Law School Curriculum Pregunta

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meatball122
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Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby meatball122 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:54 pm

Hey Everyone

I was wondering how you go about choosing your courses while in law school? In UG, you can more or less take whatever courses you feel like as long as they fulfill the requirements, since you dont have to sit for any certifying exam after you graduate (usually). At law school, do students usually take a wider range of classes in order to make sure they can pass the bar? Or do they just say eff it and take what they find interesting and/or the classes that will prepare them for their career (vice the bar)? Im mainly interested in the the business side, to include real estate, finance, etc. But will I be encouraged to take 2L/3L classes in crimainal, family, and employment law, for example in order to be well rounded??

This is apart from the 1L standard curriculum. Im talking about 2L and 3L. And Im not talking REQUIRED to take an array of classes; I know the required curriculum is gumby.

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kalvano
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Re: Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby kalvano » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:32 pm

A couple of classes are required. Other than that, you take what you want. But there are certain classes you will certainly need to take, regardless of whether or not they are required.

taxguy
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Re: Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby taxguy » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:56 pm

Honestly, a lot depends on the law school. I am going to make some generalizations,which is always dangerous to do.

Generally, the higher ranked law schools only require courses for the first year and maybe a course in Legal ethics.Thus, folks get a lot of choices for electives. The lower the ranking of the law school, the more requirements exist. I would think that lower ranked law schools do this in order to mandate more courses that will be tested on the Bar. Thus, they can achieve higher bar passege rates.

My opinion , if you have a choice, is NOT to take all the courses that the Bar exam tests for several reasons. First, most folks forget what they learned soon after the course. Secondly, most lawyers pass the bar based on the bar review course. My suggestion is to take as many skills oriented courses as possible for areas that you want to work in as well as those doctrinal courses that relate to your interest. At any event, I would take certain basic courses that should be known by all lawyers such as: evidence, wills and trusts, income tax, family law, basic trial advocacy,and interviewing and counseling, business associations and/or corporations. If you intend to work in a small practice, you might also want to take some general litigation courses and some criminal procedure as well as one or two transactional courses such as contract drafting etc. If you expect to work in a medium or large practice, you can specialize in what you want such as tax, IP, etc;however, I would stil focus on courses that are skills oriented. You can always read up and learn most doctrinal areas . Anyway, that is just my take. Hope this helps a bit.
Last edited by taxguy on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

meatball122
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby meatball122 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:03 pm

kalvano wrote: But there are certain classes you will certainly need to take, regardless of whether or not they are required.

Such as?

taxguy wrote:Honestly, a lot depends on the law school. I am going to make some generalizations,which is always dangerous to do.

Generally, the higher ranked law schools only require courses for the first year and maybe a course in Legal ethics.Thus, folks get a lot of choices for electives. The lower the ranking of the law school, the more requirements exist. I would think that lower ranked law schools do this in order to mandate more courses that will be tested on the Bar. Thus, they can achieve higher bar passege rates.

My opinion , if you have a choice, is NOT to take all the courses that the Bar exam tests for several reasons. First, most folks forget what they learned soon after the course. Secondly, most lawyers pass the bar based on the bar review course. My suggestion is to take as many skills oriented courses as possible for areas that you want to work in as well as those doctrinal courses that relate to your interest. At any event, I would take certain basic courses that should be known by all lawyers such as: evidence, wills and trusts, income tax, family law, basic trial advocacy,and interviewing and counseling, If you intend to work in a small practice, you might also want to take some general litigation courses and some criminal procedure as well as one or two transactional courses such as contract drafting etc. If you expect to work in a medium or large practice, you can specialize in what you want such as tax, IP, etc;however, I would stil focus on courses that are skills oriented. You can always read up and learn most doctrinal areas . Anyway, that is just my take. Hope this helps a bit.

Great info, thanks! Sounds reasonable to me: take what's important for your career but with a peppering of the standard practice areas not required in 1L.

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Bronte
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Re: Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby Bronte » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:08 pm

Most schools have mostly mandatory first year curriculum, sometimes with some play in the joints (e.g., one optional elective second semester). After that, you're usually free to take electives, with the exception of some requirements like an upper level ethics and writing requirement. However, for your first semester 2L year, it can be important to take classes that will look good to employers at OCI, like substantive classes in litigation or corporate. Also, if you're interested in clerkships, they'll want to see substantive classes all around rather than estupido classes like Children & the Law.

meatball122 wrote:
kalvano wrote: But there are certain classes you will certainly need to take, regardless of whether or not they are required.

Such as?


Most people take at least a couple substantive corporate classes if they're going to go the big law route, like "corporations"/"enterprise organizations." Most people also take substantive litigation courses if they're going to go the litigation or clerkship route, like "evidence," "jurisdiction," and/or "federal courts."

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kalvano
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Re: Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby kalvano » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:59 pm

Evidence, Business Enterprise, Wills & Trusts. Things like that.

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nealric
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Re: Law School Curriculum Pregunta

Postby nealric » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:18 pm

I really don't think any upper division courses are really "need to know" for every graduate. Take classes that work towards the specialty you want, with a few fun classes on the side.

I'm also not a big proponent of taking the "hard" classes for their own sake. "Cum Laude" stays on your resume forever, but you aren't going to remember much from fed courts after a few years unless the topic come up in your practice. This is especially true if you line up a biglaw job at OCI.




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