Below is a list of courses that are available for LL.M. students on either a yearly or rotating basis:
In addition to participating and leading class discussion, students will be required to write 2 papers: (1) a short paper analyzing one of the Court’s decisions from the 2013-2014 terms, and (2) either a brief for a case which has been appealed to the Supreme Court or a hypothetical Supreme Court opinion for a case in which briefs have been filed or in which the Court has denied the petition for certiorari.
Topics of study include an overview of corporate and organizational governance (definition, history, rationale and importance, board/management duties and functions, law and regulation, conflicts and tensions); identifying rights and responsibilities of stakeholders and key shareholder issues (shareholder activism, impact investing, conflicts of authority with boards and managers); legal and market forces driving organizations toward greater professed social responsibility and sustainability imperatives; ethics in businesses and other organizations; governance and ethics lessons from the great recession; and gatekeepers, including lawyer as business conscience. Students will have the opportunity to interact with CEOs and other executives, board members, general counsel, and nonprofit government leaders who will participate in class discussions from time to time. Evaluation is based upon class participation and two short writing assignments.
In preparation for the course, students will be required to read selected course materials which will be sent to them a week or two in advance of the first class. It is expected that students will spend at least 7 hours and 35 minutes of time on out-of-class work including but not necessarily limited to reading. Students will spend some class time at the Maine Cyber Security Cluster to get hands on experience with the technology fundamentals.
This course provides an introduction to the law of data breach response, focusing on the nuts and bolts of how to plan for and deal with cyber security incidents. The course also covers technology fundamentals needed to be able to assess privacy and cyber security risks and to analyze the legal implications arising from cyber security incidents. We will use as case studies actual security incidents such as the ones reported by Yahoo! Inc. in 2016.
It is said that there are two kinds of companies today; those know they have been hacked, and those that do not know (yet). 98% of all data are now created electronically, in the form of social media, big data, new communication forms that can create, and destroy, messages in seconds, and monitoring software that collects, synthesizes, reports, and stores an unimaginable volume and type of data about a company, its employees, their activities, intellectual property, business processes, and client data. An increasing number of actors want access to that data, including government agencies, regulatory bodies, international policing institutions, audit committees, marketing organizations, outside counsel, opposing counsel and hackers, state sponsored or otherwise. Companies (small, mid- size and large) are turning to machine learning, artificial intelligence and related technologies to monetize data and capture it for compliance needs, research and development, and driving efficiencies across all business units. Newly minted attorneys must develop real world capabilities to confront the fast pace of technology apparent in nearly every aspect of business operations and growth. Some of the subjects examined will be ediscovery and cybersecurity practices, lawyers’ ethical obligations vis-a-vis electronic data, changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to take into account electronically stored information, and advising clients in this environment.
Externships offer second-year and third-year students the opportunity to gain legal experience and receive feedback on their work from seasoned professionals with guidance and support from a faculty member. Externship students earn 6 academic credits, spend approximately 18 hours per week over the course of the semester at their placements, and also participate in a mandatory course, which runs contemporaneously.
Prerequisites: All placements require the successful completion of all first-year courses as well as good academic standing. Some placements also require eligibility for certification as a student attorney or specific coursework.
Case studies will be drawn from various real world matters and will form the basis for a number of different student exercises which will conducted in class or prepared by students out of class. The exercises will focus on key areas of practice in this area. By way of example, such exercises might focus on the following topics:
Privacy impact assessments – providing advice with respect to when and how to use them, how to go about completing them, and how to utilize the results of the assessment, including action steps to take based on the assessment.
Commercial transactions between parties involving the transfer and handling of personal information – drafting and negotiating contract provisions (from the perspective of both parties) that address privacy and data security concerns and the related regulatory and other risks associated with handling personal information.
Data breach notification – providing end to end advice to a business that is the victim of a data breach, beginning with the initial notification of the security incident, working with the IT and forensics teams to figure out what happened and how to contain the incident, determining whether there are any breach notification obligations, crafting the breach notification letter, responding to regulatory inquiries and enforcement actions, crafting notice of claim to insurance carriers of third party providers that may be at fault, pursuing insurance claims, defending and bringing litigations, and negotiating resolution of such claims and disputes.
Information Privacy Law (Law 777) is a prerequisite for this course.
This course is intended to introduce foreign-trained lawyers and law students to the American legal system. The American legal system is different in many significant respects from the civil law system which developed in continental Europe and then spread to large parts of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The principal goals of the course are to introduce students to the way that Americans think about law, to learn how American lawyers and judges perform legal tasks (like legal analysis, legal argumentation, finding and using legal authority, etc.), and to understand the role that law and lawyers play in the American economy and public life.
Students will learn about the American legal system by reading landmark cases in different areas of public and private law (e.g., Marbury v. Madison, Erie v. Tompkins, Brown v. Board of Education, Pierson v. Post, Palsgraf v. The Long Island Railroad Company) and canonical legal documents (e.g., the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution) and texts (e.g., The Federalist Papers, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Holmes’ The Path of the Law). Students will do a number of writing assignments that replicate the work of the American law student and lawyer (e.g., memorandum of law, opinion letter to client).
