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Course Descriptions


General Courses

Dispute Resolution and Negotiation (2 credits): This course will examine methods of dispute resolution other than litigation, focusing on negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. It will also explore the use of various hybrid procedures and other mechanisms specifically designed to meet the needs of a particular controversy or categories of controversies. Simulations will be conducted to develop practice skills and as a basis for exploring the public policy and other issues that arise in this area.

Ethics in Law and Public Policy (1 credit): This course focuses on issues of practical professional ethics in legal, policy development, and program management contexts. The course will provoke critical thinking on value judgments underlying decision-making and public policy practices. It will introduce the fundamentals of ethics management and of analytic moral reasoning in policy contexts. It will focus on the responsibilities of policy makers in the context of competing obligations that guide their actions.

Legal Methods and Process: Analysis and Argument (3 credits): This course will introduce students to the structure of the American legal system and the sources of legal authority. It will cover the essentials of legal reasoning and the anatomy of a legal dispute. Students will also develop an understanding of various dispute resolution methods, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. The course will teach students to read and analyze statutes and to understand the relationships among cases, statutes, and regulations. Students will learn to distinguish among and evaluate various types of legal authority and to use that authority to analyze legal problems. Students will then learn to communicate effectively the results of their analysis, by completing a draft and final version of at least one written project, as well as an oral presentation.  

Legal Research (2 credits): The goal of the Legal Research course is to introduce students to legal authorities and legal research resources and techniques. Students will develop an understanding of the sources of legal information and legal citation formats, as well as judgment in identifying appropriate authorities for specific research assignments. The course will also introduce students to the process and strategies involved in effective management of legal research projects. The course will be conducted in a hybrid format, combining online materials and exercises with classroom meetings. There will be several specific deadlines for completion of the course materials, which will include a variety of components such as guided exercises, tutorials, and short open-ended research projects. A portion of the grade may consist of performance on a final research project that relates to the subject matter of the respective student’s chosen concentration.

Public Law and the Regulatory Process (3 credits): This course surveys the fundamental legal principles in the areas of administrative processes and statutory interpretation. The course will examine the roles of administrative agencies in promulgating, administering, and enforcing regulations. After considering the relationship of agencies to the judicial and legislative branches of government, students will study the rule-making process, modes of administrative adjudication, and judicial review of agency decisions.

U.S. Law and the Legal System (3 credits): This course surveys the fundamental legal principles of American law in the areas of torts, contracts, and property. The development of the law will be explored, from common law roots to more recent legislation and judicial decisions, culminating with discussion of current legal topics in each area, and their implications for the workplace and society at large. This course will also introduce students to sources of law including Constitutions, statutes, case law, common law and regulations, as well as the structure and functions of U.S. courts at the federal and state levels, the jurisdiction of federal and state courts, and the role of law in society.

Environmental Law

Clean Air Act (3 credits): This seminar examines the basics of the Clean Air Act (CAA) including its founding principles, key terms, implementation, and enforcement.  Among other topics, the course will explore which pollutants are targeted by the Act, pollution discharge permitting, enforcement actions against industrial sources of air pollution, development of pollution control standards, judicial challenges to agency decisions, and intersections with other laws.  The course will cover current developments and will include opportunities to develop practical skills through a real world exercise, class participation, and a writing assignment.

Clean Water Act (3 credits): This seminar examines the basics of the Clean Water Act including its founding principles, key terms, implementation, and enforcement.  Among other topics, the course will explore which waters are protected by the Act, pollution discharge permitting, enforcement actions against industrial sources of water pollution, protection of wetlands, development of pollution control standards and watershed cleanup plans, judicial challenges to agency decisions, and intersections with other laws.  The course will cover current developments and will include opportunities to develop practical skills through a real world exercise, class participation, and a writing assignment.

Environmental Impact Assessments and the National Environmental Protection Act (3 credits): This course will introduce students to the legal, policy, and practical underpinnings of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and associated Federal environmental review requirements. At the end of the course the students should be able to: articulate the principles behind the environmental review process under NEPA; understand the NEPA review process, its standards, and major elements; assess the major areas of controversy associated with environmental reviews; understand how an environmental review is prepared and reviewed; articulate how NEPA interacts with other Federal environmental review requirements; understand the difference between NEPA and other similar Federal and State requirements; and analyze the various initiatives to modernize NEPA reviews.

Environmental Law (3 credits): This survey course focuses on how legal institutions have been used to respond to environmental problems. While the common law had been used for centuries to address highly visible pollution problems, in the last four decades the public law of environmental protection has grown dramatically to become a vast and complex field of law. Given its vast scope and enormous complexity, environmental law cannot be covered comprehensively in a one-semester survey course. Thus, this course is designed to provide an introduction to the most important concepts in environmental law through selective coverage of topics.

