First Year Curriculum and Course Offerings

First Year Curriculum

Full Time Students

Part Time Students

Summer (optional)
Criminal Law (summer or fall, 4 credits)
Total credits: 0 - 4
Criminal Law (4 credits)
Total credits: 4
Civil Procedure (4 credits)
Contracts (3 credits)
Criminal Law (summer or fall, 4 credits)
Legal Writing I (2 credits)
Torts (2 credits)
Total credits: 11 - 15
Civil Procedure (4 credits)
Contracts (3 credits)
Legal Writing I (2 credits)
Total credits: 9
Contracts (3 credits)
Elective course (3 credits)
Legal Writing I (2 credits)
Property (4 credits)
Torts (3 credits)
Total credits: 15
Contracts (3 credits)
Elective course (optional, 3 credits)
Legal Writing I (2 credits)
Property (4 credits)
Total credits: 9 -12
Torts (5 credits)
Total credits: 5

Total first year credits: 30

Total first year credits: 27 -30

Required First Year Courses

CIVIL PROCEDURE (Fall: CIVL-100, 4 credits)
Due process, personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, and venue. Pleading, dispositive motion practice, discovery, and other critical aspects of practice under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Parties and the dimensions of a dispute.

CONTRACTS (Fall: CONT-100, 3 credits. Spring: CONT-105, 3 credits)
Enforceable agreements, including requirements for the formation of a contract; problems of interpretation; consideration and its equivalents; damages for breach; the statue of frauds; illegality; rights and liabilities of third parties; delegation of contractual duties.

CRIMINAL LAW (Summer or Fall: CRIM-100, 4 credits)
Substantive criminal law and elements of criminal responsibility. Topics include law of homicide and other crimes; determination of guilt; principles of justification, including the insanity defense.

LEGAL WRITING I: RESEARCH, ANALYSIS AND WRITING (Fall: WRIT-100, 2 credits. Spring: WRIT-105, 2 credits)
Intensive, small-group instruction in the basics of legal research, reading, analysis, and writing. To locate and read statutes and cases construct factual and policy arguments, analyze and synthesize cases, and write effective legal memos and client letters.

PROPERTY (Spring: PROP-100, 4 credits)
Law of real and personal property, emphasizing real estate. Creation and transfer of property interest; relationship between landlord and tenant; public and private controls of land use; common law estates and future interests.

TORTS (Fall: TORT-100, 2 credits. Spring: TORT-105, 3 credits) or (Summer: TORT-100, 5 credits)
Nature, historical development, social and economic elements, and consequences of the body of law defining noncontractual civil obligations by which the legal system shifts the economic burden of various injuries. Study of liability for physical harm, defamation, and other relational harm.

Elective Courses

First year elective courses are offered in the spring semester. Full time students are required to take a first year elective course. First year elective courses are optional for part time students.

Spring 2014 First Year Elective Offerings

Intellectual Property: Law, Society and Technology (INTP-150, 3 credits)
International Law (INTL-150, 3 credits)
Lawyering for a Just and Humane World (JURS-150, 3 credits)
Legislation and Regulation (ADMN-150, 3 credits)
The Modern Corporation (BUSN-150, 3 credits)
Professional Responsibility (PROF-150, 3 credits)

Spring 2013 First Year Elective Offerings

Intellectual Property: Law, Society and Technology (INTP-150, 3 credits)
International Law (INTL-150, 3 credits)
Introduction to Criminal Procedure (CRIM-150, 3 credits)
Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory (JURS-150, 3 credits)
Lawyering for a Just and Humane World (JURS-150, 3 credits)
Legislation and Regulation (ADMN-150, 3 credits)
The Modern Corporation (BUSN-150, 3 credits)
Professional Responsibility (PROF-150, 3 credits)

Spring 2012 First Year Elective Offerings
American Legal History (JURS-150, 3 credits)
International Law (INTL-150, 3 credits)
Introduction to Criminal Procedure (CRIM-150, 3 credits)
Introduction to Law and Technology (INTP-150, 3 credits)
Introduction to Public Law and the Administrative State (ADMN-150, 3 credits)
Law and Business: An Introduction to the Political Economy of Modern Business (BUSN-150, 3 credits)
Law and Business: Introduction to Transactional Lawyering (BUSN-150, 3 credits)
Lawyering for a Just and Humane World (PROF-150, 3 credits)
Legislation and Regulation (ADMN-150, 3 credits)

This course is designed as an introduction to some of the important themes, issues, and arguments in the history of American law and legal institutions. The class will divide its time relatively equally between constitutional law, private law, and the history of the legal profession, while paying particular attention to the complicated ways in which law and lawyers both reinforce and challenge prevailing power relationships. The class is designed expressly as a "perspectives" course, providing tools and ways of thinking that will hopefully provide context for and deepen your thinking about your other substantive courses. Each week's discussion will be organized around one or two articles or books that offer provocative takes on or thoughtful explorations of our particular subject. Occasional lectures will supplement those readings and provide needed context. Student will be required to write five short reaction papers (each approximately 2-3 pages) and to complete a take-home examination. The course assumes no prior familiarity with legal history.

