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Contract Drafting
(For English-speaking Law Practice)

The purpose of this course is to teach practicing lawyers and advanced law students to understand and draft technical documents (mainly contracts). Students will learn drafting techniques in detail, and will be able to draft contracts, leases, regulations and other technical legal documents of medium difficulty. They will learn general US business law principles, and will review the CISG. They will also understand contract law tendencies in different legal regimes, and will be able to estimate how the legal norms of particular countries will affect their documents. Additionally, students will review English language punctuation, legal terminology and conventions of written legal English, with special emphasis on word placement and the meaning and context of legal terms. By the end of the course, students will have created (or examined and modified) a set of standard clauses and forms for use in their practices.

Legal Drafting is divided into three major elements: Law (legal regimes and general cultural attitudes towards contracts, contract law, effect of using particular standard phrases or invoking conventions), Micro-Organization (word choice and order, punctuation, careful use of modifiers) and Macro-Organization (organizing the document, using definitions, reviewing common drafting difficulties). Portions of each element will be discussed in each class. The course is taught in a small group seminar, with lecture, discussion, oral and written exercises. Students will be asked to create, or find and bring in for class review and revision, actual contract clauses they use in their work. As a final exam, students will be asked to write and revise a contract according to a hypothetical client's requirements.

30 in-class academic hours (24 clock hours) plus equivalent homework hours. Average of 2 hours of out-of-class individual meetings with the professor. (The professor spends approximately 6 hours reviewing and commenting in writing on the written course work of each individual student.)

Legal Writing I, or demonstration of equivalent legal skills, is a pre-requisite to taking this course. Legal Drafting is designed for students whose English is at the advanced level. Those whose English is not adequate should first take courses in Legal English and Advanced English.


Legal Negotiations

The course provides thorough and professional practice in business negotiations. It is designed to introduce you to the negotiation tactics and strategy. It teaches how to prepare, how to identify acceptable negotiated solutions and best alternatives, and how to deal with difficult negotiators. This course is very useful for those involved in negotiations on a daily basis or recent graduates planning their career in business and law. The course is particularly useful for Russian students, since in Russian schools they do not teach these skills (In Western business and law schools this subject is taught for a semester).

Classes are comprised of 15-20 minutes of theoretical introduction, then practicing negotiation skills through problems, business games, and analysis of their solutions. Home reading and preparation is needed. One major problem is used through all classes. At the end of the class there will be a written exam (joint venture agreement), with an evaluation and individual practical recommendations. The focus is to give students opportunities to practice and refine their skills in a wide range of real life situations (sales, rental agreements, trade union conflicts, investment transactions etc.).

30 in-class academic hours (24 clock hours). Appropriate home reading and preparation time. Good understanding of spoken and written English is strongly advisable since the great bulk of materials is in this language of international negotiations.



Business Basics for Lawyers

The goal of this course is to introduce law students and practicing lawyers to the concepts of accounting, economics and finance needed to effectively counsel clients operating in the complex environment of modern business, as well as to touch on the skills lawyers need to operate effective and profitable legal practices. Through lectures, discussion and exercises, students will learn simple accounting methods, the elements of financial reporting statements, tests for evaluating businesses; the use of financial analysis in business transactions; and the mechanics of the market and investing. Towards the end of the course, as time allows, the class will touch on the economics of law practice and the fundamentals of compensation, management and marketing for professional services. Please see the course syllabus for complete information