Juris Doctor (JD) Requirements
REMINDER: In addition to diploma requirements, there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar. Applicants are encouraged, prior to matriculation, to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) where they intend to practice.
Students must successfully complete the following:
- First Year Courses
- One Ethics Course
- Upper-Level Research and Writing Requirement
- Applied Lawyering / Professional Skills Course
Six Semesters of Full-Time Residency
- Earn at least 86 Credit Hours (67 in LCUs) *
- Earn a Cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 3.00 **
*The ABA requires that 67 credits be earned in “regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school” (Law Classroom Units or LCUs). Students who graduate with exactly the required 86 credits must not take more than 19 outside-the-classroom (non-LCU) credits.
First-year students take three doctrinal courses a semester, plus Legal Practice and Legal Research Methodologies. Each semester, first-year students will have one doctrinal course in a small section of approximately 45 students. Legal Practice and Legal Research Methodologies are also taught in small groups and in workshop-style classes by teachers who provide individualized feedback on each student's research and writing projects. The Negotiation class runs over Intersession (the week before the Spring Semester starts).
- Civil Procedure (4 credits)
- Constitutional Law I (4 credits)
- Contracts (4 credits)
- Criminal Law (4 credits)
- Property (4 credits)
- Torts (4 credits)
- Legal Practice I: Objective Analysis and Reasoning (2 credits)
- Legal Practice II: Advocacy (2 credits)
- Legal Research Methodologies (1 credit for year; posted to spring semester)
- Negotiation (1 credit)
Upper-level students fulfill the remaining 56 credit hours by tailoring their studies to fit their individual interests. Students may take a variety of courses to meet the upper-class writing requirement, ethics requirement, and applied lawyering / professional skills course requirements. Faculty members and administrators provide guidance about course selection.
For a list of current course offerings that fulfill various requirements, consult the university Course Directory (WUCRSL)
For Applied Lawyering / Professional Skills Courses (ALPS) or for Ethics courses, search under Law courses.