Elective Courses - Master's Program

Elective Courses - Master's Program

Our Northern California law school offers a number of elective courses for you to choose from.

In order to provide the best Master's of Legal Studies program possible to students, Empire College has built an impressive curriculum of electives that help students pair their studies with their current profession or explore other areas of interest.

Our elective course list has notable entries including Employment Discrimination Law, which introduces students to federal and state employment laws, and Intellectual Property Law, which introduces students to a recent resurgence of issues involving digital copying and fair use standards.

LAW R501 Advanced Legal Writing (2 units)
Students will learn how to write briefs and legal memoranda that get to the heart of the issues. They will learn to develop a clear, concise English prose style that they will apply to writing about legal subjects. Students will focus on substantive analysis of legal problems, grammar, and organization, with a goal of making themselves understood the first time.

LAW E502 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Survey (2 units)
The purpose of this course is to give students an understanding of various dispute resolution processes which have come to be described under the umbrella term “alternative dispute resolution.” Primary emphasis is on arbitration and mediation techniques in the context of those fields most familiar to practicing lawyers. Comparisons are made to standard civil litigation methods as a way to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each process, much as a lawyer would want to do in advising a client. As time permits, consideration is also given to the general question of the role of the law in shaping and promoting these dispute resolution techniques.

LAW E503 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (2 units)
This course will cover Title I (employment), Title II (State and Local Government Services), Title III (Public Accommodations), Title IV (Telecommunications) and Title V (Miscellaneous) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as its relationship with California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

LAW E506 Bankruptcy/Debtor-Creditor Law (2 units)
Rights and duties of consumer credit grantors and consumer debtors; fair credit reporting; fair debt collection practices and consumer remedies. Creation, scope and administrative function of federal debtor proceedings and arrangements; wage earner plans; insolvency proceedings.

LAW 800A/B Business Organizations (6 units)
Formation; pre-incorporation activities; de facto corporations; ultra vires acts; role, authority and meetings of officers, directors and shareholders; standard of care; proxy solicitations; close corporations; fiduciary relations; shareholder litigation; capitalization; dividend distributions; fundamental changes; partnerships and agency.

LAW 600A/B Civil Procedure (6 units)
Jurisdiction – traditional and modern concepts. Federal and State subject matter jurisdiction; judgments; res judicata and collateral estoppel; forms of action, demurrer, answer, cross-actions, amendment of pleadings, joinder of actions and parties, venue of actions, process, motions, civil discovery, trial procedure, dismissals, non-suit, directed verdict.

LAW R502 Community Property (3 units)
Historical development of community property law; jurisdictional issues; classification of marital property, community or separate; valuation of community property including business and goodwill; management of marital property; liability for marital and individual debts; division of community property on dissolution or death; problems posed by unmarried, cohabiting couples.

LAW R503 Criminal Procedure (2 units)
Arrest through Appellate Proceeding, including bail, arraignment, preliminary motions, discovery, and trial procedure. Recent Supreme Court decisions on right to counsel, freedom from prejudicial publicity, fair trial, and other constitutional guarantees.

LAW E511 Discovery Workshop (3 units)
Most litigators spend the majority of their time engaging in discovery. This semester-long workshop not only discusses strategic considerations and discovery tactics, but involves a great deal of hands-on experience. Students will be conducting discovery in a mock lawsuit, which will include taking depositions in the presence of court reporters.

LAW E512 Elder Law (2 units)
This course takes an in-depth look at what may well be one of the most hotly debated issues facing our country today – the providing of opportunities, benefits, and care for an ever-increasing aging population. The course will examine such diverse programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and The Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Senior housing, long-term care, elder abuse and neglect, conservatorships, powers of attorney, right to die laws, and estate planning for elderly clients will also be studied as part of the course.

LAW E515 Employment Law (3 units)
This course surveys employment law from its inception in English common law through the most recent developments in “at-will” employment and discrimination. State case law and portions of the Labor Code will also be addressed.

LAW E544 Employment Discrimination Law (3 units)
This course reviews state and federal laws and cases in employment discrimination and their interaction. Administrative issues concerning the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing will also be addressed.

LAW E516 Environmental Law (2-3 units)
A survey of legal principles and policies relating to protection and enhancement of the physical environment. Particular attention will be given to common law doctrines and public rights and remedies; federal and state control programs for the field of air pollution, water pollution, noise, solid waste management, fish and wildlife resources; planning for federal, state and local administrative agencies.

LAW 601A/B Evidence (6 units)
Problems in relevancy; circumstantial evidence, including habit, custom, compromises, and character evidence; witnesses, including competency privilege, examination, impeachment and rehabilitation; opinion evidence; Constitutional considerations and exclusionary rules; hearsay evidence and the exceptions to its exclusion; authenticity of writings; the “best evidence” rule, burden and proof and presumptions.

LAW E518 Family Law (2 units)
Practical and theoretical problems affecting the family: marriage, divorce, adoption, legitimacy, child custody, and parental obligations and rights.

