the leading-edge business and legal issues arising in the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, television, music, book publishing, digital rights, cultural (mis)appropriation + bias and ethics. The topics vary from semester to semester and may include acquisition of rights, talent agreements, project financing and structures, distributor and licensing agreements, and new media. The course will actively leverage current and “hot” topics and emerging technologies as we survey the various areas of the law that impact the entertainment industry, such as contract, business organizations, securities, labor, copyright, trademark and right of privacy/publicity law.

Credits: 3

Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation

Students survey the legal issues confronted by entrepreneurs and develop the practical skills to effectively and ethically represent them during the start-up phase. Students study how to interview, counsel, plan, draft, and negotiate, by applying relevant readings and putting them to use in the context of client interactions and classroom simulations. Students also will draft relevant blog posts, client correspondence and organizational documents typical of those that surface in small business and entrepreneur representation. A team collaborative exercise that requires students to prepare client advice on a proposed start-up will provide students with a way to apply information they’ve learned in other classes and result in a class presentation.

Credits: 3

Entrepreneurship Law: Operational Issues

Students survey the legal issues confronted by entrepreneurs during the lifespan of their businesses and develop the practical skills to effectively and ethically represent them. Students study how to interview, counsel, plan, draft, and negotiate, by critiquing relevant readings and putting this to use in the context of client interactions and classroom simulations. Students also will draft relevant blog posts, client correspondence and memoranda typical of those that surface in small business and entrepreneur representation.

Credits: 3

Environmental Law

This course introduces some of the most important concepts, issues, and statutes in environmental law. After discussing the economic and ethical bases for environmental law and briefly reviewing the relevant principles of constitutional and common law, students examine a representative selection of federal statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, "Superfund," and the Clean Air Act.

Credits: 2

Estate Planning

Studies the concepts and techniques required to develop estate plans. Topics include the initial client interview, drafting of wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, disability planning and income taxation of trusts and estates. The psychological and ethical aspects of estate planning will be covered. The course will also survey the federal gift, estate and generation skipping taxes. The course is intended to be an introduction to estate planning, valuable to both the person intending to specialize in the field and the general practitioner.
Credits: 3


This course covers the presentation of evidence in trials under the Federal Rules of Evidence. We will address substantive topics that include relevancy, hearsay, competency, examination of lay and expert witnesses, judicial notice, privilege, authentication, the best evidence rule, in addition to various Constitutional issues and procedural rules.
BAR 911
Credits: 3

Externship/Field Placement

Externship placements offer students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge and practical work experience in a wide range of different placement opportunities. Students work at the placement site under the supervision of a judge or an attorney. Externship placements are in federal and state judicial chambers, public service and nonprofit offices, state administrative agencies, non- profit, and corporate entities. Students’ work with experienced supervisors in these offices to develop stronger research and writing skills, judicial memorandum and opinion drafting, client counseling and interviewing skills, statutory and regulatory analysis interpretation and application, criminal practice, public interest and corporate compliance work. Through their work and classroom assignments and discussions, students are expected to develop a heightened awareness of the methods and functions of judicial, legislative, regulatory, public service and public interest, and corporate entities. Students in litigation placements will have the opportunity to obtain student intern certification and appear in court under the supervision of an attorney.

Credits: Varies

Family Law

This course will examine how the law defines and regulates families and family structures. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to identify what makes up a family, how families are created, separated, the rights attendant to members of families, and the rights flowing from membership within a family structure. Students should be able to understand the importance of family structure in American society and under what circumstances government can intervene in that structure. This course is national in scope, but will be supplemented with some Pennsylvania statutory and case law readings where appropriate.
BAR 912
Credits: 3

Federal Courts

This course focuses on the relationship of federal Article III courts to many other dispute resolution forums: Article I courts, state courts, administrative courts, and private and ad hoc dispute resolution forums (e.g., arbitration, mediation, 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund). Building on Civil Procedure, the course examines implied federal rights of action, “arising under” jurisdiction, removal, Erie’s progeny, forum non conveniens, federal common law, and preclusion. Building on Constitutional Law, the course examines standing, political question doctrine, and Congress’ power to restrain federal jurisdiction and allocate authority between Article III judges and other public and private adjudicators. This course is especially useful to students who anticipate clerking for a judge or plan to litigate before federal or state courts, administrative agencies, or arbitral or other dispute resolution forums.
CERT 912
Credits: 3

