Students must complete 90 semester hours of courses. The community service program, which requires 25 hours of service each semester, enhances that coursework.
First-year students take the traditional courses required by most law schools including Torts, Property, and Contracts. Since the transition to law school can be stressful, ASL does not rank first-year students. Instead, the competition is between students and their course material, not their classmates. Students participate in our Academic Success Program, designed to ease the transition from college to law school. Our Writing Center provides assistance with writing assignments.
In the summer prior to their second year, students are required to serve an externship with a judge or lawyer, further providing hands-on experiences to increase their practical understanding of the law.
Second-year students continue with the core legal curriculum tested on most state bar exams. However, unlike most law schools, ASL offers an introductory course in Dispute Resolution, a growing area of law that has always been a focus of ASL's curriculum. Upper-level Dispute Resolution courses are also available. Interested students may gain experience to become civil mediators as part of the Lawyer As Problem-Solver (LAPS) program.
Second-year students may also choose such electives as Appellate Advocacy, which qualifies them to try out for ASL's award-winning Moot Court teams.
As a unique feature to the ASL experience, qualifying students will be awarded a Juris Master degree upon successfully completing their first semester of their second year.
In the third year, our students take electives and seminars in the areas of the law that interest them most. They may also take small practicum courses, designed to give them a solid foundation in areas such as Family Law, Real Estate Transactions, and Estate Planning. Trial Advocacy, a popular practicum, can lead to membership on one of ASL's award-winning Trial Advocacy teams.
All third-year students take Bar Preparation, a semester-long course that offers a review of the subjects covered on the Multistate Bar Examination and various state bar examinations. The course includes diagnostic and practice examinations with individual scoring and feedback.
ASL is there for its students even after graduation, providing support and encouragement as students prepare to take the bar exam. Our faculty serve as bar mentors, meeting with graduates as they prepare to take the bar exam in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, and West Virginia.