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J.D. PROGRAM
AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
CLINICS AND OTHER EXPERIENTIAL COURSES
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PART-TIME & TWO-YEAR OPTIONS
LL.M. IN TRIAL ADVOCACY
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SPECIAL PROGRAMS

 

First Year Required Curriculum - California Western
First Year Required Curriculum


First Trimester
  • Introduction to Legal Skills (0 units)
  • Civil Procedure I (3 units)
  • Contracts I (3 units)
  • Criminal Law (3 units)
  • Legal Skills I (2 units)
  • Property I (3 units)

Second Trimester
  • Civil Procedure II (3 units)
  • Contracts II (3 units)
  • Legal Skills II (2 units)
  • Property II (3 units)
  • Torts I (3 units)

Course Overview

Introduction to Legal Skills
Students attend this course during the first week of school (before substantive courses begin). Focuses on teaching students those skills that make the successful law student and ultimately the successful lawyer. These skills include the structure of the court system, case briefing, rule synthesis, deductive reasoning, analogical reasoning, and issue analysis.

Students will also receive instruction on outlining, exam preparation, use of study aids and study groups, and time management. (This course is a prerequisite for Legal Skills I and II. You will receive no credit, as this course is considered part of Legal Skills I.)

Civil Procedure I and II
The rules governing a lawsuit from its beginning to trial. Topics covered include jurisdiction, pleadings, motions, joinder of claims and parties, discovery and the effect of judgments. (3 units each)

Contracts I and II
Study of the development of common law concepts of enforceable promises and statutory impact. Encompasses the basic principles controlling the formation, performance and termination of contracts. Includes the doctrines of offer and acceptance, consideration, conditions, breach, damages, third party beneficiary, assignments and the Statute of Frauds. (3 units each)

Criminal Law
Studies the current law of crimes, both common law and statutory. This inquiry focuses on when and how the state deprives a person of liberty. General principles of criminal liability include elements of certain crimes, justification, excuse, and sanctions. (3 units)

Legal Skills I - Legal Research, Analysis, and Objective Writing
An intensive, comprehensive and practical learning experience. Focuses on those elements that make the successful law student and, ultimately, the successful lawyer.

Emphasis is placed on study skills, time and stress management, briefing, outlining, legal analysis and exam taking. The legal analysis and problem solving components concentrate on the acquisition and development of issue-spotting, issue-framing, analogizing, distinguishing and synthesizing skills that comprise analysis.

Students undertake numerous practical exercises to polish these skills and to serve as a focal point for comparison and understanding. (2 units)

Legal Skills II - Legal Research, Analysis, Persuasive Writing, and Oral Advocacy
An intensive, comprehensive and practical learning experience. Building on the skills learned in Legal Skills I, students will focus on honing and refining their research skills, writing persuasively, and oral advocacy. At a minimum, students will research and write a memorandum of points and authorities and an appellate brief. Students will also prepare and engage in oral argument. (2 units)

Property I and II
An introduction to the concept and law of property, acquisition of property, estates in land, private and public land use controls, real estate transactions and landlord-tenant relationships. (3 units each)

Torts I
Examines theories of civil liability for harm, including negligence, intentional wrongdoing and participation in abnormally dangerous activity. Specific torts studied include assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional inflection of emotional distress, negligence (including medical malpractice and liability of owners and occupiers of land), and nuisance. Defenses to tort actions are also considered, including contributory negligence, assumption of risk and consent. (3 units) Must be followed by Torts II.