The First-Year Program at the University of Wisconsin Law School is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal analysis and reasoning and to introduce foundational substantive material. For the entering class of 2016, in the Fall Semester, all full-time students take the same four courses (totaling 15 credits). These courses are:
- Contracts I (4 credits)
- Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law (4 credits)
- Civil Procedure I (4 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing I (3 credits)
Two of the above courses will normally be taught in a larger
lecture format; Legal Research and Writing I will be taught in sections of approximately 15-25 students each; and the fourth course will be taught in sections of reduced
size and is often referred to as
the Small Section or Small Group. The Small Section will cover one of
the areas of substantive law listed above. Generally, the students from
your Small Section are also in your larger classes; this is intended to
help you more easily meet your classmates and form study groups. The
Small Section is also intended to give you closer contact with at least
one faculty member, who will structure the Small Section course to give
you additional academic opportunities and useful feedback as well as a mid-term graded
exercise. To learn how to register for the first-year Fall Semester
courses discussed above, please follow closely the instructions
provided by email from the Law School during the summer prior to
your arrival at the Law School. Also, see the University Registrar’s Demos & Tutorials webpage to
learn how to enroll in your courses and for other helpful guides.
In the Spring Semester of the first year, full-time students take the following three courses (totaling 11 credits):
- Property (4 credits)
- Torts (4 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing II (3 credits)
as well as two elective courses (the courses offered as 1L electives can vary from year to year). In recent years, first-year electives have included:
- Civil Procedure II (3 credits)
- Introduction to Criminal Procedure (3 credits)(formerly required in the first year)
- Constitutional Law I (3 credits)(formerly required in the first year)
- International Law (3 credits)
- Contracts II (3 credits)
- Business Organizations I (3 credits)
- Administrative Law (3 credits)
- Legislation and Regulation (3 credits)
- other electives as available
First-year students are randomly assigned to sections of Property, Torts, and Legal Research and
Writing II. A discussion of the process for choosing your electives and
registering for your first-year Spring Semester courses follows below
at section 2.3.2. Helpful information with respect to first-year elective choices is
also available online at: http://www.law.wisc.edu/current/selectingfirst-yearelective.htm.
Legal Research and Writing I and II must be retaken if a grade of D+ or lower is earned; see Law School Rule 3.11. In addition, a student whose weighted average is less than 2.0 (on the 4.3 scale) on completion of the first two semesters is ineligible to continue unless the student petitions the Retentions Committee for permission to continue and the Retentions Committee permits continuation. See Chapter 7 of the Law School Rules.
If, because of personal or employment requirements, you need to
attend the Law School part-time, you must complete the First-Year
Program courses discussed above within two years from the date of
matriculation (see Law School Rules 3.02 and 7.06(1)).
It follows that if you take a part-time schedule in the Fall
Semester of your first year, you will have to complete the remaining
first-year Fall Semester courses in the following Fall Semester. The
same is true for the first-year Spring Semester courses.
If you intend to be part-time at any point while you are completing the First-Year Program, please note the following:
- If, in your
first Fall Semester, you were assigned to a Small Section of any
first-year course, you are
not entitled to a second Small-Section class. Exceptions to this rule
will be made only on the basis of extreme hardship and on a
- Evening-only students should note that one-half of the
First-Year Program courses are generally offered in the evenings of
alternating years, thus making it possible to complete the First-Year
Program in the evenings within the requisite two years.
- Part-time students are very strongly urged to take Legal
Research and Writing I and II during the first and second semesters of
attendance, respectively, rather than delaying these courses until the third and fourth semesters of part-time attendance.
- Any part-time student who wishes to take any upper-level law course (other than the electives discussed above) prior to completing the entire First-Year Program must first consult with and receive permission from the Law School’s Director of Student Life.
In your second and third years at the Law School, you will have time to explore the curriculum both to determine your interests and to develop the lawyering skills you will need when you graduate. Although you will need to keep in mind the J.D. degree requirements and Diploma Privilege requirements (see sections 4.2 and 4.7, respectively), you will be free to choose from a wide range of courses, clinical programs, journals and other credit-earning experiences, such as externships, moot court, mock trial, directed research and directed reading. For very helpful information on how to make Law School curricular decisions, go online to “Planning Your Academic Program” at: http://www.law.wisc.edu/current/selectingcourses.htm.
