San Joaquin College of Law offers between eight and fourteen different elective classes each year, the bulk being offered during summer sessions. Regularly offered electives are augmented by other electives. The regularly offered electives, offered at least once every two years, include: Administrative Law, Family Law, Civil Trial Practice, Civil Litigation (Pre-Trial) and Advanced Criminal Procedure. Other electives are offered based upon student need and interest as well as legal trends. The electives listed below have all been taught within the last four years.

L145 Basic Individual Income Taxation

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts with regard to income taxation under federal law, with primary emphasis on individuals. The course more specifically examines identification of income subject to taxation, identification of the proper taxpayer, deductions allowable in computing taxable income, the proper year of inclusion of deductions, characterizations of income and deductions (capital gains and losses), deferral and non-recognition of income deductions, computation of taxable income and tax liabilities, and basic federal tax procedures. (3 units)

L156 Moot Court Competition

Upon recommendation of the Moot Court Director, students participating in external moot court competitions may receive academic credit. (2 units)

L201 On-Line Legal Research

This course focuses on the use of electronic resources to conduct general legal research. It will examine different effective means of performing legal research; explore searching methods for both Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw and examine other online materials and their use. The course will introduce students to some specialized research.

This is designed as a skills course. Students will complete a series of graded research assignments both during class and outside of class. Students will maintain a research log which records their research process. Course limited to those who completed Legal Research & Writing. (1 unit)

L203 Legal Process

The course will focus on skills and knowledge useful for success on the California Bar Examination. Students will be exposed to bar-style essay exams, MBE exams, and Performance Exams. Students will also receive some substantive review in Torts, Contracts, and Constitutional Law. Enrollment will be limited to graduating students. (3 units)

L204 Analytical Process

In this one-unit, pass/no pass, class, students will explore how to enhance their understanding of the analytical process through a variety of practical exercises. These exercises will illustrate how the same basic analytical structure can be found in opinions, exam answers, memos, and even in more complicated legal documents. This class is required for students who have a GPA of less than 65 at the end of their first year. (1 unit)

L205 Administrative Law

Administrative Law addresses the practices and procedures by which administrative agencies act to implement governmental policies, as well as the rights citizens have to seek judicial review of agency actions. The course includes a review of the constitutional principles of separation of powers which determine the roles of the President, Congress and the Judiciary in overseeing administrative agencies. A particular focus is on federal administrative law and the operation of the Administrative Procedure Act, which govern the promulgation of rules and orders by federal administrative agencies, as well as the rights of citizens to challenge such agency action in court and seek monetary and injunctive relief. (2 units)

L206 Tribal Sovereign Immunity

This course explores the origin of tribal sovereign immunity, its evolution through the courts, and the effect that tribal sovereignty has had on the societal and business relationships with federally recognized tribes and their businesses. The course will examine and discuss some of the issues and concerns that a practitioner will have to address when representing clients who interact with federally recognized tribal governments. (2 units)

L207 Municipal Law

This course explores the origin of tribal sovereign immunity, its evolution through the courts, and the effect that tribal sovereignty has had on the societal and business relationships with federally recognized tribes and their businesses. The course will examine and discuss some of the issues and concerns that a practitioner will have to address when representing clients who interact with federally recognized tribal governments. (2 units)

L209 Species Protection Policy and Law

This course introduces students to environmental law and policy through the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), arguably the most powerful and the most controversial environmental statute in the world. Lectures and readings will cover the policies behind the ESA; trace the statute's step-by-step species protection scheme; examine key administrative rules and caselaw; and explore both sides of the public policy debate. Students will be evaluated based on small-group presentations, periodic short writing assignments, and a final paper. (2 units)

L210 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of basic bankruptcy law. The class will cover federal statutes giving rise to bankruptcy law, the Bankruptcy Code and Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the main participants in bankruptcy cases. The various chapters under the Bankruptcy Code will be discussed with particular emphasis on debtor and creditor rights in Chapter 7 and 13 cases. The course will also cover trustee's duties, avoidance actions under the Bankruptcy Code, property of the estate, exemptions, the automatic stay, payments of claims under the priority scheme set out under the Bankruptcy Code, discharge, objections to discharge and the nondischargeability of certain debts. (2 units)

L212 Private Labor Law

The course focuses primarily on the rights of employees, employers, and labor organizations under the National Labor Relations Act and related statutes, primarily in the areas of organizing and representation. The curriculum includes both a general study of the Act and specific decisions of the courts and NLRB interpreting the Act, as well as in-depth case studies of certain key areas of law developed under the Act. (2 units)

L213 Public Labor Law

The course will examine Constitutional and statutory considerations pertaining to employment relations issues concerning public employees, unionized and non-union, with particular emphasis on California law, and particularly the right to organize, bargaining rights, and the administration of finalized agreements containing terms and conditions of employment applicable to state, county, and other governmental employees. (2 units)

