Course Catalog

Required

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 556
Credits: 3

Business Transactions teaches students basic lawyering skills critical to a transactional practice, specifically contract drafting and negotiation.

Students draw upon their previous study of contracts, torts, and property law, and are introduced to employment, intellectual property, and environmental law. They are asked to represent a hypothetical client in the purchase and sale of a business. Each student negotiates the sale of a business, and prepares a complicated contract for purchase and sale based on the results of the negotiation. Students also discuss ethical issues that arise in the representation of clients in the formation of a business entity, the representation of a business entity, the preparation of a contract, and the negotiation of a transaction. Some assignments are prepared by student teams, and others on an individual basis.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 500
Credits: 4

Civil Procedure regulates the conduct of litigation itself. Litigation is the process of carrying on a lawsuit. Civil Procedure is the body of law usually rules enacted by the legislature or courts governing the methods and practices used in carrying on civil litigation (as opposed to criminal litigation). Students study civil lawsuits from the pleadings to the trial, and from the common law to current federal and state codes of civil procedure. The course also addresses the organization and jurisdiction of state, federal, and tribal courts.

Required Course
Course Number: Fall - LAW 600, Spring - LAW 601 (Section Numbers Vary By Clinic)
Credits: 4

Third-year students obtain practical legal experience by serving in a clinic.   Students are required to take 4 credits of clinic.  Credits are generally taken 2 each semester.  This requirement reinforces our goal of preparing students for the practice of law. The clinical program engages students in applying, enhancing, and integrating substantive and skills components of legal education, improves their ability to identify and resolve ethical issues, and assesses student performance in a practice setting. Students can select from 26 clinical offerings.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 558
Credits: 4

Constitutional law constitutes the legal system and governs government. This course surveys the United States Constitution, how it is interpreted, and who interprets it. Following the text of the Constitution, the course begins with popular sovereignty as expressed in the Preamble. Next, the course examines the vesting and limitation of legislative powers in Article I, executive power in Article II, and judicial power in Article III, as well as the relationship of the federal government to the States. Then the course examines the Bill of Rights with a focus on the First Amendment’s Religion and Speech Clauses. The course concludes by examining the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. In addition to class discussion, students post short briefs on emerging issues and take a final exam.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 502
Credits: 4

What promises will society enforce? What roles do lawyers and courts play in the agreement process? The course explores the traditional issues of contract law, including formation, performance, and damages, through the analysis of cases. On the assumption that lawyers will draft contracts far more often than they will litigate contract cases, the course also emphasizes drafting skills and the practice of preventative law—planning things right, not merely cleaning up after things have gone wrong.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 510
Credits: 3

In this class, we examine aspects of the criminal justice system, focusing on the notion of “crime.”  We explore the components of a crime, learn how to interpret and apply criminal statutes, and discover how to establish the elements of crimes.  We also delve into important defenses to criminal activity, such as mental disease and justifiable use of force.  Throughout this course, we look to examine the social policy behind determining that conduct is criminal and when punishment is appropriate and just.  The criminal law raises fascinating issues dealing with race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and mental illness.  Students will draft many of the documents prosecutors use to file charges against a person and to prosecute a case:  informations, affidavits of probable cause, and jury instructions. 

The course is required for 1st year students.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 560
Credits: 3

Evidence is the body of law regulating the admissibility of what is offered as proof into the record of a legal proceeding. Producing and presenting evidence at trial is subject to complex rules, which must become second nature to the trial attorney. Evidence is something (testimony, documents, tangible objects) that tends to prove or disprove the existence of an alleged fact. This study of the state and federal rules of evidence is background for the Trial Practice course and many of our clinical placements where students conduct trials.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 508
Credits: 2

Taught in small sections, this course introduces students to the reasoning and analytical patterns of lawyers. Students learn to read cases closely and brief them, identify and formulate legal issues, evaluate facts, and analyze how judges will likely rule on legal questions.

This course is designed to facilitate the development and organization of students' legal analysis. It will familiarize students with technical and analytical skills needed to recognize and articulate legal issues. It emphasizes organizational skills and effective communication of legal arguments. Students work on objective/predictive writing through a series of weekly written exercises, culminating with a non-research predictive office memorandum.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 506
Credits: 2

Legal research has two purposes: (1) to educate yourself on a new subject; and (2) to find legal authority for your position. Researching legal issues effectively is at the heart of good lawyering. In this course, students learn how to use research tools to locate important cases, relevant statutes and regulations, helpful treatises and useful law review articles. Problem-solving is the goal, and students learn through hands-on experience.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 509
Credits: 3

Students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the fall Legal Research and Legal Analysis courses. In small sections and peer groups, students work intensively on outlining, writing rough drafts, editing, and writing final drafts of memoranda and briefs.

This course includes both research and writing components. It emphasizes organizational skills, effective problem analysis, research, and effective communication of legal arguments. Following extensive reading and class discussion, students draft the following documents:

  1. an inter-office research memo which analyzes a legal problem objectively,
    identifying each party's claim and defenses and the strengths and weaknesses of each;
  2. a simple motion with a supporting brief and a proposed order;
  3. a summary judgment brief with supporting affidavits; and
  4. proposed findings of fact and critiques on each assignment.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 541
Credits:  3

Course Description: This 2L course is about aspects of pretrial litigation such as litigation planning, informal fact investigation, case evaluation, pleadings, required disclosures, interrogatories, requests for production, subpoenas, depositions, pretrial motions, oral argument, pretrial conferences, settlement conferences, offers of judgment, and releases.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 555
Credits: 3

The practicing lawyer must balance multiple identities: advocate, adviser, citizen, and public servant. Using actual problems and issues arising from the practicing bar, students apply the rules of professional responsibility and explore how to balance the lawyer's own interests with those of the client and the public.

The course deals with the structure of the legal profession, the functions and activities of lawyers, and the relation of the profession to society as a whole. Course resources include the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and selected problems that the Rules address. A central theme is the balancing of the lawyer's own interests with those of the client and the public good. Evaluation of student performance is based on a two-hour examination designed to assess student understanding of the Rules of Professional Responsibility as applied to specific fact

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 550
Credits: 

This four-credit property law course is a study of interests in real and personal property, introducing students to donative transfers, estates and future interests, cotenancy, selling real property, landlord and tenant, public and private control of land use, and other basic property law concepts.

Required Course
Course Number: LAW 512
Credits: 4

Students study the private civil wrongs for which courts provide a remedy, including intentional torts, such as battery and false imprisonment, and negligence and strict liability. The focus of this course is the substantive law of torts - that body of law which provides remedies for civil wrongs not arising from contract. Tort law serves various functions (e.g., compensation, deterrence, loss spreading, and corrective justice). These subjects will be covered in detail. As a first-year course, however, it is about much more than "torts." The course is designed to help you understand, appreciate, and practice the process of legal reasoning. It also explores how law affects human lives, and the historical, political, and social context of tort law. Students learn cooperatively, actively participate in discussions, discover "rules," and go beyond a search for "rules" to look and evaluate policies.

Elective

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 665
Credits: 

Administrative procedures and hearings play an increasing role in law practice, as regulatory agencies expand their influence. The federal and state administrative procedure acts serve as the focus for this course.