Students who enroll in this course will not be eligible to enroll in the upper-division American Legal History course.

This course is a 3 credit first year elective class that will cover selected law and policy problems in intellectual property (IP). The objectives of the course are to: (1) enhance students' understanding and awareness of economic, political and social contexts surrounding law and technology; (2) cover selected areas of IP, including copyright, patent, trademark, trade secrets, unfair competition and possibly others; (3) facilitate a greater understanding of lawyering strategies, including review and application of civil procedure concepts learned in the fall semester. Prerequisites: None. Students are encouraged to enroll even if they do not have a science or technical background and/or do not intend to practice IP law. IP is about the regulation of knowledge generally, and much of it is devoted to the arts and creative production. The first week of class will involve an introduction to basic IP concepts and background.

This course will introduce the evolution, basic principles, rules and policies of modern international law. Its purpose an exhaustive coverage of the subject, but rather to expose 1L students interested in international law and globalization to important legal concepts, areas of law, and international developments that can be explored further in more specialized courses.

We will cover a range of topics including the sources and efficacy of international law; the application of international law in domestic courts; international adjudication; extraterritorial application of domestic law; and international norms in a variety of areas, including human rights, international trade, environmental degradation, and the use of force. These topics will be illustrated through case-studies of many current global disputes.

This course is designed for those interested in the practice of international law, international affairs, globalization, and the many ways international law impacts our lives and the practice of domestic law. The course is not a prerequisite for most international law courses, except that it would satisfy the requirements for enrolling in the International Human Rights Clinic and the seminar on Advanced Topics in International Law. Students who enroll in this course will not be eligible to enroll in the upper-division Public International Law course (INTL-300).

This course is designed as a precursor or prequel to the two upper division courses, Criminal Procedure - Investigative and Advanced Criminal Procedure. While the 1L elective is not a prerequisite to those courses, it will provide a broad and textured foundation for additional coursework in the area. The class will consider substantive and procedural approaches to regulation of the criminal justice system in its larger context, paying equal attention to institutional, doctrinal, conceptual, and practical factors that collaborate to produce our system of law enforcement.

The class will read a combination of judicial, scholarly, and interdisciplinary materials that will facilitate an in-class conversation using a variety of instructional modes. Students will be provided with several opportunities for feedback on written and oral exercises, and should find compelling and engaging topical discussion regardless of their eventual career path.

This course is designed to introduce first year students to the rich body of feminist legal theory that has been developed over the last forty years. Feminist legal theory is not monolithic and we will examine various feminist perspectives on the law. Each approach provides a lens through which we can critically view the law. Readings will range from some of the foundational works in feminist legal theory to some of the newer additions to the literature. We will apply the insights and methods of these works to critically examine opinions and issues studied in other law school classes.

This course explores the interplay between technology and the law that governs technology. This course uses current issues--ranging from gene patenting to the use of trademark to squelch dissent and discussion--to provide students with familiarity with intellectual property and internet law, and to explore how law can serve to solve problems between disparate stakeholders. Intended for a general purpose audience; no prior experience in law or in science/engineering is assumed.

Unlike the traditional first-year courses, which focus on the common law and disputes between private parties, this course examines public law, i.e., legislation and regulation. The course introduces the most important doctrines and theories that serve as the foundations for American public law, including theories of representative government, the roles and relationships between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, the rise of the administrative state, the requirements of legislative and administrative process, the theories and methods of statutory interpretation, and judicial review of legislation and regulation. This overview of the roles and functions of administrative agencies in government, and of the relationship between these agencies and other branches of government will prepare students for a wide range of upper-division courses (including, but not limited to, Administrative Law) and for law practice, much of which occurs in the public law arena. The course will illustrate some of its basic concepts by drawing briefly on Washington State administrative law.

This course is centered on political economy, i.e., the study of the role of business operations and economic processes in the shaping of society, history and the law. We will look at this subject in the context of law and regulation, surveying a range of issues within the field, including business decision-making, the concept of profit and general economic growth, work, poverty, corruption, foreign aid, trade, and government fiscal and monetary policy.

