What to expect during your first year of law school.

During your first year, you’ll be placed into one of three first-year sections. Students in each section take all their classes together. You will also take at least one of your required first-year courses in a small section of about 40 students. We find this creates a close-knit community for first-year students both inside and outside the classroom. While the first-year curriculum is continually evolving to meet students’ educational needs and to prepare students for modern legal practice, students generally take the following courses in their first year:

  • Civil Procedure
    Examines the structure and function of civil procedure and the requirements of due process of law
  • Constitutional Law
    Analyzes selected issues concerning judicial review, federalism, separation of powers and individual rights
  • Contracts
    Examines equitable legal remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable and analyzing elements of assent
  • Criminal Law
    Explores the basic principles of substantive criminal law, including the justifications for punishment, the essential elements of offenses, mitigating and exculpating defenses and various forms of criminal liability
  • Lawyering Lab
    Provides an intensive introduction to transactional lawyering skills, including contract drafting, client counseling and negotiation
  • Lawyering Skills
    Provides training in legal research, legal writing, oral advocacy, client interviewing, and client counseling through simulations of real-world legal disputes
  • Property Law
    Undertakes a conceptual analysis of basic property law
  • Torts
    Evaluates the principles of civil recovery for injury, including strict liability, negligence and the intentional torts, with emphasis on the social, economic and moral underpinnings of the doctrines