Upper Class & Graduate Courses

Please contact the instructor if you have any questions about the courses listed below.

Administrative and Legislative Research

[1 credit] Nina Scholtz

Letter grade or S/U.

Prerequisite: Lawyering preferred.

Limited enrollment. Satisfies the skills requirement.

Legal research in regulatory materials calls for specialized knowledge and skills. Students will improve their strategies and techniques for using major regulatory sources effectively and efficiently, with a focus on federal materials, including regulations, administrative decisions, guidance materials, and presidential sources.



Advanced Legal Research in Business Law

[1 credit] Matt Morrison

Prerequisite: Lawyering.

Limited enrollment. Satisfies the skills requirement.

This course will introduce students to online sources for finding corporate business information. Sessions will cover materials generated by the business entity such as annual reports and filings with state and federal agencies, materials produced by third parties, market and industry information, and business news. The focus will be on learning to use business databases, research strategy, and the evaluation of resources.


Advanced Legal Research in Intellectual Property Law

[1 credit]

S/U or Letter Grade

Satisfies the skills requirement.

This course will provide an in-depth and hands-on review of the legal research materials and techniques specific to the practice of copyright, trademark, patent, and other areas of intellectual property law.  The course will explore relevant legislation, regulations, agency decisions and websites, case law, treatises, practice materials, and electronic databases.  Strategies for ensuring efficient and comprehensive research in intellectual property law - including methods of keeping up to date with changes, developments, and news - will also be cover


Analytics for Lawyers, Leveraging Social Science Research for Effective Advocacy

[1 Credit] Peter Hook

S/U or Letter Grade

Degree Requirements: EL

Prerequisites: Lawyering

Ever since the advent of the Brandeis Brief, social science research has been marshalled for effective judicial advocacy. This course will survey and contextualize past uses of social science research and will equip students with the ability to effectively locate social science research for improved advocacy. Students will become familiar with a wide range of social science research tools and will be able to use them to marshal evidence for a particular litigation scenario. Additionally, students will learn an analytical framework in order to identify the insight needs required for a particular courtroom application.


International Finance, Banking, and Arbitration Law Research

[1 Credit] Dan Blackaby

Letter Grade Only

Degree Requirements: EL

Prerequisites: Lawyering; Business Research recommended.

This course will explore research methods in the fields of International Finance, Banking and Arbitration by examining the organizational and documentary structures of the regulatory and corporate bodies that operate in this arena, and the documentary evidence available to researchers. Students discover and contextualize the corporate and transactional structures used, as well as examine the dispute resolution methodology used.


International and Foreign Legal Research

[1 Credit] Jacob Sayward

S/U or Letter Grade

Degree Requirements: EL

Prerequisites: Lawyering

The practice of law continues to become ever more dependent upon a clear understanding of the global context in which it occurs. This course provides an overview of sources, methods, and strategies for researching foreign, comparative, and international law. Topics to be covered in this course include the research of public international law, private international law and transnational legal practice, foreign and comparative law, the United Nations, the European Union, and international courts. While there may be some assigned readings, available via the course website (there is no required textbook to purchase), more of students' out-of-class time will be focused on completion of assignments. Class time will be a mix of lecture and guided completion of in-class exercises. Foreign language ability is not required.


Law Practice Technology

[2 credits] Dan Blackaby

Limited enrollment. Satisfies the skills requirement.

Rapidly evolving technologies are undoubtedly transforming the traditional law practice.  The purpose of this course is to explore and investigate the use and impact of current technologies in the practice of law.  The focus will be smaller to mid-sized law firms but there will also be some discussion on large practice groups. Tools for client management, electronic discovery, and document management will be analyzed.  Ethical issues relating to proper use of technology and data management will be discussed. Electronic communications and social networking tools will also be explored.

Legislation and Law Revision Clinic[Fall 2017][3 credits] Nina ScholtzLetter Grade Only
Satisfies the experiential learning requirement.Prerequisites: Lawyering or equivalent study and practice in legal research; permission of theinstructors.The Law Revision Clinic supports the work of the New York State Law Revision Commission,based at Cornell Law School. The Commission is the oldest continuous agency in the common-law world devoted to law reform through legislation. It is charged by statute with examining thelaw of the State, considering proposed changes, and recommending changes in the law to theLegislature. Students further the interest of the public in New York by examining legal issuesselected by the Commission for further study; conducting in-depth legal research examiningexisting state law, legislative history, public policy, policies and practices of other states anduniform proposals; gathering information about the needs that might be served by new oramended legislation; and drafting proposals for legislation and amendments of existing law aswell as memoranda supporting proposed legislation and amendments. The classroomcomponent of the course focuses on legislative research, administrative and regulatory process,public policy, statutory interpretation, and legislative drafting. Fieldwork is also a coursecomponent, including, e.g., interviewing advocates and stakeholders affected by the legislativeproposal, attending conferences on the subject of the proposal, meeting with legislative staff,and presenting to groups interested in the subject of the proposal.Interested students should pre-register and submit a resume, unofficial transcript and letter ofinterest to the instructor by the deadline specified in course registration materials

Legal Research Clinic

[3 credits]    Jacob SaywardAriel Scotese

S/U or Letter Grade

Limited enrollment [6]. Satisfies the skills requirement.

Prerequisites: Lawyering; Permission of the instructors.

Selection of students for enrollment into the clinic is at the instructor’s discretion.

The Legal Research Clinic provides students with the opportunity to hone proficient research skills by responding to legal issues referred by non-profit organizations and legal service providers.  Students will receive concentrated advanced legal research instruction in the beginning of the semester.  Research problems will thereafter be assigned on a weekly basis.  Subject matter and depth of problems will vary.  Depending on the complexity of the problem, students may work individually or in groups. Results will be presented in formal memoranda or brief summaries accompanied by oral reports, depending on client need.  There will be opportunity for client contact during the intake and reporting phases.  This clinic is limited to answering the research question presented and, although it may include a recommended course of action, will not extend to assisting the client with implementation.

This clinic may be applied to satisfying the Pro Bono requirement for New York State.


Research and Analysis in Law Practice

[1 credit] Latia Ward

Limited enrollment.

Satisfies the skills requirement.

Prerequisite: Lawyering  required for JD students. LL.M. students who have already taken, or are concurrently enrolled in, Principles of American Legal Writing may take this course

Build upon the research skills honed in Lawyering to explore advanced strategies for conducting legal research. This course provides an overview of the resources, methods, and strategies necessary to conduct efficient and effective online legal research for upper-level courses and employment. Students will learn when and how to use subscription and open access databases for researching legal information. Students can expect to complete a series of research assignments and a final research project.


Researching American Legal History

[1 credit]

Satisfies the skills requirement

Prerequisite: Lawyering 

This class will cover legal history research methods used when researching American Legal History, beginning with pre-colonial sources up to the modern day. We will examine both the organizational methods behind the law, and the practical implications this would have for the legal and lay researcher of the time and for the modern researcher.