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First-year law school curriculum at New England Law | Boston
“The availability and willingness of the faculty to engage with students is just wonderful. That really helps you in your first year, because it’s challenging and busy.” —Jillian Carson, Graduate

During your first year at New England Law | Boston, you will build a strong foundation as a legal analyst and begin to accumulate practical skills and experience as quickly as possible.

Build Your Foundation

Orientation: Introduction to Law Program

Held the week before the start of classes, the Introduction to Law Program prepares you for the first few weeks of law school orients you to life at New England Law. The program includes a variety of presentations and panels on various aspects of legal study and the legal profession, including your first class on reading and briefing cases. Several first-year professors also participate in the program and you will get a chance to meet them before the start of regular classes. 

Courses for First-Year Students

We require the following core courses, taken in the first year and part of the second year: Civil Procedure I and II; Constitutional Law; Contracts I and II; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure I; Evidence; Law and Ethics of Lawyering; Legal Research and Writing I, II, and III; Property I and II; Responsible Lawyering I and II; and Torts. In these classes, our faculty members will curate your learning journey as you gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in law school and beyond.

Academic Excellence Program

AEP’s Responsible Lawyering course provides broad training to all first-year students in fundamental competencies and skills needed to succeed in law school and the practice of law. Students develop effective learning strategies that lead to proficient legal analysis on law school exams and beyond. Skill-building activities foster professional identity formation and inclusive, equitable practices. Topics include early career development, wellness, ethical values, and conflict resolution.

Check Out the Academic Excellence Program 

Start Planning for Your Career

Career Services for First-Year Students

New England Law encourages first-year students to start career planning early. Your first stop should be the Career Services Office, where you will meet with our experienced staff to plan an individualized strategy for your career. You also can enhance your career prospects through our career service programs, workshops, résumé reviews, and mock interviews.

Alumni Career Forum

Begin building your network by attending events and programs offered by the Career Services Office. For example, the annual Alumni Career Forum introduces you to successful New England Law graduates who are working in dozens of practice areas or pursuing nontraditional legal careers as consultants, financial advisers, and recruiters.

Beyond the Campus

Pro Bono Opportunities

Pro bono work is one of the best ways to gain hands-on experience, and as a first-year student, you can get involved right away. Our three academic centers—the Center for Business Law, the Center for Law and Social Responsibility, and the Center for International Law and Policy—sponsor pro bono projects, and several of our student organizations also provide opportunities to put your legal skills to work helping others. You may earn formal recognition for this work on your New England Law transcript.

Learn About Our Pro Bono Opportunities

Summer Fellowship Program

Through the Summer Fellowship Program, you can work with practicing attorneys, law offices, corporations, or government agencies. Open to students who have finished their first year (second year for part-time students), the program offers a $3,500 school-paid stipend plus valuable work experience and connections.

Explore Our Summer Fellowship Program Options

Study Abroad

Our study-abroad program in Galway, Ireland, focuses on international and comparative human rights law and accountability for human rights violations. The summer program is taught by faculty from Ireland and the United States at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the University of Galway. The program runs over two sessions during June and July each year.

See What It’s Like to Study Abroad