Course Descriptions

Masters Programs

Introductory Courses

MPSL 500 The Legal Profession (1 cr.) This course focuses on the lawyer as part of the system of justice and the lawyer’s unique professional responsibilities and the ethical dilemmas, and how they affect non-lawyers in their roles and responsibilities. The course includes an examination of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the A.B.A. Model Rules of Professional Conduct. 

MPSL 501 Introduction to American Law (2 cr.)

This course focuses on the basic structures of the American legal system, U.S. federalism, interactions of common and statutory law, judicial review, and precedent and stare decisis.  It includes a review of the development of modern American adjudication, and the adversarial system.

Core Courses

MPSL 510 Basic Legal Skills – Research (2 cr.)

This course is designed to give students an understanding of basic legal research sources and how to find and use them. Topics include sources of law and types of authority, case law, statutes, administrative regulations, secondary sources, and authority verification. Students will develop research skills through written assignments using the sources and tools.

MPSL 511 Basic Legal Skills – Writing (2 cr.)

This course is designed to introduce students to legal writing and analysis.  The course will focus on objective writing and legal analysis, preparing students for the academic rigor expected in their doctrinal courses.  Students will learn how to brief cases, draft arguments, and practice the techniques of legal analysis and responding to essay prompts, culminating in a final project.

MPSL 512 Ethics and Social Responsibility (2 cr.)

This course provides a foundation for socially responsible management practices. Emphasis is placed on the inter-related nature of ethics, moral, legal, and social issues in managing individuals, groups, and the organization. Students will analyze the relationship between organizational values and organizational culture and compare personal values and organizational values and how the two intertwine.  This course is designed to give students the ability to recognize the ethical and cultural aspects of organizational problems; and, provide students the tools, concepts and frameworks to make practical, reasoned decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas

MPSL 650 Capstone (2 cr.)

Students, in conjunction with an assigned faculty advisor, will engage in a project designed to tie together coursework and apply what has been learned in a practical setting.  The project should culminate in a formal paper.  This course should be taken during the student’s final semester. Instructor approval required.

MPSL Specialization Courses – Criminal Law

MPSL 610 Criminal Law Survey (3 cr.)

This course will focus on the basic elements of criminal liability, the elements of major crimes, defenses of justification and excuse, and the aims of punishment.

MPSL 611 Evidentiary Issues in a Criminal Investigation (3 cr.)

This course is a study of the federal rules of evidence and their application to a criminal investigation.

MPSL 612 Criminal Procedures and the Constitution (3 cr.)

This course will focus on the procedural and constitutional problems that occur during criminal prosecution with special attention to the constitutional limits on police investigatory practices (i.e., Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues and the ever-changing exclusionary rules).

MPSL 613 Trial Practices for Law Enforcement (1 cr.)

This course will expose students to the techniques used by attorneys to elicit or refute evidence presented by law enforcement during a criminal trial.

MPSL Specialization Courses – Health Law

MPSL 620 Legal Issues in Health Care (3 cr.)

A study of the application of law and legal processes to problems and policies relating to health and health care services. Students will read and evaluate traditional legal materials (cases, statutes, etc.) as well as materials drawn from economics, ethics, and the health sciences. Special attention will be paid to issues embedded in access to services, financing the health care system, decision-making (e.g., informed consent, involuntary commitments, bioethical issues in treatment decisions, etc.), distribution and allocation of scarce resources, confidentiality, and privacy concerns.

MPSL 621 Law of Medical Malpractice (2 cr.)

This course will provide an overview of the laws surrounding medical practice and malpractice. The main areas to be covered include the duties of health care providers (origin, scope and limits), breach of duty (including res ipsa loquitur), proximate cause, damages, (including statutory limits), patient compensation funds, evidence, experts, settlements (including structured settlements), and the economics of malpractice litigation.

MPSL 622 Ethical Issues in Health Care (3 cr.)

This course covers the challenges and dilemmas facing the health care enterprise using the case study method to arrive at ethical and moral decision making. It includes examination of personal beliefs and prejudices that often influence actions. Topics will vary but generally include access, cost, and quality of care, organizational ethics and risk, professional codes of conduct, principles of patient autonomy and rights, and issues within the community.

MPSL 623 Compliance in Health Care (2 cr.)

This course covers discrete compliance topics providing students with an in-depth exploration of the healthcare laws and regulations of particular concern to regulators. Students will examine and discuss statutes and administrative regulations on both the state and federal levels. Utilizing a case study approach, students will investigate and analyze compliance issues and test their diagnostic and remediation skills in applying this knowledge to real-world situations.

MPSL Specialization Courses – Business Law

MPSL 630 Business Organizations (3 cr.)

This course is an introduction to the principal forms of business organizations with an emphasis on the internal governance of corporations. The course begins with an examination of the law governing agencies, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Corporate studies begin with a consideration of the formation and attributes of corporations. The course also addresses the control and management of publicly held corporations, including struggles for control and the relevant federal securities regulations governing take-over bids and proxy solicitation. A significant portion of the course concentrates on shareholder litigation and the duties of officers, directors, and others.

MPSL 631 Contracts (2 cr.)

