»Required Courses

Business Associations (4 units) - California Bar Tested 
This course offers coverage of both fundamental agency law principles and an in-depth study of the law governing various business forms/entities, including sole proprietorships, general partnerships, corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships. In addition to addressing basic questions of formation, students will acquire an understanding of the law governing various aspects of business operations and growth, the means by which investors and other stakeholders may legitimately obtain a return on their investment, the extent of personal stakeholder liability with respect to business obligations and other topics of relevance. Coverage of various business entities in the context of a single course offers students the opportunity, via comparison and contrast, to appreciate the unique legal character of specific business forms. This knowledge will enhance their ability to advise clients with respect to which business entity best achieves their clients’ overall business objectives. The course also serves to prepare students for advanced study in arenas in which prior knowledge of various business entity fundamentals is assumed. Students who have completed the course in Corporations may not enroll in this course.  

Civil Procedure I (3 units) and Civil Procedure II (2 units)
These courses provide an introduction to the court system, including jurisdiction over the person, venue, and the role of state law in federal courts. The courses also cover aspects of civil litigation, including pleading, discovery, parties, counterclaims, cross-claims, impleader, intervention, and interpleader.

Constitutional Law (4 units) - California Bar Tested
This course covers the powers of the three branches of the federal government, the relationship of the branches of the federal government to each other and to the States, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including the effect of the Fourteenth Amendment on the application of the Bill of Rights to the States and an introduction to issues involving equal protection.

Contracts I (3 units) and Contracts II (3 units)
A study of the fundamentals of contract law, including the common law, selected portions of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, and selected portions of the Uniform Commercial Code. Areas of concentration include:

  • the bargaining process (offer and acceptance)
  • consideration and other bases for enforcing promises
  • the Statute of Frauds; capacity to contract
  • policing the agreement
  • unenforceability on grounds of public policy
  • the parol evidence rule and other rules of contract interpretation
  • performance and nonperformance
  • remedies
  • excuses for nonperformance (including mistake, misrepresentation, duress, impracticability, and frustration of purpose)
  • assignment and delegation
  • rights of third parties
  • other topics.

Corporations (3 units)
This course provides a basic understanding of both closely held and publicly held for-profit corporations. Particular attention is given to the way in which corporations organize and operate. The course also examines the respective roles, relationships, responsibilities, and liability exposure of shareholders, directors, and officers. The study of corporate litigation and regulation under key portions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules and regulations of the S.E.C. is included.

Criminal Law (3 units)
This course is designed to enable law students to deal with substantive criminal law problems in both practical and policy terms. There is inquiry into the proper scope and objectives of the criminal law, limitations on the State's power to define criminal liability, and general principles of liability and defenses for offenses against the person and property. The course also provides an opportunity for critical examination of statutes at an early stage in the law student's career.

Evidence (4 units)
This course covers the standards regulating admissibility of evidence in both criminal and civil trials. Special emphasis is placed on the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Please note for Evidence section 02: Professor Mainero's section will emphasize both the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Evidence Code, and will cover the differences between them.

Federal Income Taxation (3 units)
This course introduces students to the system of federal income taxation of individuals. The tax system is studied with emphasis on basic concepts rather than detailed computations. Significant attention is given to the public policy served by various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Primary consideration is given to principles and policies relating to the taxation of individuals including procedure, income, deductions, gains and losses, and transactional aspects of income taxation. The Internal Revenue Code and Regulations are emphasized.

Lawyering Skills Requirement (2-3 units)
Students are required to fulfill this requirement by taking any one of the following lawyering skills courses:

  • Advanced Evidence (3 units)
  • Advanced Legal Research (2 units)
  • Advanced Topics in Advocacy and Dispute Resolution:
  • Preparation and Trial of a Civil Case (2 units)
  • Appellate Law Clinic (3 units)
  • Appellate Practice/Procedure (2 units)
  • Client Interviewing and Counseling (3 units)
  • Commercial Leasing (2 units)
  • Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic (1-3 units)
  • Depositions and Discovery in Complex Litigation (3 units)
  • Elder Law: Theory and Practice (3 units)
  • Environmental Law Practice (2 units)
  • Externship (up to 8-10 units)
  • Federal Tax Procedure & Administration with mandatory clinic option (4 units)
  • Legal Drafting (2 units)
  • Mediation (3 units)
  • Negotiations (3 units)
  • Pre-trial Civil Practice (3 units)
  • Tax Research (3 units)
  • Trial Practice (3 units)
  • U.S. Tax Court Clinic (3 units)

Course descriptions for these approved lawyering skills courses are included in the elective course listings.

