1L Your Way

Why wait to specialize in your law school career?
Start discovering your interests with 1L Your Way.

The 1L Your Way program, available to full-time J.D. students, is an optional track that introduces flexibility into the first-year curriculum. Students who choose to participate in 1L Your Way defer the required first-year course Legislation to the second year in favor of taking either an approved, upper-division elective course or a unique first-year clinical course.

Elective Course Option

The elective course option is designed for first-year students who arrive at law school with defined practice goals, allowing them to begin specializing during their first year of studies rather than after they have satisfied all of their first-year law school requirements, as is traditional.

Students who intend to pursue a career in intellectual property law, for instance, may take an IP elective such as Copyright Law, Patent Law, or Trademarks & Unfair Competition during the spring semester of their first year; similarly, students who plan to practice in a corporate law environment may take an elective such as Business Organizations. One objective is to enhance students' marketability for summer employment.

A list of approved electives for first-year students is part of the spring-term registration materials each year. Enrollment in these courses is on a space-available basis.

First-Year Clinic Option

The first-year clinic option aims to help students refine their career interests by gaining exposure to diverse areas of law practice. This unique opportunity allows first-year students to participate along with upper-level students as members of a clinic section. It matches first-year students with faculty practitioners from the C-K Law Group, allowing students to learn applicable skills as they assume various practice roles. Participation is on a space-available basis, with a lottery conducted if student interest exceeds available spots.

Based in Chicago-Kent's in-house law firm, the first-year clinic option is a ground-breaking program among the nation's law schools. The law firm's faculty practitioners participate as both instructors and professional mentors. Students enrolled in the program become actual participating members of a fee-based, live-client law firm.  Practice areas include civil litigation, criminal defense, employee benefit claims, employment law, family law, immigration law, mediation/ADR, estate planning, probate and transactional law, and tax law. Depending on client and practice needs, students may engage in legal and factual research, client interviews, document drafting, discovery review, administrative hearings and negotiations, trial team strategy sessions, court appearances, and motion calls.