Academics - curriculum and Coursework > First Year
Civil Procedure (LAW 500) (4 Hours)
This course covers modern civil procedure in the United States with emphasis on pre-trial procedure under the Texas and Federal rules. The content includes constitutional and statutory aspects of jurisdiction (including personal and subject-matter jurisdiction), the "erie" doctrine, and procedural rules of pleading, joinder of parties, joinder of claims, discovery, and pretrial motions.
Contracts I/II (LAW 515) (3/3 Hours)
This course is a study of the contract process emphasizing: 1) offer, 2) acceptance, 3) consideration and other "formation" issues, 4) performance, breach and discharge, and 5) remedies. This course deals with the principal problems raised by agreements or promises for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, and examines what kinds of promises the law will enforce and why, and what remedies are available for breach. These issues will be explored both in terms of the common law and the Uniform Commercial Code.
Criminal Law (LAW 530) (3 Hours)
This course focuses on theories of punishment, the requirements of actus reus and mens rea, concepts of proportionality and legality, and problems of causation. Particular emphasis is placed on the law of homicide. Theories of accomplice and conspiratorial liability are also examined. Principles of justification and excuse, such as self-defense and insanity, will be considered.
Property I/II (Law 520) (3/3 Hours)
This course offers an introduction to law governing real and personal property. Course topics include acquisition of property, interest in land, concurrent ownership, conveyance, landlord/tenant, land use planning, and the economic and philosophical basis of property rights.
Lawyering Process I/II (LAW 900) (3/2 Hours)
This course provides introductory treatment of legal methods, case analysis, basic writing, legal writing, problem analysis, statutory analysis, and legal research. The legal methods component, which entails case analysis, synthesis and statutory analysis, exposes students to: 1) a comprehensive technique of briefing judicial opinions; 2) processes for synthesizing judicial decisions; 3) concepts basic to the common law system, such as the functio of courts, stare decisis, and holding versus dictum; 4) concepts of relevance and the ability to distinguish relevant from irrelevant facts; 6) the ability to identify and frame legal issues; 7) the ability to abstract legal principles from cases and apply them to other fact situations, and reason to sound conclusion; 8) analogization techniques; and 9) the relationship between common law and legislation>
The basic writing, legal writing and problem analysis components entail: 1) development of an appreciation for the differences between good and bad legal writing; 2) improvement of grammar, sentence structure, paragraph and organization; 3) techniques of persuasive prose; 4) techniques of answering traditional essay law exam questions; and 5) strategies designed to enhance the ability to answer multiple choice law exam questions.
The legal research component entails the development of the ability to use the national reporter system, the digest system, legal encyclopedias, Shepard citations, legal periodicals, loose-leaf services and the Uniform System of Citation.
Torts I/II (LAW 525) (3/3 Hours)
This course addresses the judicial teatment of claims based on personal injuries and property loss where the complaining party utilizes one or more of the following three major bases of liability: intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability. More particularly, the course covers: battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of mental distress, trepass to land, trespass to chattels, conversion, defenses to the intentional torts, negligence, joint torfeasors, damages, wrongful death and survival, contributory negligence defense, assumption of risk defense, comparative negligence defense, last clear chance, statute of limitations and repose, immunities, imputed negligence, strict liability, products liability, nuisance, misrepresentation, defamation, invasion of privacy and misuse of legal procedure.