First Year Courses & Curriculum
Civil Procedure I
#183 - 3 credits
Civ Pro I focuses on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as they relate to a civil lawsuit. The course includes coverage of rules related to pleadings, notice and service of a complaint, the joinder of parties, the basics of discovery, motions to dismiss, appealability, and both res judicata and collateral estoppel. Students should finish the semester with a strong understanding of how a civil lawsuit proceeds through the federal court.
Civil Procedure II
#184 - 2 credits
Civ Pro II builds on Civ Pro I but focuses on where the lawsuit takes place and what law the court will apply to resolve the dispute. The course looks at both constitutional and statutory questions of procedure. Jurisdiction is the focus of the semester, and topics include subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, the removal and transfer of claims between courts, and the Erie doctrine on choice of law.
Constitutional Law I
#150 - 3 credits
This course introduces you to the constitutional system of the United States and the modes of thought and criticism appropriate to constitutional law. It will provide a broad introduction to the Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions to ascertain the political values and processes it has defended historically, the standards it has developed to implement its principles, and its relationship to other institutions in the American political system. The course will focus on three major themes of constitutional law: the role of the Supreme Court (“judicial review”), the relationship between the national government and the state and tribal governments (“federalism”), and the structure of the national government (“separation of powers”).
#120 - 2 credits
Contracts I is the first part of a two-semester Contracts course. The two-semester Contracts course generally covers the principles that govern the formation and performance of legally enforceable promises, as well as the consequences for failure or refusal to perform legally enforceable promises. The focus for the first part of the two-semester course is on contract formation, including offer and acceptance; the concept of "consideration," which is generally required for the formation of a contract; substitutes to consideration for enforcement of promises; the issues and challenges that arise during the period of contract negotiation; standard form contracts; and the statute of frauds.
#122 - 3 credits
Contracts II is the second part of a two-semester Contracts course. The focus for the second part of the two-semester course is on subject matter relating to the contents of a contract, such as considering what extrinsic evidence will be considered when determining the terms of a contract, how the express terms of a contract may be supplemented or explained, what terms the law will imply, and when the terms of a contract will be deemed to have been modified; when the law will intervene in the enforcement of an otherwise enforceable contract, including a review of illegality, public policy and unconscionability; remedies for breach of contract; and excuses for nonperformance.
#140 - 3 credits
Analysis of general doctrines of criminal liability and the relationship between those doctrines and the moral and social problems of crime. Includes definitions of principal crimes and defenses to criminal prosecution and consideration of limitations on the use of criminal sanctions.
Lawyering Skills I
#160 - 3 credits
This course is designed to teach the first-year law student the fundamental skills of legal research, analysis, and written and oral communication, as well as introduce the rudimentary principles of the American legal system. Students will learn how to research, analyze, and predict the likely outcome of legal problems and then will communicate their predictions through a number of commonly used legal vehicles, including law-office memoranda. Methods of instruction include lecture, individual and small-group writing conferences, group exercises, and written critique. The course begins before the other first-year courses to provide a foundation for those other courses.
Lawyering Skills II
#162 - 2 credits
This course builds on the legal analysis, research, and writing skills that students acquired in Lawyering Skills I. Students will continue to develop those skills while shifting from objective analysis to persuasive analysis, with a focus on both written and oral advocacy. Working with hypothetical fact patterns, students will gain experience in fundamental advocacy skills such as writing a court brief, conducting an oral argument, and working with clients, co-counsel, and opposing counsel.
#180 - 2 credits
This course introduces students to concepts of professional role, identity, and practice for lawyers. A key objective of the course is to assist students in beginning to cultivate a reflective mindset about professional life in the law and to develop the habits needed to exercise sound professional judgment as lawyers. Students will develop the skill of practiced self-reflection in legal settings and, in exploring the kind of lawyers they want to become, deepen their ability to apply their professional values in the practice of law.
#172 - 4 credits
This course examines the origins and contours of modern property law in the United States. Major topics include: the acquisition and extent of rights in real property (land and buildings) and personal property (everything else); private and governmental limits on owners' uses of real property; methods of transferring interests in property; the nature and extent of current and future interests in real property; co-ownership and marital interests in real property; the rights and responsibilities of concurrent owners of real property; covenants and easements on real property; contracts for the sale of land; land deeds and titles; and Landlord-Tenant law.
#110 - 4 credits
This course introduces students to civil actions for personal injuries, property damage, and other compensable wrongs including wrongful death. The course specifically includes a discussion of intentional torts, negligence actions, and strict liability. The course will also address limits on monetary damages and common defenses to tort actions like consent, assumption of risk, and contributory negligence.
First Year Curriculum
Fall Semester Courses
- Contracts | (2 credits)
- Property (4 credits)
- Torts (4 credits)
- Civil Procedure l (3 credits)
- Lawyering Skills l (3 credits)
Spring Semester Courses
- Contracts ll (3 credits)
- Civil Procedure ll (2 credits)
- Professional Foundations (2 credits)
- Constitutional Law l (3 credits)
- Criminal Law (3 credits)
- Lawyering Skills ll (2 credits)
Second and Third Year Courses
#210 - 2 credits
This course reviews the legal doctrines that empower and constrain the "fourth branch" of government-administrative agencies. Primary emphasis is placed on case law developed at the federal level; state law is covered where it differs substantially from its federal counterpart. Major topics include the creation of administrative agencies, agency use of power and limits on that power, public and individual participation in agency processes, and judicial review of agency action. Grades will be based on a final in-class exam.
