Course Advising

The School of Law offers a broad array of elective courses, in addition to its required curriculum. The School of Law also provides opportunities for obtaining a certificate, acknowledging in-depth study in the areas of American Indian Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, or Alternative Dispute Resolution. The following provides an overview of our curriculum opportunities and information on registration.

Spring 2018 Registration Information

Registration is done through CYBERBEAR.

  • For Current 3Ls: CYBERBEAR opens Tuesday, November 7
  • For Current 2Ls: CYBERBEAR opens Wednesday, November 8
  • For Current 1Ls: CYBERBEAR opens Thursday, November 9

Make sure your pin number is working before pre-registration. Also, please keep your mailing address current on CYBERBEAR.

Refer to the academic calendar for other important dates.

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Required Courses

The first year curriculum focuses on foundational legal concepts, and is a fully required curriculum. It combines theory and practice. For example, students learn the elements of negligence in Torts, and implement those concepts by briefing and arguing a summary judgment motion in Legal Writing and Theory & Practice. Our Law Firm Program affords a small group venue that allows 1L students to learn concepts through simulated practice.

Students continue to learn foundational concepts as part of the 2L required curriculum and to apply those concepts in Business Transactions, a course that simulates lawyering skills used in a business practice, and Trial Practice, a course that simulates trial skills. During the second year of law school, students may select additional courses from a selection of elective offerings.

During the third year of law school, students move from skills simulation to the representation of clients as part of our clinic program. Students generally tailor third year courses to reflect their interests by choosing from our elective offerings.

First Year Required Courses

Fall Semester (15 credits)

Spring Semester (13 credits)

  • Contracts (4 credits)
  • Criminal Law (3 credits)
  • Lawyering Fundamentals: Legal Analysis (1 credit)
  • Lawyering Fundamentals: Theory & Practice (1 credit)
  • Lawyering Fundamentals: Research (2 credits)
  • Torts (4 credits)
  • Civil Procedure (4 credits)
  • Lawyering Fundamentals: Theory & Practice (2 credits)
  • Lawyering Fundamentals: Legal Writing (3 credits)
  • Property (4 credits)

*Beginning with the entering class of 2017.

* First Year Spring Elective Options (3 credits)

  • Criminal Procedure - Investigative (3 credits) - Required for Criminal Law and Judicial Clinics
  • Intro to Environmental Law (3 credits) - Required for the Environmental and Natural Resources Certificate and some environmental clinics
  • Tribal Courts/Tribal Law (3 credits) - Satisfies the Indian Law certificate and meets Indian law clinic prerequisite
  • Negotiations (3 credits) - Required for the Alternative Dispute Resolution certificate and Mediation clinic

Second Year Required Courses

Fall Semester (14 credits) Spring Semester (10 credits)
  • Constitutional Law (4 credits)
  • Evidence (3 credits)
  • Property (4 credits)
  • Federal Income Tax (3 credits)*
  • Business Organizations (3 credits)**
  • Business Transactions (2 credits)
  • Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
  • Trial Practice (unless on Trial Team) (2 credits)

*May be taken during the 2L or 3L fall semester.
**May be taken during either Spring 1L, Spring 2L or Spring 3L semester.

Third Year Required Courses

Clinic (4 credits) - May also be completed during the summer immediately prior to 3L year.

During the 2L or 3L year, law students must also complete an Advanced Writing Requirement.

Advanced Writing Requirement

Students must satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement by the time of graduation. Students may complete the Advanced Writing Requirement on a topic of their choice. The classes eligible for satisfaction of the Advanced Writing Requirement are listed on the Fall and Spring Class schedules, and are subject to change from year to year. Students may also satisfy the requirement through either Law Review or through an Independent Study as provided in the Student Handbook. In all cases, each written and oral component of the Advanced Writing Requirement must be satisfied as set forth in the Student Handbook.

