Curriculum


Summer 2017 Courses

Law, Policy and Practice in Alaska’s Leading Industries

4 credits
Shannon Carroll, Christian Halliburton, Holly Johanknecht, Mark Worchester
Alaska's economic landscape is complex, comprising a wide variety of business, commercial and government actors engaged in industries that are of tremendous importance to the state. Lawyers who work in these sectors often encounter unique legal issues, nuanced policy debates, and sophisticated challenges in practice that reflect the particular needs and characteristics of the state and its communities. This course is designed to introduce students to those legal issues and the nature practice in three of Alaska's leading industries. The specific focus of the course will vary over time in order to keep pace with the most current realities, and this year will include topics such as oil and gas, fisheries regulation, and health law. Participants in this course will engage with a curated collection of judicial, legislative, and administrative materials and will explore the doctrinal and analytical frameworks pertinent to each of these topical modules. Students will also experience a variety of the lawyering skills and the attorney work product that practitioners regularly employ and generate. Finally, students will hear from several esteemed local experts in the individual areas who will contribute to the class as guest speakers. Students will thus expand and deepen their knowledge and skill base through a range of instructional modalities, all within a collaborative and compelling learning environment. Opportunities to build connections with the Alaska Satellite Campus and local legal communities will arise throughout the term.


Spring 2017 Courses

The Alaska Constitution

3 Credits
Judge Sen Tan, Judge Eric Smith

This course provides an overview of the 1955 Alaska Constitutional Convention, and the writing of the Alaska Constitution. Discussion will focus on provisions that are distinctive to the Alaska Constitution, such as the clauses that protect the right to privacy, establish the judiciary, provide for the health, education and welfare of citizens, and regulate the development of natural resources. The course will also explore Alaska's unique equal protection and due process standards, and will examine the similarities and differences between the Alaska Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.

Community Lawyering in Alaska

3 Credits
Professors Mara Kimmel, Suzanne Cole

This course is intended to build the skills necessary for practicing law in Alaska. First, it explores the substantive law related to working with communities living in or near poverty. Second, this class will provide students with on-the-ground opportunities to interact with clients, in a variety of settings including clinics, hotlines, mediations, and the courtroom. The range of issues covered will include family law, housing, economic rights, immigration status, etc. Students will gain familiarity with substantive law and develop practical skills that include interview and screening, mediation techniques, and issue spotting.

Criminal Procedure Investigative

3 Credits
Professor Christian Halliburton

This course will examine issues of criminal procedure that arise under the United States Constitution during the investigative phase of criminal cases: arrest, stop and frisk, search and seizure, interrogatories and confessions, informants, eavesdropping, and electronic surveillance. This is a hybrid online/on-campus course. On-campus session dates TBD. Regular online participation is expected from all enrolled students.

Trial Advocacy for Alaska

3 Credits
Professor Bob Bundy, Judge Leslie Dickson

This is a comprehensive trial advocacy and practice course that will cover all aspects of the trial process, including charging decisions, pre-trial motions, jury selection, opening statement, direct and cross-examination, expert witnesses, jury instructions, and closing argument. The class will be structured around a case study that will be used throughout the semester culminating in a mock criminal jury trial. The class will offer unique insights into practicing law in Alaska and also provide local practice and advocacy tips for appearing in Alaska courts. We will also seek to take advantage of opportunities to observe actual court proceedings in state and federal court in Anchorage to compliment the lectures and mock exercises that form the heart of the class. This is a practical skills-based class designed to provide students with an opportunity to put their developing legal knowledge and abilities into practice, and to have some fun in the process. Class participation and advance preparation for the mock exercises is required to make the most out of this course. Your professors are career trial lawyers in private and public practice in Alaska with many years of courtroom as well as trial advocacy teaching experience.


Fall 2016 Courses

Alaska Criminal Justice: Past, Present and Future

3 Credits
Christian Halliburton and Rich Curtner

This course will engage in a longitudinal exploration of the evolution of Alaska's Criminal Justice System, from its earliest inception during Alaska's days as a United States Territory, continuing through to the modern era, and finally with an eye fixed on its future. Students will learn about how criminal laws were shaped and enforced prior to statehood using a variety of legislative and judicial sources that predate that adoption of the Alaska Constitution, and then reflect on the changes introduced by and pursuant to the founding documents in the areas of criminal law and criminal procedure. The course will chart the major developments in the Alaska Criminal Justice System since its admission to the Union in 1959, and will focus in part on recent studies assessing the system's operation and effectiveness. The final segment of the course will evaluate SB 91, the recently-enacted criminal justice overhaul, and the "Smart Justice" system it adopts as a model for reform. Students will study the bill in detail and begin to consider a range of legal issues related to its implementation, as well as its connection to the larger themes presented in the context of the Alaska Criminal Justice System's historical development.

