Skip to main content

Curriculum Guide

academic programs

First-Year Program
Second- and Third-Year Program
Upper-Level Writing Requirement
Lawyering Skills Requirement
Perspectives on Law and Justice Requirement
Graduation Requirements
Principles of Course Selection
Course Descriptions & Registration

FIRST YEAR PROGRAM
First year students are required to take Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Property, Torts, Criminal Law and Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing. These include both traditional courses as well as those emphasizing the sources of law, professional responsibility issues, and lawyering skills.

In the spring semester, first year students choose a three credit elective from a menu of classes that are also available to upper level students. For the 2013-14 academic year these include Evidence, Corporations, Jurisprudence, Legal Interviewing and Counseling, and Advanced Contracts, Sales in Practice.

Civil Procedure
Using the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this course introduces rules governing the conduct of litigation. After an overview of the entire sequence of events from commencement to final disposition of a lawsuit, specific topics are considered in detail.

Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law introduces the concept of judicial review of legislation and executive action. The course also focuses on the express and implied powers of the federal government and the effect of the interstate commerce clause on federal and state power.

Contracts
The concept of what constitutes a contract is followed by detailed study of the various principles that govern the enforcement of contracts. Common law rules are emphasized, but attention is also given to the statutory changes imposed by the Uniform Commercial Code.

Criminal Law
This course examines the elements of crimes, defenses that the accused may assert, and the methods and rationales for punishing criminal conduct. Attention is given to the common law of crime as well as to the Model Penal Code.

Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing
LRR&W provides students with a problem-based curriculum that equips them with the analytical, research and written communication skills essential to the practice of law.  Instruction is characterized by a fully integrated research curriculum, classroom discussion of analysis, and comprehensive, individualized feedback on a series of predictive and advocacy memoranda assignments.

Property
This first-year course covers the substantive law of real property. Topics include initial acquisition, property theory, the right to exclude, land use regulation, servitudes, conveyancing, landlord-tenant law, zoning, and takings.

Torts
This course examines non-consensual relations among individuals and emphasizes negligence law, the measure of damages, and newer developments such as products liability.

SECOND AND THIRD YEAR PROGRAM
With the following exceptions, all upper-level courses are electives.  All students are required to take Constitutional Law II, Professional Responsibility, a course satisfying the “Perspectives on Justice and the Law” requirement, a course satisfying the Upper Level Writing requirement, and a course satisfying the “Lawyering Skills” requirement. 

Students are required to take the Professional Responsibility survey course (LL955); this course is the only course that will satisfy the one-course professional responsibility requirement.

More than 70 courses, are offered each semester. Multiple courses in one or more areas broadens students' knowledge, judgment, and technical skills, ultimately strengthening their abilities as lawyers.

 ABA UPPER-LEVEL WRITING REQUIREMENT
Academic Year 2013-2014

All Boston College Law School students are required to take an upper level course with a significant writing experience in order to graduate.  It can be taken at any time during the second or third year.  The courses, competitions and publications that fulfill this upper level writing requirement are listed below.

Courses denoted with an asterisk are listed with a 2/3 or 3/4 credit option.  Students who opt for the higher number of credits will fulfill the upper level writing requirement.

LL485       Advanced Legal Writing (All sections)
LL48503   Advanced Legal Writing (Eggers Fall) will not fulfill the requirement.
LL34101   Advanced Immigration Law Seminar (Holper Fall)
LL31001   Advising the Business Planner (Yen/Gennari Fall)
LL61001   American Indian Law (Witten Spring) *
LL73501   American Jury (Brassard Spring)
LL34401   American Legal Education (Coquillette Spring)
LL471       Appellate Advocacy (All sections)
LL39001   Art Law Seminar (Anzalone Fall)
LL85801   Attorney General Clinical Program Seminar (Barnico Fall/Spring)
LL87101   BC Innocence Project Seminar (Beckman Spring) *
LL70801   Business Law and Health Care Enterprises (Hashimoto Spring)
LL60101   Catholic Social Thought (Kalscheur Spring) *
LL66301   Children’s Law and Public Policy (Sherman Fall) *
LL73201   Church and State (Kalscheur Fall)
LL39301   Death Penalty (Dowden Fall)
LL96901   Environmental Law (Plater Fall) **
LL32201   Environmental Law Seminar Advanced (Plater Spring)
LL94201   Family Court Practice (Ginsburg Spring) *
LL98001   Family Law Seminar (Katz Spring) Cancelled
LL35601   Federal Criminal Law Seminar (Brown Spring) *
LL94901   Financial Regulation (Jones Fall)
LL93301   First Amendment & Corp. & Commercial Speech (Greenfield Fall)
LL72901   Global Poverty and Human Rights (Young Spring) *
LL46201   History of the Constitution (Bilder Spring)
LL46101   Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Seminar (Kanstroom Spring)
LL42001   International Criminal Law (Barrozo Fall) *
LL42301   International Organizations (Wirth Fall)
LL49601   Judge and Community Courts Seminar (Cratsley Fall) 
LL83801   Judicial Process - Appeals (Mcgowan Spring)  
LL67301   Law of War, War Crimes and Genocide (Ryan Spring)
LL54001   London Program British Law and Institutions (Minuskin Spring)
LL48701   Marriage Law (Hong Fall)
LL92501   Mediation (All sections)
LL63501   National Security Law (Brown Fall)
LL76101   Philosophy of Law: Freedom and Authority (Barrozo Fall) *
LL95501   Professional Responsibility: Ethics for Clinics (Anderson Fall) *
LL459       Semester in Practice Seminar (All sections)
LL80501   Sexuality and the Law (Stowe Fall)
LL60701   SIP: International Human Rights Seminar (Kanstroom Spring)
LL95701   Sports Law (Yen Spring)
LL87101   Wrongful Convictions (BeckmanSpring) *

