Redefining Legal Education

Our faculty has developed a cutting-edge curriculum that ensures students receive an education that is comparable to or exceeds that found at any top law school, and also that addresses the changing demands of the legal profession.

Our goal is to do the best job in the country of training students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. Our innovative curriculum stresses hands-on, practical training, interdisciplinary studies and public service.

First-Year Highlights

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.

In the first year, as part of their Lawyering Skills course, students conduct intake interviews with clients at local legal service organizations and government agencies. The first-year Legal Profession course teaches students what it is like to practice law in a variety of settings, including large law firms, small law firms and government offices. The course also teaches students about the sociology, psychology, and economics of being a lawyer, while teaching legal ethics from the very beginning.

In addition, during their second semester, first year students will have the option to choose between multiple electives that will provide them with additional instruction in a variety of legal disciplines normally offered only to second and third year law students. These electives may include courses in:

  • Administrative Law/Legislation
  • Business Associations
  • International Legal Analysis
  • Property, and
  • A course including substantial content relating to race and indigeneity, structural inequity, and the historical bases for such inequity.

Not all of these course options will be available every year.

The curriculum is designed to incorporate real-world learning by requiring in-house legal clinic experience of every student, providing other elective clinics and externships, and strongly encouraging pro bono work. Each student will complete at least one semester of clinical education, working with an actual client or clients under close supervision in an environment designed to encourage reflection on the values and responsibilities of the legal profession.

Resources for Current Students