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Bar Exam Subjects

Bar exams are State specific. Some states use the tests prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The National Conference of Bar Examiners prepares the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, the Multistate Bar Exam, the Multistate Essay Exam and the Multistate Performance Test. Montana has opted to use these examinations in part as indicated on the Montana State Bar web site, Board of Bar Examiner’s Rule 103.

The following required and elective course offerings cover subjects generally tested on bar examinations:

  • Business Associations (Includes Agency, Partnership, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies)
  • Civil Procedure
  • Conflicts of Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Property (Includes Future Interests)
  • Sales and Leases
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates (Includes Decendent's Estates, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts)
  • Secured Transactions

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Elective Courses

During the second and third year of law school, students may take elective courses. Some elective courses are offered only in alternate years as indicated below. Please note that an elective course may not be offered in a particular year if the instructor who teaches the course is not available or if a sufficient number of students do not register for the course. Notice of a course cancellation will be provided as soon as feasible.

  • Advanced Legal Research for Academic Writing
  • Agricultural Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Corporate Tax
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigative
  • Economic Development in Indian Country
  • Family Law
  • Independent Study
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intro to Environmental Law
  • Law & Literature
  • Law Practice Management
  • Montana Constitutional Law
  • Montana Law Review II
  • Montana Law Review IV
  • Natural Resource & Energy Law
  • Negotiations
  • Partnership Tax
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Preparing for the Bar Exam
  • Products Liability
  • Public Land Law Review II
  • Public Land Law Review IV
  • Race, Racism & American Law
  • Renewable Energy
  • Taxation of Property Transactions
  • Client Counseling Team
  • Pace Environmental Moot Court
  • Jessup Moot Court
  • NALSA Moot Court
  • Trial Team
  • Advanced Skills Competition (2nd year team)
  • Tribal Courts/ Tribal Law
  • UCC Article 2 Sales and Leases
  • Water Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Criminal Procedure - Adjudicative
  • Employment Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Healthcare Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Land Use Planning and the Environment
  • Legislation: Law and Politics
  • Natural Resource Conflict Resolution
  • Oil & Gas
  • Public Lands and Resources Law
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Secured Transactions
  • Tax Practice and Procedure
  • White Collar Crime
  • Advanced Constitutional Law
  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Agricultural Law
  • Animal Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Protection
  • Corporate Tax
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigative
  • Family Law
  • Federal Habeas Corpus Case Study
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Environmental Law
  • Intro to Environmental Law
  • Law & Literature
  • Law Practice
  • Montana Constitutional Law
  • Native American Natural Resource
  • Natural Resource & Energy Law
  • Negotiations
  • Partnership Tax
  • Products Liability
  • Property Tax
  • State & Local Government
  • Tribal Courts/ Tribal Law
  • UCC 2 & 3
  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Problems in Federal Indian Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Art and Cultural Property Law
  • Criminal Procedure – Adjudication
  • Employment Law
  • Estate Planning: Wills and Trusts
  • Federal Courts
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Healthcare Law and Regulation
  • Insurance Law
  • Lawyers' Values
  • Legislation, Law, and Politics
  • Natural Resources Conflict Resolution
  • Oil and Gas
  • Public Land and Resources Law
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Remedies
  • Renewable Energy Law
  • Tax Policy Seminar
  • UCC Article 9 - Secured Transactions
  • Water Law
  • White Collar Crime
  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Advanced Mediation
  • Advanced Problems in Federal Indian Law
  • Agricultural Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Child Advocacy
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Consumer Protection
  • Corporate Tax
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation
  • Economic Development in Indian Country
  • E-Discovery
  • Estate and Gift Tax
  • Family Law
  • First Amendment Seminar
  • Intro to Environmental Law
  • Intro to Intellectual Property Law
  • Land Use and Environment
  • Law and Literature
  • Law Practice Management
  • Montana Constitutational Law
  • Natural Resources and Energy Law
  • Negotiations
  • Partnership Tax
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Products Liability
  • State and Local Government
  • Taxation of Property and Transactions
  • Tribal Courts / Tribal Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Alternative Disputre Resolution
  • American Indian Natural Resources
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Conflicts of Laws
  • Consumer Protection
  • Contracts I
  • Criminal Procedure - Adjudication (formerly Advanced Crim Pro)
  • Domestice Violence
  • Environmental Crime
  • Estate Planning: Wills and Trusts
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Lawyer's Values
  • Legislative and Political Process
  • Natural Resource Conflict Resolution
  • Oil and Gas
  • Public International Law
  • Public Lands and Resource Law
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Remedies
  • Renewable Energy
  • Secured Transactions
  • Tax Practice and Procedure
  • Water Law
  • Wildlife Law

