Electives Courses

Qualifying course offerings can change from semester to semester. For a complete list for the current academic year, check the student handbook or contact the Law School Registrar.


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  • Securities Regulation , JURI: 4960 , Credit Hours: 3
    This overview of the federal securities laws focuses primarily on the Securities Act of 1933. Topics covered include the definition of a security, the registration of securities offerings with the Securities & Exchange Commission, exemptions from registration, secondary distributions, and civil liabilities.

  • Select Topics in Judicature , JURI: 4581 , Credit Hours: 1
    Selected areas of judicial administration and judging that are too narrow for a full-semester course. Topics may include judicial case management, the judicial role in criminal and civil matters, the role of judges or courts in society and literature, comparative approaches to judging in different legal systems, etc.

  • Select Topics in Judicature: Persuading the Judge and Jury , JURI: 4581 , Credit Hours: 1
    Sprring 2018: This course will give students the opportunity to discuss and to practice parts of a trial such as jury selection, opening and closing statements, witness examinations, appellate briefs, and appellate arguments with Judge Bernice Donald.  Judge Donald has been: a judge on Tennessee’s General Sessions Criminal Court; a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Tennessee; and a United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.  She currently is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  She will share her trial and appellate insights and give feedback as you perform related exercises.   

  • Selected Topics in International Criminal Law , JURI: 5595 , Credit Hours: 1
    The course will examine key issues and dilemmas relating to International Criminal Law (ICL). It will begin by surveying both ICL’s development in recent times as well as its substantive law. It will then explore unique aspects of ICL, including: the collective nature of the crimes, the difficulty of investigating such crimes, and the difficulty to enforce ICL. Various doctrines exclusive to ICL will be examined in order to demonstrate how ICL’s norms have been shaped by its exceptional features. The course will conclude by refuting the myth that ICL was ‘born’ at Nuremberg, by uncovering ICL’s centuries-long forgotten history and establishing its current relevancy.

  • Selected Topics in Jurisprudence , JURI: 4230 , Credit Hours: 2
    Selected topics in legal theory and the philosophy of law. This course involves more detailed studies of particular theoretical approaches and/or more particular applications to practice areas than do general survey courses, such as JURI 4199 (Modern American Legal Theory) and JURI 4870 (American Legal History). Those courses are not prerequisites or co-requisites but might, depending on topics covered, provide a good background to enhance appreciation of this course.

  • Sentencing , JURI: 4256 , Credit Hours: 2
    This course will introduce students to the evolving field of U.S. Sentencing Law. The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. At the moment, there are over 7.3 million people in the U.S. on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole. This equals 3.2% of U.S. adult residents (equivalent to 1 out of every 31 people in the U.S.). Further, 2.3 million U.S. adult residents are incarcerated (which equals 1% of U.S. adult residents). This class will broadly examine the principles and practices of sentencing. While federal sentencing law has received the most attention in recent years, particularly since the creation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, it is impossible to understand the current dynamics or the likely future trends of federal sentencing without also looking more broadly. As such, along with federal sentencing, this course will examine state sentencing systems and alternatives to sentencing in both the federal and state systems. Furthermore, as incarceration is the central tenet of American sentencing law, this course will introduce students to the U.S. prison system.

  • Sentencing Seminar , JURI: 4255 , Credit Hours: 1
    An examination of the overarching goals of sentencing in the criminal justice system, policy considerations driving sentencing, constitutional and statutory limitations on sentencing schemes, and the basics of sentencing practice in state and federal courts in this country.

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Law , JURI: 4822 , Credit Hours: 2
    This course will examine the evolving constitutional and legal rights of the LGBTQ community.  We will begin by exploring the historical evolution of the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians, examining doctrines of privacy and equality as they have evolved to protect LGBTQ individuals.  The course will explore ongoing legal battles over religious freedom and nondiscrimination laws, the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, employment discrimination, and family law questions (including parentage, adoption, divorce, and alternatives to marriage).  We will examine these issues critically, including by addressing concerns over federalism, free exercise, the democratic process, and the proper role of the courts.  Throughout the course, students will explore key due process and equal protection concepts and learn how to frame and develop constitutional arguments.  This seminar will satisfy the Capstone requirement.   

  • Sociology of Law , JURI: 4820 , Credit Hours: 3
    Characterized by a scientific rather than normative emphasis, legal sociology focuses on empirical patterns of legal behavior, such as initiation and winning of law suits, origins and content of rules, and the development of legal institutions. Most literature has addressed case-level variation and the course will reflect this. But instead of analyzing cases in terms of the applicable rules and policies, lectures and readings will invoke the social characteristics of participants (e.g., social ties, status, marginality, reputation and organizational affiliations) to predict and explain case outcomes. Sociological techniques by which social differentials in cases (discrimination) might be minimized will also be studied. Modern American materials will be emphasized.

  • Solo & Small Firm Practice , JURI: 4625 , Credit Hours: 2 (3L students only)
    This course provides a roadmap for the new lawyer to establish a solo law practice or to join with other lawyers in creating or expanding a small law firm. This course is limited to 3L students only.

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