Below is a list of courses that are available for LL.M. students on either a yearly or rotating basis:
Recently, there has been an explosion of legal battles involving efforts to undo old regulations and laws, as well as over how statutes and regulations should be interpreted. Moreover, today 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.
This course will first review the fundamental principles of and tools for interpretation of statutes and regulations. 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 their oral and written advocacy skills, and to better learn and remember the legislative and regulatory doctrines. Maine Law alums who practice in a variety of regulated areas of law will share their insights with students. The goal is to better enable students to address issues in their other courses, as well as in any jobs they pursue.
This course provides an introduction to the law and policy of cannabis. Cannabis law and policy has seen major upheavals over the past few decades. We will explore the history of prohibition and reform, examine the competing approaches to regulating marijuana, the policies behind those approaches, and the authority of various government actors to pursue them. This inquiry implicates reference to common law and selected provisions of international treaties, federal statutes, state statutes, and local ordinances. We will analyze the inquiry from the perspective of consumers, suppliers, and third parties, looking at both prohibition and legalization regimes. In addition to participation in classroom discussions, students will be required to produce several short writing projects during the semester. Class discussion will be supplemented with selected problem sets and simulations in class and also a field trip to a few local cannabis businesses, e.g. cultivation, product manufacturing, and retail facilities.
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.
Transforming federal constitutional rights from paper to reality is no easy task. Constitutional rights do not enforce themselves; there is a complex enforcement system of federal courts and state courts. How this federal system of courts functions and why it functions in these ways is at the core of the course. Understanding this system is a prerequisite to operating within it to conduct constitutional litigation.
A number of thorny questions are addressed. Must the constitutional issue initially be raised in state court or may it be raised initially in federal court? If the former, when may the state court judgment be reviewed directly by the Supreme Court or by a lower federal court on habeas corpus? If the latter, what is the basis of federal court jurisdiction? Does the federal plaintiff sue the state by name or a state officer? What remedies may be granted? Closely associated with these enforcement questions is the question of whether a federal constitutional right should be recognized at all or the matter should be left to state law.
The course approached these questions historically. As constitutional rights have changed over time, so too have their enforcement system. Thus it aids understanding to adopt a historical perspective.
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).
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