Juris Doctor (JD) Course Descriptions



Legal Writing I                                                                                              2 units 


Students will take this course contemporaneously with Criminal Law. This course will serve as an introduction to law and will provide students with guidance on understanding opinions and briefing cases. Students will learn how to analyze criminal law fact patterns and then write essay exams on the same subject using the IRAC method.


Legal Writing II                                                                                                        2 units


Students will take this course contemporaneously with Torts. Students will learn how to analyze torts fact patterns and then write answers to essay exam questions using the IRAC method. Students will learn how to best organize the essay answers within the structure of torts law. Students will be assigned in class and at home writing assignments, and the professor will provide feedback to the students on how the writing can be improved.


Legal Writing III                                                                                                      2 units


Students will take this course contemporaneously with Contracts. Students will learn how to analyze contracts fact patterns and then write answers to essay exam questions using the IRAC method. Students will be assigned in class and at home writing assignments, and the professor will provide feedback to the students on how the writing can be improved.


Legal Research and Writing I                                                                                 2 units

Course Description

The class focuses on case analysis, case synthesis, statutory construction, research techniques,

legal correspondence, and citation form. Students will learn how to research using both print and electronic sources. Students will engage in objective analysis and analyze several fact situations and prepare intra-office memos on research findings.


Criminal Law                                                                                                            4 units

Course Description

Fundamentals of the substantive law of crimes, punishable acts and omissions, requisite intent,

legal defenses, liability for conspiracy and attempt, lesser included offenses, enforcement of the

law and introduction to criminal procedure.


Torts                                                                                                                          4 units

Course Description

Intentional torts and defenses, negligence, vicarious liability, and strict liability,

including products liability. Interference with contract, privacy, defamation, and other

relational torts.


Contracts                                                                                                                   4 units

Course Description

Basic course for the study of the law of contracts, offer and acceptance, consideration, parties to

the contract, joint and several contracts, conditional and third party contracts, illegality,

discharge, Statute of Frauds and Parole Evidence Rule as they affect contractual obligations.


Legal Research, Writing & Analysis II                                                                  2 units

Course Description

Legal Research, Writing & Analysis II focuses on persuasive writing. Students analyze an

extensive fact situation and prepare an argumentative memorandum and an appellate brief. In

addition, students give oral arguments on campus and engage in settlement negotiations

concerning their case. The course culminates with an oral appellate argument, based on the

appellate brief, before a three judge moot court panel at the downtown courthouse.


Civil Procedure I                                                                                          4 units

Course Description

Civil Procedure I covers a overview of a civil action, jurisdiction over the parties or their property, providing notice and an opportunity to be heard, subject matter jurisdiction, venue, transfer and forum non conveniens, pleading and joinder of claims and parties, among other topics.


Evidence                                                                                                                    4 units

Course Description

Inquiry into relationship of pleadings and proof at trial, techniques of proof, judicial notice, rules

relating to witnesses, documents and demonstrative evidence; discovery procedures and

application of rules of evidence at trial; hearsay and its exceptions.


Civil Procedure II                                                                                                     4 units

Course Description

Civil Procedure II focuses on civil cases and pretrial discovery devices, class actions, case management, court and jury trials, securing and enforcing judgments, appellate review, res judicata and collateral estoppel, among others.


Criminal Procedure                                                                                                 4 units

Course Description

Procedures from arrest through appellate proceedings, bail, and release on own recognizance,

arraignments, motions, discovery and trial procedures; search and seizure and other

constitutional guaranties as interpreted by recent Supreme Court decisions.


Constitutional Law I                                                                                                4 units

Course Description

This introductory course focuses on the issues raised by the structural parts of the United States

Constitution. Consideration will be given to judicial processes in constitutional cases; judicial

review; and the federal courts functioning in the constitutional system. Attention will then be

given to the relationships of the three federal branches of government, with emphasis on some of

the powers and limitations of the executive, legislative and judicial bodies that arise from

principles of separation of powers and national checks and balances. The course will also

consider federalism and the respective roles of the national and state governments in some detail.

Both general principles and their specific application to sources of federal and states powers and

their limitations will be discussed, with particular emphasis on examples under the commerce



Constitutional Law II                                                                                               4 units

Course Description

This course is a continuation of Constitutional Law I. There, the focus was on the structural

constitution-federalism, the separation of powers, and the role of the courts. In Constitutional

Law II, the focus is on individual rights and their protection under the Constitution. We study

primarily the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments for substantive due process and equal protection

and the First Amendment for the freedoms of speech and religion.


