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 2014-15 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 (LAWS219); 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 2015-2016 (TBA)

LAWYERING SKILLS REQUIREMENT

Academic Year 2015-2016 (TBA)

PERSPECTIVES ON JUSTICE AND THE LAW REQUIREMENT

Academic Year 2015-2016 (TBA)

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.

 

This page links to PDF files. Use this link to download Adobe Reader if needed.