CharlotteLaw Curriculum: Innovative curriculum grounded in real-world learning experiences
Charlotte School of Law is challenging the traditional model of legal education by focusing on the practical skills required for success in the legal field. Charlotte School of Law is leading legal education in an exciting new direction by placing a strong emphasis on experiential learning, starting on the first day of classes. Our curriculum approach for all incoming students is grounded in real-world learning experiences, award-winning community service, and demonstrated success in preparing students for the evolving and emerging market realities that today's graduates must navigate.
It is designed to facilitate bar examination success and readiness to step directly into law practice or law-related careers. In addition to legal theory, the curriculum emphasizes practical training in the skills and knowledge required to practice law, run a law practice, communicate with clients and manage cases and transactions. The Charlotte School of Law faculty is composed of individuals with rich practice backgrounds and are thus uniquely qualified to deliver a program that will make a difference in students' professional readiness.
Our curriculum also ensures that all students have at least one intensive and reflective practice-based learning experience during law school. In addition to an extensive cooperative education and externship program, Charlotte School of Law currently offers several client clinic programs. These direct representation clinics enable students to take what they learned in the classroom and apply that knowledge in helping people with real legal problems. Students develop not only an understanding of substantive law, but also an appreciation for what it means to have a real client and to advocate effectively for that client.
Access to Justice Requirement
All incoming Charlotte School of Law students are required to perform 50 hours of qualifying public service over the course of their law school career. While all 50 hours may be done pro bono, up to 30 hours may be completed through qualifying experiences in any course (i.e., clinic, externship, clinical lab, practicum); public interest job; or pro bono project.
CharlotteLaw's First Year Course Descriptions
CIVIL PROCEDURE (4 credits):
This course introduces students to the basics of civil litigation practice, including the rules governing the conduct of the lawsuit from filing a complaint through judgment, the principles controlling access to and jurisdiction of courts, and the ethical implications of civil litigation practice. The Civil Procedure course specifically includes a discussion of pleading, sanctions, notice, service of process, joinder, summary judgment, subject matter and personal jurisdiction, venue, choice of law, and preclusion.
CRIMINAL LAW (3 Credits)
This course looks at the purpose, effectiveness, and methodology of the regulation of human conduct by the infliction or threat of infliction of criminal sanctions. The definitional elements of primary crimes, principles of responsibility, rules of justification, and accessory liability are examined.
TORTS (4 credits):
A comprehensive survey of civil liability for harm to person or property including intentional torts (battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattel, and defenses), negligence (duty, breach, causation, damages, and defenses), strict liability, vicarious liability, dignitary torts, and economic torts.
LAWYERING PROCESS I (4 credits):
This course provides instruction in legal research, analysis and writing. Students learn to use various sources of law and learn the analytical and organizational skills needed to produce objective legal memoranda.
PROBLEMS IN PRACTICE: CIVIL WRONGDOING (1 credit):
An experiential course designed to introduce students to basic practice skills and writing required in civil litigation. This course is also designed to enhance and enrich the concepts learned in Civil Procedure and Torts by framing these concepts in a real world, practice-oriented perspective. In the course, students will gather facts from a client or witness interview, draft pleadings, and motions, and presenting legal findings orally.
PROPERTY (4 credits):
In Property, students will examine the practice and theory of modern property rights and responsibilities. Within a historical context, this course is intended to prepare students to deal effectively with a wide range of issues regarding both real and personal property. Generally, this course will cover but is not limited to, the following topics: adverse possession; ownership, including co-ownership and present and future interests; landlord tenant; servitudes, including easements and covenants; the title system including transfers by deed, estoppels by deed, and the recording system.
CONTRACTS (4 credits):
Through this course, it is expected that students will know the following: the rules that govern contract formation; the elements of a valid contract; defenses to contract formation and enforcement; the parol evidence rule; rules for contract interpretation and implied terms; the creation, effect, occurrence and discharge of express and constructive conditions; post-formation events that may excuse performance; rights of third party
beneficiaries; assignment and delegation; and the remedies for breach of contract.
LAWYERING PROCESS II (3 credits):
In this course, students focus on written and oral advocacy, legal history and philosophy, and personal qualities that are critical to success and effective interaction. The course builds upon the skills students learned in Lawyering Process I by teaching students how research, analysis, organization and writing are used to persuade.
The course also includes an oral argument component designed to train students how to argue substantively and persuasively on behalf of a client.
Prerequisite: Lawyering Process I
PROBLEMS IN PRACTICE: COMMERCIAL AGREEMENTS (1 credit):
An experiential course designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of the transactional practice of law, including deal drafting, client counseling, and negotiation. In the course students will complete a series of practice-ready assignments as junior associates of a fictional law firm using fact patterns that incorporate aspects of traditional contracts and real property doctrine to demonstrate how doctrine translates into the practice of law. This course is also designed to build upon foundational legal research skills learned in the first semester of law school to help students begin to learn how to use research findings to draft deal documents and counsel clients.