The program of study at the School of Law is structured to prepare you for the practice of law in any American jurisdiction. You will begin with 11 required courses that form the foundation for more advanced legal studies:
- Business Organizations
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Income Tax I
- Legal Research and Writing
- Professional Responsibility
View descriptions for all 11 required courses.
Download a sample program of study (PDF)
Legal education presents a broad array of options for graduates. The careers in which you can apply your skills are vast. Navigating the extensive course offerings to find the classes that will help you prepare the best for your career can be challenging. Western New England University has made this process much simpler with our seven concentration programs.
In your second or third year, you may choose to focus your studies on a specific practice area. Course options are laid out in clear progressions, showing students the best paths to take to gain the expertise they will need.
Concentration programs include:
- Business Law Concentration
- Criminal Law Concentration
- Estate Planning Concentration
- Gender and Sexuality Concentration
- International and Comparative Law Concentration
- Public Interest Law Concentration
- Real Estate Concentration
Also see the School of Law's Areas of Interest listing to view a course progression for preparation for a career in other practice fields.
Legal Research and Writing
Legal Research and Writing is a required first-year course that teaches students the basic techniques of legal research, writing, and analysis—all essential tools of the lawyering profession. The full-time Legal Research and Writing faculty work closely with students in smaller classroom settings introducing case briefing, case synthesis, and analysis through a series of research and writing assignments. Students learn how to research legal issues, frame legal arguments, and analyze legal problems. In addition, students are also trained to use computer-assisted legal research, including Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw. This full-year course culminates in an oral argument in a simulated court setting, during which each student argues a motion based upon a brief he or she has written.
Qualifying Writing Course Requirement
Prior to graduation, all students are also required to complete a Qualifying Writing Course, an intensive course in which students complete one or more papers comprising, in the aggregate, 30 to 50 typewritten pages. These papers are the product of original legal research and legal analysis approved in advance by the instructor. The Qualifying Writing Course ensures that graduating students have finely tuned legal research and writing skills.
Professional Skills Course Requirement
In order to be eligible for graduation, each student must successfully complete a Professional Skills Course (two or three credits). Professional Skills Courses help students develop professional skills under the direct supervision of a faculty member. They include clinical and simulation courses, trial and appellate advocacy courses, and alternative dispute resolution courses. Students may also satisfy the Professional Skills Requirement by membership on an intramural moot court team, including trial, negotiation and appellate moot court teams, for which they receive academic credit. Students may fulfill the Professional Skills Course Requirement while simultaneously satisfying the Qualifying Writing Course Requirement if a course is designated as both a Professional Skills Course and a Qualifying Writing Course. However, because of American Bar Association rules, beginning with the class entering in fall 2010 a student may not satisfy both requirements with the same course.
Pro Bono Requirement
Beginning in fall 2012, all students will be required to complete 20 hours of pro bono legal work prior to graduation. This requirement will give students the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting while supporting the School’s commitment to public interest lawyering.