Legal Internship

POLI 438, 401 Spring 2012

 

Instructor:            Dr. Jeffrey Davis, Associate Professor

Office:                  PUP 316

Phone:                 410.455.2181

Email:                   davisj@umbc.edu

Office Hours:         T 11:00 - 3:00 and by appointment

 

To download a PDF copy of this syllabus click here.

 

Introduction and Objective

The purposes of this course are to complement your internship fieldwork and to examine the role of the legal profession in society.  In addition, we will develop and improve our legal reasoning and advocacy skills.

 

Grades

Your final grade will be based on the following formula:

 

Assignment

POLI 438

POLI 401

Due

Memo

15%

 

02/21

Argument

20%

 

05/08

Field Work

20%

80%

 

Paper/Brief

35%

20%

05/01

Class Participation

10%

 

 

 

Memo Assignment:  Each student will be required to research and write a 3 page legal memorandum answering a legal question.  The assignment will be distributed on the course website.  Students will turn in their memos on Feb. 21.  You will have two weeks to revise the memo after it is returned to you with my comments.  You will be graded on the final version of the memo.

 

Paper Assigment: Students must write a 9-11 page legal brief arguing their case in the moot court assignment.  The assignment and rules will be available from the course website. 

 

These assignments are designed to meet UMBC’s Writing Intensive criteria:

 

Argument Assignment:  In addition, all students must prepare a moot court argument.  Details on this assignment is available on the course web site.  

 

Class participation: You will be graded on attendance in class and the quality of class contribution.  You are required to read current news stories and cases posted on the website and be prepared to discuss them in class.

 

If a student deviates from UMBC’s policies on academic honesty, he or she may receive a failing grade for the assignment, or for the course. 

Please see:   http://www.umbc.edu/integrity/students.html.

Papers and memos must be turned in via Turnitin.com.

 

Below is a tentative course plan.  I reserve the right to amend the course plan at any time but I will do my best to provide you with adequate notice of any material changes.


 

Course Plan

 

Date

Topic

Readings

01/31

Intro to Legal Research & Writing

Memo Assignment Distributed

 

02/07

Legal Reasoning, Research & Writing

Precedent and Reasoning (PDF)

 

How to Write A Memorandum: From a Curmudgeon (PDF).

02/14

Legal Reasoning, Research & Writing

Precedent and Reasoning 2 (PDF)

 

 

02/21

Representation

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

 

Rompilla v. Beard (2005) (Web)

 

“Defendants Squeezed by Georgia’s Tight Budget,”

By Adam Liptak


Memos Due

 

02/28

NO CLASS

Attend: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Supreme Court Argument (Optional)

 

Guide to Visiting the Supreme Court

 

Readings are mandatory:

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum: Another Round in the Fight Over Corporate Liability Under the Alien Tort Statute”

By Chimène I. Keitner

 

“Supreme Court To Rule On Corporate Personhood For Crimes Against Humanity,” by Mike Sacks (HuffPost)

 

03/06

Legal Education – Reality Check

“One L,” by Scott Turow (Excerpt PDF)

 

Is Law School a Losing Game?” By David Segal

 

03/13

Legal Education – Pitfalls to Avoid

“Does Legal Education have Undermining Effects on Law Students?”  by Kennon M. Sheldon and

Lawrence S. Krieger.

 

In Law Schools, Grades Go Up, Just Like That,”

By Catherine Rampell

 

03/20

SPRING BREAK

 

03/27

The Profession

The Bar (PDF)

 

Mallard v. US District Court (1989)

 

DOL v. Triplett (1990)

 

04/03

NO CLASS

Watch: A Civil Action (Film)

 

04/10

The Profession

The Good That Lawyers Do, by Kathleen M. Sullivan

 

Equal Justice, by Deborah L. Rhode

 

In Pursuit of the Public Good, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg  

 

04/17

The Reach of the Law

Filartiga v. Pena-Irala (1980) 

 

Human Rights Entrepreneurs (2008)

 

04/24

The Reach of the Law

Mujica v. Occidental (2005)

 

El Masri v. Tenet (2007)

 

“The Torture Lawyers,” NYT (2009)

 

05/01

Oral Advocacy

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Oral Argument

 

First Argument 1, by Walter Dellinger

 

First Argument 2, by J. Thomas Sullivan

 

05/08

Arguments