Pathways to the Profession

Start on the Right Track

Pathways to the Profession provides you with a framework for identifying your professional goals. It starts by asking the questions:

  • In what areas of law do you want to practice?
  • What types of clients do you want to serve?
  • What courses should you take each semester?
  • What fundamental lawyering skills do you want to build during your law school years?

By answering these questions you will be better prepared to develop your goals and a coherent law school plan. With the answers to these questions in mind, and your goals in focus, the Pathway to the Profession will help you structure an academic plan that’s right for you. Select one of the Pathways and explore your options!

How Pathways Work

The Pathways are organized to take you from your first-year foundation course work to upper level courses in a particular focus area. During each of the three stages, you should consider taking one or more of the courses listed.

The Pathways are arranged in three steps:

Core Courses – fundamental courses that will better prepare you for the advanced electives.
Advanced Electives – courses focusing on a particular subject within the Pathway.
Experiential Courses – clinics and skills courses that offer hands-on practice.

The Bar Preparation Pathway is a unique pathway that focuses on
helping students better prepare for the bar examination.

* Please note that some Pathways are still under construction.

FIU Law Offers the Follwing Pathways:

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consists of a survey course (Alternative Dispute Resolution), and specialized courses in Negotiations and Mediation. ADR is designed to familiarize students with a fundamental understanding of the principles and techniques applied in the settling of legal disputes with an intention to avert the formal adversary processes. Both the Negotiations course and the Mediation course probe deeper into the disciplines, and allow students to understand human nature beyond pedagogic and doctrinal boundaries. Learning is facilitated through exercises in self-awareness, while gaining a greater appreciation of the relevance of race, culture and ethnicity in professional relationships. Simulations and role-plays are featured, and the psychological, emotional and neuroscientific underpinnings of decision making are explored.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in ADR should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Contracts.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6310 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3). This course entails an examination of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and techniques for incorporating them into legal practice. A variety of readings and exercises are used as background for discussions of the utility of different mechanisms for resolving certain kinds of disputes. This course focuses on adjudication, negotiation, and mediation.
  • LAW 6310 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3). This course entails an examination of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and techniques for incorporating them into legal practice. A variety of readings and exercises are used as background for discussions of the utility of different mechanisms for resolving certain kinds of disputes. This course focuses on adjudication, negotiation, and mediation.
  • LAW 6316 International Commercial Arbitration (2-3). The course covers the basics of the law and practice of international commercial arbitration, including: drafting arbitration clauses in international transactions and enforcement of arbitral agreements; preparing and presenting cases before arbitral tribunals, including issues of witnesses, experts, discovery and evidence; recognition, enforcement and setting aside of arbitral awards; the major international arbitral institutions and their rules of procedure; the relationship between international arbitration and national court systems; and various treaties and conventions dealing with international arbitration.
  • LAW 6383 Mediation (3). Students will gain an understanding of the practice of mediation from the perspective of a lawyer representing a client, along with acquiring the skill to focus on the interactions of the participants.
  • LAW 6313 Negotiation (2-3). The course is designed to provide students an understanding of the history, process and practice of negotiation through role-plays, simulations and life experiences.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6230 Critical Legal Theory (2-3). This course explores the relationship between law and legal institutions and ideology. It addresses questions relating to the role of law in society and whether and to what extent law serves to perpetuate existing economic and social privileges, at the expense of less powerful members of society.
  • LAW 6583 Education Law (2-3). The course focuses on educational policy and the intersection of public schools and the law. The course covers topics such as school desegregation, compulsory school attendance laws, curriculum content, the First Amendment in schools (flag salutes, school prayer, government aid to parochial schools), school financing, voucher plans, community control of schools, bilingual education, and issues surrounding single-sex schools.
  • LAW 6720 Health Law (2-3). This is a study of numerous topics, including national health care programs, health care financing, reimbursement, licensing and accreditation, hospital organization, physician and patient autonomy, antitrust law, quality of care and medical malpractice, and ethical issues related to availability of health care and services.
  • LAW 6080 Insurance Law (2-3). The course deals with: the making, administration and interpretation of insurance contracts; governmental (including judicial) regulation of insurance; common insurance contract provisions; subrogation; excess liability of insurers; and property, life and liability insurance policies and problems.
  • LAW 6725 Medical Malpractice Law (2–3). Medical Malpractice Law examines legal claims that may be brought against physicians, hospitals, and other allied health professionals and organizations, as a result of the provision of medical and/or health services, or as a result of relationships with medical and health services providers. The course will examine the duties of care imposed by law on medical and health care providers, legal remedies for breach of the standards of medical care, defenses to legal claims, and medical ethics. Recommended but not required as a prerequisite: Evidence Law.
  • LAW 7065 Mergers and Acquisitions (2-3). This course will approach the study of major corporate restructuring from both an academic and a practice perspective. Included in the course will be a review of underlying economic objectives and sources of efficiency gains in restructuring ownership interests in publicly financed firms and factors affecting choice of transaction form. Major emphasis will be on the corporation law and securities laws pertaining to M&A transactions. Both hostile and friendly deals will be covered. More briefly addressed will be tax law, competition law and executive compensation issues encountered in such transactions. Prerequisite: Business Organizations.

Other Electives

  • LAW 7065 Mergers and Acquisitions (2-3). This course will approach the study of major corporate restructuring from both an academic and a practice perspective. Included in the course will be a review of underlying economic objectives and sources of efficiency gains in restructuring ownership interests in publicly financed firms and factors affecting choice of transaction form. Major emphasis will be on the corporation law and securities laws pertaining to M&A transactions. Both hostile and friendly deals will be covered. More briefly addressed will be tax law, competition law and executive compensation issues encountered in such transactions. Prerequisite: Business Organizations.
  • LAW 6717 Elder Law (2-3). This course covers such areas as income tax provisions of special interest to senior citizens, Social Security, pension plan distributions, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, long-term care and nursing home admission, powers-of-attorney regarding health care proxies and financial/legal matters, guardianship, and ethical considerations in advising elderly clients. The emphasis is on understanding federal statutory provisions that affect the care, comfort, and financial security of persons as they live longer, to permit informed advising and sensitive planning.
  • LAW 6234 Race and the Law (2-3). This course will consider contemporary theories of law and questions of racial justice, including the relationship between developments in the social sciences on the nature of race, racism, prejudice and discrimination, and the interpretation of constitutional and statutory protections against racial discrimination.
  • LAW 6320 Remedies (3). The course focuses upon the nature and scope of relief that a court may grant a party who has established a substantive right. Topics include judicial remedies such as damages in tort and contract cases, restitution, punitive remedies, declaratory relief and coercive remedies in equity.

Faculty

Joëlle A. Moreno, Associate Dean of Research & Professor of Law
305.345.1152

George Knox, Director of Non Litigation Advocacy Programs & Visiting Professor of Law
305.348.8349

Business Law Pathway

The Citizenship and Migration pathway is a specialization route for students interested in career paths related to immigration and naturalization. This pathway consists of a survey course – immigration – and a host of specialty and practical courses including, the immigration clinic and other related course such as crimigration, human rights, and advanced writing opportunities stemming from the citizenship and immigration seminar. The advanced courses allows students to delve deeper into an area of law that is both evolving and the subject of ongoing national debaters. These courses will allow students to become experts in this field, and will have the opportunity to study from some of the most experienced practitioners, well-known activists, and prolific scholars in the field.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Citizenship and Migration as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in the area of Citizenship and Migration should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Introduction to International & Comparative Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6264 Immigration Law (2-3). This course examines the major aspects of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The interrelationship between the administrative agencies empowered to execute the Immigration and Nationality Act’s mandate will be studied. Major attention will be focused on the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa systems, political asylum and refugees, exclusion and deportation of the foreign-born, and naturalization. Policy implications of the statute and judicial interpretations are addressed.
  • LAW 6263 International Human Rights Law (2-3). This course is an introduction to the international law protecting human rights. It examines the theory and the history of the field, together with key United Nations documents. International treaty and non-treaty mechanisms for protecting and promoting human rights, including regional systems and the role of nongovernmental organizations, are covered.
  • LAW 6936 Seminar: Citizenship and Immigration. This seminar involves analyzing the construction and interpretation of the law of citizenship as well as the laws relating to national immigration policy, as specific instances of wider themes concerning democratic theory, social inclusion, hegemony, class, and race. The course will necessarily deal with the intersection of, on the one hand, citizenship law, immigration law, public international law, and constitutional law and, on the other hand, theoretical perspectives based on classical and enlightenment philosophy, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, Diaspora literature, and social theory generally. Students are expected to and will produce a final paper of publishable quality. Our learning will be achieved by having the students broken up into groups, ideally representing differing interest groups and factions, with an aim at developing solutions for some of the more controversial issues of the day.
  • LAW 6114 Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (3). This course examines topics not covered in the basic course in Criminal Procedure, including the grand jury process, bail, the plea-bargain process, right to jury trial, double jeopardy, joinder and severance, and right to confront and examine witnesses.
  • LAW 7510 Civil Rights (2-3). This course focuses on selected federal statutes enacted to remedy violations of federal constitutional rights. The principal Reconstruction Era statutes, 42 U.S.C. sections 1981, 1982, and 1983, are examined in depth.
  • LAW 6710 Family Law (3). This course examines state regulation of sexual and marital relationships, including the conflict between the doctrines of family privacy and state intervention in the marital relationship. Topics include: premarital controversies, capacity to marry and the formalities of marriage; rights and duties of marital partners; annulment and separation; divorce grounds and no-fault; spousal support and basic issues of property distribution; principles governing child custody and visitation; child support; mediation of property and custody issues; and regulation of non-traditional relationships.
  • LAW 6235 Women and the Law (2-3). The course considers the legal treatment of sex differences in the construction and legitimization of the social status of women and men. Topics include rape, sexual harassment, incest, battery, sexuality, economic segregation, prostitution, and pornography. Central concerns to be pursued include the desirability of sex-neutral legislation and adjudication, the meaning for women of the legal distinction between the public and private spheres, competing theories of the origins of sex roles, and the differences between and similarities of traditional morality and a feminist critique of power.
  • LAW 6234 Race and the Law (2-3). This course will consider contemporary theories of law and questions of racial justice, including the relationship between developments in the social sciences on the nature of race, racism, prejudice and discrimination, and the interpretation of constitutional and statutory protections against racial discrimination.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 7511 First Amendment (2-3). This course is an examination of the historical origins and underlying values of the rights of conscience protected in the First Amendment. The emphasis will be on the fundamental principles articulated in Supreme Court interpretations of its provisions relating to free speech, free press, and religious liberty.
  • LAW 7813 Community Law Teaching. The course focuses on the delivery of law-related education by law students to lay persons, specifically, high school students. Law students study legal pedagogy focusing on ways to teach legal concepts to high students and present classes about law, democracy and human rights in local high schools.
  • LAW 6297 NAFTA and Other Regional Trade Agreements (2-3). This course analyzes the legal structures of non-global freer trade agreements, including but not limited to NAFTA. It reviews GATT Article XXIV and the economic and policy debate (global vs. regional trade arrangements); discusses key aspects of NAFTA, including industrial development, investment dispute and other disputes; and analyzes legal and policy issues relating to the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). Other regional trade arrangements, including the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur), are also considered. A focus of the course is efforts in NAFTA to deal with environmental and labor concerns.
  • LAW 6936 Seminar: Citizenship and Immigration. This seminar involves analyzing the construction and interpretation of the law of citizenship as well as the laws relating to national immigration policy, as specific instances of wider themes concerning democratic theory, social inclusion, hegemony, class, and race. The course will necessarily deal with the intersection of, on the one hand, citizenship law, immigration law, public international law, and constitutional law and, on the other hand, theoretical perspectives based on classical and enlightenment philosophy, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, Diaspora literature, and social theory generally. Students are expected to and will produce a final paper of publishable quality. Our learning will be achieved by having the students broken up into groups, ideally representing differing interest groups and factions, with an aim at developing solutions for some of the more controversial issues of the day.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Ediberto Roman, Professor of Law
305.348.7254

