Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

1L Curricula In The United States: 2023 Data And Historical Comparison

Prentiss Cox (Minnesota; Google Scholar), 1L Curricula in the United States: 2023 Data and Historical Comparison:

This article reports on a survey of the first year (1L) curricula at U. S. law schools. We were able to obtain data on the 1L course requirements, including credits for each course, at 191 of 196 ABA-accredited law schools. We compared this data to six other surveys of 1L curricula from 1919 to 2010. Important findings include the following: [1] credits for four almost universally required “Big 4” 1L courses (contracts, torts, property and civil procedure) continue a fifty year decline; [2] credits for legal research and writing continue to increase, so that legal writing is now the highest- credit course across 1L curricula 

[3] within the last thirteen years, some law schools have begun to require a 1L legislation-regulation course and schools are increasingly likely to offer introductory non-doctrine courses; and [4] 1L course offerings differ by law school rank, with higher-ranked schools allotting fewer credits to the Big 4 courses but more likely to offer courses in constitutional law, legislation-regulation and electives.

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