Required Foundational Courses
(LAW 540A, B – 3 units, 3 units)
A study of the constitutional and jurisprudential aspects of civil procedure. Subjects covered include jurisdiction, venue, joinder of parties and claims, including issues of standing, justiciability, pleading requirements, discovery, right to trial by jury, the effects of a prior judgment on subsequent proceedings, the interaction between state and federal court systems, and the scope of appellate review.
(LAW 510A, B – 3 units, 3 units)
A study of the formation of legally enforceable contracts and their enforcement. Topics covered include consideration, offer, acceptance, mistake, reliance, capacity, equitable factors, illegality, and the effects of the Statute of Frauds. Remedies for breach of contract, interpretation of contract language, factors affecting contract enforcement, persons entitled to enforce contractual obligations, and special statutory provisions affecting consumer and commercial transactions are also covered.
(LAW 500 – 3 units)
A study of the common law regarding what conduct is subject to criminal sanctions. Areas of study include homicide, theft, rape, arson, attempt, conspiracy, the liability of accessories, mens rea, insanity, justification, and excuse.
INTRODUCTION TO JURISPRUDENCE/LEGAL RESEARCH
(LAW 560A – 2 units)
This is an introductory course designed for the beginning law student which introduces
students to the American legal system and to foundational legal writing skills such as:
critical and engaged case reading, case briefing, rule synthesis and factual analysis. It
also introduces students to the materials and methods of legal research relating primarily
to cases, statutes, and secondary sources.
INTRODUCTION TO STRATEGIC LEGAL METHODS I AND II
(LAW 515A and LAW 515B – 0 units)
ISLM-I bridges the gaps between college and law school by helping students adjust to
the rigorous nature of legal education. The course uses a “building block” approach that
begins with the most basic, but useful skills for the law school experience such as time
management, understanding course frameworks, synthesis, and building course outlines.
These skills help students manage resources in the first year of school so that they can
be more efficient and productive with their time and more effective in their doctrinal
ISLM-II focuses on higher level critical thinking and analysis, specifically related to
essay writing for exams. The course also introduces students to practice-ready skills
using the performance test format. Both classes are mandatory graduation requirements
for zero (0) credits and are taught in an interactive, small group setting. The pass/fail
threshold is set to promote rigor. All 1L students will take a mini-bar exam created by
BarBRI at the end of their 1L year. The test will assess the students’ knowledge of
subject matter and assist faculty in discovering opportunities for improvement in the
LEGAL ANALYSIS AND WRITING I
(LAW 560A – 1 units)
An introductory course designed for the beginning law student that covers a basic overview of the American legal system, the case method of legal study, and objective legal memorandum writing. Emphasis is placed on the development of skills essential to the effective study and practice of law, including case briefing, course study outlining, legal analysis, case synthesis, and legal writing.
LEGAL RESEARCH I
(LAW 562A – 1 unit)
An introduction to the sources and methods of legal research relating primarily to cases, statutes, and secondary materials. Students engage in research exercises using both print and electronic sources.
(LAW 520, 4 units)
A study of the rights and consequences of land ownership and problems in transferring interests in land. Subjects include common law estates and interests, duties and rights of landlord and tenant, easements, covenants, and the rights of neighbors, the government, and the public. Also included are such topics as contracts for sale and remedies for breach, non-contractual transfer, covenants of title, marketable title, implied warranties, recording statutes, title insurance, adverse possession, and equitable conversion.
(LAW 530A, B – 3 units, 3 units)
A comprehensive study of remedies available for injuries or damages to person, property, reputation, or expectancies arising out of intentional acts, acts of negligence, or conduct for which the law imposes strict liability.
(LAW 580 – 2 units; Prerequisite: Legal
Analysis & Writing I & II)
An intermediate course designed to reinforce
the persuasive writing skills students learned in LAW II, with greater emphasis on advocacy skills. Students learn how to prepare an appellate brief and how to conduct oral arguments before a mock appellate tribunal.
(LAW 522 – 2 units)
Topics include classifying marital property, management and control of community property, the liability of marital property for the debts and torts of the spouses, the division of community property upon dissolution or death, and the property rights of putative and meretricious spouses.
(LAW 600A, B – 3 units, 2 units)
A two-semester course examining the laws governing modern business entities. The course covers agency, partnership, and limited liability companies. The second semester examines legal issues relevant to the control and management of a corporation, with a focus on public corporations.
(LAW 590A, B – 3 units, 3 units)
A study of the law of the United States Constitution. Subjects include the structure of the federal republic, the constitutional powers of government, separation of powers, judicial review, and individual rights and liberties (including due process of law, equal protection, freedom of expression and association, and free exercise and establishment of religion).