Juan Carlos Gomez, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
305.348.3179

Mary Gundrum, Director, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor
305.348.7389

Citizenship & Migration Pathway

Business Law encompasses a variety of practice areas that provide a legal framework for entrepreneurial activity, corporate organization and governance, investment, domestic and international trade, non-profit entities, and capital mobilization through private finance. Courses in this field also cover regulatory aspects of business, including the federal regulation of securities, banking, and taxation. Students interested in this field may also want to explore registering for relevant business school courses.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the area of Business Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in Business Law should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Constitutional Law and Property.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6062 Business Organizations (3-4). This is a basic course on state and federal law governing incorporated business enterprises, partnerships and limited liability companies.
  • LAW 6600 Federal Income Tax (3). This course offers an introduction to the fundamental principles of federal income taxation, particularly as applied to individuals, including the concepts of gross income, identification of the proper taxpayer, deductions, income tax accounting, capital gains and losses, deferred payment sales and non-recognition transactions. Consideration will be given to issues of tax policy and tax planning techniques.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 7085 Banking Law (2-3). This course is concerned with the federal regulation of national and state-chartered financial institutions. Topics include the history of banking in the United States, entry restrictions, expansion through the bank holding company structure, branching, liability issues, limitations on bank activities, and the regulation of failing financial institutions.
  • LAW 7064 Law of Corporate Finance (2-3). An advanced corporations course on legal and economic issues involved in corporate financing decisions, covering a broad range of issues including basic accounting, valuation of corporate entities and their securities, corporate capital structures including the relationship of corporate debt to equity and the impact of leverage, 528 College of Law Graduate Catalog 2013-2014 dividend and investment policy, and new financial instruments such as derivatives and structured finance. Prerequisite: Business Organizations.
  • LAW 7262 International Trade Law and Policy (2-3). This course concerns the national and international regulation of imports and exports. Law, policy and economics of the international trading system will be discussed. The course primarily focuses on import restrictions on goods; however, export restrictions and trade in services will also be considered. Topics include the pure theory of trade, industrial policy, the World Trade Organization and its dispute settlement process, dumping and countervailing duties, retaliation, and economic sanctions.
  • LAW 7065 Mergers and Acquisitions (2-3). This course will approach the study of major corporate restructuring from both an academic and a practice perspective. Included in the course will be a review of underlying economic objectives and sources of efficiency gains in restructuring ownership interests in publicly financed firms and factors affecting choice of transaction form. Major emphasis will be on the corporation law and securities laws pertaining to M&A transactions. Both hostile and friendly deals will be covered. More briefly addressed will be tax law, competition law and executive compensation issues encountered in such transactions. Prerequisite: Business Organizations.
  • LAW 6061 Non-Profit Organizations (2-3). This course will address the legal regulation of nonprofit organizations from the perspective of state law and federal tax law. Topics to be covered include: the theoretical rationales for the nonprofit sector and federal tax benefits; formation and dissolution of nonprofit corporations and charitable trusts; operation and governance, including the legal duties and liabilities of directors and trustees; requirements to qualify and maintain federal tax-exempt status; the distinction between public charities and private foundations; the tax consequences of business and investment activities of nonprofits; basic charitable giving strategies; and regulation of charitable solicitation.
  • LAW 6556 Payment Systems (2-3). This course will survey the uses of different payment mechanisms (negotiable and nonnegotiable instruments, credit cards and electronic funds transfer and wire transfer systems) in both credit and cash transactions. The course will consider allocation of risks for fraud, countermands, defenses on the underlying contract, mistake, timeliness and unauthorized payments. In each case the allocation of risks in connection with different payment mechanisms will be considered, along with whether these allocations should be the same or different for each mechanism. The course will focus on Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and, as time permits, consider letters of credit under U.C.C. Article 5 and the International Chamber of Commerce Uniform Customs and Practice. Special emphasis will be given to techniques of statutory analysis, commercial counseling and a rethinking of present rules, especially in the light of the revision of Articles 3 and 4. The impact of federal legislation on the state payments law (U.C.C. Articles 3, 4, and 4A) may also be treated.
  • LAW 6051 Secured Transactions (2-3). This course covers the creation, perfection, and enforcement of security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including priorities among conflicting interests in the same property and choice of law problems. Some discussion of bankruptcy law as it affects the interests of secured creditors may also be included.
  • LAW 6561 Securities Law Enforcement (2-3). Securities Law Enforcement comprehensively examines the enforcement processes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the perspective of both the government and the private practitioner. Coverage includes preliminary investigations, Wells letters, settlement procedures, litigation, and remedies. The course also considers the role of self-regulatory organizations like the New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers in enforcement of the securities laws. Prerequisites: Securities Regulation, Business Organizations, Law of Corporate Finance or students without prerequisites may also be enrolled in special circumstances with the permission of the instructor.
  • LAW 6610 Corporate and Partnership Tax (2-3). The course examines the income tax treatment of corporations and their shareholders and of partnerships and their partners arising from various transactions including incorporations, distributions, redemptions, liquidations, and non-taxable acquisitive reorganizations. Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax.
  • LAW 6621 Estate and Gift Tax (2-3). This course covers federal estate and gift taxes and their impact on gratuitous property transactions during life and at death. The course includes brief consideration of the tax on generation skipping transfers. Prerequisites: Federal Income Tax, and Wills and Trusts.
  • LAW 6450 Estate Planning (3). This course will explore the theories and skills involved in the estate planning process. Topics include the estate planning engagement, information gathering, identification of client objectives, development of remedial and conventional estate plans, and selection of fiduciaries. Prerequisites: Federal Income Tax, and Wills and Trusts.
  • Seminar: Crisis and Regulation

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Jerry W. Markham, Professor of Law
305.348.7483

José Gabilondo, Professor of Law
305.348.1118 or 305.348.5943

Charles R. P. Pouncy, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.7485

Clinical Faculty

John Little, Director, Clinical Adjunct
305.348.7541

Shahrzad Emami, Supervisor, Clinical Adjunct
305.348.7541

Additional Resources

Civil Litigation Pathway

Civil Litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties that seek damages and other remedies beyond criminal sanctions. Lawyers who practice civil litigation represent parties in trials, hearings, arbitrations and mediations before administrative agencies, foreign tribunals and federal, state and local courts.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Civil Litigation as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Civil Procedure.

Core Course

  • LAW 6330 Evidence (3). This course addresses the law of evidence, including: hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.
  • LAW 6310 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3). This course entails an examination of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and techniques for incorporating them into legal practice. A variety of readings and exercises are used as background for discussions of the utility of different mechanisms for resolving certain kinds of disputes. This course focuses on adjudication, negotiation, and mediation.
  • LAW 5796 Appellate Procedure I (Moot Court)(2-3). Students, working in two-person teams, will prepare an appellate brief and deliver an appellate oral argument in a competition format. Students will receive substantial classroom instruction in persuasive brief writing and oral advocacy as well as the relevant appellate rules and procedure topics. Prerequisite: Course open to any second-year fulltime student or third-year part-time student who has completed LSV I and II and who is not under academic supervision.
  • LAW 7800 Appellate Procedure II (2-3). This course focuses on practice and procedure in the Florida District Courts of Appeal and the Eleventh Circuit. The course covers selected state and federal statutes and court rules governing appellate procedure as well as key appellate topics such as the merits of appeal, ethical limitations, jurisdiction, finality, issue selection, preparation of the record, preservation of error, fundamental/plain error, harmless error, and standard and scope of review. During the course students will typically draft several short appellate documents, such as a Notice of Appeal, a Designation of Record/Directions to Clerk, and a Request for Oral Argument, as well as an appellate brief outline; unlike Legal Skills and Values II or III, the course will not cover brief writing or oral argument.
  • LAW 7308 Complex Litigation (2-3).Students learn how the federal rules of civil procedure, particularly in the area of complex litigation, can become instruments of policy. Topics include class actions and multi-district litigation.
  • LAW 6302 Federal Courts (3). The course examines the power and role of the federal courts as defined by the United States Constitution, federal statutes and judicial decisions. Among the topics examined are federal question, diversity and civil rights jurisdiction, habeas corpus, immunities of state and local governments from suit, and abstention.
  • LAW 7303 Florida Civil Practice (2-3). This course entails a study of Florida civil practice from the commencement of an action through final judgment.
  • LAW 7503 Florida Constitutional Law (2-3). This course studies the Constitution of the State of Florida, including recent decisions of the Florida Supreme Court and analysis of current proposals for constitutional change.
  • LAW 6725 Medical Malpractice Law (2–3). Medical Malpractice Law examines legal claims that may be brought against physicians, hospitals, and other allied health professionals and organizations, as a result of the provision of medical and/or health services, or as a result of relationships with medical and health services providers. The course will examine the duties of care imposed by law on medical and health care providers, legal remedies for breach of the standards of medical care, defenses to legal claims, and medical ethics. Recommended but not required as a prerequisite: Evidence Law.
  • LAW 6702 Products Liability (2-3). This course is a survey of the history, growth and development of the law regarding injury to persons and property resulting from defective products. It will examine the various legal theories of fraud, express warranty, implied warranties of fitness and merchantability, negligence, and strict liability.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law
305.348.8344

