Curriculum

Our online Juris Doctor Degree program will provide you with the flexibility to earn a law degree while continuing to work in your career.

As you complete your courses, your legal knowledge will grow under the supervision of professors who have hands-on experience in the subjects they teach. They focus on theory and practical skills, so you learn how to tackle difficult legal issues.

When you successfully complete the California School of Law J.D. program, you are eligible to sit for the Bar Examination in the State of California.

Introductory Course
Legal Method is an Enrollment Pre-Requisite to attending the California School of Law and no tuition is charged for Legal Method.
Legal Method is a 4 week Online law school introductory class designed to produce successful law students. Emphasis is placed on law school study skills such as briefing cases, preparing course outlines, issue-spotting and exam writing. Students perform practical exercises to learn these skills, so they are prepared to begin their legal studies.

FYLSE Review Course
You will also take an FYLSE Review Course to further prepare you and provide you the confidence to succeed in passing the Baby Bar.
Students are given timed Essay & MBE tests using ExamSoft the software used on the actual FYLSE. During this time, professors meet with students to discuss test results and strategies for improvement.

Bar Review Course
The Bar Review Course covers all 15 subjects tested on the Bar Exam. The Bar Review Course addresses approaches for essay writing, the performance test and MBE’s. Students are given timed writing assignments, timed performance tests and timed MBE exams.
With experience we have found that a long-term approach is what works best for our students. Students take our 4 month Bar Review Course in the last semester of law school, spending one week on each subject, reviewing black letter law, writing essays and doing multiple choice questions.

With rigorous online classes that meet twice a week, along with dedicated study and practical assignments, you will develop the legal knowledge, analytical skills and effective writing ability to succeed on the FYLSE, Bar Exam and as an Attorney.

Proctored Final Examinations
All Final Examinations at the California School of Law are proctored, which will require students to sit for all final examinations at a testing center, the testing centers must be approved by the California School of Law.

Attendance Requirements
Student attendance is required and attendance is taken at all classes. A minimum of 80% of all class sessions in each course must be attended in order for a student to receive a passing grade.

Continuous Enrollment
Students are required to maintain continuous enrollment. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment may result in academic dismissal from the Law School. Students must have a minimum of 864 hours of study over 48 to 52 consecutive weeks a year for 4 years.

*Indicates Required Course

First Year Courses
Torts I & II* 3 UNITS EACH
This course is an introduction to the principles of tort liability for intentional and negligently caused injuries to persons and property. Subjects covered include assault, battery, false imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress and trespass, as well as defenses to intentional torts, including consent and assumption of risk. In the examination of negligence, the subjects covered include standard of care, causation and limitations on duty. Defenses also are explored, such as contributory negligence, comparative negligence and statutes of limitation. Coverage also includes vicarious liability, wrongful death actions, negligent infliction of emotional distress, nuisance, misrepresentation, defamation, strict liability and products liability.

Contracts I & II* 3 UNITS EACH
As an introduction to contract law, the course deals with how contracts are formed, including offer, acceptance and consideration, as well as contract formalities, including the Statute of Frauds, the parole evidence rule and implied obligations. The issues as to when a contract has been breached and the remedies for breach, including damages, specific performance and restitution are covered, plus contract interpretation, performance of contract, avoidance of contract, including the defenses of frustration of purpose, impracticability, impossibility, incapacity, duress, undue influence, mistake, misrepresentation and unconscionability. The subjects covered lay the foundation for advanced study in commercial transactions, corporations and securities. The course also is designed to introduce the student to the techniques of statutory interpretation, particularly in connection with the Uniform Commercial Code.

Criminal Law* 3 UNITS
This course is an introduction to criminal law, with emphasis on principles of criminal liability and defenses. The course examines crimes against the person and property. Also examined are various specific areas of substantive criminal law, including: general principles applicable to all crimes, e.g., mens rea, attempt, mistake, causation, conspiracy, legal insanity, intoxication and justification. The purposes of criminal punishment and the role of the criminal justice system, including police and correctional agencies, also are explored.

