First Year Curriculum
The first year curriculum incorporates values and skills for academic success into the foundational doctrinal courses of Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property, and Constitutional Law. Each course provides instruction in doctrine and critical reading, case briefing, case synthesis, exam writing, course outlining, time management, and multiple-choice test taking strategies.
Torts and Criminal Law provide instruction in doctrine combined with Introduction to Legal Skills – case briefing, case synthesis, exam writing (with emphasis on predictive legal writing), legal research, and persuasive legal writing. In the spring semester, students participate in Court Observation Week, where they observe a 2 to 4 day trial at the local courthouse and have an opportunity to speak to the trial attorneys and the judge.
Second Year Curriculum
In the second year, all students focus on the development of practical legal skills through a Litigation Track and a Transactional Law Track. Litigation Track incorporates Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Trial Advocacy in the context of a simulated problem culminating in a mock trial. Transactional Law Track includes Business Organizations, Sales, and Negotiations in a simulation that emphasizes business formations, document drafting and negotiation. In addition to the tracks, students can take up to 14 elective units during their second year.
Third Year Curriculum
The third year is focused on experiential learning. Students are required to take a minimum of 3 units of experientially based courses, including externships, live-client clinics, and practicums. Practicum courses combine a significant classroom component with a live-client clinical or externship experience.
Students are encouraged to get as much live-client experience as possible in the third year. Students can choose from a variety of electives, including participation in traveling competitions on a Moot Court team, a Trial Team, or an Alternative Dispute Resolution Team. The Center for Academic and Bar Readiness offers several important courses for students as they prepare to take the bar exam, including Multistate Bar Strategies and California Performance Test Strategies, all taken in the final year.
Part-time students take the same innovative program of courses as full-time students, but spread over a four-year span. Part-time (and full-time) students can take a variety of summer electives.