Academic Advising & Support
Selecting your second- and third-year courses.
There is no single ‘correct’ strategy or philosophy for selecting courses. Factors to consider include: BU Law’s academic requirements; state bar exam requirements; whether you would benefit from experiential (“hands-on” and skills-based) learning; whether you prefer smaller seminars with more class discussion and writing assignments; your substantive legal interests; and your career goals. You may also want to take one or two elective courses on a credit/no-credit/honors basis.
A good place to start your course planning is the BU Graduation Requirements Worksheet, which will help you figure out which courses to take to satisfy the basic requirements for your JD degree including:
- Professional Responsibility Requirement
- Upper-Class Writing Requirement
- Experiential Education Requirement
Plan your next year at BU Law. BU Law’s new course planner will help you consider different scenarios and evaluate options as you prepare to register for the upcoming academic year.
Please view the JD Student Handbook (which includes the Law Academic Regulations) for all requirements and law policies. It’s also a good idea to participate in the Faculty Connections Program, where you will be assigned a faculty mentor to assist you with academic advising. You will have many academic options to consider, including:
- Courses and Seminars
- Experiential Learning Programs (clinics, externships, and practicums)
- Transactional Law Program
- Study Abroad
- Dual Degree Programs
- Academic Advising Worksheet
- BU Graduation Requirements Worksheet
Be sure to review the general course selection advice from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who puts together the curriculum each year. Faculty have also drafted course selection guides for students interested in particular areas of law. And the Course and Teacher Evaluations will give you insights into the classes and professors that you are considering.
One of the great strengths of BU Law is the breadth and flexibility of our curriculum, but students must take care in making their selections from this expansive menu. It is fine to specialize in a particular practice area, but balance this with a number of foundational courses in other areas. You never know where your career path will take you. Take interesting seminars and participate in experiential learning opportunities, but not to the exclusion of traditional, substantive courses. Few students should devote more than half of their upper level credits to seminars, experiential learning, and courses from outside of the JD curriculum. We want you to leave BU Law as a well-rounded and capable practitioner with strong skills and substantive legal knowledge. To learn more, please review Course Selection Advice from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Advice from Faculty
Also, several faculty members collaborated on memos that offer advice to students who wish to pursue any of the following legal specialties:
- Business/Corporate Law
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Health Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Law
Faculty Connections Program
Advising starts with our faculty. Through the Faculty Connections Program, you can request a faculty mentor to provide you with academic advising and help you decide which options to pursue to achieve your academic and professional goals. Your faculty mentor will be a professor who shares something in common with you. The common interest may be professional, academic, or personal. You might, for example, share a passion for criminal or intellectual property law, legal history, classic works of literature, cycling, opera, or punk rock…or you might share the same hometown or alma mater.
Your faculty mentor will reach out to you to arrange a get-together, either one-on-one or with a small group of your classmates. These informal get-togethers, whether they’re over lunch or a cup of coffee, are a great way for you to learn from your professor and get advice on course selection, career opportunities, and other areas of shared interest. The faculty member will arrange at least one meeting each semester, but consider him or her as a resource who can help you when you have questions or need advice.
Career Development Advisors
During your first year, you will be paired with an advisor in the Career Development & Public Service Office. Your CDO advisor will work with you to help you ascertain your best career path, and develop a strategy for achieving it. They will advise you on how to build a portfolio of skills and experiences through your doctrinal courses as well as your experiential and summer work opportunities to prepare for your future career path. From large, medium and small firms, to clerkships, to government and public interest roles, to alternative jobs in business and entrepreneurship, the CDO Advisors are well-equipped to advise you throughout your three years here. Each CDO Advisor is a former practicing attorney, specializing in the area in which they advise.