J.D. Program

The first year.

Harvard Law School’s first-year curriculum provides students with a solid intellectual foundation on which to build their legal education, covering core principles and concepts, theory, and skills of legal practice and providing a thorough grounding in fundamental legal reasoning and analysis. First-year students take courses in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, legislation and regulation, property, and torts, which collectively provide a foundation for understanding the common law tradition and governing structures of the U.S. legal system and the role of statutes and regulations within that system.

To bridge the gap between academic courses and the skills lawyers use in practice, all first-year students participate in the January Experiential Term. During this term, students enroll in one of several skills-based courses that emphasize teamwork, practical training, and self-reflection. First-year students also participate in a legal research and writing course, which includes the First-Year Ames Moot Court Program and other opportunities to practice the various forms of writing used in legal practice. During the spring term of the first year, students choose an elective based on their individual interests from a wide array of upper-level courses.

The first-year class is divided into seven sections of eighty students each. Faculty section leaders, generally senior faculty members who teach one of the section’s basic courses, provide guidance and support to the students in their sections and develop a program of extra-curricular activities related to the law.

In addition to section-based activities, during the fall term, students participate in first-year reading groups of 10-12 students. Led by faculty members, who also serve as advisors to the students in their groups, these ungraded groups allow students to explore an intellectual interest outside the scope of the foundational first-year curriculum. Topics are as diverse as legal responses to terrorism, regulation of climate change, Biblical law, detective fiction, conservative jurisprudence, artificial intelligence, and bioethics.

The Upper-Level Years

Seven optional   Programs of Study  – Law and Government; Law and Social Change; Law and Business; Law and History; Criminal Justice; International and Comparative Law; and Law, Science and Technology – developed by the Law School faculty provide pathways through the upper-level curriculum. The Programs of Study offer students guidance on structuring an academic program that will give them extensive exposure to the law, policy, theory, and practice in their chosen areas of focus.

The Law School encourages students to engage in their third year in a capstone learning experience: advanced seminars, clinical practice, and writing projects that call on students to use the full extent of their knowledge, skills, and methodological tools in a field to address the most interesting and complicated legal problems of today.

For more information about the J.D. Program, please see the Handbook of Academic Policies, Section I. Requirements for the J.D. Degree.

Semester Abroad

Harvard Law School students have the opportunity to  study abroad  through numerous exchange programs with law schools in other countries or at other top-flight foreign law schools of their choosing and receive credit toward the J.D.

Semester Abroad: Locations

Semester abroad: academic requirements, semester abroad: planning and application, semester abroad: tuition, expenses, insurance, and travel, modal gallery, gallery block modal gallery.

Academic Catalog

2023-2024 Edition

Juris Doctor

Assistant Dean, Academic Services:  Becky McAlister

Program Overview

Our primary academic program is the Juris Doctor (JD) degree, which includes our joint degree programs: JD-MBA, JD-PhD, JD-LLM in Taxation, and JD-LLM in International Human Rights.  We also offer a Two-Year JD program designed for internationally educated attorneys, as well as opportunities for transfer and visiting JD students.

JD Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the degree of Juris Doctor from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, each student must:

  • Earn 85 semester credit hours during 6 to 7 semesters in residence at Northwestern Law.
  • Complete the residency requirement (6 full-time semesters)
  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25 (or 2.0 if two-thirds of all grades are C+ or better)
  • Successfully complete all required first year courses
  • Satisfy the Legal Ethics requirement
  • Complete 6 credits of Experiential Learning (from a list of such courses as designated by the Curriculum Committee and identified as such at registration)
  • For students engaged in law clinics or field placements, the second educational occasion will take place before, concurrently with, or as part of their enrollment in clinical or field placement courses.
  • Transfer students are assumed to have completed the initial experience at their 1L school and are required to complete the second at Northwestern.
  • Satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement
  • Dual degree and 2-year-JD students must fulfill additional/modified requirements as specified on their respective program pages. 

JD Curriculum

The first year of study at Northwestern Law focuses on building a solid foundation in legal reasoning, analysis, and writing, as well as a thorough understanding of the structures and policies of the law. 

First Year Coursework

The following required first-year courses provide a basic foundation in law and legal reasoning:

Electives Open to First Year Students

During the Spring semester of the first year, students choose two upper-class electives that may form the basis of additional study in subsequent years.  1L electives are marked with the "Open Elective" attribute and may vary from year to year.

NOTE: While every effort is made to ensure the following lists are accurate, change is inevitable.  Courses used to satisfy graduation requirements must be designated as such at the time of registration.  Not all courses are offered every year.

Unique First Year Opportunities

  • Teamwork and communication skills are strongly emphasized in classes such as Communication and Legal Reasoning, a required year-long course in which students collaborate on analytical exercises and group projects. Part of this class involves participation in the  Arlyn Miner First-Year Moot Court .
  • At the end of the year, students may apply for a position on one of the Law School’s scholarly  journals .  Selection is based on a mandatory write-on process following first-year spring semester exams, unless students are accepted through an optional 1L Provisional Membership Program for three of our six journals that takes place during the spring semester of the first year.

Second and Third Year Curriculum

After the first year, JD students choose elective courses to satisfy the remaining degree requirements.  Students generally register for 14 to 16 credit hours each term, and cannot enroll in more than 17 credits per semester.

Legal Ethics (1 course)

Students must successfully complete the legal ethics requirement by completing one (and only one) course from a list of such courses as designated by the Curriculum Committee and identified as such at registration.

Experiential Learning (6 credit hours)

Students must successfully complete the experiential learning requirement by completing at least 6 credit hours from a list of such courses as designated by the Curriculum Committee and identified as such at registration.

Advanced Writing Requirement (2 courses)

Students must also fulfill an upper level writing requirement in their second or third year. This requirement can be met by completing one Research Writing course plus one Professional Writing course.  JDMBAs and 2-Year-JDs may satisfy the upper level writing requirement by completing either one Research Writing course or one Professional Writing course, but they may not count the writing course toward another degree requirement, such as Experiential Learning.

Research Writing

  • E ach paper makes an argument based on research conducted by the student.
  • Each  student submits a full initial draft for each paper.
  • Each student receives substantial individual feedback from the professor on the clarity and effectiveness of the writing as well as on the substance and organization of the argument in the draft.
  • Each student submits a final draft responding to the professor’s feedback.
  • Senior Research  (4 credits) or a 3-credit Independent Study project counts as the equivalent of a Research Writing course.
  • Satisfactory completion of a journal note written with faculty supervision, certified as satisfactory by the appropriate journal editor and the faculty supervisor, counts as the equivalent of a Research Writing course.

Professional Writing

  • A course meets the graduation requirement of a Professional Writing course if a principal element of the assigned work in the course consists of substantial transactional, litigation, legislative, regulatory, public advocacy, or judicial writing of the sort that practicing lawyers do and that is assigned in a real or hypothetical practice context. This sort of writing is designated here as an “assignment.”
  • A single substantial written assignment of approximately 5,000 words, written entirely by an individual student; or
  • A single assignment that requires multiple substantial revisions responding to feedback may count as multiple assignments.
  • Although professors may permit students to write some assignments under 2(b) collaboratively, the professor must also have the opportunity to distinguish and evaluate each student’s individual writing.
  • Students must receive substantial feedback on the clarity and effectiveness of the writing as well as on the substance and organization of each assignment.

Recommended Electives and Foundational Courses

All JD students are encouraged to complete courses from the following list.  The classes provide an excellent foundation for future upper level coursework:

Recommended Foundational Electives

Unique second and third year opportunities.

  • Students may choose a general course of study or a  concentration  in one of six areas.
  • Our renowned  Bluhm Legal Clinic  is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country. The program offers training through a simulation-based curriculum, which includes the  Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy , the  Program on Advocacy and Professionalism , and the  Program on Negotiation and Mediation .
  • Students may also choose to pursue on-the-job experience through a  Practicum . Northwestern Law offers Judicial, Criminal, Public Interest, Corporate Counsel, Civil Government, and Mediation practica, which also have a seminar component.
  • Second-year students can participate in the Law School's annual  Julius H. Miner Moot Court  competition, an appellate advocacy program administered by third-year students with faculty supervision.
  • For those interested in international law, Northwestern Law offers  study abroad  programs in Australia, Belgium, Amsterdam, Israel, Argentina, and Singapore. Students may also earn credit for summer study abroad programs offered by other American Bar Association-approved institutions.
  • Students may also participate in an  International Team Project  (ITP). Participants work with other students to customize a curriculum and research agenda, then team up for extensive study of the chosen country, including two weeks of field research abroad and a final group project. Recent ITP countries have included Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, India, and Namibia.

Dual Degree, Transfer, Visiting, and 2-year-JD Options

Northwestern Law offers several dual degree programs and enrollment options for JD students:

  • JD - LLM in Taxation
  • JD - LLM in International Human Rights
  • Two-Year JD
  • Transfer Students
  • Visiting Students

JD Concentrations

Students who complete a concentration will receive a notation on their official transcripts after satisfying all concentration requirements. Students may enroll in more than one concentration as long as they can complete all the requirements.

The Northwestern Law faculty has approved the following curricular concentrations for students interested in exploring a specific area of law:

  • Appellate Law Concentration
  • Business Enterprise Concentration
  • Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Concentration
  • Environmental Law Concentration
  • International Law Concentration
  • Law and Social Policy Concentration
  • Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Concentration

Concentration Requirements

While specific courses for each concentration necessarily differ, all concentrations have a minimum credit requirement, and require completion of at least one substantial research writing project.

Registration/checklist forms  are available for each concentration from the Office of the Registrar. Students keep a copy of the form to document completion of their concentration requirements. This form is also used to certify completion of the research/writing requirement. Before students can receive a notation on their official transcripts, the faculty program director must sign the form, certifying completion of the writing requirement and approval of its relevance to the concentration.

