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What Are the Different Law Course Requirements?

Marlene Garcia
Marlene Garcia

Law course requirements start with basic classes on civil and criminal law in the first year of law school before branching out into more specific courses to prepare students for work in the profession. First-year law students learn about constitutional law, contract law, and labor law by studying cases and their outcomes. They progress to law course requirements on legal research, the appellate process, and writing briefs in subsequent years of law school. A research project and internship are typically law course requirements for graduation.

Civil law courses usually include classes on resolving disputes over personal property. Students learn about arbitration and mediation techniques to settle civil claims. Collective bargaining might be included in these courses, along with information on basics of intellectual property disputes. These prerequisite law course requirements might also include invasion of privacy, defining negligence, and assessing liability.

First-year law students take courses in constitutional law.
First-year law students take courses in constitutional law.

Constitutional law generally covers civil rights cases and decisions rendered by the highest courts in the region. The history of constitutional law and how politics impacted changes over time might be studied as law course requirements. The concept of due process and how constitutional law protects citizens from discrimination is usually included in these lessons. These courses might also focus on freedoms of religion, the press, and speech.

Contract law also falls under civil law, and typically includes study of corporate law and breach of contract. These laws regulate business and commerce, and typically include property law, land use, and landlord/tenant disputes. Statutes covering trusts and estates usually come under these law course requirements.

Under criminal law, students learn to evaluate evidence and gauge its admissibility in court. They learn about interviewing techniques and taking depositions from witnesses. These law course requirements typically include organizing a case and information on writing legal briefs. At this stage of law school, legal research typically makes up a large part of the curriculum. Some universities include oral and written arguments in mock trials as part of the learning environment.

To graduate from law school, students usually conduct a research project as a law school requirement and delve into a specific topic. A written summary must be supported by statutes cited in the document. These projects might be supervised by a law school professor. Graduation requirements usually include courses on legal ethics, including standards on confidentiality, obligation to clients, and conflict of interest.

Before acceptance to some law schools, a student must pass an admission exam and provide transcripts of undergraduate courses. An interview with university staff might also be necessary. Students preparing for law school typically complete courses in political science, sociology, philosophy, and business.

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    • First-year law students take courses in constitutional law.
      By: 22 North Gallery
      First-year law students take courses in constitutional law.