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Author Topic: Choosing law schools: Do all schools have the same required classes?  (Read 941 times)

SmilingFish

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You know, undergrad all have the same GE requirement and then differ in upper dips. Are law schools the same thing? Do they have the same requirements for 1L and then different areas and number of electives later?

If the answer is no, what kind of 1L requirement will be the most beneficial for a law student in terms of passing the bar and practice as a lawyer later on?

Thank you! 

Thane Messinger

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Re: Choosing law schools: Do all schools have the same required classes?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 04:56:49 PM »

You know, undergrad all have the same GE requirement and then differ in upper dips. Are law schools the same thing? Do they have the same requirements for 1L and then different areas and number of electives later?

Happy Fish:

Not only are all law schools consistent in their first-year courses (per ABA requirements), but law courses are almost exactly the same, covering the same cases in much the same way, regardless of law school rank, alma mater of the professor, you name it.  Moreover, law professors are themselves almost exactly the same, coming from just a handful of law schools.

There's a book, Law School Undercover, that addresses why this is so.  Well worth reading.

Thane.

cooley3L

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Re: Choosing law schools: Do all schools have the same required classes?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 07:04:13 PM »
They tend to have a lot in common, but not all. Cooley has (I believe) more required courses than any other law school. They are not just 1L, but almost of 2L as well if you did them in a lump sum. Most students tend to spread them out across their semesters, most are still taking some of the more advanced required courses even during their term on campus (before they leave to do their 10 credit externships in their home states).


jack24

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Re: Choosing law schools: Do all schools have the same required classes?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 07:31:55 PM »

You know, undergrad all have the same GE requirement and then differ in upper dips. Are law schools the same thing? Do they have the same requirements for 1L and then different areas and number of electives later?

If the answer is no, what kind of 1L requirement will be the most beneficial for a law student in terms of passing the bar and practice as a lawyer later on?

Thank you!

Bar Prep courses will prepare you for the bar, so long as you have good study habits and a general understanding of how the law works.

Almost every law school requires the following in your first three semesters
Contracts
Property
Evidence
Torts
Civil Procedure
Criminal Law/Procedure
Constitutional Law
Legal Writing

A massive portion of the bar, including all of the multiple choice, will be covered by the courses listed above.
In addition to those courses, most schools require some time of Ethics/Professional Responsibility course, which may or may not properly prepare you for the required MPRE. 
Some schools require Wills and Trusts and Business Organizations/Corporations

Law school is not closely related to the legal field, in my opinion.  However, some people may have more of a need for a particular course, like tax law, family law, wills and trusts, etc. 

I have never come across a law school that does not offer all of the bar exam tested courses.

The new york bar exam, for example, tests on the following subjects EVERY YEAR
Contracts/Sales
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law/Procedure
Evidence
Real Property
Torts.

Then they test on the following, but not every subject is tested every year.

Business Relationships
Conflict of Laws
Constitutional Law of New York
Criminal Procedure
Family Law
Remedies
New York and Federal Civil Jurisdiction and Procedure
Professional Responsibility
Trusts, Wills, and Estates
UCC Articles 2, 3, and 9.






Maintain FL 350

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Re: Choosing law schools: Do all schools have the same required classes?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 12:12:41 PM »
Are law schools the same thing? 

Essentially, yes. That's the entire point of ABA accreditation. Legal education in the U.S. has become standardized to an amazing degree. When a school has that seal of approval, so to speak, it means that it has adopted a predictable, accepted format. Most ABA schools use the same books, teach the same courses, and use socratic method. In fact, most schools even teach their classes in the same order. Even exams are pretty much the same. I once saw an Evidence exam from Harvard and it was nearly identical to the exam I took at small local law school.

I think the same is true for the California accredited schools, too, who seem to have adopted the same system. I can't speak for the handful of other states that have state accredited law schools.

The difference, of course, is in the student body. At Harvard you'll be surrounded by a bunch of future Chemerinskys and Dershowitzs. At a local law school you'll be surrounded by chumps like me.