Advanced Legal Ethics
#236 - 3 credits
In many ethical decision-making situations that a practicing lawyer will encounter, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not provide a single answer. Instead, a lawyer often has discretionary choices to make in responding and acting in a given situation while still complying with the requirements of the Rules. In this course on Advanced Legal Ethics, students will be continually challenged to think critically and carefully about legal ethics and moral responsibility. We will study and actively discuss foundational concepts of moral philosophy and jurisprudence, and apply those concepts by analyzing questions and problems involving lawyers and ethical challenges they face as persons in the legal profession. We will relate the ethical and moral concerns raised by the assigned readings, questions, and problems to the Rules studied in Professional Responsibility. We will also devote our attention to several works of world literature and film with important lessons to teach us about legal ethics and moral responsibility in the lives of practicing lawyers. Students will be graded based on (1) a scholarly paper on a topic relating to legal ethics, which will also satisfy the required 2L Intensive Writing Experience; and (2) class participation and professionalism.
Advanced Legal Research
#280 - 2 credits
Advanced Legal Research will teach students to be efficient, thorough, and cost-effective legal researchers. Students will learn how to find and use the core sources of legal information, both primary and secondary, including: statutes, cases, administrative regulations and decisions, other executive branch materials, legislative history, constitutions, court rules, and secondary sources. Students will also learn how to research non-legal and interdisciplinary materials relevant to the law. Coverage will focus primarily on federal legal research and state legal research (with a special emphasis on North Dakota and Minnesota). Time permitting, sessions on municipal legal research and tribal legal research may also be provided. Both paid and free legal research resources will be examined.
The course will in greater detail examine tortious theories against property and persons with specificity toward products liability, misrepresentation and choice of law conflicts with respect to jurisdictional considerations. Further, the course will take a closer look at how tort law intertwines with other core areas of the law such as property, contract and constitutional law and that these areas work in concert and sometimes in conflict with each other in the broader legal environment.
Advanced Trial Advocacy
#397 - 3 credits
Advanced Trial Advocacy offers students who have exhibited advanced skills and acumen at trial advocacy an opportunity to improve, practice, and hone those skills in an experiential learning environment that simulates the intensity of a real trial. The course provides a unique opportunity to students who are drawn to trial advocacy work to practice their advocacy skills and receive individualized feedback in a concentrated time span. The intense instruction culminates in a regional trial competition that requires students to make strategic decisions, think on their feet, present themselves well under pressure, understand the law (both procedurally and substantively) in a full-trial experience, and receive input and feedback from the course professor, invited on-site guest judges, and lawyers and judges from several states in the competition region.
#201 - 2 credits
This class will focus on the common legal issues Midwest agriculture producers encounter. The course will include such topics as real estate law, agricultural leases, marketing and storing of commodities, secured transactions as it relates to agriculture, real property, cooperatives, water law, family law and succession planning issues and their impact on the family farm. This class should be taken by anyone who plan to practice in a more rural setting in the Midwest.
Airline Labor Relations Law
Law #348 / AVIT 517 - 3 credits
This course is an exploration of the impact and application of the Railway Labor Act and the National Labor Relations Act as they pertain to commercial airline operations in the United States. The role of international labor law, arbitration and alternate dispute resolution, global business trends, federal discrimination law, state labor laws, pension benefits, Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, drug and alcohol testing, application of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and technology developments, among other topics, are discussed. The primary focus of this course is on the federal labor statutes, although distinctive state rules and statutes are covered as well. Course requirements will include class participation, small group assignments, a labor negotiation and a final exam.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
#281 - 2 credits
This course provides an overview of the regional dispute resolution methods of mediation, negotiation, arbitration, custody investigation, early neutral evaluation, parenting time coordination, and collective bargaining. Students will learn how to use and effectively participate in dispute resolution processes as a neutral third party. This course includes practical, skill-building exercises and presentations in an experiential learning environment.
#282 - 3 credits
This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of federal bankruptcy law. The course briefly examines some key elements of state debtor/creditor law at the outset of the semester, and then moves on to more deeply examine consumer and business bankruptcy.
Bar Exam Preparation (Reading, Writing, and Analysis Skills for the Bar Exam)
#344 - 3 credits
This course involves preparation of students for the bar review and exam process with a focus on improving reading, writing, and analysis skills to approach and do well on practice bar exam questions, including essay, multiple-choice, and performance questions. The course will cover a few specific topics tested on the bar exam with additional emphasis on refining memorization skills and learning how to self-assess understanding of concepts. The course is NOT intended to be a comprehensive review of the black letter law covered in law school, or a substitute for a commercial bar preparation course and dedicated study in the time period immediately preceding the bar. It is open to 40 third year law students and will be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. The principal assessed assignments will be regular in and out of class exercises, practice examination questions, and a timed "mini- bar exam" to be administered during the final examination period. and the class will adhere to a strict attendance policy. The course fulfills the Level II Skills requirement.
#254 - 4 credits
This first course in the Business Associations sequence represents an introduction to business law. This course is designed for those with no exposure to business issues, as well as those with a business background who need to understand how the law regulates structured economic activity. This course covers issues related to the law of agency and unincorporated entities, including general and limited partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs). The course will also provide an introduction to corporations, including fiduciary duties, the scope of limited liability protections (i.e., piercing the corporate veil, alter-ego liability), and an introduction to basic federal securities laws.
Business Associations II
#213 - 3 credits
The course will be a continuation of the curriculum of Business Associations I by
examining the common duties under the law imposed upon officers, directors and shareholders;
changes in control of the business entity; derivative litigation and dispute resolution;
indemnification and insurance; proxy regulation; tender offers; and insider trading
and securities fraud. Additional subjects will include Sherman Anti-Trust violations
and civil RICO actions. The course will cover distinct subject matter that is different
from Business Associations I.
Business Associations I is not a pre-requisite to enrolling in this course. This is a 3 credit course and will be graded by a closed book and closed material comprehensive essay exam given at the end of the semester.
The Carrigan Cup Intramural Trial Competition is a one-credit, experiential course, designed to develop students’ competence and confidence in court. The goal of the course is to build foundational trial skills. These skills include how to analyze a case, develop and implement a case theory, prepare and examine both lay and expert witnesses, make and respond to objections, and deliver opening statements and closing arguments.
