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First-Year Required Curriculum

During your first year of law school, your schedule consists of required courses only. The focus of the first year curriculum is on building a solid foundation in the law and on mastering legal writing and research. Electives course may be taken after you have completed your first year curriculum.

Full-Time Division students are assigned to one of two sections. The Part-Time Division class meets in one section. Both Full and Part-Time Division students are assigned to small-group sections for Global Lawyering Skills I.

With the exception of Criminal Law, all first-year courses are year-long. Examinations are scheduled for the fall and spring semesters. Grades for each course are determined after spring semester examinations.

Global Lawyering Skills I

The first-year Global Lawyering Skills I course introduces students to the techniques of legal writing and research. Through small-group class sessions and assignments, students become familiar with the law library and the preparation of legal documents. Evaluation and critique of writing assignments by Global Lawyering Skills I instructors advance the analytic and reasoning skills acquired through other first-year courses.

Legislation and Regulation Course

This required 3-credit course reflects the reality that administrative agencies play a critical role in our legal system and that legal rules now are primarily articulated in statutes and regulations, rather than through the common law. The substantive knowledge and analytical skills taught in this course are foundational for a number of electives and for practice.

Faculty Office Hours

All faculty members maintain regular office hours and students are encouraged to go see them with questions or to discuss topics of interest arising from class discussion.

Small Section Experience

All first-year students have a small-group classroom experience in Global Lawyering Skills I. This gives students an opportunity to work more intensively with a professor on analytic and expression skills.

Academic Support Program

First-year students whose fall exam results suggest that they would benefit from more intensive, hands-on instruction will be enrolled in Principles of Criminal Law in the spring semester as a supplement to Criminal Law. Principles of Criminal Law is a one (1)-unit class based on the substance of Criminal Law that focuses on developing the skills required for law school success. It is taught in small sections to allow students to receive individual attention. The Director of Academic Support is also available to work with students individually to help improve their academic skills.

Analytical Skills Lab Program

In the fall semester, all first-year students are required to attend a weekly hour-long faculty presentation on law school skills, covering topics such as case briefing, note taking, study groups, outlining, and writing law school exams. As part of the Analytical Skills Lab Program, students write a fully proctored, timed practice exam. Each student's answer is reviewed by a faculty member who provides written comments and leads a small-group discussion session concerning the exam.

Required Curriculum

Full-Time (Day) Division First Year 

Analytical Skills Lab 1
Civil Procedure 4
Contracts 4
Global Lawyering Skills I 4
Legal Profession 1
Legislation and Regulation 3
Property 4
Principles of Legal Analysis I 1 1
Torts 4

Part-time (Evening) Division — First Year 

Civil Procedure 4
Criminal Law 4
Global Lawyering Skills I 4
Principles of Criminal Law 1 1
Torts 4

1 For qualifying students only.