If you plan to practice law in a state other than Wisconsin, you will most likely need to take a bar exam after graduation. Many students find that it is useful to consider and plan for the bar exam when selecting second- and third-year courses. Students frequently find that they have an easier time studying for the bar exam if they have had some exposure to the bar exam subjects through basic law school courses (for example, Business Organizations I & II, Conflict of Laws, Federal Jurisdiction, Tax, Secured Transactions, and Family Law) and if they have developed strong writing skills. (For up-to-date information on which subjects are tested on a particular state's bar exam, go to www.barexam.org.) Students who intend to take a bar exam should also be aware that certain courses may be prerequisites to taking some states' bar examinations. Finally, some jurisdictions may limit the number of clinical credits that can be applied toward a law degree. Information about these and other bar admission requirements is available at http://www.ncbex.org/.
The official distinction between a second- and a third-year law student is based on the number of completed credits. Once a student has completed 56 credits, that student is viewed by the University as a third-year law student, regardless of how long it has been since the student matriculated (i.e., first enrolled) at the Law School.
As stated above at 2.1.1, any student who has yet to complete the First-Year Program must first consult with the Law School’s Director of Student Life before registering for any upper-level law course.
In the Spring Semester of your first year, you will choose your courses for Fall Semester of your second year. (For a discussion of the registration process for “rising 2Ls,” see 2.3.3 below.) As a general matter, in the Fall Semester of the second year, it is necessary to begin taking courses—required or non-required—upon which one can build a knowledge-base for use in follow-on courses of interest later in the second and third year. Some examples of such “sequential courses” include: Trusts & Estates I (a required course for Diploma Privilege and preliminary to advanced estate-planning courses); Business Organizations I (preliminary to Business Organizations II and other advanced business law offerings such as Securities Regulation); Federal Income Taxation (“Tax I”) is a useful preliminary to many course offerings, such as Tax II; Evidence (a required course for Diploma Privilege as well as a prerequisite, e.g., for Trial Advocacy). Constitutional Law II (or an equivalent) is a required Diploma Privilege course and is also useful as a preliminary for many courses and a prerequisite for others.
In addition to being aware of course prerequisites and the sequential aspect of certain courses, it is also necessary to understand fully which courses are required for the J.D. degree (see 4.2) and for Diploma Privilege (see 4.6). You should also try to anticipate when you would like to take required and non-required courses (see 2.2.4 below). Thus, you can begin to develop a curricular plan for yourself and continue to implement it in Spring Semester of your second year and on into your third year.
For more information on course sequencing, go online to “Planning Your Academic Program” at: http://www.law.wisc.edu/current/selectingcourses.html. This site also contains Curriculum Guides for various areas of law practice.
Most law students, upon reaching the third year, will still have a few J.D. degree and Diploma Privilege requirements yet to fulfill. It is a good practice to try to complete these requirements in the Fall Semester of your third year, or at least leave as few required courses as possible for Spring Semester of the third year. Doing so will reduce your anxiety over the need to get into a required course in the final semester. It will also allow you greater flexibility in taking non-required courses that interest you.
For more curricular planning information, go online to “Planning Your Academic Program” at: http://www.law.wisc.edu/current/selectingcourses.html. This site also contains Curriculum Guides for various areas of law practice.
For planning purposes, you will find below a basic list of when courses are typically offered, broken down by semester.
The Law School endeavors not to deviate too often from this scheduling regimen, but you need to remember that this list constitutes a prediction, not a promise.
Upper-level courses typically offered in both Fall and Spring:
- Administrative Law
- Advanced Legal Writing
- Business Organizations I
- Civil Procedure II
- Criminal Procedure
- Constitutional Law I
- Constitutional Law II
- Taxation I [Federal Income Taxation] (in 2016-2017, will be Fall 2016 only; not offered Spring 2017)
- Pretrial Advocacy
- Professional Responsibilities
- Secured Transactions
- Trial Advocacy
- Trusts & Estates I (2-credit)
Upper-level courses typically offered in Fall only: (Note: some of these courses are only offered in alternate years.)