Clerkship & Case Codification
#361 - 3 credits
Each student will be given a legal issue(s) associated with an active or simulated case present in the tribal courts from our region. Under the supervision of the professor – the student will research the legal issue(s) and draft a bench brief suitable for presentation to tribal judges. As an additional component of this course, students will be trained to carefully read cases issued from tribal courts and will serve as annotators, assisting in the creation of a regional tribal reporter. After annotation, the cases will be scanned, organized, collected, and published electronically through the Northern Plains Indian Law Center and the University of North Dakota School of Law.
Conflict of Laws
A Minnesota resident and California resident are involved in a vehicle collision at a national park in North Dakota. Which State's laws apply in addressing potential claims? Change the vehicle collision to the formation of a contract—what laws apply? Regrettably, many attorneys have only a faint familiarity with the complex relationship between the laws of different states, nations, and sovereign powers. The practical reality of an increasingly global and connected world frequently raises questions regarding: (1) which jurisdiction's laws apply; and (2) the enforceability of foreign judgments. Understanding the outcomes of these complicated questions can have a profound impact in analyzing whether a legal claim exists, the scope of rights and remedies, and other strategic considerations. This course explores the different legal frameworks for determining the applicable law in multi-jurisdictional disputes, the dichotomy between substantive and procedural rights, the constitutional limits in the context of conflict of laws, and the recognition of judgments from a foreign state or nation. Because it draws on core principles from torts, contracts, property, civil procedure, and constitutional law, it offers a useful review of those subjects, particularly for graduating students. It also provides a fun and practical opportunity to develop critical thinking and legal analysis utilizing interesting and murky legal issues.
Constitutional Law II
#238 - 3 credits
This required course introduces students to the constitutional system of the United States and the modes of thought and criticism appropriate to constitutional law. It provides a broad introduction to the Courts constitutional decisions to ascertain the political values and processes it has defended historically, the standards it has developed to implement its principles, and its relationship to other institutions in the American political system. The course focuses on the following themes of civil rights and civil liberties: the right of privacy, equal protection, free speech, fundamental rights, economic due process, and takings.
#293 - 2 credits
This course will provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn and develop practical skills related to different phases of a criminal trial (e.g., preliminary examination, bail hearings, motion hearings, etc.). While advocacy skills will be emphasized, this course is designed to supplement, not substitute for, subjects covered in other trial advocacy courses. Class exercises will include conducting discovery, drafting and litigating motions, conducting witness examinations, and engaging in settlement negotiations. Evidence and Criminal Procedure are pre- or co-requisites for this course. Enrollment is limited; preference will be given to students who have completed Evidence and Criminal Procedure, then to third-year students generally. This course will be graded on an S/U basis, and attendance at each class session is mandatory.
Criminal Procedure I
#218 - 3 credits
This course will cover the constitutional rights and actual practices associated with criminal investigations from the occurrence of the crime to trial (the exclusionary sanction, constitutional doctrines relating to law enforcement conduct, issuance and execution of arrest and search warrants, detentions of persons and related searches, "warrantless" searches, electronic surveillance, interrogation and confessions, undercover investigations, grand jury investigative functions, and eyewitness identification).
Criminal Procedure II
#286 - 3 credits
This course will cover: Prosecution and Adjudication (The Initial Appearance and Detention, Discretion to Prosecute, The Preliminary Examination and the Grand Jury, Right to a Speedy Trial, Competency to Stand Trial, Discovery and Disclosure, Right to an Impartial Trial, Joinder and Severance of Charges and Defendants, Double Jeopardy, Pretrial Hearings and Related matters, Adjudication of Guilt by Plea, Adjudication of Guilt or Innocence by Trial, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Sentencing, and Appeal and Collateral Attack), as time permits. Criminal Procedure I is not a prerequisite.
Drones and the Law
(Law #350 / AVIT 526)
This course introduces students to the laws and policies governing UAS operations including flight regulations, remote sensing issues, and data and cybersecurity issues related to UAS. The class scope of inquiry includes US and international law and examines both civil and military use.
Drug Use: Criminal Law, Policy, & History
#291 - Spring 2022
This course will introduce students to the major legal and policy issues regarding illegal drug use. In doing so, it will first provide a historical background on drug use within the United States and then spend the majority of its sessions considering the laws and policies that govern illegal drugs. Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine regulation will also be considered. While focused on drug use in the United States, the course will also address drug law and policy internationally.
#203 - 3 credits
Federal and state laws protect workers from discrimination based on certain characteristics, and require employers to base employment decisions on factors other than, for example, a person’s sex or race. Employment discrimination is an area of law that is applicable in every jurisdiction, to every person who has an employer, owns or operates a business, or is looking for a job. This course will cover the major federal statutes, and time permitting, state statutes and common law theories, upon which litigants suing for adverse employment actions can rely.
Energy and Mining Law
#362 - 3 credits
The mining of natural resources for energy production and the supply systems developed as a result are integral to modern living standards. This course surveys the energy law and policy framework in the US, North Dakota, and relevant international contexts. It looks at how energy from primary sources such as coal, oil, gas, nuclear water, wind, and solar, are extracted, transported, and converted into secondary and useful energy. The course explores the physical, market, and legal structures governing each energy resource, including models of regulation and key statutory and judicial instruments governing their utilization. Law and policies designed to promote energy conservation, and the use of renewable forms of energy, are also studied.
#263 - 3 credits
This course surveys the major federal statutory programs restricting private and governmental activities that may adversely affect human health and the environment. The course examines the common law origins of environmental law, current "regulatory" schemes designed to prevent activities from causing excessive environmental harm, and current "remedial" schemes designed to clean up or remedy environmental harms that do occur. Major topics include the structure of federal and state governmental power over the environment, air and water quality, and hazardous waste disposal and cleanup. Course grades are calculated on the basis of class participation and a reflective paper, not eligible for the School's graduation writing requirement, on a topic assigned on the first day of class.
