Seminar Courses

Seminars involving in-depth analyses of many legal issues and topics are offered every semester. The content of these seminars varies from year to year as matters of current interest shift in the fields of law from which the topics are drawn. Faculty offering seminars usually post detailed descriptions well in advance of registration for the semester in which the seminar will occur. Most seminars require a substantial research paper that will satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing Requirement. Students should check with the faculty member teaching the seminar for specific information. Some seminars are offered only occasionally. The course descriptions below are for regularly offered seminars (those expected to be offered at least once in every two year period).

Seminar in American Legal History (2 cr.) D/N 850 At the option of the instructor, this class will provide a survey of American legal history, or as an alternative, will explore a selected American legal history period or subject. Topics might include, but are not limited to, criminal justice, family law, Indiana legal history, legal profession, and legal theory.

Seminar in Business and Estate Planning (2 cr.) D/N 854 This seminar provides an analysis of individuals' methods for disposing of wealth, using the laws of trusts, estates, future interests, and taxes. Topics include marital deductions, life insurance, powers of appointment, arrangements for minor or other incapacitated children, charitable gifts and devises, qualified retirement plans, non-qualified retirement plans, passive activities, disposing of stock in closely held corporations, estate freezes, and generation-skipping tax transfers. Generally, each student will be required to prepare an estate plan based on statements of facts distributed by the instructor. P: Income Taxation (DN648); Trusts and Estates (DN722); Taxation of Transferors, Fiduciaries, and Beneficiaries (DN725); or permission of instructor.


Seminar in Comparative National Security Law (2 cr.) D/N 895 This course examines anti-terrorism laws in their political, social and historical context. The course readings will be interdisciplinary in nature and will include background materials on the origins and causes of terrorism, global terrorism networks, and terrorism case studies. The course will investigate the relationship between socio-political factors and the content of anti-terrorism legislation in a number of countries. Students will be asked to weigh the effectiveness of current legislation in preventing and punishing terrorism, as well as how that legislation affects human and civil rights. The specific topics covered will include legal aspects of intelligence gathering, border security, detention and interrogation, and the use of military tribunals vs. ordinary courts. The course readings will be drawn from a variety of disciplines and political perspectives.

Seminar in Cybercrime (2 cr.) D/N 789 This seminar explores the legal and policy issues judges, legislators, prosecutors and defense counsel confront as they respond to the recent explosion in computer-related crime. In particular, we will consider how conduct in cyberspace challenges traditional approaches to the investigation, prosecution and defense of criminal conduct in physical space. Topics include: the law of privacy, electronic surveillance and the Fourth Amendment in cyberspace, computer hacking, computer viruses, worms and Trojan horses, defining what cyber conduct should be criminalized and identifying appropriate sanctions, data hiding and encryption, online economic espionage and intellectual property protection, cyberterrorism, and civil liberties online.

Seminar in Education Law (2 cr.) D/N 856 Selected legal topics related to current education policy are covered with an emphasis on constitutional (federal and state) issues.

Seminar in Illicit International Markets (2 cr.) D/N 755 will examine the international trade in goods, products, and services (for example, trafficking in human beings, drugs, and money laundering) which have been deemed illicit by societies. We will discuss international coordination of response to such markets -- the choice of eradication, regulation, or suppression methodologies, i.e., legal responses to such markets. In particular, our focus will be the impact of laws, regulations, and other suppression attempts on the specific market and on those societies most affected (with attendant implications for human rights and criminal law), and on whether the regulatory goals have been achieved. The human rights and civil society impact of criminalization will also be examined. Other markets suitable for study include art and national patrimony, and human body parts.

Seminar in International Legal Transactions (2 cr.) D/N 820 Selected problems in international law and international legal transactions are addressed. The focus is on issues representing a convergence of public and private international law, with critical analysis of international law principles and practice. This is a problem-solving course, in which students are expected to participate actively. Problems in the course may cover a range of private and public international law topics, including international trade, treaty compliance, the United Nations system, environmental concerns, use of force, international investment, and mechanisms for dispute settlement.

Seminar in Judicial Selection (2 cr.) D/N 744 This seminar explores the various methods for selecting judges throughout the United States, including lifetime appointments in the federal system, partisan and non-partisan elections in state courts, and the various iterations of merit selection. The course also addresses the interplay of selection and retention methods on judicial independence.

Seminar in Law and Medicine (2 cr.) D/N 841 This seminar covers selected issues in law and medicine.

Seminar in Law and Religion (2 or 3 cr.) D/N 890 This seminar analyzes current issues at the intersection of law and religion, including topics such as civil disobedience, conscientious objection, Sunday Blue Laws, religion and education, tax exemption of church property, religion and family law, censorship, and religion and public morality.


Seminar in Law and Technology (2 or 3 cr.) D/N 778 This seminar explores many aspects of the complex interrelationships between law and technology. In addition to examining the law specifically applicable to computers and other technological developments, the seminar may focus on themes and trends, such as the causal relationship between technological evolution and change in the law. This seminar can focus on a wide variety of possible themes and topics depending upon the interest and background of the instructor and students.

Seminar in Property Rights (2 cr.) D/N 639 The fundamental concepts and institutions of property are explored in this seminar. The first half (or so) of the semester will be spent discussing readings relating to: definitions, philosophical justifications, and sources of property; various systems of property; theories of intellectual property; property rights and the natural environment; and property regime conflicts. The remaining weeks of the semester will feature student presentations of research into specific issues in the theory of property. Those presentations will lead to papers on which final grades will, in large measure, be based.

Seminar in Public Utilities Regulation (2 cr.) D/N 858 Concepts of state and federal utility regulation are addressed in this seminar. It also considers current regulatory problems, such as restriction of entry, market requirements, mergers and market structures, and rate making practices and procedures.

Seminar in Selected Topics in Constitutional Law (2 cr.) D/N 840 Provides in-depth consideration of selected aspects of constitutional powers, structure, processes or individual liberties. (May be taught as a non-seminar course). In Fall 2014 the course will explore the First Amendment rights of lawyers in the face of regulations that constrain attorney speech and association both in and out of court proceedings. Various approaches to and theories of First Amendment protection for lawyers will be examined, including in contexts such as lawyer regulations regarding association with particular clients, pretrial publicity, confidentiality, advising clients, asserting client rights, criticism of the judiciary, campaign speech, courtroom speech, civility, and advertising.