Guidelines for Choosing Your First-Year Electives

In the spring semester of your first-year, you will register for two electives selected from among several elective offerings. All electives are three credits. There are many different valid opinions on how to select your electives. Some suggest that it is best to choose at least one course that will fulfill a graduation requirement or a Diploma Privilege requirement. Others believe that selecting a course taught by a professor you enjoyed first-semester is a good method. Similarly, choosing a course based on the subject matter has some supporters. Finally, some opine that the subject matter of certain courses is more helpful if taken earlier in one's career. Below is a description of some of the considerations for some of the elective courses.

Civil Procedure II

This course satisfies the "Jurisdiction of Courts" requirement of the Mandatory Subject Matter Areas for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege and goes towards the 60-credit rule (See Section 4.6 of READ THIS FIRST). Civil Procedure II is sometimes listed as a prerequisite for courses and clinics and can be helpful in summer clerkships. Some students find it useful to take Civil Procedure I and Civil Procedure II one right after the other. Others believe that it is helpful to take it in their third year, closer to the bar exam and graduation.

Contracts II
This course is an advanced contracts course, which is a continuation of the first semester Contracts I course. This course does not fulfill a requirement for graduation or the Diploma Privilege but does count towards the 60-credit rule (See Section 4.6 of READ THIS FIRST). It is a useful course for those who are likely to do transactional work in their careers. Some students find it useful to take Contracts I and Contracts II sequentially. This is particularly true for students who enjoyed the first semester and had success in the course.

Legal Process
This course, which looks at the legal system as a whole, satisfies the "Legal Process" graduation requirement and also counts toward the 60-credit-rule (section 4.6 of READ THIS FIRST). Many courses throughout the curriculum satisfy the legal process requirement, and some argue that students will enjoy a legal process course more later in their careers when they can choose among many courses. Others believe that having a view of the whole system is helpful and that taking a course of this kind is a nice break from more substantive law offerings.

International Law
This course also satisfies the "Legal Process" graduation requirement and counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege.  International Law is a basic course designed to introduce students to international legal issues, foreign legal concepts, and problems that lawyers are likely to face regardless of where they practice. It also provides a good foundation for those interested in the transnational and international law courses offered in the second and third years. The course covers public international law, international economic law, human rights and humanitarian law as well as exposure to conflicts of law, comparative law and the use of foreign international law in the domestic courts of the United States.

Introduction to Criminal Procedure
This course satisfies the Criminal Procedure graduation requirement and counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege.  Students who plan to do advanced work in the area of criminal law and/or who will be spending their 1L summer enrolled in one of the many Remington Center criminal-law-based clinical programs, such as the Innocence Project or LAIP, should select this course as one of their two spring semester electives.

Constitutional Law I
This course satisfies the Constitutional Law I requirement of the Mandatory Subject Matter Areas for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege and goes towards the 60-credit rule.  It is a prerequisite for Constitutional Law II, which is also required for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, and therefore is an excellent choice for a spring semester elective.

Administrative Law
Administrative Law satisfies the "Legal Process" graduation requirement and counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege.  This course focuses on federal administrative agencies and the administrative rule making process, and the role of the various branches of goernment in developing and implementing public policy.  Students interested in careers in government or public policy, or who want to practice in the area of regulated industries, should enroll in Administrative Law early in their law school careers.

Business Organizations I
Business Organizations I covers the law of principal/agent relationships, then surveys state law governing the formation and operation of closely-held businesses such as general partnerships, limited partnerships, LLPs, LLCs and closely-held corporations.  The course deals with choice of business entity, forming and financing businesses, and management rights.  This course does not fulfill a requirement for graduation or the Diploma Privilege but does count towards the 60-credit rule.  It is strongly recommended for all law students, and essential for those who plan to practice in the area of business and transactional law.

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