Professional track courses are intensive, one to nine weeks in duration, and offered in sequence. 21 units, over two summers, are required for completion of the LL.M. degree, which allows students to meet the educational requirements to sit for the California Bar Examination.
Berkeley Law now offers a flexible start date for the professional track. Each summer students must attend at least three consecutive three-week quarters, commencing in either Q1 or Q2. Students may attend all four quarters at no additional cost. Please note that you must commit to a start date upon confirming enrollment and may not change it, as that will serve as your official I-20 program start date.
Scheduled course offerings for the 2016 summer term are shown below (subject to change).
Click below for more information about the courses required to satisfy:
Please note that course descriptions are subject to change.
Administrative Law – This course will consider the creation and control of the modern administrative state, and of corporate regulation in the United States.
Topics will include the structure of administrative agencies and their place in a governing scheme of separated but overlapping powers, delegation of authority to agencies, types and requirements of agency decision-making, availability and scope of judicial review, and other forms of agency oversight.
The course will consider examples from the most important policy areas, including environmental law, financial regulation, national security, health care, food and drugs, and telecommunications. It will also seek to identify ways that the US approach to administrative law may contrast with that of other countries.
Antitrust – The course covers United States federal antitrust law which regulates competition among business enterprises. It explores cartels, monopolies and mergers. We will discuss both horizontal agreements among competitors, as well as vertical restraints of trade between suppliers and customers. Competing economic conceptions of the antitrust law, as well as current doctrinal and policy debates, will be explored throughout.
Business Associations – This course is an overview of the law of business associations. We begin by discussing the core common law principles of agency and partnership before turning the bulk of our attention to the law governing corporations. We will discuss choice of law considerations for corporations, shareholder voting, executive compensation, the structure of financial markets, fiduciary obligations of officers and directors, shareholder litigation, and mergers & acquisitions. Throughout, we will be interested in how the law allocates rights and responsibilities to corporate constituencies: owners, managers, creditors, employees, customers, and suppliers. The governance of a corporation is complicated because it is a multi-party economic relationship, requiring that we investigate problems of collective action, free riding, private information, distribution, and opportunism. The law of business associations regulates and addresses these concerns.
This course is a prerequisite for Securities Law and Mergers & Acquisitions.
Civil Procedure – This Civil Procedure course covers much of the standard JD Civil Procedure course. In the summer quarter, we will cover the following topics in varying levels of detail: due process/adversary system, pleading, jurisdiction and venue, discovery, disposition without trial, settlement, trial, juries, preclusion, and joinder. We will also observe federal court proceedings.
Constitutional Law – This is an introductory course on constitutional law. The first part of the course will focus on controversies surrounding judicial power, including methods of interpretation, judicial authority to invalidate unconstitutional statutes or judicial review, and some limits on the exercise of judicial power. The second and third parts of the course will focus on the structural dimensions of constitutions, such as frameworks for separation of powers and federalism. Finally, the fourth part of the course will examine constitutional protection of rights. The primary focus will be on the U.S. Constitution, but the course will also engage these issues from a comparative perspective as well.
Contracts – This course explores the U.S. common law principles governing the formation of, limits on the ability to enter into, breach and enforcement of, and remedies relating to, contracts. Students will also study the related principles embodied in the Uniform Commercial Code, a model for the law shaping sales and other commercial transactions.
Copyright Law – This course is a study of U.S. federal copyright law as it pertains to works of art, motion pictures, music, literature, and software. The course will concentrate on the scope of copyright protected subject-matter, the exclusive rights granted to creators of “original works of authorship”, the nature of the infringement actions, and defenses such as “fair use.”
The course also examines recent developments concerning copyright and digital technology. We will explore issues relating to digital piracy and review the role of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the liability of on-line intermediaries for copyright infringement, and the enforcement efforts relating to peer-to-peer file-sharing. The course also covers supplementary state rights, such as the right of publicity and moral rights.
Corporate Finance – Corporate Finance is an introductory finance course for law students. No prior background in finance or accounting (or law, for that matter) is required, but a willingness to work with numbers and financial data is important. The objective of the course is to supplement your legal training by introducing the fundamental theoretical principles of finance and of the practical environment in which financial decisions are made.
