Course Requirements for the J.D.

First-Year Courses

Each first-year law student takes one of the three substantive courses each semester in a small section of approximately 45 students, with the two other substantive courses meeting in sections of approximately 90 students. The fourth and fifth courses each semester, Legal Practice and Legal Research Methodologies, are also taught in small groups and workshop style classes by full-time teachers who provide individualized feedback on each student's research and writing projects. JD students are also required to take Negotiation during the January Intersession of their 1L year.  The required first year courses are as follows:

  • Civil Procedure (4 credits): Civil litigation, including pleading, discovery, pretrial motions, jurisdiction, parties, and judgments. 
  • Constitutional Law I (4 credits): Examination of federalism issues of the Constitution, including judicial review, the commerce clause, separation of powers, intergovernmental immunity, and related topics. 
  • Contracts (4 credits): An examination of the law governing formation, interpretation, and enforceability of agreements, with an emphasis on the remedies for breach of enforceable agreements. 
  • Criminal Law (4 credits): General principles of crime, the function of criminal law, and analysis of specific crimes. 
  • Legal Practice I: Objective Analysis and Reasoning (2 credits). Introduction to legal reasoning and writing, with an emphasis on predictive problem solving. [view site]
  • Legal Practice II: Advocacy (2 credits). Continuation of fall semester course, with an emphasis on persuasive argument and advocacy. [view site
  • Legal Research Methodologies: (1 credit for year; posted to spring semester). Introduction to legal research.
  • Negotiation (1 credit):  Learning the skills of negotiation by simulations in which students will negotiate and watch their classmates negotiate.
  • Property (4 credits): An examination of the legal principles of property law as they apply to the use of property in our society. 
  • Torts (4 credits): Liability for intentional or accidental injuries to persons or property. 

Upper-Level Courses

  • Ethics Course (2-3 credits) 
  • Seminar to Fulfill Upper-level Writing & Research Requirement (3-4 credits) 
  • Applied Lawyering/Professional Skills Course (2-12 credits)