Every semester, Cumberland School of Law presents an exhaustive course offering for electives and special interests. Below is a listing of required and elective courses offered in the recent past. The list does not include all courses that have been or may be offered.
LAW 627 Credit(s): 2
A brief introduction to bookkeeping and accounting concepts for non-accountants, followed by a critical analysis of generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards as applied to problems arising in a legal context.
LAW 686 Credit(s): 3
A study of legislative authority and administrative agencies with special emphasis upon the administrative process and judicial review.
LAW 685 Credit(s): 2
An introduction to admiralty jurisdiction and procedure. Topics include: federal-state relations, maritime liens, Halter Act and Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, salvage, general average, collision, charter parties, personal injuries, marine insurance, and limitation of liability.
LAW 821 Credit(s): 2
Advanced appellate advocacy is designed to reinforce and improve students’ brief writing and oral argument skills. The seminar will focus on assessing realistic outcomes on appeal, issue selection, improving persuasive writing techniques, and analyzing recorded oral arguments. Students will also deconstruct and rewrite two of their own (previously written) persuasive legal arguments. There is no prerequisite for this course.
LAW 613 Credit(s): 2
This course, dealing largely with evidence at trial, is more practical than theoretical. Students are expected to apply general concepts of evidence to the resolution of actual trial problems. A premium is placed on the development of the student’s ability to articulate multiple grounds for both making and meeting objections to evidence.
LAW 804 Credit(s): 3
Advanced Skills in Trial Advocacy will be a limited enrollment course for students who are seriously committed to developing sophisticated advocacy skills. The course will emphasize practical advocacy skills in a courtroom setting, as well as the integration of modern technological resources to enhance presentation to a jury. Rather than teaching the mechanics of trial advocacy, this course will focus on more advanced trial techniques involving legal and factual analysis and application of the rules of evidence. Videotaping with review and critique will be used as a primary method of instruction. The key purposes of the course are to develop the ability to reduce a large number of complex facts into a coherent, comprehensible presentation, and develop mental agility in dealing with issues of law and fact in a real time public setting. Prerequisite: Basic Skills in Trial Advocacy (800) and approval of instructor.
LAW 704 Credit(s): 2
The purpose of this course is to improve legal writing and analysis skills. To accomplish that goal, students will draft pleadings, pretrial motions, office memoranda, other documents and a brief in support of summary judgment. In-class editing exercises reinforce the instruction in effective writing and analysis. The course, in several ways, will mimic the law firm clerking experience. In order to facilitate feedback and personal instruction, the course will be limited to 10 students.
LAW 657 Credit(s): 2
A study of motion practice, pleading, and trial procedure in civil actions in Alabama.
LAW 674 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course introduces basic processes of dispute resolution (negotiation, mediation and arbitration,) as well as other processes (such as neutral evaluation, mini trials, and summary jury trials). By surveying the full array of processes, this course enables students to analyze and compare various processes’ advantages and disadvantages. Students will also be introduced to process design to see ways in which lawyers and parties can go beyond given procedures to create procedures suited to their interests.
LAW 614 Credit(s): 3
This course will examine the relationship between the evolution of the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the broader social, political, and economic history of the United States.
LAW 673 Credit(s): 3
A survey of antitrust and unfair competition laws and the development of legal doctrine there under. Topics include: restraints of trade, monopolization, price discriminations and other interferences with the competitive business environment.
LAW 820 Credit(s): 3
This course provides in-depth instruction and training in appellate advocacy, emphasizing both written and oral skills. The skills involved include analysis, research, synthesis of legal and scholarly authorities, writing, making strategic decisions, meeting deadlines, and speaking effectively. Grading will be based on written assignments, oral arguments and participation.
LAW 710 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course will cover: the Federal Arbitration Act and its preemption of state law, contractual issues, the arbitrability of various claims, procedural issues, judicial review of arbitration awards, and the variety of arbitration contexts.
LAW 605 Credit(s): 3
This course provides an overview of the regulation of the banking and financial services industry in the U.S. Topics include the history and structure of federal and state regulation of banks; the business of banking, including traditional and non-traditional activities of banks and their affiliates; the limitations and restrictions on merging, branching and interstate banking; and the supervision and enforcement powers of the federal banking agencies. This course also will review capital requirements, reserve requirements, lending limits, community reinvestment obligations, privacy restrictions and anti-money laundering requirements.
LAW 608 Credit(s): 3
This introduction to bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law covers topics such as: enforcement of money judgments outside of bankruptcy, commencement of bankruptcy cases, bankruptcy court jurisdiction and procedure, the automatic stay, property of the bankruptcy estate, exemptions, secured and unsecured claims, avoidance of transfers, executory contracts, distribution of property, dismissal and conversion of bankruptcy cases, and discharge of debts in bankruptcy. Prerequisite or corequisite: Secured Transactions (533) or permission of the instructor.
LAW 800 Credit(s): 3
The examination and development of courtroom skills in civil and criminal cases with primary emphasis on jury selection, opening and closing arguments, direct and cross examinations, and objections. Students will participate in trial simulations and observe actual trials. Students cannot drop this course.
LAW 745 Credit(s): 3
A survey course covering issues related to the interaction between the emerging field of bioethics and the legal system. These include issues related to human reproduction, death and dying, and utilization of resources in a managed care environment. Specific topics related to human procreation include the legal and medical aspects of medically assisted reproduction, prenatal testing, genetic counseling, childbirth, abortion and contraception. Specific topics related to death and dying include withdrawing and withholding life-sustaining medical treatment, advance directives, active euthanasia, assisted suicide, and medical decision-making regarding premature and disabled newborns. Specific topics related to utilization of resources in managed care include: the ethical obligations of a health plan physician; futile treatment; and a comparative perspective on health care rationing with a particular focus on the British National Health Service and the Canadian provincial health care plans. The course will include a review of relevant cases and statutes as well as the consideration of clinical case studies.