Environmental Justice and Policy

3 Credits
Mara Kimmel

This course explores issues of environment and rights in the 49th State. Alaska presents a unique opportunity to understand how environment and natural resources interplay with issues of power and justice in a region of the world experiencing rapid environmental and economic transformation. The course takes two distinct but interrelated approaches. First, students are introduced to the complexities that result from the multitude of governance structures at play in the north, including international, regional, federal, state and local laws and policy regimes. Second, students will examine the range of legal and policy issues facing Alaskans, including property rights, indigenous rights of self-determination, natural resource management regimes, economic development, climate change, resilience and sustainability, conservation and more. Students will have the opportunity to produce a series of short policy papers on topics of their choice related to the course curriculum, and as opportunities are available, will participate in community meetings related to the course topics. Students will gain familiarity with the critical laws and policies regarding natural resource and environmental issues in Alaska necessary to inform their future careers as members of the Alaska Bar and community.

Government Contracts, SBA Programs, and Alaska Native Corporations

3 Credits

This course surveys Government Contracts and the Small Business Administration programs, including Section 8(a), particularly in Alaska. Students will gain an understanding of public law procurement and the policies implicated when the Government enters into contracts with private parties. Topics include instrumentalities of contracting, the Federal Acquisition Regulations, limitations on private and public parties, policy development, and related issues. This course also provides an overview of the SBA's small business programs with an emphasis on contracting programs, regulations, and the application of those regulations, with a particular emphasis on how these apply in Alaska. Students should view this course as a survey course that incorporates practical considerations and applications and provides insights into issues that commonly arise in the Government Contracting field.

Practical Matters and Legal Issues in Advising Start-up Companies

2 credits
Mark Kroloff and Ambur Hoffmann

This course will explore the lawyer's role in advising start-up companies from both a legal and pragmatic point of view. The course will rely on and encourage presentations from various industry experts to lead discussions focusing on practical advice for attorneys advising start-up companies facing various business and legal issues relating to: electing and forming the right kind of legal entity, founder's equity, intellectual property protection, stock incentives, tax matters, debt and equity financings, various forms of exit, including sale, merger, and IPO, and other related matters.

Students will focus on understanding clients' needs, identifying issues, and recommending courses of action. Students will be faced with questions that include: What are the issues posed at each stage of a company's development cycle? How do they look from the point of view of various participants: founders, directors, shareholders, investors? Who is the client and how can one best define and serve the client's interest? What practical issues can result from various structural approaches to entity organization and financing? What are the fundamental taxation and securities law issues that should guide the lawyer's thinking?

Summer 2016 Courses

Climate of Change: Alaska's Constitution, Native Corporations and Natural Resources

4 credits
Professor Christian Halliburton, Professor Sam Kalen and Judge Sen Tan

The Alaska summer course examines laws that relate specifically to Alaska, Alaska Natives, and the environment. The specific course offering alternates between years to provide opportunities for students to take the summer course during both their 1L and 2L summers.

The course typically examines the laws governing Alaska Natives combined with Environmental, Climate Change, or Natural Resources law. The course will bring together the history of Alaska and how many of the issues at play before Statehood remain a common and integral thread through to the present day.

Esteemed members from the Alaska legal community will also be invited as guests to several classes so that students have an opportunity to meet and interact with practitioners on the ground in Alaska.

Spring 2016 Courses

Natural Resources Law in Alaska

2 Credits
Visiting Professor Madeline Kass

This survey course provides an introduction to federal natural resources law. The course focuses attention on the interplay between environmental, economic, cultural, and political factors in natural resource decision-making with particular emphasis on the interaction, cooperative efforts, and conflicts between federal and state regulation of natural resources found within the State of Alaska. Course topics will include legal regimes for management and protection of wildlife and biodiversity, fisheries and marine resources, and protected lands. Students will participate in at least one semester field trip. In addition, each student will select and read two law review articles on Alaskan natural resources topics and give a short presentation to the class critiquing the articles.

Comparative EU and U.S. Environmental Law

2 Credits
Visiting Professor Madeline Kass

This course examines and compares regulatory approaches of the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) that address global environmental issues. The course starts with a comparison of environmental law frameworks, comparing and contrasting basic legal institutions and structures of the US and EU. Students will then examine specific global environmental problems and study the different national regulatory approaches to address them. Topics covered will include some or all of the following: global climate change, endangered species, public lands management, solid waste disposal regimes (e.g., packaging, e-waste, plastics), regulation of hazardous chemicals (toxics), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and US and EU nation participation in multinational efforts to protect the Arctic Region. Over the course of the semester each student will give a short presentation to the class comparing US and EU legal approaches to a chosen environmental topic.

The Alaska Constitution

3 Credits
Judge Sen Tan

This course provides an overview of the 1955 Alaska Constitutional Convention, and the writing of the Alaska Constitution. Discussion will focus on provisions that are distinctive to the Alaska Constitution, such as the clauses that protect the right to privacy, establish the judiciary, provide for the health, education and welfare of citizens, and regulate the development of natural resources. The course will also explore Alaska’s unique equal protection and due process standards, and will examine the similarities and differences between the Alaska Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.

The Changing Landscape of Practicing Law in Alaska

3 Credits
Judge Stephanie Joannides and Stacey Marz

Course overview — This course will examine the practice of law today. The types of cases before the court and the needs of litigants are changing, both in the criminal and civil arenas. Courts are examining how they do business, embracing specially focused courts and modifying court rules to accommodate changing needs.

