Courses for First-Year Students

Set Your SAILS for First-Year Success

“Set Your SAILS for First-Year Success” is the first step in Liberty University School of Law’s approach to your academic and career success – a Systematic Approach to Integrated Legal Studies (SAILS). Our academic program not only teaches you solid legal reasoning skills but it also provides opportunities across the curriculum and throughout your three years to integrate legal theory and reasoning skills to real and simulated client experiences. The required curriculum provides you with practical litigation, mediation, commercial, criminal, and business planning skills to begin your legal careers.

The transition to law school from undergraduate studies or another career, however, is difficult. Law school requires a different style of writing; raises unique time-management challenges; relies heavily on the Socratic method; and often bases your entire final grade on an end of semester essay exam. Success during the first year affects your ability to participate in Law Review, competition teams, and many externship opportunities.

New Student Courses

Course 1:  Thirty-six hours of practical, substantive instruction with a low student-to-faculty ratio to give you the edge you need to excel in law school.  You will learn how to read, think, and write like a lawyer before your first day of law school classes.  Sessions include learning basic legal terms, drafting case briefs, creating outlines, discussing exam-taking strategies, and writing practice exam arguments. Students who participate in this course will complete Learning Legal Reasoning and How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams.

  • Dates:  August 5 - 8 and August 12 - 15. Highly recommended. RSVP to reserve your spot: call (434) 592-5300 or email law@liberty.edu.

  • Schedule for Course 1: Two-Week Program

  • Textbooks:

    • Learning Legal Reasoning
      by John Delaney (ISBN 978-0960851447)

    • How To Do Your Best On Law School Exams
      by John Delaney (ISBN 978-0960851454)


Course 2:  Fifteen hours of practical, substantive instruction with a low student-to-faculty ratio to lay the groundwork to understand the cases you read, prepare you to fully participate in class discussions, and introduce you to the basic skills necessary for solid legal reasoning. Students who participate in this course will complete Learning Legal Reasoning.

  • Dates:  August 12 - 15.  Mandatory.  No RSVP necessary.

  • Schedule for Course 2: One-Week Program

  • Textbook:

    • Learning Legal Reasoning
      by John Delaney (ISBN 978-0960851447)

Both courses also include optional activities with student mentors, an ice-cream social, and sessions taught by our faculty. Other than purchasing the textbooks, there is no additional cost for either of the courses.