Howard M. Wasserman, Professor of Law
305.348.7482

Manuel A. Gómez, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1158

Clinical Faculty

Phyllis Kotey, Director of Externships and Community Service
& Associate Clinical Professor of Law
305.348.5950

H.T. Smith, Director of the Trial Advocacy Program
305.348.7189

Commercial Law Pathway

Commercial Law is the body of law that applies to the rights, relations, and conduct of persons and businesses engaged in commerce and trade. It consists of a mix of state and federal law, in proportions dependent on the subject areas involved. All 50 states have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code. In addition, the U.S. Congress regulates interstate commerce, including federal bankruptcy, consumer protection, national banking, and other relevant subjects. At FIU, commercial law includes courses dealing with sales, international trade, real estate, corporate finance, payment transactions, secured credit, banking, bankruptcy, and related transactional and experiential subjects. Courses in “Payment Systems” and “Secured Transactions” are bar-tested subjects in the state of Florida. All commercial law courses are part of the broader business law curriculum.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Commercial Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in Commercial Law should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.
Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Contracts.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6052 Bankruptcy (2-3). This course covers such diverse matters as the various forms of relief available to different kinds of debtors, including liquidation, reorganization of a business, and adjustment of an individual’s debts; financing a Chapter 11 debtor in possession; the automatic stay and the rights of secured and unsecured creditors; the trustee’s avoiding powers, exemptions, discharge of debts and the treatment of executory contracts. The basic concepts underlying the 1978 Bankruptcy Code such as discharge, reorganization and equitable distribution are also investigated.
  • LAW 6556 Payment Systems (2-3). This course will survey the uses of different payment mechanisms (negotiable and nonnegotiable instruments, credit cards and electronic funds transfer and wire transfer systems) in both credit and cash transactions. The course will consider allocation of risks for fraud, countermands, defenses on the underlying contract, mistake, timeliness and unauthorized payments. In each case the allocation of risks in connection with different payment mechanisms will be considered, along with whether these allocations should be the same or different for each mechanism. The course will focus on Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and, as time permits, consider letters of credit under U.C.C. Article 5 and the International Chamber of Commerce Uniform Customs and Practice. Special emphasis will be given to techniques of statutory analysis, commercial counseling and a rethinking of present rules, especially in the light of the revision of Articles 3 and 4. The impact of federal legislation on the state payments law (U.C.C. Articles 3, 4, and 4A) may also be treated.
  • LAW 6051 Secured Transactions (2-3). This course covers the creation, perfection, and enforcement of security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including priorities among conflicting interests in the same property and choice of law problems. Some discussion of bankruptcy law as it affects the interests of secured creditors may also be included.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 7064 Law of Corporate Finance (2-3). An advanced corporations course on legal and economic issues involved in corporate financing decisions, covering a broad range of issues including basic accounting, valuation of corporate entities and their securities, corporate capital structures including the relationship of corporate debt to equity and the impact of leverage, 528 College of Law Graduate Catalog 2013-2014 dividend and investment policy, and new financial instruments such as derivatives and structured finance. Prerequisite: Business Organizations.
  • LAW 6010 Sales (2-3). This course covers contracts for the sale of goods under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Some consideration will also be given to leasing of goods under Article 2A of the Code.
  • LAW 6015 International and Comparative Sales (3). This course entails the study of legal rules governing the international sale of goods, and a comparison of these rules with Spanish and United States domestic law counterparts. The course will focus on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the UNIDROIT Principles of Commercial Contracts. The comparative law component of the course will examine the related Spanish and U.S. domestic contract law governing sales of goods, including Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Comparing and contrasting the three systems offers the student greater insight into the choices, interests and policies pursued under each respective system of law.
  • LAW 7262 International Trade Law and Policy (2-3). This course concerns the national and international regulation of imports and exports. Law, policy and economics of the international trading system will be discussed. The course primarily focuses on import restrictions on goods; however, export restrictions and trade in services will also be considered. Topics include the pure theory of trade, industrial policy, the World Trade Organization and its dispute settlement process, dumping and countervailing duties, retaliation, and economic sanctions.
  • LAW 6425 Construction Law (2-3). This course will consider legal issues encountered in construction projects, beginning with the role of the construction lawyer and review of duties and liabilities of the construction team – Architect, Engineer, Owner, Contractor, Construction Manager. The course includes discussion of the bidding process (including bid protest and bid awards), the contracting process with emphasis on key contract provisions, contract performance issues, litigation liability and damage issues, and bonding issues.
  • LAW 6080 Insurance Law (2-3). The course deals with: the making, administration and interpretation of insurance contracts; governmental (including judicial) regulation of insurance; common insurance contract provisions; subrogation; excess liability of insurers; and property, life and liability insurance policies and problems.
  • LAW 6670 Real Estate Transactions (2-3). This course takes an interdisciplinary and practice-oriented approach to real estate transactions, covering land transfers, mortgage law, and selected topics such as usury and mechanics’ liens. Students will study selected tax, environmental and federal securities laws issues in the context of real estate transactions.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Jerry W. Markham, Professor of Law
305.348.7483

Jorge L. Esquirol, Professor of Law
305.348.8343

Ediberto Román, Professor of Law
305.348.2444

José Gabilondo, Professor of Law
305.348.1118
305.348.5943

Charles R. P. Pouncy, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.7485

Cyra Akila Choudhury, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1153

Clinical Faculty

John Little, Director, Clinical Adjunct
305.348.7541

Shahrzad Emami, Supervisor, Clinical Adjunct
305.348.7541

Criminal Law Pathway

Criminal Law is the body of substantive law (statutes and cases) that define proscribed social conduct and specify the punishment of people who violate these laws. Criminal laws are enforced according to the rules of criminal procedure, which derive from the Bill of Rights and govern both the investigation and prosecution of criminal wrongdoing. All federal and state criminal (and civil) cases are adjudicated in accordance with the rules of evidence. Students in the criminal law pathway consider substantive criminal law, procedure and evidence and learn criminal justice advocacy skills. Most will also consider the role of international criminal justice institutions, which employ unique rules of procedure and evidence and draw from international human rights law. In each context, students will assess broader policy questions including the purpose of criminal law, the role of the police, and the jury system while developing skills essential to future work as prosecutors, defense counsel, private practice counsel, judicial clerks and judges.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the area of Criminal Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed below, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Criminal Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6112 Criminal Procedure: Investigation (3). This course explores pre-trial aspects of criminal procedure under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution, with emphasis on searches and seizures, police interrogation and the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel.
  • LAW 6330 Evidence (3). This course addresses the law of evidence, including: hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.
  • LAW 6750 Professional Responsibility (3). This course will examine the law of professional responsibility, including professionalism issues and malpractice risk management, with significant emphasis on the rules of ethics governing lawyers and judges. The objective is to give students an appreciation for the challenges they will face as practitioners, and a working knowledge of the principles of professionalism and the ethics rules that they will use in their daily practices.
  • LAW 6363 Trial Advocacy (2-3). The focus of this course is on trial tactics and techniques. All students participate as counsel and perform the assignments. All phases of an actual trial are examined, including direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and opening and closing arguments. Co-requisite: Evidence.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6114 Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (3). This course examines topics not covered in the basic course in Criminal Procedure, including the grand jury process, bail, the plea-bargain process, right to jury trial, double jeopardy, joinder and severance, and right to confront and examine witnesses.
  • LAW 5796 Appellate Procedure I (2-3). Students, working in two-person teams, will prepare an appellate brief and deliver an appellate oral argument in a competition format. Students will receive substantial classroom instruction in persuasive brief writing and oral advocacy as well as the relevant appellate rules and procedure topics. Prerequisite: Course open to any second-year fulltime student or third-year part-time student who has completed LSV I and II and who is not under academic supervision.
  • LAW 7800 Appellate Procedure II (2-3). This course focuses on practice and procedure in the Florida District Courts of Appeal and the Eleventh Circuit. The course covers selected state and federal statutes and court rules governing appellate procedure as well as key appellate topics such as the merits of appeal, ethical limitations, jurisdiction, finality, issue selection, preparation of the record, preservation of error, fundamental/plain error, harmless error, and standard and scope of review. During the course students will typically draft several short appellate documents, such as a Notice of Appeal, a Designation of Record/Directions to Clerk, and a Request for Oral Argument, as well as an appellate brief outline; unlike Legal Skills and Values II or III, the course will not cover brief writing or oral argument.
  • LAW 7510 Civil Rights (2-3). This course focuses on selected federal statutes enacted to remedy violations of federal constitutional rights. The principal Reconstruction Era statutes, 42 U.S.C. sections 1981, 1982, and 1983, are examined in depth.
  • LAW 6105 Death Penalty Law (2-3). This course will introduce a basic outline of the many components of the death penalty post Furman, including the procedural regulations placed upon litigation. Topics will include Eighth Amendment challenges (e.g. juveniles, the mentally retarded), jury sentencing, racial disparities, the prosecution function, effective defense representation, and international law. There will be a particular emphasis on the sentencing phase of death penalty cases. Prerequisites: Foundation courses completed. Corequisite: Evidence preferred but not required.
  • LAW 6103 International Criminal Law (2-3). The course explores international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and war crimes. It focuses on contemporary responses by way of international criminal jurisdiction claimed by individual states, bilateral cooperation on extradition and evidence gathering, prosecutions before ad hoc international tribunals, and the development of an international body of criminal law and procedure. Particular attention is paid to the question of jurisdiction, including the reach of U.S. Constitutional protections to investigations and law enforcement activities overseas. Special consideration is given to international terrorism, the role of human rights in international criminal law, and the establishment of an international criminal court.
  • LAW 6361 Pre-Trial Practice (2-3). This course covers trial preparation from client interview to the courthouse steps. The course considers theory of the case, fact investigation, pleadings, discovery and disclosure (depositions, issues, requests for production), motion practice, settlement conferences and negotiations, final pre-trial preparation, and professionalism values.
  • LAW 6116 White Collar Crime (2-3). Using the vehicle of federal investigation and prosecution of white-collar crime, this course will explore the interplay of different fields of law and of legal standards and administrative discretion — features common to many types of transactional practice. The materials considered will be chosen from the fields of substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, sentencing, administrative law, evidence, corporate law, and professional responsibility. Topics considered will include entity criminal liability, substantive federal crimes (e.g., mail fraud and RICO), grand jury investigations, administrative agency subpoena authority, parallel civil and criminal proceedings, application of the self-incrimination and lawyer-client privileges, federal sentencing guidelines (for individuals and entities) and forfeitures. Considerable attention will be given to Department of Justice policies and strategies utilized by counsel representing witnesses, targets, and defendants. Prerequisite: Criminal Procedure.
  • LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.
  • LAW 6821 Law, Science, and Technology (3). To examine the various ways in which the legal system interacts with science technology, including the impact of the legal system on evolving fields of science and technology and the influence of these fields on the legal system. Each class will focus on a different theme involving the interaction of law, science and technology, using a specific case study. Prerequisites: First year curriculum.
  • LAW 6748 Military Justice. This course presents students with the development of Western military justice systems and reasons for having unique justice systems for the military; provides an overview of the actors and institutions in the American military justice system; illustrates the military’s unique criminal offenses and defenses, rights of the accused, Rules for Courts-Martial, Military Rules of Evidence, rules for professional responsibility, all set in the context of a mock courts-martial.
  • Seminar: Scientific and Forensic Evidence
  • Seminar: Sexual Violence Against Women