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: INVESTIGATION
(LAW 503 – 3 units)
A study of the constitutional issues presented in the criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on the constitutional restraints of police practices imposed by the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), the Fifth Amendment (interrogation), and the Sixth Amendment (right to counsel).
(LAW 640A – 4 units)
This is a four-hour course intended to give students a working knowledge of the concepts of courtroom evidence, as exemplified in the Federal Rules of Evidence. Examples from the California Evidence Code will also be provided, particularly where the Code differs significantly from the Federal Rules. The course heavily emphasizes practical application of evidentiary rules to factual situations, employing fact patterns and problem sets in lieu of analysis of appellate court decisions. The lessons of the course are intended to be reinforced by a two-hour practicum the following semester, in which the students will apply their knowledge of evidence to situations approximating those that they may encounter in their legal practice.
LEGAL ANALYSIS AND WRITING II
(LAW 560B – 2 unit; Prerequisite: Legal
Analysis & Writing I)
This course is designed to help students expand and improve the skills learned in first
year writing courses. Students will draft the persuasive documents which would be
written to a court when advocating a client’s position. During the course of the
semester, students will craft a motion brief, write an appellate brief and acquire oral
persuasion skills. (N.B. This class will commence during the 2013-2014 academic
MULTISTATE BAR STRATEGIES
(LAW 561 – 2 units)
This class is designed to partially simulate the bar review period that occurs after
graduation. MBS uses 6 subjects that are tested on the Multistate Bar Exam and on the
California bar essays portion of the exam. Students will be required to create an exam
study plan, subject matter study aids, and demonstrate the ability to follow directions
precisely as required on the performance test portion of the bar exam. The class is
divided equally between multiple choice and essay formats.
MBS incorporates several components of the BarBri Bar Review course that students
take after graduation, in preparation for the bar exam. Students will be assigned
questions from BarBri’s Accelerated Memory Program (AMP) and readings from the BarBri subject matter outlines as part of the class so that they will have a seamless
transition from school to bar review. By incorporating these components into MBS,
students will have more time to improve in their weak areas during the 8-10 weeks
before the bar exam. The grading scale in this course is criterion-based and the points
required for passing the course mirror the scale for the California Bar Exam. This course
is extremely rigorous and students who do not meet the standards will not be given a
ADVANCED EVIDENCE PRACTICUM
(LAW 640B – 2 units; Prerequisite: Evidence)
Students will be required to apply the evidentiary principles to resolve a variety of problems and situations intended to approximate those that they will face in legal practice, such as drafting evidentiary motions, providing advice to clients and/or senior lawyers, and responding to evidentiary issues in the courtroom. The four-hour Evidence course taught in the fall is a prerequisite.
LAWYERING SKILLS PRACTICUM
(LAW 557A – 3 units)
A unique, hands-on program that uses realistic law office and courtroom simulations to teach students how to handle a dispute from its inception through resolution either by motion, arbitration, or mediation. After being organized into separate law firms, students explore pre-trial procedures (including pleadings, discovery, and motions) and case resolution strategies.
(LAW 675 – 2 units)
A study of the organization of the legal profession and the duties and responsibilities of lawyers toward clients, the public, the courts, and other attorneys. This study of the standards and processes by which lawyers are disciplined gives particular attention to the Model Rules of the American Bar Association and the rules and statutes governing California attorneys.
(LAW 603 – 2 units)
An examination of contract formation, performance, discharge of contractual obligations, implied and expressed warranties, breach, and remedies. Emphasis is given to the differences between Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the common law of contracts.
STRATEGIC LEGAL METHODS
(LAW 566 – 2 units; Prerequisite: Legal Analysis & Writing II)
SLM is designed to help students continue to hone the skills needed to enhance their
learning outcomes in law school to the mastery level. The course has been segmented
into 3 units. Unit 1 – Foundational Legal Skills, covers critical reading and writing,
essay organization, rules deconstruction and synthesis, lawyerly analysis, etc. Unit 2 –
Essay Writing, combines all of the skills from Unit 1 into the finished essay product.
Unit 3 – Multiple Choice Strategies, adapts the essay analysis approach to bar-style
multiple choice questions to provide students with a real analytical approach to multiple
choice questions. Additionally, students will do weekly assignments that are designed to
assess their skill proficiency. Some of the weekly assignments have components that
resemble the “performance test” (PT) format of the CA Bar Exam so that students gain
experience with PT-style tasks well before graduation. (Note: Starting in August 2013,
this course will be an elective for all students except for those who earn a cumulative
GPA that falls below a 2.7 after the first two semesters.)
WILLS AND TRUSTS
(LAW 521 – 3 units)
A study of family wealth transmission problems. Subjects include will creation (both formal and informal), will interpretation, and will revocation. Also studied are the creation and enforcement of trusts (both private and charitable), the duties of the trustee, and revocation issues.