Seven New Courses Offered for Spring Semester

by Liz O’Donnell

Students registering for classes this month had seven new course offerings to choose from for the spring semester. UConn Law added the new classes, ranging from Spanish for Lawyers I and II, to Connecticut’s Environmental Laws: An Introduction, in order to address different areas of the legal field in which students may be interested.

Leslie Levin, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, said each of the new courses came about as a result of different needs of students and expertise of faculty members.

“Each course has a different genesis,” she said.

Professor Douglas Spencer, who joined UConn Law’s faculty this year, will teach Election Law. Spencer said he believes there are many important reasons for UConn Law to offer a course in election law.

“Every aspect of elections are litigated, from the signature required for candidacy to the counting of ballots with ambiguous marks,” he said. “Lawyers are increasingly playing a central role in political campaigns and a course in Election Law will provide a foundation for UConn students to fill these roles.”

According to the course description, the class will “explore the major themes in the legal regulation of elections and politics.”

Professor Alexandra Lahav will teach Tort Law and Alternatives. Lahav said one reason she decided to teach the course was that she believes torts is an important area of the law that implicates both people’s lives and the economy at large.

“There is a lot of talk about tort law as a drain on the economy, that it’s costlier than other forms of regulation or that products should overall be less regulated,” she said. “I’d like to explore these claims with students and see what we can learn about what the tort law system really offers, what are its limitations and what ought to be changed about it.”

Lahav said the class would be particularly beneficial for students considering a future career in government or elected office.

“This is an important policy issue to be familiar with,” she said. “I think it will be a lot of fun!”

UConn Law will also offer Pre-Trial Litigation, which will be taught by Robyn Sondak, who previously taught at UConn Law as an adjunct professor, and Jonathan Harris, a UConn Law alum. Dean Levin said the pair suggested the class to her and she thought it would be extremely beneficial to students looking to pursue a career in litigation.

“Most lawsuits involve pre-trial practice and never actually go to trial,” she said. “A course that focuses on pre-trial litigation skills will help prepare students for what they really need to know if they would like to litigate.”

In addition to these courses, there will also be The Business of Law and Local Land Use Regulation Practicum.