Building on the traditional foundation of required doctrinal courses, UDC Law students choose from among an array of elective courses and opportunities to gain experience through supervised legal work inside and outside the school. Many law students are interested in a general legal education, and are not sure what career path they intend to follow. They are free to choose any combination of electives and experiences that sound interesting and round out their general legal education. For students who know they would like to specialize in a certain kind of law, we have developed Pathways to Practice in eight broad practice areas:
- Civil Rights and Equality
- Criminal Law
- Family and Juvenile Law
- Housing and Community Development Law
- Immigration Law and Human Rights
- Public Service/Public Policy
- Solo and Law Firm Practice, and
- Transactional Law Practice
You are not required to choose a Pathway, and if you do, you may choose to change paths at any time. Many of the courses and experiential opportunities overlap several Pathways, and choosing one does not commit you to follow a specific curriculum. Rather, we offer Pathways to help you choose core courses, electives, clinics and other experiential learning opportunities that connect with specific areas of study and career paths. They will help you build a body of knowledge, skills and experience that will prepare you for practice in your chosen field. You will also build a network of like-minded colleagues, faculty advisors, alumni and prospective employers to help you make the transition from law school to practice.
You may choose a Pathway at any time in your legal education, and you are free to change your Pathway at any time as well. In the summer following your first year, you may choose to take one of the recommended electives, or to obtain a Summer Public Interest Fellowship in your field. When it comes time to choose a clinic preference, the Pathways will guide you toward the clinics that will best prepare you for your chosen field. In the summer following your second year or in your final semester, you may wish to seek an Externship placement in your field. You may also choose elective seminars that permit you to satisfy the Upper Level Writing Requirement by writing a scholarly paper relevant to your field.