Required courses for students entering in 2015-16 academic year

Elon Law students in NC Court of AppealsThe 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 is subject to change as the Dean and faculty evaluate, develop and make enhancements to the academic program.

FIRST-YEAR COURSES (REQUIRED)

Introduction to Legal Studies - 3 credits
This four-week course will introdcue students to the structure of the American legal system, the development of common law and the basics of statutory interpretation.

Civil Procedure – 5 credits
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. 

Constitutional Law – 5 credits
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.   

Contracts – 5 credits
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.

Criminal Law – 3 credits
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 2 credits
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 Method & Communication – 6 credits
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. The course also 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.

Legal Research – 1 credit
This is the research component of the Legal Method and Communication I class; it is taught by the law librarians.

Property – 5 credits
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.

Torts – 5 credits
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. 

UPPER-LEVEL COURSES (REQUIRED)* 

Bar Exam Foundations– 4 credits
This course is designed to help students maximize their performance on the bar exam in the jurisdiction of his or her own choice. In addition to the review and organization of critical topics and to assisting student development of expert study strategies, the course will focus on the tactics and strategies for writing essay examinations and taking multiple choice tests.  Topics may include Contracts, Torts, Property, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, Property, Family Law, Wills and Trusts, and Secured Transactions. Assessment will be based on simulated bar examinations. This is a graded course. Enrollment in this course is limited to third-year students.  This course is not available to satisfy the upper level writing requirement. 

Business Associations – 4 credits
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. 

Evidence – 4 credits
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 – 2 credits
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 – 2 credits
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.  

* Students are required to participate in a full-time residency, combined with a residency-related course, during one of the terms in their second year. Students are required to take a course with a communications component in each non-residency term during the second year. Options of courses with communications components will be specified each term.