Legal Writing and Analysis* 4 UNITS
The Legal Writing and Analysis course required at the conclusion of the first year is a capstone course, that serves as a culminating, integrative academic and intellectual experience for students.

The Legal Writing and Analysis capstone course is designed to give students the chance to apply the legal knowledge and writing skills they have acquired throughout their first year education and to encapsulate all the learning objectives.

The Final Exam for Legal Writing and Analysis is a simulated First Year Law Students Exam. The final exam is 7 hours, consisting of four one-hour essays in Torts, Contracts and Criminal Law and 100 MBE questions. The students’ exam answers will be reviewed and graded based on FYLSE standards. Only students receiving a passing score of 70+ on all four essays and 70+ on the MBE’s will pass LWA and be permitted to matriculate into the second year of law school at the California School of Law. Students that do not pas the final for LWA will be dismissed from the California School of Law.

Second Year Courses
Real Property I &II* 3 UNITS EACH
This course begins with a study of the creation of the recorded property system in feudal England. The course then explores the methods by which property interests are held, used, and transferred in modern times, as well as the question of how members of society should allocate land use. Topics include present and future estates, ownership, limitations on the rights of landowners to exclude others, co-ownership, adverse possession, landlord-tenant law, nuisance, water rights, control of air space, easements and covenants, zoning, eminent domain and conveyances. In Property II students negotiate the sale of land with an easement and draft the contract for the sale of the land with an easement. Other real estate negotiations are carried out and contracts drafted.

Civil Procedure I & II* 3 UNITS EACH
This course covers all phases of the litigation process in civil actions. Specific subjects include the basis for jurisdiction over persons and property, e.g., subject matter jurisdiction, diversity cases, venue, joinder of claims and parties, counterclaims, cross-claims and third-party claims. Other issues covered are class actions, discovery, voluntary and involuntary dismissal, default judgments, summary judgment, burden of proof in civil litigation, directed verdict, motions to vacate, appeals and res judicata. In Civil Procedure students also learn to drafting pleadings, discovery requests and other relevant documents.

Evidence* 3 UNITS
The course is an in-depth examination of the rules governing the admissibility or exclusion of evidence. Subjects include competency of witnesses, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, the rules pertaining to hearsay and its exceptions, expert and lay opinion testimony, privileged communications, relevancy, procedural considerations, judicial notice, burden of proof, presumptions, form and type of objections, authentication, the best evidence rule and the use of demonstrative and scientific evidence.

Legal Research and Writing I* 4 UNITS
This course examines the techniques of written and appellate advocacy, including the appropriate structure of the appellate brief, formulation of issues and analysis. This course teaches students the fundamentals of legal citation and provides advanced instruction in legal reasoning and analysis. The course identifies and describes the primary sources of law and relevant research tools. Students receive instruction on the research strategies necessary to find case law in print and electronic format. Students prepare a research outline and an open-research memorandum of law.

Third Year Courses
Constitutional Law I & II* 3 UNITS EACH
This course introduces the student to fundamental cases in Constitutional Law. There is an historical component to the class, demonstrating how the Constitution has acquired its “meaning” over time. Major issues examined are: the justification for judicial review, standards for the exercise of judicial power, the scope of Federal powers, regulation of interstate commerce, the executive powers of the President, separation of powers, allocation of power between Federal and State governments, equal protection, freedom of press, assembly and religion, substantive and procedural due process and Congressional enforcement powers. In Constitutional Law II incorporates Moot Court, which requires extensive legal research, the writing of an appellate brief and oral arguments.

Business Organizations* 3 UNITS
This course introduces the legal principles governing the relations among investors, managers, creditors and employees in business enterprises, that are common to closely-held and publicly traded corporations, e.g., limited liability, fiduciary and controlling party duties, shareholder rights, securities fraud, voting and control arrangements, executive compensation and corporate reorganizations, including tender offers, mergers and acquisitions.

