The fall semester of the first year of study at the School of Law consists entirely of required courses.  In the spring semester, each first year student will be able to select an elective.  

After the first year, remaining course requirements are: The Law & Ethics of Lawyering, the practical skills requirement, and the the law school's advanced writing requirements.  View the practical skills and advanced writing requirement courses for your class. School of Law students must earn a minimum of 88 semester credit hours to graduate. 

  Fall Semester

  Credit Hours

  4120 Torts


  4030 Contracts


  4010 Civil Procedure


  4071 Legal Writing I


  4072 Legal Research I



  Total = 16


  Spring Semester

  Credit Hours

  4090 Property


  4180 Constitutional Law I


  4050 Criminal Law


  4081 Legal Writing II




  Total = 15


Civil Procedure:  4010. 4 hours.

This course covers the lifecycle of a lawsuit in federal court, including the scope and nature of the federal courts' constitutional and statutory authority to decide cases.  Topics include statutory and constitutional constraints on judicial power to render an enforceable judgment against a defendant, subject-matter jurisdiction, venue, pleading, joinder, discovery, summary judgment, trial and post-trial motions, and the preclusive effect of final judgments.  The course also touches on choice of law, separation of powers, federalism, forum shopping, and the interpretation of Rules, statutes, and constitutional text.

Contracts:  4030.  4 hours. 

Contracts provides an introduction to the law of legally enforceable promises under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the common law. Among other topics, the course considers offers and their acceptance; consideration, formalities, and promissory estoppel; the parole evidence rule and the statute of frauds; third-party enforcement; material breach of contract; and damages. Students are expected to be able to explain in writing how these and additional legal issues under the UCC and the common law apply to various complex factual scenarios.

Criminal Law:  4050.  3 hours. 

The historical development of criminal law as well as the analysis of the necessary elements of crimes and the consideration of the principal classes of crimes.

Legal Writing I and II:  4071, 4081. 3 hours and 2 hours, respectively. 

Legal Writing I: Introduces the process of legal analysis and reasoning and teaches students to produce written documents in the style and format appropriate for the audience and purpose, with an emphasis on objective analysis and writing. Legal Writing II: Advanced skills of legal analysis and  reasoning within the context of legal argument. Students produce written documents in the style and format appropriate for the audience and purpose, with an emphasis on persuasive writing. Also covered are basic concepts, conventions, and formats for drafting legal documents.

Legal Research I:  4072, 1 credit hour. 

Introduction to sources and strategies for basic legal research including finding cases, statutes, regulations, and secondary authorities.

Property: 4090.  4 hours.

This course addresses the recognition, development and regulation of rights in real property and personal property, including the nature and function of possession and title, shared ownership, private and public rights, and transfers of property.

Torts:  4120.  4 hours. 

Covers intentional torts, which may include battery, assault, and possibly false imprisonment, trespass to land, and others. Certain defenses to intentional tort, such as consent and self defense, may also be covered. The bulk of the course is devoted to the tort of negligence, including the content of the duty of reasonable care, issues bearing on whether the defendant has breached that duty, the requirement that the plaintiff establish a causal connection between the breach and the plaintiff's harm, and proximate cause limits on liability.

Constitutional Law I: 4180.  3 hours.

This course addresses the meaning and impact of the Constitution of the United States, particularly with regard to federalism, separation of powers, the judicial function and due process of law.

First-Year Elective:

In the spring semester, 1L students will select their Elective from any upper level courses compatible with the 1L course schedule, excluding seminar, simulation, clinical, practical skills, and advanced writing courses, as well as courses for which the 1L students lack the necessary prerequisites. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that an appropriate number and variety of such courses are compatible with the 1L schedule.


The Law and Ethics of Lawyering: 4300.  3 hours. 

This course deals with the ethical and legal principles that govern the legal profession.  Topics covered include, among others, the attorney-client relationship, the duty of confidentiality, the attorney-client privilege, conflicts of interest, ethics in advocacy, ethical issues in representing organizational clients, admission to practice, and advertising and solicitation.  Particular emphasis is given to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers.