Unusual Law School Classes:
Over at Concurring Opinions, Dan Solove is seeking input on "unusual" law school classes. Dan starts off with a list of some of the classes offered when he was a student at Yale Law School, including "Tragic Choices" and "Is Constitutional Law Law?"
TLSOriginalist (mail):
This is a REQUIRED 1L class at Northeastern University School of Law:

Law, Culture and Difference (LCD) is an intensive first-year course that focuses on developing students' oral advocacy, analytical and team lawyering skills while building on their studies in property, civil procedure and torts. LCD uses "team lawyering" to enhance cooperative efforts among groups of law students to problem solve on behalf of clients. This course:

exposes students to the complex relationship among law, diversity and values in the United States' multicultural society
challenges participants' values and help sensitize them to the formidable task the legal system faces in addressing societal differences, which will make them more effective lawyers
provides students with the opportunity to develop team lawyering skills while assisting community organizations that are attempting to effect social change.
10.25.2005 1:28pm
The entire Section 3 of Georgetown's First Year.
10.25.2005 1:35pm
When I was at Chicago, Martha Nussbaum taught a seminar entitled "Fear of Death." Not sure if it was specifically a law school class though, might have been in philosophy dept and cross-listed at the law school.
10.25.2005 1:41pm
Bill Miller at Michigan teaches a seminar called "Faking It."

From the course description...

What I am after is the myriad circumstances in which we are not quite sure we are sufficiently immersed in the roles we are playing. You smile politely at a person you loathe, you feign interest in whining complaints of your friends, you go through all the moves of grieving, being in love, etc, etc and are still not sure all of you is there; you feel, in other words, that you are acting, playing a role, and because that feeling intrudes, you wonder why you cannot more fully lose yourself in the moment. No, you don't feel this way all the time, but you fear the feeling when it comes, because you feel it might blow your cover. And there are times when you wonder who or what you are amidst all the various roles you are asked to play, from mourner, to lover, to barely competent lawyer. Some people we feel might too fully immerse themselves in the roles they play, losing a kind of charm we feel resides in irony and certain forms of humor. From whence these kinds of anxieties? I want to discuss issues ranging variously among hypocrisy, politeness, courtship, apology, flattery, praise, self-deception, ritual observance, propriety and emotion display. In other words more issues than we can really handle adequately.
10.25.2005 1:56pm
Ken Willis (mail):
How about "Critical Race Theory?" See, The Bloods and The Crits, The New Republic, December 9, 1996. Available at the TNR website.
10.25.2005 1:58pm
"Blood Feuds" at the University of Michigan Law School. I didn't take it, but it covered the ancient legal system in Iceland. Graduates report that it is (was?) one of the law school clases that most helped them in their daily practice.

It was (is?) extemely popular.
10.25.2005 2:11pm
BossPup (mail):
The Miller course sounds fascinating. I wish I had taken it. Of course, it is exhibit #1 in why law school should only be two years long. If three years is really necessary to get a legal education, then why are there not more requirements? Why force students to take these useless, though interesting, courses?
10.25.2005 2:12pm
For several years Charlie Nesson taught a class at Harvard Law School called "The Exploding Internet." (Interestingly it does not appear to be offered this year.) I believe the course description began with the cryptic statement, "Truth. Evidence. Internet."
10.25.2005 2:15pm
When I was at Stanford, John Hart Ely taught a class on the law of underwater treasure.
10.25.2005 2:35pm
"Democracy and Coercion" - Georgetown Section 3
10.25.2005 2:46pm
Daniel Solove (mail) (www):
Some of these courses are great. I might collect some of the most interesting responses to my post at Concurring Opinions and post them at a later time.

If you're interested in participating, please cross-post the course names, descriptions, and law schools where they were taught (and any links to online course catalogs if available) in the comments to my post at Concurring Opinions. Thanks.
10.25.2005 2:51pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Public Defender:

I remember the class Blood Feuds at Michigan and was going to mention it until I saw that you did. It also makes me wonder if you and I were there at around the same time. I'll admit to being this old: U-Mich. Law class of '86.
10.25.2005 3:06pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
Here at GMU, we have a whole course called Federalism.

We also have:
The Majesty of the Law
Proof [[GMUSL 2L note -- I assume that this isn't the play ;)]]
10.25.2005 3:23pm
Eric Muller (www):
My favorite seminar title during my years at Yale Law School was "The Tyranny of Kant."

We all snickered, but the kids who took it totally aced the Kant question on the bar exam.
10.25.2005 3:29pm
University of Michigan does have a course on Bloodfeuds, I am attempting to post the link below. In addition, when I was there it offered a course called "Cannibalism and the Common Law". At the annual charity auction the professor would also auction off a copy of the textbook signed in his own blood...
10.25.2005 3:41pm
BossPup (mail):
grf: That is Professor Brian Simpson. He also recently had a seminar named Boundaries of the Market, where the students debated both the economic and moral questions concerning whether the market should offer certain controversial products, like babies, organs, mercenaries, etc.
10.25.2005 3:49pm
GULCAlum (mail):
When I was at Georgetown, I took a class with Prof. Neal Katyal called "Clinton." We studied Morrison v. Olson and the ICA, the secret service privilege case, Clinton v. Jones, the government attorney client privilege case, the Swidler Berlin case (Sup Ct case involving whether Vince Foster's attorney-client privilege survived him), impeachment issues, etc, etc. Guest speakers included Ken Starr, Bob Bennett, Asa Hutchinson, and Monica Lewinsky, though not, for some reason, the course's namesake. This was, as I recall, fall semester 1999. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
10.25.2005 6:03pm
As a fellow GULC alum, I can state that my classmates and I often marvelled at the section 3 curriculum. It seemed like an interesting way to delay actually starting law school for a year..
10.25.2005 7:11pm
Thaddeus Pope (mail):
I did not take Georgetown's Section 3 curriculum. Still, having earned both my J.D. and Ph.D. from Georgetown, I am familiar with it. Those courses are really not that "unusual" in terms of the issues and topics addressed (in relatively sharp contrast to wine law and most of the courses described in the comments above). Rather, the Section 3 curriculum is simply an innovative way to APPROACH the same old doctrinal issues. For example, Bargain & Exchange is just contracts and torts combined.

Surely, if we want to include (and it may be interesting to do so) courses that are unusual in approach and not just in subject matter, we could greatly expand the Volokh and Solove blog comments. For example, there may be a class albeit with the pedestrian name of "Property" that had an UNUSUAL focus on Marx and Nozick.
10.26.2005 4:10am
NYU Jew (mail):
Sexuality, Voice, and Resistance: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Neurobiology and Politics

Course Description: The seminar examines the central place of sexual voice in resistance to basic injustices like anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Our study asks why the repression of sexual voice (whether in celibacy or Puritanism) is often required by such injustices, and how questioning such repression energizes movements of resistance. Our interdisciplinary approach includes political philosophy, psychoanalysis, and neurobiology in understanding the body, voice, resonance, and truth in various historical and contemporary liberation movements. The seminar includes in its pedagogy experiments in freeing creative voice through multiple short papers each week, and theater exercises, including writing and staging plays with other students.
10.27.2005 4:23pm