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Courses

As a first year student at Valparaiso Law, you are required to take core courses during both the fall and spring semesters — courses that encompass key foundational legal concepts.

While there are additional required foundational courses during your second and third years, you will have the opportunity as a 2L and a 3L to integrate electives into your personalized schedule and tailor your legal education to your interests.

Keep in mind that Valparaiso Law students are encouraged to supplement traditional classroom instruction with practical education through externships, internships and clinic opportunities.

THE FIRST YEAR

CORE SUBSTANCE & SKILLS

First Year Curriculum – Four Seven-Week Sessions

Session

Praxis

Doctrinal/Skills

1

A contextual introduction to being a lawyer (2) Contracts I (2) Civil Procedure I (2) Foundations of Legal Analysis (2) Research I (1)

2

Contracts II (2) Criminal Law I (2) Torts I (2)

3

Legal Writing I (2) Property I (2) Criminal Law II (2) Torts II (2) Research II (1)

4

Property II (2) Civil Procedure II (2) Damages & Equities (2)


THE SECOND YEAR

Required 2L Courses – Required Graduation Credits – Baby Bar

  1. The 2L curriculum has 25 required credits. All credits beyond the 25 are elective. Assuming a standard 30-credit academic year, this allows for 5 elective credits. The required 2L (i.e., must be taken after the first year and before the third year, summers included) courses are:
    Constitutional Law I & II – 4 credits
    Evidence – 3 credits
    Legal Profession – 2 credits
    Trust & Estates – 3 credits
    Administrative Law – 2 credits
    Business Associations – 3 credits
    Legal Research II Fall – 1 credit
    Legal Writing Fall – 2 credits
    Skills –  5 credits
    __________________________
    Total credits required  25
  2. Additional credits required for graduation (i.e., must be taken after the first year and before the end of the final semester, summers included). Students must take no less than 10 credits from the following list of courses:
    U.C.C.
    Tax
    Family Law
    Criminal Procedure
    Debtor/Creditor
    Employment Law
  3. At the end of the second year, a comprehensive exam in the format of a bar exam (a “baby bar”) should be given to assess the students’ progress on curricular learning objectives.

THE THIRD YEAR

The third year is totally elective in nature (with the exception of any unfulfilled graduation requirements outlined in the second year, above and a requirement that all third year students must take a writing/research experience). The feature of the third year is the offering of practicums – coordinated, intensive, and immersive offerings.

PART-TIME CURRICULUM

Part-Time First-Year Curriculum
2014 Fall Semester (Two seven-week sessions, total 9 credits)

100/101 Contracts (full semester) Cr. 4
131 Legal Research I (full semester) Cr. 1
135 Foundations (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
144/145 Praxis I & II (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
315S1 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

2015 Spring Semester (Two seven-week sessions, total 7 credits)

130 Legal Writing I (full semester) Cr. 2
160/161 Property (full semester) Cr. 4
181 Legal Research II (full semester) Cr. 1
315S2 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

2015 Fall Semester (Two seven-week sessions, total 7 credits)

110 Criminal Law I (second 7 wks.) Cr. 2
120 Civil Procedure I (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
170 Torts I (second 7 wks.) Cr. 2
231 Legal Research III (full semester) Cr. 1
315S3 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

2016 Spring Semester (Two seven-week sessions, total 8 credits)

111 Criminal Law II (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
121 Civil Procedure II (second 7 wks.) Cr. 2
171 Torts II (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
190 Damages & Equities (second 7 wks.) Cr. 2
315S4 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

Part-time students complete the 2L required courses following completion of the 1L required courses and before accumulating 60 completed credit hours.