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Spring 2015 Registration

November 17, 60 earned hours or more, 7:00 a.m.
November 18, less than 60 earned hours, 7:00 a.m.
Waitlist System

1L Summer Start Spring Course Choices

LAW 114, 3 cr., Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility
LAW 294. 3 cr., U.S. Supreme Court

Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar Description

Mark Kende
James Madison Chair Professor in Constitutional Law Director,
Drake Constitutional Law Center

This spring semester, I’m offering a 3 credit seminar in Comparative Constitutional Law on Thursdays from 4-6:40 pm. The course will likely not be offered again for two years. Since the on-line course description is brief, I thought I’d provide more detail. The seminar will focus on how South Africa (predominantly) and several other nations (Germany, U.S., U.K., Columbia, India, France, etc.) have addressed some of the most controversial constitutional and political issues that exist such as the death penalty, abortion, affirmative action, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, war powers, judicial review, and socio-economic rights. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein has described South Africa as having “the most admirable constitution in the history of the world” so it makes for a great focus. With the advent of globalization, the Internet, etc., it’s impossible to understand how the world works without knowing something about the legal and political systems of other nations. Moreover, since many Iowa and other companies engage in business and advertise abroad, an awareness of these foreign constitutional approaches can also be important so your company complies with the requirements of other nations. Lawyers especially need this knowledge. Moreover, one of South Africa’s leading industries is Agriculture.

This seminar will also contain a unit on state constitutional law focusing on Iowa to provide another comparative perspective, since state constitutions are very important yet different from national charters. The seminar will cover all of this material in the context of gaining a deeper understanding of American constitutional law through these comparisons. It also satisfies certain requirements for the Certificate in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, as well as for the Certificate in International Law.

The elective has limited enrollment so don’t miss out. We will be using the manuscript of a forthcoming casebook of mine, soon to be published, so the cost there should hopefully be free. The main requirement is to write a double spaced 20-25 page paper, make a presentation on your paper in class, and be involved in the class sufficiently. You will have the flexibility to select the topics and countries that you wish to write about in your paper. I am willing to go over drafts of your papers during the semester, to try to help you get the best grade possible. Those who wish to complete the Advanced Writing Requirement in the class may do so. If you have any questions, please contact me ( Hope to see you in class!

Entertainment Law

Entertainment Law is a seminar covering broad topics including the First Amendment, Intellectual Property, Contracts, Entertainment Organizations, and Regulatory Issues. We’ll also spend a fair amount of time talking about current events in the entertainment industry (think Robin Thicke v. Marvin Gaye’s heirs, Manuel Noriega's 'Call of Duty' lawsuit, and any number of issues stemming from the Real Housewives franchise). The course is limited to only twenty seats and elaborates on many legal areas you’ve already seen through the lens of the entertainment industry.

We'll start the semester with sex and violence in the media, tabloid culture and celebrity publicity rights. The second portion of the class covers ownership of entertainment assets and ideas, innovation and creator control. The third part covers entertainment contracts, representing entertainers and licensing. The final portion of the class revolves around performer organizations, unions, and a smattering of antitrust law.

In terms of grading, there will be a paper/project required but no final exam. The class ends a few weeks early on April 17th. The assignments will be a combination of reading (roughly ~20 pages or so per class), watching/listening to various types of media, and perhaps short presentations. Please reach out to Professor Johnson at if you have questions


Last Modified: 11/11/2014 4:28:00 PM by Lori Richman