The following is a list of courses taken in the first year of law school.
Civil Procedure I - Commencement of an action, pleading, pre-trial techniques of discovery, the trial, judgments and jurisdiction, res jurisdiction, collateral estoppel, bar and merger and other collateral attacks are considered in a federal setting with appropriate emphasis on historical antecedents.Constitutional Law - Judicial review of legislative and executive actions in a constitutional setting, the relationship of the states to the federal government (Federalism), the relationship of the people to government (Bill of Rights) and the powers of the Congress are considered.Contracts - Topics may include: the bargain, fairness, equality of the bargain and formalisms such as parole evidence and Statute of Frauds are examined in the context of the common law and Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Further utilizing the Uniform Commercial Code, the common law and other statutory bases, impossibility, change, condition, anticipatory breach, good faith duty to act, judicial remedies, controlling risk and remedy, third party beneficiaries and assignment are examined.Criminal Law I - The elements of major crimes, their policy and historical underpinnings and the alternatives for designating and dealing with major antisocial behaviors are considered. Some introduction to criminal procedure is provided.Legal Research and Writing I and II - Legal research, writing and advocacy are explored. Students are assigned to small groups for individualized instruction. After introduction to basic research techniques, problems are assigned and various methods are utilized to help students develop their writing and analytical skills. The objective of the program is to develop basic legal skills in an informal seminar atmosphere that allows maximum contact with the assigned instructor.Property - The basic relationships in systems of ownership of personality and realty, and the devices for transferring ownership are considered. Private and public planning, regulation of land use, the estate system and the new property theories are also examined.Torts - The legal protection afforded in civil proceedings against interference by others with the one's person, property and intangible interests is considered. The historical and theoretical bases of the principal theories of tort liability are examined to develop an understanding of current law and a sensitivity to changing patterns of tort responsibility emerging from a dynamic society.Litigation Basics - A basic overview of the judicial system and the mechanics of litigation. This course famililarizes students with the anatomy of a lawsuit and the basic procedural concepts that frame many of the cases used in the first year curriculum.
Introduction to Transactional Skills - This course exposes students to transactional lawyering through a mix of substantive lectures and small-class skill workshops organized around founding a small business. Topics include: choosing a business form; client interviewing; negotiation; drafting letters, contracts, leases and other agreements.
First Year Electives - In the spring semester, full-time first year students will be able to select one elective course from a list of 3-4 course offerings. Only first year students will be enrolled in these courses and enrollment will be across all of the first year sections. The courses offered as first year electives will vary from year to year, and in the past have included: Introduction to Intellectual Property, Environmental Law, International Law, Criminal Procedure, Introduction to Business Organizations and Taxation. Each student will list his or her preferences and a lottery system will be used to fill the courses.