LAW E519 Federal Indian Law (3 units)
The course is designed to introduce students to the principal doctrines and rules governing the legal and political relationships between American Indian tribes and the United States Government.

LAW E520 First Amendment and Religion in Public Schools (3 units)
This course will focus on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and how it affects religion in public schools. We will examine various theories and approaches to applying the Establishment Clause, including cases involving religious displays on public property, school vouchers, and school prayer. Special emphasis will be on the creationism-vs.-evolution debate in public school science curricula, from the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial” to the 2005 Kitzmiller “Panda Trial” and beyond.

LAW E523 Immigration Law (2 units)
Discussion of federal power, constitutional rights and issues, plenary power, the foundation cases, due process, and ethics. Consideration of visas, work permits, affidavits of support, court proceedings, asylum, refugees, and more.

LAW E525 Insurance Law (3 units)
A survey of the basic legal aspects of insurance law, including principles of insurable interests, problems of contract formation and interpretation and application for standard policy provisions in various types of coverage. Attention is also given to principles of indemnity, subrogation, and determination and control of the risk transferred from insured to carrier.

LAW E526 Intellectual Property Law (3 units)
Course includes an overview of the intellectual property field including patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition, trade secrets, employer-employee relationships, the transfer of intellectual property rights, and the general application of anti-trust and misuse doctrines to such rights.

LAW E528 Law Office Management (2 units)
This class discusses the financial and administrative aspects of owning and operating a law practice. Students learn to use computer programs for calendaring, docketing, client billing, litigation support, and document preparation.

LAW 503 Law Study and Exams (1 unit)
An orientation to the study of law school examinations consisting of exam writing and a self-evaluation with an assessment of law study techniques for the effective study of law.

LAW R504 Moot Court (2 units)
Students research, write, and argue a brief before a mock appellate court. The course emphasizes effective research and writing techniques and introduces the student to making oral arguments in court.

LAW R505 Professional Responsibility (2 units)
Application of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and relevant case materials; examination of disciplinary system; relationship between disciplinary and legal malpractice liability; duties of attorneys with respect to clients, the courts, opposing parties and the public; problems arising from conflicts of interest. 

LAW 602A/B Real Property (6 units)
The law of real property; historical back-ground; common law estates and interests; statute of uses and modern conveyancing; concurrent ownership; landlord and tenant; deeds and delivery; boundaries; recording acts and title search; contract for sale of land; easements, servitudes and other land use restrictions; adverse possession; landowners; rights, including air, water, mineral and lateral and subjacent support.

LAW 801A/B Remedies (5 units)
General scope of remedies; principles governing general use of equitable remedies; general scope of interpleader, declaratory relief (and related remedies), constructive trusts, and equitable liens; principles governing use of and defenses to specific performance and injunctions; equitable conversion; technical aspects of injunctions; damages.

LAW E536 Sexual Orientation and the Law (2 units)
This course will examine some of the rapidly evolving legal issues specifically affecting the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, particularly in California. Substantive issues to be covered include employment discrimination and sexual harassment; discrimination against transgendered and gender non-conforming people; parenting issues; recognition of lesbian and gay relationships, including marriage, civil union, and domestic partnerships; freedom of speech and association; homophobia in schools; and immigration and asylum issues for LGBT people. We will examine these issues with a particular focus on constitutional doctrines, particularly equal protection and due process/privacy, utilizing case law, legal theory, news articles, and film to better understand how the law has developed, the current legal framework, and the practical impact this framework has on those governed by it.

LAW E538 Social Media and Internet Law (2 units)
We will explore how legal principles of privacy, copyright, property, licenses and defamation apply to social media and use of the internet. The first few weeks will be lecture and case study to lay the groundwork for the legal principles. The remainder of the class, students will pick topics to research, write and publish blog posts and create video presentations on the topics. We will use Google+ to publish the class content, and use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to explore legal issues and questions. Students will be graded on their blog posts, presentations and a short position paper.

LAW E541 Trial Practice (3 units)
The course considers litigation problems – practical, legal and ethical – that confront a trial lawyer. Emphasis is given to techniques of client interviewing and investigation, both informal and by use of statutory discovery procedures and pleading. The student gains classroom experience in trial procedures from voir dire examination, opening statements, direct and cross examination through final argument.

LAW 701A Wills and Trusts (3 units)
Covers intestacy; execution; integration; republication; incorporation by reference, independent significance; revocation and revival; will contracts; testamentary capacity; lapse, ademption; satisfaction; will contests; will substitutes; nature and classification of trusts; elements of a trust, creation of inter vivos and testamentary trusts; revocable and irrevocable trusts; insurance trusts; nature of the beneficiary’s interest, including restraints on alienation and principles regarding transferability; modification and termination of trusts; charitable trusts, fiduciary administration, including qualification, duties, standards and liabilities of fiduciary; management, investment and accounting by fiduciary; powers of appointment.

To see a complete list of our law courses with descriptions, please click here. By doing so, you will open a PDF file of our course descriptions. It will open in a new window.