Antitrust (not Fall 2016; will be Spring 2017)
- Asset Management & Financial Planning
- Business Organizations II
- Children, Law & Society (occasional)
- Client Interviewing & Counseling (not Fall 2016)
- Domestic Violence
- Energy Law (not Fall 2016)
- Environmental Law & Practice (even-numbered fall terms: 2016, 2018, etc.)
- ERISA (even-numbered fall terms: 2016, 2018, etc.)
- Estate Planning
- European Union Law
- Family Law: Parent & Child
- Federal Law & Indian Tribes (not Fall 2016; will be Spring 2017)
- Food Systems Law & the Environment (not Fall 2016)
- Immigration Law
- Insurance Law (not Fall 2016)
- Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
- International Commercial Arbitration
- International Trade Law
Labor Relations I (Labor & Employment Law)
- Land Use Controls (not Fall 2016; will be Spring 2017)
- Law & the Elderly
- Public Health Law
- Real Estate Transactions I
- Religion & the Constitution
- Securities Regulation
- State & Local Taxation (even-numbered fall terms: 2016, 2018, etc.)
- Taxation of Mergers & Acquisitions
- Torts II (occasional)
- Trademarks (not Fall 2016; will be Spring 2017)
- Wisconsin Administrative Law (even-numbered fall terms: 2016, 2018, etc.)
- Wrongful Convictions
Upper-level courses typically offered in Spring only: (Note: some of these courses are only offered in alternate years.)
- Bioethics & the Law
- Conflict of Laws
- Contracts II
- Copyright Law
- Environmental Law (in Spring 2016, 2018, etc.)
- Equal Employment Law/Employment Discrimination
- Estate & Gift Tax (1 credit; odd-numbered years)
Family Law: Marriage & Divorce
- Federal Indian Law (Advanced) [enrollment permitting]
- Federal Jurisdiction
- Health Law & Administration
- International Business Transactions
- International Law
- International Tax
- Islamic Law
- Labor Relations II
- Law of Democracy (will be Fall 2016, not Spring 2017)
- Lawyering Skills Course
- Marital Property
- Natural Resources Law (odd-numbered spring terms: 2017, 2019, etc.)
Patent Law (will be Fall 2016, not Spring 2017)
- Patient Advocacy
- Real Estate Transactions II
- Tax II
- Transactional Intellectual Property (occasional)
- Use of Trusts in Estate Planning
- Water Rights Law (occasional)
- Workers Compensation (occasional)
Some courses taught at the Law School from time to time are not included on the above lists. With such courses—usually smaller, seminar-like courses—it is often difficult to predict if and when they will be offered again. Some courses are offered only every other year or so; sometimes faculty themselves do not know what they intend to teach in the succeeding year. Thus, if a course not listed above (and therefore perhaps irregularly offered) is of particular interest to you and is being offered in an upcoming semester, you might want to consider taking it, if your schedule allows.
For a brief discussion of Clinical Programs, see section 2.3.9 below, as well as Chapter 13 (“13. Clinical and Other Experiential Learning Programs at the Law School"); for a discussion of directed reading/directed research, see section 2.3.11, below.
The Law School faculty has established Curricular Concentrations in six areas of studies: Criminal Law; Family Law; Estate Planning; International Law; Labor and Employment Law; and Real Estate Law. Qualifying students are given a document in the summer after graduation reflecting this curricular achievement if they satisfy the requirements for the concentration. The individual Curricular Concentration web-pages are linked from this page: http://law.wisc.edu/academics/courses/
To learn how to register for the first-year Fall Semester courses
discussed at 2.1 above, please follow closely the instructions provided
by the Law School during the summer prior to your arrival in Madison. If you have trouble, the UW Registrar has a series of Demo & Tutorial videos that show how to manage enrollment issues and use the Course Guide.
