Following the required courses, the law school allows the student substantial freedom in the selection of courses and seminars. During the four upper-class terms, approximately 200 class and seminar hours are available to satisfy the 52 or 53 credits required.
This freedom makes it possible for the student to take full advantage of the many areas of legal expertise within the faculty. It permits the greatest latitude for experimentation in many fields of law; the broad choice of courses aids the student in developing a specialization in a particular field of law. The student may prepare for the general practice of law, government service, the world of business, or academic life. Students may pick courses so as to familiarize themselves with the evolving problems in the fields of criminal law, civil rights, civil liberties, constitutional litigation, urban affairs, and behavioral sciences as they relate to the law or jurisprudence. Or, students may design their programs so as to spend academic time with the professor or professors who excite their intellectual curiosity and from whom they can best learn.
Before graduation, the student must satisfy the graduation writing requirement by completing an independently researched paper, at least 25, double-spaced pages long, on a subject involving critical analysis of a legal question. The requirement can be met in several ways, including submission of the paper for an upper-class course, seminar, or clinical program.
Students may apply a maximum of 9 credits of "unscheduled credits" toward the 84 credits required for graduation. Unscheduled credits are academic enterprises other than regularly scheduled courses, seminars, and clinics. They include externships, independent research, moot court boards and competitions, and teaching and research assistantships. Student journal credits are counted as half scheduled and half unscheduled.