Academic Information

First-Year Courses

All courses in the first year of law school are required, providing students with the fundamentals essential to the profession and to advanced study.

Courses and Seminars for First-Year Students

Administrative Law

Examines the nature and functions of federal administrative agencies and the legal controls on agency action.

Constitutional Law

Considers selected issues concerning judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights.


Legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable, elements of assent, standards of fairness and restrictions on bargaining processes, and tests for performance and breach.

Criminal Law

Examines the basic principles of substantive criminal law, including the justifications for punishment, the essential elements of offenses, mitigating and exculpating defenses, and different forms of criminal liability.

Civil Procedure

Examines the structure and function of civil procedure and the requirements of due process of law.

Lawyering Lab

The one-week intensive Lawyering Lab guides students to bring to bear legal concepts, core practice competencies and practical judgment to address simulated client problems and achieve a client's objectives within the bounds of the law --the essence of what clients hire attorneys to do. This is done through lectures to provide necessary background, but more importantly through interactive discussion and "hands-on" exercises--both in and outside of class- -that require students to actually do what lawyers do in solving client problems and achieving their objectives. This includes (1) determining the client's goals; (2) determining the legal constraints and opportunities that affect the client's ability to get what it wants; (3) determining the relevant facts; (4) identifying multiple options for action; (5) assessing the various options to generate possible recommendations, (6) counseling the client; and (7) negotiating and drafting agreements. Students work collaboratively to produce the kind of memos, analyses, and advice written by practicing lawyers. The deadlines for class assignments are tight, as they usually are for lawyers seeking to respond with immediacy to particular client problems. Through the expertise and guidance of the instructors, collaborative exercises with peers, and exposure to some of the day-to-day elements of lawyering, students in the Lawyering Lab learn about law and legal practice in a way that is exciting, innovative, and participant-centered.


Conceptual analysis and underlying policy considerations in basic property law.


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.

Research and Writing Seminar

Small-group instruction in legal research and writing, with emphasis on developing legal research techniques, writing abilities, and legal problem-solving abilities.