During the latter part of the Fall Semester, first-year students will select two electives for the Spring Semester. The two mandatory electives will be taken in addition to the required first-year Spring Semester courses (discussed above at 2.1). In November, you will receive a scheduling form by email asking you to indicate your two elective choices. On this scheduling form, you will also have the opportunity to indicate whether you have any extraordinary scheduling needs. Based on these forms, the Law School will determine second semester schedules and will advise you on when and how to register for your first-year Spring Semester courses.
Important Note: In early November, first-years may receive an email from the University assigning a registration time for your Spring Semester courses. Please disregard the registration date on the email, as you will not be able to register until the Law School sets your schedule. As stated above, the Law School will let you know about when and how to register for your Spring Semester courses.
If you have trouble managing the online enrollment system, the UW Registrar has a series of Demo & Tutorial videos that show how to enroll and to use the Course Guide.
In mid-Spring, the Fall Semester schedule for the next academic year will be posted online at: http://www.law.wisc.edu/academics/courses/. (The online course schedule is discussed below at section 2.4). Although the Fall Semester will still be some months away, the upper-level (2L & 3L) course schedule will be complete, and there will be limited changes. Any new course that may be added subsequent to registration will be announced by email. Prior to registration for the Fall Semester, all law students will receive an email from the University Registrar (typically in late March or early April) informing you when your earliest registration time will be. Registration for rising 3Ls (that is, 2Ls who will soon become 3Ls) generally commences on a given date in early April.
Important Note: Any rising 3L who does not register on that precise date will be competing for courses with the rising 2Ls, whose registration generally begins one day after that of the 3Ls. Registration for rising 2Ls (that is, 1Ls who will soon become 2Ls) likewise generally commences one day after the 3L registration on a date in early April. As stated, it is in your best interest to register for courses at your earliest available opportunity. Important Note: Do NOT register for courses whose meeting times overlap. Instructors are free to forbid students from leaving class early or arriving late in order to attend overlapping courses; moreover, overlapping courses sometimes have conflicting final exam times, and an exam rescheduling accommodation will not be granted on the grounds that a student has two final exams at the same time.
If you have trouble with the online registration, the UW Registrar has a series of Demo & Tutorial videos that show how to manage your enrollment and how to use the Course Guide.
A discussion of how to register for “Consent of Instructor” courses and Clinical Programs follows below at 2.3.8 and 2.3.9, respectively.
The number of students who can enroll in a particular course is governed by two factors: (1) the classroom’s seating capacity, and/or (2) any particular enrollment cap requested by the instructor. The Law School creates wait lists for courses that it believes will be particularly popular. If a course is full for either reason when a student attempts to register, and a wait list has been enabled, then a student may put his or her name on the wait list for the course. A tutorial demonstrating how to add one’s name to the wait list for a course is available on the UW-Madison Registrar’s office website at http://registrar.wisc.edu/isis_helpdocs/enrollment_demos/V90WaitList/V90WaitList.htm
The Law School monitors enrollment in courses with wait
lists on a daily basis, and if and when a seat becomes available, if you are
first on the wait list you will receive an email message from Jane Heymann,
Curricular Coordinator, notifying you that you have 48 hours to enroll in the
course. If you do not register for the
class within the 48 hour period, we delete your name from the wait list and offer the seat to the next student on the
If an open-enrollment (i.e., one that does not require consent of instructor) course that does not have a wait list becomes full, the best way to get into it is to continue to try to register for the course. As students add and drop courses, seats will often become available. Persistence frequently pays off!
Of course, an instructor whose course is “consent of instructor” (see section 2.3.8 below) may certainly add interested students to the list of those the instructor has already approved for the course (as long as there are enough seats in the classroom). This is possible because it is the faculty member who is effectively controlling the enrollment. Similarly, an instructor whose class is full because of an instructor-set enrollment limit can ask the Law School to lift the enrollment cap (again, as long as there are enough seats in the classroom) to let in more students.
To determine if seats are still available in certain courses, go to the enrollment module on your My UW page, select the "class search" function, select the department ("Law"), then select "show open courses."