Federal Criminal Practice

This course is an in-depth examination of all stages of a federal criminal prosecution, commencing with the decision to charge, and continuing through trial and sentencing. Subjects will include the Bail Reform Act of 1984, investigative techniques, motions to suppress, immunity, privileges, trial techniques, and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Strategic decisions involving pre-trial proceedings, trials, and sentencing will be addressed via presentations by experienced judges, practitioners, and other participants in the process. The goal of the course is to provide students with practical advice and insightful tops regarding every aspect of federal criminal litigation.
CERT 913
Credits: 2

Federal Securities Regulation

This course will provide an introductory overview of the federal securities laws. The primary focus of the course will be the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The course will examine the principal provisions of those acts and the implementing regulations of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as judicial decisions that interpret and apply the federal securities laws. The course will also examine how the SEC administers and enforces those laws. The first part of the course will focus on the registration requirement that applies to public offerings of securities, the registration and “due diligence” process, and the various exemptions from the registration requirement that may be available to an issuer. The second part of the course will focus on the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, corporate reporting and disclosure requirements, lawsuits by private plaintiffs, and the SEC’s enforcement powers.
CERT 914
Credits: 2

First Amendment

In terms of doctrine, this course examines the protection of freedom of speech and freedom of association, the guarantee of the free exercise of religion, and the prohibition of establishment of religion secured by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In terms of lawyering skills, the course will cultivate the ability 1) to synthesize any area of law into a flowchart of issues; legal tests/elements for each issue, and factors the courts will and will not consider in applying the legal test/elements, and 2) to make strategic choices of claims and defenses to assert based upon that synthesis.

BAR 913
Credits: 3

Fundamental Skills for the Bar Examination

This course provides a substantive review of selected material routinely tested on the bar exam. Students will work through problems and exercises in a bar exam format designed to familiarize students with the exam and techniques for answering multiple choice and essay questions. Individualized feedback is provided to assist students with identifying areas of strength and weakness. The goal is to enhance student ability to prepare for the bar exam and is intended to supplement, not replace, commercial bar preparation courses. This course in not focused on any particular state, so all students will benefit regardless of where they will sit for the bar exam.

Credits: 3

Gender and Sexuality Law

This course will focus on how the law treats issues concerning gender and sexuality.  The doctrinal themes that will be explored include constitutional notions of privacy/liberty, equality and expression as applied to categories based on gender, sexuality and/or sexual orientation.  For example, topics might include the right to sexual privacy (including access to birth control and abortion); discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation (including sodomy laws and same sex marriage); evolving theories of sexuality (including the rights of transgender persons and intersexuals; transsexuals, and the gay gene); identity speech and the First Amendment (including the gay prom case and sexual harassment cases); military exclusions; and the privatization of family law and family formation.  The course will examine the relationship between gender and sexuality, based on a multi-disciplinary approach informed by history, medicine, science and broader social and political theories.

Credits: 2

Government Special Counsel

The course will explore the history, constitutional, legal foundation and separation of powers issues involved in the government independent counsel from Teapot Dome to Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater and the Russian hacking investigations. It will explore in depth, the unique problems and legal issues encountered in these cases, including conflict with parallel congressional inquiries, assertion and application of Fifth Amendment, executive and DOJ authority over the independent counsel as well as Supreme Court and lower court jurisdiction limning the office. I will also examine collateral constitutional issues under the pardon power and the relation to Congress’ impeachment processes.

Credits: 1

Health Care Law and Policy

This is a survey course focused primarily on how the law influences the delivery and financing of health care in the United States. The course will examine an array of legal and policy issues related to our health care system, including: the legal structure of the patient-physician relationship; professional licensure and competence; health care privacy, decision-making, and autonomy; the legal and corporate structure of health care enterprises; regulatory and market-based approaches to improving the quality of health care delivery; payment and financing systems including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, insurance, charitable care, managed care, ERISA, and private payment; and enforcement mechanisms, including federal and state civil and criminal statutes and regulations aimed to combat health care fraud and abuse. The course also will focus on the challenges facing the U.S. health care system and proposals for systemic reform, including efforts to implement, reform, and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Credits: 3

History of International Law Seminar

The general historical introduction and seminar presentations and projects are designed to accentuate problems and issues which enable students to better understand the foundations of the law of nations and encourage independent research skills.
Credits: 2

