Curriculum

The BSL curriculum is intended to provide you with a solid base of legal knowledge, teach you fundamental legal analysis skills, and offer insight into the various legal processes and the role of law in our society. Like most other law schools, our curriculum is taught on a “general studies” level of difficulty and there is no perfect or optimum undergraduate degree for the study of law. BSL does not require a pre-law degree or similar classes for admission. Our student body is diverse and has historically included a wide variety of educational backgrounds and occupations such as accountants, business professionals, computer/IT technicians, engineers, law office clerks/paralegals, medical professionals, law enforcement officers, real estate agents, school teachers, and small business owners, just to name a few.

BSL’s curriculum is sufficiently flexible to allow you to commence legal studies in either the fall (August) or spring (January) of the calendar year and schedule either weeknight or Saturday classes in every semester except for students starting law school in the spring semester (please see the Saturday Program section and the notes for the Spring 2017 Course Sequence table below for details). We do not offer weekday daytime classes.  We require all students to schedule a minimum of three classes each semester and attend classes year round including the fall, spring and summer semesters. We require this continuous schedule in order to reduce the time to graduate and improve your opportunity to pass the bar exam. You must complete all requirements for graduation within six years of commencing law school.

For students starting law school in fall 2015 or later, the curriculum contains 27 required core courses and 7 elective classes designed to “round out” your legal education. Our classes are taught by Alabama licensed attorneys using a mixture of legal theory and real-life practical experiences to illustrate teaching points in the classroom. We offer law courses in every subject tested on the bar exam in compliance with the Alabama state law at Code Section 34-3-2.1. Each class meets once each week for approximately 165 minutes and each semester contains 14 class meetings (13 instructional and 1 final exam meeting). Our law courses carry 3.0 semester hours of academic credit unless stated otherwise.

We offer two major scheduling choices:

1. Weeknight Program
Offered to students starting their law studies in either the fall or spring semesters. All classes meet 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm Monday through Friday evenings. The days of the week you will attend class will vary from semester to semester depending upon the specific classes you schedule.  Taking the minimum of three classes each semester, the weeknight program will allow you to graduate in 11 semesters, or approximately 3 2/3 calendar years from start. Please see either the Fall 2017 Course Sequence or the Spring 2018 Course Sequence tables below for the specific courses and the recommended sequence for efficient scheduling of your classes (your exact schedule depends upon the semester you begin law school and the courses you select each semester).

There may be opportunities for above average students to schedule more than three classes each semester on the weeknight program and potentially accelerate your graduation date by one or two semesters. The success of the acceleration will depend upon the timing of your decision (earlier in your matriculation is best) and course availability (we do not offer each course we teach each semester and approximately 60% of our required courses are taught only once per calendar year). You may schedule up to four classes per semester must have written permission from the Dean or Associate Dean to schedule more than four classes in any semester. This privilege is normally reserved for only the best students and a minimum GPA of 3.00 is required. You may not schedule more than three classes in any semester if you are on academic probation.

2. Saturday Program
The Saturday program is offered only to students starting law studies in the fall semester. All courses required for graduation are taught in one of three class periods on Saturdays from 9:00 – 11:45 am (1st period), 12:30 – 3:15 pm (2nd period) and 3:30 – 6:15 pm (3rd period). During the summer, we often add a fourth class period from 6:30 – 9:15 pm if demand is sufficient to schedule the additional class period (the 4th class is normally an elective class). All Saturday students must schedule a minimum of three classes per semester which will allow you to graduate in 11 semesters or approximately 3 2/3 calendar years from start. Please see the Fall 2017 Course Sequence table below for specific courses and the recommended course sequence for efficient scheduling of your classes.

Since there are only three class periods on Saturdays in the fall and spring, you normally may not schedule a fourth class to accelerate your graduation unless you are willing to take the extra class on weekday evenings Monday through Friday in the fall and spring. As with the weeknight students, you must have written permission from the Dean or Associate Dean to schedule more than four classes in any semester. This privilege is normally reserved for only the best students and a minimum GPA of 3.00 is required. You may not schedule more than three classes in any semester if you are on academic probation.