We will cover the following topics:
(1) an introduction to accounting terminology and financial statements
(2) using financial statements to
a) evaluate a company’s performance
b) make projections about a company’s future
(3) the theory and practice of capital structure decisions
(4) using the concept of “discounting”
a) to evaluate an investment opportunity
b) to value a company
(5) advanced topics in finance
a) asset securitization and the financial crisis
b) mergers and acquisitions
c) financial distress and bankruptcy
d) initial public offerings (IPOs)
The course will consist of approximately one-half lecture and one-half in-class case discussions, for which students should prepare carefully.
Drafting Transactional Documents – This course will focus on drafting, reviewing, and negotiating business documents. It will serve as an introduction to common contract provisions and basic tools of analysis and negotiation. Using actual business agreements we will focus on the necessary constitutive components and the elements of clear, unambiguous and effective drafting. Students will learn how to structure and format a contract and will negotiate and draft contract provisions using an online drafting practicum.
Energy Law – This course provides an overview of the history of energy use, the relationship between energy and national security, environmental and environmental justice impacts of energy generation; the fundamentals of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, rate regulation, competition and monopoly markets, and a diagnosis of deregulation, including lessons learned from the California deregulation of electricity markets. It will also include legal issues relating to oil and gas resource allocation, conservation, development and transportation,. As the US is a leader in oil and gas exploration and refining, and California was a pioneer in deregulating markets for electricity, learning about the lessons learned from the US systems and structures will give students an understanding about the major challenges in regulating and executing energy transactions. Students who take the class should be able to take the lessons learned from the US context and apply those lessons to legal and policy problems in their home countries.
Environmental Law – This course provides an overview of the wide variety of U.S. environmental laws that protect the environment and natural resources. We will cover air and water pollution, protection of biodiversity, review of the environmental impacts of governmental decisions, and climate change, among other topics. The focus of the class will be on exploring the wide range of regulatory and policy tools available in environmental law for example, command-and-control regulation, tradable emissions permits, and environmental reviews. We will also discuss issues relating to environmental justice, public participation in environmental decision making, and the costs and benefits of environmental regulation. Because the US has historically been a pioneer in environmental law, learning about the US system will give students a deep understanding about the major issues and dilemmas in environmental law. Students who take the class should be able to take the lessons learned from the US context and apply those lessons to legal and policy problems in their home countries.
Instruction will be provided by Berkeley law environmental law faculty. These faculty have a diverse range of expertise in the field of environmental law.
Evidence – This course examines the Anglo-American law of proof, with special attention to the Federal Rules of Evidence in the United States. Topics include relevance, hearsay, confrontation, character evidence, authentication, competency, impeachment and rehabilitation, expert witnesses, scientific evidence, privileges, presumptions, and judicial notice.
Fundamentals of US Law – Fundamentals of U.S. Law introduces foreign law students to the fundamental principles of the American legal system and the common-law method of case analysis. In this course, students will focus on crucial doctrines that underpin American governance, including federalism and separation of powers. Students will also study the structure of the U.S. court system, the sources of U.S. law, the lawyer’s role in the system, and the culture of the law in this country. The course will introduce students to techniques associated with the common law, particularly the close reading of legal opinions in the context of prior precedent.
International Business Negotiations – This course is structured around a simulated negotiation exercise in which half of the students in this class will represent a multi-national pharmaceutical company (KJH Pharmaceutical Corporation) and the other half of the students will represent an African agricultural production company (Malundian Cassava Corporation). The two companies are interested in working together to exploit a new technology developed by KJH Pharmaceutical that uses the cassava produced by Malundian Cassava Corporation. The form of their collaboration could be a joint venture, a licensing agreement or a long term supply contract. The negotiations will take place through written exchanges and through live negotiations.