Legal Research and Writing I (3 units) and Legal Research and Writing II (2 units)
The first course introduces students to fundamental legal reasoning, research, and writing skills in the context of objective legal documents, including client letters and memoranda of law. The course includes an overview of legal concepts, such as the structure of the court system and how law is made. The second course helps students refine and further develop their analytical, writing, and research skills in the advocacy context. Students produce litigation documents including pleadings and either a pre-trial brief or an appellate brief. Students are introduced to computer assisted legal research.

Professional Responsibility (2 units)
The rules of law governing lawyers' professional conduct are studied through the ethics codes, lectures, text, cases, problems, and class discussion. Principal attention is given to whether lawyers should subordinate their own moral judgment to that of their clients, the lawyer's role in an adversary system, zealous representation, lawyer-client confidentiality, conflicts of interest, competency in providing legal services, prosecutors' ethics, solicitation of clients, and the lawyer's professional obligation to do work for the benefit of the public. Close attention is given to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Real Property I (3 units) and Real Property II (3 units)
Property law is studied as a social and legal institution to facilitate the acquisition, disposition, and use of personal and real property. Over two semesters, students explore a variety of rights and responsibilities in property, including:

  • distinctions between real and personal property
  • the nature of ownership and possession
  • adverse possession
  • landlord-tenant law
  • present and future estates in land
  • concurrent ownership
  • conveyancing and deeds
  • recording
  • private land-use restrictions (easements, covenants, and equitable servitudes)
  • public land-use regulations
  • eminent domain.

The course may include introductory exposure to trusts, donative transfers, intellectual property, fixtures, mortgages, and ownership of natural resources (i.e., water, oil, gas, wildlife).

Torts I (3 units) and Torts II (3 units)
These courses cover the civil laws governing compensation for injury to person and property. The courses emphasize intentional, negligent, and strict liability torts. Students become familiar with the fundamental principles and objectives of tort law including the basic rules governing the legal assessment of fault, victim compensation, and defenses. Products liability, defamation, invasion of privacy, selected business torts, and other alternatives to negligence may be explored.

Writing Requirements

1. The Scholarly Writing Requirement (2-3 units)

Students may satisfy the scholarly writing requirement by the production of one or more documents that require students to engage in complex, critical analysis of legal issues. The assignment[s] must challenge the student's organizational, research, problem solving, and writing abilities. Satisfaction of the scholarly writing requirement should enhance the student's educational experience and may involve interdisciplinary work, the integration of theory and application, skills and values, or advocacy of a particular position. Satisfaction of the scholarly writing requirement must involve a close working relationship between the student and a full-time faculty supervisor. Exceptions to the requirement of supervision by a full-time faculty member may be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, if the proposed exception otherwise meets the standards of the writing requirement. The number of credits shall be no less than two and no greater than three. The list of courses qualifying for the scholarly writing requirement will be published with the course schedule each semester.

The requirement may be satisfied by production of a paper of high academic quality in any of the following ways: A document or documents in connection with an upper-level course or seminar (as designated each semester by a full-time faculty member after approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs); a writing for law review that is of publishable quality; A Directed Research paper*.

In general, no work product of less than 25 pages will satisfy the Scholarly Writing requirement. This minimum page requirement applies regardless of whether the document is produced in connection with a course or seminar, the Law Journal or the Criminal Justice Journal, or Directed Research.

2. The Practice-Oriented Writing Requirement (2-3 units)

Students may satisfy the practice-oriented writing requirement by the production of one or more documents that require students to engage in the kind of legal writing that lawyers undertake in the practice of law. The writing assignments must be designed to develop the students' practical legal writing skills, and must be of the scope and complexity ordinarily suitable as a writing sample appropriate for submission to a potential employer. Practice-oriented writings include both litigation-type documents and transactional documents. Examples of documents that likely would qualify as a practice-oriented writing (because of the amount of writing and independent analysis involved) include, but are not limited to, legal memoranda, motions, briefs, opinion letters, settlement agreements, and discovery documents that require more than standard questions (such as deposition outlines, requests for admissions tailored to client facts, etcetera). Examples of documents that likely would not qualify as a practice-oriented writing, without approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, include standard or template discovery documents and standard lease forms or contracts that involve no more than cutting and pasting. Satisfaction of the practice-oriented writing requirement must involve a close working relationship between the student and the supervising faculty member.