Immigration Law

This class surveys the immigration laws of the United States, including the administrative and regulatory framework of the United States agencies charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws. The topics covered by this course include the power of the Congress to regulate immigration; substantive provisions and procedures governing admission and exclusion; nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications and visa processing; asylum and refugee status; the effect of criminal acts on immigration status; grounds of removal from the United States; relief from deportation; judicial review; and the law of naturalization and derived citizenship.
CERT 916
Credits: 2-3

Independent Study

In the Independent Study course the student, under the supervision of a full-time member of the faculty, will be permitted to do research and write a paper of a substantial nature on a significant subject.
Credits: 1-3

Information Privacy Law

As information technology advances, the legal issues surrounding information privacy, data collection, data retention, data access, and data disclosure grow increasingly complicated. This course will explore information privacy and security issues arising from technological change and resulting shifts in societal perceptions of individual privacy, including how private and government actors electronically gather data, what type of data is gathered (personally identifiable information, biometric data, geolocation data, intimate personal details), and how such data is compiled, shared, bought, and sold across private industry data platforms and government electronic databases. The course overviews the current legal regime in the United States meant to address such issues. This overview will take into account constitutional, statutory, contract, and common law sources of information privacy and electronic surveillance law, at both the federal and state level. There will be particular focus on the First and Fourth Amendment concerns that result from such data gathering. The course concludes with a focus on developing fair information practices and principles to mitigate constitutional privacy concerns.
CERT 917
Credits: 3

Innocence and Wrongful Convictions

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the issues and case law related to wrongful convictions. The goal of the course is that students will gain an understanding of this dynamic and quickly growing area of law. The course will track a case from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project involving a man convicted of a crime he did not commit as a means of understanding how innocent people are convicted and why it is so difficult to exonerate them.

Credits: 3

Insurance Law

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles governing the creation, sale and enforcement of the most common forms of insurance in the U.S. Students will be introduced to the following insurance lines: personal liability, professional liability, commercial general liability, homeowners, automobile, life and casualty, and health. The peculiarities of each line will be discussed as well as the problems common to all lines: moral hazard, adverse selection and outright fraud. The social function of insurance as well as historical anomalies are covered in order to give the student the broadest possible exposure to the issues lawyers confront regularly in this area of practice.
Credits: 3

International Criminal Law

This course traces the history of criminal law, from its earliest manifestations in cultural texts, to the first attempts to codify the laws of war by Henri Dunant and Francis Lieber. Before examining the most recent efforts to enforce international criminal laws as embodied by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, students will explore the legacy of Nuremberg and its contribution to modern criminal law. The course will include a detailed study of the Geneva Conventions, crimes against humanity and genocide and explore, not only the related jurisprudence, but policy issues arising out of attempts to hold senior political and military officials responsible for the commission of international crimes.
CERT 919
Credits: 3

International Human Rights Law Seminar

This seminar is an introductory course in the field of human rights. The course explores the development of our modern human rights system and the contemporary challenges it faces.
Credits: 2

International Investment Transactions

The course offers an introduction to international investment transactions thorough instruction on the role of the State in foreign economic relations, the purpose of foreign investment laws, the nature of foreign investment guarantees, the transaction aspects of foreign corporate vehicles, and the role of arbitration in settling foreign investment disputes.
CERT 920
Credits: 2

International Justice Program

The International Justice Program allows students to work on cases before one of international courts with jurisdiction over international crimes such as the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Students will work under the direct supervision of an experienced international prosecutor or within the judicial chambers of the court.
Credits: 12

International Law

This course introduces students to key concepts and doctrines of international law. It examines the sources of international law such as custom and treaty, the bases of international jurisdiction, issues of statehood, recognition and succession, nationality, international agreements, and U.S. participation in the international legal system. The course provides students with the basics needed for both public and private international law practice.
Credits: 2

Internet Law

The course examines how the rise of the Internet has challenged traditional areas of the law, while also exploring how law has shaped the Internet. The course covers issues such as network structure, governance architecture, domain names, jurisdiction, intellectual property, and e-commerce.
CERT 921
Credits: 3

Introduction to Court Appointed Special Advocate Practicum (CASA) Training and Dependency Law

In collaboration with the Cumberland County CASA Program, this course will address topics such as Children and Youth Services and the legal system, cultural diversity, child development, confidentiality and ethics, the role of the CASA volunteer, and community and social service resources. This course will prepare students to serve as a CASA volunteer.