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Joëlle A. Moreno, Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development & Professor of Law
305.348.1152

Megan A. Fairlie, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1157

Noah Weisbord, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.7263

Eric R. Carpenter, Assistant Professor of Law
305.348.4560

Charles C. Jalloh, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1099

H. Scott Fingerhut, Assistant Director, Trial Advocacy Program
305.348.3182

Phyllis Diane Kotey, Director of Community Externship Programs Clinical Associate Professor of Law
305.348.5950

Clinical Faculty

Juan Carlos Gómez, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
305.348.7541

Stephen K. Harper, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor

Estate Planning & Probate Pathway

Estate Planning & Probate covers more than saving estate and gift taxes. It is not a process where only the wealthy need be concerned. Every person, regardless of their net worth, needs a carefully reasoned, prepared and executed succession plan to cover a wide a variety of concerns, including financial asset management, protection from creditors, planning for children with special needs, disability planning and health care, qualifying for Medicaid and Medicare, satisfying charitable desires and most importantly, designing flexibility for future unknowns. The estate planning process focuses on the family’s concerns besides saving estate taxes. And, there are the practical concerns that the lawyer needs to address, such as the potential for malpractice, will contest avoidance techniques and the introduction of income tax saving ideas. Since the estate plan will fail if the documents are not carefully prepared, executed, preserved and reviewed, special emphasis needs to be placed o n the drafting of the various documents.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the of Estate Planning and Probate Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed below, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Property Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6621 Estate and Gift Tax (2-3). This course covers federal estate and gift taxes and their impact on gratuitous property transactions during life and at death. The course includes brief consideration of the tax on generation skipping transfers. Prerequisites: Federal Income Tax, Wills and Trusts.
  • LAW 6600 Federal Income Tax (3). This course offers an introduction to the fundamental principles of federal income taxation, particularly as applied to individuals, including the concepts of gross income, identification of the proper taxpayer, deductions, income tax accounting, capital gains and losses, deferred payment sales and non-recognition transactions. Consideration will be given to issues of tax policy and tax planning techniques.
  • LAW 6430 Wills and Trusts (3-4). The intergenerational transfer of wealth in the United States is controlled by both statutory and common law principles. Competing views of the individual’s freedom of disposition and state power both to channel and to tax property have led to an interesting and complex array of legal devices and institutions. These include statutory intestacy and elective share provisions, wills, and trusts. Related topics to be addressed will include planning for incapacity, future interests in property, powers of appointment, life insurance, and introductory aspects of trust and estate administration.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6717 Elder Law (2-3). This course covers such areas as income tax provisions of special interest to senior citizens, Social Security, pension plan distributions, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, long-term care and nursing home admission, powers-of-attorney regarding health care proxies and financial/legal matters, guardianship, and ethical considerations in advising elderly clients. The emphasis is on understanding federal statutory provisions that affect the care, comfort, and financial security of persons as they live longer, to permit informed advising and sensitive planning.
  • LAW 6450 Estate Planning (3). This course will explore the theories and skills involved in the estate planning process. Topics include the estate planning engagement, information gathering, identification of client objectives, development of remedial and conventional estate plans, and selection of fiduciaries. Prerequisites: Federal Income Tax, and Wills and Trusts.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod, Professor of Law

Jerome Hesch

William T. Muir

Family Law Pathway

Family Law is a practice area that encompasses the legal issues families face. These issues include divorce, spousal support, child support, custody, division of assets and liabilities due to divorce, adoption, termination of parental rights, paternity, dependency and child neglect and protection from abuse. A Family Law attorney should possess strong litigation and negotiation skills and have a sincere interest in people. Since you may be dealing with individuals who may be experiencing an emotional time in their lives, having compassion and the ability to counsel them will be an important part of the practice. Having a basic understanding of accounting and financial matters will help to advise the client and to present financial issues to the court.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Family Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in Family Law should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Constitutional Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6710 Family Law (3). This course examines state regulation of sexual and marital relationships, including the conflict between the doctrines of family privacy and state intervention in the marital relationship. Topics include: premarital controversies, capacity to marry and the formalities of marriage; rights and duties of marital partners; annulment and separation; divorce grounds and no-fault; spousal support and basic issues of property distribution; principles governing child custody and visitation; child support; mediation of property and custody issues; and regulation of non-traditional relationships.
  • LAW 6330 Evidence (3). This course addresses the law of evidence, including: hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.
  • LAW 6430 Wills and Trusts (3-4). The intergenerational transfer of wealth in the United States is controlled by both statutory and common law principles. Competing views of the individual’s freedom of disposition and state power both to channel and to tax property have led to an interesting and complex array of legal devices and institutions. These include statutory intestacy and elective share provisions, wills, and trusts. Related topics to be addressed will include planning for incapacity, future interests in property, powers of appointment, life insurance, and introductory aspects of trust and estate administration.
  • LAW 6313 Negotiation (2-3). The course is designed to provide students an understanding of the history, process and practice of negotiation through role-plays, simulations and life experiences.
  • LAW 6310 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3). This course entails an examination of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and techniques for incorporating them into legal practice. A variety of readings and exercises are used as background for discussions of the utility of different mechanisms for resolving certain kinds of disputes. This course focuses on adjudication, negotiation, and mediation.
  • LAW 6383 Mediation (3). Students will gain an understanding of the practice of mediation from the perspective of a lawyer representing a client, along with acquiring the skill to focus on the interactions of the participants.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.
  • LAW 6052 Bankruptcy (2-3). This course covers such diverse matters as the various forms of relief available to different kinds of debtors, including liquidation, reorganization of a business, and adjustment of an individual’s debts; financing a Chapter 11 debtor in possession; the automatic stay and the rights of secured and unsecured creditors; the trustee’s avoiding powers, exemptions, discharge of debts and the treatment of executory contracts. The basic concepts underlying the 1978 Bankruptcy Code such as discharge, reorganization and equitable distribution are also investigated.
  • LAW 6717 Elder Law (2-3). This course covers such areas as income tax provisions of special interest to senior citizens, Social Security, pension plan distributions, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, long-term care and nursing home admission, powers-of-attorney regarding health care proxies and financial/legal matters, guardianship, and ethical considerations in advising elderly clients. The emphasis is on understanding federal statutory provisions that affect the care, comfort, and financial security of persons as they live longer, to permit informed advising and sensitive planning.
  • LAW 6621 Estate and Gift Tax (2-3). This course covers federal estate and gift taxes and their impact on gratuitous property transactions during life and at death. The course includes brief consideration of the tax on generation skipping transfers. Prerequisites: Federal Income Tax, Wills and Trusts.
  • LAW 6450 Estate Planning (3). This course will explore the theories and skills involved in the estate planning process. Topics include the estate planning engagement, information gathering, identification of client objectives, development of remedial and conventional estate plans, and selection of fiduciaries. Prerequisites: Federal Income Tax, and Wills and Trusts.
  • LAW 6600 Federal Income Tax (3). This course offers an introduction to the fundamental principles of federal income taxation, particularly as applied to individuals, including the concepts of gross income, identification of the proper taxpayer, deductions, income tax accounting, capital gains and losses, deferred payment sales and non-recognition transactions. Consideration will be given to issues of tax policy and tax planning techniques.
  • LAW 6720 Health Law (2-3). This is a study of numerous topics, including national health care programs, health care financing, reimbursement, licensing and accreditation, hospital organization, physician and patient autonomy, antitrust law, quality of care and medical malpractice, and ethical issues related to availability of health care and services.
  • LAW 6264 Immigration Law (2-3). This course examines the major aspects of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The interrelationship between the administrative agencies empowered to execute the Immigration and Nationality Act’s mandate will be studied. Major attention will be focused on the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa systems, political asylum and refugees, exclusion and deportation of the foreign-born, and naturalization. Policy implications of the statute and judicial interpretations are addressed.
  • LAW 6936 Seminar: Citizenship and Immigration. This seminar involves analyzing the construction and interpretation of the law of citizenship as well as the laws relating to national immigration policy, as specific instances of wider themes concerning democratic theory, social inclusion, hegemony, class, and race. The course will necessarily deal with the intersection of, on the one hand, citizenship law, immigration law, public international law, and constitutional law and, on the other hand, theoretical perspectives based on classical and enlightenment philosophy, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, Diaspora literature, and social theory generally. Students are expected to and will produce a final paper of publishable quality. Our learning will be achieved by having the students broken up into groups, ideally representing differing interest groups and factions, with an aim at developing solutions for some of the more controversial issues of the day.
  • LAW 6254 Comparative Family Law (2-3). This course will entail the study of U.S. and other countries’ domestic relations laws, including laws governing marriage, divorce, and children.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Ediberto Román, Professor of Law
305.348.2444

