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1.4 First-, Second- and Third-Year Programs

  1. The first-year program consists of nine required courses totaling 31 credits. A student may elect to defer a required first-year course (other than Law 200) until the second year if:
    1. the student's undergraduate grade point average as calculated on the CAS report is 3.08 or lower, or the student's LSAT score was 154 or below, these numbers to be adjusted yearly to reflect the bottom ten percent of the entering class;
    2. the student's grade point average at the end of the first semester of law studies is 2.0 or below; or
    3. the student receives two or more grades of C- or lower at the end of the first semester.
    For purposes of computing the grade point average at the end of the first semester, Law 207, Legal Research and Writing, will not be considered. (See also paragraph 5.5.)
  2. Students may elect what courses to take in their second and third years, subject to the following rules:
    1. In either the second or third year a student must take
      1. At least one course which is designated as satisfying instruction in professional responsibility; and
      2. At least one course which is designated as satisfying instruction in professional skills.
        Effective for students entering the law school in Fall 2016 and beyond this changes to:
        One or more course (s), totaling at least six credits, designated as satisfying instruction in professional skills.
    2. Each semester a student must pass enough courses to earn at least 10 credits. Students may not take courses totaling more than 17 credits.
    3. The total credits in Law 408, 410A-B, 411A-D, 412, 413, 414, 414A, 415, 416, 417A-B, 418, 419, 419A, 425, 430, 446, 450, 455, 460, 465, 470, 475, 495, 498, 498A, 499 and 499A plus the total credits (in excess of two) under paragraphs 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9 may not exceed 16 of the 88 units required for graduation. With the permission of the dean, a student may earn four additional such credits.
    4. With the permission of the dean, a student may enroll in a single class worth not more than three regular class credits in conjunction with a clinical semester.  In the case of students enrolled in Law 475, that single class shall be Law 475A.  With the permission of the dean, a student may also enroll in a single co-curricular activity worth not more than two credits.  A student may earn no more than 15 total credits during a clinical semester.  A student may not reduce the clinical course's unit value in order to facilitate concurrent enrollment in an additional class or co-curricular activity.
    5. The total credits in Law 425, 430, 446, 450, 455, 460, 465, 470 and 475 may not exceed 14 of the 88 units required for graduation.
  3. In the second or third year, a student must complete a writing project. This project may take any of several forms, for example, a paper, a brief, a memorandum of law, a proposed statute, a statutory scheme or set of administrative regulations (with explanatory comments), or a will or agreement (with explanatory comments). This means an individually authored work of rigorous intellectual effort of at least 20 typewritten, double spaced pages, excluding footnotes. The requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways:
    1. Complete a law school seminar or course that requires a writing project. This will be the normal method for meeting the writing requirement. No units in addition to those given for the seminar or course will be given for the writing project.
    2. With the prior consent of the instructor and the dean, complete a writing project in connection with Law 419, Advanced Writing Project (1-4 units), under the active and regular supervision of a faculty member: The student may use prior research (from a law school course, clinical, summer job, moot court work, law review work, or the like) as the starting point for the project, but, if that is done, then the number of units to be awarded for Law 419 must be reduced accordingly.
    3. Complete a student work of membership quality as a writer for the UC Davis Law Review. Jointly authored articles are acceptable providing that the authors can establish to the satisfaction of the faculty law review advisor, that each author's contribution is equivalent to the effort required for an individually authored paper that meets the requirements of this paragraph. No units in addition to those given for law review writing will be given for the writing project.
    4. Complete a brief for the National Moot Court Team, the Traynor Moot Court Competition, or the Jessup International Law Competition. No units in addition to those given for participating in the competition will be given. To be entitled to meet the writing requirement, a member of the team must establish to the satisfaction of the moot court advisor that his or her contribution is equivalent to the effort required for an individually authored paper that meets the writing requirement. The faculty advisor to the moot court program must certify that the brief submitted as a writing meets the writing requirement of paragraph 1.4C.
  4. A student may not use a course to satisfy more than one of the academic requirements set forth in Regulation 1.4.  For example, a course that is used to satisfy the writing requirement set forth in Regulation 1.4(C) cannot be used to satisfy the requirement for a course satisfying instruction in professional skills set forth in Regulation 1.4(B)(1)(b).
  5. A “credit” is an amount of work that reasonably approximates not less than 50 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two sixty minute hours of out-of-class student work per week for fifteen weeks (including one week for a final examination), or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.