Upperclass (2L and 3L) students may not take courses that may be identified as 1L-only electives. In the Spring Term there may special sections of certain courses available for 1Ls only to take as electives. These courses are specifically designed and offered for the first-year law students. These are not open-enrollment sections; 2Ls and 3Ls may not register for them.
In mid-to-late Fall, the Spring Semester schedule for the next academic year will be posted online at: http://www.law.wisc.edu/academics/courses/.
(The online course schedule is discussed below at 2.4). At that point,
the Spring Semester will be but a few months away. The upper-level (2L
& 3L) course schedule will be complete and there will be limited
changes. All law students will receive an email from the University
Registrar (typically in early November) informing you when your
earliest registration time will be. Any new course that may be added subsequent to registration
will be announced by email.
Registration for 3Ls generally commences on a given date in mid-November. Important Note: Any 3L who does not register on that precise date will be competing for courses with the 2Ls, whose registration generally begins one day after that of the 3Ls. Registration for 2Ls, likewise, typically commences one day after the 3L registration on a date in mid-November. Just as in the case of registering for the fall semester, it is in your best interest to register for courses at your earliest available opportunity. Similarly, as with the fall semester, do NOT register for courses whose times overlap. Instructors are free to forbid students from leaving class early or arriving late in order to attend overlapping courses; moreover, overlapping courses sometimes have conflicting final exam times and an exam rescheduling accommodation will not be granted on the grounds that a student has two final exams at the same time.
A discussion of how to register for “Consent of Instructor” courses and Clinical Programs follows below at 2.3.8 and 2.3.9, respectively.
The online course schedule (see 2.4 below) will indicate (in the "Notes" column) which courses require "Consent of Instructor." If you desire to take one or more of these courses, you should contact the instructor(s) concerned. Instructors offering "consent" courses will create a list of approved students and forward it to the Law School Office. When the Law School Office receives an instructor's list of approved students, registration authorizations will be entered, and approved students will be contacted by email and informed that they may then register for the course. The process will normally take a few days, depending on how quickly the faculty member produces the list and provides it to the Law School Office.
Students interested in any clinical program must apply to that
program by contacting the clinical supervisor. Clinical courses are not
open-enrollment courses; rather, they are the functional equivalent of
“Consent of Instructor” courses —that is, you will need the permission
of the clinical supervisor in order to register.
When the Law School Office receives a clinical supervisor’s list of
approved students, registration authorizations will be entered and then
approved students will be contacted by email and informed that they may
then register for the clinical.
Students should be aware, when determining how many credits to take
in a particular clinical, that Law School Rule 3.14 mandates that a
student should work “no less than 45 hours per semester” for each
credit earned. Also, please note that students are not free to
“construct their own” clinical program or receive academic credit for
any internship or externship that has not been approved by the Law
Note, however, that students can apply to set up and receive academic credit for a broad array of externship opportunities. See section 13.3 ("Externships").
Finally, the American Bar Association requires that law students at ABA-approved law schools receive no monetary compensation for their academic work in any clinical program or externship course (incidental out-of-pocket expenses excepted).
Each summer a few courses from the law curriculum may be offered. The courses offered depend on faculty availability in any given summer, although typically required courses (both for the J.D. degree and for Diploma Privilege) are offered. Courses that form part of the First-Year Program (with the exception of the first-year electives) are not offered during the summer.
Additional Note: It may be technically possible for a full-time student starting in September to complete degree requirements by August two years later (i.e., precisely 24 months later--and no earlier); this would entail taking, after the first year, approximately 18 credits in each of the 2L semesters, plus approximately 22 summer credits over two summers. Be advised, however, that (1) sufficient variation in summer course offerings in subsequent summers is not guaranteed; and (2) completing J.D. degree work in 24 months is difficult and not necessarily advisable for most students.
Directed reading and directed research are governed by Law School Rule 3.13. Note that no more than eight credits of directed reading and six credits of directed research can be applied to the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree. (Additionally, a single directed reading is limited to from one to three credits.) Letter grades are not authorized for directed research or directed reading; grading will be simply “satisfactory/unsatisfactory.”
