Listed below are examples of elective courses; new elective courses are added as needed to enhance our curriculum. Not all listed electives are offered each year. Elective offerings are dependent on student demand and other factors, and may not be offered at all during the time any given student attends the school.
An overview of principles of financial accounting and business finance, including "time value of money" calculations; "financial shenanigans;" asset and liability issues; financial statement analysis; and valuation techniques.
This course focuses on providing an overview of the multiple facets of criminal homicide cases. The class includes analysis and discussion of investigation, motion practice, trial preparation and the trial phases of homicide cases.
This course focuses on the laws of personal relationships, including family relationships, economic relationships, intangible assets, privacy and publicity, defamation, and judicial and governmental processes.
An examination of the purpose and function of state and federal administrative agencies. The course covers the procedures and practices of administrative agencies, their adjudicative and investigative powers, rule making, and judicial review of administrative decisions.
A study of business organization types, and the creation, implications, and termination of agency relationships. There will be a special focus on partnership agency issues, the rights and duties of principals and agents, and fiduciary responsibilities.
A survey course on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Topics include negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other trial substitutes.
The class focuses on attorney fee issues and philosophy, including: fee arrangements and agreements; fee shifting under contractual, statutory, and common law theories; practice and procedure for attorney fee motions; client fee disputes and dispute resolution; and on the ethical issues arising from each of these subjects.
This course explores state law governing debtor-creditor relations and an introduction to federal bankruptcy law. Topics discussed include priorities and validities of liens, enforcement of money judgments, fraudulent and bulk transfers, the benefits of bankruptcy, eligibility for bankruptcy, jurisdiction and venue, and the powers of the bankruptcy trustee.
A study of the issues raised by the formation of a new business, including choice of entity, formation of a partnership or corporation, liability concerns, and purchase and sale of a business.
An overview of civil law and motion practice in California state courts. Topics covered include: notice requirements, structure of points and authorities, declarations and other supporting papers, demurrers, motions for summary judgment, and discovery motions. Special emphasis is given to local rules of practice and policies in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
This course covers "constitutional tort actions" arising under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the primary vehicle for redressing federal constitutional violations by state and local officials. Among the topics addressed are Fourth Amendment standards and police misconduct, Eighth Amendment standards and care of prisoners, and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection issues.
Effective lawyering requires the knowledge of how to elicit necessary information from clients and an understanding of how to communicate effectively with clients to ascertain and advance their interests. This course explores effective techniques and strategies for interviewing and counseling clients facing the stresses and conflicts inherent in the legal arena.
See "Legal Internship"
This course addresses innovative approaches to client representation, including "unbundled" legal services; therapeutic and restorative justice; mediation; and partnering with community and social programs to provide comprehensive assistance.
Emphasizes the practical aspects of criminal procedures prior to trial. Included are topics relating to the lawyer's responsibility in a criminal case; arrest, booking, and bail procedures; an examination of the accusatory pleading; the grand jury; and pretrial procedures, including preliminary hearings, pretrial discovery, and tactical considerations. Also covered are the types and consequences of pleas, and sentencing considerations.
This course provides an analysis of federal and state constitutional, statutory and case law relating to Capital Punishment in California. In addition, the course will focus on mitigation and aggravation.
A course which allows qualifying students to earn from one to two units for in-depth research and preparation of a paper on a topic of special interest to the student, under direct faculty supervision. This course will ordinarily be available only on approval of the Dean to students with unique needs for additional units to complete their graduation requirements, and requires that the student both develop a project acceptable to the Dean and obtain consent of a faculty member to supervise the required research and paper.
A study of the legal rules surrounding the hiring, treatment, and termination of employees.The course includes Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal and state laws concerning employment discrimination and wrongful discharge.
This course considers issues arising in the entertainment industries-film, television, theater, music, literary and related businesses-and applicable legal principles, which come largely from the areas of contract, torts, governmental regulation, remedies, and intellectual property.
An introduction to the public policy behind the setting of environmental standards, and to major environmental laws such as the Clean Air and Water Acts, the National Environmental Protection Act, and the California Planning and Zoning Law.
This course covers the basic principles of estate planning, including: an overview of applicable taxation rules; inter vivos gifts; living trusts, wills, and testamentary trusts; life insurance and annuities; charitable gifts, business interests, employee benefits, and post-mortem tax planning.
Community Property is a prerequisite to this complementary course. Family Law focuses on the dissolution proceeding, including mediation, resolution of custody and visitation disputes, child and spousal support, property division, and attorney fees. Emphasis is on local court practices and forms.
This course provides an overview of immigration law and practice.
This course focuses on basic aspects of insurance law, including the insurer's duty to defend and indemnify, third-party liability, problems of insurance contracts, bad faith litigation, and current judicial and legislative trends in insurance law.
