First-Year Part-Time Curriculum
Georgetown's first-year program is designed to provide students with the foundation for upperclass studies by introducing the major areas of substantive law while developing the analytical, research and writing skills required of all lawyers. Students in our part-time section, like four of our five full-time sections, are instructed under "curriculum A", the traditional first-year curriculum which parallels those at all major law schools.
Students in the first-year part-time section take 19 credit hours and attend classes on four evenings. Classes meet from 5:45 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. on two or three evenings and until 8:50 p.m. on the other evening(s). First-year classes are not scheduled on Friday evenings.
The first-year classroom instruction is complemented by "1L 101", a series of programs led by faculty and administrators on topics including reading and briefing cases, synthesizing the material, and preparing for exams. These programs are offered in both afternoon and evening times.
In the first year, part-time students take Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I: The Federal System, Contracts, Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis, and Torts. In their upperclass years, part-time students take the remaining first-year courses (Criminal Justice, Property, and a course designated as meeting the First-Year Elective requirement). For course descriptions and the current schedule, see the first-year schedules in our Curriculum Guide.
All first-year students have the opportunity to request a seat in the optional one-week, 1-credit course "First-Year Week One Simulations," which meets in January. In these Week One courses, students engage in scenarios that have been developed by Georgetown Law faculty to mirror situations that lawyers face in the real world, allowing students to practice critical legal skills such as conflict resolution, trial skills, interviewing, client counseling, legal document drafting, strategic planning, problem solving, teambuilding, stress management, presentation skills, professionalism, and emotional intelligence. Simulation courses are structured to permit for mistakes and provide opportunities for immediate feedback and reflection, giving students the supportive space to hone these legal skills before they need to rely on them in practice. For first-year students, the Week One courses are not only an introduction to experiential learning and the Law Center’s experiential education programming, but a first-hand view into lawyering competencies and law in practice.
The First-Year Part-Time Student Handbook has been prepared by the Office of J.D. Academic Services as a useful primer on this foundational year of your J.D. studies.