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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This course examines non-consensual relations among individuals and emphasizes negligence law, the measure of damages, and newer developments such as products liability.
"Success in the legal profession requires the ability to communicate clearly, logically, and persuasively. This became clear to me as a judicial clerk on the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Nothing prepared me to meet this challenge more then my LRR&W class."
-- Excerpt from alumnae/i feedback