Curriculum

IV. Curriculum

A. Prescribed Curriculum
1. Prescribed Curriculum Generally
All students must take the following courses, in the sequence specified by the Faculty: Bar Preparation*; Business Associations; Civil Procedure I; Civil Procedure II; Constitutional Law I; Constitutional Law II; Contracts I; Contracts II; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Dispute Resolution; Estate Planning; Evidence; Externship; Family Law; Legal Process I; Legal Process II; two Practicum courses; Professional Responsibility; Property I; Property II; Secured Transactions and Payment Systems; Strategies for Legal Success (includes Introduction to Law) and Torts. All students also must satisfy both the Seminar/Rigorous Writing Requirement and the Upper-Level Writing Skills Requirement. In addition, all students must take a prescribed number of Capstone Courses, including at least one State Practice Elective.

*Bar Preparation is a designated Capstone course. Students meeting certain prescribed academic performance criteria may petition to ‘opt out’ of Bar Preparation.

2. Part-time Sequence
For part-time students, the sequence of courses is arranged by the student with the Dean; however, prior to graduation, the part-time student must complete all courses required of full-time students.

B. Deviations from Prescribed Curriculum
Absent permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, full-time students may not deviate from the prescribed sequence of courses.

C. Failure to Complete a Course Successfully
Any student who, for whatever reason and in whatever fashion, does not successfully complete and receive credit in a required course must enroll in that course at the earliest available opportunity.

D. Seminar/Rigorous Writing Requirement
1. Seminar Requirement Generally
Except as provided below, each student must take a Seminar, in which, under the supervision of the faculty member teaching the student’s Seminar, the student will complete one paper which is either an expository or argumentative writing of at least twenty double-spaced, typed (or word-processed) pages of text exclusive of footnotes. Each seminar shall provide individualized assessment including review of and feedback on at least one draft prior to submission of the final written product.

2. Independent Study
Students may, with the permission of the Dean, take an Independent Study on a particular topic to fulfill the Seminar/Rigorous Writing Requirement. Students interested in pursuing an Independent Study must find a full-time professor who will agree to supervise their work, and the Independent Study must be completed within one semester. Under no circumstances shall an Independent Study be approved for use as a substitute for a required course other than the seminar/rigorous writing requirement.

3. Law Journal
Students who successfully complete four semesters of service on the Appalachian Journal of Law, including at least two semesters as a member of the Board of the Journal, and who produce a note, which the Board of the Journal and the Journal’s Faculty Advisor deem publishable, may substitute such service for the Seminar Requirement or a two-credit upper level elective course, at the student’s choice. In such cases, the student shall be awarded two semester credit hours for “Law Journal” at the end of the student’s final semester. Successful completion of service on the Journal will be determined by the Journal’s Faculty Advisor. Students may receive a total of two (2) credits for Law Journal, regardless of the number of notes the student prepares.

4. Moot Court
Students who successfully complete four semesters of service on the Appalachian Moot Court Board, independently prepare at least one brief, and compete in an interscholastic Moot Court competition may substitute such service for the Seminar Requirement. Students who successfully complete four semesters of service on the Appalachian Moot Court Board and compete in an interscholastic Moot Court competition may substitute such service for a two-credit upper level elective course. In such cases, the student shall earn two semester credit hours for “Moot Court” at the end of the student’s final semester. The Moot Court Program’s Faculty Advisor(s) will determine whether students have successfully completed Moot Court service and are eligible for seminar or elective credit. Students may receive a total of two (2) credits for Moot Court activities, regardless of the number of competitions in which they compete.

E. Upper-Level Writing Skills Requirement
Each student must successfully complete at least one course that has been designated by the Curriculum Committee as satisfying the Upper-Level Writing Skills Requirement.

F. Community Service Requirement
Students are required to complete 25 hours of community service each semester. During their first semester, students satisfy this requirement by taking the mandatory Introduction to Community Service class. The Community Service Requirement may be waived by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for students on Academic Probation.

G. Bar Preparation Studies Course
All students are required to successfully complete the Bar Preparation Studies Course prior to graduation, subject to the following exceptions. Students who meet the following criteria may opt out of the Bar Preparation Studies Course, with faculty approval:
1. 1. The student must have achieved a 3.00 or higher Academic Standards GPA after the Spring Semester of their 2L year (NOTE: Students whose Academic Standards GPA falls below 3.00 after the Fall semester of their 3L year will be required to adjust their Spring semester enrollment to include Bar Preparation Studies);
2. The student must have scored 145 or higher on the LSAT;
3. The student must not have received 8 or more credits of Not Proficient grades; AND
4. The student must not have been placed on academic probation at any time.