In the fall semester students take four courses after an introductory week of Foundations of Justice. This structure allows students to address more intellectually challenging problems and reduces the number of final exams. To assure feedback on progress, each fall semester course has a graded midterm examination or other midterm evaluation. In the spring semester, students take five courses. Professors are encouraged to provide feedback by offering midterm examinations or other midterm evaluations.
The first-year class is divided into two sections of approximately 85 students each. Each section is further divided into two sections of roughly 40 students each for Foundations of Justice and into four subsections of approximately 20 students each for Lawyering Skills I and II classes.
Note: The below chart contains one error. Law 641 Foundations of Justice should be listed as 2 credits.
|600||Civil Procedure||4||A Sample Syllabus for Civil Procedure|
|Description of course 600 :||This course will examine how civil litigation is conducted from the initiation of a lawsuit to its final resolution in a trial court. Students will examine issues relating to pleadings, joinder of claims and parties, discovery, summary judgement, motions for judgement as a matter of law, motions for a new trial, post-trial motions, and ethical limitations on pleadings and motions. The course may include a brief introduction to subject matter and/or personal jurisdiction.|
|605||Constitutional Law||4||A Sample Syllabus for Constitutional Law|
|Description of course 605 :||This course will introduce students to the United States Constitution and to the role of courts in interpreting it. Students will examine the governmental structures set up by the Constitution, including the relationship between the federal and state governments and the relationship among branches of the federal government. The course will intro- duce students to the protection of individual rights under the Fourteenth Amendment in areas like racial, sexual and other forms of equality; implied rights of equality in voting; access to the courts; and rights of privacy in mat- ters like marriage, family and sexual activity. Students will develop skills in framing and responding to con- stitutional arguments and in evaluating the role of courts in making policy through constitutional decisions.|
|610||Contracts||4||A Sample Syllabus for Contracts|
|Description of course 610 :||This course will examine the fundamental principles governing the enforcement of promises in the legal system. Students will explore topics such as the formation of con- tracts, excuses for performance of contractual obligations, breach of contracts, remedies for breach and the rights of third parties. In the context of contract law, students will develop their analytical skills using the common law, as well as statutory (e.g. the Uniform Commercial Code) and secondary (e.g., the Restatement (Second) of Contracts) authorities.|
|615||Criminal Law||3||A Sample Syllabus for Criminal Law|
|Description of course 615 :||This course will examine the origins, development, purposes and application of the criminal law, which may be the most direct expression of a society's collective morality. The class will be both theoretical and practical. Students will study and discuss theories of crime and punishment, as well as the real-life consequences of enforcing these theories in an imperfect world. Students will learn the general prin- ciples of criminal liability and related defenses, the ele- ments of various crimes, the nature of criminal acts and the requisite mental states. The course will emphasize heavily the ethics of criminalizing behavior and society's treatment of criminal wrongdoers.|
|620||Lawyering Skills I||3||A Sample Syllabus for Lawyering Skills I|
|Description of course 620 :||This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of legal problem solving through legal analysis, legal research and legal writing methods. Students will learn methods of legal analysis, including fact analysis and rule-based reasoning, using common law and statutory sources. Students will learn legal research in primary and secondary sources, in both traditional and electronic formats, emphasizing efficient research strategies. Finally, students will learn to structure, write and edit a formal memorandum of law. Instruction in lawyering skills will be integrated to focus on the problem-solving process and to help students begin to develop independent professional judgment.|
|625||Lawyering Skills II||2||A Sample Syllabus for Lawyering Skills II|
|Description of course 625 :||This course will refine students' legal problem-solving skills using legal analysis, legal research, and legal writing strategies and will introduce students to additional lawyering skills. Students will advance from objective to persuasive legal writing projects set in an advocacy context and will draft typical litigation documents, such as plead- ings, pre-trial motions, and trial briefs. Students will consider various dynamics of the lawyer/client relationship, conduct a client interview, and prepare a client opinion letter. Finally, the course will explore alternative methods of dispute resolution.|
|630||Property||4||A Sample Syllabus for Property|
|Description of course 630 :||This course will cover fundamental issues associated with the law of property. Students will examine the rights arising from various interests in property, the concept of possession and how possession is acquired and protected and the ways in which possession is transferred, shared and divided. Additionally, students will explore the right to use or restrict the use of property. In the context of property law, students will explore various aspects of law- yering such as interviewing and counseling, fact invest- igation, dispute resolution, problem-solving and profess- ional responsibility.|
|635||Torts||4||A Sample Syllabus for Torts|
|Description of course 635 :||This course will examine the legal principles that determine whether civil liability will attach to conduct that results in injuries to persons or property. Students will explore in depth, the issues and principles related to the law of neg- ligence and its elements of duty, breach, causation and damages. The course will also address principles of liability for intentional torts. Throughout the course, students will explore the social and economic policies underlying tort law principles.|
|640||Foundations of Justice||1||A Sample Syllabus for Foundations of Justice|
|Description of course 640 :||Foundations of Justice is designed to equip students to discern and articulate the connections between law, social justice, and morality. A combination of large- and small-group discussions, individual reflection, and lectures explore topics such as human dignity, the social order, the role of the state, economic justice, truth and freedom, and the vocation of the lawyer. Students read a variety of religious and non-religious perspectives on a given topic, along with judicial opinions that reflect the law's relationship with the topic. Classrom exercises encourage students to wrestle with the implications that their own moral convictions have for their understanding of law and the lawyer's role. The class meets during orientation week (1 credit) and during spring semester (2 credits). Grades are based on two short reflection papers, a final written project and classroom presentation, and a final examination.|
|641||Foundations of Justice||1||A Sample Syllabus for Foundations of Justice|
|Description of course 641 :||Foundations of Justice is designed to equip students to discern and articulate the connections between law, social justice, and morality. A combination of large- and small-group discussions, individual reflection, and lectures explore topics such as human dignity, the social order, the role of the state, economic justice, truth and freedom, and the vocation of the lawyer. Students read a variety of religious and non-religious perspectives on a given topic, along with judicial opinions that reflect the law's relationship with the topic. Classrom exercises encourage students to wrestle with the implications that their own moral convictions have for their understanding of law and the lawyer's role. The class meets during orientation week (1 credit) and during spring semester (2 credits). Grades are based on two short reflection papers, a final written project and classroom presentation, and a final examination.|