Course and Seminar Descriptions

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Updated Course Descriptions

Mizzou Law course descriptions are only updated once a year on the University Registrar’s website. Please note, some courses may change before the next course catalog update. The new descriptions will be listed below.

Fall 2021: Advanced Legal Writing – Prof. Gary Myers

This class will build on the foundation formed in the first-year legal writing classes but will not repeat the content of those courses. The focus will be on researching, writing, and revising a variety of legal documents that lawyers frequently encounter in law practice. The documents you will draft will include: a contract, a will, a demand letter, a trial motion/brief, and a final writing project which will be either (1) a Supreme Court brief/argument or (2) optionally, a complex business licensing negotiation/agreement (if sufficient students are interested in this latter option). The exact course requirements are subject to change based on enrollment and student interest.

Fall 2021: Law 5450 – Conflict and Conflict Management – Prof. Christina Wells

This course examines various aspects of conflict. It helps students diagnose a conflict, learn basic conflict strategies and tactics, how conflicts escalate, sources and uses of power, and various management strategies including de-escalation, problem-solving, third-party interventions, and how to deal with the public and the press in highly-publicized conflicts. It will be taught partly asynchronously and partly via Zoom. It will generally meet only once a week on Wednesday.  However, when we have out of class simulations – of which there are at least 3 – we may use both Monday and Wednesday classes in order to conduct those. At other times, there will be other assigned activities related to various conflict concepts that students will do in lieu of the Monday class. We will often spend Wednesdays discussing these activities. We also use Wednesdays to do various exercises that illustrate the readings and/or break down the simulations we did out of class. (Note: Law 6932, which has the same name, is open only to LLM students, not to J.D. students.)

Fall 2021: Law 5585 – Federal Courts – Prof. Erika Lietzan
This course considers the structure and powers of the federal courts and their relationship to the political branches and to state courts.  Topics covered may include justiciability, congressional authority to define and limit federal court jurisdiction, federal common law and implied rights of action, the application of state law in federal court, abstention, civil rights actions and immunities of state officials and governments, and habeas corpus.  The course focuses on structural constitutional considerations relating to separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government as well as the federalism relationship between the federal government and state governments. Pre-requisite or co-requisite: Constitutional Law.

Spring 2022: Law and Society – Prof. S. David Mitchell

Law is a common and yet distinct element of daily life in modern societies, and not only shapes society but is also shaped by society.  The creation, interpretation, and enforcement of laws occur in the context of historical changes, societal norms, and the subjective concerns and whims of those charged with its creation. Utilizing an interdisciplinary perspective, the Law and Society course will explore the nature of law as a set of social systems, central actors in the systems, legal reasoning, and the relationship of the legal form and reasoning to social change.  By the end of the course, students should be better able to evaluate law and legal institutions, especially in relation to equality, justice, and fairness, and understand how law is involved in the processes of social control, social conflict, and social change.

Spring 2022: FDA Law and Policy – Prof. Erika Lietzan

The Food and Drug Administration regulates roughly one quarter of the consumer economy in the United States. This course will introduce students to the basic principles of federal food and drug law, examining how significant doctrines of other bodies of law (such as constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, tort law, antitrust law, and intellectual property law) have been elaborated and applied in this highly regulated setting. We will focus largely on medical products (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices) and nutritional supplements (a kind of “food”) but from year to year there may also be units considering regulation of conventional food, cosmetics, tobacco products, and other categories of product regulated by FDA. We will explore the complex intersection of legal, ethical, policy, scientific, and political considerations that underlie FDA’s regulatory authority, its policymaking, and its enforcement activity. Students will be assessed on the basis of class participation (which will weigh heavily) and a substantial writing project that involves research on a food and drug issue selected by the student (and approved by the professor). The course will be helpful preparation for students on a variety of career paths whose work may at some point involve clients, or opposing parties, regulated by FDA.

Curriculum Pathways

At Mizzou Law, you can customize your law school experience by selecting a curriculum “pathway” that focuses on an area of law that interests you personally. Doing so can provide you with deeper knowledge of the area and a broader set of relevant skills, as well as relationships with faculty knowledgeable in the field, who may serve as mentors along the way.

The faculty of Mizzou Law has created sixteen pathways for your consideration. Choosing a pathway is not mandatory (and will not be reflected in your transcript). But these pathways are here to help you shape your law school experience.

No pathway is set in stone, of course. Your interests may evolve while you’re in law school, or even later. The pathways we have designed can help you explore different areas, and you may decide to combine courses from different pathways to create your own path to practice.

We offer these pathways:

In some cases, it may be possible to earn a joint degree.

For each pathway, the faculty have listed both foundational courses and recommended courses. The recommended courses may include clinics, practicums, study abroad programs, or participation in one of the school’s specialized law journals. While the Law School may not offer every course every year, you can consult the registrar to determine how often each course is offered. And if a course of interest is not offered when you need it, you may be able to arrange an independent study with a faculty member.

Feel free to reach out to any professor – especially the ones listed for each pathway – to discuss your course selections and career options.