New Spring Semester Courses Debut

Offerings build on Law School's innovative curriculum and experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

New York, January 22, 2013—The law of military occupations. The ethics of transactional lawyering. Native peacemaking. China and international law. The role of the modern in-house counsel. These are just a few of the topics to be covered in the innovative new courses awaiting Columbia Law School students as they return from winter break.

This robust set of new courses and externships builds on the Law School’s tradition of curricular innovation and longstanding expertise in areas like international law and business law while expanding in new directions.
Comparative law and international law have been core strengths at Columbia Law School since its founding. In one of the newest international law courses, students will take an in-depth look at the control of a sovereign territory by a state or international organization. Professor Katherine M. Franke, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, will be joined by Visiting Assistant Professor Dean Spade in exploring the legal, political, and moral underpinnings of occupation. The course,  The Law of Occupation, will make use of examples including the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Another new course, China and International Law, will explore China’s increasing prominence as an emerging power. Students will study China’s approach to international cooperation on issues like global warming and nuclear non-proliferation, the country’s role in the disputes over the South China Sea, and its interaction with international human rights regimes.
The Law School is also a recognized global leader in the rapidly growing field of arbitration. Last year it launched the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Law, and this spring will feature a new course on international arbitration in Latin America. It will cover commercial arbitrations that span political and geographical boundaries, including lessons on applicable treaties, laws, and rules; the appointment of arbitral tribunals; and the validity and enforcement of agreements to arbitrate.
New offerings also focus on a different form of alternative dispute resolution: mediation. Professor Carol B. Liebman will teach Introduction to Mediation and Mediation Advocacy, a course designed to give students an overview of effective strategies used by lawyers representing clients in mediation.  Meanwhile, students in Native Peacemaking, a new seminar being taught by Associate Clinical Professor Alexandra Carter ’03, director of the Law School’s Mediation Clinic, will have the chance to participate in project work with Native American tribes and be trained in indigenous conflict resolution.
Several courses have been added for students interested in pursuing careers in business law, including Legal Ethics for the Transactional Lawyer, focusing on the challenges posed by the rise in multijurisdictional and international issues. The course also will examine the transactional lawyer’s dual role as negotiator and gatekeeper, and address ethical issues related to internal investigations and in government practice.
In Role of the Modern In-House Counsel, Theodore Van Itallie ’77, former associate general counsel of Johnson & Johnson, will give students an inside look at the strategic—and increasingly important—role of in-house counsel. Students will study the unique challenges in-house attorneys face serving as both a legal guardian and a business partner. The course also will address the increased scrutiny of in-house attorneys by government regulators, and the related rise in enforcement actions and prosecutions. In addition, Van Itallie will examine how in-house legal departments have driven changes in the industry, including by requiring alternative billing structures. 
Students seeking to forge a closer connection with the legal system outside the classroom will have plenty of opportunities to do so as the Law School has added four new externships for the spring semester. Students will develop practical skills working as externs in The Bronx Defenders office; with judges in the Eastern District of New York federal court; with prisoners in capital, habeas, or civil rights cases; and on issues that affect city and state policy.
A complete list of new courses for the entire 2012-2013 academic year can be found here.