Spring start students are initially not eligible for the Saturday program because of scheduling conflicts with two-part courses (i.e., Torts I & II which are taught only in a fall-spring sequence). However, you may transition to the Saturday program as early as your third semester of law school with judicious scheduling. The transition period is not a perfect weekday-for-Saturday class substitution and you may be required to take a mix of one weeknight and two Saturday classes until you are fully integrated into the Saturday program. You may encounter scheduling conflicts depending upon when you start transition to the Saturday program. Any conflicts may, in turn, affect your class sequence and eventual graduation date. If you are considering the Saturday program after starting in a spring semester we recommend you begin the transfer to the Saturday program as soon as possible (no later than your first fall semester) in order to limit or completely avoid any scheduling conflicts.

Accelerating You Graduation Date:

At some point, many law students become comfortable with the time demands of law school and wish to accelerate graduation. The easiest way to shave a semester off your matriculation and graduate early is to schedule one of your electives as a fourth class in at least three of your summer semesters. There also may be opportunities to schedule the fourth class on a Saturday in the summer semester due to Daylight Savings Time adjustments (no guarantees – the fourth class period on Saturday depends upon instructor availability and student demand). If you are a fall start student and wish to kick the acceleration into high gear, and shave two full semesters off your expected graduation date, merely add an elective as your fourth class to at least six of the scheduled eleven semesters in the program. This “double” acceleration is not available to spring start students because of scheduling requirements in your last fall and spring semesters.

Legacy Students – Special Information For Students Who Started Law School Prior To Fall 2015:
1. If you started BSL in a fall semester prior to fall 2015 (August 2015), you are required to complete only 33 courses for graduation (25 required core classes and 8 electives). Your curriculum was “grandfathered” and you should use the courses and class sequence listed below in the Legacy Curriculum & Course Sequence table.

2. If you started BSL in a spring semester prior to spring 2016 (January 2015 or earlier), you are also “grandfathered” and will complete only 33 courses for graduation (25 required core classes and 8 electives). You are not required to take the Lawyering Fundamentals Course (Law 500) or the new Advanced Legal Writing class (Law 530) but should otherwise follow the class schedule and sequence listed in the Spring 2017 Course Sequence table below. You should schedule the extra elective (#8) in place of the Advanced Legal Writing class (Law 530).

Fall 2017 Course Sequence

For Students Commencing Law School In August 2017

(Weeknight or Saturday Program Classes)

[25 required core classes, 6 electives]

Lawyering Fundamentals Course/Law 500

(This is a required course and attendance is mandatory for all four class sessions. This course is NOT certified for VA funding, credit or reimbursement.)

Four (4) class meetings, 9am – 6pm August 12th, 13th,  19th & 20th, 2017 2.0 hours of credit
1st Fall Semester Torts I/Law 501 (Fri/Sat 1st period) Civil Procedure I/Law 511 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Legal Research & Writing I/Law 521 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
1st Spring Semester Torts II/Law 502 (Fri/Sat 1st period) Civil Procedure II/Law 512 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Legal Research & Writing II/Law 522 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
1st Summer Semester Advanced Legal Writing/Law 530 (Fri/Sat 1st period) Criminal Law/Law 540 (Tue/Sat 2nd period) Corporations/Law550 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
2nd Fall Semester Criminal Procedure I/Law 601 (Tue/Sat 1st period) Evidence I/Law 611 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Constitutional Law I/Law 621 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
2nd Spring Semester Criminal Procedure II/Law 602 (Tue/Sat 1st period) Evidence II/Law 612 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Constitutional Law II/Law 622 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
2nd Summer Semester Elective #1/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period) Agency & Partnership/Law 630 (Tue/Sat 2nd period) Legal Ethics/Law 560 (Mon/Sat 3rd period)
3rd Fall Semester Real Property I/Law 701 (Wed/Sat 1st period) Commercial Law /Law 711 (Mon/Sat 2nd period) Contracts I/Law 721 (Tue/Sat 3rd period)
3rd Spring Semester Real Property II/Law 702 (Wed/Sat 1st period) Elective #2/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period) Contracts II/Law 722 (Tue/Sat 3rd period)
3rd Summer Semester Trust & Estates/Law 820(Thur/Sat 1st period) Conflict of Laws/Law 740 (Tue/Sat 2nd period) Domestic Relations/Law 830 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
4th Fall Semester Elective #3/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 2nd period) Elective #4/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 3rd period) Elective #5/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)
4th Spring Semester Elective #6/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 2nd period)

Fall 2017 Course Sequence Notes:

1. The day of the week and/or the Saturday class period that a specific class is offered is subject to change without advanced notice. Required classes are listed in normal font and electives are listed in italics.

