William and Mary 

Law School

First-Year Courses

Designed to introduce the essential analytical skills needed for your upper-level courses, the first-year curriculum emphasizes the many sources of law that govern our society--judge-made common law, statutory law and regulatory law as developed by governmental agencies--and the two major systems of law in the United States--the civil justice system and the criminal justice system.

In your first year, you will develop the skills to read cases, read and interpret statutory and regulatory materials and understand the fundamental principles of the traditional first-year subjects. For each first-year course there is a corresponding tutorial in our Academic Support Program.

Civil Procedure Law 102

This course focuses on the strategic options federal law provides to persons attempting to resolve disputes through litigation. It introduces students to basic concepts involved in the federal civil adversary system, federal jurisdiction, choice of law, and finalty. Students will explore in depth the policies governing and the mechanics involved in pleading, discovery, and disposition before trial.

Constitutional Law Law 109

A study of the structure of government, from the role of the courts and the concept of judicial review, through the distribution of power in the federal system and the allocation of power among the three branches of the government, followed by a study of individual rights protected by the Constitution.

Contracts Law 110

This course explores legally enforceable promises, normally exchanged as part of a bargain between private parties. Among the topics that may be covered are: bases of enforcement, capacity to contract, contract information, interpretation, conditions, excuse of performance, and remedies for breach.

Criminal Law Law 101

An intensive study of the basic doctrines underlying the criminal law, including actus reus and mens rea; the principal substantive and inchoate crimes; the accountability for the criminal acts of others; and the general defenses to criminal liability.

Legal Practice I2 Law 111

In Legal Practice, students will learn legal analysis, writing, research, and other practical skills. Students will work with full-time writing faculty and research librarians to research and write objective office memoranda and a letter to a client. Students will also work with practicing attorneys to learn skills necessary in client interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and oral presentations.

Legal Practice II Law 112

This is the second semester of Legal Practice for 1L students. The course continues instruction of legal analysis, writing, and research. Additionally, students continue working with practicing attorneys and refining the skills necessary in client interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and oral presentations.

Property Law 108

Property focuses on the rules for acquiring, using, dividing (in various dimensions), and losing rights over scarce resources. Most material concerns realty, with limited consideration of person property. Property will introduce the rudiments of capture, finds, and adverse posession; landlord-tenant law; the system of estates; co-ownership; easements; and restrictive covenants. In addition to these private law subjects, the course will introduce zoning and takings/

Torts Law 107

A survey of the legal system's responses to problems arising from personal injury and property damage. Concentration on the legal doctrines relating to liability for harm resulting from fault and to strict liability. Analysis of the goals and techniques of accident prevention and compensation for loss.

1This course satisfies the writing requirement.
2Students can choose to have this course satisfy the writing requirement or not.

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Page created on 1/30/2015 7:37:40 PM | 8 first-year courses shown