All VLS Courses
State and Local Government
Examines the interaction between federal, state and local governments, with particular attention to resource management, pollution control, and human rights. The course also covers non-state jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Indian Country.
Study Abroad Seminar: Canadian Legal System
Designed to increase study abroad opportunities for students, the specific content taught at VLS is based on the Canadian Legal System.
Sustainable Community Planning in Practice
Covers key issues that can be addressed at the community level as components of effective local land use planning. Reviews regulatory and nonregulatory tools to implement plans and examines topics such as the evolution of land use planning, and smart growth and its barriers.
The Law and Popular Culture
Explores images of law and lawyers in popular films as well as the influences of popular film upon legal practice. Topics studied through the films include Legal Actors and Institutions --such as Law Students, Lawyers and Legal Ethics, Clients, Witnesses, Judges and Juries-- and legal subject matter areas, such as Tort Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Family Law, Business Law, International Law and Military Law.
The Tools of Environmental Law
Introduces students to the various legal methods of achieving environmental improvement. Topics covered include market forces and emission trading; handling inspections and enforcement actions; environmental litigation and complex causation; acquiring and using information; risk assessment; and methods to account for and transfer environmental risks in business transactions.
Three Essentials of the Electric Grid
This course sets out, in three linked modules, the fundamental knowledge that professionals should have for working in the closely intertwined fields of energy and the environment. Students may take one, two, or three modules for one credit each.
Module A: Engineering Essentials
The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module will cover the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.
Module B: Business Essentials
The energy and electric power industries in the U.S. are facing unprecedented challenges in meeting our society’s demands for low-cost, high-reliability energy and electricity with lower environmental impacts. This module will introduce the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas and electric power industries.
Module C: Legal Essentials
This module will provide an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the US and the European Union. It will focus on what financiers, engineers, and economists need to know about energy law in order to work together and with lawyers in the energy world. The course will address some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation. In every issue a comparative perspective will be adopted.
Download Module A Syllabus
Download 2013 Module B Syllabus
Download 2013 Module C Syllabus
This course presents the study of the legal protection afforded against interference by others with the security of one's person, property, or intangible interests.
Trademark and Unfair Competition
Provides students with a solid foundation in trademark, rights of publicity, advertising, and other state and federal law relating to the protection of commercial goodwill. Students will also be introduced to the practical aspects of interacting with the US Trademark Office and its administrative body - The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board.
Transnational Issues in the Practice of Law
Examines the broad range of transnational issues that practitioners can expect to encounter in their law practices, such as international contracts, importing, exporting, inbound and outbound foreign investment, business immigration, protection of intellectual property, international aspects of criminal and family law, international enforcement of judgments, arbitral agreements and arbitral awards, and ethics.
This skills course covers the important aspects of a trial, including jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination, exhibits, objections, expert witnesses, and closing arguments. The course culminates in a full, simulated trial.