Directed research will result in the production of a research paper; a student’s directed reading will be tested by some form of written work. To register, you must find a faculty member who will agree to supervise your work, and then obtain and complete a green Directed Reading or Directed Research form (available in Room 5110A and on the Law School website at www.law.wisc.edu/current/forms.htm), have the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project sign it, and return the form to Room 5110A.
Preliminary note: law students who will be studying abroad should
see generally chapter 12 (“Dual Degrees, Study Abroad, and
Certificate Programs”), as well as section 9.5.1. Law students who will be
visiting at another U.S. law school should also see section 10.2.
UW Law students who are not in their last semester of law studies and who are currently studying abroad or visiting at another U.S. law school may face special difficulties in registering for their return semester at the UW Law School. If you are on a UW-Madison approved study abroad program, you may still be technically enrolled in the Law School in the current semester and thus eligible to web-enroll for the follow-on semester (and may have a registration time assigned by the University Registrar). If you are able to web-enroll, you should do so at the appointed time. If you have questions about your enrollment status and ability to web-enroll, you should contact the University Registrar’s office to inquire. The email address for such inquiries is: Webenroll@em.wisc.edu.
If your study abroad or visiting-student status means you are not able to web-enroll for the follow-on semester at the same time as your classmates, you may contact Jane Ford Bennett (at email@example.com) in the Law School Office in advance of the date your classmates can first register; on the registration date itself, Jane will attempt to “reserve” seats (if available) for you in your preferred classes until such time as you can web-enroll (which is typically after you have submitted a “Re-entry Form”). Note that this service is provided merely as a courtesy to students studying abroad/visiting elsewhere who are without the ability to web-enroll; such students are not guaranteed seats in their preferred classes and seats will not be set aside in advance.
Students are prohibited, by American Bar Association rules, from taking more
than 18 credits per term. (See ABA Standard for Approval of Law Schools
311(c)). For more information, see “Credit Limitations” at section
4.3 infra. (Note that Law School Rule 3.09, which states that the
applicable limit is 19 credits, pre-dates the ABA's limitation; the University’s registration
technology has the limit set at 18 credits as discussed above).
Students who have questions concerning their credit-load or related concerns should see the Law School Registrar in Room 5107 or Jane Ford Bennett in Room 5110A.
An online course schedule for current and, at times, prospective semesters is available by going to http://www.law.wisc.edu/academics/courses/ and clicking on the appropriate semester choice. In viewing the online schedule, you will note that it is divided into a number of columns. The purpose of some of these columns is self-evident; however, a few (listed below) merit some elaboration.
Call Numbers. Five-digit Call Numbers are codes needed for registration. You do not register using the Course and Section Number, but they can help you to determine the Call Number.
60/90 codes: The 60/90 column indicates whether the course meets either the 60 Credit Rule or the 90 Credit Rule. Although these rules are explained in some detail elsewhere (for the 60 Credit Rule see 4.6.2; for the 90 Credit Rule see 4.4.1), a brief explanation follows here: If a course is covered by the 60 Credit Rule, this means the course credits are applied toward the sixty credits required for Diploma Privilege — in addition to fulfilling the requirements for the J.D. degree — whereas courses covered by the 90 Credit Rule are applicable only to the J.D. degree, but not to the Diploma Privilege. If a course is marked by an asterisk in the 60/90 column, one of the following is being indicated: Clinicals (a maximum of five clinical credits total, even if multiple clinics are taken, will apply to the 60 Credit Rule, but all clinical credits will apply to the 90); Professional Responsibilities (one credit applies to 60; all count toward the 90); Trial Advocacy (four credits maximum count toward the 60; all count toward the 90); Lawyering Skills (five of the eight credits will apply to the 60, but all will count toward the 90). See 4.6.4.
64 Rule code: The 64 Rule column indicates how many credits, for any given course, will be attributable to the "64 credit rule." The 64 credit rule is an ABA requirement, contained in Standard 311(a), which makes graduation conditioned on at least 64 credits of the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree to be completed in courses with regularly scheduled class sessions or direct faculty instruction. See Section 4.3 below.
