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UCLA General Catalog 2017-18

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    School of Law

Programs and Centers


Center for Law and Economics

The mission of the Center for Law and Economics is to foster academic scholarship exploring how economics can help us better understand and improve our laws. UCLA has one of the richest law and economics traditions in the world, and many of the founders of law and economics have made UCLA their academic home. The center, along with the Anderson Graduate School of Management and the law school’s Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, sponsors the UCLA Law, Economics, and Organization Workshop, where speakers present their latest works-in-progress in the broad area of law and economics as it relates to business organizations.

Clinical and Experiential Programs

The School of Law has long been recognized for its innovative approach to clinical teaching that transforms the classroom into a real-world laboratory through the integration of theory and practice. It has been a national leader in clinical teaching since the early 1970s and continues to offer rigorous practical training across a wide range of practice areas. Students gain crucial firsthand experience that prepares them for future careers, learning from faculty members whose knowledge and expertise place them at the forefront of clinical education.

From the first year, students have opportunities to receive training and hands-on experience by participating in the El Centro Legal Clinics. El Centro places students with public interest legal services organizations to provide legal assistance to underserved individuals, families, and communities. Second- and third-year students can participate in a broad array of clinical courses that encompass all areas of legal practice—litigation, transactional, and public interest. In addition, second- and third-year students can do part-time and fill-time externships, working for judges, government agencies, public interest law firms, and nonprofit organizations.

The clinical program is led by exceptional faculty members—visionary scholars who have contributed the cornerstone ideas that form the basis of clinical training, as well as a new generation of leaders who are bringing clinical education into areas of the legal profession that have long remained outside the scope of hands-on training.

Critical Race Studies Program

Throughout American history, race has profoundly affected the lives of individuals, growth of social institutions, substance of culture, and workings of our political economy. Not surprisingly, this impact has been substantially mediated through the law and legal institutions. To understand the deep interconnections between race and law and, particularly the ways in which race and law are mutually constitutive, is an extraordinary intellectual challenge with substantial practical implications. In a nation that is becoming more racially diverse and finds global issues at the forefront of political debate, these issues promise to remain central to the work of law practitioners and the research of legal scholars. The only one of its kind in the U.S., the Critical Race Studies Program is proud that some of the original architects of critical race theory are faculty members. It is the premier institutional setting for the study of the intersection between race and the law. Established in 2000, the program is a training ground for a new generation of practitioners, scholars, and advocates committed to racial justice theory and practice and is a multifaceted program that augments a rigorous course of study with research colloquia, symposia, interdisciplinary collaborations, and community partnerships in order to integrate theory and practice.

David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy

The school’s highly selective David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy was established in 1997 in response to the need to better train public-interest lawyers. It quickly became one of the nation’s most innovative and successful law school public interest programs, engaging students in an array of social justice issues. Recognizing the considerable debate about the proper role of the law in creating and sustaining a just society—and defining public interest broadly to include all interests underrepresented by the private market—the program strives to ensure that its students pursue an innovative and intellectually ambitious curriculum, and extracurricular involvement that best prepares them to engage in sophisticated representation of traditionally underserved clients and interests. Beyond the formal coursework, the program offers an array of opportunities for students to hear from leading public-interest practitioners and scholars, work on current policy problems, and become involved in public-interest activities within and outside the School of Law. The program also sponsors a series of forums, symposia, and activities that focus on social justice issues in which all students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community participate.

Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

The Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment is the leading law school center focused on climate change and other critical environmental issues. Founded in 2008 with a generous gift from Dan A. Emmett and his family, the institute works across disciplines to develop and promote research and policy tools useful to decision makers locally, statewide, nationally, and beyond. The institute houses the school’s leading environmental programs, including the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, a vital training ground for environmental lawyering. It also works hand in hand with the UCLA Sustainable Technology and Policy Program, a collaboration between the School of Law and the Fielding School of Public Health. Taking advantage of its home at one of California’s top law schools, the institute has particular expertise in the cutting-edge steps taken by California to lead the way toward meaningful reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Lawmakers, the broader legal community, business leaders, academics, and the media rely on the institute as a trusted resource to analyze and answer questions about policy and law issues related to climate change and other environmental challenges.

