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UMass Law's curriculum reflects a combination of tradition and innovation, combining subjects that form the core of a comprehensive legal education with an emphasis on skills and values based on best practices—all within the context of our mission to educate lawyers prepared to pursue justice. 

Curriculum guides & checklists: see Law Enrollment Center

Core program requirements

  • Civil Procedure
  • Contracts‌
  • Property
  • Torts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Evidence
  • Business Organizations

Legal Skills requirements

Legal Skills Program: A three semester Legal Skills requirement uses a simulation-based approach to teach such fundamental lawyering skills as:

  • Legal analysis
  • Legal research
  • Legal writing
  • Oral argument
  • Fact analysis
  • Client interviewing
  • Client counseling
  • Negotiation
  • Collaboration
  • Problem solving

Distribution requirements

There are four "distribution" requirements:

1. Code requirement: Students are required to take at least one course (three credits) in which the primary focus is on statutory law. Courses that satisfy this requirement include:

  • Consumer Bankruptcy
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Payment Systems
  • Sales Law
  • Secured Transactions

2. Foundational requirement: Students are required to take at least one course (three credits) of "foundational" courses, which include:

  • Administrative Law
  • Family Law
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Any elective designated as a code course that is not used to satisfy the code distribution requirement.

3. Practice requirement: All students are required to take at least six credits of "practice" courses. Three of the six practice credits must be satisfied through a clinical or field placement course, thus ensuring that all students have a real professional practice experience. Practice courses include:

In-House Clinics

Off-Site Clinics

Field Placement

Simulation Courses

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Family Law Practice
  • Mass. Civil Practice
  • Mass. Probate Practice
  • Mass. Worker's Compensation
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Residential Landlord-Tenant Practice
  • Trial Practice
  • Transactional Drafting

4. Upper-level writing requirement: Students must also satisfy an upper-level writing requirement by writing a paper in an elective course or as an independent research project.

MPRE graduation requirement

For details on the MPRE Graduation Requirement, visit the MPRE Graduation Requirement page.

Bar preparation

Students are also required to complete the Bar Preparation course in their final semester.

Pro Bono requirement

All students are required to volunteer the equivalent of at least one work-week of legal or law-related work under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a law office, government office, legal services organization, or other non-profit organization. For more information see the Pro Bono Requirement page.

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