law students attending a classroom lecture.

Learning Outcomes and Performance Criteria: J.D. Program

The Law Faculty has adopted the following Learning Outcomes and Performance Criteria for the J.D. Program.

Learning Outcome 1: Graduates will effectively navigate substantive and procedural law.

Graduates will demonstrate competency in this learning outcome by:

a.     recalling, articulating, and explaining core concepts, doctrines, principles, and policies in the fundamental areas of law taught in required courses: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts; and

b.     recalling, articulating, and explaining core concepts, doctrines, principles, and policies of other important bodies of law such as administrative law, bankruptcy, business organizations, criminal procedure, environmental law, evidence, family law, federal courts, gratuitous transfers, tax, or work law. 

Learning Outcome 2: Graduates will exhibit competency in legal analysis, legal reasoning, and problem-solving.

Graduates will demonstrate competency in this learning outcome by:

       a.     identifying legal issues raised by a factual scenario and the facts and legal concepts, doctrines, principles, and policies necessary to evaluate those issues;

       b.     analyzing, analogizing, and distinguishing statutes, cases, and other legal authorities and synthesizing them into coherent legal guidance;

       c.     applying the legal concepts, doctrines, principles, and policies necessary to evaluate a factual scenario and articulating and critically appraising credible arguments and counterarguments; and

       d.     formulating legally appropriate recommendations that take account of the circumstances, interests, and objectives of the client and other parties concerned.

Learning Outcome 3: Graduates will exhibit competency in legal research.

Graduates will demonstrate competency in this learning outcome by:

a.     developing effective legal research strategies, including identifying and prioritizing relevant primary and secondary sources and employing appropriate search terms and techniques; and

b.     competently using the principal tools and resources of legal research to locate the relevant case law, statutes, and other legal authorities.

Learning Outcome 4: Graduates will communicate effectively in written and oral form.

Graduates will demonstrate competency in this learning outcome by:

a.     drafting legal documents, including objective and persuasive analyses of legal issues, that are organized, clear, concise, accurate, and free of grammatical, spelling, and citation errors; and

b.     making presentations, including a persuasive oral argument, that are organized, clear, concise, and accurate.

Learning Outcome 5: Graduates will fulfill their ethical responsibilities to clients, the legal system, and the public.

Graduates will demonstrate competency in this learning outcome by:

a.     recalling, articulating, and explaining core concepts, doctrines, principles, and policies of the law and ethical norms governing the practice of law;

b.     recognizing and resolving professional responsibility issues that arise in the practice of law;

c.     reflecting critically upon the obligations of attorneys;

d.     recognizing how differences in experience, identity, and values may affect client representation;

e.     understanding the attorney’s professional responsibility to support the duty of service to the underrepresented, so that all individuals have equal access to our justice system; and

f.      appreciating the attorney’s responsibility to promote justice.

Learning Outcome 6: Graduates will possess the professional skills required for competent performance in the legal profession.

Graduates will demonstrate competency in this learning outcome by:

a.     engaging in exercises in which they proficiently execute lawyering activities such as counseling or negotiating on behalf of clients;

b.     behaving in professional interactions with a demeanor that reflects conscientiousness, integrity, and respect for everyone involved;

c.     working independently and proficiently to organize, plan, and manage legal projects;

d.     employing work practices that ensure efficient allocation of time, effort, and resources and timely performance and completion of legal work;

e.     critically assessing and improving their professional skills and work product;

f.      exercising leadership and teamwork skills, including collaboration and conflict resolution; and

g.     communicating and building professional relationships effectively, especially across cultural and other differences.