About CDTA’s First-Year Classes

About CDTA’s First-Year Classes

About CDTA’s First-Year Classes

CDTA’s four-year plan allows students to focus on three important core subjects for their entire first year of law school. CDTA students are introduced to torts, contracts, and criminal law. CDTA’s unique class schedule facilitates the easy organization of information for studying and outlining material.

Most traditional schools overwhelm students with seven core subjects in the first year of law school. Typically, students must learn real property, torts, contracts, civil procedure, criminal law, constitutional law, and legal research and writing in two semesters.

CDTA focuses on three subjects, which are uniquely interrelated to each other. Tort law deals with civil wrongs while criminal law deals with criminal wrongs. In contract law, rights and obligations are created by the parties to the contract. In tort law, rights and obligations are created by law.

Both tort law and contract law are branches of civil law in which a wrong is committed by one person, which results in injury or property damage to another person. Both tort law and contract law regularly involve a liable party paying monetary compensation for damages to an injured party.

Thus, first-year CDTA law students focus on wrongs, which may be divided into criminal and civil categories, while the civil wrongs may be further divided by those that arise by contract and those that arise by law.


Contracts law covers the nature and history of contract law, the concepts of “freedom of contract,” the intention to be legally bound, reaching an agreement, interpreting assent, written manifestations of assent, the doctrine of consideration, the doctrine of promissory estoppel, performance and breach, conditions, defenses to contractual obligation, remedies, and the relationship between basic common law contracts and Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.


The law of torts covers laws that determine the conditions under which civil liability is incurred for causing harm to the person or property of another. Torts also covers topics including intentional and unintentional injury, fault and no-fault theories of liability, causation, compensatory and punitive damages, affirmative defenses and other limitations of liability, and the interaction between tort and other bodies of law, such as contract and legislative law.

*Criminal Law

Criminal law covers the theories of crime and punishment, the manner in which crimes are defined and graded, the principles of criminal culpability, including the mental element of crime and the requirement of an act; the exculpatory devices including defenses, excuses and justifications; and the parties to crime including aiders, abettors and conspirators.

The California Desert Trial Academy provides a unique four-year curriculum for students. This four-year plan allows students to concentrate on one class per day rather than on multiple subjects in a short, compact time frame. Isolating one subject every 24 hours permits a useful and efficient focus conducive to short-term and long-term success.

The California Desert Trial Academy is a progressive law school tailored to meet the needs of anyone who is limited to seeking a legal education at their convenience rather than on a schedule. We emphasize providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.

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