LAW 611 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on the issues that arise in connection with business bankruptcies, particularly under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Topics will include: the role of the debtor-in-possession; operation of a business under Chapter 11, including post-petition financing; the formulation and confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan; and business liquidations under Chapter 7. Specific legal issues covered will include: the avoidance powers of the trustee or debtor-in-possession; relief from the automatic stay; and the absolute priority rule. Prerequisites: none, though students may find Business Organizations useful background.
LAW 679 Credit(s): 3
This course focuses on corporate and white collar crime. The course will review the principles of corporate criminal liability, sanctions, corporate privileges, grand jury investigations, government evidence gathering, and the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings.
LAW 746 Credit(s): 2
This course is devoted to the drafting of documents. It is taught in five successive and separate components of 5 to 6 hours each, each component dealing with a separate subject. Topics include the drafting of wills and trust agreements; contracts; UCC documents; and deeds, mortgages, and leases. The course also examines the substantive background of the documents. Enrollment is limited.
LAW 526 Credit(s): 4
A study of agency and partnerships, corporations, and other business associations. A survey of the law governing formation, control, liabilities, property, dissolution and disposition of business, and internal and external relationships.
LAW 610 Credit(s): 3
A planning and problem course in corporate, partnership and limited liability company law and their taxation, along with accounting and securities law issues. The course may include writing or drafting exercises, at the discretion of the instructor. Co-requisites: Business Organizations (526) and Federal Income Tax I (668), or permission of instructor.
LAW 802 Credit(s): 1
A study of Christian conciliation, a faith-based approach to resolving disputes through application of biblical conflict resolution principles and processes, including mediation and arbitration. Other faith-based approaches will be discussed for comparative purposes, but the predominant focus will be on Christian conciliation. Students will participate in simulations and be required to prepare a paper. In addition to the scheduled class sessions, simulations may be done on designated evenings in the latter part of the semester.
LAW 642 Credit(s): 2
Students in this course will conduct thorough critical studies of actual appellate case files in order to gain practical litigation skills. Students will identify factual and legal issues; apply and evaluate concepts such as jurisdiction, waiver, and timelines; identify and evaluate common mistakes; and critique and edit briefs. Grades will be based on weekly or bi-weekly written assignments and on class participation.
LAW 508 Credit(s): 2
A survey of the organization and jurisdiction of state and federal courts, of pleading and practice in civil cases in those courts, and of the goals and methods of litigation. Topics include the functions of the judge, jury, and attorneys; the trial and appellate process; and jurisdiction and venue. Special emphasis is placed upon the federal rules of civil procedure.
LAW 509 Credit(s): 3
LAW 618 Credit(s): 3
An advanced constitutional and statutory study of the non-criminal statutes which Congress has enacted to protect civil rights in America. The course addresses the statutes passed during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War and comprehensively covers modern legislation and the constitutional interpretation and constitutional basis for civil rights protection, including the contemporary Supreme Court’s role in the civil rights revolution. Selected state statutes and constitutional provisions will also be considered. Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I.
LAW 650 Credit(s): 2
An advanced course in civil procedure with special emphasis on complex practice areas: e.g., class actions and multi-district litigation. Topics include: joinder of parties; disposition of duplicative or related litigation; class actions; discovery; judicial control of litigation; res judicata and collateral estoppel; and alternatives to litigation.
LAW 683 Credit(s): 3
A study of the theories of prediction and decision in transactions having elements in more than one state. Topics include: domicile and citizenship; personal jurisdiction; enforcement of foreign judgments; and choice of law.
LAW 522 Credit(s): 2
A study of the basic principles of constitutional law with primary focus on the U.S. Constitution. Topics include: judicial review, the distribution of governmental powers in a federal system with emphasis on federal commerce, taxing, and foreign affairs powers; intergovernmental relations, separation of powers within the federal government; and individual liberties with emphasis on the due process and equal protection clauses.
LAW 523 Credit(s): 3
LAW 603 Credit(s): 2
A survey of various specialized legal protections afforded to consumers in the marketplace. Topics include common law tort remedies such as fraud and deceit, statutory remedies such as the FTC Act and related state unfair and deceptive trade practices acts, and statutes and related regulations governing the extension of credit to consumers, such as Truth-in-Lending and Regulation Z, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and usury laws.
LAW 506 Credit(s): 2 or 3
An introduction to the history and development of the common law of contracts. The interpretation and enforcement of binding agreements is traced through the bargaining process from its beginning to its conclusion. Topics include: formation, performance, termination, damages, third party beneficiaries, assignment, and the statute of frauds.
LAW 507 Credit(s): 2
LAW 629 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course serves as an introduction to copyright law. Topics include: the constitution and copyright; requirements of copyright; copyright formalities; the idea-expression dichotomy; useful article doctrine; rights of copyright ownership; duration and scope of copyright protection; defenses, including fair use and constitutional defenses; remedies; justifications for copyright; and public policy difficulties. The course would provide significant coverage of the Copyright Act.
LAW 910 Credit(s): 2
Externship placement with a corporate legal office. Students are required to work a minimum of 120 hours in the placement.
LAW 911 Credit(s): 2
Second semester of Corporate Externship.
LAW 607 Credit(s): 3
An examination of the legal and financial factors affecting the manner in which business firms obtain needed capital. Topics include valuation, classes of security, capital structure, dividend policy, and mergers and acquisitions.
LAW 655 Credit(s): 3
A course focusing on the federal taxation of corporate formations, reorganizations, operations, distributions, and adjustments of capital structure. Corequisites: Business Organizations (526) and Federal Income Tax I (668) or permission of the instructor.
