Photograph: Students in a classroom.

First-Year Program

First Year: Success from the Start

Washburn Law's first-year program, staffed by full-time, tenure-track faculty members, gives you a meaningful start on your legal education. Our low student/faculty ratio allows for informal advising, particularly in your first year of study.

Academic Success Program

Washburn Law has developed a nationally recognized first-year program, Academic Success, to help you maximize your potential for success in law school, on the bar exam, and in law practice. Incoming students take advantage of this program by starting law school a week earlier than second- and third-year students.

Our program's rigorous First Week Program teaches strategies to develop the skills needed for academic success. You will work on daily assignments and special projects in small “law firms” – study groups consisting of four to five new students and a carefully trained and closely supervised upper-division law student “partner.” These group sessions help students learn from each other and de-emphasize competition.

Mentor Program

Washburn Law’s actively engaged alumni offer first-year students a meaningful mentoring experience. You will be paired with practicing lawyers who offer an important connection to the community and serve as a resource for issues related to your career. Many mentor relationships extend beyond law school.

First-Year Courses

Effective Fall 2014, students entering in the fall will take the following courses in their first year:

Fall TermSpring Term
Criminal Law 3 Civil Procedure I 4
Property 4 Contracts 4
Torts 4 Constitutional Law I 4
Legal Analysis, Research & Writing I 3 Legal Analysis, Research & Writing II 3
Total Hours 14 Total Hours 15
For students who enter in the fall, all first-year required courses must be taken before any electives are taken.

Effective Spring 2015, students entering in the spring (learn more) will take the following courses in their first year:

Spring TermFall Term
Civil Procedure I 4 Criminal Law 3
Contracts 4 Property 4
Constitutional Law I 4 Torts 4
Legal Analysis, Research & Writing I 3 Legal Analysis, Research & Writing II 3
Total Hours 15 Total Hours 14

A student must take a minimum of three courses each fall and spring semester. No student may enroll in more than sixteen hours in one semester without approval. Each summer there are two six-week sessions, allowing for enrollment in one or both sessions for a maximum of six hours per session.

Beyond the 29 hours of course work comprising the first-year program, students must complete an additional 61 hours of course work to graduate.

See also upper-level requirements and electives.