What Classes You Will Take Your 1L Year

Typically during your 1L year you will have to take core classes that you do not get to choose. These core classes teach you the basics of law, while also teaching you the concepts that all lawyers need to know. You will take 6 core classes and also legal writing and research (most likely both semesters). Here is a glimpse into the classes you will take your 1L year:

Civil Procedure
Civil procedure is known for being a pretty difficult class. It includes an introduction to and analysis of the concepts and doctrines that govern the procedure followed in civil litigation. Jurisdiction, choice of law, pre-trial, trial, and appellate procedures are discussed. There is typically an emphasis on federal trial courts, but you will also likely have information regarding the state you take law school in. Despite its difficulty, this is the class I found most useful for my job.

This class is useful for almost any career and just your everyday life. It was one of the easier classes that I took as much of what you will learn is common knowledge and straight forward. It includes an analysis of the formation, transfer, and termination of contract rights and duties, and the legal and equitable remedies available upon breach of the contract. 

Criminal Law
Let me start out by saying that I thought that this class would be one of my favorites. It was really nothing like I expected and was certainly not how they depict it on TV. This course introduces the elements of crime by teaching principles that apply to many crimes. These principles include the nature of criminal acts and of criminal fault, as well as defenses such as self-protection. Homicide and other specific crimes may also be discussed, as may theories of punishment. You will typically learn in depth the differences between the model penal code and common law statutes.

Constitutional Law
Again, this class was really not what I had expected and ended up being the most difficult class that I took in law school. Subjects in this course include the role of the supreme court, federalism, and separation of powers. Particular attention is paid to judicial power and judicial review, national legislative power including commerce power, commerce clause limitations upon states power to regulate, and presidential power and authority in both international and domestic affairs. 

Even though I ended up going in to personal injury law (which has nothing to do with property), this was one of my favorite courses. Property includes the study of interests in land and personal property emphasizing the modern law of donative transfers, estates, future interests, co-tenancy, conveyancing, and land title assurance. There was also coverage of landlord and tenant, and public and private control of land. 

Torts is a basic course in the substantive law governing compensation for injuries to property and to the person. Intentional wrongs, negligence, malpractice, products-liability, strict liability, invasions of personal integrity and emotional well-being, injury to tangible and intangible rights, liability insurance and alternatives, and damages will likely be covered. Other risk-bearing alternatives are also considered and contrasted with the traditional common law theories. 

Legal Writing
This is one of the only classes in which you do not need to buy a textbook and as long as you follow directions, you will likely get an A. Legal writing allows students to read and analyze legal authority and learn how to apply these authorities to particular fact situations. Through different legal memoranda and writing assignments, students use analytical and writing skills to develop strong works of authorship. In the second portion of legal writing, the course usually builds on the basic writing and analysis, and research skills students learned first semester and adds in elements of persuasive writing skills. Students also learn how to present an oral argument in court. This  is a great class to get personalized instructor feedback and work on public speaking skills. Classes are typically smaller and you will get more individualized attention.