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Course Descriptions

First-Year Required Courses

  1. 5103/5203 - Civil Procedure I/II

    (6 hours). Civil Procedure in state and federal courts; introductory survey of procedures by which questions of substantive law commonly are raised and determined; procedural and remedial background; law governing controversies in federal courts; details of procedure in a lawsuit, including forum selection, pleading, joinder of claims and parties, discovery, the pretrial conference, disposition without trial, trial before a judge or jury, post-trial motions and appeals; issue and claim preclusion.

  2. 5134 - Constitutional Law

    (4 hours). Selected issues, including: judicial review; the judicial process in construing and applying the United States Constitution; federal and state powers, federalism and separation of powers; an introduction to the concepts of equal protection and due process.

  3. 5114 - Contracts

    (4 hours). This first year survey course will explore the nature and enforceability of promises. Subjects include contract formation, performance, termination of contracts, material breach, remedies for breach of contract, mistake and excuse for nonperformance, statute of frauds, interpretation of contract language, conditions, assignment and delegation, and third party beneficiaries.

  4. 5223 - Criminal Law

    (3 hours). General principles of criminal responsibility and the elements of common law, statutory crimes, and defenses. Emphasis is placed on the subject of criminal intent.

  5. 5123 - Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I

    (3 hours). Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I is designed to provide you with the tools you will need to determine and objectively analyze a client’s legal issues. Life can be messy, and clients seldom present with clear-cut legal issues and completely favorable or relevant facts. Your role as an attorney will be to gather the facts, identify the legal issues, educate yourself about the relevant areas of law, research the issues efficiently and thoroughly to find the legal authorities relevant to your client’s situation, and determine how to advise your client. Although there are many ways to develop and share your legal analysis with other attorneys, the client, and the court, this course will focus on performing legal research and then formalizing your objective analysis and predictions by writing two legal memoranda, commonly referred to as “memos.” The fall semester focuses on writing memos because the structure and analysis required to complete a memo will help you learn to think precisely about legal issues and articulate your analysis clearly, concisely, and thoroughly. Your reader will feel confident in your prediction because you have shown your reader that you understand the law and how it will apply to your client’s situation. This memo can then serve as the basis for advising a client or deciding how the attorney can best meet a client’s goals.

  6. 5202 - Legal Research, Writing & Analysis II

    (2 hours). The second semester of Legal Research, Writing & Analysis builds on and refines skills learned during the fall semester of LRW while moving from predictive writing to written and oral advocacy. Students are introduced to advocacy through development of the following skills: Identifying legal issues and learning strategies for developing expertise in unfamiliar areas of law Developing timelines and strategies for completing large projects Strengthening independent research skills Constructing legal arguments by providing the court with both motivation and legal justification for finding in a client’s favor Showing support for an argument through proper legal citations to authorities Structuring written and oral arguments that move the reader logically and inexorably toward the conclusion the writer intends Writing concisely, clearly, and precisely Following the ethical rules and standards of conduct expected of an officer of the court

  7. 5234 - Property

    (4 hours). Introduction to basic property concepts, including: adverse possession; estates in land; landlord and tenant; concurrent estates; nonpossessory interests (including easements, licenses, covenants and equitable servitudes); and real estate transactions.

  8. 5144 - Torts

    (4 hours). Introduction to basic principles of civil liability, with study of selected issues, which may include intentional wrongs, negligence, strict liability, vicarious liability, defenses and immunities, comparative fault, assessment of damages, nuisance, products liability, misrepresentation, injuries to reputation, and alternative compensation systems.