Completed, signed concentration forms are due in the Office of the Registrar no later than the grade due date for the last term of the student's attendance. Questions regarding procedural requirements and transcript notations should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

For information regarding concentration requirements, contact the program director of the appropriate concentration. Should questions arise about whether a particular course is in the area of concentration, the program director will decide.

The following courses are open to JD students.  Please note while every effort is made to ensure these lists are accurate, change is inevitable and courses may show alternate program restrictions at the time of scheduling.  Courses used to satisfy graduation requirements must be designated as such at the time of registration.   Not all courses are offered each year.  

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PDF of the 2023-2024 School of Law Catalog.

  • JD Requirements
  • LLM Requirements
  • LLCM Requirements
  • ML Degree Requirements
  • SJD Requirements
  • Joint Degrees & Certificates
  • Legal Practice Skills
  • Clinics & Externships
  • Academic Support Program
  • International Affairs
  • Future of the Profession Initiative
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  • Executive Education
  • Academic Calendar
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Advocacy Competitions

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School JD candidates are required to complete 86 semester hours at graduation during 6 semesters in law school residence.  Each JD student is required to complete, in addition to the required first-year curriculum, one course in Professional Responsibility, 6 semester hours of experiential learning, the Pro Bono Requirement, and a scholarly research and writing project (the Senior Writing Requirement). The details of each requirement and restrictions on co-curricular credits are explained below.

Credit Requirements

Juris Doctor (JD):

Candidates for the JD degree need to complete 86 semester hours at graduation during six semesters in law school residence.

Full-Time Attendance: students must enroll in at least 12 semester hours each semester and may enroll in no more than 17 semester hours per term toward the JD degree.

Students may receive up to 12 semester hours toward the JD graduation requirements for graduate-level courses taken in other departments upon establishing that these courses will contribute to one’s legal education.

Distance Education:  effective fall 2023, no more than 12 semester hours can be earned in distance education courses (both synchronous and asynchronous online) toward the 86 semester hours required for the JD degree.  It is important to also note that F1 visa holder make count only one online or distance learning class toward a full course of study each semester.

Experiential Learning: students must complete one or more experiential courses totaling at least six (6) semester hours. There are 60+ courses — including all clinics and externships — from the Law School’s curriculum designated as experiential. Experiential courses will be annotated on the course planning spreadsheet circulated by the Registrar each term; one can also search for experiential courses in the online Course Finder via the drop-down category menu. Contact the Law Registrar’s Office at [email protected] with any questions about the experiential learning requirement.

Co-Curricular Credit Restrictions: no more than 22 semester hours (of the 86 semester hours required for graduation) earned in co-curricular credit activities will count toward the JD degree. An additional restriction of 7 semester hours, of the total 22 semester hours, can be earned from sources listed in the column on the right below.  No more than 12 semester hours (of the 22 co-curricular semester hour restriction) can be earned via pre-approved courses outside of the Law School.   No more than 14 semester hours (of the 22 co-curricular semester hour restriction) can be earned in externships (both Gittis and ad hoc externships) - effective with the Class of 2025.  Semester hours earned through clinics do not count towards the co-curricular credit restriction.

 * First-year students cannot receive academic credit for participation in activities during their first year, nor will the activity be noted on the transcript. We encourage first-year students to add their participation in co-curricular activities to their resume.

Pro Bono Requirement

Pro bono is an integral part of Penn Carey Law’s unique approach to legal education. As part of the Law School’s belief that it is incumbent upon all lawyers, from all sectors to utilize the law to advance the public good, you must complete at least 70 hours of pro bono legal work as a graduation obligation.

The Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC) oversees the pro bono requirement and has relationships with hundreds of nonprofits, government and legal services agencies, and law firms locally, nationally, and globally. TPIC is home to more than 20 internally run pro bono projects, enabling you to satisfy your pro bono requirement while developing legal skills, building close relationships with your peers, and serving the causes and communities you care about.

Overview of requirement:

  • All students must complete at least 35 hours of TPIC-approved pro bono by the last day of spring classes during the 2L year and a total of 70 hours must be completed by the last day of classes during the 3L year.
  • Failure to complete 35 hours by the end of 2L will result in a registration hold being placed for the fall semester. Failure to complete the total 70 hours by the end of 3L will impede your graduation.
  • You can perform pro bono via one of TPIC’s many pro bono projects, via TPIC’s pro bono internships, or by crafting your own experience and submitting a Self-Initiated Placement form for TPIC approval.

For more information and placement opportunities, please visit TPIC’s website or reach out via email .

Senior Research and Writing Requirement

Requirement and Goals: So that each JD student demonstrates proficiency in scholarly research and writing under close faculty supervision, you must participate in a scholarly research and writing project in either your second or third year. Your project should:

  • Provide faculty-student intellectual interchange
  • Give an opportunity for constructive faculty criticism regarding avenues of research, analysis, organization, and style
  • Take the form of a single long paper or several shorter papers, as the supervising faculty member determines
  • Be “scholarly” in that it excludes routine advocacy but not necessarily (in the discretion of the supervising faculty member) advocacy that results from a thorough and objective investigation of governing authority

Faculty Input: Your supervising faculty member, whether full-time or adjunct, will provide close personal supervision and comment, and you will undertake revision and further writing in light of the critiques. The senior research and writing experience will involve the following steps, each with faculty consultation:

a) Selection of the topic

b) Submission of a first draft

c) Submission of a final, revised draft that meets, to the faculty member’s satisfaction, the standard of proficiency in scholarly research and writing

Deadlines: Your research and writing should be sustained over one or more semesters. Early and realistic deadlines should be set for initial drafts to permit adequate time for faculty comments and for your final draft preparation.  

Ways to Satisfy the Requirement:  The Senior Writing Requirement cannot be satisfied through a course that is also being counted towards a different graduation requirement, such as the experiential credit requirement or Professional Responsibility.  Provided that the rules and standards set forth above are met, the senior writing requirement may be satisfied in many ways, including (without limitation):

a) Seminars

b) Work in independent studies

c) Papers in lieu of examinations in regular law school courses (always confirm such an arrangement with your faculty member at the start the semester)

d) Notes or comments written for student journals

e) Work as a faculty research assistant, provided that you are not also being compensated

Your research and writing project need not be graded or receive academic credit in order to satisfy the senior writing requirement.

Documentation: You are responsible for identifying a faculty member to supervise your senior writing project. Once you have secured the faculty member’s agreement to supervise, you must submit a Faculty Agreement to Supervise Senior Writing form to the Registrar’s Office. Please note that the submission of the Faculty Agreement form does NOT signal the requirement has been met, but only that a faculty member has agreed to serve as a supervisor.

Satisfaction of the Senior Writing Requirement: Once the senior writing requirement has been satisfied, have your advising faculty member send a confirmation to the Registrar’s Office. Your transcript will then be updated to reflect completion of requirement.

Professional Responsibility Requirement

All students are required to take a course in legal ethics. The requirement may be satisfied by completing any one of the professional responsibility courses.

Transfer Students

Students entering on advanced standing are reminded that in order to satisfy the 86-semester hour requirement for the JD, they must also:

  • Complete the Senior Writing Requirement;
  • Complete the Public Service Requirement;
  • Complete six-semester hour Experiential Learning credits;
  • Take no more than 12 semester hours of distance education credits; 
  • Be in compliance with the max co-curricular credit restrictions; 
  • Satisfy the Professional Responsibility Requirement in either your second or third year

You may also be required to complete first-year courses offered by this Law School if you have not already completed them in your first year. The credits for these courses, however, may be counted toward the credits required for graduation. You will receive a letter from the Registrar that will indicate your degree requirements and required courses, if any, that must be completed. The courses to be completed or waived are Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts.

A Continuing Duty to Report Conduct

Throughout the course of your enrollment at the Law School, you have a continuing duty to report to the Dean of Students any matters involving your interactions with legal authorities, legal actions taken by or against you, or charges brought by University disciplinary offices. Such actions include but are not limited to arrests, citations, lawsuits, subpoenas, traffic violations, or violations of Penn policies. At the time you apply for Bar admission, the Bar authorities in each jurisdiction will seek to determine that information in your Bar application is congruent with your Law School student file. In order to simplify your admission to the Bar at such time as you are reviewed for “character and fitness,” you must make any such activity known to the Law School immediately on occurrence.

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J.D. Curriculum

Design your education.

At UW Law School, we want our students to design their education in a way that caters to their passions and fulfills their professional goals. 

Our students have many opportunities to experience our long-standing  law-in-action tradition, which empowers them to navigate as successful lawyers in an increasingly complex, competitive and challenging world.

Incorporated throughout our extensive curriculum, this law-in-action philosophy places an emphasis on the dynamics of the law, meaning:

  • how the law both reflects and causes social change, and
  • how the law as it is practiced can differ from the law described in the statutes.

General Curriculum

1l curriculum.

Our full-time first-year program is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal analysis and reasoning, as well as legal research and writing, in a supportive setting. 

First Semester (15 credits)

  • Contracts (4 credits)
  • Criminal Law & Procedure (4 credits)
  • Civil Procedure (4 credits)
  • Legal Research & Writing (3 credits)

Second Semester (15 Credits)

  • Property (4 credits)
  • Torts (4 credits)
  • Constitutional Law (4 credits)
  • Legal Research & Writing II (3 credits)

2L & 3L Curriculum

In your 2L & 3L years of law school, you will have time both to explore the curriculum to determine where your interests lie and to develop the lawyering skills you will need when you graduate.

The graduation requirements  and  Wisconsin Diploma Privilege requirements will guide some of your course selection, but your schedule will largely be filled with electives in your 2L & 3L years. You will get to choose from an extraordinary breadth and depth of course offerings, affording you the opportunity to explore cutting-edge legal issues in the classroom and to apply your knowledge in one of our many clinical programs.