Empirical Research Group

The UCLA School of Law is one of the only law schools in the country to offer its faculty members the support of trained statisticians to further empirical research. The Empirical Research Group (ERG) is a methodology-oriented research center that specializes in the design and execution of quantitative research in law and public policy, and enables faculty members to include robust empirical analysis in their legal scholarship. Articles and reports published by faculty members working with ERG have covered topics as diverse as bankruptcy, legal aid, pollution prevention, tax policy, gay rights, the living wage, and campaign finance disclosure. Articles, reports, working papers, and supporting data are posted on the ERG website. In addition to faculty scholarship, ERG trains law students as research assistants in empirical methods such as sampling, data collection, and statistics, and works closely with law students who conduct their own empirical research.

Externships and Field Placements

Through the School of Law’s extensive and diversified externship program, students can work in a supervised environment with a wide variety of employers and in a diverse range of practice areas. Students are able to extern with judges, government agencies, nonprofit organizations or, in some circumstances, entertainment and other in-house placements. They also may participate in the UCDC Law Program, a full-time externship program in Washington, DC. The field placement program brings together faculty members, students, and practicing lawyers to collaborate and connect classroom learning with practice opportunities.

Globalization and Labor Standards Program

For students interested in labor and employment issues, UCLA has a Globalization and Labor Standards (GALS) Program that maintains a web-based library of law review articles on all issues of international labor rights and global labor standards. GALS also publishes a newsletter, organizes conferences, and hosts regular speaker programs. Student contributors are involved in every stage of the project.

Health and Human Rights Law Project

The Health and Human Rights Law Project seeks to improve global health by using a framework grounded in international human rights law. Through multidisciplinary research, training, and mentorship, the project examines the relationship between health and human rights and fosters the next generation of leaders working in this area. With an emphasis on issues pertaining to sexuality, gender, and HIV/AIDS, the project focuses on health issues around which rights-claiming has particular salience.

International and Comparative Law Program

The International and Comparative Law Program is one of the best in the nation. Permanent faculty members who have built their reputations in the field offer numerous international and comparative law courses, such as human rights, international business transactions, national security law, international environmental law, international criminal law, European Union law, and Islamic law. The study of international and comparative law at UCLA is further strengthened by the opportunity to take courses in other UCLA departments. Some of the country’s best work in international economics, politics, and business occurs at UCLA, and many law students find it valuable to complement their law school work with coursework in other departments. Students may also pursue joint degrees with other departments with the approval of the law school administration.

Law and Philosophy Program

The School of Law and the Philosophy Department offer an exciting program in law and philosophy that takes advantage of the law faculty’s strength and depth in the subject and the school’s close relationship to the Philosophy Department. The program has many dimensions, including a wide range of courses at the intersection of law and philosophy and a legal theory workshop, open to all members of the law school and Philosophy Department, in which leading scholars present works in progress.

Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy

The central mission of the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy is to influence the national legal and policy debate over the critical issues affecting the regulation and governance of business. The institute seeks to fulfill this mission by promoting innovative research at the intersection of law and business by a highly respected and widely recognized business law faculty, by offering a unique blend of policy and practice-oriented courses designed to prepare law students to be leaders in the new economy, and by hosting timely conferences and scholarly events on matters that advance the public discussion.

Native Nations Law and Policy Center

The Native Nations Law and Policy Center supports Native Nations to enhance their governmental institutions and laws, strengthen their cultural resource protections, and address critical public policy issues by bringing together the University’s academic resources and the knowledge and experience of tribal leaders and knowledge-holders. The center serves as the home for the Tribal Legal Development Clinic and Tribal Appellate Court Clinic that involve students in projects such as constitution drafting, code development, and serving as law clerks for Indian nation clients.

