Comparative Law

LAW 6250 (2-3 credits)
Professor Pedro A. Malavet
Spring 2015 (3 credits)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
4:00-4:50 p.m.
Room 359

Course Description

An introduction to the comparative method from the perspective of an American lawyer, focusing on methodology, rather than on substantive matters. Starts with a survey of Comparative Law, its history, current definition and scope, followed by practical uses of Comparative legal analysis in United States courts. The more substantial part of the semester studies the Civil Law tradition, the most common legal system in our world today. We start with foreign legal education and the legal professions, a critical matter for proper delivery of legal services to foreign clients and working effectively with international law partners. Then the Civil law system is placed in its proper context: historical roots; structure; approach to judicial review; judicial organization. We finish with a discussion of comparative constitutional law and modern legal systems.

Comparative Law is Especially Important for a Florida Lawyer

Comparative Law, or more precisely the Comparative Method, allows you to understand law, legal transactions, legal problems, legal professionals and clients that are foreign to you.

This is an especially useful tool for a Florida lawyer.

Florida has a very large population of persons who were born in or trace their roots to countries other than the United States. That means that a Florida lawyer will easily find herself faced by the challenge of explaining Florida law to a client whose legal culture is based on a non-United States experience.

Bridging this cultural gap will be critical to proper client service. The lawyers who are good at this will not only provide high-quality professional services, they give themselves a competitive advantage in the legal services market in this state.

Additionally, the Florida lawyer may find himself advising a client who needs to resolve a legal problem in his or her home country, or a client whose only connection to the foreign country is the need to complete a legal transaction abroad. Assisting such clients is an especially important professional opportunity in the Florida legal services market.

That is what Comparative Law is about. Allowing the students at the Levin College of Law to put their legal training in the law and legal system of the United States at the service of clients for whom and legal systems in which we are foreign.

Latest News: Final Exam

The exam is here: Spring 2015 Final Exam.

Spring 2015 First Week

  • Classes will start on Tuesday, January 6 of 2015.
  • For our first day, please
    • Visit my website for this course and review the course syllabus and download Handout No. 1: The Comparative Method.
    • Assignments are posted in the assignments page, which I will update regularly.
    • Tuesday, January 6, Please read the syllabus and I will go over it and over course coverage
    • Wednesday, January 7, pages 1-23 in the handout
    • Thursday, January 8, pages 23-30 in the handout.


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