The Administrative Law is designed for the lawyer who:

  1. works for the government; represents clients or entities doing business with the government, are regulated by the government,
    or individuals or entities who receive government benefits, or
  2. works for a public interest entity or practices public interest law representing interests other than the government or private entities.

The course is primarily procedural. It assumes that the lawyer is working with some substantive issue - environmental, consumer/worker safety, social security, etc. - and needs to know how the substantive issues are presented and determined by the government and potentially appealed to the courts. While legislation that creates substantive rights/duties most often also provides procedures, there are basic or generic procedures that apply to all agency processes. The course focuses of these generic procedures.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 604
Credits: 3

This seminar traces the intertwined development of federalism, liberty, and equality principles through periods of opposition and harmonization, when both national and local powers have either upheld or violated a range of rights. Beginning with slavery and Reconstruction as a paradigm case, the course considers the roles of federalism, liberty, and equality under the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and structural provisions. The course views current controversies through the lenses of competing constitutional theories, as well as constitutional practice based on analysis of leading cases and emerging issues chosen by students. In addition to seminar discussion, students present short moot courts and produce a research paper or draft judicial opinion.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 615
Credits: 2

In this course, students will do the research for and write a publishable academic paper (i.e., law review case note or comment). The course will cover effective use of primary and secondary legal research sources in both print and electronic formats. Students will go beyond the basic research methods taught in the required Legal Research course and learn the research methods necessary to fully analyze and discuss a complicated legal issue. All students in the course will be required to complete all the components required to satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement, including a final publishable paper, and this course will satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement for students who opt to do so.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 617
Credits: 3

This two-unit seminar course focuses on how tribal attorneys and other advocates can assist contemporary tribal governments in achieving political, cultural, and economic self-determination. Tribal self-determination requires the development of effective means for the exercise of tribal sovereign powers. These means include the development of effective tribal justice systems, tribal governmental institutions, tribal administrative agencies, and tribal natural and cultural resource protection programs.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 656
Credits: 2

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers represent an important segment of the U.S. economy. Agricultural law encompasses many other areas of the law, but focuses on the special rules and exceptions made for agriculture. Topics covered in this 3-credit class include U.S. agricultural policy; farm programs, incentives, and payments; livestock production and animal welfare; food safety; organic certifications; and genetic engineering of seeds. We will also study environmental, labor, immigration, commercial, tax, and property laws as they apply specifically to the agricultural sector. Students are expected to participate actively in this seminar class. The student’s grade will be based upon class participation and a paper. There will not be a final exam. The primary textbook is Susan Schneider, Food, Farming and Sustainability: Readings in Agricultural Law (Carolina Academic Press 2011). 

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 614
Credits: 3

This course brings litigation and other forms of dispute resolution into perspective to permit one to see litigation as one system of dispute resolution, one with its own virtues and failings, but not an inevitable or the only process for resolving legal disputes. A range of alternative dispute resolution processes are discussed in this course, with the focus being on practical skills and techniques necessary to an understanding of the fundamentals of mediation. At the end of the course, students will have basic skills in facilitating a mediation process as well as representing clients at the mediation table. (Note: For students who attend all class sessions, as well as an optional hour of outside instruction with the professor, this course can be viewed as the equivalent of a "40-hour basic mediation training," which is viewed as the standard, entry-level mediation training across the United States.)

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 691
Credits: 1

This course looks at past federal policies which resulted in the removal of Indian children from their families and led to Congress passing the Indian Child Welfare Act. The course discusses the legal requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, various aspects of working with Indian families, potential conflicts with state and other federal laws, and the difficulties in getting compliance with the Act.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 3

This three (3) credit seminar course examines the unique aspects of cultural and religious practices exercised by the American Indian peoples. Course coverage will focus on the evolving judicial and legislative responses to the traditional and contemporary assertions by the American Indian peoples of their inherent right to the free exercise of their religious, cultural practices both on and off reservation, language preservation issues, educational impacts on tribal culture and how outside research impacts these rights. Particular emphasis will be given to the Indian peoples’ contemporary efforts to secure federal judicial and legislative protection of cultural practices.

The major U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding these rights will be assessed in terms of their effect on the Indian peoples’ religious and cultural freedoms. Additionally, those contemporary federal statutory and executive initiatives that seek to preserve these freedoms, pursuant to the federal government’s trust duty that it owes to the Indian peoples, will be analyzed. These initiatives include the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), Native American Languages Act (NALA) and Indian Education For All (IEFA) efforts in Montana. The course will also look at the nature, ownership and protection of Indian Cultural knowledge and resources. The impacts of non-Indian research will be evaluated along with historical impacts of federal policies on tribal cultures.

Several case studies will evaluate the success, if any, achieved by the relevant federal management and regulatory agencies through their implementation of these initiative pursuant to their management plans and their rule making efforts. Potential alternative legal theories that may provide new judicial or regulatory protection for all aspects of the Indian peoples' cultural and religious resources will also be examined. Particular emphasis will be given to the on-going international legal effort to create a new and more encompassing indigenous cultural resources law that will prevent the unauthorized alienation or other loss of a people’s sacred objects of “cultural patrimony.”

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 619
Credits: 3

This course covers the intersection of two of the most interesting and critical areas of the law, particularly for those of us west of the 100th meridian. Regardless of the specific area of his or her practice, any attorney working in the western United States is more than likely to encounter fascinating issues (if not decades-long conflicts) over the rights to use scarce natural resources such as water, the sharing of common resources such as the public lands, and the role of the region’s first populations in deciding those issues. In fact, now is a time of incredible opportunity to help define (or re-define) the standards and policies by which the next generations will view these issues as the traditional concepts of natural resources law fade and are replaced by new approaches, often centrally involving tribal views. This course begins with the roots of both natural resources and federal Indian law, which both grow from the nation’s complicated history with its environment and first peoples and includes how our nation’s three sovereigns (federal, state and tribal governments) exercise authority over tribal lands, particularly with regard to the regulation of natural resources (such as hunting and fishing) and environmental issues; the day-to-day challenges faced by tribes in trying to use their lands; water and the complicated nature of tribal reserved rights; and tribal usufructuary rights, which have been exercised by tribes since time immemorial, guaranteed by century-old treaties, and are now the source of vigorous debate, new legal approaches, and opportunities for cross-boundary collaboration. Throughout each of these topical areas, the course aims to establish strong foundational concepts and then build understanding through more modern day examples, case-studies, and, depending on the schedule, guest lecturers and field trips.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 605
Credits: 2

Animal Law is the body of law relating to animals and the interaction between people and animals. Animal Law crosses into many areas of law including Property, Torts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Contracts, Family Law and Wills & Trusts. In many ways Animal Law issues are somewhat contradictory: how can animals have rights but no standing to enforce those rights? Do animal laws protect animals or people’s interest in animals? In this course, students will read, discuss, and think about Animal Law issues.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 616
Credits: 3

This course is designed to develop advanced skills in research and writing. It emphasizes organizational skills, effective problem analysis, research, and effective communication of legal appellate arguments. Students will prepare a bibliographic essay, as well as a rough draft and a final version of an appellate brief, and will present an oral argument before a panel of attorneys. Students will receive peer and faculty critiques on the appellate brief. Guest speakers frequently include practicing attorneys with special expertise in appellate advocacy and members of the Montana Supreme Court.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 538
Credits: 3

The Art and Cultural Property Law seminar will examine the legal treatment of art and cultural property. It will cover topics relating to artists’ rights (freedom of expression, copyright, and moral rights); cultural property (looting and destruction in times of war and conflict, international restitution and repatriation, and U.S. laws on preservation and archaeological resources); indigenous cultural property (misappropriation of intangible heritage and NAGPRA); and museums (ethics).

