Curriculum

Overview

Students at UCLA School of Law have access to a dynamic and innovative law school education. From the first day of orientation, students are exposed to the foundations of legal reasoning and begin to develop their professional identities and intellectual engagement with the law. Our wide array of upper-division classes, clinics and specializations is recognized as some of the finest professional training for law students anywhere. Building on the intellectually rich core of our curriculum, our nationally recognized centers and programs, along with a wide range of interdisciplinary and co-curricular offerings, create valuable opportunities for students to enhance their learning and prepare for their careers.

First-Year Curriculum

Students begin their time at UCLA Law with a pioneering week-long orientation program that immerses them in the fundamentals of the law school learning process. This experience eases the transition to law school and primes students to begin thinking of themselves as attorneys and advocates. From there, students embark on a formative first year that promotes optimal learning with an extensive course on Lawyering Skills in addition to the traditional courses on common law and other foundational subjects. 

Our distinctive yearlong Lawyering Skills course provides students with the opportunity to explore the relationship between legal analysis and lawyering tasks, such as effective legal writing, oral advocacy and legal research. The Lawyering Skills course is taught alongside courses that historically have laid the foundation for law of all kinds: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property and Torts.  Between these fundamental doctrinal courses and the Lawyering Skills curriculum, our first-year students are ready at the end of May to tackle their first legal jobs, and to think and communicate like lawyers. To foster a sense of community and an environment of mutual support, the lawyering skills course and one of the core doctrinal courses are taught in small sections. 

Advanced Curriculum

The second and third years at UCLA Law offer a comprehensive selection of upper-division classes, clinics and specializations that are recognized as some of the most thought-provoking and rigorous experiences for law students anywhere.  Our wide-ranging advanced curriculum enables students to build upon the achievements of the first year, while developing and refining their individual interests and professional goals. Students complete a mandatory course in Professional Responsibility and an upper-division writing requirement; select from our extensive advanced and specialized course offerings; and have the option to complete a culminating clinical capstone experience.

Our advanced curriculum allows students to broaden their foundational knowledge with coursework in such areas as Constitutional Law (freedom of speech, press and religion, or the rights of the accused in the criminal process); courses that examine the legal framework in which society’s economic life takes place (Business Associations, Federal Taxation, Labor Law); and courses focusing on basic elements of the judicial process (Evidence, Remedies). In addition, students are encouraged to delve deeply into a field by pursuing one of our five specializations; to broaden their expertise with interdisciplinary coursework; and to hone their skills in a large selection of superb clinical and experiential courses.