Curriculum & Course Descriptions

The Law School curriculum combines traditional substantive law courses (like contracts, torts, civil procedure and criminal law) with lawyering skills throughout the three years of legal education. The full-time first year curriculum consists of seven required substantive courses, Legal Research, and a four-credit Lawyering Seminar in each semester where students work on legal writing and other lawyering skills through simulations and other role-playing devices.

There are three required substantive law courses in the second year; 2Ls are also required to take a Lawyering Seminar III in a subject area of their choice (Criminal Defense, Public Benefits, Not-for-Profits, International Human Rights, etc.) that builds on the skills taught in the first year through simulations, mock jury trials, mediations, arbitrations (and, in the case of the Economic Justice Project, live client representation in administrative fair hearings) and develops additional and more sophisticated skills relevant to the subject matter.

In subsequent years, students begin to select from electives that are tested on the bar exam as well as those which permit them to gain depth in a particular public interest field, like labor, criminal defense, domestic violence, children's rights, environment law, international human rights, etc. The capstone of the program is a required one or two semester clinic or concentration, for a total of 10-16 credits, with highly-supervised live client representation. Overall, the curriculum is both rigorous and engaging, well preparing graduates to be excellent public service and public interest lawyers.