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 621
Credits: 3

This course focuses on federal bankruptcy law and special problems encountered in bankruptcy practice. Bankruptcy is the term for a variety of collective procedures designed to aid individuals and entities that are unable to meet their debts. It includes liquidations, in which an official known as a trustee takes possession of the debtor's property and distributes the assets among the debtor's creditors according to rules established in the Bankruptcy Code; debt adjustments, in which individual debtors are allowed to keep their property but must make monthly payments to the trustee, who distributes the payments to the creditors according to an approved plan; and reorganizations, in which businesses keep their property but restructure their debt and the business according to an approved plan.

Elective Course
Course Number: Law 554
Credits: 3.0

The three-credit Business Organizations course surveys the law of agency, partnership, limited liability companies, statutory close corporations, and corporations. Other entities are touched upon and compared to these basic organizational forms. Students compare the attributes of each type of business entity. Class discussion focuses on planning issues involved in advising business clients.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 533
Credits: 2

Litigation over federal constitutional rights is prominent in the news at the moment. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is the vehicle designated by Congress for the recognition and enforcement of federal constitutional rights against persons acting on the authority of a state or local government. In other words, if you want a court to protect your federal constitutional rights, you sue under § 1983.

Last June, in a trio of § 1983 cases, the Supreme Court held that officials in three States could not enforce gay-marriage bans because such bans violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. But § 1983 will not always work the way you might think. All police officers who conduct unreasonable searches know the Fourth Amendment will prohibit use of the evidence in court; but, as the “Black Lives Matter” movement points out, an officer who kills someone while using force to make an arrest might not be held legally accountable at all – even if a court in a § 1983 action finds he violated the Fourth Amendment. Employees and students may use § 1983 to vindicate their First Amendment free speech rights, and § 1983 and the Fourteenth Amendment may protect employers, teachers, or administrators who are fired for limiting that speech in the first place.

As these scenarios suggest, one individual’s constitutional rights against the government are frequently in tension with other individuals’ constitutional rights against the same government. And, although § 1983 gives individuals a way to enforce federal rights, federal supremacy is always in tension with the equally constitutional doctrine of federalism and respect for states’ rights. Federal rights should not prevent States from pursuing legitimate objectives. For these reasons, § 1983 provides both a sword to plaintiffs and shields to defendants. It is easy to misunderstand what the statute requires and what can be accomplished with it. It is also easy for lawyers, whoever they represent, to lose what should be a good case.

This class is designed for third- or second-year students who are interested in constitutional law or civil litigation. Students headed for clerkships at the trial or appellate level will also benefit. We will look at who can be sued under § 1983, what they can be sued for, what defenses are available, and why all these rules are what they are. Our focus will be practical. Instead of using a textbook, we will read landmark cases together with contemporary ones to see how the rules play out in real-world situations today. As a midterm assignment, students will be given a factual scenario and will draft a complaint under § 1983 to show they can sue the right people for the right things and avoid obvious defenses. The final exam will be a more traditional take-home law school exam.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 653
Credits: 2

Conflict of Laws deals with the actions and transactions of an increasingly mobile population which involve the laws of two or more jurisdictions. It covers major analytical systems for determining whose law applies, including study of the complex systems categorized and restated in the Restatement of Conflicts. In this multi-jurisdictional context, the course ties together and applies many other subject areas, including torts, insurance law, contracts, transactions involving both real estate and personal property, jurisdictional requirements, constitutional constraints, Indian law and the conflicts between state and tribal courts, conflicts between state and federal jurisdiction, family law (dissolution and child custody and visitation), estate-related law (wills, trusts and probate), and workers compensation. Examples include: an auto accident in Montana involving both Montana residents and residents of another state who were insured in another state; crimes and commercial transactions between Indians and non-Indians, both on and off-reservation; conflicts between a Montana trial court and an out-of-state Bankruptcy Court; transactions in which Montana land, or equipment to be used in Montana, is financed out-of-state; a deficiency judgment obtained upon a foreclosure of a Montana mortgage which is sought to be enforced in another state; an Oregon insurance company providing workers' compensation insurance seeking to capture part of the employee's recovery for a truck driver's injury occurring in Montana; a dispute between a Montana probate personal representative and an out-of-state decedent or trustee; and a dispute between citizens of State A and State B concerning the validity of a divorce, child custody or visitation. The course will cover national, international and Montana cases.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 645
Credits: 3

This course is a practical approach to bringing legal action on behalf of consumers (and defending against such action). Consumer law combines elements of Contract Law, Tort Law, and Statutory Law. While Montana laws and cases will be studied, the skills and concepts learned are useful even for those students not planning on practicing in Montana.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 682
Credits: 3

Copyright Law is of increasing importance in the information age. The course looks at copyright from the point of view of both the owner and the user—how copyright is secured and protected by the owner, and what rights to use copyrighted materials are available to the user. Approaches to these questions are explored through the statutes, cases, and private ordering through contracts.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 580
Credits: 2 

This two-credit practical course is an introductory guide to the income taxation of Subchapter C (and S) corporations. This course covers the basic tax consequences of the life span of a corporation – formation, operating distributions (including dividends), redemptions of stock, stock dividends, tainted stock, liquidations, and taxable acquisitions. This course does not cover non-taxable reorganizations. This course also covers the income taxation of Subchapter S Corporations. The course will be taught entirely using problems and examples to explain the rules.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 690
Credits: 3

This upper-level course explores issues in criminal procedure which regularly confront practitioners: investigation and charging, plea bargaining, guilty pleas, trial, sentencing, post-conviction relief, and the role of the media in criminal law. Additionally, the class will consider issues of criminal procedure in the greater context of criminal law and society in general. The class will be lecture and participation and may include guest speakers and panelists.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 511
Credits: 3

In this course, we look at the intersection of constitutional law and criminal law.  This class focuses on police investigation of criminal activity and explores the limits and restrictions that the Constitution imposes on the police.  With a real world emphasis on how to secure the introduction or exclusion of evidence, we examine the protections provided criminal suspects by the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments.   We also compare the rights guaranteed in the US Constitution with those guaranteed in Montana Constitution, particularly Article II, Sections 10 and 11.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 522
Credits: 2

This class explores the historical, legal, cultural, and social aspects of domestic violence. Domestic violence has been part of our culture since the founding of the country. The concept of domestic violence as a social problem has only recently gained recognition, primarily through the work of the battered women’s movement. The class focuses on the criminal justice system response to domestic violence, with particular emphasis on prosecution and defense of domestic violence offenses.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 2

E-Disovery Law and Practice will cover both the law and the actual practice of e-discovery. Based on the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, student will learn the current law around preservation, collection, review, and production of digital evidence. As students learn the law, they will use current technology to implement each step in the Model. Students will gain experience with e-discovery through participation in pretrial conference, hold letters, data collection, review, and production. Lastly, students will review e-discovery data provided by opposing counsel in preparation for trial.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595 - Special Topics
Credits: 3

