» 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. 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.

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)

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 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)

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.

Experiential Course (2-3 credits)

Students entering in fall 2016 or thereafter 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.

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) Law-7657 (2L students only) JD Students

This course will introduce students to transactional law practice by exploring the role of lawyers in executing business-related transactions. Students will acquire a foundation for practice by participating 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. This course is open to 2L students, and part time 3L students who did not take this course during their second year of study. 2L students must take this course in the designated semester as assigned.

Professional Responsibility (2 credits)

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 (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.

Experiential Requirement (2-3 credits)

Students entering prior to fall 2016 are required to fulfill this requirement by taking any one of the following experiential courses:

  • Advanced Legal Research (2 credits)
  • Appellate Practice/Procedure (2 credits)
  • Client Interviewing and Counseling (3 credits)
  • Commercial Leasing (2 credits)
  • Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic (1-3 credits)
  • Elder Law: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • Environmental Law Practice (2 credits)
  • Externship (up to 8-10 credits)
  • Federal Tax Procedure & Administration with mandatory clinic option (4 credits)
  • Legal Drafting (2 credits)
  • Mediation (3 credits)
  • Negotiations (3 credits)
  • Tax Research (3 credits)
  • Trial Practice (3 credits)
  • U.S. Tax Court Clinic (3 credits)

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

Writing Requirements

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

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 two (2) practice oriented writing courses and one (1) experiential course, both of which are defined in the Student Handbook (§

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)


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 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: 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 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 (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 for students entering prior to fall 2016; an experiential course for students entering in fall 2016 and thereafter
  • Students who matriculated in Fall 2013 and thereafter must satisfactorily complete two Practice-Oriented writings, both of which are defined in the Student Handbook (§ 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.