The purpose of the course is to provide students with an opportunity (i) to experience the sequential development of a business transaction over an extended negotiation, (ii) to study the businesses and legal issues and strategies that impact the negotiation, (iii) to gain insight into the dynamics of negotiating and structuring international business transactions, (iv) to learn about the role that lawyers and law play in these negotiations, (v) to give students experience in drafting communications, and (vi) to provide negotiating experience in a context that replicates actual legal practice.
The thrust of this course is class participation and active involvement in the negotiations process. Students are expected to spend time outside of class, working in teams, to prepare for class discussions involving the written exchanges as well as to prepare for the live negotiations. Class discussions will focus on the strategy for, and progress of, the negotiations, as well as the substantive legal, business and policy matters that impact on the negotiations.
International Business Transactions – The course provides an examination of the contractual and regulatory issues that arise when business dealings cross borders. It is structured in two parts. Part I consists of a discussion of the environment of international business, including dispute resolution, the place of international law in the US legal system, and the extraterritorial application of domestic law.
Part II then builds upon this framework to explore eight representative transactions that lawyers advising businesses are likely to encounter: (i) export sales, (ii) agency and distributorship, (iii) licensing, (iv) foreign direct investment, (v) mergers and acquisitions, (vi) joint ventures, (vii) development (concession) agreements, and (viii) international debt instruments.
US, foreign, and international legal rules will be explored throughout the course.
International Environmental Law – This course focuses on the role of international law in managing environmental and natural resource issues that extend beyond national boundaries, including global problems like climate change and regional problems such as disputes over international rivers. Students will benefit from but need not have taken courses in international law and or environmental law. The course will include a brief overview of public international law as it relates to the environment. We will seek to gain a realistic understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of international law in this area. The class will include discussions of general principle and concrete applications of those principles to specific environmental problems.
International Human Rights – This course critically examines the international and domestic laws, actors, and institutions that play a role in the protection of human rights. The course includes discussion of conceptual foundations of human rights; controversial topics in human rights law, such as humanitarian intervention, universal jurisdiction, and the death penalty; international, regional, and national mechanisms for the interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of human rights, including civil, criminal, and non-legal methods of redress; and challenges to human rights enforcement and strategies for promoting protection of human rights.
International Litigation & Arbitration – This course provides an introduction to procedural issues that arise in the litigation or arbitration of international disputes in the United States. This course covers topics such as personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, venue, forum nonconveniens, choice of law and forum, enforcement of agreements, and arbitrability. The course will address topics unique to international litigation and arbitration, such as the Act of State doctrine, Foreign Sovereign Immunity, challenges to arbitration, and enforcement of awards.
Introduction to IP – This course is intended for students who are interested in a general overview of intellectual property. The course begins with an analysis of the competing policies underlying the intellectual property laws. It covers the basics of patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret (and other state IP-related areas of) law, as well as some of the salient controversies in intellectual property law, including patent protection for software and business methods, copyright enforcement challenges posed by the Internet age, the role and difficulties of protecting trademarks on the Internet, and the application of common law doctrines to the Internet.
Legal Ethics – This course is a practical exploration of the varied and often competing duties and influences that guide lawyers’ conduct.
These duties derive largely from written ethical rules and case law. The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct have been adopted in one form or another by almost every state except California. The MPRE exam is based on these rules. We will look closely at them. We will also consider the major differences between the ABA Model Rules and California’s rules.
But we will drill much more deeply than a mere study of rules and cases. This course will challenge you to understand the limitations of the rules and to reflect on how you would (or do) conduct yourselves when facing a variety of ethical dilemmas.
We will explore a range of ethical problems faced by practicing lawyers. We will consider litigation and transactional matters, civil and criminal cases, and the particular concerns of prosecutors and other government lawyers. We will assess the kinds of ethical and moral decisions lawyers must make and the many consequences of those decisions.
This course will NOT follow a traditional lecture format. Classes will contain brief lectures but will primarily feature an extended conversation among the whole class about a series of current ethical cases and hypothetical problems. The hypos are designed to mirror genuine practice situations.