For general guidance on course selection, see  Planning Your Academic Program , which includes:

  • Principles of course selection
  • How to select courses
  • Five approaches to selecting courses
  • Sequence of courses
  • Transcripts
  • Study Abroad
  • Faculty connections
  • Areas of practice

To plan a personalized curriculum plan, reach out to our Academic Advisor Angela Nash . 

Part-Time Options

Part-time students must complete the first-year curriculum within two years of entering and must complete the course work required for the J.D. degree within six years. First-year courses generally require you to be on campus four or five times per week and some are offered in the late afternoon or early evening.

Part-time students wishing to take courses only in the late afternoon or early evening should note that one-half of the first-year program courses are generally offered later in the day in alternate years, thus making it easier to complete the first-year program within the requisite two years.

For more information about going part-time, see:

  • Student Handbook 2.1.1: First-Year Part-Time Schedules
  • Student Handbook 10.3: Special Issues for Part-Time Students

Legal Research & Writing

1L students gain intensive legal research and writing experience in their first year at UW Law School, while upper-level students build on that foundation with advanced courses.

For more information, view the Legal Research & Writing program .

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning provides hands-on experience and facilitates the development of practical skills, judgment and professional identity. The end goal of experiential learning is to equip our students to hit the ground running as a new lawyer.

For more information, view all Experiential Learning programs  or jump directly to a particular program:

  • Clinical Programs
  • Externships
  • Lawyering Skills Course
  • Pro Bono Program

Student Learning Outcomes

At the University of Wisconsin Law School, we are committed to providing our students with the skills and knowledge needed to be excellent lawyers. Our long-standing law-in-action tradition in particular empowers our graduates to navigate an increasingly complex, competitive and challenging world.

The UW Law School faculty have established the following learning outcomes that we expect our students to attain by graduation:

  • Students will demonstrate competency in their knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law.
  • Students will demonstrate competency in legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication appropriate for a variety of legal contexts.
  • Students will demonstrate competency in their awareness of ethical dilemmas likely to arise in legal practice and in their capability to identify and use legal and other resources that will lead to effective resolution of these dilemmas.
  • Students will demonstrate competency in other professional skills needed as a member of the legal profession.
  • Students will understand the concept of the law-in-action, including the procedures and social forces that influence legal outcomes and that affect the ability of legal professionals to represent clients and to create effective law.

Specialized Curriculums

Areas of study curriculum guides.

The areas of study curriculum guides are for students who have an interest in a particular area of practice and would like more guidance in developing an academic program targeted at that area of practice.

These guides contain recommendations, not requirements. There is no single correct plan or program, and there are many differing opinions as to the type and number of courses that should be taken.

  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Administrative & Regulatory Law
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Business, Corporate, & Commercial Law
  • Children's Law
  • Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Criminal Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Estate Planning & Elder Law
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • General Practice
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International & Comparative Law
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Municipal & Local Government Law
  • Public Interest Law
  • Real Estate Law

Curricular Concentrations

The UW Law School faculty has established Curricular Concentrations in several areas of studies. Qualifying students are given a document reflecting the curricular achievement, though these do not qualify as certificate programs.

  • Business Law Concentration
  • Criminal Law Concentration
  • Family Law Concentration
  • Estate Planning Concentration
  • International & Comparative Law Concentration
  • Labor & Employment Law Concentration
  • Real Estate Law Concentration

Directed Research & Directed Reading

Directed Research and Directed Reading are independent studies that afford students the opportunity to explore their unique interests and legal issues one-on-one with a faculty member. The scope of the independent study must be agreed upon in advance by the student and the supervising faculty. 

Directed research will result in the production of a research paper; a student’s directed reading will be tested by some form of written work. 

Directed reading and directed research are governed by  Law School Rule 3.13 .  Note that no more than eight credits of directed reading and six credits of directed research can be applied to the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree . 

For more information, see the Student Handbook 2.3.11: Directed Research & Directed Reading .

International Law Program & Study Abroad

The Law School hosts international students and professors, bringing diverse international perspectives to the classroom, and the university has one of the largest groups of international students in the country.

You can also study at one of the many foreign law schools with which the Law School has exchange agreements, create your own foreign study program, or participate in the foreign study programs of other U.S. law schools.

For more information, view International Law Program & Study Abroad options .

Interdisciplinary Study

Certificate programs.

The Law School offers two interdisciplinary certificate programs that provide an opportunity for concentrated study, but do not involve an additional degree:

  • Certificate in Healthy Advocacy
  • Certificate in Russian Area Studies

There are also certificates available to the wider University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student population, including Law students:

  • Certificate in Entrepreneurship
  • Certificate in Strategic Innovation
  • Certificate in Business, Environment & Social Responsibility (BESR)

For more information see the  Certificate Programs .

Dual Degree Programs

The opportunities for graduate study beyond a law degree are particularly rich at the University of Wisconsin. The UW Law School offers dual degree opportunities in conjunction with master's and doctoral programs on the campus.

 The Law School has established programs with:

  • La Follette School of Public Affairs
  • Wisconsin School of Business
  • Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program
  • Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Sociology and Rural Sociology
  • School of Library and Information Studies
  • Master of Public Health Program
  • Neuroscience and Public Policy Program

For more information about requirements, tuitions, and more, see the Dual Degree Programs .

Non-Law Courses

Of the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree, law students are allowed to apply up to six credits of graduate level or foreign language course work completed at other schools at the University ( Law School Rule 3.08 ). 

For more information on how to do this, see the  Student Handbook 2.5: Non-Law Courses .

Additional Resources

  • Course Descriptions »
  • Courses & Schedules »
  • J.D. & Diploma Privilege Tracking Worksheet »
  • Planning Your Academic Program »
  • Student Handbook: Courses »

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JD Degree Programs

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“I always knew I wanted to go to law school, but maybe back then I didn’t know what it meant to be a lawyer. … The more diverse the profession becomes, the more we can serve people who need our help.”

– Abyan Gurase’s story

The JD: What Every Lawyer Needs

If you’re considering pursuing a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, you aren’t alone. Thousands of people in the United States earn a JD every year, and our research shows they do so for a variety of reasons: to help others, to work in an exciting field, or to open doors to a variety of professions, among others. This page includes a summary of the JD degree, as well as resources you can use to plan your journey to law school.

The JD degree is considered to be a “first degree” in law. In other words, if you want to practice law in the United States, you will, in almost all cases, need a JD degree. But a JD isn’t just for people who want to become lawyers. Some people use a JD to become a law librarian, enter the world of academia, or go into consulting, among other careers. You might also find it useful if you want to enter politics or do advocacy work. 

What You Should Know

  • JD degrees are offered by ABA-approved law schools, by schools that are not ABA-approved, and by many law schools in Canada and other countries around the world. Find a law school .
  • In the U.S., admission to a JD program requires a bachelor’s degree. The admission requirements differ in other countries.
  • Additionally, every school has its own set of requirements . Make sure you know what your schools require so that you can apply efficiently.
  • Most JD programs are three-year, full-time programs. However, many law schools do offer part-time programs that take approximately four years to complete.
  • LSAC’s flagship exam, the LSAT , is an integral part of the law school admission process in the U.S., Canada, and a growing number of other countries. All ABA-approved law schools accept the LSAT.

Planning Your Next Steps

If you’re planning to apply to multiple schools, signing up for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) can save you time and work in doing so. When you use this service, you send your transcripts and letters of recommendation to LSAC one time, and we package everything for the schools to which you apply. We will also send updates to your schools when you add items to your file at LSAC.

There also is a way for law schools to find you. LSAC’s optional (and free) Candidate Referral Service (CRS) allows you to release information about yourself into a recruitment database that law schools use to reach out to potential applicants based on various characteristics such as undergraduate major and location. You can register for CRS through your free LSAC JD Account .

Check out LSAC’s JD Application Checklist to get an idea of what else you need to do — and how we can help.

Request More Information:

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The Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) Degree

Overview of degree requirements.

The requirements for the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence are:

  • For students who entered law school before 2019, successful completion of all first-year required courses plus an additional 82 quarter units of elective coursework (111 total units);
  • For students who entered law school in 2019 or later, successful completion of all first-year required courses plus an additional 78 quarter units of elective coursework (111 total units);
  • Satisfaction of the experiential learning requirement;
  • Satisfaction of the ethics requirement;
  • Satisfaction of the writing requirement;
  • Satisfaction of the learning outcomes requirement;
  • Nine quarters of residency;
  • Timely filing of an application for graduation.

In accordance with ABA accreditation standards, JD students may not count toward the JD graduation requirement more than thirty-one (31) quarter units of the following types of coursework: externship, directed research, directed writing, senior thesis, research track, courses taken outside the Law School, and moot court (Kirkwood competition).

Additionally, students must make satisfactory academic progress (see the section on ‘Satisfactory Academic Performance.’)

Required Curriculum: First-Year Program

For JD students entering law school in 2019 or later, each JD student must complete the following courses during his or her first year at the Law School:

Autumn Quarter

  • Civil Procedure
  • Legal Writing
  • 1L Discussion Seminars

Winter Quarter

  • Constitutional Law I
  • Criminal Law
  • Federal Litigation in a Global Context
  • Electives (0-5 units)

Spring Quarter

  • Electives (3-8 units)

Each first-year student is assigned to a small section of approximately 30 students. During the first quarter of the first year, students take Legal Writing and one other of their required courses with only their small section. With the exception of 1L Discussion Seminars, they take the other required courses in combination with their section and one other small section. Usually, each of these courses will be with a different small section. Neither section assignments nor class assignments may be changed. 1L Discussion Seminars will be assigned separately.

