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Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD)

A Different Approach to Your First Year

In addition to the usual 1L courses — contracts, torts, property — you'll enroll in an innovative four-hour course called the legal profession. This class focuses on the ethics, competencies, and economics of the profession. It uses legal ethics and the law of lawyering as the spine of a course that will immerse you and your colleagues in a variety of practice settings and introduce you to all of competencies you must develop as a successful professional.

In the legal profession, you'll wrestle with realistic problems that ask you to apply the rules of professional responsibility and to comprehend how economics, workplace pressures, and organizational incentives affect lawyers. Working in teams, you'll present or enact solutions to those problems and hear critiques from your fellow students.

Outside of the course, you'll be paired with a practice group advisor, an upper-division student who will work closely with you to assess your interests, abilities, and values in the legal profession. Your PGA will help you define your career aspirations and design the best course of study. Finally, you'll benefit from on-campus visits from alumni and other friends of the school as part of our Career Choices program: a series of informal lunches where lawyers introduce you to their professional lives and trace the paths that led them there.

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Professor William Henderson co-founded and developed the course. As moderator of the Law Firms Working Group, a joint-initiative with the American Bar Foundation, Henderson is also leading researchers from around the country in interdisciplinary studies of the legal profession. Their findings will continually inform your first-year experience.