The First Year
The first year of legal education at IIT Chicago-Kent consists of required courses in Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Civil Procedure, Legislative Process and the first two semesters of the legal research and writing program. These courses embrace the basic legal relationships in society—those based upon agreement, upon ownership, upon wrongs—and the method of their enforcement and redress. First-year students learn to ask questions about the formation and dissolution of these legal relationships, and to understand that asking the right question is an essential skill.
The development of that skill is reinforced in the legal research and writing program, where advocacy on paper replaces advocacy in person. Particularly in the first year of the program, learning the mechanics of legal writing is subsidiary to learning the methods of analysis that guide all lawyers' tasks. Chicago-Kent's unique introduction to the study of law integrates the use of information technology with the legal research and writing program. Students learn to brief cases with the help of these technologies and to develop an outline of their understanding of the law that can change and grow as they progress through the first year.
Any first-year student who requests a faculty advisor will be assigned one. Whenever possible, students who have indicated an interest in a particular substantive area of the law are assigned to a faculty member whose scholarly work is in that area.
Mastery of legal analysis is the starting point of legal education at Chicago-Kent. After students complete their required courses, they may then pursue a deeper understanding of a particular area of substantive law and refine the practice skills that will enable them to translate that understanding into effective professional conduct.
Requirements for the J.D.
To receive the Juris Doctor, all students must successfully complete 87 credits hours. In addition, students must successfully complete all required courses and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.300.