Choosing upper division courses and designing a curriculum that suits your interests is exciting, and we want to help you make those important decisions. Along with your faculty advisors, representatives from other departments such as the Center for Professional Development, Access to Justice Institute, or Academic Excellence and Bar Success, can provide valuable advice to help you reach your goals.

First-year faculty advisors

Each April, we hold registration information sessions for 1Ls who will be registering for upper division courses for the first time, followed by an Academic Advising Day. Faculty members that are assigned as 1L Advisors in the fall meet with their 1L advisees on a designated day to discuss curriculum choices for the next academic year. Upper-level students meet with the advisors assigned to them as 1L’s or to other professors to which they have been connected on a by-appointment basis.

Course selection guidance

We recommend that students planning their upper division curriculum keep the following in mind:

All students are required to take the following upper division courses: Constitutional Law and Legal Writing II in the second year, Professional Responsibility and Evidence. In addition, students must complete the Experiential Learning Requirement.

In many areas, course sequencing is important, so students should look carefully at course descriptions and prerequisites early in their law school careers, and particularly before registering. For example, students interested in business law should consider taking Business Entities in the second year, students interesting in pursuing tax law should take Individual Income Tax in their second year, and students interested in a litigation practice should try to take Evidence in their second year. Students who wish to take a clinic, externship, or other live-client experience should make sure that they have the necessary prerequisites in place. In general, the larger survey courses such as administrative law, business entities, constitutional law, evidence, individual income tax, intellectual property, professional responsibility, and trusts and estates are core/foundational courses that frequently operate as prerequisites for more specialized upper division electives. Many of them are tested on the bar exam.

Not every course is offered every semester or even every year. Consult the course schedules for courses offered in the upcoming academic year.

All students should take at least some of the courses that are tested on the Uniform Bar Exam (or the bar exam of the state in which you intend to seek your license). Contact the Bar Success Program for information on topics that are tested on the various bar exams.


Brooke D. Coleman
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Fredric C. Tausend Professor of Law
Sullivan Hall 210I