#287 - 2 credits
This simulation course examines various problems encountered in the planning and administration of an individual's estate. Included are such issues as the drafting of wills and trusts, the use of the marital deduction, lifetime gifts, testamentary trusts, the selection of trustees, valuation problems, apportioning the tax burden, the charitable deduction, deferred compensation plans, and life insurance. The course grade will be determined by take-home writing assignments designed to simulate actual work assignments.
#222 - 4 credits
In this required course, students will study the rules that govern the admissibility of evidence in American trials. The course will examine the concepts of relevance, hearsay, and character evidence; issues relating to opinion evidence and the reliability of expert testimony; rules governing the admissibility of physical and digital evidence and devices designed to ensure an orderly and efficient trial; the federal common law of privileges; and constitutional provisions impacting the admission of evidence at trial. Because of their prominence and their pervasive influence on the development of rules for state courts, as well as their importance for bar preparation purposes, the course will focus primary attention on the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Externship Class (Learning from Practice)
The Externship Program requires both in-class sessions (Law 557: Learning From Practice) and an out-of-class placement experience (Law 555, 563, 564, 565 & 550). The Learning From Practice sessions are the required in-class sessions that accompany the out-of-class field placement/externships of Externship I, II, III & IV and the Legal Practicum. These class sessions, along with your field placement/externship experience, are intended to bridge your professional competence from law student to practicing lawyer, and your professional skills from classroom to workplace. In particular, the class sessions are designed to help you to build professional skills and habits, including reflective learning and intentional professional development, that will serve you throughout your legal career.
At the end of your field placement/externship experience, you will have gained the experience of working as a practicing lawyer in a real-world setting. Through the Learning From Practice class sessions, you will have leveraged your field placement/externship experience to (1) develop your professional identity, (2) gain perspective on the role of ethical and effective attorneys in our legal systems, (3) practice and hone professional skills, including communication, public speaking, interpersonal interactions, problem solving, time management, and attention to detail, (4) address issues related to ethics, cultural competence, and professionalism in the context of a legal practice, and (5) successfully progress from an academic environment to a professional workplace.
Externship I - IV
This program offers credit for students selected as externs within the various placement sites (including both state and federal agencies). Students selected for this program are required to work the requisite number of hours within the placement site in order to receive credit.
#265 - 3 credits
This course examines the creation, legal significance, and dissolution of family relationships. Major topics covered may include: the substantive and procedural requirements to marry; the rights and responsibilities of married couples; the divorce process; the allocation of child custody; the financial consequences of dissolution (including property distribution, spousal support, and child support); non-marital families; and the formation and dissolution of the parent-child relationship (including adoption, surrogacy, and the termination of parental rights). This course combines both a substantive and a practical focus; teaching methods include a mixture of readings, lectures, videos, quizzes, in-class exercises, group work, and guest speakers.
Family Law Clinical Practicum
#461 / #462
The Family Law Clinical Practicum is a two-semester course (Fall 1 credit/Spring 4 credits). The FLCP focuses on the development of practical and transactional skills to see family law cases through from potential client interview to final judgment. The student attorney performs all tasks while under the supervision of a North Dakota licensed attorney. The student attorney will engage in client interviews, witness preparation, preparation and attendance in mediation, court appearances, document management, and preparation of pleadings.
Federal Indian Law
#204 - 3 credits
This course examines the United States' policies and laws regarding tribal governments and individual Indians. Major topics include: the origin and scope of federal power over Indian affairs, tribal governmental powers, tribal court systems, tribal property rights, limitations on state powers, and civil and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country.
#302 - 3 credits
This course is intended as a survey of the substantive law of the First Amendment - the Establishment and Free Exercise of Religion Clauses, and the Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition Clauses. We will also explore the philosophical underpinnings of First Amendment jurisprudence from its inception to the modern day. Our ultimate goal is to enhance students' ability to create and critically analyze constitutional arguments, both orally and in writing. The grade for the course will be principally based on a paper and on demonstrated oral skills in the form of class participation, exercises, debates, and presentations. This course satisfies the Upper-level Legal Writing Requirement. There will be no examination.
Gender and the Law
#242 - 3 credits
This course provides an opportunity for law students to explore a broad variety of legal issues concerning gender, such as those related to the judicial system (e.g., judges, juries, lawyers, law firms), employment, education, the military, criminal law, the First Amendment, sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, reproduction, family, sexual orientation, gender identity, international issues, and so on.
#303 - 3 credits
This course will provide a comprehensive review of state and federal laws associated
with cost, quality and access in the delivery of health care throughout the United
States. The focus will be on how regulations and laws are utilized to ensure compliance
for health care providers and health care institutions, including the professional-patient
relationship; legal liability for health care professionals and institutions; discrimination
and unequal treatment in health care; public health care financing programs; tax-exempt
health care organizations; and specific population health and public health law regulation.
Federal laws such as the False Claims Act; Anti-Kickback Statutes; Stark Laws; and
laws addressing fraud and abuse in health care will also be covered. In addition,
the course will cover sensitive subjects such as medically assisted suicide, organ
transplantation and the determination of death.
Students will master an understanding of these concepts and how the law is utilized in the delivery of health care. Students will be evaluated for grading purposes on a series of written materials assigned by the instructor and will be expected to select an appropriate topic approved by the instructor for research and writing in lieu of an exam.
Housing Discrimination Law
#346 - 3 credits
Federal and state laws forbid discrimination in all housing-related transactions (including sales, rentals, financing, insurance, and zoning). Housing discrimination law applies in every jurisdiction, to every person who seeks a home, and to businesses that affect residential properties. A foundational knowledge of these issues is especially recommended for lawyers working in government, real estate, and civil rights contexts. Neighborhoods powerfully shape residents’ access to social, political, and economic opportunities and resources. This course explores the nature, extent, consequences, and causes of housing discrimination and segregation. We also will examine the nature and adequacy of the legal framework enacted for the purpose of ending discrimination and segregation in housing. Evaluation will be based on written reflections on the readings, class participation, and completion of a written book review. There will be no final exam.
