Becoming an Attorney Part 2

In our last edition, we went over the Law School Admissions Test and preparing for law school. In this edition, we will discuss what classes you take your first year of law school and what they consist of in general.

There are four main courses that are required in your first year. These four courses are not electives but rather mandatory for the first year student to take. They are listed below:

Torts- According to Stanford’s Law School Catalog, this course is part of the required first-year JD curriculum. It considers issues involved in determining whether the law should require a person to compensate for harm intentionally or unintentionally caused. These problems arise in situations as diverse as automobile collisions, operations of nuclear facilities, and consumption of defective food products. Among other considerations, the course explores various resolutions in terms of their social, economic, and political implications. (law.stanford.edu).

Contracts- This course is also part of the first year curriculum. It provides exposure to basic contract law. The course will identify the scope and purpose of the legal protection accorded to interests predicated on contract and will focus on problems of contract formation, interpretation, performance, and remedies for breach. (law.stanford.edu).

Civil Procedure-This course is a study of the process of civil litigation from the commencement of a lawsuit through final judgment under modern statutes and rules of court, with emphasis on the federal rules of civil procedure. May include class participation, written assignments, or other elements. Your instructor will advise you of the basis for grading.(law.stanford.edu)

Property- This course deals with possession and ownership of land and with the incidents thereof, including private and public restrictions on its use and development, nuisance, trespass, concurrent interests, landlord and tenant, and eminent domain. Attendance and the final exam. Your instructor will advise you of other bases of grading. This course is open to first-year Law School students only. (law.stanford.edu)

While it is common that other schools have a different curriculum for 1L year, these 4 courses are the staples of most ABA-approved law schools. ABA stands for American Bar Association and schools that are ABA approved have certain requirements to maintain approval. There are 203 ABA approved institutions that offer a Juris Doctor degree. In our next chapter on Becoming an Attorney, we will go over which institutions are ABA approved and what the requirements are to keep that prestigious honor.

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