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.


A. By the end of the first year, students will have a fundamental knowledge of the traditional first year subjects such as Torts, Contracts, Property, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure.

B. By the end of the first year, students will be able to identify legal issues among the traditional first year subjects.

C. By the end of the first year, students will be able to apply core legal principles learned in traditional first year subjects to novel hypothetical factual scenarios.

D. By the end of the first year, students will be familiar with the history and theory underpinning substantive and procedural law.

E. By the end of the second year, students will have honed the analytical skills developed during the first year through upper-level substantive law courses. In particular, they will have expanded their abilities to identify legal issues and apply core legal principles in all second year courses.

F. By the end of the second year, students will be able to integrate theory and procedure by completing elective courses and practicums.

G. By the end of the second year, students will have broadened their understanding of basic criminal and civil law procedures and practices.

H. By the end of the second year, students will have been introduced to the basic concepts of international law.

I. By the end of the third year, students will have continued to develop the analytical skills acquired during the first and second year through additional upper-level substantive law courses.

J. By the end of the third year, students will have the knowledge of substantive law, legal theory, and procedure necessary to pass the bar exam.

K. By the end of the third year, students will have integrated theory and practice through a progression of practicum courses, electives, and opportunities to participate in externships and field placements.

L. By the end of the third year, students will be able to demonstrate competence in key foundational areas of U.S. law, including areas of substantive law tested on 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.


A. By the end of the first year, students will have the capability to assess the validity of legal arguments and effectively distinguish among competing theories.

B. By the end of the first year, students will be able to demonstrate competence in finding relevant legal sources, using both paper and digital sources.

C. By the end of the first year, students will be able to communicate effectively using both predictive and persuasive forms of legal writing.

D. By the end of the first year, students will be able to stand before a roomful of people and effectively articulate a position.

E. By the end of the second year, students will have furthered their skills of analysis, reasoning, critical thinking, research, problem-solving, and oral and written communication.

F. By the end of the second year, students will have the ability to effectively and professionally communicate with clients through both oral and written communications.

G. By the end of the second year, 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.

H. By the end of the third year, students will be able to think like a lawyer so that they can adjust to multiple practice areas.

I. By the end of the third year, students will have participated in live and/or simulated legal representation, including client interviewing, motion practice, court appearances, and other written and oral advocacy.

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


A. By the end of the first year, students will recognize the need to comply with rules of professional conduct, other standards that govern the conduct and liability of lawyers, and the broader shared values of the profession.

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

C. By the end of the second year, students will have been introduced to the professional skills necessary for client representation in dispute resolution and transactional contexts.

D. By the end of the second year, students interested in pursuing a career in litigation will have been introduced to litigation planning, fact investigation, legal research, pleading, discovery, pretrial motions, settlement strategy, or trial advocacy skills. By the end of the second year, students interested in pursuing a career in transactional law will have been introduced to strategies for an effective and client-centered approach to negotiations and business transactions.

E. By the end of the second year, students will have had the opportunity to create and administer extra-curricular activities focused on developing skills necessary for participation in the legal profession.

F. By the end of the third year, students will have developed the cultural competency and the collaborative and interpersonal skills necessary for modern legal practice in a diverse society.

G. By the end of the third year, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership through key roles in student organizations (e.g., law review editors, officers of student organizations).

H. By the end of the third year, students will be able to internalize and demonstrate the professional requirements necessary to fulfill societal expectations of the legal profession.

I. By the end of the third year, students interested in pursuing a career in litigation will have had additional opportunities to deepen the skills of litigation planning, fact investigation, legal research, pleading, discovery, pretrial motions, settlement strategy, or trial advocacy skills. By the end of the third year, students interested in pursuing a career in transactional law will have had additional 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.


A. By the end of the first year, students will understand and appreciate fundamental tenets of the legal profession as demonstrated by integrity, civility, and competence. Students will gain a respect for the law.

B. By the end of the first year, students will be introduced to a variety of pro bono and legal service organizations.

C. By the end of the second year, 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.

D. By the end of the second year, students will have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of pro bono and legal service organizations.

E. By the end of the third year, 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.

F. By the end of the third year, students will have additional opportunities to participate in, as well as demonstrate leadership in and direct the activities of, pro bono and legal service organizations.

G. By the end of the third year, 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.

H. By the end of the third year, 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.


A. By the end of the first year, students will be introduced to the professional development aspects of the practice of law.

B. By the end of the first year, students will be made aware of the skills necessary to be an effective lawyer.

C. By the end of the second year, students interested in obtaining a Health Law Certificate or Entertainment and Music Business Law Certificate will be introduced to areas of substantive law to help prepare them to practice in those areas.

D. By the end of the second year, students who are pursuing the Health Law Certificate will be introduced to major legal issues related to the health care system, including the legal issues related to representing medical personnel, hospitals, and patients. By the end of the second year, students who are pursuing the Entertainment and Music Business Law Certificate will be introduced to the unique foundational elements of entertainment contracts, entertainment industry business models, and representing corporate and individual clients in the entertainment industry.

E. By the end of the second year, students will be introduced to the importance of public and community service.

F. By the end of the third year, students interested in obtaining a Health Law Certificate or Entertainment and Music Business Law Certificate will have acquired competence in the areas of substantive law to help prepare them for practice in those areas.