LAW 510 Credit(s): 3
The course introduces the U.S. criminal justice system, its origins and its sources in common law. General topics include the elements of specific crimes, the limits of culpability, the administration and enforcement of the criminal law, and the defense of crimes.
LAW 665 Credit(s): 3
The regulation of law enforcement conduct during the investigation of crimes, with emphasis on constitutional and statutory standards and limitations. Topics include: search and seizure; confessions and incriminating statements; electronic surveillance; entrapment; identification procedures; and remedies for improper police conduct.
LAW 666 Credit(s): 2
The determination of guilt or innocence through the process of adjudication, with emphasis on constitutional and statutory limitations that assure fairness in the process. Topics include: initiation of formal proceedings; bail; discovery; severance; speedy trial; plea bargaining; jury trial; former jeopardy; and effective assistance of counsel. Prerequisites: none, although students may find Criminal Procedure I useful background.
LAW 644 Credit(s): 3
A course focusing on the general principles of damages. Topics include nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages; measurement of damages; speculative or remote damages; aggravation or mitigation; and general and special damages.
LAW 720 Credit(s): 1
Students may enroll in this course to select a topic and prepare a research paper under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. The faculty member will provide guidance in selecting a topic and researching and writing the paper, will assure that the project’s length and depth is commensurate with the amount of academic credit awarded, and will assign a grade. To enroll, students must make arrangements with a member of the faculty and submit a completed “Directed Research” form to the Office of Law Student Records. NO MORE THAN TWO HOURS OF DIRECTED RESEARCH MAY COUNT TOWARD THE J.D. DEGREE.
LAW 721 Credit(s): 1
LAW 662 Credit(s): 3
An overview of the legal relationships engendered by family associations with emphasis on the relationships of parents and child, and husband and wife. Topics include: nature of marriage; adoption; emancipation; separation and divorce; and unmarried cohabitation.
LAW 743 Credit(s): 2
This course will focus on the application of the discovery portions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence to information that is stored electronically. As we move toward becoming a paperless society, courts are grappling with the application of old rules to the new medium of computers. This course will begin with a basic discussion of computer technology with particular emphasis on data storage. The class will continue with an overview of the discovery sections of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and then discuss the application of those rules to electronically stored information. The discussion will include proposals to change the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to make them more responsive to the paperless world. The course will end with a discussion of issues relating to the admissibility of evidence in electronic form.
LAW 728 Credit(s): 3
An introduction to the economic theories relevant to legal problems. The course examines theories that attempt to explain common law and statutory developments as the application of basic economic rules. A paper is required.
LAW 703 Credit(s): 2
An in-depth survey of employment discrimination law. Particular emphasis is placed upon the practical aspects of litigating and advising clients regarding federal and state laws and regulations respecting discrimination based upon race, color, sex, religion, and national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; race and alien-based discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981; disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended and the Alabama age discrimination law. Students will also consider affirmative action obligations under the discrimination laws and under executive order 11246, as amended; employee selection and testing issues; and disability management issues. This course is a hands-on experience; we talk about how something will sound in a pleading, how a witness should be prepared to handle certain questions, how a termination decision is made, what goes into accommodating a disability, and similar topics.
LAW 602 Credit(s): 3
This course examines the “at-will” employment doctrine and compares it with employment contracts and other arrangements that provide workers with job security. The course also examines exceptions to the “at-will” rule, specifically provisions that prevent dismissal on the basis of public policy. Topics include anti-discrimination law, disability rights, and whistle-blower (retaliatory discharge) laws.
LAW 744 Credit(s): 2
This course begins with a brief introduction addressing the various scientific, social and economic arguments relating to why individual species may need special legal protection. After a basic overview of how the Endangered Species Act actually operates to protect "endangered" and “threatened” species, the course then examines in detail the history of species protection laws in the U.S., culminating with the enactment in 1973 of the Endangered Species Act, together with its subsequent amendments to the present date. Finally, the course analyzes the function and operation of each of the most significant provisions of the act within the context of existing case law and current legal debates. Students in this course participate by individually completing a series of interactive exercises and learning modules monitored by the professor, and by engaging in a series of mostly asynchronous dialogues with other students in the course and moderated by the professor. Students are graded by their performance on weekly exercises and discussions, together with a written final examination.
LAW 633 Credit(s): 2 or 3
Entertainment Law provides an overview of the body of law associated with the entertainment industries, concentrating on music publishing and commercial recording, literary publishing, motion pictures, television and emerging media. The course will focus on aspects of copyright law, personal rights, negotiation of entertainment agreements, and entertainment law cases.
LAW 698 Credit(s): 3
A comprehensive study of federal environmental law including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Ocean Dumping Act, Pesticides Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.
LAW 622 Credit(s): 2 or 3
A study of the impact of traditional equity jurisdiction upon the United States legal system. The course focuses upon the forms of equitable relief, including the specific equitable remedies of injunctions, specific performance, rescission, reformation, and restitution.
LAW 699 Credit(s): 2
An in-depth review of income, estate, and gift tax law relating to deferred compensation. Topics include: ERISA; profit sharing, stock bonus and pension plans; deferred compensation contracts; and restricted property. Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax I (668).
LAW 606 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course provides an introduction to federal taxation of wealth transfers, including the Federal Gift Tax and the Federal Estate Tax. Students will develop the background necessary to advise clients on sophisticated estate planning techniques in a trusts and estates or tax practice. The course covers topics such as what constitutes a taxable gift, when the gift is complete and taxable, the annual exclusion from gift tax, the gross estate subject to estate tax, the taxability of certain property in the estate (joint interests, retained interests, annuities and death benefits, powers of appointment, and life insurance), and credits and deductions (including marital deduction and charitable deduction planning). In some versions of the course, students may be introduced to the generation-skipping transfer tax, advanced charitable or marital planning issues, and/or income taxation of trusts and estates. Prerequisites: none, although Decedents’ Estates and Trusts and Federal Income Tax are useful background.