Students will learn about the different ways courts have adapted to address the changing needs of litigants. Innovative programs will be examined. Students will be able to participate directly with clients in one of the focused courts in Alaska. After learning dispute resolution skills, the basics of family law in Alaska and how to spot more complex issues related to retirement, business valuation, property distribution and other issues, students will directly with litigants as neutrals. Students will also have opportunities to be mentored by experienced attorneys and participate in client meetings and attorney negotiations. Students will also hear from experienced litigators about the use of technology today in a variety of areas, including but not limited to its use in the evaluation of a case, assessing a party's worth, locating any hidden assets, and addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals. This information will be relevant for both family law and other types of cases. This experience will prepare students to start their practice with valuable hands on experience.

Additional credits will be earned doing externships with various legal services and governmental agencies in Anchorage.

Fall 2015 Courses

Advanced Criminal Procedure

2 Credits
Professor Christian Halliburton

This course is designed to give students a chance to explore the latest developments and emerging trends in Fourth Amendment law, and offers a further look at those issues that fall beyond the scope of the introductory Criminal Procedure - Investigative course. The class will build on a basic normative and descriptive understanding of search and seizure law, and incorporate new doctrinal and theoretical ideas applicable to areas that may include digital and online surveillance, the collection of genetic, cognitive, and other biological information, the role of the Fourth Amendment outside of criminal investigations, the relationship of federal law to the that of the states, and more.

Students will be asked to read a variety of judicial opinions as well as a sampling of the existing academic literature in the area, but will not be required to purchase a casebook. In addition to preparing for the discussion and in-class activities from week to week, students will be expected to develop a seminar paper in consultation with the instructor and to present the thesis and research on which that paper will be based to the class during the semester.

Law and Religion

3 Credits
Professor Christian Halliburton

This course is designed to develop familiarity with the major tenets of the First Amendment's religion clauses. Class time will be structured around in-depth engagement of Supreme Court precedent, and will seek to integrate these formative decisions into the social and historical contexts from which they derive meaning. In addition, the course will survey the scholarly treatment of such threshold questions as the meaning of "religion" in society, and will evaluate the evolving notion of religious liberty in a pluralistic society.

Government Contracts and the SBA Programs, Including Section 8(a)

3 Credits
Adjunct Professor Christine Williams

This course surveys Government Contracts and the Small Business Administration programs, including Section 8(a), particularly in Alaska. Students will gain an understanding of public law procurement and the policies implicated when the Government enters into contracts with private parties. Topics include instrumentalities of contracting, the Federal Acquisition Regulations, limitations on private and public parties, policy development, and related issues. This course also provides an overview of the SBA's small business programs with an emphasis on contracting programs, regulations, and the application of those regulations, with a particular emphasis on how these apply in Alaska. Students should view this course as a survey course that incorporates practical considerations and applications and provides insights into issues that commonly arise in the Government Contracting field.

Trial Advocacy for Alaska

3 Credits
Adjunct Professors Robert Bundy, Kevin Feldis, Lisa Marchese

This is a comprehensive trial advocacy and practice course that will cover all aspects of the trial process, including charging decisions, pre-trial motions, jury selection, opening statement, direct and cross-examination, expert witnesses, jury instructions, and closing argument. The class will be structured around a case study that will be used throughout the semester culminating in a mock criminal jury trial. The class will offer unique insights into practicing law in Alaska and also provide local practice and advocacy tips for appearing in Alaska courts. We will also seek to take advantage of opportunities to observe actual court proceedings in state and federal court in Anchorage to compliment the lectures and mock exercises that form the heart of the class. This is a practical skills-based class designed to provide students with an opportunity to put their developing legal knowledge and abilities into practice, and to have some fun in the process. Class participation and advance preparation for the mock exercises is required to make the most out of this course. Your professors are career trial lawyers in private and public practice in Alaska with many years of courtroom as well as trial advocacy teaching experience.

Practical Matters for Start-Up Companies and the Law

3 Credits
Adjunct Professors Ambur Hoffman, Van Katzman, Mark Kroloff and Steve Seward

This course will explore the lawyer's role in advising start-up companies from both a legal and pragmatic point of view, with a particular emphasis in Alaska. Through the lens of an example business plan, this course will rely on and encourage presentations from various industry experts to lead discussions focusing on practical advice for attorneys advising start-up companies facing various business and legal issues relating to: electing and forming the right kind of legal entity, founder's equity, intellectual property protection, stock incentives, tax matters, debt and equity financings, various forms of exit, including sale, merger, and IPO, and other related matters.

Students will focus on understanding clients’ needs, identifying issues, and recommending courses of action. Students will be faced with questions that include: What are the issues posed at each stage of a company’s development cycle? How do they look from the point of view of various participants: founders, directors, shareholders, investors? Who is the client and how can one best define and serve the client's interest? What practical issues can result from various structural approaches to entity organization and financing? What are the fundamental taxation and securities law issues that should guide the lawyer's thinking?

Recommended but not required: Business Entities.