It would be desirable if you have taken Water Law, but not essential. For students who have not taken Water Law, I will give a two-hour lecture on the first day of class on the basic doctrine.
This seminar offers an opportunity to write a paper on an aspect of water law and/or policy that interests you. It is a writing seminar that satisfies the College of Law’s “starred seminar” requirement. I will be extremely flexible as to choice of paper topics and the format of the paper. Possible formats include: a law review Note and an appellate brief. Students interested in a particular subject matter may make it the subject of an analytic essay. Other papers may focus on a pending case. If the case has been set for oral argument, a student might obtain the briefs and then write a judicial opinion. For a case on which oral argument has not been set, you might prepare a brief on the merits.
The College of Law envisions seminars as intense research and writing experiences involving original research, multiple drafts, faculty and perhaps student edits, and an oral presentation. The final project should approach publishable quality and not exceed 25 pages. The research and writing of the paper naturally will constitute the bulk of the labor. I expect you to submit an outline and two drafts that will receive intensive criticism leading to a final paper. In addition, each student must serve as an editor for another student’s first draft. Toward the end of the semester, each student will make an oral presentation to the class concerning his or her paper. Finally, I expect all students to participate actively in the final presentations by preparing one-page critiques of each student’s paper (a copy of which must go both to the author and to me) and by helping to generate discussion by questions and comments.
Grades will be based largely on the final seminar paper. However, I will also take into account a student’s performance as student editor, as critic, and as participant in the presentation sessions.
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