Our Curriculum

Our three-semester lawyering process curriculum requires students to complete nine graded credits of legal analysis, research, writing, and skills training. This expansive program of study allows students to leave school already proficient in the key language skills of legal practice.

A Grounding in the Basics
The first-year courses focus on predictive and persuasive writing, research, and professionalism; the course also includes introductions to the lawyering skills of interviewing, counseling and negotiation.

A Chance to Specialize
At a time of their choice before graduation, students choose from a menu of advanced classes for their required third semester. The menu is varied and gives students a chance to personalize their legal writing instruction; this approach also allows faculty to develop courses close to their own interests. Advanced courses include topics such as Transactional Drafting; Advanced Advocacy; Rhetoric and Persuasion; Briefs that Changed the World; Judicial Opinion Writing; Negotiation and Legal Writing; Motion Practice Lawyering; Law, Language, and Leadership; and more. 

A Law School Community that Values Writing
To graduate, all UNLV students must also complete the capstone writing requirement. Many other opportunities are available for students to write at the law school. For example, many Boyd students work on the Nevada Law Journal and the Gaming Law Journal, and many more participate in advocacy, negotiations, and interviewing and counseling competition teams.

Whether they teach legal writing, clinical offerings, or casebook courses, UNLV faculty members are on a unitary tenure track. The professors who teach legal writing are active scholars, publishing books, book chapters, articles, essays, and practitioner-focused pieces. The UNLV faculty includes the authors of several highly regarded legal writing and research texts. In addition, UNLV faculty members have served as officers and Board members in LWI and ALWD and as primary editors of the LWI Journal and Legal Communication and Rhetoric: JALWD. As the founding school of West Coast Rhetoric, an informal consortium with Stanford and University of Washington, UNLV hosts an annual scholarship workshop focusing on law and rhetoric and other interdisciplinary connections. UNLV was one of the three founding schools of the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, which is in its 16th year.

Faculty Teaching Lawyering Process have been an important and respected part of the law school faculty since the founding of the law school in 1998. The law school has recognized the contribution of those teaching lawyering process courses by awarding professorships to four faculty members who teach lawyering process classes. Click here for more about the faculty.

In addition to our full-time faculty, a small group of gifted professionals teach as adjuncts in the third-semester lawyering process classes. These dedicated lawyers bring practical expertise to the program as well as knowledge of the current demands of practicing law. In our adjunct training program, all new adjuncts co-teach with full-time faculty before moving on to teach on their own—our way of allowing them to develop teaching experience to match their professional knowledge.

Small classes allow us to employ a full range of pedagogies. Faculty members can merge the various approaches to create their own styles, effectively matched to their strengths. Our first year classes typically have 14-20 students per class, and the upper-level lawyering process courses cap enrollment at 15.