Guidelines for Choosing Your First-Year Electives

In the spring semester of your first-year, you will register for one or 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.

[* Note: On September 7, 2018, the Law Faculty approved a pilot program for the Spring 2019 Term that will allow each 1L student to opt to take one elective course rather than two.]

Civil Procedure II

This course satisfies the "Jurisdiction of Courts" requirement of the Mandatory Subject Matter Areas for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege and also counts toward the 60-credit rule (See Section 4.6 of the Student Handbook). 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 and is a continuation of the first-semester Contracts I course. This course does not fulfill a requirement for graduation or the WI Diploma Privilege but does count towards the 60-credit rule for Diploma Privilege. (See Section 4.6 of the Student Handbook). 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.

International Law
This course 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 requirement of the Mandatory Subject Matter Areas for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege and also counts toward the 60-credit rule for Diploma Privilege.  Students who plan to do advanced work in the area of criminal law and/or who hope to spend their 1L summer enrolled in one of the many Remington Center criminal-law-based clinical programs, such as the Innocence Project or LAIP, may wish to strongly consider taking this course as a spring semester elective.

Constitutional Law I
This course satisfies the Constitutional Law I requirement of the Mandatory Subject Matter Areas for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege and also counts toward the 60-credit rule for Diploma Privilege.  It is generally 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. (Note: Administrative Law is not typically a 1L elective choice when the 1L elective "Legislation and Regulation" (discussed below) is available as an option.)

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 Diploma Privilege 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.

Legislation and Regulation
 Legislation and Regulation satisfies the "Legal Process" graduation requirement and counts toward the 60-credit rule for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege.  Only first-year students will be permitted to enroll in this elective course. The course provides an introduction to the federal laws and governmental institutions that shape significant aspects of social and economic policy. The course addresses legislation, statutory interpretation, regulation and administrative agencies. Legislation and regulation play the dominant role in shaping law and governance in the modern American legal system. 

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