First-year JD curriculum and course offerings

Full-time students

Part-time students (non-Flex JD)


Criminal Law (Option of Summer or Fall, 4 credits) 
Total credits: 0 - 4

Criminal Law (4 credits) 
Total credits: 4

  • Contracts (2 credits)  
  • Criminal Law (Option of Summer or Fall, 4 credits)
  • Legal Writing I (2.5 credits)
  • Property/Civil Procedure (5 credits) 
  • Torts (2 credits)
    Total credits: 11.5-15.5
  • Contracts (2 credits)
  • Legal Writing I (2.5 credits) 
  • Property (5 credits)
    Total credits: 9.5 
  • Contracts (3 credits)
  • Legal Writing I (3.5 credits)
  • Property/Civil Procedure (5 credits)
  • Torts (3 credits)
    Total credits: 14.5
  • Contracts (3 credits)
  • Legal Writing I (3.5 credits)
  • Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
    Total credits: 9.5 
Total first-year credits



Required first-year courses

Civil Procedure (Fall: CIVL-100, 5 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, 2 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, 2.5 credits. Spring: WRIT-105, 3.5 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, 5 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.

Professional Responsibility (Spring: PROF-200, 3 credits) *Part-time program only.

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.

Torts (Fall: TORT-100, 2 credits. Spring: TORT-105, 3 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.

Prior to Fall 2016

During the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years students took one elective class during the spring of their first year. During 2014-15 and 2015-16 Introduction to Practice replaced the elective course.

Information on the first year curriculum prior to Fall 2012 can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.


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