J.D. Required Courses
The first year at the School of Law consists of a rigorous course of study that you and all your classmates will follow. Starting at new student orientation and continuing throughout your first year, you will begin to learn, write, and think about the law.
The first-year courses are as follows:
Required First-Year Courses
- LAWW 4104. Civil Procedure (Fa). 4 Hours.
- Study of the process of civil litigation from preliminary matters such as court selection and jurisdiction, through joinder of parties and discovery techniques, to disposition of cases and finality of judgments. Some attempt is made to cover the antecedents of modern procedure; where appropriate, suggestions for reform are developed in class discussion. Emphasis is on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
- LAWW 4024. Contracts (Sp). 4 Hours.
- Formation and enforcement by litigation and commercial arbitration of commercial and family agreements. Mutual assent or consideration; third-party beneficiaries; assignments; joint obligation; performance; anticipatory breach; discharge of contractual duties; and the Statute of Frauds.
- LAWW 4074. Criminal Law (Irregular). 4 Hours.
- Deals with the questions of what conduct society punishes through a criminal code and of the appropriate punishment for the forbidden conduct. In this context the course includes an analysis of the theories of punishment, the definitions of various crimes, the defenses available to one charged with criminal conduct, and the limitations placed by the Constitution on governmental power in the criminal law area. Throughout the course, special emphasis is placed on the legislature's role in creating statutes alongside the judiciary's corresponding role in interpreting those statutes. Prerequisite: Admitted to the J.D. Program as a full-time degree-seeking student.
- LAWW 4013. Legal Research & Writing I (Fa). 3 Hours.
- An introduction to the special problems posed by the legal analysis and the expression of the results of that process. The primary emphasis will be on basic legal analysis techniques, basic legal writing skills, and proper citation form. Students will complete a series of writing assignments.
- LAWW 4113. Legal Research & Writing II (Sp). 3 Hours.
- An introduction to the persuasive writing for trial and appellate courts. Emphasis will be placed on intermediate library research techniques and basic legal research using computers. Students will also engage in brief-writing and appellate argumentation. Prerequisite: LAWW 4013.
- LAWW 4054. Property (Irregular). 4 Hours.
- This course deals with the creation and transfer of rights over property. The primary emphasis will be on entitlements in land. Subject to variations among professors, topics will include the rights of landowners to exclude and condition the entry of others, estates in land, co-ownership, landlord-tenant law, real estate and personal property transactions, and servitudes. Prerequisite: Student must be admitted to the J.D. program.
- LAWW 4144. Torts (Irregular; either fall or spring semester). 4 Hours.
- Tort law governs the protection of persons and property against physical harm, whether intentional or negligent, under a variety of doctrines, including trespass, nuisance, negligence, deceit, and conversion. A number of fundamental Anglo-American legal principles, such as duty; proximate cause; foreseeability; privilege; damages; injunctions; and functions of the advocate, trial judge, and appellate court, are developed in the context of the liability of builders, contractors, workers, manufacturers, dealers, railroads, and operators of motor vehicles.
- Those students taking Torts in fall semester will take Contracts in spring, and vice versa.
- LAWW 5114. Constitutional Law (Sp)
- This course introduces the basic principles of constitutional law and current constitutional doctrines and problems. The focus is on the structure of the federal system and on the rights of individuals under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fifth and 14th Amendments. Students also are advised to take the elective course, First Amendment, to complete their study of constitutional law. Constitutional Law must be taken in either the second or third year.
Required Upper-Level Courses
- LAWW 5013. Professional Responsibility (Irregular). 3 Hours.
- Role of the lawyer as counselor, advocate, and public servant; obligation to society of the individual lawyer and the profession as a whole; ethical problems of the profession; representation of the unpopular cause and the desirable client, lawyers' obligation to law reform; lawyer and the press; the lawyer in public service; the aspects of law office management.
In addition, before graduation, each student is required to take:
- Skills Course(s). 3 Hours.
- Any course for three semester hours which has been certified by the law faculty as a Skills Course (view list of skills courses), or any combination of certified Skills Courses which total at least three semester hours, and
- Upper Level Writing Course. 2 Hours.
- Any course for at least two credit hours that has been certified by the law faculty as an Upper Level Writing Course.
- Experiential Learning. 6 Hours.
- For students first matriculating in or after the 2016-17 year, a minimum of six credit hours of experiential learning courses as designated from time to time by the Dean.
- Arkansas Mandatory Child Reporter Law.
- All students first matriculating in or after the 2013-14 year must also complete a non-credit training session based on the Arkansas Mandatory Child Reporter law.
Most of the curriculum in the second and third year is composed of electives. This elective system allows students to choose courses that interest them and that will be useful in the types of careers they choose. Students are required to consult an adviser before registering for upper-level courses.
The curriculum at any good law school is always in the process of being studied and revised. Experimentation in the educational program is necessary to meet the needs of the future.