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First Year Classes

All first year courses are required and students are assigned to specific sections of each course. The first year curriculum is as follows:


Orientation Program
Prepares students with common grounding in basic legal concepts and the language of law and legal reasoning.  Students also build academic skills important to success in their first year of legal studies.

Civil Procedure I  (3 credit hours)
This course covers various aspects of civil litigation from the filing of a complaint up to the discovery process. Jurisdiction over the person, venue, and federal subject matter jurisdiction are explored. Coverage is also given to the decision in Erie RR v. Tompkins and its progeny, concerning the applicability of state law in federal courts. The remainder of the course is devoted to service of process, joinder of parties, counterclaims and amendments.

Contracts  (4 credit hours)
This course covers basic concepts and doctrines in contract law, including the legal grounds for enforcement of promises, the role of consent in contract formation, contract remedies, and interpretation. Attention is given to both the common law of contracts and to Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which governs transactions in goods.

Constitutional Law I  (3 credit hours)
This is an introductory course covering judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, and equal protection.

Lawyering I: Legal Research and Writing  (3 credit hours)
This course covers skills basic to competent legal research and writing. The students write objective memoranda of law based on hypothetical problems composed by the instructors. The course emphasizes issue recognition, case and statutory interpretation, legal analysis, and the use of plain English.

Torts  (4 credit hours)
Torts examines the three basic theories of civil (non‐criminal) liability for injuries to persons and property: Intentional torts, negligence and strict liability. These subjects are considered together with causation problems, defenses to liability (such as consent, self‐defense, comparative negligence and assumption of risk), and affirmative duties.

Total: 16 Hours


Civil Procedure II  (3 credit hours)
This course continues issues first explored in Civil Procedure I. It opens with joinder of parties in multi‐party actions, interpleader, class actions and intervention. Modern discovery procedures, the trial process, and post‐trial motions are considered. The course ends with procedures governing appeals, alternative dispute resolution, and the effect of res judicata and collateral estoppels by judgment in prior litigation.

Constitutional Law II  (3 credit hours)
This required course covers individual rights and freedoms, including the incorporation of the Bill of Rights as against the States, freedom of speech and religion, due process, economic and personal liberties and state action.

Criminal Law  (3 credit hours)
This course deals with substantive criminal law, although its focus is on the various principles that apply to all crimes rather than on the elements of specific crimes. Homicidal crimes are given separate attention, however. The various defenses, including insanity, are reviewed.

Lawyering II: Advocacy  (3 credit hours)
This course covers basic techniques of oral and written advocacy, which the student practices by representing one of the parties in a hypothetical case at the trial court level.

Property  (4 credit hours)
This course surveys the varieties of property interests and relations available in Anglo‐American law, with an emphasis on tracing their development and evolution in modern American society. Discussion usually covers adverse possession, the traditional estates in land, future interests, landlord‐tenant law, concurrent ownership, land use regulation and eminent domain, and easements and other servitudes.

Total: 16 Hours