Credits: 1

Introduction to Intellectual Property

The introduction to intellectual property (IP) course investigates whether and, if so, how to protect different types of creations of the individual mind—e.g. inventions, artwork, slogans, etc. The course examines the three major areas of IP (trademarks, copyrights, and patents) along with numerous subsidiary IP regimes (trade secrets, right of publicity, unfair competition, and numerous sui generis protections). The course is suitable for those wanting to receive a general overview of intellectual property and how it might relate to their area of concentration or to students desiring to specialize in one or more fields of IP.
CERT 922
Credits: 3

Juvenile Law

This course examines the legal position of the child in society and the extent to which the child may be legally controlled by parent(s) or state. Subject matters include the right of the child to control reproductive decision-making, child support and paternity issues, child abuse and neglect, foster care, termination of parental rights, adoption, medical treatment of juveniles, and medical experimentation on juveniles. The course also examines the delinquency jurisdiction of juvenile court, the constitutional protections afforded the child accused of criminal activity, adjudications of delinquency, punishment or placement of the child in the dispositional phase of juvenile proceedings, and treatment of the child as an adult offender.
Credits: 3

Labor Law

This course is an extended study of the federal National Labor Relations Act focusing on the right to form and join labor organizations, strikes, boycotts and picketing, collective bargaining, and the enforcement of collective bargaining agreements.
CERT 923
Credits: 3

Law and Medicine

This course focuses on the law concerning the physician-patient relationship as well as bioethical issues that arise in that relationship. It covers the duty to treat, informed consent, confidentiality, medical malpractice, refusal of life-sustaining medical treatment, physician-assisted suicide, experimental medical treatment, and more.
Credits: 3

Law of Individuals with Disabilities

This course will address legal issues and concepts for people living with disabilities. It will cover issues surrounding civil rights discrimination, and public benefits ranging from employment, housing, income supplements, health, and education. Students will review legislation, case law, and rules, and will focus on the practical and social concerns of individuals living with disabilities.
Credits: 3

Law of the Sea

The course aims to offer thorough instruction on the foundations and sources of the law of the sea, the principle types of maritime jurisdiction, the principles of resource management, and approaches to the settlement of maritime disputes.
Credits: 2

Law of Treaties

Treaties are the foundation of public and private international law and national foreign affairs law. This course examines: historical development of law of treaties; concept of treaty; treaty as source of international and national law; stages of concluding treaty; reservations; accession to treaties, functions of depositary; publication of treaties; breach of treaty obligations; invalidity, termination, and suspension of treaties; denunciation and other withdrawal from treaties; treaties and jus cogens; treaties and customary rules of international law; treaties and third States; treaties and municipal law; interpretation of treaties; languages and authentic texts of treaties.

Credits: 2

Law Practice Skills: Contexts & Competencies

While U.S. law schools generally do an excellent job of teaching students to “think like a lawyer,” there is a growing consensus that legal education has not provided students with the knowledge and skills they will need to help clients address multi-faceted issues in an interdisciplinary world. The goal of this course is to fill this gap by introducing students to topics that typically are not taught in the required law school curriculum but that are important for lawyers to know. The “extra-legal competencies” that will be covered in this course include reading financial statements, project management, negotiation theories, and cultural competency. The goal of the course is to help make lawyers better problem-solvers for their clients.

Credits: 2

Law Practice Skills: Critical Skills

This course is based on simulated case modules. Students use transactional law to practice skills that lawyers use to begin and maintain relationships with clients. Working with law school faculty and practicing lawyers, students interview clients to determine the facts of the case and to understand the client’s goals. In addition, students work collaboratively to discover the relevant law, to assess the client’s options, to communicate the legal strategy to the client and to participate in negotiations. Students practice skills learned in the course by conducting a “Community Intake Interview” at an approved public interest location.

Credits: 2

Lawyering and Ethics for the Business Attorney Seminar

This seminar provides students with an opportunity to analyze and discuss ethical and legal issues relating to representation of business entities. Issues covered include (1) who is the client for the lawyer who represents a business entity; (2) what special rules govern confidentiality and information sharing in the representation of a business entity; (3) how should a lawyer respond to evidence of client fraud or other illegal activities; (4) what are the potential liabilities for furnishing legal advice or providing legal opinions for business transactions that are later found to have been fraudulent or illegal; (5) when is a business entity required or permitted to reimburse employees for legal expenses relating to their employment activities; and (6) what special obligations and responsibilities are imposed on "in-house" attorneys who are full-time employees of a business entity. Each student will make a case study presentation to the class, write a seminar paper, and make a presentation to the class on their seminar paper topic.
Credits: 2