A general introduction to the law of copyright, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Areas covered include which law applies to particular types of property; the legal rights of authors, designers, inventors and owners of such property and the competing rights of others to use their ideas; and an overview of intellectual property litigation.
An introduction to public and private international law, covering such topics as sovereign immunity, the "act of state" doctrine, the law of treaties, transnational business regulation, international trade, and enforcement of judgments.
This course introduces students to the American legal system. It examines basic concepts of jurisprudence; the lawmaking roles of the legislative, judical, and executive branches; and the process of criminal and civil litigation. (Required for Spring beginning students.)
This course covers the juvenile court system, including the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, detention and disposition of minors who are involved in juvenile proceedings, and other rights and responsibilities of minors, with specific emphasis on California law and procedure. (Required for Spring beginning students.)
A survey of land use principles, with emphasis on California law, in the areas of planning, zoning, subdivision, redevelopment, agricultural, and environmental regulations.
This course will provide a practical and theoretical analysis of language and cultural issues confronted in law practice, particularly when court interpreters and translators are used. It will also address ways to eliminate bias when culturally diverse participants have contact in the courtroom setting.
This course surveys fundamental aspects of law practice management, including: basic principles of bookkeeping and accounting, fee agreements and client trust accounts, document control, legal technology, and support staff management.
All students participate in Legal Internship by earning at least one unit of academic credit by working as interns for practicing attorneys or judges. Up to eight (one required and seven elective) units of academic credit may be earned.
This course will address general concepts and emerging issues in the areas of copyright, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; trademark, including the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act; privacy rights; and electronic commerce and contracting.
An overview of California legal malpractice law. the course addresses general concepts of legal malpractice in civil and criminal cases including identification of high risk areas of practice, most frequent areas of errors or omissions, correlation between malpractice claims and ethical violations, calendaring and file management, client communications, legal malpractice insurance protection and claims reporting.
A survey course covering the lawmaking process, with emphasis on the federal model. Topics include considerations in the introduction and amendment of legislation, the use of committees, avenues for public input, and the implementation of new laws.
An overview of California medical malpractice law from the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA) to the present: informed consent; agency liability; immunities; standard of care; expert witnesses; general and punitive damages; attorney fees; periodic payments; collateral source rule; and arbitration and mediation.
This class covers the practices and procedures necessary to prosecute or defend common misdemeanor charges including DUI, theft, drug, assault and domestic violence allegations. Topics include pre-filing procedures and negotiations, arraignments, common motions, investigation and discovery, diversion and treatment options, trial and sentencing.
In this course, students participate on a team which researches and writes an appellate brief and argues it before a three judge panel. Legal Research, Legal Writing, and Advanced Legal Writing are prerequisites.
A survey course covering common issues in public entity law. Relevant constitutional principles are also considered. Issues covered include city and county organization, preemption and relationships with State and Federal Government, judicial review of local entity decisions, drafting of ordinances and legislation, public employment law, public tort and civil rights liability, open meeting laws (Brown Act), conflicts of interest and other public sector ethical issues.
This course outlines ciivil, criminal, probate and family law cases where psychological or psychiatric evidence is presented and reviews the common principles and concepts necessary to understand, offer and challenge this evidence.
Street Law is a nationally recognized and supported program designed to educate teenagers about their legal rights and responsibilities. Areas covered consist of contracts, housing law, criminal law as it affects the youth in our community.
An overview of general principles of income and estate/gift taxation, with particular focus on the application of such principles to areas commonly encountered by practitioners (for example, divorce, bankruptcy, personal injury settlements, and various business transactions).
An examination of the newly developing phenomenon of "specialty" courts focusing on providing solutions to social problems frequently encountered by criminal courts. In recent years therapeutic courts denominated, "Drug Courts," "Domestic Violence Courts," and "Mental Health Courts," have operated in a number of jurisdictions to provide innovative solutions to the age-old problems of substance abuse, domestic violence and protecting society and individuals from the ravages of mental illness. In addition to the history of the Therapeutic Jurisprudence movement, this course addresses a number of other issues including those relating to evidence and evidentiary privileges, legal ethics, defendant contracts, and treatment alternatives.
This course focuses on the law of sales through selected portions of Articles I and II of the Uniform Commercial Code. Successful completion of Contracts I and II is a prerequisite.
Water law begins with an introduction to water resources issues including terminology. The course also covers different kinds of water rights including riparian, appropriative, hybrid rights along with groundwater and public rights in water. In addition, the course touches on the various water institutions in the state, regional water sources and water quality issues.
A survey of the law related to workers' compensation legislation, including covered employees, accidents and occupational diseases, and the relationship between tort law and workers' compensation law.
An overview of California writ and appellate procedure, from the filing of writs and notices of appeal to final determination by the reviewing court. Topics covered include: writs, appealable orders and judgments, scope of appellate review, assembling the record on appeal, ethical limitations, briefs, right to present oral argument, and discretionary review.