Course Descriptions

We pride ourselves on our dedication to teaching, and the personal attention our faculty gives to every student permitted by our low student-to-faculty ratio. Our small classes enable every student to get personal attention and build relationships with faculty. 

Our faculty has broad and deep expertise in the law. This is reflected in our rich curricular offerings that allow students not only to build foundational skills, but also to take an array of elective courses in areas of their interest. 

Lower Division/First Year Courses

During the first year of study, students learn the basics of public and private law. The following courses are required for all first-year students to provide them with the necessary grounding in fundamental legal concepts:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Communication and Research I and II
  • Property
  • Torts
  • Professional Responsibility

Upper Division/Second and Third Year Courses

After the first year, students have only four prescribed course requirements to fulfill: Constitutional Law II, Professional Responsibility, a Professional Writing Requirement, and a course in Administrative Law or legislation and statutory interpretation.

The remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through elective upper level courses, clinical and externship experiences for credit, co-curricular activities for credit, and/or graduate-level coursework approved for credit toward the J.D. degree. In addition, law students may take as many as six credits in graduate coursework to apply toward the J.D degree from other Syracuse University colleges with prior approval.

See Sample Course Descriptions

LL.M. Courses

LL.M. students must complete 24-credits (minimum 12 credits per semester) in the academic year to qualify for graduation, but may enroll for up to an additional four credits a semester. Each student must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.2 on a 4.0 scale. Learn more about our LL.M program.

The College of Law’s course offerings are divided primarily on a semester basis (fall and spring) constituting one full academic year. In the first semester, LL.M. students are required to enroll in three courses designed for the LL.M. program:

  • Introduction to American Legal Studies
  • U.S. Legal Writing for LL.M. Students
  • International LL.M. Skills

Students must also enroll in Professional Responsibility in either the fall or spring semester and fulfill a writing requirement in either semester.

This requirement allows the LL.M. student to engage deeply with a faculty member to produce a significant research paper and can be accomplished through one of our many seminar classes or by an independent study. Candidates to the LL.M. in American Law program may choose among four program options to pursue their studies. Our LL.M. students are encouraged to enroll in the core, common law first-year classes such as American Constitutional Law and Contracts as well as to use their electives to explore an array of course offerings and specializations.