Core Foundation Courses


Course: Administrative Law
Professor: Danya Reda

This course examines the law of the administrative state. In the contemporary United States, government is carried out through hundreds, if not thousands, of governmental agencies, wielding power not only over the economy at large but over the lives of every American. Administrative agencies have broad regulatory powers to make rules having the force of law, to adjudicate, to empower individuals as well as to prosecute them. This course is concerned with the law that defines, shapes, and legitimates these powers. The course reflects on how the law manages the tension between “rule of law” values (e.g., procedural regularity, accountability, and substantive limits on arbitrary action) and the desire for flexible, effective administrative governance. The course explores the place of agencies in the U.S. constitutional structure, the source and authority of agency power, the procedures necessary for agency policymaking, and judicial review of agency decision-making.


Course: Business Associations
Professor: Nitzan Shilon

This course surveys the role of legal controls on business organizations, with an emphasis on executives, directors and controlling shareholders of public corporations. Aspects of the law of agency, partnership, and closely held corporations are reviewed to highlight continuities and discontinuities with the publicly held corporation. Topics include basic accounting and basic corporate finance, limited liability, creditor protection, shareholder voting, executive compensation, fiduciary duties, shareholder lawsuits, and control transactions. The emphasis throughout is on the economic analysis of legal rules as a set of constraints on corporate actors.


Course: Civil Procedure I and II
Professor: Ray Campbell and Danya Reda

This course looks at civil legal procedure – the process through which private legal rights are enforced – with a particular focus on the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. By the end of the course students have a basic understanding of the core provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as a general understanding of the issues related to procedural justice.


Course: Criminal Procedure
Professor: Nicholas Frayn

The course will survey the entire American criminal process from investigation and arrest to sentencing. The course will cover the Bill of Rights and a comparison of adversarial vs. inquisitorial systems and will present a broad overview of criminal procedure, including arraignment, pretrial detention and release, discovery, right to counsel, right to trial by jury, pretrial motions, trial, and the roles of judge and jury. The course will also concentrate on search and seizure, interrogation and confession, and suppression of evidence under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, following the case of a single defendant from arrest to conviction and sentencing.


Course: Constitutional Law I and II
Professor: Stephan Jaggi

The first half of this two-quarter course introduces participants to historical, political, and legal developments in U.S. constitutional law, principally in the areas of individual rights and liberties and judicial review. The second quarter covers Federalism and Separation of Powers. Both provide an introduction to U.S. constitutional history with special emphasis on the historical, political, economic, and social circumstances under which American constitutional law has developed. The course explores some of the fundamental ideas underlying the American Constitution as well as the factors and processes that have shaped and changed American constitutional law over the years. A further dimension of understanding is achieved by referring to comparable developments in European, and in particular German, constitutional law.


Course: Contracts I and II
Professor: Mark Feldman

This two-quarter course examines the formation and interpretation of contractual agreements under U.S. law (common law and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)) and international law (United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)). The course also explores issues concerning the avoidance of contractual obligations and remedies for the breach of contractual obligations.


Course: Criminal Law I and II
Professor: Nicholas Frayn

Through the study of individual cases from multiple jurisdictions, this course develops understanding of the key elements of American criminal law: actus rea, (intent), mens rea (the act) concurrence and causation. The course examines the evidence and factors that courts and juries consider in determining the culpability of a defendant, and possible defenses a defendant might raise to a particular accusation. The course pushes students to think about the principles that have led the U.S. to structure its criminal justice system in the way that it has, and whether or not it is effective in realizing those principles.


Course: Deal Documentation
Professor: Douglas Levene

This course teaches the basic elements of a business contract and provides students with writing exercises in which they apply the materials presented. There is one class session each week with Professor Levene; students then meet in small groups sessions with a C.V. Starr Lecturer. In the small group sessions, the C.V. Starr Lecturer goes over the homework assignments and gives additional exercises for the students to practice drafting skills.


Course: Evidence
Professor: Thomas Man

This course focuses on the U.S. Federal Rules of Evidence governing the admissibility of evidence, including problems of relevancy, remoteness, and undue prejudice; the hearsay rule and its exceptions; the offer of evidence and objection; examination of witnesses; competency and privilege of witnesses; expert opinion evidence; judicial notice; burden of proof; and presumptions. Where applicable and as appropriate, the course also introduces students to the ongoing effort in China to develop evidence as an independent discipline of legal study and to codify rules of evidence for Chinese judicial proceedings.


Course: Professional Responsibility
Professor: Ray Campbell

Professional Responsibility is a required upper-level course concerned with the ethical standards, professional responsibilities, and regulation of attorneys and judges. The course prepares students to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), as well as providing a basis for making professionally responsible decisions in actual practice. The course draws upon comparative and international material when relevant.


Course: Property I and II
Professor: Norman Ho

This two-quarter course covers the major concepts and issues of Anglo-American property law. Topics covered in the first quarter include the concept of property in Anglo-American property law, forms of ownership of real property, adverse possession, the ownership of personal property, estates and future interests in land, and concurrent ownership and marital property. Topics covered in the second quarter include land use, zoning, planning and other forms of the regulation of real property use and ownership.


Course: Statutory Interpretation
Professor: Matthew Stephenson

This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to statutory interpretation, focusing on the jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court. The course considers the main schools of thought in statutory interpretation (textualism, intentionalism, and purposivism), issues related to the application of important and controversial interpretive tools (such as legislative history and canons of construction), and general questions about the proper role of courts in interpreting legal texts enacted by legislatures.


Course: Torts I and II
Professor: Seth Chertok

This two-quarter course covers the law of civil injuries and liabilities. The goal of Torts I is to focus in depth on the areas in torts that are the highest-stakes litigation areas, namely the theory of negligence, medical malpractice and emotional harm. Torts II focuses on developing critical thinking skills, so as to provide the intellectual foundation for more advanced torts topics such as products liability, and for new legal areas beyond torts.


Course: Transnational Law
Professor: Varies

This course focuses on the growing interaction between national and international legal norms and processes, the importance of transnational corporations (TNCs) in the world economy, and the rise of large global law firms engaged in international practice. The course provides an introduction to basic principles of public international law, comparative law, transnational commercial law and private international law (conflicts of law), and mechanisms of international dispute resolution.


Course: Transnational Legal Practice
Professor: C.V. Starr Lecturers

Transnational Legal Practice helps acclimate students to law school and to the basic tasks required for the first year of legal writing: understanding the relationships between judicial opinions, reading judicial opinions (critically), deriving legal rules from judicial opinions, and applying legal rules to new sets of facts. Students learn the basics of good legal writing, from the contexts in which legal writing is used, to the use of rubrics (IRAC and CREAC) to help structure writing, to the effective use of analogies to construct legal argument.

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Peking University School of Transnational Law

Room 410, School of Transnational Law
Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School,
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District,
Shenzhen, China 518055