#219 – 3 credits
This course explores the law of the admission of foreign nationals into the United States, their treatment and status while here, and the processes of deportation and naturalization. Constitutional, statutory, and regulatory sources of law will be considered, in both their substantive and procedural aspects. Additionally, we will situate the law and its socio-historical and cultural context. Grading will be based on a final paper.
#226 - 3 credits
This course is intended to give students an understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying the U.S. individual income tax. Examination of the concept of gross income and net income, including investigation of what constitutes income, when it should be taxed, to whom it should be taxed, and its character as unearned, earned, or capital gain income. Deductions and their nature as genuine or as artificial deductions are considered in detail. The course will focus on the statutory framework of tax law, Treasury Regulations and Rulings and illustrative judicial authorities.
Indian Child Welfare Act
#294 - 2 credits
This course will combine an academic and historical analysis of the Indian Child Welfare Act with an examination of how native children are treated in the legal system in the child welfare area, as well as other areas (health care, education, and child support enforcement). The final grade will be based upon the students writing a brief for an Indian tribe, Indian parent, adoptive parent, or other party to an ICWA proceeding in an actual case that has been litigated or completing a comprehensive paper. Students will have the opportunity during the class to hear from tribal leaders, native persons who have been adopted out, and others about the historical displacement of Indian children from their Tribes and the impact of this legacy.
Indian Country Environmental Law
#340 - 3 credits
This course examines how the confluence of federal environmental, administrative and Indian law creates, but may also solve, environmental injustice in Indian country. For Indigenous Peoples who seek to maintain connections with their ancient spiritual and religious cultural traditions, effective protection of the natural environment is critical to their cultural identity. The course examines the various Indian country approaches taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including treating Indian tribes “as states,” and the federal cases brought by states and non-Indians challenging EPA's and tribes' authority to make binding value judgments about Indian country environmental protection. This seminar fulfills the intensive writing requirement.
Indian Gaming Law
#276 - 3 credits
What is Indian gaming, and how did it turn into a multi-billion dollar industry and the most prominent public policy issue concerning Native Americans today? Framed by tribal sovereignty and the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), this course examines the substantive law governing Indian gaming, as well as the broader political context of reservation economic development through gaming. In just over two decades, Indian gaming has become a $26.5 billion industry with some 440 casinos operated by 230 tribes in 28 states. The course will explore the history of tribal gaming, substantive provisions of IGRA as well as other pertinent federal, tribal, and state law, and the continuing development of case law, statutory and administrative law, and, of course, politics. Topics include regulatory authority, casino-style gaming and tribal-state compacts, socioeconomic effects, revenue sharing, and "off-reservation" gaming.
#269 - 3 credits
The course provides a comprehensive introduction to those laws on the business of insurance. The focus will be on basic insurance contract foundations such as first-party and third-party coverage, liability insurance and insurance regulation. Further, the course will examine the duties of insurers and the insured with respect to the insurance contract. It will extend to several lines of insurance such as property, bodily injury, general liability, health, life, ERISA, professional lines, subrogation and environmental coverage. Students will have an introduction to concepts relating to reinsurance and fronting arrangements between and among insurance companies.
More than ever, intellectual property (IP) plays a critical role in our society. It governs our rights, liabilities, and freedoms with regard to innovation, market control, and artistic expression. For many companies, it represents the key assets, majority of net worth, and bedrock for competitive advantage. This course surveys the fundamental aspects of the four main areas of IP law: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. It is intended for those interested in a career in IP, those planning to work in business, and those looking to gain a basic understanding of the subject. No scientific background is required or expected.
Intensive Legal Reading, Writing, and Analysis
#248 - 3 credits
Intensive Legal Reading, Writing, and Analysis is designed to help students hone and strengthen the reading (such as reading comprehension, critical thinking, issue spotting, and rule identification), writing (both objective and persuasive), and rule-based analysis/problem-solving skills that are required for maximum achievement in law school, on the bar exam, and in subsequent practice. To achieve these goals, students will complete practical exercises individually and in small groups, as well as longer writing assignments, for which they will receive extensive feedback. Exercises will concern legal reading, exam taking, and both objective and persuasive legal writing. Grades will be derived from class exercises, class participation, and the writing of an objective memorandum and persuasive trial brief. This course satisfies the Upper Level Legal Writing Requirement.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Lawyering Skills I and II.
International Human Rights Advocacy
#235 – 3 credits (Prof. Ernst)
International Human Rights Advocacy is designed to be a fun and engaging simulation-based seminar that fulfills three credits of the experiential learning requirement. In this simulation, students work together in their roles as newly hired staff attorneys for a recently created non-governmental organization called Global Human Rights Advocates (GHRA). Among other projects, students will have an opportunity to visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (optional) and to engage in service learning through the Global Friends Coalition. This seminar enables students to enhance transferrable skills that are in high demand by all legal employers. We adapt this course each year to explore the specific interests of the students, who help select the human rights issues and countries on which we will focus throughout the semester (including the United States and Canada). No textbooks are required for this course—instead, we use on-line and library materials. No prior knowledge of international law is necessary—everyone is welcome.
International Petroleum Transactions
This subject considers the legal issues and structure of transactions relating to the exploration, production and marketing of petroleum that, owing to its economic and strategic importance, is the most important commodity traded worldwide. This subject will give students a detailed understanding of how crude oil and gas are exploited and marketed worldwide. It will cover how countries establish sovereignty over petroleum resources and how host governments or their national (state-owned) oil companies contract with private companies to explore and develop oil and gas resources. This subject also reviews and analyses key contracts among petroleum companies, and contracts between petroleum companies and petroleum-services contractors, that facilitate exploration, development and marketing of petroleum. As petroleum is one of the most politically charged commodities, this subject will also consider extra-territorial anti-corruption law and political risk. In a broader sense, this subject will help students develop better analytical skills—especially the ability to critically evaluate contracts.
