The Uniform Commercial Code contains some articles whose reach into the law is so ubiquitous that virtually any lawyer likely needs at least some passing familiarity with their rules (e.g. Article 2’s rules regarding sales and warranties). Other articles, like Article 9 dealing with secured transactions, are fundamental to extremely broad categories of practice such as commercial transactions and bankruptcy. On the other hand, other portions of the Code deal with subjects so technical that even those specializing in the area don’t study the rules. For example, my office-suite mate is an expert in corporate and securities law. On the other hand, she recently confessed to me that she had never even dealt with (let alone studied) the rules contained in Article 8 regarding the sale of investment securities.
Which leads me to wonder how much U.C.C. coverage a decent law school curriculum needs to provide. For example, both payment systems (essentially Article 4) and negotiable instruments (Article 3) are included on most bar exams. On the other hand, an afternoon’s worth of study with a hornbook is sufficient to learn enough negotiable instruments law to pass the bar. It strikes me that payment systems is really only of practical use in this day and age if you are going to be in-house counsel at a bank. Negotiable instruments has a much broader appeal, but I still wonder how useful it is outside of a fairly narrow commercial practice.
Which leads to my questions. Should law schools offer U.C.C. courses in esoteric subjects simply because they are on the bar? How many schools offer payment systems courses? (As far as I know the course was not offered at Harvard while I was there; is this standard or an anomaly?)