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Independent Study

Law students may undertake one independent study project during either the second or third year with a faculty advisor and approval of the Curriculum Committee. The project may not be used as a substitute for course content available to the student in the law school curriculum or eligible cross-listed courses. The normal credit for independent study, including study associated with satisfaction of the advanced writing requirement, is one credit. Work that substantially exceeds this amount, and is equivalent to a two-credit course, may earn a maximum of two credits. Additional information is available in the Student Handbook. Independent Study forms are available online on the UMSL Student Information Moodle page.

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Non-Law Graduate Courses

A law student may, with the approval of the Curriculum Committee of the Law School, take up to six graduate-level credits in other departments of the University for law credit. To gain approval, the proposed non-law class must have a substantial relationship to law or legal problems, and must match the student’s professional interests or needs in a way that existing Law School courses cannot. Proposals must be submitted by the last class day of the semester previous to the semester in which the non-law course is offered. Non-Law Course Request forms are available online on the UMSL Student Information Moodle page.

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Joint Degree Programs

To enroll in one of the joint degree programs, the law student must be accepted to both schools. Prior to enrollment in the program, the student must meet with either the Associate Dean or the Associate Dean of Students to complete the enrollment form. We offer the following joint degree programs:

  • JD/Masters of Business Administration
  • JD/Masters of Environmental Studies
  • JD/Masters of Public Administration

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Certificate Programs

In order to register for a certificate program, the student must meet with either the Associate Dean or the Associate Dean of Students no later than the beginning of the student’s 2L year to complete the appropriate registration form. We offer the following certificate programs:

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Areas of Concentration

If you have an interest in an area of law, you might consider a series of related courses. The following lists certain practice areas of law and provides suggestions for courses important to each area. Faculty advisors are also available to help you select courses that match your interests.

Course Advisors: Professors Pippa Browde, Jonathon Byington, Elaine Gagliardi, Sam Panarella, Cathay Smith

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Contracts I

Federal Income Taxation

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Property I

Business Organizations

Business Transactions

Contracts II

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Property II

Core Elective Courses

Estate Planning: Wills & Trusts

Real Estate Transactions

Secured Transactions, UCC Art 9

Corporate Tax

Estate & Gift Tax

Intellectual Property

Partnership Tax

Sales & Leases, UCC Art. 2&2A

Tax of Property Transactions

Recommended Courses

Administrative Law

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Employment Law

Insurance

Oil & Gas

Tax Exempt Orgs (2018)

Water Law

White Collar Crime

Agricultural Law

Bankruptcy

Intro to Environmental Law

Land Use & the Environment

Negotiations

Clinics: DNRC, MDOT, RMEF, UM Legal Counsel (tech transfer, entrepreneurship), USDA

Course Advisors: Professors Pippa Browde, Eduardo Capulong, Cynthia Ford, Larry Howell, Anthony Johnstone, Hillary Wandler

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Civil Procedure I

Evidence

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Torts I

Civil Procedure II

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Trial Practice

Torts II

Core Elective Courses

Appellate Advocacy

Remedies

E-Discovery

Recommended Courses

Administrative Law

Advanced Trial Advocacy (summer)

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Employment Law

Federal Tax and Procedure

Federal Courts

Insurance Law

Law & Social Justice (winter)