The problems largely defy the idea of a “correct” answer. We will focus on those difficult cases that fall in the interstices of the rules, a place where common sense and a moral compass offer necessary guidance. They are intended to draw out varying points of view. You are encouraged to offer your own experiences and values as well as your country’s different approaches into the discussions.
Legal Research & Writing I – This one-unit class introduces non-thesis track LLM students to the basics of the U.S. legal reasoning and practice through a series of writing and research assignments. Students learn how to read and analyze cases, locate and select precedent, and construct legal arguments in the U.S. common-law system. The aim of this course is to teach students the skills they need to maneuver skillfully through U.S. legal culture. The first summer of the program emphasizes predictive writing and introduces oral advocacy. This course serves as a foundation for the spring semester, which focuses on persuasive advocacy in written and oral form.
Writing instruction takes place in small sections led by instructors with extensive legal practice experience. Research instruction is integrated into the writing assignments. The program is structured to allow students the opportunity to improve their research skills through the introduction of additional resources relevant to the writing assignments. Students also learn basic U.S. legal citation form and rules of attribution to authority.
Students will prepare a 6-10 page final legal memorandum in addition to other, shorter assignments. Students submit a draft memo, receive feedback, and then revise and submit a final version. The course is graded credit/no credit. This class is a foundation for LRW II, offered in the second summer, in which students will draft a Capstone Writing Project of 15 to 20 pages. (There is no final exam.)
Legal Research & Writing II – This second summer of LRW for LLM’s builds on the skills introduced in the first summer. This course aims to improve students’ familiarity with U.S. legal reasoning and practice and to develop the skills needed to maneuver skillfully through and understand U.S. legal culture.
In the second summer this course, the program emphasizes persuasive advocacy – written and oral. Students will prepare a legal brief while increasing research and writing skills. Students will submit draft sections of the throughout the semester, receive feedback, and then revise and submit a final version. The 15- to 20-page final version of the writing assignment can be used as the student’s capstone writing project. Students will also be introduced to U.S. oral advocacy, practicing oral presentations throughout the semester and culminating in an oral argument at the end of the semester.
Instruction takes place in small sections led by attorneys with extensive legal practice experience. As in the first summer, research instruction is integrated into the writing assignments. Students also continue to improve their skills at U.S. legal citation form.
Legal Research & Writing IIA (Academic Writing) – This course is aimed at two groups of LLM students: students with an interest in academic careers; and those with an interest in producing legal scholarship alongside their work as practitioners or judges. The course emphasizes the in-depth legal analysis required for academic publication. The course will include exploration of differences between U.S. legal scholarship and traditional scholarship in civil law and commonwealth countries. Students will also learn about different schools of U.S. legal scholarship and engage in-depth analysis and discussion of leading law review articles. Students will prepare written work typical of legal scholarship, involving sophisticated analysis of legal and related materials, and they will receive written and oral feedback from the Instructor. Written work will include a substantial project that would provide the foundation for a full-scale law review article.
Students may satisfy the writing requirement for the Business Law Certificate by writing on a business law topic that is approved by the instructor. LRW I is a prerequisite.
A writing subscore of at least 25 on the TOEFL or 7.0 on IELTS is strongly recommended. Admission to the course requires instructor approval.
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation – The purpose of this course is to introduce students to lawmaking and statutory interpretation by courts and agencies. It will examine the way Congress adopts statutes and the way that courts and agencies interpret and apply statutes. The course will consider theories and tools of statutory interpretation, the structure of the modern administrative state, the incentives that influence the behavior of the various actors, and the legal rules that help to structure the relationship among Congress, the agencies, and the courts.
Mergers & Acquisitions – This course introduces the fundamentals of and critical topics in mergers and acquisitions law, as well as the financial and transactional issues that they present. The principal focus of the course will be on the key drivers of M&A activity, the business incentives of the parties to the transactions, and the documentation and negotiation of the deals. Tax, antitrust, securities and other regulatory issues will play a role as well.
Students will explore mergers and acquisitions transactions as attempts by the transaction parties to attain business goals and will learn how legal rules and documentation constrain and create opportunity for the parties’ ability to achieve their objectives.
