Ground Rules

Socratic method. Classes are conducted Socratically, which requires students to read the assigned material carefully, to think and speak clearly, and to respond to counter-arguments on their merits. Being a lawyer, lobbyist, or policy advocate demands such skills, and the classroom offers a low-risk environment for practice.

Each day, prepare yourself to answer questions from me and and your classmates about any assigned case, its facts, procedural history, and how the court resolved the problem presented. In our discussions, your goals should be to:

  1. state your claims clearly and precisely;
  2. provide reasons or evidence for your claims;
  3. answer all reasonable objections.

Substantive clash on ideas and analysis is expected, but all this takes place within a realm of mutual respect.

Electronic Distractions. During class, please do not run any software applications that are not part of your class participation. That means no personal web browsing, email, instant messaging, P2P downloading, etc. On the other hand, googling for background information, or searching relevant legal sites is appropriate. But if I call on you, don’t act like a doe caught in headlights.   If you can’t multi-task effectively, don’t try (and the evidence suggests that we all think we’re better at it than we actually are).

There are two sets of reasons.  First, class runs fast, and you can’t afford to scatter your attention. Second, browsing inflicts negative externalities on third parties, including people sitting behind you who are distracted by fast moving images or screen changes. If you can’t abide by this social contract, please come talk to me. Maybe we can come to a different understanding or decide that my class isn’t right for you.

Mobile phones should be off or muted unless emergency circumstances require otherwise. If you are uncertain about what this entails, ask me beforehand.

Bottom line: Get in the practice of acting like a young professional, which is precisely who you are.

Learn more.  Recording FAQ | Tech FAQOffice HoursTeaching Philosophy (part of University Distinguish Teaching Award)

Required Texts

  • Kang, AAJ Reader 2014.  This reader will be distributed on-line, in multiple parts, through a password protected page on this site.  You should receive the password via e-mail before class.  If 3 days before class starts you haven’t yet received the email–especially if you are cross-registered–please alert me via email.)
  • Race, Rights and Reparation: Law of the Japanese American Internment (2d ed. Wolters Kluwer Law and Business 2013) (Eric Yamamoto, Margaret Chon, Carol Izumi, Jerry Kang, and Frank Wu). Should be available at the law bookstore.


  • a 3 hour open-book in-class examination
  • class participation (25% of your grade) (measured by your preparedness and contributions to class discussion).  It’s not necessarily quantity as much as value-added quality and good-faith engagement.