Independent Studies – if writing a paper of 30 pages or more.

Competitions  (Selection process required)
LL33501   European Union Moot Court (Perju)
LL99401   First Amendment (Daly)
LL69101   Frederick Douglass Moot Court (Daly)
LL50001   J. Braxton Craven Moot Court (Barnico)
LL98101   Jessup International Moot Court (Carey and Wirth)
LL99501   Immigration Moot Court (Kanstroom/Daly)
LL51501   National Criminal Procedure Moot Court (Bloom)
LL61801   National Environmental Law Moot Court (Plater)
LL98201   National Moot Court (Carey)
LL38601   Religious Freedom (Kalscheur)
LL44701   Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court (Liu)

Publications  (Selection process required)
LL98601   Journal of Law and Social Justice (Greenfield)
LL98901   Environmental Affairs Law Review (Plater)
LL98701   International and Comparative Law Review (Wirth)
LL99901   Law Review (Wylie)
LL98301   U.C.C. Reporter Digest (Hillinger)

All 2 credit Independent Studies will satisfy the ABA writing requirement if writing a paper of 30 pages or more.

* Students who opt for the higher number of credits will fulfill the upper level writing requirement.

**This course will satisfy the ABA writing requirement if the student selects the research paper option.

LAWYERING SKILLS REQUIREMENT
2013-2014 Courses that satisfy the Lawyering Skills Requirement

Courses will satisfy the “Lawyering Skills” requirement at Boston College if they engage students in real client or simulated lawyering exercises, such as interviewing and counseling, negotiation and mediation, oral advocacy, and drafting or problem solving in either transactional or litigation contexts.  Participation in a third year intermural Moot Court or Mock Trial team will also satisfy the lawyering skills requirement.

LL797        Advanced Legal Research (All sections)
LL32301    Advanced Contracts: Sales in Practice (Holleman Spring)
LL34101    Advanced Immigration Law Seminar (Holper Fall)
LL31001    Advising the Business Planner (Yen/Gennari Fall)
LL471        Appellate Advocacy (All sections)
LL39001    Art of Lawyering and the Commercial Lease (Kass/Reck Fall)
LL85601    Attorney General Program (Barnico (Fall/Spring)
LL95601    Bankruptcy Law Research (Neary Spring)
LL40201    BC Innocence Project (Whitmore Spring)
LL60401    BC Law Defenders Clinic (Beckman/Herrmann Fall/Spring)
LL46901    BC Law Prosecution Clinic (Sarda Fall)
LL97901    Civil Litigation Clinic (Anderson Fall)
LL33401    Civil Motions Practice (Brassard Fall)
LL33601    Community Enterprise Clinic (Tremblay Fall or Spring)
LL77001    Corporations Lab (Quinn Spring)
LL42401    Criminal Justice Clinic (Beckman/Herrmann/Sarda Fall)
LL930        Dispute Negotiation (All sections)
LL94201    Family Court Practice (Ginsburg Spring)
LL92301    Federal Appeals Clinic (Murray-Tjan Fall/Spring)
LL41801    Housing Law Clinic Seminar (Shachter Spring)
LL79301    Immigration Clinic (Holper Fall/Spring)
LL95301    Immigration Externship (Wax Fall)
LL47001    Immigration Law Research (Breda Spring)
LL95001    Intellectual Property Research (Shear Spring)
LL48801    International Business Transactions (Garcia Fall)
LL67501    International Legal Research (Sullivan Fall)
LL49801    Judge & Community Courts (Cratsley Fall)
LL83801    Judicial Process - Trial (Bloom Spring)
LL38901    Juvenile Rights Advocacy (Sherman (Fall/Spring)
LL38902    Juvenile Rights Advocacy II (Sherman Spring)
LL72601    Labor and Employment Arbitration (Henderson-Ellis/Shaw Spring)
LL78701    Legal Interviewing & Counseling (West Spring)
LL82301    Life Cycle of Chapter 11 Restructuring (Baldiga Spring)
LL33201    Litigation Skills: Fact Development (Mahoney Fall)
LL44301    Local Government Law (Levine Spring)
LL54001    London Program British Law and Institutions (Minuskin Spring)
LL92501    Mediation (Gray Fall/Spring)
LL84001    Patent Law (Olson Spring)
LL64101    Real Estate Finance (Levine Fall)
LL33701    Regulatory Practice Externship (Foote Spring)
LL489        Semester in Practice (All sections)
LL60701    SIP: International Human Rights (Kanstroom Spring)
LL77801    Tax III (Darby Spring)
LL85101    Technology Transactions and Licensing (Marr Spring)
LL783        Trial Practice (All sections)

