Ave Maria School of Law requires 90 credit hours for graduation, including a core curriculum of 63 credit hours. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for continued enrollment and graduation. During their first year, students take two-semester courses in Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, Moral Foundations of the Law, and Research, Writing, and Advocacy. Additionally, first-year students take a one-semester course in Criminal Law.
Research, Writing, and Advocacy addresses a range of lawyering skills, including legal analysis, legal research, counseling, and effective written and oral advocacy. In Moral Foundations of the Law, students consider how humanity's desire to order society forms the basis of legal systems.
In the second and third years, students explore the foundations of democracy, the philosophies that ground law, and the interaction between ethics and law in Jurisprudence, Professional Responsibility, and Law, Ethics, and Public Policy.
Along with required courses such as Business Organizations, Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Tax, a range of electives provides an opportunity for second- and third-year students to pursue interests and develop expertise. Courses such as Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, and Trial Advocacy, as well as clinical and externship opportunities, focus on skills lawyers use on a daily basis.