In addition to case law, this course will spend a fair amount of time reviewing, analyzing and drafting deal documents (or portions of such documents). Students will analyze and learn to understand how core provisions of an acquisition agreement are negotiated to create value for and allocate risks among the parties.
Because this is intended to be a capstone course, Business Associations (Law 250) or its equivalent is a prerequisite for this class.
Negotiations – This course will introduce you to a variety of approaches to negotiations, improve your negotiation skills, and help you reflect on your own negotiation style.
The structure of this course emphasizes both theoretical and experiential learning. Since negotiation is something you learn by doing, we will engage in hands-on negotiation simulations throughout the course. These simulations are designed to enhance your skills, demonstrate concepts, and provide you with opportunities to experiment with various negotiation techniques. In addition, we will discuss theories of negotiation and use them to analyze the simulated negotiations. As a result, we will move back and forth between theory and practice, applying lessons from theory to our negotiation practice, and drawing lessons from our experience to critique theory.
We will examine a variety of contexts and problems that create a need for negotiation and raise questions about what it means to negotiate well. Also, we will explore a systematic approach to negotiation that we think constitutes good advice about what to do when your interests or beliefs are in tension with others’ and you cannot act unilaterally. We will also situate this model in a broader field of intellectual inquiry and discuss its special implications for lawyers.
Partnerships & LLCs: An Introduction to the New Forms of Organized Enterprise Activity — Agency and UN corporations – This course deals with an issue of increasing importance for any lawyer contemplating a transactional corporate practice. LLCs and partnerships of all sorts–the “un-corporations”–have become the form of choice for most businesses, large and small, simple and sophisticated. The course will examine the differences and similarities among such business entities; how they are created, managed and operated; and the fiduciary and other relationships among the participants in each form. Issues of choice of entity in the context of common business transactions will be considered. The course will include an introduction to the drafting of these often complex contractual arrangements.
Patent Law – This course will cover the core concepts of U.S. patent law with special focus on the issues of patent reform that have been raised over the past few years. Using the perspective of an inventor or entrepreneur, we will examine how patents are used as a business tool to commercialize new technologies and innovations. We will also consider fundamental policy questions about the current patent system such as whether it favors big institutions over independent inventors or start-ups and whether it inhibits scientific research and access to medicines.
Policy, Politics and Problem Solving – This nuts and bolts course in public policy will focus on defining policy problems, evaluating policy alternatives, and constructing political strategies to foster public engagement. Participants will learn how to use leadership skills and strategic thinking to create innovative solutions and foster change within complex organizations. In-class assignments will offer the opportunity to put ideas to action by tackling challenging policy problems, such as improving educational outcomes and reducing rates of crime.
Privacy Law – Ten years ago, a handful of practitioners could be called “privacy lawyers,” but now thousands consider themselves to concentrate in information privacy law. Today almost all modern businesses need advice about information privacy law. While the roots of privacy law in the US started with a right to be let alone, modern business models, the needs of the administrative state, law enforcement priorities, and our own behavior complicate approaches based upon seclusion or secrecy. This course will explore the roots of US privacy law, its evolution in the 20th century, and the challenges of regulating information in the modern era where institutions and “data subjects” need and reveal information constantly, but also seek basic dignity and safety from harm. Privacy law consists of torts, contracts, constitutional law, statutory law, and soft law norms.
Securities Regulation – This course provides an overview of the regulation of securities offerings and trading under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The course explores the elaborate disclosure obligations that this country imposes on the distribution and trading of investment securities as well as the role of the Securities and Exchange Commission and private plaintiffs in shaping and enforcing these disclosure obligations. Topics to be covered include: public offerings of securities and the registration process under the Securities Act of 1933, exemptions from these registration requirements and the role of exemptions in the financing of private and public firms, and the disclosure obligations of publicly-traded issuers. The course will also examine the role of anti-fraud rules in the issuance and trading of securities as well as liability for insider trading.
Torts – The course covers the basic principles and rules of negligence law in the US. There is also brief coverage of the law of products liability. The course also is a good introduction to the American civil litigation system and the important role played by the jury.