First Year Curriculum


Fall Semester

Contracts I LAW 107 3 Hours
This course addresses the basic principles and significance of making, interpreting and enforcing contracts and gives attention to related theories of obligation, such as promissory estoppel and quasi-contract.

Criminal Law LAW 110 3 Hours
This first-semester course examines major criminal law concepts, including intent, criminal act, and justification and excuse for crimes, as well as exploring the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the criminal justice system.

Jurisdiction & Judgments LAW 151 3 Hours

This course covers the key requirements for the exercise of federal judicial power:  subject matter jurisdiction, including both original and supplemental subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, notice and the opportunity to be heard, and proper venue. In addition, the course explores the procedures to remove cases from state to federal court, to transfer of venue, and to bring a declaratory judgment.  The course will also address the Erie doctrine, and it will fully explore the rules governing joinder of claims and parties to pleadings.  Finally, the course examines the law governing whether an earlier judgment can preclude the relitigation of claims and issues.  

Legal Process LAW 118 1 Hours
This course covers formulating a rule of law from one or more legal authorities, placing the rule in a rule-structure, analyzing the application of that rule to a set of facts and organizing a written legal discussion of that analysis. It requires completion of weekly exercises and attendance at all classes (or make-up of any absences). Pass/fail.

Torts LAW 119 4 Hours
This course examines the principles underlying the law of civil wrongs to persons and property. Studying common law cases on liability for negligent conduct, students in this course explore principles of compensation, deterrence, and risk allocation. The course begins with a consideration of intentional torts and ends with an introduction to the concepts of liability for abnormally dangerous activities and defective products.

Spring Semester

Civil Lawsuits LAW 203 3 Hours

This course covers the process of civil litigation, from the filing a lawsuit, to entry of final judgment, through appeal. It covers the rules regulating pre-pleading investigation, pleadings, discovery, pretrial motions including those under Rule 12 and dispositive motions, trial, post-trial motions, and appeals. In addition, the course introduces alternatives to litigation, including arbitration, mediation, and settlement. The course includes examination of litigation documents, including pleadings, motions, and discovery materials.

Contracts II LAW 108 3 Hours
This course follows Contracts I and addresses principles of express and implied warranties, damages, conditions, good faith, sales, performance and related issues under the common law and Uniform Commercial Code.

Legal Writing I LAW 152 3 Hours
Legal Writing I covers research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, professionalism, and predictive legal writing. The course teaches writing as a constructive process and requires completion of at least two major writing assignments and a final examination consistent with the goals of the course.

Property LAW 116 4 Hours
This course examines the history and development of the Anglo-American system of real property rights, estates in land, possessory and non-possessory interests and assorted legal doctrines, both ancient and modern, involving real and personal property interests.

The Legal Profession LAW 149 3 Hours
The Legal Profession course is an exploration of lawyer professionalism. Students learn about what "professionalism" means for lawyers and why it matters. They see what pressures the practice of law places on professionalism in different settings. The students explore the many ways in which the legal profession seeks, imperfectly, to create and perpetuate the conditions that promote professionalism. This course also examines the extraordinary challenges and opportunities that come with a life in the law, and the students study ways in which professionalism contributes to the satisfaction that lawyers find in their calling. In addition, to class readings, discussions, guest speakers, and an exam, the students write two papers reflecting on their career goals. They also visit in small groups with experienced lawyers to discuss life in the legal profession, and they read a biography of a famous lawyer or judge and discuss it in a small group setting. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Fall & Spring Semester

Introduction to Legal Research LAW 103 1 Hours
A one-credit, graded legal research course that meets in the early weeks of the fall semester and the spring semester. The classes are taught by the professional librarians and cover print and electronic formats used for researching state and federal judicial, administrative, statutory and secondary sources. The course requires assignments, class attendance, and an exam to be given in late February.

IntroWeek Semester

Introduction to Law LAW 100 1 Hours
This one-week course presents each incoming student with an initial understanding of the methods and goals of the law school classroom. The course simulates and examines the typical first-year classroom experience, including an exam, to prepare each student to get the maximum benefit from the courses that begin the second week. The Pass/Fail grade is based upon attendance, participation in class meetings, and completion of the final exam.