Real Property I                                                                                                         4 units

Course Description

An introductory investigation of Anglo-American rules governing acquisition, transfer, and use

of real and personal property. Acquisition of property is studied through the law of finders, the

rule of capture, and the doctrine of adverse possession. Transfer of property is evaluated through

the concept of estates in land and future interests, including marital interests.


Real Property II                                                                                                        4 units

Course Description

Property II focuses on the historical development of land law, common law estates and

conveyances. statute of uses, indicia of ownership, modem conveyance, landlord and tenant

issues, deeds, recording acts, covenants, easements, equitable servitudes, adverse possession,

rights and duties incident to the ownership of land, future interests. Emphasis is given to the

tension between public needs and private desires in the allocation, transfer, and development of

property rights.


Wills & Trusts                                                                                                          4 units

Course Description

The substantive law of trusts; express and implied trusts; formation of testamentary and inter

vivo trusts; rights and duties of grantor, trustee and beneficiary; administration of the trust.

The law of wills in California and its origin, including non-probate changes in ownership at

death, interstate succession, the statute of wills, validity and interpretation of wills.


Remedies                                                                                                                   4 units

Course Description

Legal and equitable remedies, including damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, specific

performance, rescission, and restitution. Considerations in choosing a remedy. Alternate



Community Property                                                                                               4 units

Course Description

History and development of community property and quasi-community property law, interests of

spouses in the community, agreements, separate vs. community property, future interests in

community property, rights on dissolution of community and methods of division, and legal



Business Associations/Corporations                                                                       4 units

Course Description

Nature, formation and liabilities of partnerships and other unincorporated associations; nature

and character of stock; closely-held and non-profit corporation organizations; relation of

corporations to the state; de jure and de facto corporations; obligations and rights of

shareholders, directors, and creditors; merger and termination of corporations.


Agency and Partnership                                                                                          4 units

Course Description

An introduction to the law of agency, its uses and limitations. Methods of creation, and

termination. The powers and authority of agents, both formal and ostensible. Ratification of the

acts of an agent. When notice of a principal and agent relationship is necessary. The reciprocal

rights and duties of principal and agent in fiduciary relationships. Master and servant and the

doctrine of respondent superior, including tort and criminal liabilities. The common law origins

of agency and how employers liability, workers' compensation, and motor vehicle statutes affect

master and servant relationships.


Professional Responsibility                                                                                      4 units

Course Description

A study of the legal profession and of many of the ethical decision-making problems the

American lawyer is likely to encounter in all phases of practice. The American Bar Association's

Code of Professional Responsibility and the California Rules of Professional Conduct are

considered. The problems in building a law practice, the different roles of the lawyer as

counselor, negotiator, judge, and teacher. Relations with clients. Public service. Maintaining the

integrity of the legal profession.


Law Students Bar Examination Preparation        I and II                                   2 units each


This class will cover an overview of the bar subjects and will provide instruction on how to write bar exam essays and performance exams. Techniques for answering multiple choice questions for the multi-state portion of the bar will also be covered. Class will consist of lecture and in class exercises.



California Civil Procedure                                                                                      4 units

Course Description

This course addresses actual practice issues such as client intake, case strategies, choice of forum, filing the complaint, challenges to the complaint, joinder of parties and cross complaints, discovery, summary judgment, pre-trial motions, use of form pleadings and the trial process in California.


Bankruptcy                                                                                                               4 units

Course Description

Introduction to Law of Bankruptcy, specifically Chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and applicable California law. Preparation of bankruptcy petitions, related schedules and documents needed for initial filing of petitions. Debt counseling protection, compromise and collection techniques including garnishment, foreclosure and attachment of personal property explored. Study of basic legal principles governing rights and duties of debtors and creditors.


            Other Electives:                                                                     Units:

                                    California Family Law                                               2

                                    California Employment Law                                      2

                                    California Criminal Procedure                                   4 

                                    Trial Skills                                                                  2

                                    Administrative Law                                                    4

                                    Negotiation/Alternative Dispute Resolution              2 

                                    Advanced Legal Research                                          4



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