Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

248.62 sec. 001 - The Law and Economics of Complexity (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Kenneth Ayotte  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


Tu 08:00 AM - 09:50 AM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 19, 2021
To March 02, 2021

Course Start: January 19, 2021
Course End: March 02, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 33217
Class Number: 33217

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 7
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 12
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

An important role of business lawyers is to anticipate and to manage complex transactions. In many commercial contexts, we observe contracts becoming increasingly complex over time. What are the fundamental causes of this complexity, what problems does it create, and what strategies are used for managing it and/or exploiting it? The course will be a mix of conceptual and practical. The conceptual part will involve reading and discussing scholarship from economists and legal scholars on how imperfect, “boundedly rational” agents make decisions in complex environments and compare this perspective to the classic, rational perspective that is common in the law and economics field. We will also explore the emerging world of complexity science and discuss applications of those tools in legal applications. The practical part will involve case studies of business transactions and environments where complexity caused unanticipated challenges and responses. No background is necessary, but an interest in business contracts and a willingness to brainstorm and wrestle with complexity will be helpful. One skill we will all work on together is the ability to break down a complex transaction and explain it clearly to a non-expert.

This class is designed to give students an extra opportunity to engage despite our remote form of interaction. In light of that goal, this class will expect real-time attendance and may not be recorded. The total written work requirement will be no more than 8 double-spaced pages.

Real-time attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Business Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Law and Economics

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