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Learning Outcomes

The UMass Law curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn a wide variety of practice areas and practical skills. However, the following Learning Outcomes and Performance Criteria reflect the core competencies that every UMass Law graduate should develop in the areas of legal doctrine and analysis, professional skills, and professional identity.

Legal Doctrine and Analysis

LO1.1: Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of substantive and procedural law and the American legal system.

  • PC1.1.1: Graduates will identify, describe, interpret, and critique the rules and policies of the fundamental areas of American substantive law, including civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, property, and torts.
  • PC1.1.2: Graduates will identify, describe, interpret, and critique the rules and policies of at least two additional bar-tested areas of substantive law, such as business organizations, commercial law, family law, secured transactions, and trusts and estates.
  • PC1.1.3: Graduates will identify, describe, and critique the American legal system’s structures and processes.

LO1.2: Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the ethical standards applicable to lawyers and the practice of law in the American legal system. 

  • PC1.2.1: Graduates will identify and describe the sources of the law governing lawyers in the American legal system.
  • PC1.2.2: Graduates will identify, describe, and interpret the rules and policies of the law governing lawyers in the American legal system.

LO1.3: Graduates will demonstrate competency in legal analysis and reasoning.

  • PC1.3.1: Graduates will identify the legal issues that apply to a given set of facts.
  • PC1.3.2: Graduates will read legal authorities critically and synthesize the key rules, standards, and policies from those authorities.
  • PC1.3.3: Graduates will harmonize apparently conflicting authorities, recognize genuinely conflicting authorities, and analyze which conflicting authority should apply.
  • PC1.3.4: Graduates will analogize to and distinguish from the facts of relevant cases.
  • PC1.3.5: Graduates will apply the pertinent rules and standards to the relevant facts.
  • PC1.3.6: Graduates will assess the policy implications of the applicable rules and standards to the relevant facts.
  • PC1.3.7: Graduates will identify and evaluate potential counterarguments.

Professional Skills

LO2.1: Graduates will demonstrate competency in written and oral legal communications. 

  • PC2.1.1: Graduates will draft clear, effective, professional, and well-organized memoranda that predict how the law applies to the client’s circumstances.
  • PC2.1.2: Graduates will draft clear, effective, professional, and well-organized briefs that advocate for a client’s position.
  • PC2.1.3: Graduates will deliver clear, effective, professional, and persuasive oral arguments to trial and appellate judges. 
  • PC2.1.4: Graduates will make clear, effective, professional, and well-organized presentations to clients and supervisors.
  • PC2.1.5: Graduates will listen actively to clients, judges, colleagues, and others.

LO2.2: Graduates will demonstrate competency in problem solving.

  • PC2.2.1: Graduates will identify and explore their clients’ goals.
  • PC2.2.2: Graduates will identify and diagnose problems as they relate to their clients’ goals.
  • PC2.2.3: Graduates will generate and evaluate potential legal and non-legal solutions.
  • PC2.2.4: Graduates will develop and implement plans of action to advance their clients’ goals. 

LO2.3: Graduates will demonstrate competency in legal research.

  • PC2.3.1: Graduates will identify and effectively employ the fundamental tools of legal research.
  • PC2.3.2: Graduates will design and implement logical research plans that accommodate temporal and financial constraints.
  • PC2.3.3: Graduates will locate authorities that provide the rules and policies applicable to a given factual situation.
  • PC2.3.4: Graduates will distinguish binding from persuasive authorities and assess the weight of authorities.

LO2.4: Graduates will demonstrate competency in collaboration and self-evaluation.

  • PC2.4.1: Graduates will listen to colleagues respectfully, work cooperatively toward shared goals, and treat conflicting viewpoints among colleagues as an opportunity for improving understanding.
  • PC2.4.2: Graduates will identify and reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses and assess their professional performance.
  • PC2.4.3: Graduates will use their self-assessment to plan future efforts for improvement.

Professional Identity

LO3.1: Graduates will exercise proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system.

  • PC3.1.1: Graduates will identify ethical and other professional dilemmas in their practice of law.
  • PC3.1.2: Graduates will apply ethical standards to help resolve ethical and other professional dilemmas. 
  • PC3.1.3: Graduates will demonstrate integrity, reliability, diligence, and judgment in their professional interactions with others. 
  • PC3.1.4: Graduates will recognize common causes of lawyer misconduct and be aware of sources of support for lawyers.

LO3.2: Graduates will support the legal profession’s obligation to promote justice.

  • PC3.2.1: Graduates will advance the profession’s obligation to promote public access to adequate legal services. 
  • PC3.2.2: Graduates will contribute to improving the quality of service rendered by the legal profession.

LO3.3: Graduates will support UMass Law’s mission as the Commonwealth’s public law school to serve the common good.

  • PC3.3.1: Graduates will understand their role as legal professionals as a form of service to others that transcends their personal interest.

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