The requirement may be satisfied by production of a paper of high academic quality in any of the following ways: Substantial additional research or revision of a document or documents in connection with an upper-level course, clinical program or seminar (as designated each semester by a full- or part-time faculty member, and with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs); A writing originally undertaken as part of an externship or moot court or similar interscholastic competition if a full-time faculty member agrees to supervise its revision; A Directed Research paper (Must have a CUM GPA of 2.6 at the end of the first year in either Full-Time or Part-Time program to partake in a Directed Research project).

In general, no practice-oriented writing project consisting of less than 20 pages will satisfy the practice-oriented writing requirement.

Students who matriculated in Fall 2013 and thereafter must satisfactorily complete one Scholarly Writing and two Practice-Oriented writings, both of which are defined in the Student Handbook (§4.1.2.3.4).

JD Degree Requirements

  • 2.000 Cumulative Grade Point Average
  • 88 Course Credits
  • 6 Residency Credits

Residency Credit Requirement:

FT program: 12 or more credits = 1 residency credit
PT program: 8 – 11 credits = prorated residency credit

Fall & Spring semesters: students must enroll in 8 credits minimum through the semester and complete at least 5 credits to earn residency credit. For summer terms, students must enroll in and complete 3 credits minimum to earn residency credit.

FT Program - Fall 15 credits (1 residency credit); Spring 16 credits (1 residency credit)
PT Program - Fall 9 credits (.75 residency credits); Spring 10 credits (.83 residency credits)

Attendance

Students cannot miss more than 20% of class sessions or they will be dismissed from the course with a grade of "FW", which negatively impacts cumulative GPA.

Full Time and Part Time Programs

Full Time Program: Students complete the requirements for the JD degree in three years. Students complete a designated first year course offering and generally 12-16 units each semester thereafter.

Part Time Program: Students complete the requirements for the JD degree in four years. Students complete a designated first year course offering and generally 8-11 units each semester thereafter.

Transferring between Full Time and Part Time Programs: To transfer from the part time to the full time program, students must have pre-approval from the Registrar's Office.

The First Year Curriculum

Full Time: Civil Procedure I and II, Contracts I and II, LRW I and II, Property I and II, Torts I and II, and Criminal Law

Part Time: Civil Procedure I and II, LRW I and II, Torts I & II, and Criminal Law. Contracts I & II and Property I & II to be taken in the second year.

Degree Requirements Beyond the Full Time First Year Curriculum

  • Federal Income Tax (must be taken in the 2nd year; fall or spring)
  • Business Associations (Students who have completed the Corporations course may not enroll in this course)
  • Corporations (Students who have completed the Business Associations course may not enroll in this course)
  • Constitutional Law
  • Evidence (Required to become a certified law student)
  • Professional Responsibility
  • A Lawyering Skills Course
  • Substantial (Scholarly) Writing Requirement
  • Students who matriculated in Fall 2013 and thereafter must satisfactorily complete one Scholarly Writing and two Practice-Oriented writings, both of which are defined in the Student Handbook (§4.1.2.3.4). Practice (Practical) Oriented Writing Requirement
  • Professional Development Graduation Requirement

Additional Requirements based on First Year Grades and Cumulative GPA

Legal Writing Skills course:
Must take if LRW I OR LRW II grade is below 2.0 OR if determined necessary by the LRW Professor.

Required courses if CUM GPA is below 2.6 at the end of the first year (full time and part time students):

  • Criminal Procedure/Police Practice
  • Remedies
  • Wills & Trusts

Graduation Requirement

For students who entered in Fall 2008 or thereafter: any student entering their final year of law study ranked in the bottom 25% of their class MUST take Legal Analysis Workshop AND Selected Topics in American Law in order to graduate. Both of these courses are designed to prepare students for the bar exam. As such, it is the faculty's belief that taking both of these courses will increase the likelihood that the enrolled students will have favorable results on the bar exam. Because of the helpful and important nature of these courses, all students in the bottom 50% are strongly encouraged to enroll even if it is not required. However, first priority for enrollment in these courses will be given to those students who are required to take them.

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