The successful development of vibrant and sustainable economies in Indian Country continues to present challenges for Indian tribes, their members and potential business partners, as well as federal, state and local governments. The unique legal status of Indian tribes and the consequences of that status inform these challenges and require a detailed examination of federal policy and Supreme Court jurisprudence. Thus, attorneys play a central role in understanding and advising their clients about the challenges of tribal economic development. This course aims to provide a foundational understanding of the legal issues surrounding economic development in Indian Country and then build on that foundation through examination of various types of actual or potential development, including natural resource development, gaming, online lending and other enterprises. Throughout the course, we will discover how history, federal policies, and the unique status of each tribe play a role in determining that tribe’s options for building an economic engine. We will also study practical issues, such as popular misconceptions about tribal status, which may affect business transactions in Indian Country. By the end of the course, participants will understand the foundational issues affecting all tribes and have the analytical framework to assess unique circumstances relevant for a particular tribe or development opportunity.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 622
Credits: 3

This course broadly covers the federal, state, and tribal laws that regulate the employer-employee relationship and govern the rights of employees and applicants vis-a-vis an employer or prospective employer. Topics to be covered include a network of federal employment laws addressing labor relations, discrimination in employment, workplace conditions, and employee benefits, as well as various employment laws here in Montana, including both state and tribal laws and policies. Understanding the foundations of these various laws and their interplay is crucial to the effective representation of employees and employers.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 677
Credits: 1

This course will introduce students to the sources and skills necessary to researching environmental law issues. Environmental law is largely occupied by the federal government, so this course will focus on federal regulatory research (CFR & Federal Register), the Administrative Procedures Act and administrative hearings, and federal statutes and legislative history research. The course will also introduce students to state and international environmental law sources. The course will not cover the substantive provisions of environmental law.  (Taught in Winter)

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 542
Credits: 2

The class will examine the legal tools that help bring about environmental justice, highlighting the effectiveness of different tools in different contexts, ranging from water contamination in Flint, Michigan to refineries in Cancer Alley, Louisiana to the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Enbridge pipeline protests and lawsuits. It will explore the causes of, and possible remedies for, environmental racism and injustice. It will consider disparities faced by communities of color, indigenous peoples, low-income groups, and the elderly in access to and control over the environmental requisites for health and well-being, including natural resources, pollution control, and environmental clean-up.  The class will synthesize theory and practice through the development of practical advocacy skills through exercises involving citizen suits, toxic tort litigation, participation in agency rulemaking and decisionmaking processes, appeals of agency decisions to courts, or motion practice.  Enrollment is limited to law students.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 659
Credits: 3

This course addresses a variety of non-tax issues facing estate planners with respect to the drafting of wills and trusts and their subsequent administration. It covers the materials traditionally covered in a course on wills and trusts, but it does so with an eye as to how the issues arise in practice. Students must draft a will and "probate" a decedent's estate. Issues specifically addressed include: intestate succession, execution and revocation of wills, will contests, will construction, creation and termination of trusts, fiduciary duties, and breaches of those duties.

The Uniform Probate Code as adopted by Montana will form the basis of study, but issues will be addressed in a historical context so that students can better understand the purpose underlying the statutes.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 669
Credits: 3

Family Law includes examination of the ways in which families come into being, the problems posed by the family as an existing unit, the legal relationship between husband and wife, cohabiting partners, parent and child, and adoption. Specific emphasis is placed on consensual resolution of disputes in formal and informal relationships. Using Professor Patterson's publication, Montana Family Law and Practice, students experience actual process and work with the practice documents used in Uniform State Laws jurisdictions. Attention is given to the practical administration of present dissolution laws and the ethical problems they pose for the lawyer. Evaluation of student performance is based on completion of a competency exercise (for example, drafting a property settlement agreement) and a final examination.

Elective Course
Course Number: Law 671
Credits: 2

In Civil Procedure, you learned the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure, as is true with most state rules of procedure, are based on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Because you know the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Courts course does not focus on teaching the rules. It focuses on federal jurisdiction; the standards used to determine diversity/amount in controversy, and federal question jurisdiction. Also covered are the standards a federal court may use in refusing to hear a dispute, even when it has jurisdiction. Finally, in the context of determining federal question jurisdiction based on the U.S. Constitution, a short course of "Constitutional litigation" is presented.

This course is for trial attorneys or any person interested in the enforcement of federal rights.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 655
Credits: 3

Federal Estate and Gift Taxation addresses the workings and planning aspects of the federal estate and gift tax.  A taxpayer may make aggregate lifetime taxable transfers of up to $ 5 million (as that amount is indexed for inflation) without incurring an estate or gift tax liability.  Absent tax planning, a tax of up to 40% is imposed on each dollar transferred in excess of that basic exclusion amount.  Thus, the estate and gift tax impacts many high wealth individuals including closely held business owners, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers.  Students taking the course will become conversant in the various planning strategies available to minimize or eliminate imposition of the federal estate and gift tax.  In addition to an open book final examination, students will complete two “group” drafting assignments and a federal estate tax return.  A basic knowledge of federal estate and gift tax implications is important to lawyers who have a general business or tax practice.   It is a must for estate planners.  

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 2

The federal writ of habeas corpus is a means to attack a state or federal conviction on federal constitutional grounds. Because a habeas case looks back over what happened in the trial stage, on appeal, and in state post-conviction proceedings, it is a useful way to see how lawyers and judges carry out black-letter law in practice, how mistakes are made, and what remedies may be available. It will also allow students to reflect on the big picture of lawyers enacting the criminal justice system.

Students will learn the how and why of state post-conviction and federal habeas procedure, but the heart of the course will be studies of criminal cases litigated in Montana or the Ninth Circuit. The course materials will be drawn from actual cases: transcripts, pleadings, briefs, and opinions from state and federal trial and appellate courts. Students will see an error arise at trial or in a plea colloquy; identify the law at issue; understand in a pragmatic way why the error arises and consider what might have prevented it; assess the nature and extent of prejudice arising from the error; discuss how the error was presented on direct review and/or in state post-conviction proceedings; and see where the chips fall in federal habeas. In addition, the course will explore why federal constitutional guarantees are what they are, and what exactly is guaranteed; why procedures and standards of review are what they are; and why and how “error happens” even though all the lawyers are trying to do the right thing.

This class is designed for second and third students interested in prosecution or defense at the trial or appellate levels. Students headed for clerkships will also benefit. While the class is a criminal elective, students interested in litigation or appellate work on the civil side are welcome too.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 648
Credits: 3

This course examines the law that governs the relationship among American Indian tribes, the federal and state governments and those persons who may be subject to tribal jurisdiction. Students will learn about the evolution of federal Indian law from its late 18th century treaty-based origins to its early 21st century era of tribal self-determination. Specific topics for study and analysis include the foundational doctrines of original Indian title; inherent tribal sovereignty; congressional plenary authority over American Indian affairs; and the federal trust duty to protect American Indian lands and rights.