L215 Employment Law

This course provides an overview of various legal issues arising out of the employment relationship and the termination of the employment relationship. There will be an emphasis on employment discrimination, wrongful termination and related torts. (2 units)

L217 Civil Rights Litigation

This course will examine the jurisprudence, preparation, and practical application, through trial, of civil rights claims and defenses of constitutional and related torts redressable under the Federal Civil Rights Act, including related state law claims. The identification, formulation, presentation and perfection of such claims through appropriate governmental entities followed by preparation and filing of a complaint, the answer, and other pleading stage issues will be considered. All aspects of the prosecution and defenses of constitutional torts, through jury trial, including the full panoply of remedies and defenses available will be treated. Emphasis will be placed on preparation for and trial of such cases. (3 Units)

L219 Mediating Family & Relationship Conflicts

This course is an overview of the law, policies, and practices of mediation in family law matters, as well as the roles of attorneys in mediation, confidentiality, conflicts of interests, and mediation standards. Class attendance and completion of a research project are required. (1 unit)

L220 Law Practice Management

This course covers the skills of managing a law practice and provides a basic understanding of the skills needed to succeed in the practice of law. The course will cover the organization and management of legal work as well as practical knowledge about how law firms really work. The class will divide into “law firms” and produce projects in various areas. The course will cover a number of topics involving the business side of law practice, such as management and planning skills, as well as legal issues that impact law firms, such as partnership law, labor and employment law, leasing, pension law and malpractice. The course will also explore financial issues, marketing and technology, as well as principles of professional responsibility in these areas. (2 units)

L225 Civil Trial Practice

This course covers civil trial preparation and presentation, including file summary and organization, voir dire, direct and cross examinations, and opening and closing arguments. Rules of evidence and trial objections are included. Extensive class participation including the mock trial of a civil action is required. (3 units)

L230 Federal Courts and the Federal System

This course is an advanced seminar analyzing select issues relating to federal court jurisprudence. Topics will include the authority of Congress to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts, justiciability (standing, mootness, ripeness, etc.), subject matter jurisdiction of federal courts, the Eleventh Amendment, federal common law, abstention and federal civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Completion of this course will give the student a greater sense of confidence in practicing before federal courts. (2 units)

L235 Constitutional Law Research Seminar

Students will engage in collaborative research on a very focused constitutional law topic selected by the instructor. Completion of Constitutional Law may be helpful but is NOT required. Class time will include lecture material on the research topic, discussion and analysis of research results, and ongoing reformulation of research strategies. Grade is based on the quality of the student's research and contribution to classroom discussions. (2 units)

L239 Contract Drafting

This course provides introductory drafting methods for various types of business contracts and alternative dispute resolution clauses. The specific practice areas to be examined will vary from year to year, but may include, for example: employment contracts, personnel policies, real estate purchase agreements, title insurance policies, loan and collateral documents, deeds of trust, security agreements, assignments, processor/grower contracts and leases, various UCC agreements, and settlement agreements. (2 units)

L241 Land Use

This course will provide an overview of the relative rights the individual and government concerning the use and regulation of land. Course topics will include nuisance law, eminent domain, community planning, zoning, local land use entitlements, subdivision maps, environmental regulations, development fees, inverse condemnation, and judicial review. (2 units)

L244 Water Law

This course examines the development of water law from English and Eastern riparian theory, through the California and Western prior appropriation doctrine, and then to present day institutional, statutory, and judicial water resource governance. (2 units)

L245 Family Law

This course is an introduction to the legal regulation of the family in California’s family law courts. The course focuses on contemporary legal issues such as: domestic violence and child abuse; pre-marital agreements; the rights and obligations of spouses; same-sex marriage and parenting; terminating the marital relationship; child custody and visitation; grandparents rights; and the financial consequences of dissolution such as spousal support, child support, and litigation fees and costs. Special emphasis is paid to the practical application of the law, the role of the lawyer in family law and the increasingly sophisticated and multidisciplinary nature of family law practice. (2 units)

L250 Advanced Criminal Law

This advanced criminal procedure course will explore current and practical pretrial issues in the criminal arena. Topics will include charging discretion, arraignment and bail hearings, preliminary hearings, discovery practice, pleas, plea bargains, case negotiation and sentencing considerations, pretrial case preparation and investigation strategies, motion practice and pretrial writs and appellate remedies. Course methodology will include traditional casebook learning coupled with regular in-class mock adversarial exercises. Pre-requisite: completion of criminal law/criminal procedure or extensive criminal law work background. (3 units)

L251 Criminal Trial Practice

This course will present a detailed analysis of the elements of each stage of a criminal trial. The conduct of a complete trial will be emphasized; however, trial preparation, sentencing and post trial responsibilities of counsel will be included. Practices in state trial courts will be emphasized. Class participation is required. (3 units)