Jurisdiction in Indian Country
#256 - 3 credits
This course focuses on the jurisdictional nature of Indian Country. It broadly includes both the limits of criminal jurisdiction and civil jurisdiction in Indian Country. Criminal jurisdiction topics include questions about whether the tribe, state, or federal government can bring criminal charges, the special rules associate with public law 280, jurisdictional statutes including the Tribal Law and Order Act and the Violence Against Womens Act and the penalties imposed by tribal courts. Civil jurisdiction topics include the Montana decision and its progeny, the jurisdiction to tax, to regulate fishing and hunting, zoning, and the equal footing doctrine.
Law & Technology
Course # to be determined - 3 credits
Law & Technology is a survey course that will expose students to an array of contemporary areas where law and technology intertwine, including: cybersecurity, computer crimes, privacy and information law, electronic discovery and digital evidence, artificial intelligence and machine learning, technology and attorney ethics, the regulation of cyberspace, and the effect of legal rules on technological innovation.
Law Practice Management
#243 – 3 credits
In Law Practice Management, students will address the following: perceptions of the legal profession, legal profession trends, law office operations, legal products and services, case planning, fee contracts and arrangements, common ethical concerns and methods of avoidance, civility in the profession, marketing and promotion of legal services, firm performance evaluations, law firm financial analysis, strategic planning, modern law office technology, pro bono obligations, and law office human resource management.
Law Practice Technology
#317 - 2 credits
Technology is drastically changing the face of legal practice. In this course, students will learn about current and emerging legal technologies, ethical issues surrounding the use of technology in a legal environment, and what they need to know to use, plan for, and manage technology in practice. Topics of coverage may include: the use of artificial intelligence in legal research, writing, and contract review; how “big data” is impacting legal practice; using and advising on the use of social media; best practices in E-Discovery; protecting client privacy; evaluating and managing technology; and the ethical mandates associated with the use of legal technology. No prior technology experience is required.
#551 – 1 or 2 credits, variable by semester & role
The North Dakota Law Review is a scholarly journal of commentary on current legal problems of interest to the North Dakota bench and bar and the legal profession generally. Published at least three times each year, all material in the North Dakota Law Review is edited by a student Board of Editors and Associate Editors (3Ls). Students who are Members (whether they start in their 2L or 3L year) gain experience in legal research and accurate written expression by writing a Case Comment and a Note (for possible selection by the Board of Editors to be published in the North Dakota Law Review), and by assisting the Editors in the preparation of articles for publication. The North Dakota Law Review is the journal of the State Bar Association of North Dakota.
Legal Research and Writing for Practice
3 credits; course number TBD
Legal Research and Writing for Practice develops legal-writing skills through frequent research and writing assignments involving documents commonly drafted in law practice. The course runs like a fictional law firm wherein the curriculum consists of client files. The first assignment for each file is to research and write about the client’s issue. Each successive assignment tracks the document path that the client’s issue would take through the legal system. Students will draft documents such as client engagement letters, advice letters, demand letters, complaints, answers, motions to dismiss, responses to motions, affidavits, motions for summary judgment, settlement letters, motions to suppress, fee applications, blog posts, and contracts.
The key to student learning in this course is frequent practice and personalized feedback. There will be a weekly writing assignment. Students will have individual conferences with the professor each week at the same day and time, during which the professor coaches students on their particular strengths and weaknesses, giving them a solid research and writing foundation with which to confidently begin practice right after law school.
This class is an online, but synchronous course. A few weeks we will meet synchronously on Zoom as a class at the time in the course schedule. But most weeks students will meet individually via Zoom with the professor to receive feedback, talk through client issues, and receive the next assignment. Individual meetings will be scheduled during class time as much as possible, however, depending on the number of students enrolled, some students may have to meet during a mutually agreeable time outside of that instead; in any event, students’ assigned meeting time will be the same day and time every week.
#309 - 3 credits
Legislation affects every area of law. Lawyers must understand how judges interpret statutes in order to make the strongest arguments in court on behalf of their clients. Lawyers must also interpret statutes to advise their clients on how best to attain their clients’ goals while complying with the law. Clients also frequently call upon lawyers to advocate on their behalf before legislative bodies to influence statutory reforms or to enact new legislation. This course provides law students with the practical and legal skills necessary in each of these situations at both the state and federal levels, and is also highly valuable when working with city governments and municipal ordinances, as well as tribal governments and laws. It is designed to be a fun and interactive seminar that fulfills the intensive writing requirement. This course also fulfills the prerequisite for the Legislative Internship with the North Dakota Legislative Assembly.
Modern Real Estate Transactions
#285 - 3 credits
Study of the contracting process in real estate transactions; deeds and deed covenants; recording issues; title insurance and abstracts of title; and mortgage loans, foreclosure, and other real estate financing issues.
#553 - 1-2 credits
The Moot Court Association provides interested students the opportunity to participate in an appellate moot court intra-school competition. During the past few years, members of the Association also have participated in the National Moot Court Competition and various regional competitions. Members of the Association may serve as advisers and judges for first-year students participating in the course in brief writing and appellate advocacy.
Moot Court Board
#552 - 2 credits
National Security Law/Homeland Security Law
#291 - Spring 2022
This course will introduce students to the major legal and policy issues regarding national security law and homeland security law. It will address the fundamental powers of the United States government in national security matters and then examine how these powers apply in various contexts. Homeland security law will also be addressed in this course, including how homeland security law applies in disasters.