These doctrines' impact on the contemporary lives, resources, cultures, and rights of the american Indian peoples will be evaluated within selected legal frameworks. These areas of analysis include: (a) civil and criminal jurisdiction within Indian country; (b) Indian natural resources law; (c) Indian environmental law; (d) Indian taxation; (e) Indian cultural and religious freedoms; (f) Indian child welfare law; (g) Indian gaming; (h) Indian economic development; (i) Indian reserved water rights; and (j) Indian hunting and fishing rights.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 552
Credits: 3

Almost every important business and personal transaction involves tax considerations. This problem-based course addresses the fundamental issues at the core of our federal income tax law: What items of economic income or gain are includable in gross income? What items of expense are deductible? When is an amount included in gross income and when may a taxpayer claim a deduction for an amount that is clearly deductible? Who is taxed on items of income? What is the character of an item of income or of a deduction?

Elective Course
Course Number: NCN
Credits: 

This course will examine constructions of gender and the roles our law and legal system plays in creating, regulating, reinforcing, and perpetuating those categories in our society and our individual lives.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 637
Credits: 

This introductory survey health law course will address the laws governing the health care delivery system in the United States. After an introduction to the health care delivery system generally, the course will address the health law implications of: (1) the delivery system, (2) the financing system, and (3) the regulatory system, from federal and state perspectives. We will consider some health care policy issues, work on interpretations of statutes and regulations, work with research sources, consider relevant case law and spend time preparing and reviewing practice related documents. We will consider how a lawyer may advise a client from various perspectives on the often difficult fact patterns presented to a lawyer in practice. Students also will benefit from guest speakers who will share their expertise and experience with the class.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 624
Credits: 3

This course focuses on the insurance law and practice that every lawyer needs beginning with casualty insurance for autos, homes, and businesses followed by life, health, and disability insurance. Students will be immersed in the world of insurance, learning its history, fundamental concepts, regulation, basic products, and marketing. Students will analyze insurance policies, statutes, and cases while drafting opinion letters, arguing issues, and collaboratively developing an actual insurance policy. Insurance lawyers, claimant’s lawyers, regulators, executives, and adjusters lend their expertise as guests in particular class sessions.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 

This is a seminar jointly offered by the School of Law and the Department of Public Administration and Policy. This course provides an interdisciplinary scholarly and practical framework for understanding and engaging in criminal justice reform, with a focus on the Montana criminal justice system and rural and Indian country jurisdictions. This course approaches criminal justice reform from a policy perspective. This course is open to graduate students from any Department or discipline. 

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 539
Credits: 

This seminar course introduces students to the foundational concepts of international law before embarking on a deeper exploration of how that law shapes and responds to environmental issues such as human and indigenous rights, the rights of nature, water and air quality, biodiversity, protected areas, and climate change. Students will also engage in comparative analyses of approaches taken by individual nation states and sovereigns. This course helps students place our national laws in context, learn from other legal systems, and discern the role that the U.S. plays on the global stage. Emphasis is placed on applying substantive knowledge to emerging environmental problems through robust classroom discourse and a final paper.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 650
Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of natural resources and environmental law--a field that directly impacts our community and world. For students interested in practicising in this area, this class provides foundational knowledge for their careers. For those headed in other directions, this class provides basic literacy in a subject that is important for all lawyers to understand. Students learn about: (1) the legal and historical framework for understanding natural resources and environmental law; (2) key terminology and a taxonomy of regulatory approaches; and (3) several core environmental laws, inclulding NEPA, CWA, CAA, CERCLA, and the ESA. Special topics such as environmental due diligence, indigenous rights, and the clean and healthful environment clause in the Montana Constitution are also covered. Students also practice key lawyering skills including researching environmental laws, reviewing an environmental impact statement, working with agencies, and drafting an environmental complaint. The course emphasizes place-based learning and includes a field trip that explores the application of environmental law to the world around us. Assessment is through a mid-term and final exam.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 534
Credits: 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the law of intellectual property. It is an introductory course for students interested in a general overview of intellectual property as well as students interested in pursuing a legal career in intellectual property law. The course will cover trademark, patent, and copyright law, with some attention devoted to trade secrets law and emerging issues in intellectual property. Students are not expected or required to have a technical background.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 523
Credits: 2

This course covers the origins of the juvenile justice system, status offenders, jurisdiction, adolescent psychology, diversion, custody and search, school searches, drug testing, interrogation, right to counsel, jury trials, disposition, waiver, death penalty for juveniles, and restorative justice.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 687
Credits: 3

Land Use Planning & The Environment is the study of how local communities plan and regulate the use of their lands. The course covers traditional planning, zoning, and subdivision controls and also examines the following topics:

  • agricultural issues in land use
  • land use on tribal lands
  • local regulation of environmental issues
  • the connection between growth and water quality and supply
  • environmental justice issues arising from land use decisions
  • private land use controls

Students attend live public hearings on land use issues, develop their analytical and presentation skills, and practice ordinance drafting skills. Land Use Planning & The Environment is a prerequisite course for enrollment in the Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 607
Credits: 1

In this class, we read outstanding works of literature, confront concepts of justice, and explore the role of lawyers and the law in our society.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 631
Credits: 2

Law Practice provides an introduction and exploration of the practice of law in the 21st Century, with a focus on building a successful and rewarding legal career. Topics covered include starting a law firm as a solo practitioner, billing hours, getting and keeping clients, finding work-life balance, surviving your first year in practice, navigating law firm politics, and choosing a career path. There are no exams in this course. Students will write and present a scholarly paper on a topic of their choosing related to legal practice.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 630
Credits: 3

The three questions that provide the content of this course are:

  1. What are the sources of meaning and satisfaction in professional life? What re the sources of dissatisfaction and stress in professional Life?
  2. In what ways are professional values and attitudes transmitted in law school and in the profession, and how do the professional values and attitudes shape the profession?
  3. What values and attitudes do students need to cultivate personally in order to find meaning and satisfaction in their professional lives as lawyers? What practices and habits must they develop to be able to protect their chosen values and attitudes in the face of potentially conflicting values and practices in the legal profession? 

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 652
Credits: 3

This seminar concerns how law is written and read by lawyers, judges, legislators, and the public, from campaign to capitol to court. The course begins with an introduction to the system of representation, legislation, and interpretation. Then it takes each function in turn: first, the regulation of the electoral process including voting rights, campaign finance, and direct democracy; second, the structure of the legislative process including lobbying and deliberative rules; and third, the interpretation and implementation of resulting statutes, with emphases on criminal, environmental and natural resources, civil rights, and Indian Law. In addition to seminar discussion, students present short moot courts and produce a research paper, draft judicial opinion, or legislative project.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 618
Credits: 3

This seminar considers the history, development, and future of the Montana Constitution from a comparative perspective. Beginning with the forces that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1972, it surveys the structure of Montana state government and key provisions in the Declaration of Rights. It pays particular attention to distinctive provisions such as the right of privacy, the right to know, and the right to a clean and healthful environment. Throughout, the course considers the role of popular sovereignty in the interpretation of the constitution over time. In addition to seminar discussion, students present short moot courts, post an online research project, and produce a research paper or draft judicial opinion.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 3