L255 Juvenile Justice

This course will provide an overview of Juvenile Justice, focusing on delinquency issues. The course will explore the underlying and evolving policies and philosophies of delinquency proceedings. It will further examine the practical application of those policies in the juvenile courts. (2 units)

L260 Pre-Trial Civil Litigation

This course involves an analysis of pre-trial skills and tactics, including fact gathering, investigation, preparation of witnesses, deposition purposes and skills and other discovery devices, negotiations, arbitration, and theory of the case. (3 units)

L264 Insurance Law

This course covers the basics of insurance law including the types of insurance policies used by individuals, corporations, and partnerships, how courts interpret insurance contracts, the insurer’s duty of good faith and fair dealing, and the insurer’s duty to defend and indemnify policyholders. This course addresses practical issues facing attorneys as they defend or litigate against insurance companies. (2 units)

L275 Law and the War on Terror

This course is an in depth analysis of federal and state law as they pertain to the study of terrorism. Topics include search and seizure issues, privacy laws, the U.S. Patriot Act, Constitutional debates in reference to terrorism investigation and prevention, and criminal procedure. An added component to this course is an examination of the historical, political, and ideological motivations behind terrorism for a more insightful understanding of the legal responses to the war on terror. (2 units)

279 Patent Law

This course provides an overview and introduction to the substantive law of patents. The course examines the doctrines of novelty, utility, and obviousness in the context of the application process; disclosure, claiming and statutory bars; the scope of protection afforded by patents; infringement, enforcement, remedies and defenses. (2 units)

(Back to Top)

281 Copyright/Trademark Law

This course provides an overview and introduction to the substantive law of copyrights and trademarks under federal law. The course examines the protections afforded through copyrights and trademarks, application processes, practice before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), infringement, enforcement, remedies and defenses. (2 units)

L285 Interactive Media

Interactive Media Law is a survey of legal issues and conflicts arising in the creation and management of websites, social networks; downloadable movies, television, and music; interactive entertainment and virtual worlds; and on-line business transactions. In these areas, we will consider specific legal conflicts arising in tort, contract, intellectual property, Constitutional, and other areas of law. Regardless of where you are in your law school studies, this class should help reinforce law you already know and provide a brief preview of issues you'll soon study. (2 units)

L286 National Security Law

This course is an in-depth analysis of select laws and issues pertaining to national security; including search and seizure issues, privacy laws, PATRIOT Act, constitutionality of certain terrorism investigation/prevention measures, criminal procedure, and water and food production security. An additional course component is the examination of the historical, political, and ideological motivations behind terrorism for students to better appreciate some of the legal instrumentality involved in national security matters. The required text for this course is Wayne McCormacks’ Legal Responses to Terrorism (First Edition), which can only be purchased from the Professor. John Esposito’s Unholy War: Terror In The Name of Islam (Oxford Univ. Press 2002) is to be read prior to the first day of class. (2 units)

L287 Immigration Law

This course provides an overview of immigration and citizenship law. We will discuss general immigration policy issues and how those policies are implemented. We will also spend a substantial amount of time discussing the practical side of immigration. Throughout the semester, we will ask and attempt to answer numerous important and complex questions involving our immigration policies and their effect on people, both inside and outside the United States. (3 units)

L288 Human Rights and Immigration

This course will examine human rights and immigration law with emphasis as to where the two areas intersect. The primary text is a case book that explores human rights from both domestic and international law perspectives. Areas examined will include asylum and refugee status, civil rights in the United States, international criminal law before and after the establishment of the International Criminal Court and detention in the United States immigration system. Historical examples of genocide and gross human rights violations such as the Holocaust, Armenian, Cambodian , Rawandan and Sudanese genocides will also be discussed and analyzed. In addition, discussion through a human rights lens of very recent events in Syria and at the United States border with the influx of unaccompanied minor children will also be part of the reading requirements and class discussions for the course. In addition, to the text students will be required to read excerpts from Immigration Law Stories as well as a course reader with supplemental articles. (3 units)

L290 Immigration Law - Policy and Writing

This course will present an overview of immigration and asylum law as applied to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Supreme Court appellate practice. This course will be a prerequisite for those students who wish to be considered for the Asylum Moot Court team in the Spring semester. In addition, students will complete under the direction of two professors an actual Ninth Circuit appellate brief which addresses multiple immigration law and asylum law issues. The briefing will be completed by students and will be submitted through the Ninth Circuit pro bono immigration project. The brief after revision will be submitted in an actual Ninth Circuit case for a client seeking asylum and related relief from removal. This is a rare opportunity for students to work on federal appellate issues in an actual case while earning course credit. (2 units)