Federal Chemical Regulation (3 credits): This seminar examines the basics of several federal chemical regulation statutes, including Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA),  and Superfund legislation (CERCLA). The class will address the founding principles of these acts as well as their implementation and enforcement.  Among other topics, the course will explore which products/pollutants/practices are targeted by these statutes, permitting, enforcement actions, development of pollution control standards, judicial challenges to agency decisions, and intersections with other laws.  The course will cover current developments and will include opportunities to develop practical skills through a real world exercise, class participation, and a writing assignment.

Health Care Law

Food & Drug Law (3 credits): This seminar considers the Food and Drug Administration as a case study of an administrative agency that must combine law and science to regulate activities affecting public health and safety. The class is designed both for students who expect to become involved in food and drug matters and for those who are interested in the interplay of law and science. Topics to be discussed may include: history of the food and drug administration; food law, misbranding, and economic issues; nutritional policy and health claims; food additives, and color additives; drug regulation; drug approval process; breakthrough drugs and ethics of drug testing; medical device regulation; and regulation of biotechnology.

Health Care Law & Policy (3 credits): This survey course covers current federal and state regulatory schemes governing the provision of healthcare. The class focuses on three major themes: quality of care, access to care, and cost containment. Students will learn about professional licensure, malpractice, the provider-patient relationship, informed consent, the regulation of healthcare facilities, public and private insurance regulation, bioethics of organ transplantation and end of life care, the Affordable Care Act, and other topics.

Health Care Reform (3 credits): This course will explore how the law through regulation, legislation, and litigation has shaped and is shaping health care reform in the United States. To this end, the course will explore major attempts and proposals to reform public and private insurance, as well as payment and delivery system reform. Students will learn about the historical efforts to reform the U.S. health care system, but this timely course will also discuss current reform efforts such as the Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act.

Public Health Law (3 credits): This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the legal, regulatory and ethical issues impacting health care and public health law in the United States. In the process the student will develop an appreciation of the legal and political tensions between individual legal rights and freedoms, societal needs, and public health programs. In addition, the student will gain an appreciation for how law may serve as a tool to organize, implement and change health policies and programs.

Patent Law

International Intellectual Property Law and Strategy (3 credits): This course explores the laws governing global protection of intellectual property rights.  Due to the global economy and the expansion of Internet-based commerce, businesses can no longer rely solely on United States intellectual property laws to protect their inventions and other intellectual property works. The course will discuss strategies for perfecting intellectual property rights in countries and regions that are key markets for US companies. The course will highlight differences between the laws of the U.S. and these other nations that may significantly impact the scope of rights available.  Students will examine the major treaties and other agreements providing international protection for intellectual property rights, as well as the relevant laws of other countries.  Particular emphasis will be placed on patent laws, although coverage will also be given to trademark, copyright, and trade secret laws.  The course will also discuss frameworks for enforcing IP rights internationally and will review licensing issues that are unique to international agreements.

Patent Application Drafting (3 credits): This course teaches students the practical skills necessary to draft a patent application.  Students will learn to analyze an invention and to draft patent claims that capture the full scope of the invention while avoiding the prior art.  Different types of inventions and claims will be discussed.  Students will also learn to prepare a written description of the invention that is enabling and provides the requisite support for the claims.  Special consideration will be given to controversial areas of the law such as business methods, software, and medical diagnostics.

Patent Law and Intellectual Property (3 credits): This survey course will provide a comprehensive overview of U.S. patent law.  Students will learn what rights are conveyed by utility and design patents.  The course will discuss the various types of inventions that are entitled to receive patents, as well as those areas where serious questions have been raised recently by the courts (e.g., software, business methods, and medical diagnostics).  Students will understand the requirements that the invention must satisfy in order to receive a patent, as well as the disclosure requirements placed on the application itself.  In addition, students will learn how issued patents can be enforced through litigation and licensing.  Finally, the course will provide a brief overview of other areas of intellectual property law, including trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets.

Patent Litigation and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (3 credits): This course will provide a broad view of patent infringement litigation, as well as actions to enforce other intellectual property rights.  The course will begin with a discussion of preliminary considerations in any form of IP litigation, including whether filing a lawsuit is the most provident course of action.  Students will then gain familiarity with the stages of patent litigation, from the initial pleadings, through discovery, to claim construction, dispositive motions, and trial preparation. The course will also discuss issues unique to other types of IP litigation, such as the use of consumer surveys in trademark cases and the risk that confidential information will be disclosed to the public in a trade secret misappropriation action.  In addition to learning about the complexity of litigation, students will assess the attendant risks and will come to appreciate the degree of uncertainty that accompanies every action to enforce patent or other IP rights.

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Admissions: PHONE: (410) 706-3492 FAX: (410) 706-1793

Copyright © 2018, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved