Academic Requirements

First Year Program

Under even the best of circumstances, the first year of law school is intimidating: new materials, new concepts and virtually a new language. Our program is designed to ease your transition and equip you with the skills you will need to succeed in law school and in your new career.

Your first year at UM begins with our Introductory Program. During an early week of law school, instead of jumping headlong into torts, civil procedure, and criminal law, you will study the American legal system, and alternatives for resolving legal disputes, and you will be introduced to legal analysis and jurisprudence. You will even participate in a mock trial before your first two weeks of law school are complete.

The Introductory Program also includes panels of faculty and lawyers discussing topics ranging from legal careers to the social role and responsibilities of lawyers. From your first day at UM, you will be part of our innovative law firm program. Throughout your first year, you and several classmates will meet once or twice a week with a specially trained upperclass student. You will collaborate on research, analysis, writing, along with theory and practice assignments. Do not be surprised if your law firm spawns a study group that works together outlining and discussing all of your classes.

We limit our entering classes to approximately 80 students, so you will never have a class session larger than that. In fact, many of our first-year courses are taught in two or three sections, so you will often have class with only 25 to 40 of your classmates. (Most of our upperclass electives have enrollments of only 15 to 25 students.) This low student/faculty ratio encourages student participation and helps you get to know your professors.  

First-year Required Course Work

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Civil Procedure I Civil Procedure II
Contracts I Contracts II
Lawyering Fundamentals: Theory & Practice Lawyering Fundamentals: Theory & Practice
Lawyering Fundamentals: Research Lawyering Fundamentals: Legal Writing
Lawyering Fundamentals: Analysis
Torts I Torts II
Criminal Law

Second-year Required Course Work

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Business Organizations Business Transactions
Constitutional Law Professional Responsibility
Evidence Trial Practice
Property I Property II
Federal Tax (or 3rd year)  

Third-year Required Course Work

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Clinical Training ** Clinical Training **
Advanced Writing Requirement  

**Minimum number of credits required for graduation: 4

Information on the Montana State Bar Exam