LAW 641 Credit(s): 2 or 3
In Estate and Trust Administration, students focus on what a lawyer does once an estate or trust is in the administration process (after death or after funding of the trust). The course is divided into two units: Estate Administration and Trust Administration. In the unit on Estate Administration, students will learn about the probate process, from filing letters testamentary to probating the will to rendering a final accounting. In the unit on Trust Administration, students will learn the role of a trustee throughout the process of overseeing the trust, from funding and investment to distribution and termination, with an emphasis on fiduciary duties. In some versions of the course, students may receive an introduction to the tax implications and tax filing requirements that arise during the administration of a trust or an estate. Prerequisite: Wills, Trusts and Estates (540).
LAW 664 Credit(s): 3
This course focuses on both tax and personal aspects of estate planning and includes counseling with clients in the use of various techniques related to the marital deduction, charitable and insurance planning, valuation issues, post-mortem planning, and the preparation of relevant documents. Prerequisites: Wills, Trusts & Estates (540); Estate & Gift Taxation (606).
LAW 524 Credit(s): 3
A study of the rules governing evidentiary admission and exclusion, and the policies underlying the evidentiary system. Topics include sufficiency of evidence and order of proof, relevancy, judicial notice, real and documentary evidence, hearsay, competency, presumptions, privileges, impeachment, and rehabilitation of witnesses.
LAW 906 Credit(s): 1
Students enrolled in any externship must also enroll in this class component. This externship class will meet one hour each week. The class will address some substantive topics; negotiation, trial, and other lawyering skills; professionalism and ethical issues; communication with supervisors, clients and others; workplace problems; and other issues applicable to all externs. Classes may have break-out sessions to address specific topics relevant to particular types of placements. Students enrolled in the externship class will submit written work, including the following: a statement of goals at the beginning of the semester; a weekly report of hours with narrative description of activities; submission of a research paper; a reflection essay; and others assigned by the instructor.
LAW 907 Credit(s): 1
This class component is required should a student choose to enroll in a second externship. The class has the same requirements as Externship I.
LAW 660 Credit(s): 2 or 3
A study of the role of the federal courts of the United States. The course will focus upon an analysis of the constitutional and legislative foundations of the judicial power, and practice and procedure in District Courts.
LAW 668 Credit(s): 3
An introduction to federal income tax principles. Topics include gross income and possible exclusions from gross income, deductible and nondeductible expenses, and capital expenditures.
LAW 669 Credit(s): 2
A continued introduction to federal income tax principles. Topics include special provisions related to property transactions, such as characterizations of transactions, capital gains and losses, non-recognition events, and loss limitations. Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax I (668).
LAW 638 Credit(s): 2
This course will explore the basic elements of construction, development, and permanent financing that is secured by commercial real estate. This course will examine the commercial real estate finance transaction from a practitioner’s viewpoint and will cover the laws governing such transactions. It will also cover the normal documentation used in real estate finance transactions, as well as the negotiation skills, title insurance, remedies, and other facets of a loan secured by commercial real estate.
LAW 914 Credit(s): 2
Externship placement in a government agency such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, IRS, National Labor Relations Board or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Students are required to work a minimum of 120 hours in the placement. Students may not drop U.S. Attorney or IRS externships.
LAW 915 Credit(s): 2
Second semester of Government Agency Externship.
LAW 625 Credit(s): 3
This course will focus on those areas of the economy that are comprehensively regulated by governmental authority. The pertinent economic and legal questions are considered along with the role of the administrative process.
LAW 658 Credit(s): 3
The topics covered in this course will include: tax exempt status of non-profit health care providers; private health insurance; government health care programs; rationing of health care; competitive and regulatory approaches to cost containment; and antitrust issues.
LAW 653 Credit(s): 2
This course will introduce students to the key legal and practical concepts that arise in selected health law transactions. While the specific transactions studies may vary as health care evolves, potential topics include healthcare mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other business transactions. By the end of the course, students should have acquired (1) practical skills applicable to organizing, negotiating, and drafting deals and (2) a basic understanding of the state and federal regulatory framework that applies to health law transactions.
LAW 649 Credit(s): 3
This course offers a basic overview of the history and development of immigration law in the United States and its current status. Included in the course is a study of family and employment bases for immigration, exclusion and deportation, asylum and refugee status, and non-immigrant visas.
LAW 656 Credit(s): 2/3
Information, Technology and the Law examines several areas of law that have been impacted by the information revolution, including intellectual property law, unfair competition, unfair business practices, free speech, privacy, the right to accuracy of information, and the right to access to information. The course will specifically focus on how the law has and is continuing to develop in relation to access to and control of digitized information, including computer software, content published on the internet or in other digital media, databases, and entertainment software (e.g., video games). As this course deals with a rapidly developing area of the law, the course will focus heavily on policy considerations.
LAW 604 Credit(s): 3
This course will explore the law of insurance and the regulatory regime under which the insurance industry operates. Topics include: kinds of insurance; insurance contracts; premiums; insurable risk; risks insured against; rights, duties, and liabilities of insurer and insured; representations and warranties; payment of losses; contribution and subrogation; conflicts of interest; and actions on policies.
LAW 696 Credit(s): 2/3
This course provides an introduction to the intellectual property regimes of copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets.
LAW 619 Credit(s): 3
An introductory course focusing on the problems involved in international business transactions. Topics include: agreements for the international trading of goods; uses of letters of credit; international dispute resolution; tariffs; non-tariff trade barriers; restrictions on exports; restrictions on technology transfers; foreign direct investments; expropriations; extraterritorial application of antitrust laws; and bribery of foreign officials.