2. Almost all courses are taught only once per calendar year in the specific semesters and on the days of the week listed above. If you skip a course or need to repeat a course for any reason, you may unintentionally add significant time, up to a full calendar year, to your graduation date waiting until the course is offered again.

3. The Lawyering Fundamentals Course (LFC) is a mandatory four day class beginning fall 2015 and replaces the New Student Orientation session. This course is designed to help you start law school with a good foundation of pre-law school appropriate study and writing  skills and boost your chance for success in law school and the bar exam. The dates for the LFC class meetings for the fall 2017 semester are August 12th, 13th, 19th & 20th, 2017.

Spring 2018 Course Sequence

For Students Commencing Law School Studies In January 2017

(Weeknight Classes Only)

[25 required core classes, 6 electives]

Lawyering Fundamentals Course (Law 500)

(This is a required course and attendance is mandatory for all four class sessions. This course is NOT certified for VA funding, credit or reimbursement.)

Four (4) class meetings, 9am – 6pm December 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th, 2018 2.0 hours of credit
1st Spring Semester Criminal Law/Law 540 (Tue) Legal Research & Writing I/Law 521 (Wed) Legal Methods & Process/Law 916 (Elective #1, Thur)
1st Summer Semester Legal Ethics/Law 560 (Mon/Sat 3rd period) Legal Research & Writing II/Law 522 (Thur) Corporations/Law 550 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
1st Fall Semester Torts I/Law 501 (Fri/Sat 1st period) Civil Procedure I/Law 511 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Elective #2/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)
2nd Spring Semester Torts II/Law 502 (Fri/Sat 1st) Civil Procedure II/Law 512 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Elective #3/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 3rd period)
2nd Summer Semester Advanced Legal Writing/Law 530 (Fri/Sat 1st period) Agency & Partnership/Law 630 (Tue/Sat 2nd period) Elective #4/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)
2nd Fall Semester Criminal Procedure I/Law 601 (Tue/Sat 1st period) Evidence I/Law 611 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Constitutional Law I/Law 621 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
3rd Spring Semester Criminal Procedure II/Law 602 (Tue/Sat 1st period) Evidence II/Law 612 (Thur/Sat 2nd period) Constitutional Law II/Law 622 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
3rd Summer Semester Trust & Estates/Law 820(Thur/Sat 1st period) Conflict of Laws/Law 740 (Tue/Sat 2nd period) Domestic Relations/Law 830 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
3rd Fall Semester Real Property I/Law 701 (Wed/Sat 1st period) Commercial Law /Law 711 (Mon/Sat 2nd period) Contracts I/Law 721 (Tue/Sat 3rd period)
4th Spring Semester Real Property II/Law 702 (Wed/Sat 1st period) Elective #5/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period) Contracts II/Law 722 (Tue/Sat 3rd period)
4th Summer Semester Elective #6/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)

Spring 2018 Course Sequence Notes:

1. Because of scheduling conflicts with two-part subjects (Torts I & II, Contracts I & II, etc.), you may schedule only single semester weeknight classes, such as Criminal Law, in your first semester of law school if you start in the spring semester. After completing your first spring semester you may then mix weekday or Saturday classes as available and as you desire but there is no direct one-for-one swap or merging of the weekday and Saturday programs on the spring start schedule and you may encounter conflicts when swapping or substituting courses or class sections. Whatever schedule you ultimately decide to follow, we strongly recommend that you follow the exact course sequence published above, using weeknight or Saturday class sections as you desire, if you wish to graduate as quickly as possible and remain in concert with your classmates and/or study groups. Deviations from this exact sequence, regardless of the reason, may add additional time to your matriculation and delay your graduation.

2. The day of the week and/or the Saturday class period that a specific class is offered is subject to change without advanced notice. Required classes are listed in normal font and electives are listed in italics.

3. Almost all courses are taught only once per calendar year in the specific semesters and on the days of the week listed above. If you skip a course or need to repeat a course for any reason, you may unintentionally add significant time, up to a full calendar year, to your graduation date waiting until the course is offered again.

4. The Lawyering Fundamentals Course (LFC) is a mandatory class that replaces our New Student Orientation session. This course is designed to help you start law school with a good foundation of pre-law school appropriate study and writing  skills and boost your chance for success in law school and the bar exam. The dates for the LFC class meetings for the spring 2018 semester are December 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th, 2018.

