Students begin their time at UCLA Law with a pioneering week-long orientation program that immerses them in the fundamentals of the law school learning process. This experience eases the transition to law school and primes students to begin thinking of themselves as attorneys and advocates. From there, students embark on a formative first year that promotes optimal learning with an extensive course on lawyering skills in addition to the traditional courses on common law and other foundational subjects.
Our distinctive yearlong lawyering skills course provides students with the opportunity to explore the relationship between legal analysis and lawyering tasks, such as effective legal writing, oral advocacy, and legal research. The lawyering skills course is taught alongside courses that historically have laid the foundation for law of all kinds: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. Between these fundamental doctrinal courses and the lawyering skills curriculum, our first-year students are ready at the end of May to tackle their first legal jobs, and to think and communicate like lawyers. To foster a sense of community and an environment of mutual support, the lawyering skills course and one of the core doctrinal courses are taught in small sections.