Phyllis Diane Kotey, Director of Externship Programs
305.348.5950

Cyra Akila Choudhury, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1153

Mary Gundrum, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor
305.348.7389

Laverne Pinkney, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor
305.348.3198

Health Law Pathway

The Heath Law pathway prepares students with the knowledge, skills and values required by the contemporary health lawyer. Our health care electives and experiential learning opportunities promote understanding of how law works in diverse health care settings and its role in health and access to health care. This pathway prepares students for successful careers as problem-solving lawyers with a particular expertise in health law.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the inter-disciplinary nature of the field and to work with faculty from FIU’s medical, nursing and public health faculties in addition to the law faculty. Whether or not a student has a specific health law career goal, this pathway will enable the students to develop competencies that are important in a wide range of health law settings, as well as in other legal fields.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Health Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Constitutional Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6720 Health Law (2-3). This is a study of numerous topics, including national health care programs, health care financing, reimbursement, licensing and accreditation, hospital organization, physician and patient autonomy, antitrust law, quality of care and medical malpractice, and ethical issues related to availability of health care and services.
  • LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6080 Insurance Law (2-3). The course deals with: the making, administration and interpretation of insurance contracts; governmental (including judicial) regulation of insurance; common insurance contract provisions; subrogation; excess liability of insurers; and property, life and liability insurance policies and problems.
  • LAW 6725 Medical Malpractice Law (2–3). Medical Malpractice Law examines legal claims that may be brought against physicians, hospitals, and other allied health professionals and organizations, as a result of the provision of medical and/or health services, or as a result of relationships with medical and health services providers. The course will examine the duties of care imposed by law on medical and health care providers, legal remedies for breach of the standards of medical care, defenses to legal claims, and medical ethics. Recommended but not required as a prerequisite: Evidence Law.
  • LAW 6717 Elder Law (2-3). This course covers such areas as income tax provisions of special interest to senior citizens, Social Security, pension plan distributions, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, long-term care and nursing home admission, powers-of-attorney regarding health care proxies and financial/legal matters, guardianship, and ethical considerations in advising elderly clients. The emphasis is on understanding federal statutory provisions that affect the care, comfort, and financial security of persons as they live longer, to permit informed advising and sensitive planning.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law
305.348.8344

Intellectual Property Pathway

Intellectual Property Law remains a vibrant and growing area of practice. The World Intellectual Property Organization estimates that companies relying on copyright protection accounted for at least five million U.S. jobs and 10% of U.S. economic activity in 2010. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, industries relying heavily on intellectual property account for more than 40 million U.S. jobs, $775 billion in sales, and 61% of U.S. exports. U.S. exports through the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach metropolitan area have grown rapidly over the past few years. Intellectual property law is relevant to business and global trade, and intersects with a number of other fields, including human rights, public health and global development.

Students interested in pursuing a certificate in Intellectual Property click here for details.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the area of Intellectual Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Contracts and Introduction to International and Comparative Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6570 Intellectual Property (3-4). This is a survey course that introduces students to patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, right of publicity and unfair competition law. The course is designed to give students entering a general business or civil litigation practice a thorough overview of the various intellectual property doctrines.
  • LAW 6233 Computer and Internet Law (2-3). This is a course on law in the Information Age. Topics may include patent and copyright protection for computer software, Internet copyright and trademark issues, privacy concerns, jurisdictional issues and computer crime.
  • LAW 6573 Patent Law (2-3). This course provides in-depth coverage of substantive trade secret law and patent law. In addition, it covers aspects of patent prosecution practice and procedure. Prerequisite: Intellectual Property Law.
  • LAW 6576 Trademarks & Geographical Indications. This course will introduce students to the law of trademarks and unfair competition. Trademark law aims to protect against consumer confusion and the appropriation of commercial goodwill. Trademarks can have tremendous value in a variety of industries, ranging from food and agriculture to fashion and entertainment. Students will learn about acquiring, prosecuting, and enforcing trademark rights in the business context. In addition the course will cover the theoretical underpinnings of trademark protection and evaluate current issues related to trademark law domestically and internationally. This includes a consideration of the relationship between trademarks and geographical indications. No technical background is required for this course. Intellectual Property Law is recommended but not required.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6550 Antitrust (2-3). The course is a study of judicial decisions construing and applying the federal antitrust laws (i.e., Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman, and Federal Trade Commission Acts) to the control of the competitive process in the American economy.
  • LAW 6233 Computer and Internet Law (2-3). This is a course on law in the Information Age. Topics may include patent and copyright protection for computer software, Internet copyright and trademark issues, privacy concerns, jurisdictional issues and computer crime.
  • LAW 6574 International Intellectual Property Law (2-3). This course provides students with an overview of intellectual property (IP) law in the global context, commencing with a survey of patent, copyright and trademarks. We will learn about the multilateral institutions that address IP issues, and study the leading multilateral IP treaties, including the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and other international agreements that facilitate the protection of IP interests in multiple countries. In addition to studying domestic and international mechanisms for the protection of IPRs, we will review current issues in International IP law and policy. No technical background is required for this course.
  • LAW 7588 Entertainment Law (3). This course will focus on the application of various legal doctrines to sports activities, and the various complex contractual issues facing attorneys representing clients in the entertainment industry. Representative topics include regulation of amateur athletics, public regulation of sports activities, legal relationships and structures in professional sports, legal issues involved in representation of professional athletes, and issues arising in the production, distribution and exploitation of theatrical film and television properties and in the music industry.
  • LAW 6936 Seminar: Advanced Copyright. This seminar will focus on cutting-edge issues of copyright law, especially as it affects and protects the entertainment, fashion, and book publishing industries. The seminar will begin with a theoretical exploration of copyright’s scope, limits, and history. After this introduction, topics covered will include copyright protection for clothing designs, copyright enforcement against Internet search engines and online video sites, and proposed legislation to alter and expand the remedies available to copyright holders, such as by criminalizing unauthorized streaming, making remedies relating to the blocking of Web sites easier to obtain, or empowering copyright holders to intervene against the provision of domain name resolution or financial payment processing services to Web sites containing unauthorized content. We will also consider the relationship between patent, trade secret, and copyright protection in the computer software industry. Each student will have the choice of writing a 25 page paper based on original research.

Seminar: Internet Law
Seminar: Human Rights & IP

Faculty

Hannibal Travis, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.8371

J. Janewa OseiTutu, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.3565

Useful Resources

American Intellectual Property Law Association
Section of Intellectual Property Law – American Bar Association

International & Comparative Law Pathway

In International Law classes and seminars, students learn about the fundamental legal principles governing international relations. They consider the subjects of international law, the creation of legal norms, the role of international institutions, and the consequences of breach. Students explore topics including the use of force, international crime, international trade, human rights, the law of the sea and international environmental law. In comparative law classes, students study the similarities and differences among legal systems and their interactions. Broader philosophical and policy questions underlie these topics, including the nature of law, the purpose of law and its possibilities and limitations.