LAW 601 Credit(s): 3
This course is designed to provide an opportunity to explore environmental issues in an international setting. The course will provide a basic overview of principles, sources and the application of international law. It will then focus on issues and problems that impact the environment on a global scale and which, for resolution, require the cooperation and participation of the international community. The course will cover issues ranging from environmental warfare, population control, the Antarctic, global warming and ozone depletion, acid rain, protection of the hydrosphere, protection of the biosphere, and pollution.
LAW 663 Credit(s): 2
This course will focus on the integration of the global market and the export by the United States of intellectual property-based industries. The course will include various aspects of intellectual property - patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets - as well as a discussion of the increasing dominance of international standards through treaties, especially GATT and the related TRIPPS protection, or through economic measures, as have begun to effect the Chinese intellectual property system.
LAW 612 Credit(s): 2/3
An introductory international law course focusing on the fundamentals of international law and the role of international institutions. Topics include: the nature of international law; treaties; customary law; the International Court of Justice; states and international law; individuals and international law; the United Nations; and the use of force.
LAW 630 Credit(s): 3
A major role of being an attorney is making decisions for yourself, for your firm, and in conjunction with your clients on client matters. Introduction to Business Concepts is a skills-based course to help improve your decision-making and client advising skills, and to understand your and your client’s business issues. To make business decisions or advise clients on making business, personal or political decisions, lawyers need a working knowledge of accounting, economics and finance. Introduction to Business Concepts is a problem-based course introducing basic concepts in accounting, finance, economics, and analytical methods.
The course is geared toward students who have no significant business background or courses. Students who majored in English, history, or political science, for example, may benefit greatly from the course. Business, accounting or economics majors, on the other hand, should not enroll.
The course may help students appreciate upper division courses better as well as be helpful in legal practice. It is recommended a student take the course in the second year.
LAW 908 Credit(s): 2
Externship with a federal judge. Membership on American Journal of Trial Advocacy, the Cumberland Law Review or other evidence of superior writing skills is required. Students are required to work a minimum of 120 hours in the placement.
LAW 909 Credit(s): 2
Second semester of Judicial Externship.
LAW 905 Credit(s): 1
Students sign up to work within the office of a state court judge. Students are required to work a minimum of 56 hours and submit the following written work: a statement of goals at the beginning of the semester, a weekly report of hours with narrative description of activities, submission of a research paper, and a reflection essay.
LAW 695 Credit(s): 3
This course gives students a working knowledge of those theories of law that support various understandings of our institutions and legal system. Students will acquire a basic understanding of natural law, historicism and positivism. They will study the subsidiary theories that fall under these three main schools of thought: formalism, law as process, law and economics, legal realism, critical legal studies, and communitarianism. Students will also explore how these schools of thought offer different answers to fundamental questions about the principles underlying our institutions and legal system: (1) the nature of obligation; (2) the relationship or lack of relationship between law and morality; (3) the purpose of adjudication; (4) the role of the judge; (5) the purpose of civil and criminal sanctions; (6) theories of legal interpretation and sanctions; (6) theories of legal interpretation and discourse; and (7) competing theories of the nation-state insofar as it impacts our understanding of adjudication.
LAW 687 Credit(s): 3
A study of the basic principles of juvenile court procedures from the time of detention to final disposition.
LAW 667 Credit(s): 2
An overview of labor relations and social problems including a study of the regulation of the employer-employee relationship in the context of various forms of group conflict and organizational activity. Topics include: rights and duties of individuals and institutions in labor relations; concerted activity, including strikes, picketing, and boycotting; negotiation and enforcement of collective agreements; and employee-union relations.
LAW 648 Credit(s): 2 or 3
A course focusing on public and private land use controls. Topics include zoning, official map ordinances, subdivision controls, building codes, covenants, financing the urban infrastructure, the role of the federal government, urban renewal, housing subsidies, historic preservation, wetlands, flood plains, and coastal zones.
LAW 754 Credit(s): 2
This course will provide an introduction to the law of the European union, including law-making in the union; dispute resolution of economic issues arising in the union; and sovereignty issues facing the member nations.
LAW 829 Credit(s): 2 or 3
A study of various management and planning techniques applicable to the economic aspects and client relationships of a law practice. Limited to 32 students per section. Students cannot drop course after validation day.
LAW 722 Credit(s): 1
Members of the Cumberland Law Review may enroll in this course to complete their law review writing requirement under the guidance and supervision of a Cumberland faculty member. The faculty member will provide guidance in selecting a topic and researching and writing the paper, will assure that the project’s length and depth is commensurate with the amount of academic credit awarded, and will assign a grade. To enroll, students must make arrangements with a member of the faculty and submit a completed Law Review Writing form to the Office of Law Student Records.
LAW 512 Credit(s): 3
This course begins with an overview of the legal system and how law is made. In the initial phase of the course, the topics include: briefing cases, legal logic, legal analysis, and research strategy. Students will be required to apply legal reasoning, research, and writing skills in the context of the preparation of objective legal documents, including a client letter and a memorandum of law. Students will then participate in live simulations including a client interview and follow up consultation as well as a negotiation with opposing counsel. The course concludes with the drafting of a proposed settlement agreement.
LAW 513 Credit(s): 3
This course helps students refine and further develop their analytical, writing, and research skills in the advocacy context. In the first phase of the course, the focus will be on pre-trial litigation. Students draft either a complaint or an answer, prepare a discovery plan, and draft interrogatories. They will also prepare a motion for summary judgment with accompanying brief and present oral argument on the motion to a judge. The final phase of the course will cover appellate litigation. Students will be required to prepare an appellate brief and present oral argument before an appellate panel.