Unit Requirement

Students who entered law school before 2019 must complete all first-year required courses plus an additional 82 approved quarter units of elective coursework to obtain a JD (a total of 111 units). Students who entered law school in 2019 or later must complete all first-year required courses plus an additional 78) approved quarter units of elective coursework to obtain a JD (a total of 111 units).

During the Autumn Quarter, a first-year student may take only those courses on the required list.

First-year JD students may take no more than 5 units of electives in the Winter Quarter, and they must take at least 3 units but no more than 8 units of electives in the Spring Quarter. Elective courses are limited to those within the Law School, with the exception that first-year JD students may take a physical education course or music lessons each quarter but those courses will not count toward residency or graduation.

Experiential Learning Requirement

Students must complete 8 units of coursework designated as fulfilling the Experiential Learning (EL) requirement pursuant to ABA Standard 303.

Pathway A – Full-time Clinic:

Students who complete any of Stanford Law School’s full-time clinics are deemed “Pathway A” students. These students will automatically satisfy the ABA Experiential Learning Requirement.

Pathway B – Self-Design:

Students who do not enroll in one of Stanford Law School’s full-time clinics are deemed “Pathway B” students. Pathway B students must submit to the Registrar’s Office a Self-Design Plan specifying which courses the student has taken and/or intends to take to satisfy the ABA Experiential Learning requirement.

Courses that count towards the EL requirement are identified on the Registrar’s website and in course listings . Students choosing Pathway B to fulfill this requirement should note that not all courses are offered every year and that enrollment for some courses may be limited.

All students who elect Pathway B must include a Professional Writing (“PW”) course within their individually tailored plan. A course designated as a “PW” course is defined as one in which the students engage in the sort of professional writing common to practicing lawyers, e.g. writing briefs, drafting contracts, etc. PW courses include only those approved by the Curriculum Committee and explicitly classified as a PW class before the term begins. They do not include externships or courses outside the law school.

Primary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form (Rising 2Ls)

All rising 2L students must submit a Primary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form by the deadline set by the Registrar’s office before the start of the student’s second year. This form will indicate whether the student intends to satisfy the EL graduation requirement through one of Stanford’s full-time clinics (Pathway A) or through Self-Design (Pathway B). Students who do not meet this deadline will have a hold placed on their course registration until they submit the form.

Students planning to satisfy the EL requirement via clinic must indicate whether they have applied and been accepted to a clinic for the 2L year and/or intend to enroll during the 3L year. Stanford has capacity for 100 percent of our students to take a full-time clinic, but admission to a particular clinic in a particular quarter is not guaranteed. Students electing Pathway A should ordinarily plan to apply to more than one clinic, and will be required to apply to multiple clinics (the number will be set by the Associate Dean for the Clinics) if they need to gain admission into a clinic during the third year to satisfy the graduation requirement.

If the student plans to elect Pathway B, the student must complete the portion of the form calling for the student’s Self-Design Plan. Self-design plans will be reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Curriculum. The plan should demonstrate how the student will complete at least 50% of their EL credits (4 units) by the end of their second year.

Plans in which fewer than 4 units will be completed by the end of the 2L year will be approved only upon a showing of good cause necessitating the completion of more than half of the credits in the third year. Students whose plans are initially rejected may resubmit the form to address any identified deficiencies by the deadline, or may elect to move to Pathway A. If the resubmitted form is rejected, the student will be moved to Pathway A.

In some circumstances, an externship may satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement. Ordinarily, an externship that otherwise meets the criteria will be approved for EL credit when the field placement provides specialized experience complementary to a student’s intended career path and comparable benefits cannot be obtained through other EL coursework at Stanford. Students who plan to satisfy the experiential learning requirement through an externship should consult with the law school’s Externship Director regarding the externship proposal as early in the process as possible and must secure approval for the externship no later than the deadline for rising 3Ls to file Pathway B curriculum plans. (These Secondary Curricular Planning forms are described below).

If, during the second year, the student finds that they are deviating from the submitted and approved Self-Design Plan (because, for example, the student did not gain admission to a limited-enrollment EL offering the student had planned to take), the student must, as soon as practicable, consult with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs concerning the deviation.

Secondary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form (Rising 3Ls)

Students who have not completed a clinic by the end of their second year must also submit a Secondary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form by the deadline set by the Registrar’s office at the start of the student’s third year. Students who do not meet this deadline will have a hold placed on their course registration until they submit the form.

Students who indicate on the Secondary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form that they plan to satisfy the EL requirement via a clinic in their 3L year must, in the spring of their 2L year, apply to multiple  clinics (the number will be set by the Associate Dean of the Clinics) in the clinic application process or, if they apply to fewer clinics, have a clearly articulated and feasible back-up plan in Pathway B.

If the student had previously elected Pathway A on the Primary Experiential Learning CurricularPlanning Form as a rising 2L but has decided to switch to Pathway B, the student must demonstrate good cause for the switch.

For students who had previously elected Pathway B on the Primary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form, the Secondary Experiential Learning Curricular Planning Form must indicate whether the student did in fact complete at least 4 units towards the EL requirement prior to the start of their 3L year or, if they failed to do so (and did not have an approved plan for doing so), why extraordinary circumstances excuse their failure to complete the units on schedule and how they realistically plan to complete the 8 units before graduation.

The Associate Dean for Students Affairs and the Associate Dean of Curriculum will review the forms containing the Self-Design Plans to ensure that each student has a coherent and feasible plan for completing the graduation requirements that takes into account, among other things, the fact that some classes may not be offered every year or have limited enrollment. Students whose plans are rejected may resubmit to address any identified deficiencies by the deadline, or may elect to move to Pathway A.

If the submitted form is rejected, students will be moved to Pathway A. If, during the third year, the student finds that he or she is deviating from the submitted and approved Self-Design Plan (because, for example, the student did not gain admission to a limited-enrollment EL offering, the student had been planning to take), the student must, as soon as practicable, consult with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs concerning the deviation.

Students who plan to satisfy the EL requirement through an externship should consult with the Law School’s Externship Director regarding the externship proposal as early in the process as possible and must secure approval for the externship from the law school’s Externship Director no later than the deadline for rising 3Ls to file Pathway B curriculum plans.

Ethics Requirement

JD students must complete at least one advanced course that contains one or more units of ethics instruction. Only a course approved by the Curriculum Committee and explicitly classified as an ethics course before the quarter begins satisfies this requirement.

Course Catalog

Writing Requirement

In addition to first-year Legal Writing and Federal Litigation, all students must complete another course of at least two units in which a principal part of the assigned work is a paper or other written product (an “R” paper). Only courses approved by the Curriculum Committee and explicitly classified as an R course before the term begins can satisfy this requirement.

  • A course designated as an “R” course is defined as one in which the written product is substantial and is based on open-ended research by the student.
  • A Directed Research paper may count as the equivalent of an “R” course with the approval of the supervising faculty member.
  • Satisfactory completion of a Senior Thesis or Research Track counts as the equivalent of an “R” course.

Double-Counting Requirements

If a course satisfies two requirements (such as “R” and “Ethics,”) students may use that course to satisfy both requirements. However, this rule permitting double-counting does not apply to the Experiential Learning requirement . Students wishing to use a course to satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement cannot double-count, and must use that course solely to satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement.

Learning Outcomes Requirement

The ABA requires each law school to “establish and publish learning outcomes” designed to “prepare its students, upon graduation, for admission to the bar and for effective, ethical, and responsible participation as members of the profession.” ABA Standards 301 (a) & (b). The syllabus for each course may either set forth the course’s particular Learning Outcomes or direct students to the online course description, where Learning Outcomes are provided. By completing your degree, Stanford Law School certifies that you have satisfied the ABA’s Learning Outcome requirements listed below.

  • LO1: Exhibit knowledge and understanding of key concepts in substantive law, procedural law, and legal thought.
  • LO2: Demonstrate facility with legal analysis and reasoning. This may include, but will not necessarily include, a combination of skills such as synthesizing cases, identifying and applying relevant principles, and mastering modes of inquiry (whether scientific, social scientific, or humanistic) that inform and contextualize legal analysis and reasoning.
  • LO3: Demonstrate the ability to conduct legal research.
  • LO4: Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing.
  • LO5: Demonstrate the ability to communicate orally (such as in group or individual presentations, while delivering advice to a client, or in the course of oral advocacy).
  • LO6: Display familiarity with the law governing lawyers and exhibit an understanding of a lawyer’s distinctive ethical responsibilities to clients, the legal system, and the broader public.
  • LO7: Display other professional skills needed for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession (such as, interviewing; counseling; negotiation; fact development and analysis; trial practice; contract review and drafting; conflict resolution; leadership behaviors, attitudes, and styles; collaboration and teamwork; execution; and cultural competency).

Residency Requirement

To graduate, a JD student must be “in residence” as a law student for at least nine (9) quarters and no more than twelve (12) quarters. For purposes of the JD degree, the term “in residence” means that a student:

  • Takes at least 9 quarter units of credit that can be counted toward the degree each quarter.
  • By the date all grades for the quarter are due, passes at least 8 such units each quarter.
  • Pays full tuition to the law school.
  • Does not work more than 20 hours per week during the term. (See section entitled ‘Limitations on Working’ for more information.)
  • A student must be in residence during the quarter in which the final degree is conferred or during the quarter immediately preceding degree conferral.

Timely Filing of a "Graduation Application"

Students should consult the University’s online Academic Calendar for the Graduation Application deadline dates for each term. The Academic Calendar is available through the Office of the University Registrar.

Transfer Students

In a transfer student’s offer of admission to Stanford Law School, the Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid will specify the amount of transfer credit that the student will receive and the course requirements that the student will need to fulfill at the Law School to ensure that the student’s professional training in law will be substantially equivalent to that required of a student who does all of his or her JD coursework at the Law School. Thus, it is possible that transfer students may be required to enroll in one or more first-year required courses.