Natural Resources Law
#315 - 3 credits
This course surveys the major federal statutory programs and state law regimes governing property rights in natural resources on both public and private lands. Topics covered include Wildlife and Biodiversity, Rangelands, Protected Lands, Wetlands, Hard Rock Minerals and Forests. In particular, the course compares various approaches to federal resource management, including the cross boundary regulation of endangered species and wetlands, the multiple-use mandates of Bureau of Land Management lands, and the notion that nature can be preserved by setting it aside in wilderness areas and national parks. The course also addresses state responsibilities for natural resources management (focusing on the public trust doctrine) and issues raised by regulation of natural resources on private lands (focusing on constitutional takings doctrine). A persistent theme is the question of development vs. preservation. Grading is based on class participation, and a paper on a topic assigned to all students. There is no exam.
Oil & Gas Law
#217 - 3 credits
This course takes a comprehensive approach to oil and gas law across the United States and North Dakota in particular. Oil and Gas law draws deeply on Property and Contract law principles relating to the determination of rights and obligations in oil and gas resources. Students will learn the law governing ownership, development, conservation, marketing, and transfer of interests in oil and gas. The class will explore various kinds of property interests typically created in oil and gas resources, including a landowner's interest, the creation of mineral leases, the rights, and duties between lessor and lessee, etc. Students will also be introduced to the contractual and legal issues for natural gas production and midstream supply considerations for upstream producers.
#300 - 3 credits
This course is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in criminal law. This course will familiarize students with procedure in the criminal justice system that takes place after a criminal trial or a guilty plea. It will cover appeals in state and federal court, postconviction motions and petitions in state court, and motions for new trial and petitions for writ of habeas corpus in federal court. While students interested in pursuing a career in criminal law should find this course very useful, this course will not focus on subjects tested on the bar exam.
#228 - 2 credits
This course examines the intersection of law and poverty in the US with any eye towards what legal remedies exist to confront poverty in this country, what legal issues contribute to poverty, and how our legal system serves as an agent of change for the impoverished. The class examines how the constitution treats the poor, what federal entitlement programs exist to address poverty, and the factors contributing to poverty that are amenable to legal challenges such as education, healthcare, and consumer laws. The student will either write a comprehensive final exam or complete a paper on a topic approved of by the instructor.
Pretrial Practice (civil)
#410 - 3 credits
The majority of civil litigation is not resolved at the trial level, but instead at the pre-trial level. Competent pre-trial preparation is the key to a successful civil litigation practice. The course will familiarize the student with pre-trial practices and procedures through a combination of lectures, guest lectures, reading assignments and pre-trial activities in a mock civil case. Students will become familiar with the relevant Rules of Civil Procedure and other pre-trial techniques, including client interviewing and counseling, witness interviewing, informal discovery techniques, litigation planning, expert development and discovery, pleadings, interrogatories, depositions, requests for production of documents and things, requests for admission, pre-trial motion practice, settlement strategies, settlement brochures, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences, and settlement agreements. The class emphasis will be pre-trial skills development in a mock civil case.
Pretrial Practice (criminal)
#411 - 3 credits
This course will explore the critical pretrial processes in a criminal case from initiation to resolution by plea agreement/sentencing. Students will gain a broader understanding of effective methods both prosecution and defense can use to reach more favorable results for their clients short of trial. From initial review of case file materials, exercise of follow-up investigation, and making of charging decisions to the actual drafting of a criminal Complaint and Affidavit, this course will outline the considerations of charging crimes responsibly and accurately. From a defense perspective, the course will identify viable discovery and evidentiary challenges with subsequent drafting of the appropriate motions/responses. Finally, students will produce written plea agreements and sentencing memorandums to bring the case to a natural conclusion and focus on written advocacy at all stages of the pretrial process.
#258 - 3 credits (Final Exam & Group Project/Presentation)
This course examines the law of information privacy, an individual’s right to control their personal information held by others. The aim of the course is to understand how courts and Congress seek to protect information privacy as new technologies and institutional practices emerge. The course traces the origins of the right to information privacy in American law through constitutional law, tort law, and modern statutory law. Case studies of landmark privacy legislation illustrate how expectations of privacy are translated into legal frameworks. The course looks at recent controversies involving cell phone tracking, drones, social media monitoring, and internet connected devices. The course also considers the impact of the European privacy directive, the growth of the Internet, and the availability of cryptography and other Privacy Enhancing Technologies on the future of privacy law in the United States.
#232 - 3 credits
In this required upper-level course, students will study the law that governs lawyers and the legal profession. The course will focus on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and selected provisions of the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, and devote attention to lawyers’ civil liability for malpractice, the bar admissions process, and the functioning of the lawyer discipline system. Our class discussions will analyze the various kinds of ethical decisions lawyers confront in their practices, and how the law governing lawyers impacts those decisions. We will also consider the roles of lawyers in our society and the ethical and moral dimensions of those roles.
Race & Justice
#270 - 2 credits
Race and Justice is an examination of what role race plays in the administration of justice in the United States starting with an analysis of how race was used as a legal construct to elevate the legal standing of certain persons over others based upon race and then how racial disparities continue to exist in our criminal and civil legal systems as a by-product of that era. The course focuses heavily on race in the criminal justice system by examining the impact of the War on Drugs on persons of color and the interaction between the police and people of color. The course offers the option of a final exam or a comprehensive paper on a topic to be approved by the instructor.
#209 - 3 credits
Parties seek legal advice and litigate for a reason. In the end, they expect to receive something—money, injunctive relief, or both. Knowing how to achieve a successful outcome to a legal problem is a critical skill for any good attorney. This course examines the nature of legal and equitable remedies available to parties under various substantive rights. It builds on core concepts from contracts, torts, property, and civil procedure to offer a new, integrated perspective to the law by blending theory and practice. We will study the key principles of remedies, including compensation and punitive damages; equitable remedies, including injunctions and contempt powers; restitution and unjust enrichment; declaratory judgments; and equitable defenses.