This course explores legal doctrines and conflicts associated with the ownership, allocation, use and protection of extractive and energy-producing natural resources with emphasis on four specific resources: timber, hardrock minerals, coal, and hydroelectric power. Using these resources as the focal points, the course evaluates how rights to resources arise and how rights are severed and transferred separate from land in various transactions. The course also considers the application of various statutes to resource and energy development, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the 1872 Mining Law, the National Forest Management Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Federal Power Act, the Northwest Power Act, and several administrative law doctrines. The second part of the course looks at some of the energy regulatory and transmission issues applicable to coal and hydropower, with special emphasis on regional issues in the northern Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest states. Grade is based on a paper and class participation. Course materials are various handouts and online readings.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 613
Credits: 3

This course examines alternative approaches to prevent and resolve natural resource and environmental conflicts. It reviews the history and merits of alternative approaches, and emphasizes the theory and methods of collaboration. The highly interactive course uses lectures, guest speakers, case studies, and simulations.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 641
Credits: 3

Students are presented with negotiation theory and practice, and the opportunity to negotiate simulated transactions and disputes. This course is important for any attorney involved in a litigation or business practice. Aside from the practice of law, good negotiation skills are important in all walks of life and most all of life's endeavors.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 651, Section 1
Credits: 3

Oil and gas law applies property law and contract law principles to a complex natural resource that has been the subject of a rich body of case law. The course evaluates resource rights from the perspective of the developer, the property owner, and the regulator. Topics include the creation of mineral property interests in oil and gas, how those interests are similar and different from other forms of real property, and how they are conveyed. We spend a fair amount of time evaluating the provisions of oil and gas leases, which are the principal instruments uses to transfer oil and gas rights. While much of the course focuses on private rights in resources, the course also looks at the acquisition of oil and gas rights on public domain lands. Property law is the only prerequisite, even if it is taken concurrently.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 635
Credits: 2

This course examines in detail the tax consequences associated with the formation, operation and liquidation of partnerships and limited liability companies  taxed as partnerships.  Among the topics addressed are the contribution of property and services, the partners’ distributive shares of items of partnership income and deduction, the maintenance of capital accounts, partnership allocations, current and liquidating distributions, and an array of anti-abuse rules.  This course is recommended for all students planning to practice in the business and property transaction areas.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 664
Credits: 3

In the practice of law, according to Karl Llewellyn, “Ideals without technique are a mess. But technique without ideals is a menace.” This course provides a vocabulary of ideals to help answer questions that arise throughout the practice of legal technique: what is “law,” and how does it relate to “justice”? The American legal system incorporates multiple conceptions of law and justice in conversation with each other. The course reflects these conversations, enabling students to understand and apply diverse meanings of “law” and “justice” in practice. It begins with classical theories of natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism, then proceeds to the emergence of critical legal studies (and related developments of critical race theory, legal feminism, and other critical perspectives), before turning to pragmatism (including economic and literary perspectives) and the lawyer’s role in social change. In addition to seminar discussion, students will comment on current issues and produce a research paper or project.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 657
Credits: 3

This course is designed to go beyond the basic concepts of torts and warranty law and acquaint the students with the specific history of products liability law tracing the evolution to the present day.

The emphasis of the course will be the melding of products law with trial procedures and strategies emphasizing Montana law and practice. The goal will be to equip the students with the tools they will need to participate in a products case from initial analysis through appeal. Students will work with real life fact scenarios to further their understanding of this dynamic area of law.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 654
Credits: 3

This course examines the basic historic, political, and economic forces that continue to shape the legal development of federal public land and natural resources law.

Topics for analysis and discussion include:

  1. the historical epochs of public land law including the eras of acquisition, disposal, withdrawal or retention, and the modern public land management era;
  2. the evolving division of jurisdictional and managerial authority over America's public lands;
  3. the statutory and regulatory standards governing the use of specific natural resources on public lands; and
  4. assessment of pending legislative or administrative reforms of America's public land laws.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 3

This seminar examines race and racism in contemporary U.S. society and the role that law and lawyers play in perpetuating and combating them.  Situating our inquiry in the current rise of and resistance to white supremacy, we will investigate the concept of race and roots of racism, trace their development in the Indian, African-American, and immigrant contexts, and interrogate the opportunities and limitations of law in addressing them.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 658
Credits: 2

This is a practical course on real estate transactions.  It covers theory and also provides students opportunities to develop “deal-making” skills such as reviewing documents, drafting techniques, and negotiation approaches in a transactional setting.  Various documents from actual deals are used as vehicles to teach these skills, including deeds, provisions from purchase and sale agreements, leases, estoppel certificates, promissory notes, mortgages and deeds of trust.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 628
Credits: 3

Remedies is the field of law dealing with the means of enforcing rights and restoring wrongs. A remedy is anything a court can do for a litigant who has been wronged or is about to be wronged. This course analyzes the two most common remedies: (1) judgments that plaintiffs are entitled to collect sums of money from defendants; and (2) orders to defendants to refrain from wrongful conduct or to undue its consequences.

Elective Course
Course Number: Law 678
Credits: 2

There is great public, private & academic interest in renewable energy, both as a sustainable alternative to traditional methods of energy generation (e.g., coal & gas) and as a means to strengthen the fortunes of traditionally economically disadvantaged populations (e.g., tribes). This interest is reflected in many tangible ways, including a significant increase over the last decade in energy generated using renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, etc.) and the creation of local, state & federal incentives and tax breaks available to renewable energy developers. Most energy experts agree that we have reached the point where the question is not whether renewable energy will be a part of our country’s energy future, but rather how big a part it will be. 

Renewable Energy Law examines the legal issues surrounding renewable energy through a practical, project development based approach. The focus is on the role of the renewable energy lawyer in, among other things, negotiating leases and easements for renewable energy development rights on private, public and tribal lands; securing local, state & federal project permits; analyzing and addressing environmental and wildlife impacts; obtaining transmission and interconnection agreements; and securing project financing. 

This course is approved for and counts toward completion of the Environmental and Natural Resources Certificate.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 667
Credits: 

This simulation offers an opportunity to understand the function of the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts by simulating a case currently pending before the Court. Each student will play counsel or a justice in: the selection of a case through the certiorari process; presentation of briefs and arguments by petitioners, respondents, and amici; and conference followed by an announcement of opinions. Throughout, students will reflect upon litigation strategy, judicial philosophy, and the interaction among various participants in the Supreme Court's process, and by extension other appellate judicial processes. In addition to seminar discussion, students participate in oral argument from both sides of the bench, and produce a short brief or opinion.

Elective Course
Course Number: 595
Credits: 2

Tax exempt organizations enrich the communities in which we live and provide critical services to many.  Land trusts, conservation organizations, legal services organizations, food banks, hospitals, private schools, community foundations, symphonies, skating rinks and religious organizations fall within the umbrella of nonprofit organizations.  The Internal Revenue Code governs the formation and operation of these nonprofits.  The Code sets forth “behavioral” rules for nonprofits that, if not followed, result in excise taxes imposed on the organization and, in some cases, its contributors and managers.  To maintain charitable status, charitable organizations must meet operational requirements imposed by the Code.

The 2 credit Tax Exempt Organizations course focuses on formation and operation of charitable organizations. It is designed for the lawyer who:

  • advises clients wishing to form a charitable organization;
  • serves on the board of nonprofit organizations; or
  • acts as legal counsel for the charitable organization.