Transfer students will not be given credit for law course work taken elsewhere unless at the time they took such course work it would have been allowed credit toward a first degree in law if taken at the Law School.

What Is a J.D. Degree?

If you’re looking to become a lawyer, enrolling in a Juris Doctor program is likely your first step.

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J.D. programs typically take three years to complete for full-time students.

The J.D. degree is a rigorous course of study aimed at preparing students for a career as an attorney.

“For most people in the United States, the Juris Doctor is going to be the degree that they're going to want to be able to practice in the United States,” says Rebecca Ray, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid for the University of Illinois School of Law ’s J.D. program.

Ray notes that there are other pathways to becoming a practicing attorney, such as completing an apprenticeship and successfully taking the bar exam in some states or completing an international master of laws, or LL.M., degree. But for the vast majority of American lawyers-to-be, a J.D. is the best route.

Whether you’re considering applying to law school or preparing to start a J.D. program, here are some things to know about the degree.

What to Expect From a J.D. Program

Law school experts note that J.D. program coursework tends to be similar across different programs and institutions. Most J.D. programs include courses on the following topics:

  • Civil procedure
  • Criminal law
  • Constitutional law
  • Property law
  • Administrative or regulatory law

J.D. programs typically take three years to complete for full-time students. Experts say that the first year generally consists of the fundamental and mandatory coursework described above, while students have a bit more flexibility in the second and third years.

“So if a student finds that they love their first-year criminal law course, they can choose their courses in their second or third year to kind of set them up for a criminal law practice,” Ray says.

The American Bar Association, which is responsible for accrediting law schools nationwide, also mandates J.D. programs to include courses in legal writing , professional responsibility and experiential learning.

Earning a J.D. doesn’t make someone a lawyer, but it is the first step in the process to begin practicing as one. Graduates of J.D. programs can sit for the bar examination in their state – upon passing the exam, they can then practice law.

While the J.D. is meant to prepare students for a career as an attorney, not all J.D. recipients end up practicing law after graduation. Without passing the bar, individuals with a J.D. can’t represent clients but can use their legal knowledge in other fields, like entrepreneurship or nonprofit work, notes Cathy Alexander, assistant dean for admissions at Pace University’s School of Law in New York.

“If you look at the roster of corporate executives, you'll find a lot of them have a law degree or law background,” adds James Hackney, dean of the School of Law at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. "It's obviously a requirement for being a lawyer, but I think it's also a valuable degree for a whole host of leadership positions.”

Experts agree that writing is an especially important skill for students hoping to enroll in a J.D. program. Hackney says J.D. programs tend to involve a significant amount of writing and analytical thinking. Alexander adds that having a strong foundation in writing and research skills bodes quite well for incoming law students.

“While no particular majors are required" for admission to law school, Ray says, "being able to communicate well in writing is really important.”

How Does a J.D. Differ From Other Degrees Offered at Law Schools?

While law schools commonly offer other degrees, such as the LL.M. or the master of studies in law, also known as an M.S.L., they are not meant to be an entry point to practice law. The J.D. degree is the main route to becoming a lawyer.

According to Alexander, the M.S.L. degree is meant for nonlawyers who want to gain a better understanding of the law and legal practices. This program is a shorter and more cost-effective way for people who don’t plan on practicing law to gain a deeper understanding of the legal process, she says.

An LL.M. gives students an opportunity to study certain areas of the law more closely, Ray says, and can also be a pathway for lawyers from another country to become a practicing lawyer in the U.S. Students entering an LL.M. program have already completed legal studies, either earning a J.D. or studying law in another country. Certain LL.M. programs may qualify foreign lawyers to sit for the bar, getting them up to speed on legal practices stateside.

How Difficult Is Earning a J.D.?

Law school is notoriously challenging , but experts note that students can make it more manageable for themselves.

The volume of reading is a particularly difficult adjustment for students who are starting out in their J.D. program, Alexander says. Throughout law school, she says, students have to read legal cases that feature vocabulary that they have not been exposed to elsewhere.

“The vocabulary within the cases can seem like a foreign language,” she says, noting that students will likely have to look up a lot of the terminology. But as time goes by, she notes, students tend to get into the swing of things and are better able to scan through dense legal texts – a skill that will ultimately serve them well when they go on to practice law.

Hackney advises incoming and current law students alike to communicate as much as possible with their professors. “They’re there to help you understand the material,” he says.

He adds that law schools offer all sorts of resources to help students succee d, from formal academic success programs to informal study groups with peers. Students just need to be proactive about using the resources, he says.

10 Law Schools Generous With Grants

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J.D. Program

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Berkeley Law is one of the premier law schools in the United States, and the cornerstone of the school is its J.D. Degree Program.

The J.D. program is demanding, engaging, hands-on, and selective. Each year, only about one out of every ten applicants is accepted. Central to our program is Berkeley Law’s challenging curriculum and world-class faculty. Incoming students can expect to learn the fundamentals from top scholars and outstanding teachers. They can also expect to infuse their studies with their own curiosity and concerns, to look at the law from a multidisciplinary perspective, and to roll up their sleeves and do real work.  

The diverse and constantly evolving curriculum offers hundreds of courses, including dozens in our top-ranked Intellectual Property, International Law, Social Justice, and Environmental Law programs. Faculty members—some of the best legal minds in the business—embody the school’s commitment to academic vigor, multidisciplinary research, and intellectual diversity. One of the hallmarks of the J.D. Program is the diversity of its student body, faculty, and curriculum. Such diversity is critical in a law school, which must train its graduates to analyze and interpret the law, reflect on competing viewpoints, present persuasive arguments in a variety of forums, and develop insightful and effective policies affecting broad swaths of society.

But what sets the J.D. Degree Program apart is its real-world focus. Our school-sponsored clinics give students the opportunity to gain hands-on legal and public policy experience. Student-run clinics and journals round out the offerings in practically every conceivable area. And our major think tanks—home to some of our most forward-looking research and outreach—serve as laboratories where J.D. students can collaborate with some of the most innovative thinkers in the legal profession.

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Chicago's Only Public Law School

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UIC Law JD Program Class

Our UIC Law curriculum specializes in equipping rising attorneys with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed from their first day on the job. You’ll develop the strategic, analytical, and transactional skills that are so valuable to employers, regardless of the concentration you choose.

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The Juris Doctor (JD) program consists of three components: 10 core courses which must be taken first, additional required courses that can be taken any time after the core courses are completed, and experiential learning through a clinic or externship.  View required courses below:

General Requirements

JD courses, listed on the proposed degree track in this chart provide students with a fundamental store of knowledge and skills related to substantive legal concepts and rules, including analysis of cases, statutes, and other sources of law; recognition of relevant facts from a mass of raw data; effective oral and written communication; advocacy; and organization and management of legal work and ideas.

Remaining credit hours for the JD are fulfilled by selecting electives from substantive areas of law, including business law, employee benefits, estate planning, information technology law, intellectual property law, international law, public interest law, real estate law, and more.

To successfully earn a JD from UIC Law, degree candidates must:

  • Earn credit for at least 90 semester hours of law study
  • Obtain an overall GPA of 2.25 or better, and
  • Earn a minimum of 3 clinical and/or externship credit hours.

Required Curriculum

Core courses for the jd degree.

  • Contracts I * (3 credits)
  • Property * (4 credits)
  • Torts * (4 credits)
  • Lawyering Skills I * (3 credits)
  • Expert Learning * (1 credit)
  • Contracts II * (3 credits)
  • Civil Procedure I * (3 credits)
  • Criminal Law * (3 credits)
  • Constitutional Law I * (3 credits)
  • Lawyering Skills II * (3 credits)

Additional Required Courses for the JD Degree

  • Civil Procedure II (3 credits)
  • Constitutional Law II (3 credits)
  • Trial Advocacy ‡ (3)
  • Evidence † or Trial Lawyer: Evidence (4 Credits)
  • Lawyering Skills III (2 Credits)
  • Lawyering Skills IV (2-3 Credits)
  • Professional Responsibility † (3 Credits)

Experiential Learning Requirement

  • Experiential Learning † : Clinic/Externship (3 Fieldwork or Clinic Credits)

* – Credit in these courses is required before students can register for upper-level required and elective courses.

† – These required courses may be taken at any time during a student’s second or third year. Evidence is a prerequisite to Trial Advocacy. Trial Lawyer: Evidence and Trial Lawyer: Advocacy must be taken together and may be taken in lieu of Evidence and Trial Advocacy.

‡ – For students who began their JD studies on or after August 26, 2019, Trial Advocacy, although an important part of the JD curriculum, is no longer a required course. Students who began their JD studies before August 26, 2019, must successfully complete Trial Advocacy, Trial Lawyer: Advocacy, or Accelerated Trial Advocacy in order to earn a JD degree.

Full-Time JD Track

Estimated Completion: 6 Semesters

First Semester (15 Hours)

  • Contracts I * (3)
  • Property * (4)
  • Torts * (4)
  • Lawyering Skills I * (3)
  • Expert Learning * (1)

Second Semester (15 Hours)

  • Contracts II * (3)
  • Civil Procedure I * (3)
  • Criminal Law * (3)
  • Constitutional Law I * (3)
  • Lawyering Skills II * (3)

Third Semester (15 Hours)

  • Civil Procedure II (3)
  • Constitutional Law II (3)
  • Lawyering Skills III (2)
  • Evidence † (4) &  Electives  (3)  or
  • Trial Lawyer: Evidence (4) & Trial Lawyer: Advocacy ‡ (3)

Fourth Semester (15 Hours)

  • Professional Responsibility † (3)
  • Experiential Learning† (Clinic or Externship) (3-5)
  • Electives  (7-9)

Fifth Semester (15 Hours)

  • Lawyering Skills IV (2)
  • Electives  (10)

Sixth Semester (15 Hours)

  • Electives  (15)

† – These required courses may be taken at any time during a student’s second or third year. Evening students may also take Professional Responsibility before this time during a summer term after completeing all courses listed in this part-time evening track in the first through fourth semester. Evidence is a prerequisite to Trial Advocacy. Trial Lawyer: Evidence and Trial Lawyer: Advocacy must be taken together and may be taken in lieu of Evidence and Trial Advocacy.

