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Recommended Classes for ASU 2Ls

When I was a 1L, we had an Assistant Dean of Student Life named Michael Bossone whose whole job was to be there to give guidance regarding academics, career decisions, and life in general.  When I was picking out my classes for 2L year, he was there to help me compare my legal interests to the course offerings.  He was an awesome resource.  ASU College of Law school eliminated his position after he left at the end of my 1L year.  I’ve heard that this year’s 1Ls are looking for some advice on what they should take next semester so I thought I’d offer my two cents.  This is a compilation of my opinions and those of some of my fellow students on what’s being offered next semester.

2L year is generally the year that they work you to death.  It’s a good time to take care of bar courses since most of the slots in the small seminar courses will be taken by the 3Ls.  These classes come highly recommended:


Image by mason13a via FlickrCriminal Procedure – C. Hessick

  • Criminal Procedure – C. Hessick
  • Evidence – A. Hessick (This class is a pre-req for a lot of other classes & clinics)
  • Estate & Gift Tax – Becker
  • Constitutional Law II – Matheson
  • Professional Responsibility – Cohen or Winer
  • Trademark – Halaby
  • Sports Law

If you’re interested in taking Karjala’s Copyright or Patent class, it’s better to take Sylvester’s Intellectual Property class first to get a solid foundation for the material.  Karjala doesn’t spend much time on these basics but jumps right in to challenging the judges’ logic in the cases.

2L year is also a great time to do an externship.  If you want to be judicial clerk after graduation, it’s imperative that you do a judicial clerkship during your 2L year.  Be aware of which judges like to hire their former externs as clerks and which ones have a policy against hiring their former externs as clerks.

Always consider which professor is teaching the each class, and try to select the professors with which you will mesh the best.  For classes that are offered every semester, there may be a different professors assigned to teach in the fall and the spring.

Some classes are better left for 3L year, because that’s when senioritis has set in, and it’s better to take the classes that don’t have written finals and/or the professor doesn’t assign an atrocious amount of reading.  Here are some of them:

  • Advanced Legal Writing
  • Decedent’s Estates
  • Lawyering Theory & Practice – one the easier skills classes to take
  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Applied Evidence and Trial Advocacy
  • Creative Writing for Lawyers

3L year is also the best time to participate in a clinic.

As you’re selecting classes, be mindful that some seminar classes are only offered once every other year.  That means you’ll only have one chance during your law school career to take those classes, so it might be worth it to arrange your schedule around those classes.

Remember, if the school doesn’t offer a class in a subject you are interested in, you can always do an Independent Study.  It’s also an easy way to add 1 or 2 credits to your course load.

Good luck registering for classes.  If you have any questions regarding class selection or if any 2Ls, 3Ls, and graduates want to leave feedback on any class they’ve taken, please leave them as comments.

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  1. Shifa says:

    Most solid advice I’ve gotten so far! Thanks!!!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      You’re welcome! I’m happy to help.
      Please pass this around to your fellow 1Ls and let me know if you have any specific questions.

  2. Arman says:

    Thanks Ruth!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      You’re welcome!

  3. Tom says:

    Some Quick Comments

    • Estate and Gift Tax has Federal Income Tax as a Pre-Req. Unless 1Ls took Fed Tax as their elective, and only a handful did, they shouldn’t take it.
    • Advanced Legal Research, I recommend for second semester 2L year, particularly for those who have a summer job coming up. It can be very handy in impressing employers and I have talked to many students who have secured a permanent job during a summer based on this class.
    • Decedent’s Estates, I also recommend as a 2L year class for those who think they might have some interest in working in estates planning
    • Also, with the bar exam adding Family Law here in Arizona, I would recommend students consider taking it. We have a new adjunct teaching the class this fall who I think will do a good job.
    Well, those are my first thoughts.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks Tom!

      For everyone who doesn’t know, Tom is an assistant dean at ASU Law School and also an ASU Law graduate. He’s a great resource if you need help selecting classes.