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General and Small Practice

Many students decide to seek exposure to a wide range of doctrinal and legal skills areas allowing them to enjoy a successful general practice in a firm, partnership, or sole practitioner environment. Students who select this path may decide to start their own firm, share administrative expenses with other lawyers, or join a small practice and often represent individuals or small businesses. The College of Law offers a broad range of courses that will prepare a student to handle many of the more common and frequent legal problems that clients present to attorneys. Of course, some lawyers also start their own practice to specialize in a particular aspect of the law, often after obtaining practice experience.

Due to the demands in a general practice setting, it is important for students to take both basic doctrinal and skills courses that will prepare them for the immediate practice of law. Students may elect to take classes that address general litigation skills, estate planning and tax, criminal law, family law, employment issues, and basic commercial matters. Because they are prerequisites for other courses in this area, Evidence, Federal Income Tax, and Wills and Estates would be helpful to take in the second year of study.


Criminal Law

  • Criminal Procedure I
  • Criminal Procedure II

Business & Commercial Law

  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Associations
  • Corporate Transactions
  • Legal Drafting
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Secured Transactions
  • Sales

Employment and Labor Law

  • Disability Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Law

Estate Planning

  • Estate Planning
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Trusts and Future Interests
  • Wills and Estates

Family Law

  • Family Law

Litigation and ADR

  • Evidence
  • Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Negotiations
  • Remedies
  • Technology in Law Practice
  • Trial Practice

Sample Student Schedule

Linked here is one sample of a student schedule of a fictitious student who is interested in the General and Small Practice pathway. This is designed to give some idea of the many ways courses can be woven into a curriculum designed to build your knowledge in areas of the law useful in general practice, prepare you to take a bar exam, and help you acquire professional skills. You can create many wonderful schedules that include these courses. This one is merely a sample that, frankly, should only be used to spur your ideas about the best curriculum for you. You may also want to discuss your scheduling choices with professors, practitioners, upper-level students, and Dean Oliver. Please remember that you must ensure that your schedule will meet all the requirements for graduation. Also remember that the classes listed in these sample schedules may not be offered in the particular semester shown here while you are in law school and that the number of credits may vary from year to year.

Sally Johnson – Student interested in starting her own legal practice

Other Student Learning Opportunities

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Centers and Institutes


Other Student Activities

Student Organizations — sampling

* See complete list of student organizations.


See listings in Areas of Study for each specific area of the law

Law Firms Founded by Cincinnati Law Graduates

  • Barbara J. Howard, Co., LPA  (family law)
  • Cuni, Ferguson, LeVay Co., LPA  (real estate, estate planning, civil litigation)
  • Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham  (false claims law, business litigation)
  • J. Thomas Hodges  (business litigation, civil litigation, criminal law)
  • Keller Barrett & Higgins  (divorce and family law, estate planning, real estate)
  • Rittgers & Rittgers  (criminal/DUI defense, family law, personal injury)