Students at the UW Law School have many opportunities to experience our law-in-action philosophy — an approach that differentiates it from other law schools. Our extensive curriculum places an emphasis on the dynamics of the law: how the law both reflects and causes social change, and how the law as it is practiced can differ from the law described in the statutes. 

First Year Program

The first-year program at Wisconsin is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal analysis and reasoning, as well as legal research and writing, in a supportive setting. 

First Semester (15 credits)

  • Contracts (4 credits)
  • Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law (4 credits)
  • Civil Procedure I (4 credits)
  • Legal Research & Writing (3 credits)

Second Semester (17 credits)

  • Property (4 credits)
  • Torts (4 credits)
  • Legal Research & Writing II (3 credits)

In your second semester, you will choose two electives (from a designated slate of courses) that suit your individual needs and interests.  In recent years, elective options have included:

  • Contracts II
  • Civil Procedure II
  • Administrative Law
  • Business Organizations I
  • International Law
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Introduction to Criminal Procedure


Second- and Third-Year Programs

In your second and third years of law school, you will have time both to explore the curriculum to determine where your interests lie, and to develop the lawyering skills you will need when you graduate.  You will choose your courses from an extraordinary breadth and depth of offerings, affording you the opportunity to explore cutting-edge legal issues in the classroom and to apply your knowledge in one of our many clinical programs.

The University of Wisconsin Law School is a national law school that prepares students to practice wherever they choose, and our graduates have an excellent record for passing state bar exams across the country.  Moreover, graduates who complete specific course requirements and meet character standards are admitted to practice in Wisconsin without a bar examination, as part of Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, also qualifying to practice before the federal courts.

Lock Icon