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This seminar will provide critical analysis of child welfare policy, law and practice related to abused and neglected children. The course will also include analysis of other disciplines that work with abused and neglected children, through participation of faculty members of related Penn State Units, such as psychology, human development and medicine. The course will review the role of federal, state and local agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations in addressing the needs of abused and neglected children and their families. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of social welfare policies which address child abuse and neglect in a historical and cultural context. Students will develop an understanding of how policy is formulated. There will be an emphasis on critical thinking and analysis of policy processes, policy implementation, and impacts on diverse populations.
SEMNR 902: Russian Law Seminar
Russian Law Seminar
This seminar is concerned with the development of the law, legal system, and legal institutions of what is popularly known as Russia but also correctly and officially known as the Russian Federation within the boundaries presently occupied and, historically, within the boundaries of the Russian Empire. By ¿law¿ we mean formal legislation, customary rules, relevant international legal rules, legal doctrine, and anything else regarded by the Russian State or by Russian jurists as comprising part of the ¿law.¿ For our purposes ¿legal institutions¿ encompasses all law enforcement agencies or any other agencies of the State or empowered by the state which are concerned with the law in any manner whatsoever, including educational institutions.
SEMNR 903: Congressional Investigations Seminar
Congressional Investigations Seminar
This seminar will examine the law and procedures governing congressional investigations through a series of case studies. Case study topics will include the Teapot Dome scandal, the 1929 stock market crash Pecora hearings, the House Un-American Activities and Senate McCarthy committees, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Whitewater, as well as an examination of special investigative commissions which will include the Roberts Commission's investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Warren Commission's investigation of President Kennedy's assassination, and the 9-11 Commission's investigation of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. These case studies will be the vehicles for studying the substantive law and legal procedures that govern the conduct of congressional investigations, including congressional subpoena power and its limits, privileges available to witnesses, testimonial immunity grants, assertions of executive privilege, contempt sanctions, perjury and false statements sanctions, and the role of counsel in congressional investigations. In addition to making a case study presentation, students will write a seminar paper on a legal topic relating to congressional investigations and will make an in-class presentation on their seminar paper topic.
SEMNR 904: Globalization & the Legal Profession Seminar
Globalization & the Legal Profession Seminar
This seminar examines globalization's impact on the legal profession. It begins by exploring the cross border legal practice phenomenon. It then introduces students to the similarities and differences among U.S. lawyers and lawyers elsewhere. Students will learn about developments outside the U.S. that already have or that may affect the U.S. policy and the U.S. legal profession. By the end of the course, students will be prepared to participate in policy discussions regarding the regulation of cross border legal practice. They will also have acquired tools that are useful when encountering their own cross border legal practice issues.
SEMNR 906: Electronic Evidence Seminar
Electronic Evidence Seminar
The seminar will cover the case law, procedural rules, evidence rules, and rules of professional conduct implicated by the unique attributes of information created and/or stored electronically, as well as the filing and courtroom presentation of documents in electronic format. There are three components to the course. The first part concerns the discovery of ESI, and covers the nature, sources, and terminology of ESI; the different formats of ESI and the implications for preservation and production of ESI attributable to the different formats; the evolution of the rules and case law regarding discovery of ESI; and the obligations of counsel with respect to the preservation of ESI.
SEMNR 907: Federal Indian Law Seminar
Federal Indian Law Seminar
This introductory course surveys the body of Federal Indian Law, focusing on the legal relationship between native nations and the United States, including implications of this relationship for states and individual citizens. The course covers the historical origins of federal Indian common law, the development of federal Indian policy, and tribal sovereignty in the modern era (tribal property, jurisdiction, criminal and civil governance, and economic development including gaming). Students are required to develop a thesis into a research paper on a topic covered in the course.
SEMNR 908: History of International Law Seminar
History of International Law Seminar
The general historical introduction and seminar presentations and projects are designed to accentuate problems and issues which enable students to better understand the foundations of the law of nations and encourage independent research skills.
SEMNR 909: International Human Rights Law Seminar
International Human Rights Law Seminar
International Human Rights Law: History and Challenges is an introductory course in the field of human rights. The course explores the development of our modern human rights system and the contemporary challenges it faces.