Legal Analysis & Writing I: Objective

1L Fall Semester
In this course, students learn, practice and hone essential lawyering skills: analyzing a client’s case by researching the relevant law, including cases, statutes, constitutional provisions, and administrative regulations; and explaining and applying the law to the client’s situation using two of the most common written forms (objective or predictive writing in an office memorandum and a client letter). Because research, analysis, writing and oral communication skills improve only with practice, students will work through a variety of exercises and client problems, receiving individualized feedback from their professor during the course. Throughout the semester, we will remain mindful of the relationship between the concepts of law, order and justice — and will continually examine the role of the lawyer in that relationship.

Credits: 2

Legal Analysis & Writing II: Persuasive

1L Spring Semester
Lawyers must be able to advocate effectively both orally and in writing. In this course, students learn the essential skills of advocacy by using research and writing tools to craft arguments that are powerful, fair, well-reasoned, clearly-stated, and respectful of their adversaries and the court. Students communicate their arguments in both written briefs and in oral arguments to the court, at the trial level. Students practice the skills of effective advocacy by exploring a variety of client problems, and they receive individualized instruction throughout the process. As the course progresses, students explore the principles of fairness, order and justice in the context of the lawyer’s duties and responsibilities as an advocate.

Credits: 2

Legal Research I

1L Fall Semester
Legal research is an essential lawyering skill. In this course, students learn the processes to locate primary authority and secondary sources with the goal of evaluating, analyzing, and applying legal authority to resolve legal issues. Students perform various research exercises utilizing different legal research platforms, and receive individualized feedback on their exercises.

Credits: 1

Legal Research II

1L Spring Semester
After learning the strategies of basic legal research, a lawyer must become an efficient researcher. In this course, students build on the skills learned in Legal Research I and develop additional skills including research planning, docket searching, researching local government, and cost-effective legal research. Students perform various research exercises utilizing different legal research platforms, and receive individualized feedback on their exercises.

Credits: 1

Medical Malpractice Workshop

This innovative course will offer hands-on experience, working with real physicians — pediatric and community medicine residents at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center – to hone your advocacy skills while also learning about the increasingly complex field of medical professional liability. This course will be centered on mock trials based on real cases previously filed against medical professionals. You will have clients and expert witnesses, who are real physicians in their final year of residency training.

Credits: 2

Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic

Students in the MLP Clinic will work to reduce health disparities and improve health in vulnerable communities through joint medical-legal advocacy with the Penn State Hershey Medical Group in Harrisburg. The Clinic will address the health-harming legal needs of the community, which may include public benefits, advance care planning, housing, and/or immigration matters; as well as policy and institutional projects that arise from its collaboration with medical partners. Visit the Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic site for more information.

Credits: 4

Military Law

This course examines the military justice system, essentially military procedural and substantive criminal law. Students will learn about the statutes, policies, principles, standards, and rules governing the military justice process and jurisdiction from investigation through trial (including sentencing such as death penalty) and the appellate process. The course will begin with an overview of the military justice system. It will then address military criminal procedure. Next, will be a review of substantive criminal law, focusing on crimes and defenses specific to the military.
CERT 924
Credits: 2

National Security Law

This course examines the domestic and international legal frameworks governing the use of national security powers by the U.S. It explores the use of military force, the structures of the law enforcement and intelligence communities, and counterterrorism activities; and considers the interplay of law with legislative, administrative and policymaking processes. Students will gain a strong working knowledge of the most significant controversies surrounding the use of national security powers, and the relevant constitutional, statutory and international sources of law, and will be able to articulate and critique arguments about the legality of the exercise of governmental and military power in response to national security threats.
CERT 925
Credits: 3


This course combines the law and ethics of negotiation, mediation and settlement with economic and psychological bargaining theory and regular hands-on practice in representing clients in negotiation and mediation. Bargaining theory (including distributive and integrative bargaining), relevant socio-psychological research, negotiation and mediation ethics, the law of settlement, and the basics of contract drafting are all introduced. Instruction consists of assigned reading, a series of simulations and exercises (including drafting a resulting contract), written negotiation planning and self-evaluation, feedback, and group discussion. The course also may involve participation in a full-day Saturday program, and students should be prepared to experiment with various means to maximize their facility in using videoconferencing and other technologies to negotiate and represent clients in mediation.
Credits: 3