Choosing Your Curriculum
Course descriptions are posted at http://law.newark.rutgers.edu/students/master-course-list. While the following information is primarily for students who are just beginning the upper-class curriculum, primarily members of the day Class of 2014, it also should be useful to members of the Class of 2013. Part-time students in the Class of 2015 might also pay some attention to this advice when beginning to make curricular choices in the Spring 2013 semester.
As you know, there are few absolute requirements that you must meet after you have completed the required curriculum.
- First, you must take a course in professional ethics (if you have not done so already): either the three-credit Professional Responsibility course or the two-credit Legal Profession course. A grade of C or better in either course excuses those taking the New Jersey Bar Exam from taking the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE”).
- Second, you must satisfy the upper-class writing requirement, by either: (1) writing a paper of 25 pages (7000 words) or more of critical legal analysis in a seminar, independent study, or other academic enterprise, (2) successfully completing a clinic in which substantial writing is required, or (3) writing a brief in a moot court or mock trial competition or advocacy course, in which you are the sole author. Jointly authored works cannot be used to satisfy the writing requirement, even if permitted by the instructor for accountability in the course. Note that writing is a critical skill for lawyers, so doing writing beyond that necessary to meet the minimum requirement is advisable.
- Third, students must take at least 60 credits in “professional law subjects,” defined as regularly scheduled classes and seminars offered by the law school (or, in the case of transfer students, by another law school). Credits for the following enterprises DO NOT count toward fulfilling this requirement: clinics, work on journals, participation in moot court and mock trial competitions, independent research, work as a teaching or research assistant, externships or field placements, and classes taken in disciplines other than law (even if taken at another unit of the University).
- Fourth, you must successfully complete 84 credits of coursework (which includes credits you received for your required first-year courses and your first-year elective). Of these, a minimum of 75 must be “hard” credit. (A full explanation of what is “hard” credit and what is “soft” or “unscheduled” credit can be found by clicking here.)
- Fifth, you must also earn six residency points (including those you earned in completing the first-year curriculum). Please refer to the Student Handbook for the calculation of residency points.
- Sixth, you must complete a minimum of one “skills” course from this list of courses.
In addition to the above requirements, please note students who have a first-year GPA lower than 2.67 must submit their curricular choices for review and approval to Dean Andrew Rothman. The requirement was adopted by the faculty in the fall of 2006 to help ensure that students who have performed poorly in their first year take a curriculum that adequately prepares them for the rigors of the bar examination. If Dean Rothman approves it, you will be notified by email before the start of classes. If he does not approve it, he will advise you to schedule an appointment during the first week of classes.