SEMNR 910: Law & Aging Seminar
Law & Aging Seminar
This seminar offers students the opportunity to explore advanced legal issues, financial concerns and health care coverage issues faced by families planning for the future. This class will include nationally recognized experts as guest lecturers on retirement planning, disability planning (including special needs planning), Medicare and Medicaid, specialized trusts including pooled asset trusts or charitable remainder trusts.
SEMNR 911: Lawyering & Ethics for the Business Attorney Seminar
Lawyering & Ethics for the Business Attorney Seminar
This seminar provides students with an opportunity to analyze and discuss ethical and legal issues relating to representation of business entities. Issues covered include (1) who is the client for the lawyer who represents a business entity; (2) what special rules govern confidentiality and information sharing in the representation of a business entity; (3) how should a lawyer respond to evidence of client fraud or other illegal activities; (4) what are the potential liabilities for furnishing legal advice or providing legal opinions for business transactions that are later found to have been fraudulent or illegal; (5) when is a business entity required or permitted to reimburse employees for legal expenses relating to their employment activities; and (6) what special obligations and responsibilities are imposed on "in-house" attorneys who are full-time employees of a business entity. Each student will make a case study presentation to the class, write a seminar paper, and make a presentation to the class on their seminar paper topic.
SEMNR 912: Protection of Individual Rights under State Constitutions Seminar
Protection of Individual Rights under State Constitutions Seminar
This course analyses the theory and practice of arguing for and against greater protection of individual rights under state constitutions than is afforded by the floor of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Students will apply each of the individual concepts covered in the course to a brief and oral argument before the state supreme court in a case of their choosing.
SEMNR 913: Race, Racism & American Law Seminar
Race, Racism & American Law Seminar
This course explores the role law has played in both the subordination and promotion of the rights of people of color in America. Subjects for discussion will include: how law helped create the social construct of race, race and the American criminal justice system, affirmative action policies, and the quest for effective schools. This course examines critical race theory which posits that we all harbor at least subconscious racial bias, and that due to our racist past as a nation, racial inequality has been locked into American institutions. Students are required to research and write a paper on a professor approved topic that is at the intersection of race and law.
SEMNR 914: Regulatory & Legislative Practice Seminar
Regulatory & Legislative Practice Seminar
This seminar examined the unique aspects of federal and state regulatory and legislative practice. The course will focus on those areas of federal and state legal practice in which criminal and administrative law, regulatory regimes, (including lobbying regulations, ethics-in-government rules and criminal code provisions restricting gifts to officials), litigation and exercise of governmental powers and the public relations and media aspects of these areas intersect to create special problems and challenges for attorneys in the government and private sectors. The context in which these cases are managed will also involve an examination of the principles of governmental separation of powers set out in the federal and state Constitutions, how they work in practice and the role they play in developing legal strategies for representing clients before the government. Some of the "case studies" presented during the course will involve actual cases from federal and state practice and will be used to explicate the above principles.
SEMNR 915: Tax Policy Seminar
Tax Policy Seminar
This seminar examines fundamental issues in tax policy, focusing on trends and current legislative proposals.
SEMNR 916: Cybersecurity Law & Policy Seminar
Cybersecurity Law & Policy Seminar
This course is designed to give students an accessible and foundational understanding of the legal and policy issues associated with cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is the protection of electronic data and systems from attack, loss or other compromise. Electronic data and systems include governmental records, and investor and private firm information, and the hardware and software systems used to generate and maintain that data.
SEMNR 917: Gender & Sexuality Law Seminar
Gender & Sexuality Law Seminar
This seminar will focus on how the law treats issues concerning gender and sexuality in American jurisprudence. The doctrinal themes that will be explored include constitutional notions of privacy/liberty, equality and expression as applied to categories based on gender, sexuality and/or sexual orientation. For example, topics might include the right to sexual privacy (including access to birth control and abortion); discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation (including sodomy laws and same sex marriage); evolving theories of sexuality (including the rights of transgender persons and intersexuals; transsexuals, and the gay gene); identity speech and the First Amendment (including the gay prom case and sexual harassment cases); military exclusions; and the privatization of family law and family formation. The course will examine the relationship between gender and sexuality, based on a multi-disciplinary approach informed by history, medicine, science and broader social and political theories.
SEMNR 918: Law Practice Management Seminar
Law Practice Management Seminar
This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of the management of a legal services organization. Attention is paid to the operation of a law practice as a business, including entity formation, internal organization, quality control, business development and finance. The course also is designed to provide a complement to other parts of the curriculum in which students can continue to develop their professional identities.