Student Handbook: Section XI

Curricular Matters


§ 11.1  Required Courses and Course Descriptions

The courses required for the J.D. degree are listed in §1.2. Descriptions of courses are published on the Chicago-Kent web site.

§ 11.2  Recommended Courses for Upper-Level Students

Courses with an asterisk (*) cover material that is likely to be tested on many states' bar examinations, including that of Illinois. Other subject areas may also be tested; you should review the Bar Exam Information section of each semester's Registration Bulletin - or, if you plan to take another state's bar examination, contact the bar examiners in that state - before deciding which of these and other courses to take.

I. The faculty believes that every student should take:

A. *Business Organizations (4 hours)
B. *Evidence (3 hours)
C. Personal Income Tax (3 hours)
D. *Remedies (3 hours)

II. The faculty believes that every student should take at least 15 hours from the following list of courses, with most courses taken from subsection A and at least one course taken from subsection B. Courses not included in this list should not be thought of as less challenging or unimportant. They may have been left off because they cover advanced or very specialized material, or because they focus on non-traditional legal materials. Students may take some of those courses with their remaining electives.

For those students whose grade point average is in the lower third of the class after they complete their first year of law school (two semesters for full-time Day Division students and three semesters for part-time Day Division students and for Evening Division students), we recommend in the strongest terms possible that they take at least 20 hours (rather than 15) from the following list, with a heavy emphasis on courses that cover subject matter that may be tested on the Bar Exam.

A. Courses in major areas of law:

  1. Administrative Law (3 hours).
  2. Civil Litigation: one of the following: Appellate Courts and Procedure (3 hours), Civil Procedure 2 (3 hours), Complex Litigation (3 hours), Federal Courts (3 hours), *Illinois Civil Procedure (2 hours).
  3. Commercial Law: one or two of the following: *Secured Transactions (3 hours), *Payment Systems (3 hours), *Survey (4 hours).
  4. *Conflict of Laws (3 hours)
  5. *Constitutional Law: First Amendment (3 hours).
  6. Criminal Procedure: *The Adjudicative Process (3 hours), or *The Investigative Process (3 hours).
  7. *Estates and Trusts (4 hours).
  8. *Family Law (3 hours).
  9. International Law (3 hours) or Comparative Law (3 hours).
  10. *Products Liability (2 hours).

B. Courses focusing on statutory analysis and/or administrative agencies:

  1. Antitrust (3 hours).
  2. Bankruptcy (3 hours).
  3. Copyright Law (3 hours) or Patent Law (3 hours).
  4. Employee Benefits Law (2 or 3 hours).
  5. Employment Discrimination (3 hours).
  6. Environmental Law & Policy (3 hours).
  7. Labor Law (4 hours).
  8. Legislation (3 hours).
  9. Securities Regulation (3 hours).
  10. Taxation of Business Enterprises (4 hours).

III. The faculty believes that every student should take at least one skills or one clinical course from the following list of such courses. The Illinois Bar Examination includes the Multistate Performance Test, which tests six fundamental lawyering skills: problem, solving, legal analysis and reasoning, factual analysis, communication, organization and management of a legal task, and recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas. Each of the courses listed below teaches some of the above-listed skills. You should review the Bar Exam Information section of each semester's Registration Bulletin - or, if you plan to take another state's bar examination, contact the bar examiners in that state - before deciding which of these courses to take.

A. Skills courses:

  1. Business Entity Formation (3 hours).
  2. Business Entity Transactions (3 hours).
  3. Employment Litigation (3 hours) (for students in the Labor and Employment Law Certificate Program only).
  4. Pretrial Litigation (3 hours) (for students in the LADR Program only).
  5. Trial Advocacy (3 hours).

B. Clinical courses:

1. In-House Clinic (3 or 4 hours):

a. Center for Open Government Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
b. Civil Litigation Clinic(3 or 4 hours). 
c. Criminal Defense Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
d. Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
e. Family Law Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
f. Intelletual Property-Patent Clinic (3 hours).
g. Mediation and Other ADR Procedures (3 or 4 hours).
h. Plaintiffs Employment Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
i. Tax Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
j. Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic (3 or 4 hours).
k. Intensive Clinic (10 hours)

2. Judicial Externship (4 hours).
3. Legal Externship (4 hours).
4. Labor and Employment Externship (4 hours) (for students in the Labor and Employment Law Certificate Program only).

§ 11.3  Course Prerequisites

A student must have completed the prerequisite(s) indicated below before taking the courses. Other prerequisites may be published in the Registration Bulletin. A student who registers for a course without the necessary prerequisite will be removed from the course regardless of when the noncompliance is discovered. A student seeking to have a prerequisite waived should complete a Waiver of Prerequisite form and have it approved by the instructor and the Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Student Affairs prior to registration.

Courses listed as "recommended" are helpful but not required. Course names following the underlined course are prerequisites unless otherwise indicated.

Administrative Law - Constitutional Law

Advanced Property: Real Estate Transactions - Property

Advanced Tax Transactions - Personal Income Tax

Alternative Dispute Resolution - 40 credit hours completed; not available if you have taken either Mediation or Negotiations

Banking Law - recommended: Estates and Trusts; Business Organizations

Bankruptcy - recommended: Secured Transactions

Business Entity Formation - Business Organizations

Complex Litigation - Civil Procedure

Constitutional Torts/Section 1983 - Constitutional Law

Construction Law - Property

Corporate Finance - Business Organizations; recommended: Accounting for Lawyers and Securities Regulation

Employment Discrimination - recommended: Constitutional Law

Employment Litigation - either Employment Discrimination or Employment Relationships

Environmental Law and Policy 1 - Property

Environmental Law seminars - Environmental Law & Policy 2

Estate Planning - Estates and Trusts, Personal Income Tax, and Gift & Estate Tax completed or being taken concurrently

Estates and Trusts - Property

Federal Courts - Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law

First Amendment - Constitutional Law completed or being taken concurrently

First Amendment Theory - Constitutional Law completed or being taken concurrently

Futures Regulation - recommended: Administrative Law and Securities Regulation

Forensic Sciences - Evidence

Gift & Estate Tax - Personal Income Tax completed or being taken concurrently; recommended: Estates and Trusts

In-House Clinical Tax Program - Personal Income Tax and permission of Law Offices

International Criminal Law - International Law

International Environmental Law - Environmental Law & Policy 2

Land Use - Property 

Legal Rights of Children - recommended: Family Law

Legal Writing 2 - successful completion of Legal Writing 1

Mediation - 40 hours completed; not available if you've had ADR. 

Negotiations - 40 hours completed; not available if you've taken Alternative Dispute Resolution

Patent Litigation seminar - Patent Law 

Patent Office Practice - Patent Law

Public Sector Employment - recommended preparation: Labor Law

Remedies - Property and Civil Procedure; recommended: Evidence

Securities Regulations - Business Organizations

Tax Procedure - Personal Income Tax

Taxation of Business Entities - Personal Income Tax; recommended: Accounting for Lawyers; Business Organizations

Tax Planning for International Business - Personal Income Tax

Trial Advocacy 1 - Evidence; Civil Procedure

Trial Advocacy 2 - Trial Advocacy 1