Pass-Fail code: This is found in the "Notes" column. If the
course is a mandatory Pass-Fail course, or the instructor has indicated
that the Pass-Fail option is available, the notation “PF” will appear.
(The notation for mandatory Pass-Fail courses is typically “PF only”). If the instructor has indicated that the Pass-Fail option will not be
available, “No PF” will appear. If no Pass-Fail information is recorded
for a course, this means the information is not currently available; you should check with the instructor if this information is important
to you. (Read more about Pass-Fail grading in Section 9.3.)
Required Courses: The "Notes" column also contains information about whether a course meets one of the Diploma Privilege or Graduation requirements.
Prerequisite courses/ “or consent”: In the “Notes” column, some courses are listed as requiring a certain prerequisite course; others are similarly listed, but are also available for students not having the prerequisite if they secured the prior permission of the instructor. Such a course listing will indicate the pre-required course followed by the words “or consent.”
Legal Writing code: This code, which appears as the letters “LW,” is also found in the "Notes" column. Per Law School Rule 3.11.1, J.D. candidates have an “Upper-level Writing Requirement” and are required to complete one rigorous writing experience subsequent to the completion of the first year. Students matriculating in Fall 2010 and 2011 satisfied this requirement with the course Legal Research & Writing II. For students who matriculated in Fall 2012 or later, curricular activities meeting this requirement will be designated by the Dean and are denoted in the Notes column with “LW.” Students, however, are urged to check with the course instructor to ensure that they will indeed be able to fulfill the Upper-level Writing Requirement in the course.
Course Descriptions: Any currently available Course Description can be accessed by clicking on the title of a course as it appears on the Course Title column. Please note that updating the Course Description function is a continual process. If a Course Description is missing, this means attempts are being made to secure it from the instructor concerned. If there is scheduling information in the description that conflicts with the online course information, rely on the online course schedule information rather than the description.
Conflicts Between Your “My UW” Schedule and the Online Course Schedule: Due to computer interface problems, on rare occasions your individual “My UW” course information might not coincide with that on the Law School’s online schedule. The Law School’s online schedule is kept constantly up-to-date and contains correct, current information. If there is a conflict between information contained on these two databases, you should rely on the Law School’s online schedule.
Of the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree, law students are
allowed to apply up to six credits of graduate level or foreign language course work completed at other
schools at the University. (Law School Rule 3.08). Before any non-law
credits can be applied toward the J.D. degree, however, the
requirements of Law School Rule 3.08 must be strictly observed, with
the single exception that language courses (the only undergraduate
courses allowed under the rule) need not necessarily be “conversational
Spanish.” Study of other languages within the University will also be
acceptable. Note that Rule 3.08(1)(d) requires a “B” or better (on the
University’s 4.0 scale) for the credit to be counted toward the J.D.
degree. Grades of B/C or lower do not qualify. (Of course, grades
earned in non-Law courses do not factor into one’s Law School 4.3-scale
GPA.) To take a Non-Law course for Law credit, complete and submit the
Permission To Take a Graduate Level Non-Law Academic Course for Law Credit form that may be found on the Forms page. Note: Among other non-qualifying courses, "enrichment courses" (such as ballroom dance, yoga, golf, etc.) will not count toward the 90 credits needed for the JD degree.
If you are cancelling your enrollment or plan to withdraw from Law School, either temporarily or permanently, please contact the Director of Student Life, Mike Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org, (608) 890-0115). The UW Registrar has information on deadlines for withdrawals here.
Law students are not permitted to formally audit law courses. (A formal audit involves enrolling in a course on an audit basis; the course appears on the transcript.) Law School policy prohibits law students enrolling in law courses on an audit basis. However, students wishing to "sit in" on a course (that is, informally 'audit' a course) may, in all courses except first-year courses, seek the instructor's permission to do so. Informal auditors do not take examinations or receive course credit, and are expected to comply with any participation/attendance ground-rules set by the instructor agreeing to the informal audit arrangement.
Retaking a course is considered in the Law School Rules as re-writing an examination. See section 7.4 below and Law School Rules 6.04, 6.05 and 6.09 for specific information.