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Gonzaga Law Curriculum

Graduation requires 90 course credits, plus 30 hours of public service work. Please consult the Academic Rules in our Student Handbook for more detailed information on our curriculum and graduation requirements.

With its focus on practical skills and legal theory, Gonzaga’s curriculum will prepare you for the day-to-day realities of a legal career.

Our approach emphasizes skills training and professionalism from the first semester of law school through the last, while also providing a solid grounding in legal theory and philosophy.

Course Descriptions

The list below outlines the courses currently offered by Gonzaga University School of Law. These courses are subject to change, and the descriptions will be updated to reflect those changes as appropriate.

Download a PDF of the Course Content Descriptions

The traditional law school curriculum takes three years to complete.

First Two Terms

In your first year of law school, you will take the following courses:

In the fall:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Research & Writing I
  • Litigation Skills & Professionalism Lab
  • Torts 

In the spring:

  • Constitutional Law I 
  • Contracts 
  • Legal Research & Writing II
  • Property
  • Transactional Skills & Professionalism Lab

In our required first-year litigation and transactional skills labs, you will draft complaints and contracts, engage in discovery, interview clients, and develop the skills that practicing lawyers need and which their employers value.

In the first two Legal Research and Writing courses, you will learn to communicate with lawyerly precision and clarity while simultaneously honing your analytical and research skills. You will stay in the same section of LRW in both the fall and spring terms.

For your 1L year, you will be automatically registered for your courses by the Registrar’s Office, and notified by email when registration has been completed. Sections are assigned randomly.

Third – Sixth Terms

After the first two terms, you will choose from a wide variety of classes that emphasize practical skills, theory, or a combination of both.

You will register for your own courses via Zagweb beginning with the summer (optional) or fall following your 1L year.

You are required to take the following courses in your third and fourth terms (fall and spring):

  • Constitutional Law II – 3 Credits
  • Evidence – 3 Credits
  • Legal Research & Writing III – 2 Credits (only available in fall)
  • Legal Research & Writing IV – 2 Credits (only available in spring)
  • Professional Responsibility – 3 Credits

Experiential Learning

You will be required to engage in experiential learning, serving real clients while working with practicing lawyers or judges.

You may complete this requirement in our legal clinic, or in community placements through our externship program beginning in the summer following your 1L year.

Students in the traditional program must fulfill 6 credit hours of experiential learning to complete their degree, but may complete up to 15 total credits.

You must apply for each experience in which you would like to participate. Visit the Experiential Learning page for application information.