It’s Not All Stuffy Libraries – Quirky Law Classes for Students

Law students heading back to class this week at Chicago’s law schools won’t be limited to civil procedure. There will be some not so boring course offerings this year.


As the number of law students has been shrinking over the last five years, those who are graduation from the University of Chicago Law School have a strong chance for employment directly out of school. It sent the highest percentage of graduates in 2015 to full-time legal jobs than any other law school— with over 90 percent according to The National Law Journal’s analysis finding employment

But those who are still enrolled will have some interesting options, including courses on video game and marijuana law that may come into play when the students are set to graduate.

Here’s a look at some of the available courses:

Social innovation and the legal profession

Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law

The former general counsel for the Clinton Foundation, Scott Curran, knows lawyers are more that just pro bono hours. He will teach a course that explores the myriad of roles lawyers play as architects of social innovation.

Curran started a consultancy, Beyond Advisers in January 2016, which educates nonprofits to do legal work more efficiently. This law class will study how lawyers, nonprofits, and businesses can work together to create organizations that meet social missions, innovate and partner to between charitable organizations in different sectors.

U.S. Supreme Court and appellate clinic

University of Chicago Law School

One of Chicago’s ten largest law firms, Jenner & Block, is pairing with the University of Chicago Law School to teach law students to argue effectively before the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts. Students will research and draft briefs and help prepare and participate in oral arguments. The clinic started quietly in the spring semester with four students and already has a case before the Supreme Court in October.

Notable alumni from the University of Chicago Law School include former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Jon Bunge, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, where he served as the deputy chief of the General Crimes Section for ten years.

Marijuana and the Law

Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law

One of the most recognized lawyers on marijuana law in Illinois will be teaching a class on the subject. As an advisor to the major cannabis growers in the state, Dina Rollman of Rollman & Dahlin will lead the class to a study in current laws as well as the historical context that surrounds them.

Laws of Video gaming, John Marshall Law School

Do video games deserve Does the First Amendment protect video games and if so, how much? This class will be taught by Associate Professor William Ford, and opens with the history of the video game market and then moves on intellectual property issues and finishes with a discussion of First Amendment protections and game violence and its effect on players.

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