By Caambridge Horton • October 25, 2019•Writers in Residence, Law School, Curriculum and Classroom Dynamics
Law school is an interesting experience, to say the least. While in law school, it feels as though time is moving at a glacial pace, but before you know it, the time has flown by, and you are closer to the finish line than you realized. With this being said, class selection is crucial because there are a plethora of classes to take in only a short amount of time. Three years seems like a long time until you realize that it is not nearly enough time to take all of the classes you are interested in and that are recommended by your university.
All Colleges of Law have required courses that students must take. These are courses that are heavily tested on the bar examination and that set up a foundation for what the law is and how it works. These courses are typically Civil Procedure, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Torts, Property, Criminal Law, Research Methods, and a Legal Writing Course. However, depending on what school you attend, other classes may be required, such as Evidence or Trial Advocacy. These classes are typically somewhat difficult, especially if you have no interest in the subject matter, but it is essential to pay attention and to try your hardest to retain the information taught in these courses.
Bar Classes are courses that are tested on the bar and that most institutions will recommend students to take. These courses are typically Family Law, Sales, Wills Trusts and Estates, Evidence, Securities Interests and Liens, Commercial Paper, and Corporations. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you a general idea of what courses to think about. It is recommended to at least take a few bar courses because the thought process is that you have more time with the information so you will be able to learn and retain it better than just learning it in a bar course. It is up to each student whether or not they want to take a bar course.
Electives are courses that the law school offers but that are not required and are not necessarily bar classes. These courses are typically specialty classes such as Entertainment Law or Education Law. These courses are great when trying to decide what area of law you may be interested in or if you want to hone in on a particular skill, such as writing or research. Though electives are sometimes an afterthought, it is great to take classes that really interest you.
Clinics are a great option if you want to get some practical legal experience while earning credits. Clinics range from landlord-tenant disputes, immigration issues, to health-related problems. Clinics are great to get client and advocacy experience.