Curriculum

Your first year

In the fall, you will take four courses after an introductory week of Foundations of Justice. This structure allows you to address more intellectually challenging problems and reduces the number of final exams. To assure feedback on progress, each course includes a graded midterm examination or evaluation. In the spring, you will take five courses.

Our intensive legal research, analysis and writing program has been recognized as one of the top programs in the country. Lawyering Skills I and II, the first two classes of this acclaimed program, are an important part of the first-year curriculum, forming the basis of your future work. 

Fall (16 credits required)

Number Title Credits
LAWS 600 Civil Procedure 4
LAWS 610 Contracts 4
LAWS 620 Lawyering Skills I 3
LAWS 635 Torts 4
LAWS 640 Foundations of Justice 1

Spring (15 credits required)

Number Title Credits
LAWS 605 Constitutional Law 4
LAWS 615 Criminal Law 3
LAWS 625 Lawyering Skills II 2
LAWS 630 Property 4
LAWS 641 Foundations of Justice 2

Your second and third years

As an upper-level student, you take 14 credits of required courses and 43 credits of electives. Elective courses are taught by both full-time and adjunct faculty, including some of the leading judges and lawyers in the Twin Cities. Because of the small size of the School of Law, the vast majority of upper-level classes have 35 or fewer students, with a significant number taught as seminars with enrollments of 25 or fewer.

Two of the required courses (Lawyering Skills III and Professional Responsibility) must be taken in your second year. You also are required to complete a significant research paper under the supervision of a faculty member.

Required second-year courses (6 credits)

Number Title Credits
LAWS 715 Lawyering Skills III 2
LAWS 725 Professional Responsibility 3
LAWS 930 Mentor Externship (2 semesters)  1

Other required upper-level courses (8 credits)

Number Title Credits
LAWS 700 Business Associations 4
LAWS 725 Evidence 3
LAWS 930 Mentor Externship (2 semesters)  1

The curricular structure noted above is for full-time law students. If you elect to pursue your J.D. on a part-time basis, your schedule might look very different. ABA acquiescence for our part-time program is pending, but expected to be approved for the class entering in fall 2015. In addition, to be eligible for graduation, all J.D. students must complete 50 hours of public service and the upper-level writing requirement