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 Legal Research and Writing in addition to the traditional courses on common law and other foundational subjects.
Our distinctive yearlong Legal Research and Writing 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 Legal Research and Writing 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 Legal Research and Writing 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 Legal Research and Writing course and one of the core doctrinal courses are taught in small sections.
Our innovative Lawyer-Client Relationship course introduces students to the attorney-client relationship through the foundational lawyering practices of interviewing (a basic skill transferrable to almost any conceivable legal practice), and provides students with an understanding of the professional and ethical obli1gations that are integral to the relationship between a lawyer and client. The course also offers students the opportunity to obtain live client interviewing experience through pro bono placements with local legal services organizations on a voluntary basis.
Our Modes of Legal lnquiry (MLI) seminars are small enrollment courses designed to expose students to some analytical, empirical, theoretical or normative perspective on law that complements and enriches the doctrinal analysis characteristic of most 1L courses. MLI courses may address a broad array of topical contexts (criminal procedure, entertainment law, human rights, etc.), types of legal authority (judicial opinions, regulations and other administrative materials, statutes, etc., domestic, foreign, or international), and analytical frameworks (empirical, law and society, regulatory, philosophical, etc).