This course will cover the general scope and purpose of the legal protection accorded contracts; mutual assent and consideration; specific performance; and the Statute of Fraud.  Primary emphasis is placed on the contract in litigation, but problems of negotiation, draftsmanship, and legal planning are considered throughout.

MPSL 632 Issues in Employment Law (3 cr.)

This course covers the existing and evolving legal rules governing the workplace in the non-union setting. The course provides an introduction to the rights and duties of employers and employees that are unrelated to the law on employee organization. Topics covered will include: the erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine; the hiring of employees; the use of lie detectors; drug testing and HIV testing in hiring and discharge decisions; employer liability for negligent hiring; and the terms and conditions of employment.

MPSL 633 Risk Management (2 cr.)

This course deals with identifying majors risks that organizations face, the sources and reasons for these risks, and strategies to reduce them.  This course will emphasize risk management as a structured, disciplined approach to dealing with unknown events and how they can affect organizational performance. Risk management is assessed from its basic steps: risk identification, risk impact analysis, risk response planning, risk monitoring and control, and planning. Case studies will illustrate how risk management is successfully used in a variety of fields.

Elective Courses

MPSL 520 Applied Negotiation Skills (1 cr.)

Students will practice the skills of planning for negotiation, setting the agenda, bargaining for information, exchanging offers, concessions, and counter-proposals, and concluding the negotiation. Ethical issues of the negotiator will also be discussed.  Students will be evaluated by their progress in simulations and written work.

MPSL 521 Criminal Forensics Survey (2 cr.)

This course examines the sciences that are commonly introduced in trial and pre-trial litigation: DNA evidence, Serology, criminal pathology, ballistics, fingerprint, polygraph, and trace evidence (hair, teeth, fiber, paint). Experts and attorneys will present these individual sciences and display litigation techniques.

MPSL 522 White Collar Crime (2 cr.)
This course will include an introduction to organized institutional crime and its negative impact on society, and overview of federal criminal authority, investigative techniques, disclosure and discovery, grand jury proceedings, mail fraud, RICO, drugs, tax enforcement, money laundering and criminal civil rights. The course will conclude with a review of state-federal overlaps and concerns.

MPSL 523 Sentencing and Appeals (2 cr.)
This course covers criminal post-conviction sentencing and appeals. Students that complete this course will understand sentencing ranges for misdemeanor and felony crimes, how a sentencing range is determined for an individual case, and finally what factors are considered in determining the final sentence. Students will also learn the bases and timeline for criminal appeals and how an appellate court determines the degree of deference shown to the trial court and whether or not the trial court has abused the standards of review for a particular case.

MPSL 524 Basic Insurance Law (2 cr.)

This course introduces insurance as an increasingly important tool for the management of risk by both private and public enterprises. This course provides a working knowledge of basic insurance law governing insurance contract formation, insurance regulation, property, life, health, disability, and liability insurance and claims processes.

MPSL 525 Managing and Analyzing Health Care Information (3 cr.)

This course will explore the practice and use of software systems that enable organizing, managing, analyzing, and interpreting data, with emphasis on the types of data required for reporting to federal, state, and local governments as well data that drive the decision making process. 

MPSL 526 Legal Issues of the Aging Population (3 cr.)

This course presents an overview of legal practice and policy relating to aging individuals and an older society. Topics may include an aging population; the challenge to the law; ethical issues and legal assistance; age discrimination in employment; income maintenance; health care; and elder abuse, neglect, and crime.

MPSL 527 The Unionized Workforce (2 cr.)

This course covers the unionized workforce, including the selection of bargaining representatives, union organization of employees, economic pressure for benefits, collective bargaining, enforcement of collective bargaining agreements, and statutory limitations on collective bargaining agreements.

MPSL 528 Introduction to Employee Benefits (2 cr.)

This course will survey provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code concerning the qualification of employee pension and profit sharing plans. By providing an overview of the framework of rules governing such plans, students will learn the basic tax, legal, business and other issues that specifically affect retirement plans and participants’ rights under such plans This course will look at health benefit issues, disability benefit issues, ERISA requirements, tax issues, cafeteria plans, HRAs and HSAs, HIPAA issues, and funding issues.

MPSL 529 Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring (3 cr.)

This course introduces students to federal bankruptcy proceedings. Students will study the current Bankruptcy Act and be introduced to liquidation proceedings under Chapter 7, wage-earner plans under Chapter 13 and corporate reorganizations under Chapter 11.

MPSL 530 Financial Administrative Law (3 cr.)

This course covers administrative and regulatory law.  Particular attention is paid to the Administrative Procedure Act and other provisions of federal law regulation, rule-making and adjudication, as well as decisions affecting such matters as openness to public examination, conflict of interest avoidance, and pressures from outside groups.  This course will analyze the regulatory process, including the justifications for regulation, methods of regulation, the legal constraints on regulation and political concerns inherent in regulation. It will focus on environmental, health and economic regulatory schemes.

MPSL 531 Regulation of Intellectual Property (2 cr.)

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are examined from the following perspectives: the objects of constitutional statutes and the common law; the prerequisites to federal protection including standards of patentability and the subject matter of copyrights; applications and regulation procedures; the administrative process; judicial reviews; the protection of ideas; rights of holders of patents, trademarks, and copyrights; grants, licenses, and assignments; infringement, plagiarism, and unfair competition; and the doctrine of fair use.