First Year Required Courses


Fall Semester

  • Legal Method & Writing (3 units) examines methods used to analyze legal problems. Reviews precedent statutory construction and basic res judicata problems. Use of basic legal writing formats.
  • Torts (4 units) is a course on the legal protections of personality, property, and relational interests against physical, economic, and emotional harms.
  • Civil Procedure (4 units) explores the structure of a lawsuit and techniques of alternative dispute resolution. Specific topics include commencement of suit, joinder of parties, discovery, pretrial motions, subject matter and personal jurisdiction, res judicata, collateral estoppel, and choice of law under the Erie doctrine.
  • Contracts (4 units) explores common law legal method and the structure of Article 2 of the U.C.C. in the context of issues of contract formation.

Spring Semester

  • Criminal Law (3 units) is a course on the substantive law of crimes.
  • Constitutional Law (3 units) explores the role of the courts in the federal system; the distribution of powers between state and federal governments; separation of powers within the federal government.
  • Property (4 units) examines the nature of property within the American legal system, commencing with a study of the fundamental principles of property acquisition and ownership. The course covers common law doctrines of property law, private agreements with respect to property use and acquisition, and the governmental regulation of property through zoning and eminent domain. This is a survey course that will be useful to students in legal practice and it sets the foundation for advanced work in real estate law, real estate construction and development, and condemnation proceedings.
  • Legal Advocacy (2 units) builds on the skills learned in the first semester Legal Method and Writing course. The principal focuses of this course are to teach students the basics of: 1) persuasive writing; 2) oral advocacy; and 3) Bluebook citation format. In addition, this course reinforces legal analysis, organizational skills, and basic legal research skills.
  • Law Elective (3 units), much of the first year curriculum is an introduction to the substance and processes of the common law. Much contemporary law, however, arises from statutes and administrative regulations; and the ability to research, interpret, understand, and effectively argue about their meaning is critical to the practice of law. The 1L electives are chosen to allow students to be introduced to these concepts in a course on an area of law with distinct regulatory or statutory components.