JD Curriculum – General Requirements
II. General Requirements and Perspectives for All Students
A. First Year Required Courses
Fall: Torts (3 credits), Contracts (3), Civ Pro (4), Legal Writing & Analysis I (2), Legal Research & Information Literacy (2), The Legal Profession (1) = 15 credits
Spring: Property (4), Con Law (4), Sales (2), Legal Writing & Analysis II (3), One Perspectives Course (3): choose from Fundamentals of Law Practice or Fundamentals of IP = 16 credits
B. Upper Level Requirements
- Criminal Procedure (3)
- Administrative Procedure (3) or Administrative Law and Advocacy Clinic (4)
- Professional Responsibility (3)
- Upper Level Writing Requirement (2 or 3 credits). We offer a range of such courses, some offered each semester.
- Upper Level Skills Requirement (2 or 3 credits). We offer a range of such courses, some offered each semester.
Total upper level required credits: 13-15 depending on course selection.
C. “Bar” Courses
UNH Law offers courses in all areas covered by typical bar exams. Prior to entering your second year, you should visit the bar websites for several of the states in which you would like to practice to see what topics are covered on each state bar exam.
The faculty does not recommend that you take courses just because they are tested on a state bar exam. Most graduates pass state bars without taking courses covering each tested subject. However, students with a weaker law school record should leave as little as possible to be learned for the first time during the time-pressured bar review courses, which are taken by virtually everyone after graduation. Regardless of academic performance, the following courses are generally deemed difficult or the material comprehensive enough to counsel against trying to learn them for the first time after graduation:
- Evidence (3)
- Business Associations (3)
- Personal Income Taxation (3)
- Wills, Trusts and Estates (3)
Total strongly recommended bar courses – 12 credits
The following are tested in a substantial number of states, but many faculty members feel they can be learned during the bar review. Thus, students need not take them unless the student has a substantive interest in the area. Students with questions should discuss this with their faculty advisors.
- Debtor-Creditor Relations (3)
- Family Law (3)
- Remedies (3)
- Criminal Law (3)
D. Employment Considerations
Before considering specific course selections, you should understand that employment opportunities are influenced by more than transcripts and bar passage. The size and the location of the firm are big factors, as well as the area of practice.
You should also know that every hiring attorney is interested in candidates’ writing and other communication abilities. This should make curricular options such as the Appellate Advocacy, IDEA and University of New Hampshire Law Review attractive. It is important to note that the last two make one-time offers for limited positions only to first-year students in mid-spring. In the same vein, Moot Court and writing competitions deserve a close look.
Finally, practical experience is helpful to reduce the gap between school and practice. All students, especially those with little or no work experience prior to entering law school, can and should consider signing on for clinics or one of our wide array of possible externships. Students may participate in an externship only after successfully completing the Professional Responsibility class. Also, certain externships require specific qualifications (e.g. federal judicial externships are only recommended for those students in the top 10% of their class). For all externships you must get the approval of the Visting Professor Emerita Musinsky or Director of Legal Residencies Courtney Brooks. For more information about course selection and its impact on employment opportunities, students should seek the advice of a counselor in Career Services.