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program

The Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and managing the competition for scare resources in legal, business, and interpersonal contexts. The program’s broad mission includes the study of private and public transactions and disputes in domestic and international arenas. It brings together a community of scholars and students from a variety of fields across UCLA and throughout Southern California with overlapping scholarly, teaching, and practice interests.

Office of Public Interest Programs

The UCLA School of Law has a long-standing commitment to public service and is committed to cultivating an environment that encourages all of its students and alumni to better serve society in myriad ways. Students gain significant exposure and experience in public service through clinical courses, a pro bono program, an externship program, extensive public interest advising and informational programming, and numerous student organizations. The Office of Public Interest Programs, the hub of the school’s public interest efforts, hosts a variety of career-oriented programs and relevant public interest forums and events in which students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community participate. The office also hosts the annual Southern California Public Interest Career Day, which attracts more than 110 public service employers and some 1,000 students from around the region. The office also supports the student-run Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) and its annual auction, which raises monies to help fund summer public service internships.

Program on Understanding Law, Science, and Evidence

Founded in 2009, the Program on Understanding Law, Science, and Evidence (PULSE) explores the many connections between law and science, technology, and evidence. PULSE engages in interdisciplinary research, discussion, and programming to examine how basic facts about our world, furnished through science and credited as evidence, influence various venues of law and policymaking.

Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy

The Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy is dedicated to studying and advancing law and policy solutions to improve the modern food system. A national think tank at the school, the program develops key legal and policy research and tools to foster a food system, from farm to the fork, that is healthy both for consumers and the environment.

Ziman Center for Real Estate

Reflecting a growing interdisciplinary focus at UCLA, the School of Law formed a partnership in 2005 with the Anderson Graduate School of Management to create the Ziman Center for Real Estate. The center is firmly grounded in the scholarship and teaching missions of both schools and offers practical application principles that help real estate industry professionals, public officials, and business people alike make critical policy and business decisions. The center truly bridges the divide between research and practice and offers students a full range of coursework that offers a holistic view of real estate issues.

Transnational Program on Criminal Justice

The Transnational Program on Criminal Justice (TPCJ) fosters research and discussion on issues of domestic, comparative, international, and transnational criminal justice systems and sponsors events to engage students and the criminal justice and comparative and international law scholarly community. The TPCJ serves as a resource for producing timely collaborative research on diverse topics at the intersection of criminal justice, comparative and international law, and human rights law. The goal is to generate knowledge and analysis not only for the scholarly community, but also for both practitioners and policymakers.

UCLA-RAND Center for Law and Public Policy

The UCLA-RAND Center for Law and Public Policy is a unique partnership of the UCLA School of Law and RAND Corporation. Its mission is to produce innovative legal scholarship that is grounded in multidisciplinary empirical analysis to guide legal and public policymakers in the twenty-first century. It was created to support collaborative research and to evolve with the doctrinal, institutional, and professional changes in the law. The main activities of the center include research, conferences, and the Empirical Legal Scholars Program.

Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy

The Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy is the only think tank of its kind dedicated to the field of sexual orientation law and public policy. The institute supports legal scholarship, legal research, policy analysis, and education regarding sexual orientation discrimination and other legal issues that affect lesbian and gay people. The institute began with the recognition that issues central to sexual orientation law have profound implications for the development of the law and public policy in general. Drawing on the intellectual and material resources of UCLA, the institute serves as a national center for the interdisciplinary exploration of these issues by scholars, judges, practitioners, advocates, and students.

Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology, and Sports Law

The Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology, and Sports Law supports and expands the curricular offerings of the Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law specialization. For students interested in learning more about entertainment law, the program helps them earn externships with entertainment-related businesses, brings influential speakers to campus, and sponsors the industry’s top legal conference on entertainment issues, the annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium. Students run an entertainment-related journal, the UCLA Entertainment Law Review, as well as the student organization, the Entertainment Law Association.

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