Training for the Practice of Law

UCI Law has an innovative curriculum designed to prepare students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. The first-year curriculum teaches students areas of legal doctrine traditionally taught in the first year, but in a unique way that focuses on methods of legal analysis and skills that all lawyers use.

All students actually practice law under supervision beginning in the first-year Lawyering Skills course, where they do intake interviews at legal aid or public defender offices, and culminating with substantial client representation in an in-house legal clinic before graduation.

UCI Law requires at least one semester of clinical education. The school has six core clinics, which satisfy the requirement, and three elective clinics that students can take in their second and third year.

Many other features of the curriculum are designed to prepare students for the practice of law. The Legal Profession course teaches first-year students what it is like to practice law in a variety of practice settings, including large law firms, small law firms and government offices. All first-year students are assigned a lawyer mentor from the local legal community to provide guidance in academic and career matters.

UCI Law also has an active pro bono program in which students have the opportunity to do volunteer work beginning in their first year. More than 90% of students have been involved in the program, participating in scores of projects in which they provide legal services under close attorney supervision. Students are encouraged to log at least 120 pro bono hours in three years.

Course descriptions are available on the interactive Law Course Catalog.