First Year Courses

In Autumn Quarter at UChicago Law, students take a unique first-year course called Elements of the Law. Elements introduces students to the law as an interdisciplinary field through interactions with fields such as philosophy, economics, psychology, and political theory, and gives students the tools to continue their interdisciplinary inquiry throughout their legal education. Students are grouped into sections of approximately 30 students. Two or three of these sections combine for the substantive courses, and sections are rotated throughout the year so students take classes with as many of their classmates as possible.

In addition, students take five core courses in the Autumn and Winter quarters: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. This curriculum provides a general foundation of legal knowledge, promotes an understanding of the process of development of the law through judicial decisions and statutory interpretation, and cultivates the skill of legal reasoning.

All first-year students also participate in the legal writing program under the supervision of one of the six Bigelow Teaching Fellows. “Bigelow” (as the course is known) introduces students to the standard tools and techniques of legal research and requires students to write a series of legal memoranda and briefs. In the Spring Quarter, each student prepares an appellate brief and argues the case before a panel of judges composed of members of the faculty and practicing alumni. The Bigelow course is taught in small sections of approximately 30 students.

Spring Quarter has a legislation course and a transactions course, and offers an opportunity to choose a constitutional law elective as well as another elective from a list of 7-9 courses open to 1Ls.

Sample 1L Schedule

Actual schedules, faculty, and day/time patterns will vary.

Autumn Quarter
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Torts
Huq
9:15-10:50 a.m.
Legal Research and Writing
9:10-10:15 a.m.
Torts
Huq
9:15-10:50 a.m.
Torts
Huq
9:15-10:50 a.m.
Legal Research and Writing
9:10-10:15 a.m.
Civil Procedure
Buss
1:30-3:05 p.m.
Elements of the Law
Strahilevitz
10:25 a.m.-12:10 p.m.
Civil Procedure
Buss
1:30-3:05 p.m.
Civil Procedure
Buss
1:30-3:05 p.m.
Elements of the Law
Strahilevitz
10:25 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

 

Winter Quarter
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Property
Fennell
9:15-10:50 a.m.
Legal Research and Writing
8:30-9:35 a.m.
Property
Fennell
9:15-10:50 a.m.
Property
Fennell
9:15-10:50 a.m.
Legal Research and Writing
8:30-9:35 a.m. 
Criminal Law
Rappaport
1:30-3:05 p.m.
Contracts
Baird
9:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Criminal Law
Rappaport
1:30-3:05 p.m.
Criminal Law
Rappaport
1:30-3:05 p.m.
Contracts
Baird
9:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

 

Spring Quarter
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Constitutional Law I
Fahey
9:45-10:50 a.m.
Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy
9:10-10:15 a.m.
Constitutional Law I
Fahey
9:45-10:50 a.m.
Constitutional Law I
Fahey
9:45-10:50 a.m.
Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy
9:10-10:15 a.m.
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
Nou
11:00-12:05 p.m.
Transactional Lawyering
Neal
10:25 a.m.-
12:10 p.m.
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
Nou
11:00-12:05 p.m.
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
Nou
11:00-12:05 p.m.
Transactional Lawyering
Neal
10:25 a.m.-
12:10 p.m.
Critical Race Studies
Hubbard
(1L Elective)
1:30-2:35 p.m.
  Critical Race Studies
Hubbard
(1L Elective)
1:30-2:35 p.m.
Critical Race Studies
Hubbard
(1L Elective)
1:30-2:35 p.m.
 

Note: 1Ls may choose from among 7-9 electives in the Spring Quarter. In addition, they will be able to choose one class from a group of three Constitutional Law offerings.