Course Advising

Each semester UC Davis School of Law offers a diverse set of courses designed to provide foundational instruction in a broad range of important legal subjects as well as a rich variety of elective and experiential opportunities.  

Students are required to take 88 total units to graduate, and typically complete 31 units during the first year.  The remaining 57 units, typically divided up as 14-15 units per semester, are left up to the discretion of the student, except that:


  • Students must take either Professional Responsibility (Law 258) or Legal Ethics and Organizational Practice (Law 258A).
  • Students must satisfy the upper division Writing Requirement.
  • Students must complete the experiential/professional skills requirement.

More information about these graduation requirements is available here.

Course Advising: Tips for Selecting Classes

With the above graduation requirements in mind, there are a variety of helpful resources to assist students in deciding what courses to take in the second and third years.

STEP 1:  Review the course schedule as well as the course descriptions to determine the semester course offerings.  Make sure you look at the exam schedule too!

STEP 2:  Review and complete your Academic Planning Guide  and check out the Course Advising FAQs.

STEP 3:  Talk with an academic advisor. You can make an appointment with one of the following academic advisors:

Other resources are available as well

  • Take classes to assist you with bar examination. While not required, most students take one or two bar subject courses each semester and typically take at least six bar subject classes total.  (Bar courses are listed below).  Email Assistant Dean Chris Ide-Don for additional questions. 
  • Review Curriculum Clusters (courses arranged by subject matter) for 2L and 3L courses, including Faculty Recommendations.
  • Speak to professors--they are a great resource for making decisions about what courses to take and when. Some Professors will also post notices or memoranda sharing their advice with you. Please be sure to look at the bulletin boards outside their office for information.
  • Speak to second and third-year students who can share with you their experiences here at King Hall.
  • Speak to practitioners about what courses they felt were valuable during law school.
  • Review the Law School Regulations which govern your academic life here at King Hall.
  • Look at co-curricular options.  If you are planning to do an Independent Study (Law 499), Advanced Writing Project (Law 419), or participate in an Interschool Competition (Law 413), you must sign up for these units by completing the appropriate form through the Registrar's Office by the fourth week of the semester. These units require a faculty supervisor's signature as well as the approval of the Senior Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Courses Tested on the California State Bar Exam

  • Business Associations
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Marital Property/California Community Property
  • Remedies
  • Trust, Wills and Estates
  • Professional Responsibility *

* Professional Responsibility is tested both on the California Bar examination and through the Multi State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). The MPRE can be taken during your second or third year. The law school's Professional Responsibility course requirement can be satisfied by taking Professional Responsibility (LAW 258) or Legal Ethics and Organizational Practice (LAW 258A).

Experiential/Professional Skills Courses

Courses which satisfy the Experiential/Professional Skills requirement will include opportunities for performance of the skill(s) being taught, direct faculty supervision of each student’s performance, and faculty feedback, in addition to classroom instruction.  Courses which satisfy this requirement are noted on the course list with a symbol, and also indicated in the course description. For a list of Professional Skills courses, please visit the Course Descriptions page, and sort by clicking the “Professional Skills” sort option.

Moot Court, Trial Competitions, Clinics, Externships and Other Law 400 unit courses

To enroll in clinics, externships, Moot Court competitions and all other Law 400-unit courses, you need to complete the necessary applications. The Registrar's Office will enroll you into these classes once the applications have been completed. Applications for LAW 413, 419/419A and 499/499A are available at this page. These applications should be completed within the first 4 weeks of the semester.

  • To enroll in competitions, complete the Application for Law 413 – Competitions and take the completed application to the Registrar's Office.
  • To enroll in an independent study project (Law 419 – writing requirement or Law 499 – independent study), complete the Application for 419/499.
  • The Registrar's Office will enroll you in clinics and externships after you have been accepted into the clinic, using the official enrollment lists provided to the Registrar's Office by the clinic and externship supervisors.

Certificate Programs

The Law School offers seven certificate programs that allow a student's specialization to be recognized upon graduation. View the certificate programs.

Order of the Coif

To qualify for the Order of the Coif, a law student honor society, your GPA must place you in the top 10% of your class, and
75% of your units must be taken in letter-graded courses.