Go to the U of M home page.

Home > Prospective Students > Curriculum


For 125 years, the University of Minnesota Law School has had a tradition of curricular innovation. Through a rigorous and dynamic combination of theory and practical training, the Law School equips students to solve the complex social, economic and business issues of our time. The Law School is recognized internationally for the breadth and depth of its legal writing and clinical education program, which offers 22 clinical education courses that range from bankruptcy to domestic violence to immigration.

The Law School has particular strengths in business law; criminal justice; international law and human rights, and; law, science and technology. These areas of focus offer some of the world's most accomplished scholars plus dedicated scholarship funding, ample practical experience opportunities and excellent post-grad placement.

In recent years, the Law School has introduced the unique Law in Practice course in the first year, as well as capstone courses in the second and third years to build students' professional development, employment readiness and analytical skills.

At the University of Minnesota Law School, first-year students have a choice of electives, a rarity among law schools; second- and third-year students have a rare flexibility and depth of options.

Capstone Courses

Capstones offer students opportunities to work as teams to solve real world problems in the areas of environment, labor, and health law while developing skills in analysis, writing, presentations, negotiation and communication.


Widely accessible to students, clinics provide real-world situations to help clients from diverse populations, low-wage earners and those dealing with consumer protection and criminal issues by partnering with local law firms and non-profit organizations. These experiences help build collaboration, writing, presentation, negotiation and problem-solving skills.


The Law School offers several cutting-edge legal concentrations, drawing from the expertise of our nationally renowned faculty and interdisciplinary partnerships with other University of Minnesota programs. Students can specialize in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Justice, Environmental and Energy Law, Health Law and Bioethics, Human Rights Law, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, International Law, and Labor and Employment Law.

Law in Practice

The Law School's new Law in Practice, a required course for first-year students, is one of the Law School's most recent significant curricular innovations. The required course for first-year students is designed to help students apply their growing knowledge of legal doctrine to the practice of law. Law in Practice combines "law firm" classes taught by full-time faculty with simulations in small "practice groups" led by adjunct faculty who are practicing attorneys.

First Year
First-year students are required to take several courses focusing on the essential skills of reading, analyzing, and applying cases, statutes and constitutional provisions in the areas of contracts, torts, constitutional law, civil procedure, property, and criminal law. Legal writing is required each semester. Entering students can choose one course from among Corporate Law, International Law, Civil Procedure II, and Perspectives on the Law.

Second and Third Years
Second- and third-year students can structure their own areas of study but must take two required courses: Professional Responsibility and Constitutional Law II.  Both can be taken in either the second or third year. Students may choose to specialize in particular fields of law, with formal concentrations available in Business Law, Criminal Justice, Environmental and Energy Law, Health Law and Bioethics, Human Rights Law, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, International Law, and Labor and Employment Law.