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Law School Course Areas and Related Classes

Civil Litigation - see related classes

WHAT THIS AREA IS ABOUT.  Civil procedure is an important building-block course in the first year, but it may well be insufficient to prepare you for engaging in a litigation practice.  The dramatic expansion of the role of litigation in our society in recent years, with the accompanying development of new procedural mechanisms, makes advanced or specialized courses in civil procedure important for students planning to do litigation.

In determining which advanced litigation courses you should take, consider the kind of practice you expect to pursue.  For example, if you anticipate a family law, probate, or real estate litigation practice, you may want to emphasize state court litigation.  If you anticipate practicing in federal law matters (such as securities, antitrust, intellectual property, or constitutional law), you may want to emphasize federal court litigation.  Of course, many lawyers' litigation practices involve both systems; the availability of diversity jurisdiction in federal courts often results in such cases as personal injury, product liability, and commercial law being brought in federal courts, particularly if substantial sums are at stake.  An increasing number of civil disputes are also being resolved outside the courts, either in administrative processes or through alternative dispute settlement mechanisms such as arbitration or mediation.

COURSE OFFERINGS: The courses related to civil litigation can be grouped in several categories.

1.  Courses basic to litigation in any court system.  Evidence is a basic course for any litigation practice.  A litigator must have a good grasp of the rules of evidence.  Prospective litigators should take Evidence as soon as possible.  It is especially useful in clinics and simulation courses.

Remedies deals with the bottom line of litigation: what the court can do for a claimant who wins.  The course covers such remedies as compensatory and punitive damages, injunctions, declaratory judgment, and restitution, as well as means of enforcing judgments.

Conflict of Laws is important to anyone whose practice may include civil litigation.  It deals with litigation of cases involving connections with more than one state or nation, a common feature of contemporary litigation.  The course shows how the place of trial is determined, how American courts will choose law, and how judgments can be executed in such cases.  The course and seminar on International Litigation or International Litigation and Arbitration focus on similar problems in the context of international disputes.

A course on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation has also become essential to anyone whose practice includes civil litigation, given the increasing tendency of courts to divert civil litigation to ADR.  The law school's ADR course offerings are discussed further below.  In some years, a course on Professional Responsibility for Litigators is offered as a way for students to satisfy their professional responsibility requirement.

2.  Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) courses.  Alternative Dispute Resolution is an overview and introduction to this subject.  However, the law school also offers a number of more specialized ADR courses, which students may opt to take instead of the introductory course (the introductory course is not a prerequisite for any other course).  The course in Negotiation, taught in several sections in small classes, focuses on developing skills in this area by having students participate in practical negotiation exercises.  The course in Mediation is also skills-oriented, and is a prerequisite for the Mediation Clinic in which students handle actual cases referred by local courts.  In past years, seminars have also been offered on Arbitration, International Commercial Arbitration, and Dispute Resolution in Public Policy and Government Disputes.

3.  State litigation courses.  A study of state court litigation should begin with Texas Civil Procedure Survey, a course that covers pretrial, trial and appellate procedure in the Texas state courts.  The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure have drawn heavily on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but distinctive Texas procedures remain as to such matters as venue, discovery, and the court's charge to the jury.  The course also provides a more detailed and practical coverage of the litigation process than is possible in the first-year Civil Procedure course.  The course is adequate preparation for the Texas civil procedure portions of the Texas bar exam, and is a prerequisite for the advanced course on Texas Civil Litigation: Pretrial and Trial Strategy, and for certain advanced advocacy and trial skills classes (discussed below).

4.  Federal litigation courses.  Federal Courts is important to an understanding of constitutional litigation and the limits of federal judicial power.  The course focuses on the dual courts/dual law system.  Problems of access to federal courts or federal l judicial lawmaking power are considered in relation to federal courts as forums for public interest litigation, national regulation of businesses, and mass disasters.  Seminars on Class Actions are advanced procedural courses focusing on the complex issues presented by this particular form of litigation.  Other advanced courses focus on litigation in specific areas of the law, such as Bankruptcy Litigation, Constitutional Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Maritime Injuries Litigation, Supreme Court Litigation, Domestic Violence and the Law and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.