Legacy Curriculum & Course Sequence

For Students Who Commenced Law School Prior to January 2015

(Weeknight or Saturday Classes)

[25 required core classes, 8 electives]

 

       Semester/Sequence         Class #1  Class #2 Class #3
 1st Fall Semester  Torts I/Law 501 (Fri/Sat 1st period)   Civil Procedure I/Law 511(Thur/Sat 2nd period)  Legal Research & Writing I/Law 521(Wed/Sat 3rd period)
 1st Spring Semester  Torts II/Law 502 (Fri/Sat 1st period)  Civil Procedure II/Law 512 (Thur/Sat 2nd period)  Legal Research & Writing II/Law 522 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
 1st Summer Semester  Elective #1/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)  Criminal Law/Law 540 (Tue/Sat 2nd period)  Corporations/Law 550 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
 2nd Fall Semester  Criminal Procedure I/Law 601 (Tue/Sat 1st period)  Evidence I/Law 611 (Thur/Sat 2nd period)  Constitutional Law I/Law 621 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
 2nd Spring Semester  Criminal Procedure II/Law 602 (Tue/Sat 1st period)  Evidence II/Law 612 (Thur/Sat 2nd period)  Constitutional Law II/Law 622 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
 2nd Summer Semester  Elective #2/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period) Agency & Partnership/Law 630 (Tue/Sat 2nd period)  Legal Ethics/Law 560 (Mon/Sat 3rd period)
 3rd Fall Semester  Real Property I/Law 701 (Wed/Sat 1st period)  Commercial Law I/Law 711 (Mon/Sat 2nd period)  Contracts I/Law 721 (Tue/Sat 3rd period)
 3rd Spring Semester  Real Property II/Law 702 (Wed/Sat 1st period)  Commercial Law II/Law 712 (Mon/Sat 2nd period)  Contracts II/Law 722 (Tue/Sat 3rd period)
 3rd Summer Semester  Trust & Estates/Law 820(Thur/Sat 1st period)  Conflict of Laws/Law 740 (Tue/Sat 2nd period)  Domestic Relations/Law 830 (Wed/Sat 3rd period)
 4th Fall Semester  Elective #3/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)  Elective #4/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 2nd period)  Elective #5/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 3rd period)
 4th Spring Semester  Elective #6/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 1st period)  Elective #7/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 2nd period)  Elective #8/Law 9xx (Mon-Fri/Sat 3rd period)

Legacy Curriculum & Course Sequence Notes:

1. Legacy students who have completed the formally required core classes Legal Methods & Process, Pleadings & Practice, Remedies, and Wills will have these required course credits converted to elective credits. These credits, if any, will be applied to the eight elective credits required for graduation.

2. The day of the week that a specific class is offered is subject to change without advanced notice. Required classes are listed in normal font and electives are listed in italics.

3. Almost all courses are taught only once per calendar year in the specific semesters and on the days of the week listed above. If you skip a course or need to repeat a course for any reason, you may unintentionally add significant time, up to a full calendar year, to your graduation date waiting until the course is offered again.

4. Students who started law school in spring 2015 or earlier are not required to take the Lawyering Fundamentals Course (Law 500) or Advanced Legal Writing course (Law 530) and will maintain the old mix of 25 core and 8 elective courses to earn your degree.

Elective Courses

Typical Elective Course Offerings

Administrative Law  Advanced Contracts  Alabama law of Damages
 Alternative Dispute Resolution  Appellate Practice  Bankruptcy
 Discovery  Discrimination Law  Education law
 Employment Law  Entertainment/Sports Law Combo  Environmental Law
 Immigration law  Insurance Law  Intellectual Property Law
 International Law  Internship (Judicial or Legal)  Juvenile Law
 Legal Methods & Process  Mediation  Mock Trial Competition
 Municipal Court Law  Probate Law  Real Estate Transactions
 Remedies  Starting & Managing Your Law Practice  Statutory Rights & Remedies In Land
 Study Skills I (MBE & MPRE bar prep)  Study Skills II (MEE & MPT bar prep)  Tax Law For Attorneys
 Trial Advocacy  Will Drafting  Worker’s Compensation

Elective Course Notes:

1. The list above is a representative sample of courses BSL has offered in past semesters and is not all inclusive. Elective course offerings are based on student interest and professor availability and are subject to change from semester to semester without prior notice.

2. BSL does not guarantee that a specific elective course will be offered in any given semester or on a particular day of the week or in any specified time period. Popular electives such as Mediation or Trial Advocacy will be scheduled more often than less popular electives such as Education Law or International Law.