Students who complete the course will be able to advise and assist clients in the formation of charitable organization, the appropriate choice of charitable entity, and the procedural requirements for operating the organization and maintaining its tax exempt status.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 529
Credits: 2

This two-credit practical course is an introductory guide to the representation of taxpayers in federal tax controversy. Geared towards law students and students in the Masters of Accountancy program, this course covers the life span of a federal tax controversy. Topics covered include return filing requirements, the audit and administrative appeals procedures, forums for judicial review (with emphasis on the United States Tax Court), and the collection process.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 639
Credits: 

This course addresses the tax implications of (a) the formation of partnerships, limited liability companies and "C" and "S" corporations, (b) the operation of these entities including non-liquidating distributions, and (c) the liquidation of these entities. This course is recommended for those students who wish to develop a general business practice or to develop an expertise in taxation of business entities. Federal Tax is a prerequisite for this course.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 655
Credits: 3

A transfer tax is imposed on certain lifetime transfers of property and transfers of property at death. This course focuses primarily on the estate and gift taxes and includes some coverage of the generation-skipping transfer tax. While not a prerequisite for the course, the course in estates provides a helpful context for the material addressed.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 640
Credits: 3

This course addresses the tax consequences of common property transactions, including installment sales, like kind exchanges, involuntary conversions, property settlements in divorce, and sales of businesses. Federal Tax is a prerequisite for this course.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 557
Credits: 2

This course is designed to provide students with persuasive skills in trial advocacy that will serve them broadly in the professional work in which they engage. Lawyers and judges volunteer to assist the adjunct professors with the weekly classes, each class focusing on identified trial skills. The class format is one of demonstration, question and answer session, and hands-on practice of the identified trial skill. Classes are supplemented by evening sessions in which students perform jury voir dire, give opening statements, perform direct and cross examinations of lay and expert witnesses, and give a closing argument. Students complete the course by collaborating with a partner and participating in a mock jury trial against two other students.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 688
Credits: 3

This course is a study of tribal laws and tribal justice systems, both historically and currently, to evaluate the scope of tribal jurisdiction. Looks at variety of tribal justice systems, including the tribes located in Montana to evaluate similarities and difference between tribal systems. Compres tribal justice systems to state and federal systems of justice in the areas of criminal, civil, and regulatory laws.

Offered:  Permanent
Credits: 1
Grade Mode: Traditional

Course Description: Due to the inherent sovereignty of American Indian Nations, advocacy within tribal governance systems is unique and differs from advocacy in State and Federal Forums. This course will promote a critical understanding of the techniques and skills necessary for advocacy in Tribal Government forums. In addition to argument before the Tribal Court, a large amount of legal practice in tribal forums also occurs before the tribal council. This is because in many tribal jurisdictions the tribal council functions as the legislative, executive and judicial branches. In many jurisdictions it is the tribal council, rather than the Court that hears and decides certain disputes (as not all tribes have implemented separation of powers and delegated the entirety of the judicial function either constitutionally or as a delegation of authority to the Tribal Court). With this in mind, the intent of this course is to give students a realistic view of Tribal Government forums and the role played by the tribal advocate with both experiences, a tribal court argument experience, and a tribal council argument experience.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 636
Credits: 3

This course focuses on security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.  Students learn new vocabulary, rules, and procedures that lenders must know and follow to force loan repayment.  Covered topics include the remedies available to unsecured creditors and secured creditors, the rights and duties of parties to secured transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code, the effect of the bankruptcy automatic stay, creation of security interests, perfection, priority and competitions for collateral.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 663
Credits: 3

The law plays a critical role in determining how our scarce water resources are used and allocated. This course examines the historical events and customs that led to the water laws we have today. The course then covers modern-day water permitting regulations and the adjudication of historic water rights. From there, the course explores emerging issues that a water lawyer will face in practice – from water marketing, to instream flow protection, to recreational access, to coal bed methane development.

The course compares the differences between water law in the eastern and western United States, and then focuses on the Rocky Mountain West and the variations among the states in our region. Alongside a selection of national readings, students study the specific water laws of Montana. Although water law is primarily the province of state law, the course also addresses tribal water rights, federal water rights, and interstate water allocation.

Finally, students practice water lawyer skills, including researching and analyzing water rights, handling water rights in a real estate transaction, and appearing before a water court in an adjudication proceeding.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 644
Credits: 2

This course surveys substantive and procedural issues arising in the investigation, prosecution and defense of white collar crimes under federal, state, and tribal law. The substantive offenses covered by this course include conspiracy, RICO, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, securities fraud, computer crime, and bribery. The course also covers offenses arising during the underlying investigation, such as perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice. Procedural issues covered in the course include the Fifth Amendment, conflicts, privileges, ethical issues, proffer sessions, plea bargaining, parallel proceedings, corporate sentencing issues, and corporate compliance and deferred prosecution agreements. Students will be assessed using practice-based assignments, including researching, drafting and arguing jury instructions and legal pleadings.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 520
Credits: 3

This class examines legal requirements and policies for the protection and management of wildlife and biological diversity. Topics include the distinctions between Wildlife Law and Animal Law, private interests in domestic animals and wildlife, the constitutional underpinnings of state and federal wildlife laws, state regulation of wildlife, and American Indians’ rights to wildlife resources. The class also covers the federal Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, plus international efforts to protect biodiversity. Guest speakers will highlight the spectacular array and richness of regional and transboundary wildlife-related issues in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

This course is approved for and counts toward completion of the Environmental and Natural Resources Certificate.

Past Winter Course Offerings

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 605
Credits: 2

Animal Law is the body of law relating to animals and the interaction between people and animals. Animal Law crosses into many areas of law including Property, Torts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Contracts, Family Law and Wills & Trusts. In many ways Animal Law issues are somewhat contradictory: how can animals have rights but no standing to enforce those rights? Do animal laws protect animals or people’s interest in animals? In this course, students will read, discuss, and think about Animal Law issues.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 677
Credits: 1

This course will introduce students to the sources and skills necessary to researching environmental law issues. Environmental law is largely occupied by the federal government, so this course will focus on federal regulatory research (CFR & Federal Register), the Administrative Procedures Act and administrative hearings, and federal statutes and legislative history research. The course will also introduce students to state and international environmental law sources. The course will not cover the substantive provisions of environmental law.  (Taught in Winter)

Supreme Court Seminar

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 667
Credits: 1

This simulation offers an opportunity to understand the function of the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts by simulating a case currently pending before the Court. Each student will play counsel or a justice in: the selection of a case through the certiorari process; presentation of briefs and arguments by petitioners, respondents, and amici; and conference followed by an announcement of opinions. Throughout, students will reflect upon litigation strategy, judicial philosophy, and the interaction among various participants in the Supreme Court's process, and by extension other appellate judicial processes. In addition to seminar discussion, students participate in oral argument from both sides of the bench, and produce a short brief or opinion.