LAW 697 Credit(s): 2
An introductory to the nature of law, legal education, and legal history. Topics include: common law forms of action; equitable remedies; court systems; jurisdiction; legal reasoning by analogy and precedent; professional responsibility. Offered only in the summer for entering students.
LAW 751 Credit(s): 2
A course for student Teaching Assistants in the Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Program. Participants are selected by the director of the Lawyering Skills Program.
LAW 752 Credit(s): 2
LAW 637 Credit(s): 2
A study of the legislation enactment process, and the products of the legislature, their component parts, and judicial interpretation of them. Includes practical exercises in drafting legislation.
LAW 912 Credit(s): 2
Externship placement in a litigation office such as a district attorney’s office, a public defender’s office, the Legal Aid Society, and Legal Services of Metro Birmingham. Students are required to work a minimum of 120 hours in the placement. Prerequisites: Students must be certified under the Alabama Rule for Legal Internship and have completed Basic Skills in Trial Advocacy.
LAW 913 Credit(s): 2
Second semester of Litigation Externship I.
LAW 738 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course considers legal issues that arise out of the operation of city and county governments and that affect nearly every lawyer’s practice. Topics include state and federal constitutional law, administrative law, land use regulation, civil rights, and tax law. Some attention will be given to the phenomenon of competition between local governments for new investment capital and new residents.
LAW 740 Credit(s): 2
LAW 517 Credit(s): 2
Required course for the MCL program. This research and writing course will be limited to Masters of Comparative Law students. The course will offer the fundamental principles of legal analysis and legal style, as well as research methodology in the American legal system. Students will be required to write an objective memorandum and a persuasive document, as well as examine stylistic implication of written opinions and legal documents in the American legal culture.
LAW 659 Credit(s): 2 or 3
Media Law covers First Amendment issues such as the law governing press access to judicial proceedings, government documents and meetings, and tort law, including defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and trespass. It also encompasses statutory and administrative regulations that affect the mass media. This course is ideal for anyone interested in pursuing a career in media law or working as general counsel for a media client, or for those interested in surveying the various laws relevant to the media and understanding these laws through the lens of a media lawyer.
LAW 803 Credit(s): 2
This course provides an introduction to settlement analysis and the mediation process as well as in-depth instruction and training on how to represent clients effectively in mediation. In addition to assigned reading, lectures, and discussion, the course will include observation of actual mediations, written assignments, participation in mock mediations, and a final examination.
LAW 805 Credit(s): 2
Students in this course will receive mediator training and will study mediation theory, mediator strategies and techniques, and mediator ethics. In addition, students will mediate and co-mediate actual disputes under the supervision of a qualified mediator. Grades will be based on students’ written assignments, presentations, class participation, and mediation performance.
LAW 651 Credit(s): 3
The topics covered in this course will include: professional liability; institutional liability; medical product liability; informed consent; and proposals for reforming the tort system.
LAW 646 Credit(s): 2
An introduction to military law with special emphasis on current rules of jurisdiction, court martial procedure, military rules of evidence and appellate procedures under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
LAW 626 Credit(s): 3
A study of the municipal court system, concentrating on such issues as jurisdiction, administration, personnel, courtroom procedure, judgment and sentencing, driving under the influence cases, criminal misdemeanors, and violations.
LAW 670 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course explores the tensions between ecological limitations and economic development; the challenges and different types of resource scarcity; and the search for the proper locus of resource management. The course encourages the student to explore solutions that may be socially painful, but are necessary to overcome market incentives and promote environmentally short-sighted management. It also examines the critical role of values in natural resource management choices.
The course will emphasize resources particularly important in the southeastern United States which include wildlife and biodiversity, protected natural, historically and cultural lands, forests, minerals, and the increasingly contentious issue of water use.
LAW 801 Credit(s): 2 or 3
An in-depth study of the theory and practice of negotiation in the law practice context. Students will examine various theories and strategies of negotiation in class, and will participate in simulated negotiations and other exercises designed to illustrate the concepts and develop the relevant skills. Grades will be determined at least in part on students’ performance on simulated negotiation exercises.
LAW 635 Credit(s): 2 or 3
Nonprofit Organizations: Law and Governance focuses on the regulation of nonprofit organizations and on best practices in governance principles. Topics covered include the commercial versus charitable purposes of the nonprofit organization, ownership and use of assets, the fiduciary obligation of the board of directors or trustees, investment responsibilities, conflicts of interests, ethical considerations, determining organizational mission and vision, strategic planning, fund development, and regulation of charitable solicitations. Recommended preparation: Business Organizations.
LAW 671 Credit(s): 2
The study of the nature and protection of various interests in oil and gas mineral estates including the conveyancing of interests. The course will review the laws and regulations relating to the production, processing, and transportation of oil and gas.
LAW 609 Credit(s): 3
An in-depth study of the federal taxation of partners and partnerships including formation, operation and liquidation of partnerships. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation I (668); Corequisite: Federal Income Taxation II (669); or permission of the instructor based on the student’s background in tax.
LAW 621 Credit(s): 2 or 3
A comprehensive review of basic patent law. Coverage includes the types and nature of patents, “how to read a patent,” patentability requirements, the patent protection process, the protection afforded by a patent, and the limits of that protection.
LAW 532 Credit(s): 3
A study of the law governing modern payment systems, focusing primarily on checks, drafts, promissory notes and other forms of negotiable instruments governed by Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial code, and on bank transactions governed by Article 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ Regulations J and CC. Consideration is also given to some or all of the following: credit and debit card transactions, electronic fund transfers, letters of credit, barter, and cash.
LAW 676 Credit(s): 2 or 3
The course surveys the law relating to medical devices and pharmaceuticals. The course will examine the role of the FDA in regulating drugs and medical devices including premarket approval, post market surveillance, and restrictions on labeling and advertising. Other topics include tort liability for defective products including federal preemption of state law claims, insurance coverage and technology assessment, and an examination of evolving medical technologies.
