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Real estate law is a broad course of study. For those interested in the transactional side, the basic Property course may be augmented with Modern Real Estate. The permitting side of a real estate practice involves the representation of clients before local, state, or federal agencies. Land use law, environmental law, and administrative law will teach students constitutional principles, statutory tools, and the fundamentals of agency practice.

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  • Core Course

    Land Use Law

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Students in this course explore various common law principles, constitutional and regulatory issues, and practical skills required for the practice of land use law. The law of nuisance, takings, substantive and procedural due process, zoning, subdivision development, and area planning are all likely topics of coverage. Practice-skills development may be a prominent component of the course, and students should emerge with practical knowledge of the processes for seeking variances, special permit, and site- plan review, among other development-related processes. Timely issues such as affordable housing, growth management, green development, environmental impact review, and energy alternatives may be covered, depending on student interest. Research, writing, and presenting may be components of the course, which may or may not include an exam. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills Requirement.

  • Core Course

    Modern Real Estate Transactions

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Focuses on three principal areas: real estate sales, conveyancing, and mortgage law. In the area of sales transactions, the course covers such topics as the lawyer's professional responsibility, duties owed by brokers to sellers and buyers, offers of purchase, purchase and sales agreements, remedies for breach, and closing. In the area of conveyancing, the course covers the requisites and construction of deeds, escrows, surveyor malpractice, recording procedures, liabilities of grantors for defective conditions, title searches, title abstracts, and title insurance. In the mortgage law component, the course covers the defining characteristics and standard provisions of a mortgage, mortgage substitutes, discrimination in lending, lien priorities and subordination of interests, assignments by mortgagees, transfer by mortgagors, foreclosures, redemption, waste, usury, and fixture security interests. The course emphasizes the negotiation and proper drafting of instruments.

  • Recommended Course

    Environmental Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course introduces students to policies, statutes, and common law addressing our relationship with the natural environment. Students study the major federal environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Federal Superfund Act, among others. The class explores key provisions of those acts, case law interpreting their applicability, and their impacts on environmental conditions, economics, and politics. In addition, students discuss legal and political theories of environmental protection, its constitutional grounding, and its administration by the US Environmental Protection Agency and other federal and state agencies. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course satisfies the Experiential Education/Professional Skills Requirement.

  • Other Course

    Administrative Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course is designed for students interested in regulatory law and those who seek additional coverage of pertinent constitutional law topics. Coverage includes the sources and nature of agency authority, agency rule making and adjudication, and judicial review of agency action. Constitutional issues addressed include the interplay of power among the three federal branches, procedural due process, and justiciability issues such as standing, ripeness, and mootness. Special emphasis is placed on the federal Administrative Procedure Act; state analogs may be studied as well. Attention also may be given to the internal functioning of typical administrative bodies and to the relationship between regulators and the regulated community.

  • Other Course

    Trial Practice

    2 or 3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    This skills course is designed to prepare students for the trial phase of litigation. Although it presumes prior knowledge of the substantive areas of law covered during the first two years of law school, especially evidence, the course itself concentrates on trial procedure and the development of jury trial advocacy skills. Students conduct complete mock trials in which they participate as parties, witnesses, and counsel. Problems faced by students acting as counsel include jury selection, opening statements, closing arguments, examination of witnesses-including opinion testimony, offers of exhibits, objections to evidence, and impeachment of witnesses. Mock trial exercises are critiqued by the instructor and class members. Consideration also is given to client interviews, investigation, discovery, pleadings, pretrial motions, and the preservation of rights to appeal. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Other Course

    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Mediation OR Negotiation

    This course focuses on alternative methods of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In-class simulations of fact patterns are used as a means of illustrating certain resolution methods. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Other Course

    Mediation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Negotiation

    Students are introduced to the principles of conflict resolution through the mediation process and through evolving mediation hybrids, including learning about the legal, ethical, sociological, and procedural aspects of mediation through a series of simulated exercises. Students participate directly in simulations drawn from many areas involving conflict, such as family law, trusts and estates, land use and real estate, business, sports law, construction, entertainment, and employment. During the second half of the course, the focus is on the role of lawyers in the mediation process and the skills needed to be an effective and appropriate advocate in resolving disputes for clients. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Other Course

    Negotiation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Mediation

    Explores the theory and the art of resolving conflict through negotiation. Various styles are presented for comparison and analysis. Students are urged to evaluate their own intuitive style and to experience others. Practical experience is achieved through one-on-one and group negotiations exercises. The theory of conflict, strategic choice, ethical issues, and the negotiator's dilemma are presented in a variety of substantive contexts. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Recommended Course

    Land Use Law Clinic

    2/3 Credit (Clinic)

    Students in this clinical component spend 10 (2-credit) or 15 (3-credit) hours each week working primarily for suburban Boston city and town counsel offices, zoning boards, or private firms. Students will submit weekly journals, describing and reflecting on their experiences in the field, and will meet in a series of seminars with the course instructor and/or the Clinical Director to explore the relationship between the principles covered in the substantive class and the students' fieldwork. This course satisfies the Experiential Education/Professional Skills Requirement.

  • Other Course

    Housing Discrimination Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course takes a close look at federal and state fair-housing law by examining its statutory bases; constitutional challenges posed by the First Amendment; issues involving coverage, proof, and liability; and the various enforcement mechanisms and remedies available. The scope of the course is broad insofar as fair-housing law prohibits discrimination in private-sector and public-sector housing on the grounds of physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, receipt of public assistance, age, and familial status (families with children under 18), as well as race, color, national origin/ancestry, and religion. The course also considers current patterns of residential segregation and discrimination in housing and mortgage lending, the effectiveness of fair-housing law, and how fair-housing requirements interact with such developments as local and community opposition to affordable housing or to group homes for persons with a disability. The course is recommended both for students interested in civil rights and public interest law and for those intending to pursue careers in the real estate or mortgage lending industries. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Other Course

    Law Practice Management

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Law Practice Management teaches students how to set up and run a small law firm or a solo practice; however, the skills and lessons learned in the class are transferable to any law practice, large or small. The class focuses on what is needed to launch your practice, how to generate business, how to establish a fee structure, how to actually handle the substantive work, how to manage clients, how to deal with opposing counsel, and how to fire a client. The class also discusses law firm economics, which is critical to understand, whether you are hanging your own shingle or working for someone else. Ethical considerations and malpractice traps in the context of the day-to-day practice of law are weekly themes. Additional elements of a law practice that are examined include 1) forming a business plan; 2) incorporation/partnership, employment/independent contracts; 3) insurance; 4) tax liabilities, annual and other filings and deposits, IOLTA; 5) space; 6) equipment; 7) management; 8) rainmaking and networking; 9) computer software; 10) banking: client funds, trust accounts, operating accounts, conveyancing accounts, IOLTA requirements; and 11) marketing and advertising. Former and current practitioners are guest lecturers, and in the past, they have included a disbarred lawyer to speak of his ethical missteps, bar counsel from the Office of Bar Counsel, a panel of seasoned practitioners, representatives from LOMAP and LCL. The course also involves a "shadowing" program, where students are matched with local practitioners based upon substantive law and geography. Each student meets with a local practitioner to discuss his or her practice and start to build the student's network. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.