Competitions  (Selection process required)
LL33501     European Union Moot Court (Perju)
LL99401     First Amendment (Daly)
LL69101     Frederick Douglass Moot Court (Daly)
LL50001     J. Braxton Craven Moot Court (Barnico)
LL98101     Jessup International Moot Court (Carey and Wirth)
LL99501     Immigration Moot Court (Kanstroom/Daly)
LL51501     National Criminal Procedure Moot Court (Bloom)
LL61801     National Environmental Law Moot Court (Plater)
LL98201     National Moot Court (Carey)
LL38601     Religious Freedom (Kalscheur)
LL44701     Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court (Liu)

PERSPECTIVES ON JUSTICE AND THE LAW REQUIREMENT
2013-2014 courses that satisfy the Perspectives on Law and Justice Requirement

The “Perspectives on Law and Justice” requirement at Boston College Law School is designed to insure that students take at least one offering that examines the normative ideal of justice from a theoretical, historical, or comparative perspective.  Students may meet this requirement by completing a designated two or three credit class that explores the moral, philosophical, and cultural premises underlying legal doctrines, and how such doctrines can best be shaped and applied to promote a more just society.  Designated classes will engage students in systematic reflection examining the normative ideal of justice and the role played by law and lawyers in promoting justice.

LL34401    American Legal Education (Coquillette Spring)
LL92201    American Legal History (Bilder Spring)
LL41101    American Legal Theory (Wells Spring)
LL68601    Anglo-American Legal History (Coquillette Fall)
LL46401    Authority and Leadership in Professional Life (Sarda Spring)
LL60401    BC Law Defenders Clinic Seminar (Beckman/Herrmann Fall/Spring)
LL60101    Catholic Social Thought (Kalscheur Spring)
LL97901    Civil Litigation Clinic Class (Anderson Fall and Spring)
LL66301    Children’s Law and Public Policy (Sherman Fall)
LL33601    Community Enterprise Clinic Class (Tremblay Fall/Spring)
LL93201    Comparative Constitutional Law (Perju Spring)
LL41301    Constitutional History: Philadelphia Convension (Bilder Spring)
LL42401    Criminal Justice Clinic Class (Beckman/Herrmann/Sarda Fall)
LL39301    Death Penalty Seminar (Dowden Fall)
LL43901    European Union Law (Perju Fall)
LL40001    Feminist Legal Theory (Wells Fall)
LL66001    Foundations of Western Legal Thought (Kohler Fall)
LL61101    Global Justice and Human Rights (Rasmussen Spring)
LL72901    Global Poverty and Human Rights (Young Spring)
LL43301    Globalization, Law and Legal Practice (Garcia Spring)
LL41801    Housing Law Clinic Seminar (Shachter Spring)
LL46101    Human Rights Interdisciplinary Seminar (Kanstroom/Lykes Spring)
LL74901    Immigration Law (Kanstroom Spring)
LL42001    International Criminal Law (Barrozo Fall)
LL83801    Judicial Process - Trial (Bloom Spring)
LL63201    Jurisprudence (FitzGibbon Spring)
LL38901    Juvenile Rights Advocacy (Sherman (Fall/Spring)
LL38902    Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project II (Sherman Spring)
LL37701    Law and Lawyers in Literature (Wylie Spring)
LL80401    Law, Leadership and Social Justice (Sarda Spring)
LL48701    Marriage Law (Hong Fall)
LL76101    Philosophy of Law: Freedom &Authority in Criminal Law (Barrozo Fall)
LL60801    SIP: International Human Rights Seminar (Kanstroom Spring)
LL88201    Seminar on Law and Justice (Rasmussen Spring) Cancelled
LL82501    Seminar on Law and Politics (Rasmussen Spring)
LL87101    Wrongful Convictions (Beckman Spring)

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
Students may enroll in any of the courses listed and described in the course description material, subject to prerequisite requirements for certain upper level courses and some limited enrollment courses.

In the first year, all candidates for the J.D. degree must follow the prescribed course schedule. Students must take 52 credit hours during their second and third years. Each student must take no fewer than 12 and not more than 17 hours each semester.

To graduate, students must be in residence, full-time, for 6 semesters and must successfully complete a minimum of 85 credit hours. To be considered a full-time student in residence, a student must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. After the first year, students are strongly advised to take 26 credit hours per year. This will allow completion of the remaining 52 credits while maintaining a manageable course load in the last two years.