In addition to cases and statutes, we will examine private and public decision-making policies by both large and small business firms. We will supplement traditional legal analysis with critical inquiry into the nature of law, politics and the links between policy preferences and policy outcomes. We will also consider problems of collective action and strategic behavior. We will try to make sense of society and history through the context of political, cultural, and environmental processes, to determine the impact on aspects of national and international economy and law.

Students will be evaluated through two or three short essays (2 to 3 pages), class participation and discussion and, a final, original research paper on a topic of their choosing (approximately 15 to 20 pages in length). Throughout the semester, students will be encouraged to keep a journal of ideas and topics that they find interesting which could serve as the foundation of their paper.

This course will introduce students to the range of career opportunities for transactional lawyers and the skill-set they will need to acquire in law school and beyond to represent business clients in transactions that encompass corporate finance and formation, real estate, sports law, employment law, and tax. Students will probe key Washington business sectors while hearing from local lawyers who address their transactional needs. Our focus on the skills toolkit of transactional lawyers will include legal ethics for business lawyers, exercises in contract negotiation and drafting, and malpractice avoidance. Doctrinal emphasis will include readings on business regulation and the social responsibility of business. Students will be graded on various papers and projects reflecting this mix of doctrine and practical skills training.

Seattle University School of Law is committed to educating outstanding lawyers who are leaders for a just and humane world. Students will explore the meaning of this commitment and how it relates to their role as legal professionals, irrespective of their career paths, while developing concrete lawyering skills.

Specifically, the course will introduce students to foundational lawyering skills such as interviewing and fact development, creative problem-solving, leadership capacities of justice work, reflection, strategic and systems thinking, policy advocacy, multi-forum lawyering, community lawyering, and cross-difference interaction and understanding.

This process of skill development will be framed against the background of the dramatic changes currently re-shaping the legal profession and the development of modern social justice activism.
Through in-class exercises, critical readings, and group and individual assignments, students will deepen their understanding of the professional values and behaviors they need to serve their clients, fulfill their public responsibilities, and find deep meaning in their work.

This course provides an overview of the (sometimes strained) relationship between the three branches of government in the context of lawmaking. It begins with an overview of the legislative process, and then turns to the role of the judiciary and administrative agencies in interpreting and applying statutes. In other words, the course covers three main topics: legislation; administrative law; and statutory interpretation. It also includes practical skills components, including drafting and simulation exercises.

This overview of the roles and functions of legislatures and administrative agencies will prepare students for a wide range of upper-division courses based primarily on statutes and regulations and for legal practice, much of which today occurs in the public law arena. However, the class is not designed to replace Administrative Law, and students who are considering an administrative practice should also take Administrative Law.

Grading: 50% final exam; 50% class preparation and participation (explained below)
Materials: O'Kelley and Thompson, Corporations and Other Business Associations (Aspen 6th ed.) Wall Street Journal (Student Subscription)

Attendance: Required; maximum of three unexcused absences (explained below)
For the past century, the modern corporation has been the dominant economic institution in American society and has been a central element in American global hegemony. This course explores the nature of the modern corporation. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding of the role law plays in the creation, evolution and governance of complex business organizations, and of the interplay between corporate insiders (directors and officers) and corporate outsiders (the investing public). Students will be challenged to view the modern corporation as not only a legal construct, but also as a social and economic institution, and to understand the historical context in which it has evolved.

Class preparation is an essential component of this course. Each student will be required to prepare a written "ticket" prior to each class demonstrating his or her preparation for and engagement with the class materials. Admission to class is predicated on submission of a satisfactory written ticket at the outset of class. A satisfactory ticket will describe a student's understanding of the assigned material and its relationship to prior classes, and will identify questions presented for discussion. A satisfactory ticket must also include evidence of ongoing engagement with the Wall Street Journal as it relates to the course materials and discussion. Students are allowed 3 unexcused absences. Attending class without prior submission of a satisfactory ticket will be treated as an unexcused absence.

50 % of the final grade is based on class preparation and participation; each student's "tickets" will constitute the substantial basis for that assessment. 50% of the final grade will be based on an in-class, closed book, three hour, essay exam.

Legal ethics, including lawyer-client relations, lawyer-public relations, and lawyer's responsibility to the legal profession and the courts. Detailed coverage of the ABA Code of Professional Responsibility, cases and materials on professional responsibility and important Washington law. This course fulfills the professional responsibility graduation requirment. Students who enroll in this course will not be eligible to enroll in the upper-levelversion of Professional Responsibility (PROF-200).

Student studying in the Law Library