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First Year Curriculum

In your first year, you will build a foundation of legal knowledge as you learn the legal concepts essential to an understanding of our legal system. Working closely with your professors, you will develop the skills of reading and analyzing cases including how and why the courts develop common law through the use of precedent and how to interpret and apply statutes. Professors lead students in classroom discussions that help develop the skills of legal analysis and reasoning. These skills are essential not only to the lawyer but also to you as a law student.

First-year students also develop oral and written skills crucial to academic and professional success. In the fall semester, students learn legal research and writing skills in small classes that provide frequent opportunities to practice and get personal feedback from their professors. In the spring semester, classes focus on advocating on behalf of clients in the courtroom. Students learn to write legal briefs and make arguments to a judge.

Each first year student has at least two courses in the first semester in a small section of approximately 20 students. These learning communities provide students the opportunity to be mentored by their small-section professors and form study groups that provide opportunities for students to help each other as they adapt to the study of law. In fact, many students form life-long friendships in their small sections.


  • Civil Procedure 1: 3 hrs
  • Contracts: 4 hrs
  • Constitutional Law I: 3 hrs
  • Lawyering I: Legal Research and Writing: 3 hrs
  • Torts: 4 hrs
  • Total: 17 Hours


  • Civil Procedure II: 3 hrs
  • Constitutional Law II: 3 hrs
  • Criminal Law: 3 hrs
  • Lawyering II: Advocacy: 3 hrs
  • Property: 4 hrs
  • Total: 16 Hours