Comparative Law classes and seminars address the nature and function of different legal systems or traditions. Lawyers working across borders need an appreciation of these differences to function effectively for their clients. Comparative study also provides windows on our own legal system and on possible ways to improve law throughout the world.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the of International and Comparative Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum. Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Introduction to International and Comparative Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6261 International Business Transactions (2-3). The course provides an overview of the domestic, foreign, and international law governing international business transactions. Transactions discussed include export sales, agency and distributorship agreements, licenses, joint ventures, privatization, project finance, and foreign government debt. The course also covers U.S. regulation of international transactions in such areas as antitrust, securities, intellectual property, tax, foreign corrupt practices, and export controls, as well as the impact of North American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs.
  • LAW 6316 International Commercial Arbitration (2-3). The course covers the basics of the law and practice of international commercial arbitration, including: drafting arbitration clauses in international transactions and enforcement of arbitral agreements; preparing and presenting cases before arbitral tribunals, including issues of witnesses, experts, discovery and evidence; recognition, enforcement and setting aside of arbitral awards; the major international arbitral institutions and their rules of procedure; the relationship between international arbitration and national court systems; and various treaties and conventions dealing with international arbitration.
  • LAW 6295 International Organizations (3). This course aims to introduce students to the fascinating and complex world of international organizations, and situate specifically the United Nations, World Bank, and regional institutions within the context of the dynamic international legal order and world politics.
  • LAW 6260 Public International Law (2-3). This course explores advanced issues of international law. The goal is to understand how international law operates in practice. Special attention will be devoted to the acceptance and application of international law by United States courts. Topics include the process of international dispute resolution, the application of domestic law extraterritorially, state responsibility to aliens and foreign investors, and sovereign immunity.
  • Study Abroad

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6730 Admiralty Law (2-3). This course is an introduction to the law of the sea under federal and international law. Topics covered will include rules governing liability for maritime collision, rights and duties arising from personal injury or death of a seaman, liabilities of ship owners and insurers, maritime liens and mortgages, and special problems caused by involvement of governments as parties to maritime transactions and litigation. Other topics will include admiralty practice and procedure and maritime environmental law.
  • LAW 6291 Aviation and Space Law (2-3). Air Space Law at the FIU College of Law examines post-9/11 national aviation and space policy, together with key administrative, antitrust, business, constitutional, and legislative and regulatory issues confronting the civil and general airplane transportation industry, Florida’s Space Coast, and the international communities for which Miami-Dade County serves as a gateway. Prerequisite: First year curriculum.
  • LAW 6935 Caribbean Law and Development (2-3). This course will cover the legal and judicial systems of the Caribbean countries and the process by which these systems were introduced. A focus of the course is on Regional Cooperation in the political and especially economic areas. Similarities and differences across the countries of the region that both propel and hinder legal integration will be highlighted.
  • LAW 6254 Comparative Family Law (2-3). This course will entail the study of U.S. and other countries’ domestic relations laws, including laws governing marriage, divorce, and children.
  • LAW 6087 International Banking (2-3). This course addresses issues of banking and financial law in international private transactions. Topics include letters of credit, banking and bank secrecy regulation, efforts to combat money laundering, and currency regulation.
  • LAW 6015 International and Comparative Sales (3). This course entails the study of legal rules governing the international sale of goods, and a comparison of these rules with Spanish and United States domestic law counterparts. The course will focus on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the UNIDROIT Principles of Commercial Contracts. The comparative law component of the course will examine the related Spanish and U.S. domestic contract law governing sales of goods, including Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Comparing and contrasting the three systems offers the student greater insight into the choices, interests and policies pursued under each respective system of law.
  • LAW 6103 International Criminal Law (2-3). The course explores international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and war crimes. It focuses on contemporary responses by way of international criminal jurisdiction claimed by individual states, bilateral cooperation on extradition and evidence gathering, prosecutions before ad hoc international tribunals, and the development of an international body of criminal law and procedure. Particular attention is paid to the question of jurisdiction, including the reach of U.S. Constitutional protections to investigations and law enforcement activities overseas. Special consideration is given to international terrorism, the role of human rights in international criminal law, and the establishment of an international criminal court.
  • LAW 6263 International Human Rights Law (2-3). This course is an introduction to the international law protecting human rights. It examines the theory and the history of the field, together with key United Nations documents. International treaty and non-treaty mechanisms for protecting and promoting human rights, including regional systems and the role of nongovernmental organizations, are covered.
  • LAW 7262 International Trade Law and Policy (2-3). This course concerns the national and international regulation of imports and exports. Law, policy and economics of the international trading system will be discussed. The course primarily focuses on import restrictions on goods; however, export restrictions and trade in services will also be considered. Topics include the pure theory of trade, industrial policy, the World Trade Organization and its dispute settlement process, dumping and countervailing duties, retaliation, and economic sanctions.
  • LAW 6282 Law and Politics in Latin America (3). This course examines a series of issues related to law and legal systems in Latin America. It draws out the interrelationship of theory and politics that constitute “lawyerly thinking” by Latin Americans. It has both a practical orientation, addressing how to understand and work with Latin American law and lawyers, and a theoretical orientation, examining how legal practices are the result of both overlapping and competing projects of social organization. This course in comparative law and politics examines a cross-section of the institutions, doctrines, and interpretive theories of Latin American codes, courts and legal commentators. As against the widely-held view that Latin American law is merely imitative of foreign models or is mainly irrelevant to their societies, the course examines the strategic and programmatic function of law in the service of national governance, cultural identity, and existing economic arrangements.
  • LAW 6226 Legal History (2-3). This course deals with the history of the United States viewed through aspects of the law, the legal profession, legal education, and the evolution of constitutional principles. The focus of this course is on the background and context of the growth of American law and legal institutions, and on the ways in which law and legal concepts have been centrally important in American history. Major emphasis is given to the period of the Revolution, the growth of positivism, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Cold War period.
  • LAW 7285 Profesión Jurídica Comparada (Comparative Legal Profession) (2-3). This course is designed for students who have a basic knowledge of the Spanish language and want to develop or expand their legal vocabulary. The prerequisite Spanish-language proficiency for admission to the class will be determined by the professor in individual cases. The focus of the course is on effective communication with Spanish-speaking colleagues and clients rather than on grammar or punctuation. Both oral expression and legal writing skills are emphasized through a series of assignments. Students have an opportunity to simulate meetings with clients and negotiations with colleagues in the Spanish language. A portion of class time is devoted to comparative analysis of the legal concepts raised in the assignments.
  • LAW 6507 National Security Law and the Constitution (2-3). The goal of this class is to examine the growing body of national security law under the Constitution.
  • LAW 7475 Ocean and Coastal Law (2-3). This course considers aspects of land use law, water law, natural resources law, property law, and constitutional law from the perspective of the special needs of the coast. The course examines the common law and major acts protecting coastal zones and natural resources, and includes discussion of the important interrelations of water, habitat, wildlife, and land use, as well as issues concerning jurisdictional conflicts.
  • LAW 6236 Women and the Law: Comparative and Global Considerations (3). The course will consider the role of law in the lives of women from global and comparative perspectives. Topical coverage will include the role of international law on the lives of women by considering certain UN conventions relating to the status of women, as well as with respect to certain global issues which affect the lives of women in a particular sense (e.g., immigration policies and practices, including asylum and refugee law, and human trafficking). The comparative law component will consider and compare legal approaches to matters relating to women’s private and domestic life choices and options, such as laws relating to family law, reproduction, and wage and labor gender-based disparities.

Experiential Courses

Immigration Human Rights Clinic

Faculty

Manuel A. Gómez, Associate Dean for International and Graduates Studies &
Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1158

Matthew Mirow, Professor of Law
305.348.8347

Jorge L. Esquirol, Professor of Law
305.348.8343

Hannibal TravisAssociate Professor of Law
305.348.8371

Tawia Baidoe AnsahAssociate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law
305.348.1148

Cyra Akila Choudhury, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1153

Megan A. Fairlie, Associate Professor of Law
305.348-1157
J. Janewa OseiTutu, Assistant Professor of Law
305.348.3565

Charles C. Jalloh, Visiting Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1099

Labor and Employment Law Pathway

The practice of Labor and Employment Law and Employment Discrimination Law, is the practice of the law that governs and regulates the workplace. Work is important. Work underlies the identity of many Americans. Workplace law is fascinating because it forces legislators, triers of fact, and triers of law to grapple with the nuances of the life of the workplace: the human psyche, interpersonal exchanges, and the dynamics that exist between groups and individuals. Unlike in many countries, like Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Sweden, which all have statutory provisions requiring employers to show good cause prior to discharging employees, employment in the United States is presumed to be at-will. This means that any employer may hire, fire, and set up terms and conditions for its employees as it sees fit. Atop this presumption, however, is engrafted legislation and sometimes judge-made law that dictates restrictions on how and why changes in the terms and conditions of one’s employment (including hiring and firing) may be implemented.

Employment Law equips students to deal with a host of questions that may come up in a lawsuit against an employer, including: What rights to expression or protection from various searches do employees enjoy? What differentiates a public employer’s workplace from that of a private employer? What circumstances, if any, give rise to an unjust dismissal? What post termination restraints may employers place upon employees? Employment Discrimination focuses on that area of employment law that attempts to regulate status or class-based discrimination in the workplace, and it explores the protection that major pieces of federal legislation afford different groups. Labor Law addresses itself largely to the National Labor Relations Act and the body of law that has grown up around the existence of labor unions. The Employment Discrimination Seminar offered explores the theory and scholarship surrounding areas not covered in depth in the survey class, like stereotyping, bullying, and subconscious bias in the workplace.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the Labor & Employment Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Torts and Contracts.

Core Courses

  • LAW 7549 Employment Discrimination (3). This course will assesses the major federal and state employment discrimination statutes (e.g., Title 7, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act) with emphasis on the relationship among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in the development and implementation of public policy.
  • LAW 6545 Employment Law (2-3). This course is a survey of basic legal and policy concepts governing the employment relationship. Subject areas include: personal service contracts, including grounds for discharge and the at-will doctrine; the collective bargaining process, including the notion of exclusivity/concerted activity, unfair labor practices, duty to bargain, impasse resolution and contract enforcement; employment discrimination, including race, sex, handicap, age, and remedial affirmative action; statutory regulation of conditions of employment, including workers’ compensation, fair labor standards, safety and health and whistleblower statutes; public and private employment distinctions, including civil service systems and employment as a property right.
  • LAW 6540 Labor Law (2-3). This course is about labor union activities and other forms of concerted activity. It focuses upon an employee’s right to form or join a union and the right to refrain from such activities. The course covers the representational and unfair labor practice provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, including the formation of a labor organization and negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements.
  • LAW 7510 Civil Rights (2-3). This course focuses on selected federal statutes enacted to remedy violations of federal constitutional rights. The principal Reconstruction Era statutes, 42 U.S.C. sections 1981, 1982, and 1983, are examined in depth.
  • LAW 6302 Federal Courts (3). The course examines the power and role of the federal courts as defined by the United States Constitution, federal statutes and judicial decisions. Among the topics examined are federal question, diversity and civil rights jurisdiction, habeas corpus, immunities of state and local governments from suit, and abstention.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6330 Evidence (3). This course addresses the law of evidence, including: hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.
  • LAW 6936 Seminars (2-3). Seminars provide an opportunity for intensive analysis of legal and policy issues in a specialized area of study, culminating in a major research paper or a series of shorter papers. They require a considerable investment of time by students and faculty, and a corresponding responsibility for thorough preparation and participation by all members of the seminar. Some seminars may also include a final examination.

