ยป Required Courses

Business Associations (4 credits) - 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. (This course, or Corporations, is a core course requirement for the Business Law Emphasis. Students who have completed the course in Corporations may not enroll in this course.)

Civil Procedure I (3 credits) and Civil Procedure II (2 credits)

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.

Civil Procedure Practice Lab (1 credit) Law-7134

This course focuses on the application of principles learned in Civil Procedure I and Civil Procedure II.  Students will engage the material as attorneys representing the parties to the dispute.  We will apply the rules of litigation (the statutes set forth in the United States Code, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, judicial decisions of various federal courts and the civil local rules for the local federal court – the Unites States District Court for the Central District of California) to move the litigation forward in the manner most favorable for our client and to respond to the demands of litigation imposed by our adversaries.  

Constitutional Law (4 credits) - 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. (For students that matriculated in Fall 2022 and thereafter, Constitutional Law, must be taken in their 2L year in the fall or spring semester.) 

Contracts I (3 credits) and Contracts II (3 credits)

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 credits) - California Bar Tested

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. (This course, or Business Associations, is a core course requirement for the Business Law Emphasis. Students who have completed the course in Business Associations may not enroll in this course.)

Criminal Law (3 credits)

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 credits) - California Bar Tested

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. (Evidence with Professor Mainero covers both the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Code, and thus covers two bar tested subjects. Students who take Evidence with Professor Mainero may not take the elective California Evidence course because the elective is duplicative of the material covered in Professor Mainero’s Evidence course.)

Experiential Course (2-3 credits)

Students must take at least one course from a list of prescribed experiential courses which include but are not limited to trial practice, client counseling, negotiations, mediation, arbitration, clinics, law and motion, and pre-trial civil practice. These courses are marked as "experiential" courses.

Federal Income Taxation (3 credits)

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. (This course is a J.D. graduation requirement for students who matriculated at the Law School prior to Fall 2021. This course is a core requirement for the Certificate in Taxation Emphasis and the Certificate in Business Law Emphasis. Students interested in the Tax Emphasis Certificate must take this course in the 2L year as it is a prerequisite for other tax courses.)

Legal Analysis Writing and Research I (3 credits) and Legal Analysis Writing and Research II (2 credits)

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.

Practice Foundations Transactions (3 credits) 

This course will introduce students to transactional law practice by exploring the role of lawyers in executing business-related transactions. Students will participate in exercises and simulated transactions that lawyers handle in practice. Students will practice communicating with and advising clients, drafting documents, dealing with other attorneys and handling transactions. Students will learn how transactional lawyers add value and solve problems for clients by identifying client objectives, understanding the business context of the matter, spotting legal and business issues, evaluating options, and closing a deal. Students will receive feedback about their progress and work.

For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2021, this is an upper-level course requirement and does not satisfy the practice-oriented writing requirement.

For students who matriculated in Fall 2021 or thereafter, may take one of the following: Practice Foundations Transactions (LAW-7657), Practice Foundations: Civil (LAW-7362), or Practice Foundations: Criminal Litigation (LAW-7665). This course will satisfy either the Practice Foundations (PF) requirement or the practice-oriented writing requirement, or the experiential course requirement. Once course cannot satisfy two requirements at the same time.

Professional Responsibility (2 credits) - California Bar Tested (Essay and MPRE)

This course is designed to master the law tested on the MPRE and the California Bar exam on the subject of legal ethics. Students will focus on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, the California Rules of Professional Conduct, and relevant California state statutes. Topics include the ethical rules governing attorneys in every facet of their practice. This course also explores what lawyers must do when confronted with a request from a client that challenges the lawyer's ethics and the conflict between the obligations to whistle-blow and to maintain client confidentiality.

Property (4 credits)

Property law is studied as a social and legal institution to facilitate the acquisition, retention, disposition, and use of personal and real property.  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, common law land use controls (e.g., nuisance and trespass), private land-use restrictions (e.g., easements, covenants, and equitable servitudes), public land-use regulations, and eminent domain. The course may include introductory exposure to trusts, donative transfers, intellectual property, fixtures, mortgages and financing land transactions, and ownership of natural resources (e.g., water, oil, gas, other minerals, wildlife).

Torts I (3 credits) and Torts II (2 credits)

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

The Practice-Oriented Writing Requirement (2-3 credits)

Students may satisfy the practiceoriented 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 two (2) practice oriented writing courses and one (1) experiential course, 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:

Students are required to register for the number of credits designated for their program.

Full-Time Students: 12 – 16 credits
Part-Time Students: 8 – 11.5 credits

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.

Attendance

J.D. and joint degree students are required to attend class meetings in the courses for which they are registered, and to be prepared to participate in the class discussion. Any J.D. or joint degree student who has been absent from more than 20% of class meetings shall not further participate in class, shall not be allowed to sit for the final examination, and shall be given a grade of “FW”. A faculty member may, at his or her option, require a higher level of attendance. A faculty member also may consider lateness as an absence. Absences are counted from the first day of class, regardless of when the student actually registers for the class.

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 credits 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 credits each semester thereafter.

Transferring between Full Time and Part Time Programs: If you plan to switch from full-time to part-time status or vice versa, you must have pre-approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Students should also contact the Graduate Financial Aid Office to see what impact a credit load change might have on their financial aid and any scholarship.

The First Year Curriculum

Full-Time Fall Courses and Credits:

  • Torts I (3)
  • Contracts I (3)
  • Civil Procedure I (3)
  • Criminal Law (3)
  • Legal Analysis Writing and Research I (3)
  • Fall full time total: 15 credits

Full-Time Spring Course and Credits:

  • Torts II (2)
  • Contracts II (3)
  • Civil Procedure II (2)
  • Civil Procedure Practice Lab (1)
  • Property (4)
  • Legal Analysis Writing and Research II (2)
  • Spring full time total: 14 credits

Part-Time Fall Courses and Credits:

  • Torts I (3)
  • Civil Procedure I (3)
  • Legal Analysis Writing and Research I (3)
  • Fall part time total: 9 credits

Part-Time Spring Courses and Credits:

  • Torts II (2)
  • Civil Procedure II (2)
  • Civil Procedure Practice Lab (1)
  • Legal Analysis Writing and Research II (2)
  • Property (4)
  • Spring part time total: 11 credits

Degree Requirements Beyond the Full Time First Year Curriculum

  • Federal Income Tax (This course is a J.D. graduation requirement for students who matriculated at the Law School prior to Fall 2021)
  • 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)
  • Practice Foundations requirment (Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2021 must take Practice Foundations Transactions in their 2L year)
  • Experiential Course Requirement
  • Practice Oriented Writing Requirement
  • Professional Development Graduation Requirement (Students must complete five (5) sessions of Professional Development training in their first year of studies to be eligible for graduation)

Additional Requirements based on First Year Grades and Cumulative GPA

Legal Writing Skills course:
Must take if LAWR I OR LAWR II grade is below 2.0 or if determined necessary by the LAWR 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

*If ranked in the bottom quartile (25%) at the end of the first year, a student must take Remedies with Practice Lab.

Graduation Requirement

Students entering their final year of study ranked in the bottom quartile (25%) of their class must take Selected Topics in American Law in the fall semester and Advanced Selected Topics in the spring semester in order to graduate. These courses are designed to prepare students for the bar exam. As such, it is the faculty's belief that taking 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.