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Required Curriculum

The Michigan State Law curriculum embodies a 21st-century approach to legal education, with expanded opportunities for practical skill development. The required curriculum includes 32 credits, with 29 taken during the first year of enrollment. The 1L curriculum includes:

Fall Semester (15 credits total)
Civil Procedure I (4 credits)
Contracts (4 credits)
Foundations of Law (0 credits)
Lawyers & Ethics (1 credit, 1/2 semester)
Research, Writing, and Analysis (2 credits)
Torts I (4 credits)

Spring Semester (14 credits total)
Advocacy (2 credits)
Constitutional Law I (2 credits)
Contract Negotiation (1 credit)
Criminal Law (3 credits)
Property (4 credits)
Regulatory State (2 credits)

Students begin their legal education at MSU Law during Immersion Week, a mandatory component of the 1L program. Students take their first required 1L course, Foundations of Law, during the week. Lawyers & Ethics recently was added to the first-year curriculum to ease the transition to law school by allowing 1Ls to experience their first exam and learn useful test preparation strategies midway through the semester. To complement students’ emerging knowledge of the substantive law, all first-year schedules include Research, Writing, and Analysis and Advocacy—intensive courses that develop some of the most critical skill areas for beginning lawyers.

Upper-level course requirements include successful completion of Professional Responsibility (3 credits); an upper-level writing requirement (ULWR), which ensures that every Law College graduate has experience researching, analyzing, and writing about legal issues on an in-depth level; and at least one professional skills course in trial and appellate advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, counseling, interviewing, negotiating, problem solving, factual investigation, organization and management of legal work, or drafting.


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