Handbook Menu

2.3 Selecting Second Year Classes

Students receiving federal financial aid must demonstrate continuing progress in their program of study. Student Loan Administration assesses progress by reviewing a student’s grades each quarter; specifically, SLA expects students on financial aid to have at least one graded class within 35 days of the conclusion of the exam period. Thus, all students receiving financial aid are strongly encouraged each quarter to take at least one class that will be graded at the end of the quarter.  

Although no specific classes are required during the second year, certain classes are considered foundational and are strongly recommended for students in the second rather than the third year. These foundational classes include:

  • Administrative Law
  • Business Organizations/Business Associations/Corporations
  • Constitutional Law I, II, or III
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Introductory Income Taxation

In planning a program, students should consider some classes to be predicates for more advanced work in the same general field. In the field of business law, for example, a second-year student should consider taking Business Associations/Business Organizations/Corporation Law and Corporate Tax I, which provide a basis for advanced work in the third year in such courses as Bankruptcy and Reorganizations, and Securities Regulation. Administrative Law most often has been taken as a second-year course, since it serves as a survey of general principles in the field and thus forms a background for understanding the operation of administrative agencies and procedures in a variety of special subject areas, such as labor law, securities regulation, taxation, public utility regulation, the communications industry, etc. Students who plan to take Trial Advocacy or to work intensively in a clinical program typically take Evidence, and possibly a course on criminal procedure, in the second year.

It is important that in structuring their program students strike a sensible balance between foundational classes such as Business Associations/Business Organizations/Corporation Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence and Tax on the one hand, and seminars, workshops, and more specialized classes such as Contract Drafting & Review and Fairness and Law & Economics, on the other. Students should try to divide their foundational classes between the second and third years to maintain this sense of balance.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete one upper level writing project (either the WP or SRP) in their second year. This will ensure students are not having to complete both projects their final year.

Students will receive two experiential learning credits in the spring of their first year. Heading into their second year, students are strongly encouraged to choose a pathway of courses that will allow them to complete at least six experiential learning credits by the end of their second year, for a total of 8 experiential learning credits by graduation.

The Law School strongly recommends that all J.D. students complete a minimum of 20 credits designated as core by the end of their second year.