Legislation: Law and Politics

Advanced Mediation

Business Organizations

Civil Rights Litigation

Conflict of Laws

Consumer Protection

Family Law

Intro to Intellectual Property

Negotiations

Supreme Court Seminar

Tribal Courts/Tribal Law

Workers Compensation

Clinics: ASUM, ACLU, City Attorney, County Attorney, Judicial Clinic, Mediation Clinic, USDOJ

Course Advisors: Professors Jordan Gross, Andrew King-Ries and Maylinn Smith

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Constitutional Law

Criminal Law

Evidence

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Trial Practice

Core Elective Courses

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication

White Collar Crime

Criminal Procedure: Investigation

Recommended Courses

Advanced Trial Advocacy (summer)

Appellate Advocacy

Domestic Violence (2018)

Negotiation

Child Advocacy

Juvenile Justice (2018)

Montana Constitutional Law

Clinics: Appellate Defender, City Attorney, County Attorney, Holistic Defense, Federal Defenders, Innocence Project, Judicial Clinic, Public Defender, USDOJ

Course Advisors: Professors Cynthia Ford, Anthony Johnstone and Hillary Wandler

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Property I

Federal Income Taxation

Evidence

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Property II

Business Organizations

Business Transactions

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Trial Practice (or Trial Team)

Core Elective Courses

Administrative Law

Elder Law (winter)

Estate Planning: Wills & Trusts

Insurance

Remedies

Secured Transactions (UCC Article 9)

Bankruptcy

Sales and Leases (UCC Article 2 & 2A)

Family Law

Intro to Intellectual Property

Recommended Courses

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Federal Indian Law

Real Estate Transactions

Negotiations

Law Practice

Partnership Tax

Corporate Tax

Taxation of Estates and Gifts (2018)

Taxation of Property Transactions

Clinics: ASUM, Child Support, MLSA, UM Legal Counsel

Course Advisors: Professors Pippa Browde, Eduardo Capulong and Anthony Johnstone

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Civil Procedure I

Constitutional Law

Contracts I

Evidence

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Torts I

Business Transactions

Civil Procedure II

Contracts II

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Torts II

Trial Practice

Core Elective Courses

Administrative Law

Federal Courts

Legislation, Law & Politics

Civil Rights Litigation

Montana Constitutional Law

Recommended Courses

Appellate Advocacy

Criminal Procedure: Adjudicative

Federal Income Taxation

Federal Indian Law

Federal Tax Practice & Procedure (2018)

Public Lands & Resource Law

Tax Policy Seminar

Tax Exempt Organizations (2018)

Advanced Constitutional Law

Consumer Proetection

Criminal Procedure: Investigative

Intro to Environmental Law

Land Use & the Environment

State & Local Government

Tribal Courts/Tribal Law

Clinics: ACLU, City Attorney, Consumer Protection, County Attorney, Innocence Project, Judicial Clinic, UM Legal Counsel, USDOJ

Course Advisors: Professors Monte Mills and Maylinn Smith

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Lawerying Fundamentals Series

Business Transactions

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Trial Practice

Core Elective Courses

Federal Indian Law

Water Law

Recommended Courses

Advanced Problems in Federal Indian Law

Art & Cultural Property

Natural Resources Conflict Resolution

Public International Law

Public Lands & Resources Law

Renewable Energy

Advanced Problems in Federal Indian Law

Economic Development in Indian Country

Intro to Environmental Law

Natural Resources & Energy Law

Tribal Courts/Tribal Law

Clinics: Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic

Course Advisors: Professors Michelle Bryan and Sandra Zellmer

Course Category Fall Semester Spring Semester

Core Required Courses

Federal Income Taxation

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Property I

Business Transactions

Lawyering Fundamentals Series

Property II

Trial Practice

Core Elective Courses

Administrative Law

Public Land & Resources Law

Water Law

Intro to Environmental Law

Land Use & the Environment

Recommended Courses

Legislation: Law and Politics

Natural Resources Conflict Resolution

Oil & Gas

Renewable Energy

Natural Resource & Energy Law

Environmental Law Research (winter)

Clinics: DNRC, Land Use & Natural Resources, RMEF, USDA