5.  Administrative litigation courses.  Litigation before administrative agencies is often overlooked by students, because of the first year focus on court litigation.  Administrative litigation can be a significant part of contemporary practice, involving either federal or state law.  Administrative Law is the basic survey course for a student interested in administrative litigation, providing an overview of the system of administrative rulemaking and adjudication.

6.  Advocacy and trial skills courses.  Trial skills are taught in basic courses, in litigation clinics, and in specialized courses and seminars.  Most courses include both classroom and workshop (simulation) components.  Basic trials skills are taught in Advocacy Survey, which exposes students to the basics of persuasive techniques in a variety of litigation settings, and Intensive Trial Skills, a more rigorous and competitive class that allows students to try both civil and criminal cases.  Students who have taken both Evidence and Texas Civil Procedure may take Civil Litigation Skills (Intermediate), and may then proceed to Civil Litigation (Advanced), and finally to Advocacy Practice & Theory for the New Millennium.

7.  Clinics and Internships.  There are numerous clinics and internships that offer students hands-on experience in civil and criminal litigation.  Some clinics require students to have completed 43 credit hours, but other clinics and all of the internships are available to students after the first two semesters.  See the section on Clinics and Internships for full information.

 
Unique # Title Instructor
  28470 Administrative Law Blais, L
  28615 Advoc Prac/Thry for the New Millen McCormack, T
  28550 Advocacy Survey w/176N Skills Santos, M
  28545 Advocacy Survey w/176N Skills Santos, M
  28590 Advocacy Survey: Skills Christensen, D
  28565 Advocacy Survey: Skills Roark, B
  28560 Advocacy Survey: Skills Merica, J
  28555 Advocacy Survey: Skills Collins, J
  28575 Advocacy Survey: Skills Hines, W
  28580 Advocacy Survey: Skills Payan, A
  28570 Advocacy Survey: Skills Shepperd, E
  28585 Advocacy Survey: Skills Bledsoe, M
  28825 Alternative Dispute Resolution Rau, A
  28400 Americans with Disabilities Cantu, N
  28638 Appellate Clerkship Writing Vance, S
  29170 Arbitration Rau, A
  28310 Brief Writing & Oral Advocacy Schiess, W
  28312 Brief Writing & Oral Advocacy Meyer, R
  28925 Children's Rights Sampson, J
  29005 Children's Rights Duke, L
  29010 Children's Rights Strauch, L
  28540 Civil Litigation Skills (Intermed.) Grantham et al.
  28600 Civil Litigation, Advanced Rowe, J
  28595 Civil Litigation, Advanced Golden, M
  28603 Civil Litigation, Advanced McCormack, T
  28340 Civil Procedure Woolley, P
  28335 Civil Procedure Bone, R
  29380 Clinic, Advanced
  29390 Clinic, Advanced
  29385 Clinic, Advanced
  28500 Construction Litigation Sullivan, M/Ryan
  28940 Domestic Violence Lungwitz, J
  29035 Domestic Violence Lungwitz, J
  28634 Electronic Discovery Grantham/McCormack
  28475 Employment Law Durst, P
  28860 Evidence Wellborn, O
  28855 Evidence Goode, S
  28900 Federal Courts Lindquist, S
  28990 Housing Fuchs, F
  29050 Immigration Hines, B/Gilman
  28955 Immigration Hines, B/Gilman
  29135 Internship Program (U.S. Attorney) Klein/Brown
  28295 Legal Writing, Adv: Litigation Bridges, K
  28300 Legal Writing, Adv: Litigation Bridges, K
  28620 Maritime Injuries Litigation Robertson, D
  28515 Mass Tort Litigation Mullenix, L
  28830 Mediation Bryant, C
  28995 Mediation Bryant, C
  29060 Mental Health Churgin, M
  28965 Mental Health Churgin, M
  28700 Multiparty Conflt Res in Enrgy/Envi Schwartz/Menicucci
  28885 Prof Resp for Civil Litigators Silver, C
  28485 Remedies Dickerson, M
  28592 Texas Civ Pro: Survey Albright, A
  28775 Trialmasters Perlmutter, M
  28610 Tx Civ Lit: Pretrial/Trial Strategy Tottenham/Varney