Two weeks before the traditional curriculum begins, the Law and Justice Course introduces students to the School of Law's educational philosophy and its Community Service Program. The course was designed and is taught by Dr. Edgar S. Cahn, co-founder of the Antioch School of Law and UDC-DCSL professor. Each year, he begins the class by asking students to share with their classmates the response they gave on the law school's application about a significant form of injustice to which they had been subjected. Students learn that their personal knowledge of injustice is a shared asset they bring to a profession that historically draws individuals from the privileged and insular backgrounds.
During the course, students are introduced to legal analysis and to case briefing. Issues of the day are explored in detail. Lawyers for people with disabilities and lawyers for the homeless are invited to describe their political, media and legal strategies. At the conclusion of the course, students are matched with faculty advisors who serve as mentors and role models, guiding them through 40 hours of pro bono local legal community service that is performed during the first year of law school. Through the Community Service Program, students are introduced to Washington, its issues, and a cross section of policymakers and individuals who make the District of Columbia and its programs work.