Graduation Requirements

Every student must ensure that he or she meets all graduation requirements. The Registrar’s Office will provide students with the information it has, but responsibility for verifying that the requirements are met remains solely with the student. Students should access the on-line degree audit in Novasis to help them verify degree requirements.

Credits & Required Courses

All regular J.D. students in the class of 2016 must satisfactorily complete 88 credits over the course of three years of full-time study and must complete six consecutive full-time semesters to be eligible for the Juris Doctor degree.

All regular J.D. students beginning with the class of 2017 must satisfactorily complete 91 credits over the course of three years of consecutive study. Except for leaves of absence granted for good cause shown, the degree must be completed in three years. In no case will the period of time in which to complete the degree be extended beyond five years from the original matriculation.

The first-year required curriculum consists of 34 credit hours of study. In addition, the following upper level courses are required:

  • Constitutional Law II
  • Legal Writing III
    • must be taken in the fall or spring of the second year and must be taken prior to or concurrent with a Practical Skills Writing Course
  • Legal Profession
  • A Research Paper Course
    • any class that is a 6000 level course, however,      
      participation in a journal or law review does not fulfill this requirement
  • A Practical Skills Writing Course
    • any class that is a 5000 level course
  • Professional Development
    • new requirement beginning with the class of 2017; each year is worth one credit
  • 1L and 2L module for class of 2016 and beyond.
  • One externship or clinic for class of 2017 and beyond.
  • Six (6) credits of experiential learning for the class of 2018 and beyond.  At least three (3) credits shall be earned in a clinic or an externship.  The additional three (3) credits may be earned through the one-credit second year module and any of the following:
    • A clinic
    • An externship
    • Any other course dsignated by the Administration as providing experiential learning
  • Sixth semester of Legal Writing for the class of 2018 and beyond.  This requirement can be satisfied by the following courses:
    • Advanced Legal Writing
    • Strategic Legal Analysis
    • Securities Litigation and Enforcement
    • Any 5000 level course that currently satisfies the practical writing requirement (NOTE: A course taken to satisfy the Practical Skills Writing course requirement may not double count for the sixth semester Legal Writing Requirement.

Recommended Courses

Several courses, though not required, are considered basic foundation courses, and students are advised to take them:

  • Administrative Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Decedents’ Estates and Trusts
  • Evidence
  • Introduction to Federal Taxation
  • Trial Advocacy

These courses provide the conceptual building blocks upon which other areas of legal study and legal practice build.

For more information on specific graduation requirements and procedures, please consult the Student Handbook or contact the Office of the Registrar.