European Integration and Disintegration: Seminar

Susanne Augenhofer 

European Integration and Disintegration: Seminar (21500). 2 or 3 units. A recent study has indicated that three out of four young Europeans (between 16 and 26 years of age) consider the European Union (EU) as merely an economic project, whereas only one-third consider common cultural values as a basis of the European Union (here). Bearing in mind the long-term challenges (such as the Euro-crisis, democracy deficit, and Brussels’ bureaucracy) and pressing problems (like the right-wing movements, Brexit, and the refugee crisis), the declining trust in the Union among European citizens and the accumulation of crises reveal structural deficits. In order to find a sustainable fix for these problems, there needs to be a consensus on what the European Union should look like in the future. The principle of European integration is inevitably connected with the foundations and the idea of the Union. Accordingly, this question frames the seminar on “European Integration and Disintegration.”

The seminar will address four selected perspectives on the issue of European integration and disintegration. Each of these topoi is split into further subsections which make instances of integrating and disintegrating in EU law visible and which allow for lively academic debates. These themes exemplify a tension between the transnational and the national level. Resolving this tension – or in other words finding an approach towards a deeper integration and less disintegration – requires a clear imagination of how the EU should look and what the eventual aim of the Union should be. Where appropriate, comparisons to the situation in the U.S. will be drawn. Against this backdrop, the seminar is framed by one introductory session, which will set out the basic principles, and one wrap-up session, in which we want to develop some ideas as to what form a revitalized EU can and should take on. Two units for students who elect to take the examination; three units for students who elect to write a paper. Self-scheduled examination or paper option. S. Augenhofer.

The Regulation of Labor Relations

Craig Becker

3 units. This course will examine the law governing employee organizing, union representation, and collective bargaining in the United States. The primary focus will be on the private sector and thus on the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, as amended, but the course will also examine key legal controversies in public section labor relations. Self-scheduled examination. C. Becker.

Doing Constitutional Law: Some Contemporary Theories

Philip C. Bobbitt

Doing Constitutional Law: Some Contemporary Theories (20442). 2 units. This class will explore some of the contending theories about constitutional interpretation and discuss the distinctive elements, contributions, and challenges each presents. Students will read books that are generally regarded as significant in the field, as well as a number of articles. The question to be answered in this course is whether any of these theories deserves to be given preeminence or indeed whether any particular ranking of theories in a pluralistic scheme makes sense. Paper required. A.R. Amar and P. Bobbitt.

Asian Americans and the Law

Denny Chin

2 units. Asian Americans have played a prominent role in America's legal history. Despite their small numbers, Asian Americans have been at the center of many legal controversies -- some historic that involved issues still of relevance today and some contemporary that present challenging and contentious questions. This course will examine the legal history of people of Asian descent in the United States. The seminar will be divided into four units. We begin with "Arrival, Exclusion, and Citizenship" -- the arrival of Asians in America and the first immigration statutes, the exclusion laws, the recent travel ban, and the question of citizenship. We then turn to "Historical Discrimination" -- early violence against Asian Americans and efforts by state and local governments to regulate Asians in the United States. Next, we consider "Internment and Redress and Reparations" -- the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the efforts to obtain redress and reparations. Finally, we consider "Contemporary Issues" -- including profiling and the question of "spies," employment discrimination and the Bamboo Ceiling, education and the thorny issue of reverse discrimination, the concept of the model minority, and contemporary violence. There will be eight three-hour classes. Paper required. Enrollment limited to twenty. D. Chin.

Ethics Bureau at Yale: Pro Bono Professional Responsibility Advice and Advocacy

Lawrence J. Fox

3 units. Lawyers' need for ethics advice, consultation and expert opinions is not limited to those whose clients can pay. Impecunious clients and the lawyers who serve them are in need of ethics counseling and legal opinions on a regular basis. For example, Yale law students have provided essential assistance preparing amicus briefs in numerous Supreme Court cases. A few of these cases resulted in victory for the petitioner and citations to the amicus brief in the majority opinions.