Experiential Courses

Internship with the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC)*

* Students should take Employment Discrimination and Employment Labor Law prior to enlisting in the EEOC internship.

Faculty

Kerri L. Stone, Associate Professor of Law
305.348.1154

Public & Regulatory Law Pathway

Public and Regulatory Law deals with regulatory and constitutional issues. This concentration is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the laws which regulate society.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the area of Public and Regulatory Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law.

Core Course

  • LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6550 Antitrust (2-3). The course is a study of judicial decisions construing and applying the federal antitrust laws (i.e., Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman, and Federal Trade Commission Acts) to the control of the competitive process in the American economy.
  • LAW 7510 Civil Rights (2-3). This course focuses on selected federal statutes enacted to remedy violations of federal constitutional rights. The principal Reconstruction Era statutes, 42 U.S.C. sections 1981, 1982, and 1983, are examined in depth.
  • LAW 6584 Election Law (2-3). This course examines federal and state law regulating the conduct of elections and the financing of campaigns. It includes: aspects of federal and state constitutional law on speech, association, and equal protection; state law on who gets to vote and who gets voted for; and problems of apportionment, gerrymandering, race-conscious districting under the Voting Rights Act, and party governance. With respect to campaign finance, it considers: how much and what kinds of legal regulation are appropriate regarding parties, candidates, independents, political action committees, corporations, unions, and individuals; and the appropriate role of the courts.
  • LAW 7549 Employment Discrimination (3). This course will assesses the major federal and state employment discrimination statutes (e.g., Title 7, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act) with emphasis on the relationship among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in the development and implementation of public policy.
  • LAW 6471 Environmental Law (3). This is a survey of environmental regulation, addressing the environmental policies, rights, and remedies provided by the common law and various federal statutes. The course focuses on the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and various other statutes and common law doctrines related to hazardous wastes and toxic substances. Throughout the course, students will be asked to pay attention to the regulatory and administrative structures invoked by these statutes and doctrines.
  • LAW 7511 First Amendment (2-3). This course is an examination of the historical origins and underlying values of the rights of conscience protected in the First Amendment. The emphasis will be on the fundamental principles articulated in Supreme Court interpretations of its provisions relating to free speech, free press, and religious liberty.
  • LAW 6302 Federal Courts (3). The course examines the power and role of the federal courts as defined by the United States Constitution, federal statutes and judicial decisions. Among the topics examined are federal question, diversity and civil rights jurisdiction, habeas corpus, immunities of state and local governments from suit, and abstention.
  • LAW 7503 Florida Constitutional Law (2-3). This course studies the Constitution of the State of Florida, including recent decisions of the Florida Supreme Court and analysis of current proposals for constitutional change.
  • LAW 7268 International Environmental Law (2-3). This course focuses on issues including marine pollution, transboundary movement of hazardous waste, climate change, biodiversity, the relation of population and the environment, and other global and transboundary environmental problems.
  • LAW 6264 Immigration Law (2-3). This course examines the major aspects of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The interrelationship between the administrative agencies empowered to execute the Immigration and Nationality Act’s mandate will be studied. Major attention will be focused on the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa systems, political asylum and refugees, exclusion and deportation of the foreign-born, and naturalization. Policy implications of the statute and judicial interpretations are addressed.
  • LAW 5210 Jurisprudence (2-3). This course is an investigation of the nature of law, and considers the differences between law and custom, morality, policy, “common sense,” logic, and reason. The course considers the philosophic underpinnings of the Restatements and other codes. It further inquiries into the sources and legitimacy of law, and asks whether law must be enforced and why wrongs should be righted.
  • LAW 6540 Labor Law (2-3). This course is about labor union activities and other forms of concerted activity. It focuses upon an employee’s right to form or join a union and the right to refrain from such activities. The course covers the representational and unfair labor practice provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, including the formation of a labor organization and negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements.
  • LAW 6460 Land Use Planning and Control (2-3). Since the 1920s, our society has regulated urban and rural uses of land in an attempt to encourage the prudent allocation of land resources, thus this course undertakes an intensive analysis of the traditional regulatory techniques, including general and specific planning, zoning, and subdivision mapping, and relates them to the practical and political aspects of the land use entitlement process and to resolve conflicting use preferences.
  • LAW 6531 Local Government Law (2-3). The powers, limitations, and special legal rules concerning local governments are studied in this course. Emphasis is given to Florida problems concerning counties, cities, and special districts.
  • LAW 6561 Securities Law Enforcement (2-3). Securities Law Enforcement comprehensively examines the enforcement processes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the perspective of both the government and the private practitioner. Coverage includes preliminary investigations, Wells letters, settlement procedures, litigation, and remedies. The course also considers the role of self-regulatory organizations like the New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers in enforcement of the securities laws. Prerequisites: Securities Regulation, Business Organizations, Law of Corporate Finance or students without prerequisites may also be enrolled in special circumstances with the permission of the instructor.
  • LAW 6271 American Indian Law. The course will begin with historical materials, followed by an overview of federal Indian policy periods, and then will proceed to examine the legal framework chronologically then by subject matter.
  • LAW 6581 Sports Law (2-3). This course will focus on the application of various legal doctrines to sports activities. Representative topics include regulation of amateur athletics, public regulation of sports activities, legal relationships and structures in professional sports, and legal issues involved in representation of professional athletes.
  • Seminar: Constitutional Theory
    LAW 6936 Constitutional Theory Professor Baker. Lawyers arguing before judges — and judges deciding cases — must distinguish between what counts as a sound legal argument and what amounts to salon thinking. Arguments about the Constitution of the United States take place on several levels. This Seminar will challenge students, who have a grounding in constitutional doctrine, to explore the underlying theory.What distinguishes a credible constitutional argument from a goofy idea? What criteria should we use to select the proper interpretation of the Constitution from among competing possible interpretations? Is the distinction between law and politics a false dichotomy? Readings will consider theories based in originalism, governmental structure (federalism and separation of powers), moral reasoning, and Supreme Court precedent. We will sample various constitutional perspectives, including the theorizing of liberals, conservatives, feminists, critical race scholars, and postmodernists. The required book is: Michael J. Gerhardt, Stephen M. Griffin, Thomas D. Rowe & Lawrence B. Solum, Constitutional Theory: Arguments and Perspectives (4th. 2013). Enrollment is limited and a grading premium will be placed on class participation. A paper is required. More information will be available on the TWEN page.Justice Holmes observed, “We have too little theory in the law rather than too much . . . . Theory is my subject, not practical details. . . . Theory is the most important part of the dogma of the law . . . . It is not to be feared as unpractical, for, to the competent, it simply means going to the bottom of the subject.” You should take this Seminar if you want to move beyond “three-tiered analyses” and “four-part tests” in order to get to the bottom of constitutional law. See generally Thomas E. Baker, Constitutional Theory in a Nutshell, 13 Wm & Mary B. Rts. J. 57 (2004).
  • Seminar: Virtual Supreme Court
    This two-hour seminar will be limited to exactly nine (9) students. Each student will select one of the current or former justices of the Supreme Court and play the role of that justice to decide a series of constitutional cases taken from the docket of the current October Term and United States Reports. Within the limits of the semester, every effort will be made to conduct the seminar to resemble how the actual Supreme Court functions.Nota bene: to assure the success of this seminar and to be fair to those on the waiting list, students must commit to completing the seminar before the end of regular drop-add; therefore students who register agree that they will not drop the Seminar after the first day of classes. Before registering for the seminar, however, interested students should first submit the course application form to Professor Baker who will select the nine students and notify them that they may register.The seminar grade will be determined by the opinion(s) students write and join as well as by their participation in the Virtual Court’s Conferences to discuss and decide the cases. Each student-Justice is obliged to write at least one majority opinion or dissent; students satisfying the FIU College of Law Seminar Requirement must write two opinions of suitable judicial (publishable) quality and length. There will be additional role playing exercises throughout the semester, e.g., an exercise to decide whether to grant or deny a petition for a writ of certiorari.

Experiential Courses

Faculty

Thomas E. Baker, Professor of Law
305.348.8342

Ediberto Román, Professor of Law
305.348.2444

John F. Stack, Jr., Professor of Political Science and Law
305.348.8372

Howard M. Wasserman, Professor of Law
305.348.7482

Juan Carlos Gomez, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
305.348.3179

Ryan B. Stoa, Senior Scholar
305.919.4118

Real Estate Law Pathway

Real Estate Law is a multi-faceted area of practice. The transactional practice of real estate encompasses residential and commercial sales and purchases, leases, development, and financing. A real estate attorney may encounter issues related to land use planning and zoning, environmental law, and joint ventures. Those interested in litigation may represent clients in matters such as foreclosures and construction liens

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Real Estate Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed below, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Contracts and Property Law.

Core Courses

  • LAW 6670 Real Estate Transactions (2-3). This course takes an interdisciplinary and practice-oriented approach to real estate transactions, covering land transfers, mortgage law, and selected topics such as usury and mechanics’ liens. Students will study selected tax, environmental and federal securities laws issues in the context of real estate transactions.