Criminal Procedure* 3 UNITS
This course covers the laws regulating law enforcement conduct during criminal investigations, examining particularly the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Subjects covered include the initial police investigation of a crime, apprehension of a suspect, arrests, searches and seizures, identification procedures, indictments, interrogation of suspects and witnesses, right to bail, preliminary hearings, the right to trial by jury, guilty pleas, confessions, right to an attorney and double jeopardy.

Legal Research and Writing II 4 UNITS
Legal Research and Writing II involves utilization of a single case file. Students draft several documents, including letters, pleadings, settlement demands, motions and briefs. The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to refine their legal research and analytical skills, as well as their writing skills.

Wills and Trusts* 3 UNITS
This course examines the substantive law of Wills and Trusts and the final disposition of property. Topics covered include the law of intestate succession, the execution, revocation and construction of wills and trusts and marital property rights, problems arising from changes after execution, problems of will substitutes, essential elements of a trust from creation to termination, beneficiary interests, charitable trusts and problems of trust administration.

Fourth Year Courses
Community Property* 3 UNITS
This course examines the laws relating to California community and separate property law and the division of marital assets upon divorce and death. Subject matters covered include determination of the community, marital agreements, commingling of funds, spousal liability for community and separate debts, education expenses, spousal rights to pension, disability income, life insurance proceeds, the property rights of unmarried couples, rights of creditors and conflict of law issues regarding change of marital domicile.

Remedies 3 UNITS
This course is a general examination of equitable and legal remedies that are available to civil litigants. The course considers the measure and scope of monetary damage awards in tort and contract actions, as well as restitution, equitable remedies including preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions, temporary restraining orders, specific performance, contempt, punitive damages, equitable defenses and declaratory relief.

Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics* 3 UNITS
This course examines the ethics imposed by law and conscience on members of the legal profession to clients, witnesses, opposing parties, tribunals and the public. The focus is on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and on the State Bar of California Rules of Professional Conduct. The course examines the various professional relationships created: attorney and client, attorney and public, attorney and other attorneys and attorney and judiciary. The objective of the course is to give students a working knowledge of the law governing lawyers and an appreciation for the ethical challenges they will face.

Trial Advocacy 3 UNITS
The hypothetical case utilized for the Moot Court Competition involves an appeal to the United States Supreme Court of a Constitutional issue, with written briefs and oral arguments based upon legal research by the students. The competition is conducted as a tournament; students compete as two-person teams, who advance through a series of elimination rounds, with two teams advancing to the final round. Students are judged on the quality of both oral and written argument. The competition is limited to fourth- year students.

Participation in such competition requires the student to conduct extensive legal research and write a brief on the issues researched, with only minimal guidance from the team’s faculty advisor and /or outside coach. Following the completion of the brief, students prepare for and conduct the oral argument component of the competition.

Advanced Lawyering Skills/LR&W III 4 UNITS
The purpose of this class is to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their practical legal writing skills. Students will produce a variety of legal documents, focused for different audiences, purposes and formats. Assignments for the class will also include oral presentations and in-class editing exercises. The legal documents include; Complaint, Motions, Judicial opinion, as well as Legal clinic drafting, covering the following topics: Community Property, Real Property Transaction, Landlord-Tenant, Wills & Trusts and Legislative Drafting. Students will also make Oral Arguments defending the documents produced. All documents are subject to Bluebook Citation standard.

Bar Review* 3 UNITS
The California School of Law Bar review course covers all of the subjects tested on the Bar Exam: Business Associations, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Remedies, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Torts, Community Property, Professional Responsibility, Trusts, Constitutional Law, Real Property, Wills and Succession. The Bar Review course also addresses approaches for essay writing, the performance test and MBE’s. Students are given timed writing assignments, timed performance tests and timed MBE exams.

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