The work of the Bureau consists of four major components. First, the Bureau provides ethics counseling for pro bono organizations such as legal services offices, public defenders, and other NGO’s. Second, the Bureau prepares standard-of-care opinions relating to the conduct of lawyers, prosecutors and judges that are required in cases alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and other challenges to lawyer and judicial conduct. Third, from time to time, the Yale Ethics Bureau provides assistance to amici curiae, typically bar associations or ethics professors, on questions of professional responsibility in cases in which such issues are front and center. It did so in a United States Supreme Court case, Maples v. Allen, citing the amicus brief of the clinic. The clinic also prepared a brief for Williams v. Pennsylvania, with the brief cited by several Justices in oral arguments. Fourth, the Bureau provides ethics opinions for the National Association of Public Defenders, position papers for various American Bar Association entities, articles for law reviews and other publications, and editorials on topics of current interest.


The students working at the Bureau meet for class two hours per week and are expected to put in approximately ten hours on Bureau projects each week. The classroom work explores the law governing lawyers, but also considers the role of expert witnesses in the litigation process, its appropriateness and the procedural issues thereby raised. No prerequisites. Preference given to prior Ethics Bureau enrollees and students who previously took a course in professional responsibility. This clinic is yearlong and students must commit to two semesters. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required. L. Fox.

Legal Profession: Traversing the Ethical Minefield

Lawrence J. Fox

Legal Profession: Traversing the Ethical Minefield (21638). 2 units. Almost every course you take in law school makes you better able to help your clients fulfill their hopes and dreams. This course is designed to help you fulfill your own professional obligations while also providing services to your clients consistent with their ethical entitlements.Through the use of hypothetical problems grounded in the real world, the class will explore many of the challenging dilemmas that confront the conscientious lawyer who wants to conform his or her conduct to the applicable rules of professional conduct and other law governing lawyers. At the same time we will consider whether the present rules of professional conduct properly address the issues with which the profession must grapple in striking delicate balances among the obligations of lawyers vis-à-vis clients, lawyers as officers of the court and lawyers as citizens. The class will use a casebook, Susan Martyn & Lawrence Fox, Traversing the Ethical Minefield, and a standards book, Susan Martyn, Lawrence Fox & Brad Wendel, The Law Governing Lawyers. Class attendance and participation are essential. Enrollment to be determined. Self-scheduled examination. L. Fox and S.R. Martyn

Aging and the Law: Seminar

Nina Adams Kohn

2 or 3 units. This seminar will survey significant issues in the law of aging, with special emphasis on intergenerational justice and the public policy challenges and opportunities presented by an aging population. Topics of study will include, among other things, age discrimination (including intersectional discrimination) and the theoretical justification for age as a legal criterion; major old age entitlement programs (including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid); institutionalization and the civil rights of nursing home and assisted living residents; end-of-life care and the right to die; advance planning and guardianship; caregiving and intra-family obligations; and elder abuse and neglect. Particular attention will be paid to the impact that cognitive and physical impairments can have on older adults’ legal rights and the ability to exercise those rights. Although the focus of the seminar is on law and public policy in the United States, we will regularly examine relevant international and comparative law.


Each student is required to write a traditional academic paper or complete an experiential project, such as a white paper, brief, regulatory comment, or proposed legislation, related to one of the topics covered during the semester. With the permission of the instructors, students may elect to receive 1 additional credit for a substantial paper or 1 additional experiential credit for a significant experiential project, but not both. The instructors will provide a menu of potential experiential projects with leading organizations in the field of elder rights and policy, and will work to connect students with other potential projects in their areas of interest. Examples of experiential projects that students might pursue include a brief or proposed legislation related to cross-border financial exploitation of older adults, the recent increase in nursing homes discharging older individuals to homeless shelters (see, e.g., Complaints About Nursing Home Evictions Rise, and Regulators Take Note (New York Times, Feb. 28, 2018), or creditors’ increased use of filial responsibility laws to hold adult children liable for their parents’ health care debts. Paper required. Enrollment limited to sixteen. Permission of the instructors required. N. Kohn and K. Cremin.