LAW 724 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course provides an overview of the body of law and practical concerns associated with the in-house counsel. Concentrating on the differences between in-house attorneys and outside attorneys, the course will address topics such as the following: identifying the "client" for in-house counsel representing different private, public, and governmental entities; evaluating the attorney-client privilege and how it affects daily practice; identifying, assessing, and mitigating risk; managing regulatory compliance; managing litigation from the client's perspective; handling governmental investigations; and protecting yourself from personal civil or criminal liability. The course has no pre-requisites, but students may find the "Professional Responsibility' helpful. The course will briefly touch on employment law, advertising, intellectual property, and corporate law.
LAW 824 Credit(s): 3
A problem-oriented course focusing on the preparation of a civil case for trial. Topics include: initial interview; informal discovery; drafting of pleadings; conduct of formal discovery; motion practice; and preparation of a trial book.
LAW 684 Credit(s): 3
An advanced course in the law of products liability with particular emphasis on the theories of recovery for harm from dangerous and defective products and proof problems.
LAW 546 Credit(s): 2
An examination and an analysis of the role of the lawyer in the practice of a profession, and the lawyer's responsibilities to the client and to society. The course will focus on the ABA Code of Professional Responsibility and Rules of Professional Conduct.
LAW 640 Credit(s): 3
An overview of legal, ethical and policy issues arising from attempts by the government to protect and promote the public health. Topics will include: state action to track and control diseases; privacy and confidentiality of health information; discrimination against persons with disabilities; health system reform proposals; and research on human subjects.
LAW 916 Credit(s): 2
Externship placement in an approved public interest organization. Students are required to work a minimum of 120 hours in the placement.
LAW 917 Credit(s): 2
Second semester of Public Interest Externship.
LAW 624 Credit(s): 2 or 3
An introduction to statutory and regulatory law. Topics include the process of legislation; current approaches to statutory interpretation, the justifications for, and limitations of, government regulation; the techniques of regulation; and the procedural requirements for regulatory agency action. Offered only in the summer term for entering students.
LAW 708 Credit(s): 2
This course covers basic concepts of the now enormous body of civil rights law that was designed to redress the victims of racial discrimination in America. The course, through discussion and understanding of the role law has played, will explore civil rights statutes and judicial decisions through the use of hypothetical problems. The problems will be contemporary situations that a lawyer would face in his/her practice in such areas as public facilities, fair housing, fair employment, and interracial sex and marriage. Final grade is based on class advocacy and a ten page final paper.
LAW 615 Credit(s): 2
A course focusing on the basic elements of the residential real estate transaction. Topics include the formation, performance, and closing the real estate contract; assuring good title; and financing the real estate purchase. Practical exercises are included.
LAW 505 Credit(s): 4
A study of the nature of private property. Topics include: common law estates in land, concurrent ownership; possessory and future interests, transfers of property and interests in property; adverse possession; landlord and tenant; easements and servitudes, and government regulation of land use.
LAW 736 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course emphasizes the portions of Uniform Commercial Code Article 2 (sales) not ordinarily covered in the Contracts course. This course may also cover some or all of the following: international sale of goods; leases of goods; licenses of computer information, sales of real estate, and related topics.
LAW 623 Credit(s): 3
This course will examine evidentiary problems associated with the admission of scientific and other types of expert opinion testimony. The course will provide an in-depth examination of the Daubert and Frye standards and will cover selected forensic techniques including the chain of custody.
LAW 688 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This course examines the legal structures which bind nation states in their international relations concerning maritime matters. The course material augments admiralty and maritime shipping law by its focus on major maritime zones recognized in international law. These zones include the territorial sea, contiguous and exclusive economic zones, the high seas, and the continental shelf. Other areas considered are the rules relating to sea uses, marine pollution, military use, deep seabed mining, and fishing.
LAW 533 Credit(s): 3
A study of the law governing security interests in personal property to secure the payment of debts. The primary focus of the course is on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, but consideration is also given to other related areas of law, including bankruptcy issues that can affect security interests.
LAW 620 Credit(s): 3
An introductory course focusing on the federal regulation of securities. Coverage includes registration requirements for initial public offerings, exemptions from registration, antifraud liability, including Rule 10b-5, and insider trading. Prerequisites: Business Organizations (526) or permission of the instructor.
LAW 777 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to business organizations. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 770 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to civil procedure. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 779 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to commercial law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 765 Credit(s): 2
This course provides a comparative study of two or more nations' approaches to specified legal topics. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 780 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics in constitutional law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 771 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to contract law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced in advance by the instruction.
LAW 772 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to criminal law and procedure. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 781 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to dispute resolution. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 783 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to employment law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 784 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to environmental law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 773 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to evidence law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 766 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to international law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 786 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to professional responsibility and the legal profession. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 774 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to property law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 775 Credit(s): 2
This course is a seminar designed to explore some of the current issues in tort law. The class will address existing case law and principles, but is primarily concerned with whether, or how, those principles can be or are being extended to address changing social norms and advancing technology. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the current state of tort reform, fraud, selected defamation and privacy issues, business torts such as interference with contract, prospective advantage, unfair competition and injurious falsehood, the intersection of contract and tort in life-support and fertility cases, family immunities theories in non-traditional families, tort liability for fraudulent conception, the appropriate role of loss of chance theories in tort law, current issues in drug manufacturer liability, the law of affirmative obligations, social justice and economic theory, and assessing risk in tort law. This is a paper class.
LAW 790 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses on selected topics relating to trusts and estates law. The topics vary from year to year and will be announced by the instructor in advance.
