J.D. Degree Requirements
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating from this program will:
- Students will demonstrate mastery of core doctrinal knowledge.
- Students will demonstrate mastery of the skills necessary for objective legal analysis
- Students will demonstrate mastery of the skills necessary for effective legal research.
- Students will demonstrate mastery of legal writing across formats
- Students will demonstrate mastery of the duties of attorneys as members of the legal profession
- Students will demonstrate ability to work with people in a professional environment.
- Students will demonstrate competency in professional work habits
- Students will demonstrate entry-level proficiency in lawyering skills
First Year Required Courses
Full-time students complete the following required courses during the first year:
|Typical Fall Semester|
|LAW 8501||Contracts I||3|
|LAW 8634||Criminal Law||3|
|LAW 8531||Lawyering Skills I 1||3|
|LAW 8541||Property I||3|
|Typical Spring Semester|
|LAW 8521||Civil Procedure – Pleadings, Motions, and Related Matters||3|
|LAW 8631||Constitutional Law||4|
|LAW 8502||Contracts II||3|
|LAW 8532||Lawyering Skills II 1||2|
|LAW 8542||Property II||3|
Lawyering Skills I and II: These two first-year courses introduce students to legal reasoning; analytical and critical thinking; case research and analysis; legal writing, including office memoranda, briefs and letters to and on behalf of clients; advocacy; and all forms of legal research. They offer education in many of the fundamental skills and processes of legal practice through a combination of lecture classes and small group sessions. They are required of all first-year law students in order to supply a strong foundation of thinking, research and writing skills upon which all later, advanced courses will depend.
Students enrolled on a part-time basis typically take three of the required courses, including Lawyering Skills, in their first year. The remaining courses must be completed in their second year of study.
Other Required Courses
Students must complete the following courses as a condition of graduation:
|Required to be Taken During the Summer Preceding or During the Fall of the Second Year|
|LAW 8601||Business Organizations||3|
|LAW 8552||Federal Taxation||3|
|LAW 8522||Civil Procedure - Jurisdiction||2|
|Required to be Taken During the Summer Preceding or During the Second Year|
|Required to be Taken Prior to Graduation.|
|LAW 8635||Criminal Procedure I||3|
|LAW 8731||Professional Responsibility||2|
|Experiential Course or courses (see below)||6|
Experiential Course Requirement
A student must take 6 credit hours in a course or combination of courses that meet the school's experiential course requirement. These courses are primarily clinical, internship, or skills simulation courses. Courses fulfilling the requirement will be designated by the faculty.
Requirements for the J.D. Degree
Completion of 91 credit hours, 75 of which must be classroom credits.
A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (see Administrative Rules and Regulations, Scholastic Probation and Dismissal, in this section)
Completion of all required courses (see Required Courses in this section).
Fulfilling the school's research and writing requirement. This requires students to have a rigorous writing experience evidencing legal analysis resulting in a paper of professional quality.
Regular and punctual class attendance.
Successful completion of all coursework within five years from the day students began their course of studies leading toward the degree. A student will not be allowed to enroll in any course after the five-year period, unless an exception is granted by the Student Affairs Committee.
Policy on Certification of Completion of Graduation Requirements for Bar Authorities
The Law School will certify to a state’s bar authorities (such as a board of law examiners) that a student has completed degree requirements and is eligible to take a bar exam only if the following conditions have been met.
1. Graduation Date: A student will not be certified to take a bar exam prior to the date the student’s degree has been awarded. This means that:
a. A May graduate’s first bar exam cannot be before July of the graduation year.
b. An August or December graduate’s first bar exam cannot be before February following the graduation year.
2. Papers: A student writing a paper for any course (including seminars, independent studies, and all other courses) must submit a complete, finished version of the paper by the following dates. The deadlines apply to papers written to fulfill the Research & Writing (R&W) requirement, but the deadlines also apply to all other papers.
a. A student graduating in May and taking the bar exam in July must have every paper completed and submitted to the professor by May 1st of the graduation year.
b. A student graduating in December and taking the bar exam the following February must have every paper completed and submitted to the professor by December 1st of the graduation year.
c. A professor may set an earlier deadline for a particular course, independent study, paper, or R&W requirement.
d. These deadlines are not waivable.
3. Incompletes: A student who has an Incomplete for any credit or credits from a previous semester must have all work required to earn the credits completed by the following dates.
a. A student graduating in May and taking the bar exam in July must have all work required to earn the credits completed by May 1st of the graduation year.
b. A student graduating in December and taking the bar exam the following February must have all work required to earn the credits completed by December 1st of the graduation year.
c. A professor may set an earlier deadline for the completion of any work for an Incomplete.
d. These deadlines are not waivable.
These deadlines will not apply where the student has an Incomplete for credits from a previous semester only because the student was in a course involving a commitment to do something (such as for a law journal, clinic, or field placement) for multiple semesters and credit is not awarded for the prior semester until the full commitment has been completed.