The course will also feature visits to a law firm and to courts to observe the actual practice and application of the law. Since the course is intended for foreign students, for almost all of whom English is not their native language, considerable emphasis will be placed on improving English-language skills, particularly reading English-language legal materials (cases, statutes, law review articles, and other types of legal documents) as well as written and oral expression in a legal context.
*All foreign students are required to take Introduction to U.S. Law (LAW 785).
One of the fastest job growth areas for new lawyers is the focus of this course. Throughout law school and your legal career, you frequently will be required to interpret statutes and regulations when advising clients and crafting strategy. Moreover, the vast majority of attorneys who litigate are doing so not before judges or juries, but before regulatory bodies or non-judicial officers without the Rules of Evidence or Civil Procedure, and that have special standards for issues like standing and finality. The American Bar Association estimates that 65 to 70 percent of the practice of adjudication actually occurs in an administrative setting, rather than a courtroom. Moreover, “Virtually every aspect of public policy is addressed by one administrative agency or another. Topics include immigration, telecommunications, energy projects, environmental protection, food safety, securities and commodity trading, banking regulation, building codes, zoning, social security, utility rates, customs, and so on.”
This course will first introduce you to the principles of legislative interpretation, including exercises in drafting and interpreting. We then examine work that federal and state agencies do, the procedures they utilize, and the ways in which the political judicial branches seek to control administrative actions. Students will undertake practical exercises on relevant issues throughout the semester to best develop your oral and written advocacy skills, and to better learn and remember the legislative and regulatory doctrines. The goal is to better enable students to address issues in their other courses, and in their legal jobs during and after law school.
*Legislative and Administrative Law MUST be taken by 2Ls in the fall of their 2L year (or the summer between their 1L and 2L year if it is offered).
The American military is widely regarded as the most impressive in the world. It performs missions that have worldwide implications both in times of peace and in times of war. The United States Constitution contains 18 provisions specifically centered on the armed forces. They provide the basis for the wide number of domestic missions of the armed forces.
Military Law will examine the overall governance structure of the military and the roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in that governance. Among the topics are entry into the military by commissioning, enlistment, or conscription and departure from the military by retirement, involuntary termination, end of service agreement. A considerable portion of the course will examine the distinctive military criminal justice system (the court-martial process). In addition to its specific application to the military, study of the court-martial system provides an excellent comparative basis for studying American criminal justice systems.
The Refugee and Human Rights Clinic provides an exciting opportunity for students to advocate on behalf of low-income immigrants in a broad range of cases and projects. Clients include, for example, asylum applicants who have fled human rights abuses in their home countries and are seeking refuge in the United States, immigrant survivors of domestic violence, immigrant victims of certain crimes, and abandoned or abused children seeking legal status in the United States. Under faculty supervision, student attorneys not only develop their substantive knowledge of immigration law and human rights laws and norms but they also build core legal skills relevant to the general practice of law. Students’ clinical work includes interviewing clients and witnesses and preparing their testimony, conducting factual and legal investigation and marshaling of evidence, analyzing and presenting human rights documentation, developing case strategies, writing legal briefs, appearing in administrative hearings, and participating in human rights advocacy projects. Along with regular work with the faculty supervisor on the cases, students also participate in a weekly one-hour seminar to discuss ongoing cases, ethical issues, lawyering skills, and substantive and practical aspects of immigration law. This course is open to both second- and third-year students. Prerequisite or co-requisite: Professional Responsibility (Law 632).
Students who have taken Immigration Law (Law 681) will be given priority in the application process.
Issues of risk management and compliance are attracting increasing focus and attention throughout society and legal practice. Government regulation and regulatory oversight, industry-based codes of ethics, and standards of social responsibility and conduct all have been proliferating in recent years. These developments raise many issues for lawyers. This course will explore the law and practice relevant to these issues, principally from a transactional lawyer’s perspective. After a general introduction to risk and risk management, we will address a number of specific topics such as the reputational, operational and enterprise implications of risk, the transactional lawyer’s role in helping clients develop and manage appropriate and effective risk management and compliance programs, the tools available to the transactional lawyer to identify and help manage risks in the client’s transactions and business operations, and the transactional lawyer as “whistle blower” or “gate keeper.” Finally, we will examine the transactional lawyer’s own management of the risks she or he encounters in client representation (including the “bad actor” client, conflicts of interest, engagement letters and advance waivers, theories of attorney liability, transactional legal opinions, audit letter responses, and dealing with wayward partners and associates). We will use actual case studies to supplement our discussions.
This course will introduce students to the lawyer’s role in transactional practice and provide practical experience in the dynamics of a corporate “deal.” Students will examine a hypothetical, Maine-based transaction that includes a business acquisition component, a financing component and an equity component. Students will “represent” the various parties to the transaction and work through the required tasks and challenges to bring the transaction to fruition, resulting with a “closing” at the end of the course. Deliverables will include negotiated “deal documents” and other related closing items. Focus of the sessions will alternate between an examination of the substantive issues and their practical application in a “deal” context. Enrollment will be limited to 10 students.
Course Prerequisites: Business Associations, Tax I