L291 Secured Transactions

This course is designed to engage students in understanding and performing tasks relating to secured transactions–protecting the rights of the seller of goods or property without immediate payment therefor. The class will address real property transactions and personal property transactions, with the main focus on real property transactions. The goal of the class is to have students understand secured transactions and become capable of conducting any secured transaction upon course completion. (2 units)

L294 Public Entity Liability

This course will examine the procedural and substantive law aspects of public entity civil liability in California. Legal and factual issues related to the prosecution and defense of civil actions against public entities and public employees, in both law and equity, will be addressed. The presentation of claims through appropriate governmental entities, followed by the filing of the complaint, the answer, and other pleadings will be considered. (2 units)

L295 International Law

This course surveys the foundations and principles of international law, including the nature and sources of international law; the role of NGOs, individuals and corporations; bases of jurisdiction; immunity; human rights; criminal law; law of the sea and environmental law. An additional course component is the examination of the historical, political, and ideological motivations behind international law for students to better appreciate the political instrumentality involved in international matters. (2 units)

L296 California Energy Law & Practice

This course will focus primarily on law and practice before the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). It will cover the law relating to: (1) energy rates, charges, service and billing disputes; (2) utility facilities, such as municipal franchises, power line extensions, outages, sub-metering, damage caused by utility facilities, and facility construction, maintenance, and repair; (3) PUC procedure, including PUC jurisdiction; rulemaking, ratesetting, investigation and complaint proceedings; PUC decisions and appeals; and rate and tariff creation and modification, and (4) State energy policy, including legislative and PUC initiatives on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, demand response, electric vehicle infrastructure, and distributed generation.(2 units)

L297 Landlord Tenant

This class is designed to expose and introduce you to the following areas of the Landlord-Tenant relationship, including the Unlawful Detainer process, through a systematic approach and explanation of the relevant federal, state and local case, statutes and regulations: preliminary considerations, including accepting the case through initial counseling and negotiation issues; creating the tenancy; the laws effecting the relationships between landlord and tenant; rights and obligations during the tenancy; warranty of habitability; landlord-tenant premises liability; terminating a tenancy and related remedies; unlawful detainer litigation (pre-trial, trial and post-judgment matters); as well as other topics, to include bankruptcy related matters, government subsidized housing matters; floating and mobile home related matters; and an overview of recent changes to the law. You will take a front-seat view, explore litigation strategies and tactics, learn practice pointers and work with a number of forms used in the process, all while gaining valuable insight into the many requirements and challenges involved in representing residential and commercial landlords and tenants. (2 units)

L298 Real Property Development & Finance

This course examines the legal issues of real estate with an emphasis on investment, development, and financing. The main topics covered are acquisition, land development/entitlement, temporary and permanent financing, development and construction, and management aspects; with a focus on examining the fundamentals of real property law and practice in California. The course serves as a foundation course for law school students and newly admitted attorneys, and attempts to develop skills in using legal concepts in a real estate transactional setting. The course will be of interest to students contemplating careers in real estate investment/development, real estate planning, real estate finance, taxation, and/or city planning. The main topics covered may include the following: land acquisition, finance, choice of entity, tax aspects, planning and entitlement, development, joint ventures, management, disposition of real property, and recent legal developments. (3 units)

L350, L351 Clinical Program

Students work under the direction of an attorney in a variety of established settings, including: the District Attorney’s Offices in Fresno, Tulare, Madera, and Merced counties; the Public Defender’s Offices of Fresno, Tulare, and Merced counties; the Superior Courts of Fresno and Tulare counties; the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District; the Federal District Court, Eastern Division; the U.S. Attorney General’s Office; the Federal Defender; the California Attorney General’s Office; County Counsel of Fresno County; Fresno City Attorney’s Office; Central California Legal Services; California Rural Legal Assistance. Students may also work in an arranged private legal setting with approval of the Associate Dean. (1 - 4 units)

L355 Clinical Program - Small Claims

Under the supervision of an attorney, trained SJCL students provide free legal assistance to residents filing or defending actions in the Small Claims Court. Students explain procedures and clarify options for potential litigants. (1 unit)

L360 Clinical Program - Family Law Mediation

Under attorney supervision and training, students in this program act as mediators in family law property division settlements as a cost-effective and less stressful alternative to litigation. (1 - 4 units)

L381 Directed Research in Legal Problems

Students may undertake in-depth research in particular fields of the law with the consent and direction of an instructor. The results of the research are embodied in a paper. Pass/Fail. (1 unit)

L420 Law Review Editorial Board

Students serving on the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review Editorial Board may earn units for successful discharge of their editorial duties. (3 units)

L421 Law Review

Law Review provides academic credit to students who have successfully completed a publishable piece for the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review and satisfactorily performed all duties assigned by the Law Review Editorial Board. (3 units)

The School reserves the right to modify or withdraw courses of instruction, or to change instructors at any time.