Choose Your Path Explore JD Concentrations

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In addition to the other required courses that ensure our degree candidates develop the basic competencies expected of attorneys, UIC Law has numerous experiential education opportunities that offer students a chance to put their skills to the test in real legal work settings. Students can fulfill their experiential learning requirement in one of our Community Legal Clinics, by taking externships, or a combination of both. A maximum of 15 clinic or externship hours may be credited toward the JD.

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  • Community Legal Clinics As a law student, under the direction of experienced attorneys, you will assist real people with real legal problems.
  • JD Externships Our externship offerings provide students the opportunity to develop essential skills by working with a judge or at an approved non-profit organization or government agency.
  • Lawyering Skills Program A foundational component of the JD curriculum, the Lawyering Skills Program teaches students practical lawyering skills, including legal reasoning, legal research, oral advocacy, drafting, and client counseling over the course of four semesters.

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Our UIC Law faculty routinely hold leadership positions within the law school and in the nation’s most prominent legal associations. Meet our dedicated and diverse staff of attorneys and professional who are committed to helping you pave your path to justice.

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JD Curriculum

JD Curriculum

First Year JD Curriculum

The first year of study at Northwestern Pritzker Law focuses on building a solid foundation in legal reasoning, analysis, and writing, as well as a thorough understanding of the structures and policies of the law. The first-year curriculum consists of 22 credits of required classes and six credits of electives. Half of all first-year classes are taught in sections of 60 or fewer students.

Required First Year Courses

The following required first-year courses provide a basic foundation in law and legal reasoning:

Civil Procedure

Communication and Legal Reasoning I and II

Constitutional Law

Contracts  

Criminal Law  

Unique First Year Opportunities

Teamwork and communication skills are strongly emphasized in classes such as  Communication and Legal Reasoning , a required year-long course in which students collaborate on analytical exercises and group projects. Part of this class involves participation in the  Arlyn Miner First-Year Moot Court .

At the end of the year, students may apply for a position on one of the Law School’s scholarly  journals . Selection is based on a writing competition, first-year grades, and a publishable note or comment on a legal topic.

Electives Open to First Year Students

During the second semester of the first year, students have the opportunity to take two upperclass electives that may form the basis of additional study in subsequent years.  

JD-MBA students take Business Associations and one upperclass elective during the second semester of the first year.

Second and Third Year Curriculum

After the first year, Legal Ethics is the only mandatory class; students may take only one course that satisfies the ethics requirement. All other courses are elective. Students generally register for 14 to 16 credit hours each term 

Students must also fulfill an upper level writing requirement in their second or third year. This requirement can be met by completing one Research Writing course plus one Professional Writing course. JD-MBAs and Two-Year JDs may satisfy the upper level writing requirement by completing either one Research Writing course or one Professional Writing course, but they may not count the writing course toward another degree requirement, such as Experiential Learning. Courses must be designated as satisfying a graduation requirement at the time of registration. 

Recommended Electives and Foundational Courses

The following list of courses are recommended electives for all JDs. These courses provide an excellent foundation for future upper level coursework.

  • Administrative Law
  • Basic Federal Income Taxation
  • Business Associations
  • Civil Procedure II
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Estates and Trusts
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • First Amendment
  • Fourteenth Amendment
  • International Law
  • Legislation
  • Secured Transactions

Unique Second and Third Year Opportunities

Students may choose a general course of study or a concentration in one of six areas: Appellate Law,  Business Enterprise,  Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution,  Environmental Law,  International Law, or  Law and Social Policy.  

Our renowned Bluhm Legal Clinic is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country. The program offers training through a simulation-based curriculum, which includes the Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy , the Program on Advocacy and Professionalism , and the Program on Negotiation and Mediation .

Students may also choose to pursue on-the-job experience through a Practicum . Northwestern Law offers Judicial, Criminal, Public Interest, and Corporate Counsel practica, which also have a seminar component.

Second-year students can participate in the Law School's annual Julius H. Miner Moot Court competition, an appellate advocacy program administered by third-year students with faculty supervision.

For those interested in international law, Northwestern Pritzker Law offers study abroad programs in Australia, Belgium, Amsterdam, Israel, Argentina, and Singapore. You may also earn credit for summer study abroad programs offered by other American Bar Association-approved institutions.

Students may also participate in an International Team Project (ITP). You work with other students to customize a curriculum and research agenda, then team up for extensive study of the chosen country, including two weeks of field research abroad and a final group project. ITP countries have included Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, India, and Namibia.

JD Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the degree of juris doctor from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, each student must:

Earn 85 semester credit hours during a period of residence of not less than six nor more than seven semesters.

Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25, or of 2.0 if two-thirds of all grades are C+ or better.

Earn credit for the following required courses: Civil Procedure,  Communication and Legal Reasoning I & II,  Constitutional Law,  Contracts,  Criminal Law,  Property, Torts, Legal Ethics (one course only), a Perspective Elective (effective with the Class of 2022 forward, this is no longer required) , and 6 credits of Experiential Learning (from a list of such courses as designated by the Curriculum Committee and identified as such at registration).

Complete education designated by the Law School on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation. For students engaged in law clinics or field placements, the second educational occasion will take place before, concurrently with, or as part of their enrollment in clinical or field placement courses. Transfer students are assumed to have completed the initial experience at their 1L school and are required to complete the second at Northwestern.

Complete the advanced academic writing requirement during the second or third year*:

Research Writing

  • E ach paper makes an argument based on research conducted by the student.
  • Each student submits a full initial draft for each paper.
  • Each student receives substantial individual feedback from the professor on the clarity and effectiveness of the writing as well as on the su bstance and organization of the argument in the draft.
  • Each student submits a final draft responding to the professor’s feedback.
  • Satisfactory completion of at least 4 credits of Senior Research  or a 3 credit Independent Study project counts as the equivalent of a Research Writing course.
  • Satisfactory completion of a journal note written with faculty supervision, certified as satisfactory by the appropriate journal editor and the faculty supervisor, counts as the equivalent of a Research Writing course.

Professional Writing

  • A course meets the graduation requirement of a Professional Writing course if a principal element of the assigned work in the course consists of substantial transactional, litigation, legislative, regulatory, public advocacy, or judicial writing of the sort that practicing lawyers do and that is assigned in a real or hypothetical practice context. This sort of writing is designated here as an “assignment.”
  • A single assignment that requires multiple substantial revisions responding to feedback may count as multiple assignments.
  • Although professors may permit students to write some assignments under 2(b) collaboratively, the professor must also have the opportunity to distinguish and evaluate each student’s individual writing.
  • Students must receive substantial feedback on the clarity and effectiveness of the writing as well as on the substance and organization of each assignment. 

Courses that meet the Research or Professional Writing requirement must be designated as such at the time of registration.

* JD-MBA and 2-year-JD students will complete the Advanced Writing Requirement by completing either a Research Writing or a Professional Writing course, designated as such at the time of registration. JD-MBA and 2-year-JDs may not double count a course toward the Advanced Writing Requirement and another graduate requirement, such as Experiential Learning.

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Students begin their time at UCLA Law with a pioneering week-long orientation program that immerses them in the fundamentals of the law school learning process. This experience eases the transition to law school and primes students to begin thinking of themselves as attorneys and advocates. From there, students embark on a formative first year that promotes optimal learning with an extensive course on Legal Research and Writing in addition to the traditional courses on common law and other foundational subjects.

Our distinctive yearlong Legal Research and Writing course provides students with the opportunity to explore the relationship between legal analysis and lawyering tasks, such as effective legal writing, oral advocacy and legal research. The Legal Research and Writing course is taught alongside courses that historically have laid the foundation for law of all kinds: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, and Torts, along with two elective courses chosen from a broad selection of topics. Between these fundamental doctrinal courses and the Legal Research and Writing curriculum, our first-year students are ready at the end of May to tackle their first legal jobs, and to think and communicate like lawyers. To foster a sense of community and an environment of mutual support, the Legal Research and Writing course and one of the core doctrinal courses are taught in small sections.

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Our advanced curriculum allows students to broaden their foundational knowledge with coursework in such areas as Constitutional Law (freedom of speech, press and religion, or the rights of the accused in the criminal process); courses that examine the legal framework in which society’s economic life takes place (Business Associations, Federal Taxation, Labor Law); and courses focusing on basic elements of the judicial process (Evidence, Remedies). In addition, students are encouraged to delve deeply into a field by pursuing one of our seven specializations; to broaden their expertise with interdisciplinary coursework; and to hone their skills in a large selection of superb clinical and experiential courses.

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Catalog Contents

Juris doctor, description and outcomes.

Students seeking to practice law and develop a wide range of career opportunities should enroll in the Juris Doctor (JD) program . The JD program focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to be a responsible and effective member of the legal profession. Law study and the JD degree have also been widely recognized as providing a foundation for individuals who work in business, government, education, and public interest positions.  Prospective and current students must review either the below list of state requirements, or Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site for program and state-specific licensure information.

The JD program at Purdue Global Law School strives to develop students' abilities, skills, and perspective in legal fundamentals, professional and practical skills, and critical thinking skills.

The JD program at Purdue Global Law School is a 92 credit hour program, structured along three 16-week terms per year. Students on the standard pace are expected to graduate in 12 terms (4 years), assuming an average of 7 to 8 credit hours per term. Per Guideline 6.5(A) of the Accredited Law School Rules Guidelines, the JD can be completed no earlier than 30 months and no later than 84 months after commencing study. Students are responsible for ensuring they do not go outside of these limits.

