A different approach to your first year
In addition to the usual 1L courses—Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, and Property—you'll enroll in a year-long course called The Legal Profession. In the fall of your 1L year, the one-credit Legal Profession I class will introduce you to the profession through weekly classes that alternate between alumni panels and classroom instruction. The alumni panels introduce first-year students to various practice areas, including private practice, government lawyering, public interest careers, and in-house counsel positions. The panelists introduce students to their professional lives, trace the paths that led them there, and advise students on how best to take advantage of their time in law school. On alternate weeks, classroom instruction imparts the core professional skills law students need to find their way into a career in law: from legal résumés and correspondence to interviewing techniques. By the time first-year students reach the end of the semester and are applying to their 1L summer positions, they have been given the concrete tools to succeed in that job application process.
Students may then choose from among three different approaches to the spring semester’s three-credit Legal Profession II course: one section places more weight on the business side of law; the second section keeps an eye on the international corollaries to U.S. practice; and the third section approaches the material with a heavier emphasis on government and public-interest practice. In all three sections, the law of lawyering is the spine of the course, and students focus on the required ethics, necessary competencies, and inevitable economic dimensions of the legal profession in a variety of practice settings. Before students enter their first summer’s legal position, they will have wrestled with realistic legal problems and been asked to apply the rules of professional responsibility to assess the economic and workplace pressures, as well as the organizational incentives, that affect lawyers.
This full-year course, embedded in the 1L curriculum, allows students to take ownership of their path into their legal career in a way that would be difficult, if not impossible, if this career exploration were left to their second and third years.