Certificate Courses

Certificate Course on ‘Overview of U.S. Legal System’: In Collaboration with Penn State Law, Pennsylvania State University, USA - August 31 – September 12, 2019


Penn State Law, Pennsylvania State University, USA in collaboration with Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA is offering Certificate Course on Overview of U.S. Legal System from August 31 – September 12, 2020.

This intensive Ten-Day Course is discussion-based. In exchange for extensive outside reading, the instructor expects 100 percent attendance and active participation in class and group activities. 


The drafters of the U.S. Constitution blueprinted three branches of government, established the boundaries of federal law, and set out how national and state government would share power—and what would happen if interests conflicted. It is unlikely the 1787 Constitutional Convention could have anticipated how slavery would be regulated (and then undone), several world wars, abortion, gun regulations, drones, welfare benefits, physician-assisted suicide—and perhaps even the stature of the U.S. Supreme Court and the finality of its decisions. The drafters probably didn’t foresee how U.S. law would impact jurisdictions outside America, or how federal law would be impacted by legal innovations and trends outside the new country, including India.

Course Learning Objectives
  • To become acquainted with the U.S. Constitution by studying a few landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions; and explore how culture affects law—and vice versa
  • To compare the U.S. legal system and U.S. law trends with other jurisdictions, and especially India’s
  • To explore how the U.S. legal system impacts America’s relations with other countries
  • To introduce students to the Issue – Rule – Analysis – Conclusion (IRAC) case analysis method
  • To inspire students to consider study abroad options
Objective of the Certificate Course

The course in Energy Law would help the students understand the laws and regulations concerning the electricity or the power sector in India. At the same time the course is aimed at developing a functional understanding of theories relating to the legality and economics of Energy / Electricity.

The course would focus on legislation that govern generation, transmission, distribution, sale and purchase of electricity in India. This course introduces students to a related area of law as well, an area that monitors, regulates, defines and postulates the governance of renewable and non-renewable resources such as natural gas, oil, petroleum, electricity which resources are mandatory for generation of electricity, including thermal, solar, hydel, wind etc. The course is also targeted at giving the students a basic familiarity with energy related transactions (power purchase agreements, power sale agreements, tariff order etc.).

The course imparts knowledge relating to the role, powers and functions of the regulators, courts, tribunals that have been and continue to be instrumental in developing and defining the energy sector (such as State Electricity Commissions, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board etc.). The sector is novel, growing and is niche in many ways than one. Energy Laws is contained in central legislation and many regulations that various regulations.

The study of Energy Laws introduces a student to processes; statutory, administrative and judicial in the interpretation of the laws and regulations governing the sector. This course is a crosscutting one, relevant to the understanding of laws that govern an essential commodity such as electricity. The course also holds relevance for legal practice by students in future as it aims to prepare a student to take on a niche area of practice in big ticket law firms, companies and PSU’s engaged in the sector.

The course is designed in a manner that enables the students and professionals to grasp the intricate functioning of the legal framework and contractual requirements of the Energy sector. The teaching methodology includes lectures, seminars, online training, research and visits to power plant sites (if necessary). The students will also be given an exposure in terms of latest regulations, judgements and policies pertinent to the Energy Sector, which gives them a deeper insight into the functioning of the energy sector in India. 

Topics (To be Updated)
Sr. No. Topic Sub-Topics
1 Introduction And Expectations  
Let’s Become Acquainted  
The U.S. Constitutional Framework Historical Background
The Legislative Branch: Hierarchy of legislation; The U.S. Congress; State Legislatures.
The Executive Branch
The Judicial system: Dual System Of Courts (Federal And State); Federal Jurisdiction; Law Applied In The Federal Courts.
Legal Analysis: How To Study A Case Using Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion (IRAC framework) Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964)
2 Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech Under the First Amendment Yoder v. Wisconsin, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)
Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987)
3 Right to Counsel under the U.S. Constitution Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
4 U.S. Law and Culture Discussion  
5 “How High is High? Impeachment Under the U.S. Constitution”  
6 Overview of U.S. Administrative Law And Its Applications In Environmental Law  
7 Capital Punishment  
8 How to Draft a CV, Cover Letter, Personal Statement and to Prepare for Interview Questions Harvard Resumes and Cover Letters Handout
9 Group Presentations  
10 Final Examination  

About the Resource Person

Professor Stephen G. Barnes, Assistant Dean of Graduate and International Programs, Penn State Law, the Pennsylvania State University, USA

Mr. Stephen G. Barnes is Assistant Dean of Graduate and International Programs at the Pennsylvania State University.

Before his appointment, Mr. Steve lived for 8 years in China where he was a visiting law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing and also served as Penn State Law China Programs Director. 

Mr. Steve is proficient in French, Chinese, and Swedish, and is energized by the cultural diversity that talented international students bring to Penn State Law. 

Mr. Steve’s educational qualifications include J.D., University of Oregon; M.B.A., The George Washington University; & B.A., Brigham Young University. 

Date and Timings

August 31 – September 12, 2020 | 03:30 PM – 05:30 PM

Contact Person

Dr. Meenakshi Kaul,
Assistant Professor &
Head – HR & Placement, Training and Placement Cell,
Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA 

Ms. Meera Mathews,
Assistant Professor &
Head – Administration, Research & Publication Cell,
Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA

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