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 an innovative way that focuses on teaching methods of legal analysis and skills that all lawyers use.
Students thus receive an education that includes the traditional areas of legal doctrine, but in an innovative context designed to prepare them for practice in the 21st century. Many other features of the first year are designed to prepare students for the practice of law. All first-year students are assigned a lawyer mentor and are required to spend a specified number of hours observing that lawyer at work.
There is an active pro bono program in which students have the opportunity to do volunteer work in many different contexts beginning in their first year. Also, students are actively engaged in helping to create the institutions of the new law school.
Law School course descriptions are available on the interactive Law Course Catalog.
“The traditional first-year legal
writing course will be reoriented as a course on lawyering skills. To pick one example, part of the course should teach fact investigation, a crucial skill that is all too often ignored in law schools. Also, I have proposed that the faculty develop a two-week course at the beginning of the second semester where students take a class on contract drafting or negotiation or trial practice so that skills training is part of the first year. The upper-level curriculum will include skills classes that prepare students for the top level of practice in areas such as business law, intellectual property and litigation.”