First Year Curriculum

All first-year students begin the study of law in the Fall semester.

First Year Foundation Curriculum (Full-Time)

Fall Semester

Course Credit Hour
Basic Legal Skills I 3
Contracts I 3
Torts I 2
Civil Procedure 4
Criminal Law 3

Spring Semester

Course Credit Hour
Basic Legal Skills II 2
Contracts II 2
Torts II 3
Property 4
Constitutional Law 4

Basic Legal Skills I & II: Practical training in use of a law library and legal materials, preparation of legal memoranda, brief-writing, oral advocacy in a moot court program, and other supervised instruction in basic skills.

Contracts I & II: Introduction to basic contract liability, including study of offer and acceptance, consideration, assignments, beneficiaries, joint and several obligations, performance and breach, statute of frauds, illegality, and discharge. This course will focus on common law contract principles as well as statutory law under Article II of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Torts I & II: Study of civil wrongs, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, proximate cause, deceit, libel and slander, and trade and labor disputes.

Criminal Law: Introduction to the substantive law of crimes; includes offenses against the person, habitation and occupancy, and property, and other offenses; also questions of responsibility, defenses, and imputability.

Property: Foundational study of the legal principles governing interests and rights in property, including the right to exclude, adverse possession, leaseholds, estates in land (present, concurrent, future), servitudes, nuisance, land use controls, takings transfer or real property, and mortgages. Some foundational principles could be introduced through a study of other property topics, such as natural resources, housing, or intellectual property.

Civil Procedure: Introduction to the law of procedure, including pleading, discovery, motion practice, trials, post-trial and appellate proceedings, jurisdiction, venue, process, multiparty litigation, former adjudication, the law-equity distinction, and choices between state and federal law.

Constitutional Law: Study of the structure of governmental powers in the United States, as defined in its constitution as interpreted by its courts, including the distribution of powers between state and federal governments and, within the federal government, among its legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

Part Time Program

The University of Louisville offers a part time program for candidates who find it necessary to study law on a part time basis. While the program offers a slightly reduced course load, it requires a substantial commitment. Courses are offered during the day with times ranging from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Candidates for the part time program must have flexible schedules, especially candidates who plan to work full time. Many programs that are designed for students’ academic and professional success take place outside of scheduled classroom time. For example, candidates will want to set aside time for the Structured Study Group program, study groups, professional development workshops, student life workshops, etc. In addition, faculty members may schedule make-up class sessions at a time other than the regular meeting time.

Students may switch from the part time program to the full time program after completing their first semester of study.

Program facts:

  • Courses per semester: Three to four, depending on your schedule
  • Course load: 15 to 22 hours for the first year, depending on your schedule
  • Program length: Four or five years
  • Summer courses: Summer courses are available on a limited basis. Generally, part time students take 1 or 2 summer courses after the first year.

Example - First Year, First Semester Part-Time Schedule:1

Basic Legal Skills (required course) – 3 credit hours
Contracts I (recommended course) – 3 credit hours
Torts I (recommended course) – 2 credit hours
Criminal Law (optional course) – 3 credit hours

Total hours: 8-11 hours

Example – First Year, Second Semester Part-Time Schedule:

Basic Legal Skills (required course) – 2 credit hours
Contracts II (recommended course) – 2 credit hours
Torts II (recommended course) – 3 credit hours
Constitutional Law (optional course) – 4 credit hours

Property (optional course) - 4 credit hours 

Total hours: 7-11 hours

Generally, it is recommended that law students study three hours outside of class for every one hour of class time. Part-time students enrolled in four courses should expect to study at least 30 hours per week.

Fall 2014 Schedule 9-15-14.pdf265.29 KB
Spring 2015 Course Schedule 10-6-14.pdf280.98 KB