(Note: Students who enrolled prior to Purdue Global Law School being granted accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California must successfully complete at least 20 credit hours of coursework each academic year, and must successfully complete at least 10 credit hours of coursework in a 24-week term to complete a qualifying half-year of study.)

The program consists of required courses and electives. You are required to submit periodic statements of the time spent in study, class preparation, and class attendance. These statements will be embedded in each course. You will have earned a JD degree and met the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California upon graduating from this program and may apply for admission to the State Bar of California.

Learning Outcome Objectives

Purdue Global Law School has established the following core learning goals in connection with its Juris Doctor program:

  • Demonstrates knowledge of the role of law in society and the U.S. legal system.
  • Demonstrates ability to analyze and explain legal solutions to a particular fact situation (critical thinking).
  • Communicates clearly and effectively both in writing and orally.
  • Demonstrates competency with legal practice skills.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the law in courses tested on the California bar exam.
  • Demonstrates the knowledge and skills to recognize and resolve dilemmas in an ethical manner.
  • Models professionalism and knowledge of the importance of service to the profession and to the community at large.

Required Disclosures

Study at, or graduation from, this law school may not qualify you to take the bar examination or to satisfy the requirements for admission to practice in jurisdictions other than California. A student intending to seek admission to practice law in a jurisdiction other than California must review either the below list of state requirements, or Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site for program and state-specific licensure information. Because state regulations and licensure requirements are continually updated, students are strongly encouraged to confirm their state’s licensure and educational requirements by contacting the admitting authority in their jurisdiction.

There will be additional eligibility requirements to be admitted to the California bar. For more information, visit http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions .

This program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements to practice law other than California.

(Additional disclosure for students who enrolled prior to Purdue Global Law School being granted accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California: Students enrolled in the JD degree program at this law school must pass the First-Year Law Students' Examination required by Business and Professions Code 6060(h) and Title IV, Division 1, Chapter 1 Rule 4.3(I) of the Rules of the State Bar of California as part of the requirements to qualify to take the California Bar Examination. A student who passes the First-Year Law Students' Examination within three (3) administrations of the examination after first becoming eligible to take it will receive credit for all legal studies completed to the time the examination is passed. A student who does not pass the examination within three (3) administrations of the examination after first becoming eligible to take it must be promptly disqualified from the law school's JD degree program. If the dismissed student subsequently passes the examination, the student is eligible for reenrollment in this law school's JD degree program, but will receive credit for only one year of legal study.)

State Bar Exam Eligibility 

As a graduate of the JD program, you are academically eligible to sit for the California State Bar exam.

You may be eligible to sit for the State Bar exam in the following states upon receipt of your California law license:

  • North Carolina

As a graduate of the JD program, you may be eligible to sit for the State Bar exam in the following states, provided you possess a California license and meet additional requirements that include, but may not be limited to, the following: 

  • Alaska: 5–7 years of practice
  • Arizona: 3–5 years of practice
  • Connecticut: 5–7 years of practice and a CA license for 10 years
  • Colorado: 3–5 years of practice
  • District of Columbia: 5 years of practice or 26 credits from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Florida: evaluation by the board of work product and either (a) 5 years of practice or (b) 2 years of practice plus a Master of Laws degree (LLM) from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Hawaii: 5–6 years of practice
  • Maine: 3 years of practice
  • Massachusetts: 5–7 years of practice
  • Minnesota: 5–7 years of practice
  • Missouri: 3–5 years of practice or 24 credits from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Nevada: 10–12 years of practice
  • New Mexico: 4–6 years of practice
  • Oregon: 3–5 years of practice
  • Rhode Island: 5–10 years of practice
  • Utah: 10–11 years of practice
  • Virginia: LL.M. from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Washington: 3–5 years of practice or an LLM

As a graduate of the JD program, you are not currently eligible to sit for the State Bar exam in the following states/commonwealth/territory:

  • Georgia 1  
  • Michigan 4   
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia

Georgia residents are not eligible to sit for the State Bar exam; however, they may file a petition for a waiver.

Iowa residents who are licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction and have practiced for at least five of the past seven years may qualify for admission without examination. 

Maryland residents are not eligible to sit for the State Bar exam; however, the board may waive educational requirements for applicants licensed in another state and qualified by education or experience.

Michigan residents are not eligible to sit for the State Bar exam; however, they may file a petition for a waiver.

State Bar Registration

As a student enrolled in the Juris Doctor program, you must register with the State Bar of California after beginning law studies at Purdue Global Law School.

Pursuant to Rule 4.16 (B) of Title IV, Division 1 of the Rules of the State Bar of California (Admission Rules), “The Application for Registration must be filed first, before any other application is transmitted to the Committee. The applicant is required by law either to provide the Committee with a Social Security Number or to request an exemption because of ineligibility for a Social Security Number. Registration is deemed abandoned if all required documentation and fees have not been received within sixty days of filing. No refund is issued for an abandoned registration.”

For more information, see http://​www.calbar.ca.gov .

Progression Requirements

You must complete CL600 Introduction to Legal Analysis I , CL601 Introduction to Legal Analysis II , CL610 Contracts I , CL611 Contracts II , CL623 Torts I , and CL624 Torts II in the first two terms prior to taking any other courses in your program.

To maintain good academic standing in the JD program at Purdue Global Law School, you must actively progress toward the completion of each academic year as required by the State Bar of California. (For students who enrolled prior to Purdue Global Law School being granted accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California: You must maintain a pace dictated by State Bar of California rules that require students to complete their studies (a minimum of 432 hours) within 24 to 26 weeks in each term of the program, or a minimum of 864 hours within each 48- to 52-week academic year.) You must also meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards .

Notwithstanding any other policy regarding satisfactory academic progress or academic probation, you must earn at least a 1.00 CGPA by the end of your first term or you will be academically dismissed from Purdue Global Law School.

Requirements for a Qualifying Half-Year or Year of Study

Note: The policies in this section only apply to students who enrolled in Purdue Global Law School’s JD program prior to Purdue Global Law School being granted accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

To be eligible to sit for the California Bar Examination, you must complete 8 qualifying half-years of study, each with a minimum of 432 hours of preparation and study completed in no less than 24 weeks or more than 26 weeks; or 4 qualifying years of study, each with a minimum of 864 hours of preparation and study combined in no less than 48 and not more than 52 weeks. To receive credit for a qualifying half-year of study for the State Bar, you must earn at least 10 credit hours each semester. To receive credit for a qualifying year of study for the State Bar, you must earn at least 20 credit hours each year. If you fail to complete the minimum credit hours required for a qualifying half-year of law study in any term or a qualifying year in any academic year, you may be eligible to continue your studies at Purdue Global Law School but any passing grades received in that term will be disqualified, and you will have to make up the failing half-year or year of law study. The only courses you need to repeat in the make up half-year or year of law study are required courses in which you failed or that were disqualified due to FYLSE requirements.

You shall be allowed to make up 2 half-years of law study or one year of study. If you achieve another failing half-year, you are not eligible to continue in the JD program.

Graduation Requirements

You must successfully pass all required courses and complete at least 92 credit hours with a minimum 2.50 CGPA 5  to graduate with a JD degree from Purdue Global Law School.      

2.00 if you were continuously enrolled before April 2019

Program Requirements

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What Is a Juris Doctor (JD)?

  • Understanding the JD Degree
  • Requirements
  • Two-Year JD Degrees

Common Coursework for JD Programs

  • Job Prospects
  • Job Responsibilities

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Juris Doctor (JD): Definition, Requirements, History, and Jobs

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A Juris Doctor (JD) is a three-year professional degree that confers recognition that the holder has a professional degree in law. Upon completion of a JD. program and passing the bar exam, individuals are eligible to practice law in their jurisdiction. This means they can represent clients, provide legal advice, and advocate for their clients in court.

Key Takeaways

  • The American law degree, called a Juris Doctor (JD), is a three-year professional degree.
  • Law school applicants must already have a bachelor's degree.
  • It typically takes three years to complete the J.D. degree, after which the graduate must pass the bar exam to practice law.
  • Drexel, Rutgers, Columbia, and Fordham are among the schools that offer a two-year J.D. degree option.

Understanding Juris Doctor (JD)

A JD degree is a professional graduate degree in law. It is the standard degree required to practice law in the United States and in most other common law jurisdictions. Most JD programs typically involves three years of full-time study or its equivalency in part-time studies.

Some schools offer a joint J.D. and MBA degree so that students can complete both degrees in less time than it would take to complete each separately. Other combined graduate degrees include public policy, medicine, and bioengineering.

Law school applicants must already have a bachelor's degree . It typically takes three years to complete the J.D. degree, after which the graduate must pass the bar exam to practice law. Each state and the District of Columbia has its own bar exam.

Obtaining a JD degree is different than passing the bar. Most often, students pursue the materials needed to pass the bar as part of their JD studies.

History of the JD Degree

The first lawyers trained in the United States underwent an apprenticeship and training with a lawyer who served as a mentor. The first formal law degree granted in the country was a Bachelor of Law from the College of William and Mary in 1793. Harvard University changed the name of the degree to the Latin "Legum Baccalaureus," known as the LL.B., and led the 19th-century movement for a scientific study of law. The LL.B. remains the standard degree in most of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The faculty of Harvard Law School first suggested changing the degree from LL.B. to J.D. in 1902 to reflect the professional nature of the degree. In 1903, the University of Chicago, which was one of only five law schools that required students to have a bachelor's degree before enrollment, granted the first J.D. degree.  Many law schools offered both an LL.B. to students who entered without a bachelor's degree and a J.D. to students entering with a bachelor's degree.

By the early 1960s, most students entered law school with a bachelor's degree. In 1965, the American Bar Association recommended the standard law degree be the J.D., and that decree took effect by the end of the decade.

