×    By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Lower Division/First Year Courses

 Lower Division/First Year Courses

Course # Course Name and Description Credits Semester Faculty


Civil Procedure

Procedural processes that guide the adjudication of civil actions in American courts. Allocation of judicial power between federal and state courts, focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fundamental policies underlying particular procedural rules.

4 Fall Lisa Dolak L'88, Antonio Gidi, Margaret M. Harding, Aliza M. Milner


Constitutional Law

This course covers (1) Judicial Review in all its aspects, including the Case and Controversy doctrine, and (2) Structure, that is, Federalism (Federal and State regulatory and taxing powers) and Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances among the branches of the federal government.

3 Spring Keith J. Bybee, Nathan A. Sales



Legal protection afforded promissory agreements. Contract interpretation; contract formation, including offer and acceptance, mutual assent, and consideration. Parties affected by contracts and remedies for breach of contract.

5 Fall Gregory L. Germain, Peter A. Bell


Criminal Law

Elements of various crimes and problems of statutory construction and interpretation. Substantive defenses, emphasizing the defense of insanity, as well as attempts and the specific crimes of conspiracy, theft, and homicide.

3 Spring Rakesh K. Anand, Sanjay K. Chhablani, Lauryn P. Gouldin, C. Cora True-Frost G'01, L'01



Problems concerning the possession of land and chattels. Methods of acquiring title to personal property, possessory and concurrent estates, and landlord and tenant problems. Historical introduction to real estate, including future interests, real covenants, and easements.

5 Spring Laura G. Lape, LaVonda N. Reed, Terry L. Turnipseed



Imposition of liability for personal wrongs as viewed by traditional tort law and current alternatives. Historical development and policy basis of liability for various types of injury-producing conduct, including intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability.

5 Fall Peter A. Bell, Antonio Gidi, Andrew T. Kim, Nina A. Kohn


Legal Communications & Research I

Introduction to basic lawyering skills, including analysis, citation, and court hierarchy. Application of these skills to complex factual situations in a mock law firm setting.

2 Fall Elizabeth A. August L'94, Ian Gallacher, Andrew S. Greenberg L'89, Kathleen M. O'Connor, Shannon P. Gardner, Richard S. Risman


Legal Communications & Research II

Skills introduced include legal research, oral argument, and the written presentation of legal arguments in persuasive form

2 Spring Elizabeth A. August L'94, Ian Gallacher, Andrew S. Greenberg L'89, Kathleen M. O'Connor, Shannon P. Gardner, Aliza M. Milner


Fact Investigation and Analysis

An introduction to the world of fact investigation and analysis, this course will provide an overview of how to develop and scrutinize facts. The course will cover five major topics: 1) how lawyers gather facts; 2) how lawyers evaluate evidence/facts; 3) how to organize evidence into a comprehensive narrative; 4) how human memory, biases, and perception affect fact gathering; and 5) the ethical issues surrounding fact investigations. The course will involve a significant interactive skill development component including mock interviews, drafting exercises, guest speakers and hands-on investigation exercises.

3 Spring Gary J. Pieples


Land Use Planning and Zoning Law: An Applied Property Course

This course provides an applied property and administrative law experience related to land development and its regulation. The course is structured around three important elements: 1) learning by attending and reflecting on a set of cases brought before a local zoning board of appeal; 2) problem solving by working on and writing up a bench memo response to a practice-based zoning problem; and 3) an advocacy experience by participating in a mock appeal to a local zoning board. A substantial amount of course time is devoted to understanding the administrative law context of local land regulation. Local land regulation involves both the planning process and the development of a zoning code pursuant to the plan. This involves a review of the legislative and the adjudicative functions of planning and zoning agencies. The course also covers issues related to proper delegation to local governments pursuant to the State's police power, and the various standards of review applied to zoning board determinations that are appealed to the courts. Many of the cases covered address the tension that arises between land law and various fundamental rights such as those protected by the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the rights of association, and the right to be free from discrimination.

3 Spring Robin Paul Malloy


National Security Lawyering

The central goal of this course is to equip students with skills required to practice law in a political and bureaucratic context. It will teach students about the organizational structure of the national security infrastructure; how key figures make, implement, and oversee policy and operational decisions; and the unusually diverse array of legal materials that regulate national security players and thus constitute the "law" of national security law.

3 Spring William C. Banks, Nathan A. Sales, William C. Snyder, Keli Perrin L'04


Negotiation for Lawyers

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of negotiation. Students will learn basic negotiation skills and will be introduced to a variety of other skills including: valuation of a client’s position; interviewing; business communications; and basic drafting.

3 Spring Elizabeth A. August L'94


Problem Solving and Intelligent Lawyering

A series of problems challenge students to identify client interests and consider different options for effective representation. The problems span civil and criminal law and become more complicated as the semester progresses. Discussions with practicing attorneys will supplement students’ work on the problems. To develop skills of perception and judgment, the course also incorporates the study of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Students will learn about concentration, awareness, and the development of compassion in legal representation. They will practice interviewing clients and making decisions in a group. If they would like, students may also be guided in mindful breathing, meditation, and yoga.

3 Spring Aliza M. Milner


Professional Responsibility: Becoming a Lawyer

This course will cover the essential components of professional responsibility and will focus on professional identity formation. Utilizing a problem approach that lends itself to simulations and skills development, students will learn how to analyze ethical issues; develop basic interviewing, counseling, and informal advocacy skills; practice collaboration; and reflect on the role of the lawyer and their own professional development. This course meets the Professional Responsibility requirement.

3 Spring Mary Helen McNeal