The required curriculum is designed to give law students a firm foundation for success in the practice of law. Success on the bar examination should also flow naturally from diligent study at Elon. It is expected that the required courses will be substantially as indicated below; however, the curriculum, particularly the second and third year requirements, is subject to change as the Dean and faculty evaluate, develop and make enhancements to the academic program.
FIRST-YEAR COURSES (REQUIRED)
Civil Procedure I and II (LAW 610 and 611) – Total of 5 hrs. over Fall and Spring Semesters
A basic procedure course which explores the techniques for attaining judicial enforcement of substantive rights. Topics such as venue, pleadings, joinder of claims and parties, discovery, res judicata, trial and appellate review will be covered. Federal and state jurisdiction will also be examined, including the Constitutional aspects of such jurisdiction. Civil Procedure II is a continuation of Civil Procedure I.
Contracts I and II (LAW 620 and 621) – Total of 5 hrs. over Fall and Spring Semesters
A comprehensive study of the creation, transfer and termination of contract rights and duties. Fundamental common law principles such as capacity to contract, mutual assent, consideration and legality of subject matter will be addressed. Pertinent portions of the Uniform Commercial Code, particularly Article 2 dealing with sales, will be covered. Fundamental principles relating to performance, enforceability, contract defenses, and remedies will be addressed.
Contracts II is continuation of Contacts I.
Criminal Law (LAW 630) – 3 hrs; Spring Semester
A study of substantive criminal law, including an examination of crimes and their elements. specific common law and statutory crimes will be covered. Available defenses will also be explored.
Lawyering, Leadership & Professionalism (LAW 684) – 2 hrs.; Winter Term
This course considers three aspects in the development of competent, leading lawyers: exercising problem-solving lawyering skills, developing a professional identity that guides students’ selected career paths, and exhibiting professionalism as an active member of the bar and officer of the court. Together, these three components coalesce to provide a sound foundation for the acquisition and refinement of legal skills and support development of a competitive legal career. This approach enhances the learning experience for students while reinforcing that excellence in knowing the law and basic exposure to expert application of the law are essential personal priorities and critical outcomes from legal education.
Legal Construction & Analysis (LAW 665) – 1 hr; Fall Semester
This course will help first year law students develop a base-line set of critical skills necessary for success in law school, on the bar exam, and in practice. The course is designed to help develop competency in a number of areas including (1) the foundations of the United States legal structure, (2) the organization and structuring of course related materials, (3) strategies for learning legal analysis, (4) the identification of critical facts in a hypothetical and their effective evaluation, (5) the ability to deconstruct, understand and apply rules of law, (6) the identification of legal issues, (7) strategies for preparing and taking law school and bar exam style examinations, (8) the foundations for understanding and briefing cases and for utilizing them effectively in exam writing, and (9) the ability to create and adhere to an attorney-like timetable. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.
Legal Method & Communication I (LAW 668) – 3 hrs; Fall Semester
This course introduces students to the essential skills of legal analysis and legal research, and to the unique requirements of written and oral communication in the legal profession. Topics include reading legal authorities, understanding the structure of legal rules, rule-based reasoning, case synthesis, factual analysis, and common law and statutory analysis. Students write a number of assignments of increasing complexity on which they receive comprehensive individualized feedback. Students also learn to conduct legal research using both print and electronic research resources, how to develop a research strategy and choose among available research tools, and how to cite legal authorities.
Legal Research (LAW659) Fall Semester
This is the research component of the Legal Method and Communication I class; it is taught by the law librarians.
Legal Method & Communication II (LAW 669) – 2 hrs; Spring Semester
A continuation of Legal Method & Communication I, this course introduces students to advanced analytical and writing skills such as persuasive writing techniques, classical rhetorical devices, types of legal argument, and various forms of legal drafting. Students consider the effect that lawyers’ ethical responsibilities have on their written assignments. Students also practice and deliver at least one oral research report or in-class presentation, and at least one formal oral argument on a motion or appeal. Students receive comprehensive written and/or oral feedback on their oral presentations and on a number of increasingly complex written assignments.
Property I and II (LAW 640 and 641) – Total of 5 hrs. over Fall and Spring Semesters
A study of property rights and interests in personal property and real property. Topics covered include the acquisition of rights in property, possessory and non-possessory interests, estates in land, concurrent ownership, landlord-tenant relations and land-use regulation. Property II is a continuation of Property I.
Torts I and II (LAW 650 and 651) – Total of 5 hrs. over Fall and Spring Semesters
A study of the legal rules which determine whether non-contractual civil liability arises from conduct resulting in harm to others. Topics covered include intentional wrongs and negligence, as well as defenses commonly asserted in tort actions. Torts II is a continuation of Torts I.
UPPER-LEVEL COURSES (REQUIRED)
Business Associations (LAW 710) – 4 hrs.; Must be taken during Second Year
A study of basic corporate law, including formation, management, and dissolution of corporations, and the rights and duties of those involved with corporations. The law related to business organizations such as partnerships and limited liability companies (LLC) will also be covered.
Constitutional Law I and II (LAW 720 and 721) – 2 hrs; 3 hrs.; Must be taken during Second Year
A study of the principles of American constitutional law. The course will examine the concept of judicial review, as well as other specific provisions of the Constitution, including the Due Process Clause and the First Amendment. Constitutional Law II is a continuation of Constitutional Law I.
Evidence (LAW 730) – 4 hrs.; Must be taken during Second Year
The aim of this course is to develop familiarity with the techniques by which evidence of controverted facts is presented in litigation before judicial tribunals. The Federal Rules of Evidence, North Carolina Rules of Evidence, and common law rules will be examined.
Professional Responsibility (LAW 682) – 2 hrs.; Must be taken during Second Year (or during Summer Term before Second Year begins)
A study of the professional obligations of attorneys imposed both by regulation and the noble traditions of the legal profession. The course will utilize hypothetical fact situations and problems likely faced by attorneys to reinforce the model rules and to develop a commitment to ethical decision-making in students.
Public Law and Leadership (LAW 751) – 2 hrs; Winter Term of Second Year
This course combines leadership and law to offer an introduction to leadership theory as it applies to collaborative legal problem solving in the public law context. Students are asked to apply leadership and substantive law theory to an experiential group project concerning a particular public law issue. Students are required to present their research regarding the public law issue and receive feedback and assessment from the instructor on those presentations.