Mission & Learning Outcomes

Our Mission

Our mission is to serve as a preeminent site for the study of law, legal institution, and legal culture; to educate our students effectively and comprehensively in legal principles and skills; and to advance justice and the public good.

As an institution, we are committed to:

  • advancing knowledge through research about law, legal institutions, and legal culture, bringing to bear insights from non-legal disciplines and reaching across national and cultural borders in recognition of rising global interdependence and the increasing need for cooperative responses to transnational problems and opportunities;
  • developing in students the substantive legal knowledge, analytic methodologies, practical skills, moral commitments, and temperament necessary to achieve excellence in their professional and civic endeavors;
  • working diligently for beneficial change in the law, legal institutions, and society;
  • finding ways to keep legal education affordable and accessible, so that students have an expansive opportunity to pursue professional studies in law and so that graduates are not unduly constrained by debt in their public service and career options; and
  • assisting students and graduates in developing their full professional potential, in light of changing opportunities and societal needs.

Learning Outcomes

The Law School has identified the learning outcomes of its J.D. program. According to these learning outcomes, a graduate of the J.D. program will have the capacity to:

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge of American substantive and procedural law.
    This requires an understanding of: 

1.1 The foundational rules governing liability for civil and criminal wrongdoing.
1.2 The foundational rules that regulate the transaction of business among individuals and the ownership of property. 
1.3 The constitutional rules that shape the American legal system.
1.4 The procedural rules that govern court adjudication.
1.5 Several advanced areas of substantive or procedural law or both.

  1. Use legal reasoning and legal analysis in advising and representing clients.
    This requires: 

2.1 The ability to identify, formulate, and apply legal rules.
2.2 The ability to read and analyze judicial opinions.
2.3 The ability to parse and interpret statutes, regulations, contracts, and other similar legal texts.
2.4 The ability to construct legal arguments and evaluate critically one’s own and others’ legal arguments.
2.5 The ability to identify and evaluate the practical consequences of various legal rules and to formulate policy arguments for and against those rules.

  1. Bring practical legal skills to bear in resolving clients’ legal problems.
    This requires:

3.1 The ability to write clearly and effectively in a wide range of legal contexts and for various audiences, including courts, clients, and opposing counsel.
3.2 The ability to articulate one’s thoughts verbally in a clear and effective manner.
3.3 Knowledge of and ability to use tools of legal research.
3.4 The ability to identify and gather factual information relevant to the application of legal rules.
3.5 The ability to work collaboratively with others, including others with opposing interests.
3.6 Knowledge and understanding of practical aspects of the legal profession and market for legal services.

  1. Conduct himself or herself professionally and in keeping with the highest standards of civic virtue.
    This requires:

4.1 Knowledge and appreciation of the ethical rules governing legal practice.
4.2 The ability to learn and grow professionally through self-reflection and continuing education.
4.3 An understanding of the lawyer’s distinctive role in society and of the lawyer’s concomitant responsibility to contribute to society through public service and pro bono representation. 
4.4 The self-awareness and empathy necessary to understand and be understood across various social, economic, cultural, political, national, racial, gender, and ethnic backgrounds.      

2014-17 College of Law Strategic Plan