J.D. Curriculum

With access to more than 250 courses and seminars each year, Virginia Law students explore learning the law through a variety of opportunities. After first-year course requirements are met, students can choose from a range of options — among them, intensive short courses taught by real-world practitioners, seminars and advanced theory courses focused on developing skills in writing legal scholarship, and practical hands-on courses like clinics, trial advocacy and public speaking. Students have access to study-abroad and dual-degree programs, externships that allow students to work while earning academic credit, and independent and directed research projects supervised by faculty with whom they choose to work.

Your First Year

In the fall, first-year students are automatically enrolled into the courses listed below. Two required courses in the first and second semesters are "small-section" classes consisting of 30 students, which helps bond classmates from the start. In the spring, students choose two electives in addition to the required courses. Course Descriptions for First-Year Classes

Fall
Civil Procedure (4 credits)
Contracts (4)
Criminal Law (3)
Torts (4)
Legal Research and Writing (1)
Spring
Constitutional Law (4 credits)
Property (4)
Legal Research and Writing (1)
5-7 hours of electives
 


 
1L Sample Weekly Schedule

Fall (16 total credits)
Monday
8:30-9:50 Torts
10-11 Contracts
2:10-3:30 Civil Procedure
3:40-4:40 Criminal Law

Tuesday
8:30-9:50 Torts
10-11 Contracts
2:10-3:30 Civil Procedure

Wednesday
8:50-9:50 Legal Research and Writing
10-11 Contracts
3:40-4:40 Criminal Law

Thursday
8:30-9:50 Torts
10-11 Contracts
2:10-3:30 Civil Procedure
3:40-4:40 Criminal Law

Friday
10-11 Contracts
Spring (15 total credits)
Monday
10-11:20 Property
2:10-3:30 Constitutional Law
3:40-5 Evidence (3 credits)

Tuesday
10-11:20 Property
11:30-12:50 Environmental Law (3)
2:10-3:30 Constitutional Law

Wednesday
10-11 Legal Research and Writing
3:40-5 Evidence

Thursday
10-11:20 Property
11:30-12:50 Environmental Law
2:10-3:30 Constitutional Law



2L Sample Weekly Schedule

Fall (14 total credits)
Monday
10-11:20 Federal Courts (4 credits)
2:10-3:30 Patent Law (3)
3:40-5 Evidence (4)

Tuesday
10-11:20 Regulation of the Political Process (3)

Wednesday

10-11:20 Federal Courts
2:10-3:30 Patent Law
3:40-5 Evidence

Thursday
10-11:20 Regulation of the Political Process
3:40-5 Evidence

Friday
10-11:20 Federal Courts
 

 

January Term (1 credit)
Monday-Friday (one week)
9:30-12 Virginia and the Constitution (1 credit)

Spring (14 total credits)
Independent Research (2)

Monday

10-11:20 Corporations (Law & Business) (4)

Tuesday
11:30-12:50 Administrative Law (3)
1-2 Professional Responsibility (2)

Wednesday

10-11:20 Corporations (Law & Business)

Thursday
11:30-12:50 Administrative Law
1-2 Professional Responsibility
7-9 p.m. Trial Advocacy (3)

Friday
10-11:20 Corporations (Law & Business)



3L Sample Weekly Schedule

Fall (12 total credits)
Directed Research (1 credit)
Independent Research (1)
Seminar in Ethical Values (periodic meetings at instructor discretion, yearlong course)

Monday
8:30-9:50 Trusts and Estates (3)
1-2 Remedies (3)

Tuesday
1-2 Remedies

Wednesday

8:30-9:50 Trusts and Estates
1-2 Remedies
4-6 Supreme Court Litigation Clinic (yearlong; 4 credits each semester)
Spring (17 total credits)
Directed Research (1 credit)
Independent Research (2)
Seminar in Ethical Values (earns 1 credit in spring)

Tuesday

8:50-9:50 Antitrust (3)
11:30-12:50 Land Use Law (3)

Wednesday

8:50-9:50 Antitrust
4-6 Supreme Court Litigation Clinic (4)

Thursday
8:50-9:50 Antitrust
11:30-12:50 Land Use Law
4-6 Property Theory (3)