Writing Legal Arguments | L4703

This course is designed to improve skills in developing, organizing, drafting, and revising legal arguments. Students will learn to work through the writing process systematically, and they will learn about the rhetorical principles that underlie the design and delivery of all arguments. Students will complete the following projects: (1) a judicial opinion; (2) an outline and an appellate brief in a domestic relations case; (3) a memo, outline, and appellate brief in a civil case.

Prerequisites: None
Credit Hours: 2

Emerging International Standards for Sustainable Development of Natural Resources | L4703

This course will focus on emerging international standards, legal, and “law-like” instruments designed to form the “rules of the road” in the dealings among private investors, host country governments, local communities, and other actors involved with sustainably developing natural resources. We will look at the track record of development: to what extent have natural resource projects helped make the world’s poor better off? And what is meant by “better off?” What is a “fair deal” between a corporation from, for example, Europe or North America and a developing country government in Africa? How are disputes resolved?

Prerequisites: N/A
Credit Hours: 3

Seminar: Dynamics of the Land Use Case | L4703

This course is designed to be a hands on, “how to” course about how you strategize, organize and actually present a land use approval case to a local government body, like a city council or board of county commissioners. Each week, the first class will address pertinent issues and questions and frequently bring in visiting experts – like planners, lobbyists, engineers, developers, neighborhood activists and local government officials – and the second class each week will consist of an actual on-your-feet exercise in which each student will present a portion of a land use case.  Those exercises will start off with the very basics – like how you dress and how you introduce yourself and your client to the relevant tribunal – and progress through increasingly more complex matters like describing the physical layout of the site and area in question;  finding and addressing the standards for the approval you’re seeking; putting on expert testimony; dealing with and rebutting adverse testimony; and summing up with a concluding statement designed to result in approval. The seminar will also address pre-planning for the possibility of both litigation and referendum challenges if you succeed in getting an approval.

Prerequisites: N/A
Credit Hours: 3