2011-12 Schedule: Tuesdays & Thursdays; Conflicting Courses
I have received several student inquiries about why we don't have classes scheduled 12:15 to 2:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and why some core and required classes are scheduled at the same time.
The open time slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:15 to 2:15 are there for student organization meetings, mandatory professionalism and bar-admission programs, make-up classes, informational sessions (e.g., 1L registration/advising, moot court, journals, dual degree programs), Partners in Professionalism programming, career services programs, Diversity Forums, guest speakers, major events, faculty meetings, and the like. If these times weren't set aside without classes, it would be impossible to have all of these important and/or necessary programs without conflicting with students' and professors' obligations to be in class. Already we are finding it difficulty to schedule major events that don't conflict with one another, even with 2 open slots. And if we were to try to schedule a set of 1:00 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday classes, the period of 12:15 to 11:50 is too short. Most law schools have open no-class time periods in their schedules for the same reasons.
Likewise, it is impossible to devise a schedule in which some required or core course sections aren't at the same time as others. However, there are multiple sections of nearly all required or core courses. Over the entire 2011-12 year, there are 4 sections of Basic Income Tax, 3 sections of Business Organizations, 3 sections of Decedents Estates, 3 sections of Evidence, 3 sections of Crim Pro I, 2 sections of Con Law I (and also 2 sections of Con Law II), 2 sections of Professional Responsibility, 2 sections of Secured Transactions, 2 sections of Crim Pro II, 2 sections of Conflict of Law, 2 sections of Estate & Gift Tax, 2 sections of Negotiable Instruments, and 1 section of Adminstrative Law. While the precise numbers of sections offered may not be exactly the same from year to year, you should have a number of different options to take required and core courses over a 2-year period in your 2L and 3L years. Likewise, there are a lot of different skills, perspective, and writing courses in the schedule, allowing flexibility in how you choose to meet those graduation requirements.
While most of you already know that selecting the courses you will take necessarily involves choices and trade-offs among multiple goals, the point bears repeating as you consider next year's schedule. No law student in the U.S. is able to put together his or her "dream schedule"; everyone must make scheduling choices, because no schedule can be devised that meets all of the individual goals of a large, diverse set of students. If you would like to talk over your options with me, Dean Bean, or Ms. Ballard, please make an appointment. We would be glad to help you to think through your schedule options.