The first year of law school (first two years, for part-time students) introduces students to the foundations of our legal system and the fundamentals of legal analysis and argumentation. At the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University we have designed our first-year curriculum to address the changing realities of legal practice in an increasingly multinational and multicultural world. Transnational Law, a required first-year course, is an innovative class that allows students to put their studies into a broader context that explores the relationship of international and foreign law to the American legal system.
While many law schools have abandoned small sections in their first-year courses — feeling they are too labor intensive and expensive to teach — each student at Hofstra Law is placed in a small section of 35-45 students in two courses. We believe that the small sections provide an irreplaceable opportunity for first-year students and professors to interact in an intimate, seminar-like setting.
The curriculum for full-time students in their second and third years (and part-time students in their third and fourth years) is largely composed of electives, permitting students to direct their studies in light of their own goals and interests. Along the way, students must satisfy two writing requirements (PDF), in which they get detailed feedback and advice on their written work, and a skills requirement (PDF), in which they receive practical training in lawyering. Hofstra Law has long been known for its outstanding skills courses.
Offering more than 200 courses, the upper-level curriculum allows students to explore practically any area of law. We offer area-specific concentrations, enabling each student to craft an individualized course of study, with faculty advice, that brings together doctrinal, procedural and skills courses in an area of particular interest.