Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree Program

 

Juris Doctor (J.D.)

PART I

  • Introduction to Law and Legal Writing (6 units) -- Introduction to the basic concepts of law and legal writing, and the history of the American system of jurisprudence and juristic theory that originated from, and was developed and formulated through, the common law of England, and is now recognized as an organic part of the jurisprudence of most of the United States.

  • Criminal Law (6 units) -- A study of that branch or division of the law that relates to crimes and their punishments.

  • Contracts (6 units) -- A study of the promissory agreements that exist between two or more persons or entities and that create, modify, or terminate legal relationships. The different classifications of such agreements and the requisite elements of each will be distinguished.

  • Torts (6 units) -- An analysis of the private or civil wrongs or injuries which occur because of the violation of duties imposed by law and not by mere agreements between parties. The course analyzes cases involving injuries to persons or to reputation or feelings, as well as to injuries and damage to real and personal property. Specific topics such as negligence, defamation of character, invasion of privacy, misrepresentation, and assault and battery will be discussed.

PART II

  • Real Property (6 units) -- A study of the body of law relating to land and improvements thereon; as distinguished from movable personal property. The English Common Law as it relates to real property will be emphasized.

  • Remedies (6 units) -- A study of the common law remedies afforded to private persons or entities in the civil courts insofar as their rights have been injured by the civil wrongdoing of another; as distinguished from the remedy of criminal prosecution for injury to the rights of the public.

  • Criminal Procedure (6 units) -- A course analyzing the methods prescribed by law for the apprehension, trial or prosecution and fixing the punishment, of those persons who have broken or violated, or are supposed to have broken or violated the criminal laws.

  • Agency and Partnership (6 units) -- A study of the legal aspects of the rights and liabilities of individuals involved in or dealing with agency relationships and partnerships. The course analyzes the creation of an agency, the master and servant relationship, the authority of an agent, dissolution and termination of a partnership and related agency and partnership concepts.

PART III

  • Corporations (6 units) -- An analysis of the procedures involved in forming a corporation, as well as the rights and duties of directors, shareholders and corporate officers. Comparative attention is given to court-made legal principles as well as to the rapidly expanding impact of federal regulation of corporations and securities.

  • Constitutional Law (6 units) -- Topics include separation of governmental branch powers, including the Case and Controversy Doctrine and powers of the President; division of powers between the federal government and the states; constitutional limitations on governmental regulations of economic interests and fundamental personal interests under the equal protection and due process clauses; due process and procedure; the state action concepts; and freedom of speech and religion.

  • Evidence (6 units) -- A study of those rules of law that determine what testimony and documentary proof should be admitted or rejected in each case, and the weight to be given to the testimony and exhibits admitted.

  • Civil Procedure (6 units) -- A course that studies the methods of enforcing rights and remedies in a civil lawsuit, including pleading, process, and practice whether in the state or federal court. The course analyzes the regular and orderly progress of a civil action from its commencement to the entry of judgment.

PART IV

  • Professional Responsibility (Ethics) (6 units) -- A study of the ethical duties and professional responsibilities that apply to members of the legal profession in California and under the American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility and the Code of Judicial Conduct.

  • Community Property (6 units) -- A survey of the law that relates to property owned together by husband and wife. Particular emphasis will be given to the California community property system and recent California developments in community property law.

  • Administrative Law (6 units) -- A study of the rules and regulations related to commissions and boards created by legislative power. The governmental powers, legislative policies and purposes that serve as the basis for administrative law will be examined along with the administrative remedies available. 

  • Wills (6 units) -- A survey of the fundamental rules and concepts governing estate planning and administration. Course coverage includes: intestate succession, family protection and the limits on the power of testation, execution, revocation and revival of wills, introduction to interpretation of wills, contracts to make wills, will substitutes, creation and modification.

  • Trusts (6 units) -- A study of the law related to the creation, modification and termination of intervivos and testamentary private trusts, the nature of the beneficiaries' interests in private trusts, introduction to charitable trusts, introduction to the administration of trusts and, an analysis of the powers, duties, rights and liabilities of fiduciaries, management of assets, and fiduciary accounting.

ELECTIVES

(Elective courses are for third and fourth year students, and; for transfer students who have to take more courses to meet individual requirements placed upon them by the Committee of Bar Examiners, and have already completed all, or almost all, of the standard curriculum of Northwestern California University.)

  • Legal Research (6 units) -- A course that focuses on techniques used in finding appropriate books and other materials in the law library and through online research to draft legal pleadings such as complaints, demurrers, memorandums, supporting and opposing motions, points and authorities, and other documents (i.e., articles of incorporation, wills, trusts, petitions for dissolution of marriage or bankruptcy, etc.).

  • Legal Writing (6 units) -- A course designed to develop logical and creative legal thinking and writing for both examination and legal practice purposes.

  • Legal Practice (6 units) -- Practical training that allows students to create a meaningful purpose for themselves in the field of law, to choose an area of specialty, and to determine the kind of practice in which they would be most interested or best suited. Requires work in a law office under the internship of a lawyer, found by the student, who is willing to certify the scope, depth and length of the work experience. Also requires that the student prepare a paper discussing the ethical, social, practical and moral issues involved in such a practice. (Certain additional written work can, with prior written approval, be substituted for the work experience/internship requirement.)

  • Professional Skills (6 units) -- A course in which students develop a fictitious lawsuit and then draft pleadings, discovery, and motions on behalf of the parties in the case. The skills focused on include organization, legal analysis, legal writing, legal ethics and tactics.

  • Legal Document Drafting (6 units) -- A course that exposes students to basic legal document drafting in various settings. Drafting techniques common to most legal documents will be explored from the perspective of a small law office setting. Students will represent a fictitious client and assist that client in a variety of matters including contract drafting, will preparation, negotiation and settlement of a dispute, and legislative drafting on a topic involving the "client's" interests.

  • Trial and Appellate Advocacy (6 units) -- A practical course designed around a fictitious case to provide students with an understanding of the rules of evidence and their application in a trial and appellate setting. The course has an instructional component which draws upon assigned readings to contextualize various exercises. The focus of the exercises is on planning, case theory, trial strategy and tactics, opening statements, direct and cross examination of witnesses, closing arguments, appellate brief writing and appellate oral arguments.

  • Medical Jurisprudence (6 units) -- A study of the science which applies the principles and practice of the different branches of medicine to the identification and determination of doubtful questions in a court of justice. Course coverage involves a mixed science of law and medicine, sometimes referred to collectively as "forensic medicine".

  • International Law (6 units) -- A study of the law which directs the course of nations. The course provides an analysis of the customary law which regulates the exchange and communications between independent nations in peace and war.

  • Philosophy of Law (6 units) -- A study involved with the application of the rational techniques of the discipline of philosophy to the subject matter of law. Course coverage includes: the nature of law; moral theory and its application to law; crime and punishment; and, law and economics.