Remote Sensing Law and Policy
(Law #352 / SPST 575)
This course focuses on the evolving laws, policies, and institutions that have long-term ramifications for earth observations. Some topics addressed are the United Nations Principles on Remote Sensing, the U.S. Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992, the commercialization of remote sensing activities, as well as manned and unmanned aerial remote sensing systems and their intersection with criminal and civil law. The course will also analyze current and developing remote sensing law, regulations, and technological capabilities, and their implications for both legal and cultural conceptualizations of privacy. At the U.S. domestic level, this will involve 4th Amendment jurisprudence, privacy laws, and case law.
Sales (UCC 2)
#214 - 3 credits
This course covers a variety of law relating to commercial transactions involving sales, leases, and licensing. The course is largely about statutory contract law concerning sales of goods as found in Article 2 (Sales) of the Uniform Commercial Code. This includes the requirements for a valid contract, how the terms of a contract will be interpreted, what constitutes breach of contract, what constitutes breach of warranty, and what remedies may be had. In addition, the course will consider fraud and other tort law relevant to sales transactions, federal law concerning warranties, UCC Article 2A regarding leases of goods, and licensing of intellectual property. Key emphases are on problem solving and navigating statutes.
#223 - 2 credits
This course is a study of the law that defines the relationship between different types of creditors and debtors. It will provide an understanding of the rights and obligations accompanying security interests in personal property as well as of other transactions which fall within the scope of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. This course contains content that will assist you in your preparation for the bar exam.
Social Justice Lawyering: Legal Writing, Skills, and Values
#325 - 3 credits
(Qualifies as a 2L Intensive Writing Requirement Course)
Social Justice Lawyering focuses on the wide array of lawyering skills necessary for practice in the 21st century, including critical analysis and problem solving, team lawyering, and cross-cultural competency. The course challenges students to grapple with law as a social construct and its impact on historically marginalized groups in society. The course combines traditional legal research and writing curriculum using simulation-based writing assignments with real-life work on a social justice service project for a community non-profit organization or agency. The course is designed to be introspective, interactive, and applied. The purpose of the service project is to encourage students to become engaged in broader social justice communities and proactive in pursuing paid or pro bono work that focuses on social justice after graduation from law school. In addition, the course introduces students to lawyering skills including client interviewing and counseling, fact development, and negotiation. And finally, the course incorporates discussions of professional identity, professionalism, and the values of cultural competence and reflection.
Law 351/SPST 565
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to the field of Law as applied to Space Law. The course examines the origins and evolution of the laws of outer space from the beginnings of the space age to the present. International laws governing access and use of space, and national laws regulating governmental and commercial activities in space are reviewed and analyzed.
#229 - 2 credits
This course focuses on the process and principles of drafting transactional (i.e., non-litigation) documents. Upper-level law students will learn about drafting and reviewing contracts that could be used in a variety of contexts. We will examine basic concepts of contract drafting and then expand on those concepts to draft, review, revise, and negotiate contracts. Students will learn the general components of drafting contracts and develop skills necessary for writing and organizing contracts.
#247 – 2 credits
A legal career – either transactional, corporate, or courtroom bases- often requires you to negotiate on behalf of your client. Excellent negotiators learn to forge long-term collaborations between both parties with an ability to create value for both sides. It is also important that you learn to identify potential risk within deal proposals to ensure that the deal structure doesn’t create additional future issues. This course will help you hone negotiation skills through hands-on simulations. Even if you are already a skilled negotiator, we will be able to add to your current skill set.
#297 - 3 credits
This course develops trial skills through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and simulations. Students participate weekly as attorneys, witnesses, or jurors in mock trial situations. Subjects of study include trial and witness preparation, direct and cross examination, objections, foundations, opening statements, closing arguments, visual aids, impeachment, experts, problem witnesses, damages, and jury selection. The small size of the sections permits individualized instruction, and allows for each student to try a full-simulated jury trial near the end of the semester. Evidence is a prerequisite for this course. However, because the course is taught in the Fall, contemporaneous enrollment will suffice.
Tribal Economic Development
#279 – 2 credits
This course provides instruction on the intersection of federal and tribal laws that impact the planning, development and implementation of new businesses or the enhancement of existing businesses in tribal communities. Course instruction also pertains to the many statutory and common laws that may apply to businesses and professionals entering into business relationships with tribal governments and tribal businesses. This course will include application of the laws discussed.
#278 - 2 credits
This course involves an examination of how Indian tribes legislate the law and adjudicate disputes that evolve in tribal communities. Instead of focusing on the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes this course undertakes an analysis of how Indian tribes promulgate and enforce the law and how they interact with each other and state governments. Students will be given the option of writing a paper on a topic impacting this area or writing a judicial decision in an actual case in a tribal court utilizing the principles learned in the class.
Trusts and Estates
#230 - 4 credits
The general public assumes that all lawyers can do two things: try a case and write a will. Most lawyers can do neither. This course is designed to remedy that situation in part by introducing students to the basics of estate planning and administration. The course will cover: the law of intestate succession; statutory family protection schemes; restrictions on testation; the role, preparation, and construction of wills; the uses, creation, construction, and termination of trusts; rudimentary tax considerations in the estate planning process; the use of future interests; the mechanics of estate administration (including an examination of alternatives to probate); the role and responsibilities of fiduciaries; the role of the estate attorney.
(Law #351 / SPST 565)
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to the field of Law as applied to Space Law. The course examines the origins and evolution of the laws of outer space from the beginnings of the space age to the present. International laws governing access and use of space, and national laws regulating governmental and commercial activities in space are reviewed and analyzed.
White Collar Crime
This 3-credit course will cover what is traditionally called ‘white collar crime,’ which includes corporate and individual liability, mail/wire fraud, honest services fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, bribery, and other crimes. This course will also hope to introduce students to the structures of various business concepts relevant to North Dakota and similar states, such as corporations, Private Placement Memoranda, and agriculture. This course is great for anyone who wants to practice criminal law, but it will also be useful for anyone interested in business law, corporate law, investment law, and agricultural law.
Course listing last updated November 15, 2021