Law School Structure

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mattf
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:09 pm

Law School Structure

Postby mattf » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:35 pm

How exactly is law school structured? Does everyone take the same classes, if you're going into a different branch do you take different classes etc? Are there electives, if so what do they generally consist of?

Thanks in advance

BigZuck
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby BigZuck » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:22 pm

First year everyone takes the same classes (some schools you might have one elective), after that you choose.

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BVest
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby BVest » Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:32 pm

To add to that, 1L you pretty much take:

Torts
Contracts
Property
Crim Law
Con Law I (Gov'tal Power and Authority -- as opposed to liberties, which you get in Con Law II; some schools, however, combine I&II)
Federal Civil Procedure
Legal Research and Writing (Fall: research memo; Spring: appellate brief)

After that you can take what you want, from the basic building blocks (e.g. Evidence; Wills & Trusts/Trusts & Estates; Business Organizations/Corporations; Bankruptcy/Secured Credit; Federal Income Tax) to the more specific (e.g. Entertainment Law; Construction Law; subset of federal income tax; etc.), as well as skills courses (e.g. Trial Advocacy; Appellate Advocacy) and experiential learning (clinics; internships; simulation courses).

There are, however, a couple of things that you will have to do besides the basic 1L courses above at any ABA-accredited school:

Professional Responsibility
Advanced writing course or seminar
6 hours of experiential learning (this is new and applies only to students starting as 1Ls in the 2016-17 school year and beyond, I think, though there's no reason a school couldn't implement it for 2015-16 students if it so chose)

And the school may have additional requirements for you. For example SMU requires two writing courses after 1L year. Schools with split Con Laws will generally require that you take Con Law II after 1L. I believe there are a couple schools that require that you take Evidence or some other such course.

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Hopefully2012
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby Hopefully2012 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:34 pm

The above posts are generally correct, but a school's curriculum can differ so just check on the website of the schools you're interested in.

There are schools that don't require Property and don't require Con Law until 2L or 3L. My school allows two electives during 1L, doesn't require an advanced writing course or 6 hours of experiential learning (don't know what experiential learning means... clinic?).

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BVest
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby BVest » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:24 pm

Hopefully2012 wrote:doesn't require an advanced writing course or 6 hours of experiential learning (don't know what experiential learning means... clinic?).


So there's no writing requirement after 1L? Seems like there is. "[A]ll students must take at least one offering that satisfies each the upper-level writing requirement." Plus it's a requirement for ABA accreditation.

And as I said, the required 6 hours of experiential learning are for 1Ls entering 2016 or later.

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Hopefully2012
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby Hopefully2012 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:30 pm

I'm at Penn and I guess we fulfill the ABA requirement by "performing scholarly research and [a] writing project." I think a lot of people just use law review/journal comments to fulfill it here.

Anyways, the point is, although there are some similar requirements among schools, OP should look at the website of schools (s)he's interested in to get a feel of their curriculum.

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BVest
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby BVest » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:08 am

My error. Not sure why I thought you were at UM.

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Br3v
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Re: Law School Structure

Postby Br3v » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:03 am

BVest wrote:To add to that, 1L you pretty much take:

Torts
Contracts
Property
Crim Law
Con Law I (Gov'tal Power and Authority -- as opposed to liberties, which you get in Con Law II; some schools, however, combine I&II)
Federal Civil Procedure
Legal Research and Writing (Fall: research memo; Spring: appellate brief)

After that you can take what you want, from the basic building blocks (e.g. Evidence; Wills & Trusts/Trusts & Estates; Business Organizations/Corporations; Bankruptcy/Secured Credit; Federal Income Tax) to the more specific (e.g. Entertainment Law; Construction Law; subset of federal income tax; etc.), as well as skills courses (e.g. Trial Advocacy; Appellate Advocacy) and experiential learning (clinics; internships; simulation courses).

There are, however, a couple of things that you will have to do besides the basic 1L courses above at any ABA-accredited school:

Professional Responsibility
Advanced writing course or seminar


+1




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