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). This course examines the core doctrines of the criminal law, including its “general part” consisting of the justifications of punishment, the criminal act, mens rea, justification and excuse, attempt, complicity, and conspiracy; and a small portion of the criminal law’s “special part” consisting of criminal homicide and, as time allows, burglary, theft, and other crimes.

  5. 5201 - Intro to Brief Writing

    Introduction to the principles and practice of written advocacy. Students complete a trial-level motion brief and appellate brief. While building on the analytical, writing, and research skills learned in LRW I, this course focuses on the lawyer’s need to become self-directed and reflective while engaging in increasingly complex research, legal analysis, writing, and editing for persuasion.

  6. 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.

  7. 5301 - Oral Advocacy

    Using appellate briefs written in Introduction to Brief Writing, students will study principles of oral advocacy and learn to effectively organize and make affirmative oral arguments and respond to questions and concerns in a simulated courtroom setting. The course culminates in three mock appellate-level oral arguments before panels of student judges, professors, practitioners, and judges.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.