Advanced Electives

  • LAW 6425 Construction Law (2-3). This course will consider legal issues encountered in construction projects, beginning with the role of the construction lawyer and review of duties and liabilities of the construction team – Architect, Engineer, Owner, Contractor, Construction Manager. The course includes discussion of the bidding process (including bid protest and bid awards), the contracting process with emphasis on key contract provisions, contract performance issues, litigation liability and damage issues, and bonding issues.
  • LAW 6471 Environmental Law (3). This is a survey of environmental regulation, addressing the environmental policies, rights, and remedies provided by the common law and various federal statutes. The course focuses on the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and various other statutes and common law doctrines related to hazardous wastes and toxic substances. Throughout the course, students will be asked to pay attention to the regulatory and administrative structures invoked by these statutes and doctrines.
  • LAW 6460 Land Use Planning and Control (2-3). Since the 1920s, our society has regulated urban and rural uses of land in an attempt to encourage the prudent allocation of land resources, thus this course undertakes an intensive analysis of the traditional regulatory techniques, including general and specific planning, zoning, and subdivision mapping, and relates them to the practical and political aspects of the land use entitlement process and to resolve conflicting use preferences.
  • LAW 7475 Ocean and Coastal Law (2-3). This course considers aspects of land use law, water law, natural resources law, property law, and constitutional law from the perspective of the special needs of the coast. The course examines the common law and major acts protecting coastal zones and natural resources, and includes discussion of the important interrelations of water, habitat, wildlife, and land use, as well as issues concerning jurisdictional conflicts.
  • LAW 6560 Securities Regulation (2-3). This course is a comprehensive survey of the statutes and regulations governing the distribution of securities, trading of securities on the stock exchanges and over-the counter markets, the regulation of broker-dealers, and the growing role of institutional investors. Primary focus is placed upon the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Act of 1934, with limited attention to state “Blue Sky” securities legislation. Prerequisite: Business Organizations.
  • LAW 6492 Water Resources Law (2). Water Resources Law will explore water’s distinctive character as property that is both public and private, and individual and common. The course will begin with an overview survey of the general legal issues regarding historic water allocation and information regarding current water uses in the United States. First we will study the Riparian system of allocation. We will conclude that study with an examination of water resource issues facing Florida. We will then examine western prior appropriation systems. We will also conclude that study by examining the dispute among users of the Colorado River. We will conclude the course by studying issues related to groundwater and the impact of the Clean Water Act on water resources. Prerequisites: None, although Environmental and Administrative Law is helpful.

Faculty

Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod, Professor of Law
305.348.3245

Bar Preparation Pathway

This pathway is designed to aid students in passing the bar examination. This pathway should supplement the other courses taken in your desired area of practice. It is also beneficial for those who want to get a head start in preparing for the bar or review foundation courses. The General Bar Examination is divided into two parts. Part A consists of three essay questions and 100 multiple-choice questions. Florida Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure and the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.330, 2.420, 2.505, and 2.515 are always tested.

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) Part B – Tested Areas

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Civil Procedure (tested for the first time in February 2015)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

Florida Bar Exam – Tested Areas

  • Payment Systems (Article 3 UCC)
  • Secured Transactions (Article 9 UCC)
  • Business Entities
  • Chapters 4 & 5 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Evidence
  • Family Law and Dependency
  • Federal Constitutional Law
  • Florida Constitutional Law
  • Professionalism
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Trusts Wills & Administration of Estates

For more information, www.floridabarexam.org

First Year Courses

  • LAW 5000 Contract Law (4). This course introduces and explores the function of contracts in a free enterprise economy. It covers the evolution and application of common law doctrines and, where applicable, those provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code governing the contracts process, including mutual assent, consideration, reliance, conditions, interpretation of contract language, performance and breach, and remedies. The course may also cover impossibility and frustration, beneficiaries, and assignments.
  • LAW 5501 Constitutional Law (4). This course deals with the fundamental principles of American constitutionalism. It considers the relationships between the branches of the federal government within the separation of powers and the relationship of the national government with the states within our federalism. It focuses on the institution of the Supreme Court and its power of judicial review and how that power is exercised to interpret the Constitution. The various powers of Congress are studied, especially the commerce clause power, including its negative effects on the state police power. The executive powers of the President, both domestic and foreign, are explored. The constitutional relationship between the individual and the government are analyzed within the context of the due process and equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment.
  • LAW 5100 Criminal Law (3). The purpose of the course is to introduce the principles and objectives of the criminal law and to explore its utility and limitations as a means of social control. The course covers general common law elements and principles, including actus reus and mens rea; general defenses, including insanity, ignorance and mistake, duress, self-defense, defense of others and of property, necessity, and entrapment; the criminal capacity of children and of corporations; theories of liability for various parties to crime; and vicarious strict liability.
  • LAW 5400 Property (4). This course introduces and examines concepts of property ownership, possession, and transfer. It includes acquisition and protection of personal property; estates in land, including present, concurrent, and future interests; leasehold estates; easements, covenants, and private controls of land use; some aspects of real property transfers, including deeds, descriptions, recording and priority, and the real estate contract; and an introductory treatment of nuisance, zoning and other public controls of land use.
  • LAW 5700 Torts (4). This course examines the body of law directed toward the compensation of individuals for injuries to their protected legal interests. It includes liability for negligence and for intentional interference with person and property, and liability without fault (“strict liability”). Covered are doctrines including duty, breach of duty, causation, damages, and defenses.

Bar Tested Courses

  • LAW 6114 Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (3). This course examines topics not covered in the basic course in Criminal Procedure, including the grand jury process, bail, the plea-bargain process, right to jury trial, double jeopardy, joinder and severance, and right to confront and examine witnesses.
  • LAW 6062 Business Organizations (3-4). This is a basic course on state and federal law governing incorporated business enterprises, partnerships and limited liability companies.
  • LAW 6330 Evidence (3). This course addresses the law of evidence, including: hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.
  • LAW 6710 Family Law (3). This course examines state regulation of sexual and marital relationships, including the conflict between the doctrines of family privacy and state intervention in the marital relationship. Topics include: premarital controversies, capacity to marry and the formalities of marriage; rights and duties of marital partners; annulment and separation; divorce grounds and no-fault; spousal support and basic issues of property distribution; principles governing child custody and visitation; child support; mediation of property and custody issues; and regulation of non-traditional relationships.
  • LAW 7511 First Amendment (2-3). This course is an examination of the historical origins and underlying values of the rights of conscience protected in the First Amendment. The emphasis will be on the fundamental principles articulated in Supreme Court interpretations of its provisions relating to free speech, free press, and religious liberty.
  • LAW 7303 Florida Civil Practice (2-3). This course entails a study of Florida civil practice from the commencement of an action through final judgment.
  • LAW 7503 Florida Constitutional Law (2-3). This course studies the Constitution of the State of Florida, including recent decisions of the Florida Supreme Court and analysis of current proposals for constitutional change.
  • LAW 5309 Florida Law and Procedure (2). Focused on differences and distinctions between state law and general common law principles in certain fundamental areas of law typically tested on the Florida bar examination. Prerequisites: Foundation courses or substantial equivalent.
  • LAW 6725 Medical Malpractice Law (2–3). Medical Malpractice Law examines legal claims that may be brought against physicians, hospitals, and other allied health professionals and organizations, as a result of the provision of medical and/or health services, or as a result of relationships with medical and health services providers. The course will examine the duties of care imposed by law on medical and health care providers, legal remedies for breach of the standards of medical care, defenses to legal claims, and medical ethics. Recommended but not required as a prerequisite: Evidence Law.
  • LAW 6556 Payment Systems (2-3). This course will survey the uses of different payment mechanisms (negotiable and nonnegotiable instruments, credit cards and electronic funds transfer and wire transfer systems) in both credit and cash transactions. The course will consider allocation of risks for fraud, countermands, defenses on the underlying contract, mistake, timeliness and unauthorized payments. In each case the allocation of risks in connection with different payment mechanisms will be considered, along with whether these allocations should be the same or different for each mechanism. The course will focus on Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and, as time permits, consider letters of credit under U.C.C. Article 5 and the International Chamber of Commerce Uniform Customs and Practice. Special emphasis will be given to techniques of statutory analysis, commercial counseling and a rethinking of present rules, especially in the light of the revision of Articles 3 and 4. The impact of federal legislation on the state payments law (U.C.C. Articles 3, 4, and 4A) may also be treated.
  • LAW 6702 Products Liability (2-3). This course is a survey of the history, growth and development of the law regarding injury to persons and property resulting from defective products. It will examine the various legal theories of fraud, express warranty, implied warranties of fitness and merchantability, negligence, and strict liability.
  • LAW 6750 Professional Responsibility (3). This course will examine the law of professional responsibility, including professionalism issues and malpractice risk management, with significant emphasis on the rules of ethics governing lawyers and judges. The objective is to give students an appreciation for the challenges they will face as practitioners, and a working knowledge of the principles of professionalism and the ethics rules that they will use in their daily practices.
  • LAW 6010 Sales (2-3). This course covers contracts for the sale of goods under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Some consideration will also be given to leasing of goods under Article 2A of the Code.
  • LAW 6051 Secured Transactions (2-3). This course covers the creation, perfection, and enforcement of security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including priorities among conflicting interests in the same property and choice of law problems. Some discussion of bankruptcy law as it affects the interests of secured creditors may also be included.
  • LAW 6320 Remedies (3). The course focuses upon the nature and scope of relief that a court may grant a party who has established a substantive right. Topics include judicial remedies such as damages in tort and contract cases, restitution, punitive remedies, declaratory relief and coercive remedies in equity.
  • LAW 6430 Wills and Trusts (3-4). The intergenerational transfer of wealth in the United States is controlled by both statutory and common law principles. Competing views of the individual’s freedom of disposition and state power both to channel and to tax property have led to an interesting and complex array of legal devices and institutions. These include statutory intestacy and elective share provisions, wills, and trusts. Related topics to be addressed will include planning for incapacity, future interests in property, powers of appointment, life insurance, and introductory aspects of trust and estate administration.
  • LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.
  • LAW 6600 Federal Income Tax (3). This course offers an introduction to the fundamental principles of federal income taxation, particularly as applied to individuals, including the concepts of gross income, identification of the proper taxpayer, deductions, income tax accounting, capital gains and losses, deferred payment sales and non-recognition transactions. Consideration will be given to issues of tax policy and tax planning techniques.
  • LAW 7680 International Taxation (2-3). The course involves a study of the federal income tax laws and international tax treaty provisions that apply to transactions that cross international boundaries.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

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