Academic Programs




The law curriculum at Iowa is designed to develop fundamental lawyers' skills and an appreciation of the roles of law and lawyers in society. Overall, students must complete 84 academic credits and four upper class writing units to be awarded their Juris Doctor.

Curriculum by Subject Areas [pdf]

Courses and Registration

First-Year Curriculum
In addition to the overall program objectives, the first year places an emphasis on developing analytical skills, a sense of the role of legal institutions in our society, and essential writing skills. Each course in the first-year curriculum shares these goals in addition to conveying substantive knowledge about a particular area of the law.  First-year students will have two small section courses each semester.  One course each semester will cover one of the traditional first year subject matters (please see subject matters listed below); this section will be composed of 40 students.  The other small section course each semester is Legal Analysis, Writing and Research; this section will be composed of approximately 20 students. 

Students who enter law school in the fall of 2014 will take the following courses:

Contracts (4sh)
Introduction to Law & Legal Reasoning (1sh)
Legal Analysis, Writing and Research I (2sh)
Property (4sh)
Torts (4sh)

Civil Procedure (4sh)
Constitutional Law I (3sh)
Criminal Law (3sh)
Legal Analysis, Writing and Research II (2sh)
One three hour elective (3sh)

Second- and Third-Year Curriculum
After completing a set of required first-year courses exploring fundamental legal concepts and one elective, students plan their own course of study for the next two years from a rich menu of mainstream, specialized, clinical, and perspective courses. Second- and third-year courses cover the range of specialties within the legal profession, allowing students to sample liberally and follow their professional interests in focusing on a particular career specialization, write for one of the school's four student-edited law journals, pursue joint degrees in law-related graduate programs, or simply obtain the widest possible exposure to the legal landscape.

Second- and third-year students have only a few requirements to fulfill before graduating. They must take Constitutional Law II and complete a course in Legal Ethics as well as completing the necessary writing units. In order to graduate, each student must receive four writing units over and above the writing requirements of the first year. The units can be completed through a combination of courses and co-curriculars that include a writing unit, including seminar papers, independent research papers, work on any of the College's four journals, Legal Clinic, Moot Court Board, and advanced appellate advocacy activities. Please note that two of the four writing units must be earned in courses (including clinic and seminars) or through independent research in which there is direct and ongoing faculty supervision.

Second- and Third-Year Courses
Click on the link below to open the College's Guide to Courses that provides information on courses offered at the College of Law.

Guide to Courses [pdf]
Curriculum by Subject Areas[pdf]

International and Comparative Law
The College offers a multifaceted program for the study of international and comparative law. Supported by more than 20 members of the law faculty who maintain significant teaching and research interests in the field, the International and Comparative Law Program (ICLP) features extensive international and comparative law courses and related academic activities; a Master of Laws (LLM) degree program for both US and foreign law graduates, many foreign students and visiting foreign professors; several study-abroad programs; an innovative student/faculty journal; and several active centers for international and comparative law research.

Additional support for the program is provided by the College of Law Library, which maintains holdings of more than 165,000 volumes of international, comparative, and foreign law, and a complete United Nations document collection on microfiche. The University of Iowa's Office of International Programs also supports ICLP with extensive international programming throughout the University of Iowa.

For more information, follow these links:

About the International and Comparative Law Program
Applying to Iowa's LLM Program

Innovation, Business, and Law Program
This program integrates intellectual property, antitrust, and corporate law to provide a range of academic opportunities for students interested in those disciplines. 

For more information, please see the Innovation, Business, and Law Program web site.  Please note that the courses listed in this brochure include all UI-approved College of Law courses in these subject areas. The college does not offer each course every year. The College of Law Guide to Courses [pdf] contains a list of courses that have been offered within the past two academic years. It also lists courses the College expects to offer during the next academic year.

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Opportunities for Learning Beyond the Law Classroom

In addition to course work and research opportunities, students at the College of Law are presented with numerous opportunities to enhance and supplement their legal skills.

Academic Achievement Program
Clinical Law Programs
Joint Degree Program
Moot Court
Client Counseling
Trial Advocacy
Writing Resource Center

Study Abroad

The University of Iowa College of Law sponsors programs in London, England; Arcachon, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bucerius, Germany. Students may also apply to ABA-accredited programs offered by other law schools.

General Information
London Law Consortium (spring semester)
Arcachon, France
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Lisbon, Portugal

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