Winter Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

As American service members are engaged in combat across the globe, this course will help prepare a new generation of lawyers to meet the ever-increasing need for knowledgeable and effective veterans' advocates to serve veterans of past, present, and future wars and domestic military service. Students will explore the history and theory of veterans' benefits and recent developments in veterans' benefits law, including notable decisions by the Board of Veterans Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Students will also survey recent studies of the veterans' disability benefits system and examine in more depth the unique issues facing service members who have returned and are returning from Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. Finally, students will also learn the fundamental structure of the benefits system and the Department of Veterans Affairs claims adjudication process, and the basics of advocacy on behalf of VA claimants.

Past Summer Course Offerings

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 685
Credits: 1 Credit for Students (25-30 CLE for Practicing Attorneys)

Practitioners and a select number of law students study and demonstrate the fine points of trial advocacy during this five-day, one-week course that is offered during the spring.  Please refer to the events calendar for upcoming sessions of the Advanced Trial Advocacy Program.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

This course will focus on the historical policies behind, and the current provisions of, the American Indian Probate Reform Act. In particular, the Act's creation of the first federal Indian probate code, testate and intestate succession rules applicable to federal trust realty and personalty, land consolidation opportunities for individuals and tribes, and tribal probate code development. Additionally, this course will explore estate planning options that individual trust land owners can use to control and distribute their trust lands during their lifetime and through the probate process.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 

This course provides information about crime and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country.  Topics include an overview of the laws affecting criminal jurisdiction, some of the unique criminal problems affecting Indian Country, traditional methods of resolving unacceptable behavioral problems within tribal communities, and the evolution of current responses to crime within Indian Country.   Following completion of the course, students should have a basic understanding of the foundational principles relating to crime and law enforcement in Indian Country.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 644
Credits: 1

This course covers issues confronting corporations, officers, and employees when they find themselves under criminal investigation. In doing so, the class will focus on the role of an internal investigation, some of the thornier legal and ethical issues that arise in conducting such an investigation, and the practical problems that must be confronted in any investigation. The class will also examine the roles of the board of directors, board committees, management, employees, the lawyers conducting the investigation, and the prosecutors. It will also provide practical advice on handling the defense of corporate entities and their officers and employees.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

This course looks at the dynamics of domestic violence within Indian Country, the jurisdictional challenges associated with addressing this issue, the various federal and tribal law applicable to domestic violence situations, and what tools are being used in response to domestic violence within Indian Country.   Following completion of the course, students should have a basic understanding of the foundational principles relating domestic violence and the jurisdictional factors that impact effective enforcement of domestic violence laws within Indian Country.

Summer Course
Course Number: 595
Credits: 1

This course will focus on opportunities and challenges for sustainable Economic Development in Indian Country.  The class will cover the growth of E-commerce as an economic sector with the potential for expanding the economic footprint on even the most remote tribal lands and reservations through online financial services opportunities.  The course will cover the various federal consumer protection laws and regulations that impact Tribal Governmental E-commerce lending, including tribal consumer protection laws.  Following completion of the course, students will have a basic understanding of E-commerce opportunities in Indian Country, structuring E-commerce businesses; the legal, jurisdictional, regulatory and consumer protection issues associated with Tribal Governmental E-commerce lending. The course will have a special emphasis on whether Congress granted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the authority to regulate Tribal Governmental E-commerce lending under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 77090
Credits: 3

In the last two decades, criminal prosecution of environmental offenses has become an integral part of environmental protection in the United States.  This three-credit course addresses practical and policy issues involved in criminal enforcement of environmental laws, including:   (1) the evolution of environmental criminal law as a distinct body of law; (2) investigation and litigation of environmental offenses; (3) legal issues involved in environmental criminal prosecutions; (4) policy considerations related to criminal enforcement of environmental laws; (5) environmental justice considerations; and (6) trends in environmental law prosecutions.

Student assessment is based on class participation and preparation, writing assignments, and oral presentations.  Credits earned from this course apply toward the Environmental and Natural Resources Certificate.  This course provides students with an opportunity to fulfill their Advanced Writing Requirement.

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 677
Credits: 1

This course will introduce students to the sources and skills necessary to researching environmental law issues. Environmental law is largely occupied by the federal government, so this course will focus on federal regulatory research (CFR & Federal Register), the Administrative Procedures Act and administrative hearings, and federal statutes and legislative history research. The course will also introduce students to state and international environmental law sources. The course will not cover the substantive provisions of environmental law.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

This course surveys federal Indian policy and law related to Indian education, including historical sources for Indian education rights. Special attention will be given to the unique Indian education matters in the state of Montana, including those programs implemented by the state as well as special tribal education programs.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 611
Credits: 1

Because tribes are sovereign governments, the field of Indian Law encompasses distinct legal issues and legal sources. Researching both federal Indian law (the law of the relationship between tribal governments and the U.S. government) and tribal law (the law of individual tribes) requires an additional set of tools and research skills to those students are introduced to in a basic legal research course. In this course, students will learn the skills and sources necessary to research general Indian law issues as well as the very specialized skills and sources used in researching the legal history of a tribe, including reserved treaty rights. The course will cover researching treaties, Indian land claims, statutory and case law, and tribal law. Students will actively participate in creating a tribal legal history throughout the course.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

Professional advocates invariably find themselves in mediation or mediation-like settings.  Lawyers and social workers, for example, often advocate in such formal settings as court-annexed mediations, and activists and journalists in such informal settings as disputes involving neighborhood problems and news access.  How do such situations differ from litigation?  And how should we advocate in them?  Taking an expansive view of “mediations”, this seminar will look at the characteristics of extra-legal dispute resolution mechanisms and introduce effective advocacy strategies appropriate in such settings.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

The objective of this course is to create a base of understanding about the development and financing of renewable energy projects.  After introducing essential electric industry concepts, terms and systems, we will review the contractual infrastructure of a renewable energy project (wind or solar, or a combination of the two).  This review will include a summary of documents for site control, permitting, interconnection to the grid and transmission of energy, construction of the project and power sales agreements, and an analysis of why getting these documents right and having them properly integrated is essential to a successful financing of the project.  The last two class sessions will focus specifically on structure of, and principal documents associated with, a non-recourse project financing.  A significant portion of the financing discussion will be based on a case study of a recently-completed financing for a wind energy project in Alaska.

Brief introductory reading materials will be assigned and distributed in advance of the first class.  The final examination for the course will consist of 10 “short answer” questions; each student will select 8 of these questions to answer in a “take-home, open book” setting.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

This course provides information about crime and criminal jurisdiction in Indian country. Topics include an overview of the law affecting criminal jurisdiction, some of the unique criminal problems affecting Indian country, the traditional methods of resolving unacceptable behavioral problems within tribal communities, and the evolution of current responses to crime. Following completion of the course, students should have a basic understanding of the foundational principles of Indian law, as well as a more fully developed understanding of crime and law enforcement in Indian country.

Summer Course
Course Number: LAW 595
Credits: 1

This course starts with an introduction to state, federal and Indian water law. It then addresses the unique attributes of Indian reserved and aboriginal water rights.  It includes discussions on protection of Indian water rights, state-tribal water disputes and the preemptive role of Congress in Indian Country.

This course was taught by guest lecturer John Carter.  Mr. Carter has represented the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation for thirty years, primarily in the field of water law, natural resource protection and development and on treaty issues.  His practice involves extensive litigation in these areas and work with the Montana Legislature and U.S. Congress. Mr. Carter practices in the trial and appellate courts of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the State of Montana and the Federal Courts.