LAW 755 Credit(s): 2 or 3
This seminar course explores the intersection of three related disciplines - Shakespearean studies, dramatic techniques, and trial advocacy. The premise of the course is that effective trial advocacy draws on and can be enhanced by techniques illustrated in Shakespearean courtroom scenes. The objective of the course is to provide students with a practical sampling of the dramatic and linguistic riches available for use in the courtroom.
The course is not contemplated to overlap with Basic or Advanced Trial Advocacy courses. It does not involve the use of case studies, other than selected courtroom scenes from the Shakespearean canon. Previous exposure to Shakespeare is not a prerequisite, nor are acting skills.
LAW 645 Credit(s): 2
This course focuses upon the law of amateur, collegiate and Olympic sports. Among the areas of law covered are antitrust, torts, contracts, and labor relations affecting the amateur athlete.
LAW 711 Credit(s): 2
Coverage will include the basic categories of state and local taxes, including sales and use taxes, property taxes, franchise taxes, and income taxes. Topics addressed will include recurring issues, such as the impact on entities doing business in more than one jurisdiction and the role of state constitutional law.
LAW 717 Credit(s): 2/3
This course is designed to provide the basis for a lively and exciting two- or three-credit course in this area of the law that continues to gain importance every day. State constitutional law issues arise in a surprisingly wide range of areas of law practice. Now, more than ever, lawyers and judges are discovering the importance of state constitutions and the judicial interpretations of those constitutions. The text explores the many common themes that appear in the body of constitutional law of all states and focuses on the importance of the unique language and judicial interpretation of state constitutions in resolution of specific issues.
LAW 639 Credit(s): 2/3
Taxation of Nonprofit Organizations explores the federal income tax consequences of operating as a tax-exempt entity. Topics include organization under state law to qualify for federal tax-exempt status, maintaining tax-exempt status, private inurement issues, private and public benefit mandates, allowed and disallowed commercial activities, excess benefit transactions, lobbying activities, unrelated business income tax, charitable deductions and contributions, and special rules applicable to private foundations. Prerequisite or co-requisite: Federal Income Tax I.
LAW 750 Credit(s): 3
This course is designed to provide students with information and resources relating to the practical aspects of beginning a law practice. It is targeted towards students who are considering opening their own law practice either as a solo practitioner or with others. It complements, but should not overlap, the offerings in the current Law Office Practice and Management. As contemplated, the course does not include a doctrinal law component, although some aspects of doctrinal law in relevant areas (e.g. information and material on considerations attendant to leasing office space would likely touch on various substantive law aspects of landlord-tenant law and obligations etc.) would be incorporated into the course modules.
LAW 753 Credit(s): 1/2
This course explore the English legal system, the role of the judiciary, and the current interface of the English system with the European Union. The course offers students a unique opportunity to understand the practical and academic aspects of the emerging constitutional basis for the European Union and its effects on the English system of justice.
LAW 502 Credit(s): 4
An introduction to civil liability arising from breach of duties imposed by law as basis for recovery in civil wrongs that result in harm to person or property. The focus is upon intentional, negligent, and strict liability torts. Topics include trespass to land, nuisance, assault, battery, negligence, product liability, invasion of privacy, defamation, and injuries to business.
LAW 735 Credit(s): 3
This course will address an array of basic torts topics that are not addressed at length in first-year torts. Specifically, it addresses defamation, invasion of privacy, and misrepresentation. At the discretion of the instructor, it may also address premises liability, claims for mental distress, claims for economic loss, liability for the acts of others, claims based on intentional interference with business relations, and nuisance.
LAW 692 Credit(s): 3
A survey of the law of unfair competition and business-related torts, with special emphasis on the law of trademarks. The trademark section covers the basic principles of trademark protection and infringement, registration under the Langham Act, and practical aspects of trademark practice. Other topics include torts of commercial disparagement and false advertising, Federal Trade Commission regulation of advertising, tortuous interference with business relations, and trade secret protection and infringement. The relation between unfair competition law and the federal statutory regimes of intellectual property, patent and copyright, will be considered.
LAW 733 Credit(s): 1
Members of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy may enroll in this course to complete their journal writing requirement under the guidance and supervision of a Cumberland faculty member. The faculty member will provide guidance in selecting a topic and researching and writing the paper, will assure that the project's length and depth is commensurate with the amount of academic credit awarded, and will assign a grade. To enroll, students must make arrangements with a member of the faculty and submit a completed Trial Journal Writing Seminar form to the Office of Law Student Records.
LAW 634 Credit(s): 2
A course focusing on the legal considerations for (1) U.S. Pacific Rim businesses locating in or trading with the U.S., (2) U.S. firms exporting to the Pacific Rim including use of foreign sales corporations. Comparison of U.S. taxation with taxation in Japan and Korea will also be discussed.
LAW 647 Credit(s): 3
This course provides a more in-depth study of partnership law than possible in the required Business Organizations course. In addition to general partnerships, this course examines the various unincorporated business entities in widespread use today: limited liability companies (LLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and limited partnerships (LPs), all of which draw, in whole or in part, on partnership law. One feature of the course is that, where possible, we look at partnership law in the context of law partnerships (and law LLCs and law LLPs). In addition to a final exam, there will be graded exercises, including drafting a partnership agreement, and class participation will also be taken into account.
LAW 709 Credit(s): 2
This course will examine the history of the voting rights struggle. Specifically, it will explore the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which some legal scholars have said is one of the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation ever passed by Congress.
LAW 540 Credit(s): 3
An introduction to the basic legal principles of intestate succession, wills, and trusts. Topics include: intestate succession; restraints on testamentary powers; testamentary capacity; execution and revocation of wills; the creation of trusts; and the administration of estates.
LAW 693 Credit(s): 2
A comprehensive study of Worker’s Compensation Acts and the court decisions interpreting their provisions.