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.



First Year Curriculum – Four Seven-Week Sessions



Doctrinal/Experiental Learning




Legal Communications (1)

Contracts I (2.5) Criminal Law I (2) Foundations of Legal Analysis (2) Research I (1)


Contracts II (2.5) Criminal Law II (2) Torts I (2)


Legal Writing I (2)

Legal Methods (1)*

Property I (2.5) Civil Procedure I (2.5) Torts II (2)

Research II (1)

Intro to Exp Learning (1)


Property II (2.5) Civil Procedure II (2.5)

 *MANDATORY for all 1Ls that are in the bottom half of the class at the end of their first semester


Required 2L Courses – Required Graduation Credits – Baby Bar

  1. The 2L curriculum has 26 required credits. All credits beyond the 26 are elective. Assuming a standard 30-credit academic year, this allows for 4 elective credits. The required 2L (i.e., must be taken after the first year and before the third year, summers included) courses are:

    Business Associations – 3 credits
    Constitutional Law I & II – 4 credits
    Evidence – 3 credits
    Legal Profession – 2 credits
    Trust & Estates – 3 credits
    Legal Research III – 1 credit
    Legal Writing II – 2 credits (Two 1-credit seven week courses)
    Advanced Legal Analysis – 2 credits (This course is required of all 2L students whose CGPA is in the bottom half of the class at the end of the 1L year and before transfers.)
    Experiential Learning –  6 credits from menu
    Total credits required  26

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 9 credits from the following list of courses:

Administrative Law
Con Law III: Separation of Powers
Indiana Constitutional Law
Federal Income Tax
Family Law
Criminal Procedure
Conflicts of 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 is primarily elective in nature; however, 3L students must complete
a 3L writing/research experience and two semesters of Bar Exam Substance and Strategies (BESS), an intensive bar prep. course. Students in the top 25% of their class can petition for a course waiver of BESS.

The feature of the third year is the offering of practicums – coordinated, intensive, and immersive offerings.


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

100/101 Contracts I & II (full semester) Cr. 5
131 Legal Research I (full semester) Cr. 1
135 Foundations (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
145 Legal Communications (second 7 wks.) Cr. 1
315S1 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

Spring Semester (Two seven-week sessions, total 10 credits)

130 Legal Writing I (full semester) Cr. 2
160/161 Property I & II (full semester) Cr. 5
181 Legal Research II (full semester) Cr. 1
182 Legal Methods (full semester) Cr. 1 (Required if in bottom half of class at end of first semester)
191 Intro to Experiential Learning (full semester) Cr. 1
315S2 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

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

110/111 Criminal Law I & II (full semester) Cr. 4
170 Torts I (second 7 wks.) Cr. 2
231 Legal Research III (full semester) Cr. 1
315S3 Professionalism Education Requirement Cr. 0

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

120/121 Civil Procedure I & II (full semester) Cr. 5
171 Torts II (first 7 wks.) Cr. 2
191 Intro to Experiential Learning (full semester) Cr. 1
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.