Learning Outcomes

Set forth below are the learning outcomes Belmont University College of Law expects for its students and graduates. The learning outcomes are divided into five sections based on the corresponding sections of Standard 302 of the American Bar Association Standards for Approval of Law Schools.

I. ABA Standard 302(a): Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law.

 By the end of the first year,

  1. students will have a fundamental knowledge of the traditional first year subjects such as Torts, Contracts, Property, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law;
  2. students will be able to identify legal issues among the traditional first year subjects;
  3. students will be able to apply core legal principles learned in traditional first year subjects to novel hypothetical factual scenarios; and
  4. students will be familiar with the history and theory underpinning substantive and procedural law.

 

By the end of the third year,

  1. students will have continued to develop the analytical skills acquired during the first and second year through additional upper-level substantive law courses;
  2. students will have integrated theory and practice through a progression of practicum courses, electives, and opportunities to participate in field placements;
  3. students will have been introduced to the basic concepts of international law; and
  4. students will be able to demonstrate competence in the substantive law, legal theory, and procedure necessary to pass the bar exam.

 

II. ABA Standard 302(b): Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem solving, and written and oral communication in a legal context.

 By the end of the first year,

  1. students will have the capability to assess the validity of legal arguments and effectively distinguish among competing theories;
  2. students will be able to demonstrate competence in finding relevant legal sources, using both paper and digital sources;
  3. students will be able to communicate effectively using both predictive and persuasive forms of legal writing; and
  4. students will be able to stand before a roomful of people and effectively articulate a position.
 

By the end of the third year,

  1. students will have the ability to effectively and professionally communicate with clients through both oral and written communications;
  2. students will have had the opportunity to acquire the skills of interviewing, counseling, negotiation, fact development and analysis, conflict resolution, organization and management of legal work, collaboration, cultural competency, and self-evaluation;
  3. students will be able to think like a lawyer so that they can adjust to multiple practice areas; and
  4. students will have participated in live and/or simulated legal representation.

III. ABA Standard 302(c): Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients in the legal system.

By the end of the first year, students will have been introduced to ethics and professionalism.

 

By the end of the third year,

  1. students will have been introduced to the professional skills necessary for client representation in dispute resolution and transactional contexts;
  2. students will have developed the cultural competency and the collaborative and interpersonal skills necessary for modern legal practice in a diverse society;
  3. students will have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership through key roles in student organizations (e.g., law review editors, officers of student organizations);
  4. students will be able to internalize and demonstrate the professional requirements necessary to fulfill societal expectations of the legal profession;
  5. students interested in pursuing a career in litigation will have had opportunities to deepen the skills of litigation planning, fact investigation, legal research, pleading, discovery, pretrial motions, settlement strategy, or trial advocacy skills; and
  6. students interested in pursuing a career in transactional law will have had opportunities to deepen the skills of developing strategies for an effective and client-centered approach to negotiations and business transactions.
 

IV. ABA Standard 302(d): Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession.

 By the end of the first year,

  1. students will understand and appreciate fundamental tenets of the legal profession as demonstrated by integrity, civility, and competence;
  2. students will gain a respect for the law; and
  3. students will be introduced to a variety of pro bono and legal service organizations.

 

By the end of the third year,

  1. students will understand and appreciate their ethical responsibilities to balance their obligations of vigorously representing clients, preserving the integrity of the courts, embodying the values of the profession, and meeting pro bono expectations;
  2. students will be able to apply professional ethics to live and simulated client representation, performance as an officer of the court, and resolution of ethical dilemmas in the legal profession;
  3. students will have opportunities to participate in, as well as demonstrate leadership in and direct the activities of, pro bono and legal service organizations;
  4. students will have had the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in previous courses so as to critically evaluate ethical issues in the context of legal practice in specialized areas of law; and
  5. students will have been exposed to a variety of ways to provide adequate legal representation for those who cannot afford it.

V. ABA Interpretation 302-2: Additional learning outcomes pertinent to its program of legal education.

By the end of the first year,

  1. students will be introduced to the professional development aspects of the practice of law; and
  2. students will be made aware of the skills necessary to be an effective lawyer.

 

By the end of the third year,

  1. students will be introduced to the importance of public and community service; and
  2. students interested in obtaining a Health Law Certificate, Entertainment and Music Business Law Certificate, or a Criminal Law Certificate will have acquired competence in the areas of substantive law to help prepare them for practice in those areas.