Requirements for a JD Degree

In order to get into law school, you must have an undergraduate degree, have passed the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), request your official transcripts from your undergraduate institution(s), obtain letters of recommendation, and write a personal statement.

Complete a Bachelor's Degree

While many graduate programs require the completion of certain prerequisite courses, there are no such requirements for prospective law students. However, you must have earned (or be on track to earn) an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Your undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is a key indicator law schools consider when evaluating applicants.

Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

You'll also need to take the LSAT. The basic fee for the LSAT during the 2023-2024 academic year is $222 plus $200 for Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and an additional $45 fee for each CAS report sent to the law schools you apply to. Most people end up paying $500 or more in total LSAT fees.

It is generally recommended that you spend at least three months studying for the exam, although many people dedicate up to a year studying for the exam. There are many resources online to help you study for the LSAT, including free resources. Organized prep courses that guide you through the different components of the LSAT can be quite expensive. Some individuals opt to hire a private tutor to help them prepare for the LSAT.

Request Your Official Transcripts

Law schools require official transcripts from all undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Each copy of your official transcript can cost between $10 and $20, so depending on how many schools you apply to, this amount can add up. The process of requesting your transcript and then getting them sent to the appropriate institution can take several days, so make sure that you give yourself adequate time.

Write a Personal Statement

A personal statement is your opportunity to reveal your personality to the admissions committee. It's a good idea if your personal statement covers your career goals and academic achievements, although there are many different approaches. Some schools may have specific prompts they want you to address in your personal statement.

Obtain Letters of Recommendation

Most law schools will require at least one letter of recommendation. Your letters of recommendation can be from undergraduate professors or former employers that can speak to various elements of your success.

Tuition varies dramatically between law schools. In 2023, top law schools will cost nearly $70,000, while there are plenty of laws schools that charge less than $20,000.

Two-Year JD Degrees

Job prospects for lawyers fell sharply following the 2008 financial market collapse, and law school enrollment dropped by 24% from 2010 to 2013. With tuition continuing to rise, some schools have looked at shortening the program. Drexel, Rutgers, Columbia, and Fordham are among the schools that offer a two-year J.D. option or allow students to start their first year of law school after completing the third year of college.

JD programs typically structure their coursework to provide students with a fairly comprehensive study. During the first year, commonly referred to as the 1L year, students delve into foundational subjects such as contracts, torts, property law, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law. These courses lay the groundwork for legal analysis and reasoning, both of which are leveraged as the student progresses with their degree.

As students progress into their second and third years, they often explore more specialized areas of law through. These may include corporate law, environmental law, intellectual property, family law, international law, or tax law. Students usually also get exposure to legal writing and research courses regardless of their specialization.

In addition to classes, many law schools offer clinical programs, externships, and internships where students can apply their legal knowledge in real-world settings. This gives prospective JDs an opportunity to function under the supervision of licensed attorneys.

Job Prospects for JD Degrees

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for lawyers is promising with a projected 8% growth from 2022 to 2032. This growth rate exceeds the average for all occupations. This growth is expected to result in approximately 39,100 job openings annually during this decade.

The demand for legal services remains high, driven by the legal needs of individuals, businesses, and government entities. However, increasing price competition may lead law firms to reconsider staffing and cost-saving measures.

Job Responsibilities for JD Holders

A juris doctor graduate performs a wide range of legal tasks and responsibilities which can vary depending on their specialization and practice area. Here are some common things that a JD holder may do.

  • Legal Research: Lawyers use their research skills to investigate and understand the relevant laws, regulations, precedents, and case law that pertain to their clients' cases. They analyze legal sources to build strong arguments and support their clients' positions.
  • Client Consultation: Lawyers meet with clients to discuss their legal issues and provide guidance. During these consultations, they assess the situation, offer legal advice, and discuss potential strategies or courses of action.
  • Document Drafting: Lawyers are responsible for drafting various legal documents, including contracts, wills, deeds, legal briefs, pleadings, and agreements. These documents serve as formal records of legal transactions and arguments.
  • Negotiation: Many lawyers engage in negotiation on behalf of their clients to reach mutually beneficial settlements and agreements. Negotiation skills are crucial in areas like family law, personal injury, and business transactions.
  • Legal Analysis: Lawyers analyze complex legal issues, breaking them down to identify relevant laws, regulations, and case law. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of legal arguments and provide strategic advice to their clients.
  • Mediation and Arbitration: Some lawyers specialize in alternative dispute resolution methods, like mediation and arbitration. They act as neutral parties to facilitate negotiations and resolve disputes without the need for a court trial.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Work: Lawyers in areas such as corporate law, environmental law, and healthcare law ensure their clients comply with relevant laws and regulations. They help clients navigate complex regulatory frameworks and minimize legal risks.
  • Specialized Work: Many lawyers specialize in specific practice areas, such as criminal defense, family law, intellectual property, tax law, immigration law, or corporate law. Specialization allows them to focus on particular legal issues and become experts in their chosen field.

What Is a JD Degree Equivalent to?

A JD degree, the American law degree, is a three-year professional degree. A JD is the minimum educational level for lawyers. The JD is considered a professional doctorate.

Is a JD a Lawyer?

To become a lawyer, you'll need to earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Once you graduate, you are entitled to take the bar exam and begin the practice of law. Obtaining a JD degree alone does not permit you to practice law. You must also pass the bar exam. Every state (and the District of Columbia) has its own bar exam.

Is a JD Higher Than a Masters?

While the JD is the only degree necessary to become a professor of law or to obtain a license to practice law, it is not a research degree. However, there are two types of research degrees available to individuals who are interested in studying law. These are the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree, which typically requires a JD as a prerequisite before pursuing study, and the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD/JSD) degree, which typically requires a Master of Laws as a prerequisite.

Is Someone With a JD a Doctor?

It is not customary in the U.S. to address individuals who hold a JD as a "Doctor." In the late 1960s, the Canons of Professional Ethics issued a full ethics opinion regarding whether lawyers could ethically use the title "Doctor." The organization came down against this usage, with some exceptions. It is permissible for lawyers to use the title "Doctor" when dealing with countries where the use of "Doctor" by lawyers is standard practice. In addition, lawyers are allowed the use of the title in academia as long as the school of graduation considers the JD degree a doctorate degree.

How Many Years Is a JD Degree?

A traditional, full-time JD program lasts three years. There are some accelerated programs that allow individuals to complete their degrees in just two years or their undergraduate and JD degrees in a total of six years. Part-time JD programs usually take four years (or more) to finish.

A Juris Doctor is a professional graduate degree in law, typically required to become a practicing attorney in the United States and some other countries. It involves a comprehensive study of legal principles, statutes, and case law, equipping graduates with the knowledge and skills needed for a legal career.

Stanford Law School. " A Brief History of Stanford Law School: Seventy Fifth Anniversary ."

Harvard Law School Library. " What Is the Difference Between LL.B Degree and the J.D. Degree? "

LSAC. " LSAT & CAS Fees ."

PublicLegal. " Law School Rankings By Tuition ."

The New York Times. " Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut ."

University of Wisconsin-Madison. " J.D. Curriculum ."

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. " Occupational Outlook Handbook: Lawyer ."

American Bar Association Journal. " Summaries of Informal Opinions on Professional Ethics ."

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J.d. curriculum, second and third years, additional requirements.

Full-time J.D. students complete their first course, Moral Reasoning for Lawyers: Foundations I, during orientation. During the fall semester, students take four courses, including Lawyering Skills I, the first two classes of our nationally recognized legal research, analysis and writing program. First year students take six courses in the spring, including Lawyering Skills II and Foundations II and III.

This structure allows you to address more intellectually challenging problems and reduces the number of final exams. To ensure feedback on progress, each course includes a graded midterm examination or evaluation.

Fall Courses (16 credits required)

  • LAWS 600 Civil Procedure
  • LAWS 610 Contracts
  • LAWS 620 Lawyering Skills I
  • LAWS 635 Torts
  • LAWS 640 Moral Reasoning for Lawyers: Foundations I (orientation week only)

Spring Courses (15 credits required)

  • LAWS 605 Constitutional Law
  • LAWS 615 Criminal Law
  • LAWS 625 Lawyering Skills II
  • LAWS 630 Property
  • LAWS 641* Serving Clients Well: Foundations II (mid-January)
  • LAWS 642 Business Basics for Lawyers: Foundations III (mid- to late spring semester)

1L Sample Schedule

Subject to change. The University of St. Thomas reserves the right to amend the degree requirements and to add to or delete from the list of courses that satisfy the degree requirements at any time.

Law student studying in law library

As an upper-level student, you will take 14 credits of required courses and 43 credits of electives. Two of the required courses (Lawyering Skills III and Professional Responsibility) must be taken in your second year. You also are required to complete a significant research paper under the supervision of a faculty member.

Required second-year courses (6 credits)

  • LAWS 715: Lawyering Skills III
  • LAWS 725: Professional Responsibility
  • LAWS 930: Mentor Externship

Other required upper-level courses (8 credits)

  • LAWS 700: Business Associations
  • LAWS 705: Evidence
  • LAWS 933: Mentor Externship

Stack of Law Books

Students must complete 88 credit hours and fulfill the non-course requirements below to receive a J.D.

Mentor Externship

St. Thomas pairs each law student with a professional mentor each year of law school through our Mentor Externship Program. The overall focus of the program is on building relationships and helping students gain experience in the legal profession. First year students are required to log 18 hours of fieldwork. Second- and third-year students complete 30 hours of fieldwork per year while also completing a required one credit seminar each year. The mentor externship program

Experiential Learning

Students must take six credits of “experiential learning” coursework to graduate. Serving Clients Well (LAWS 641) and Mentor Externship I and II (LAWS 930 and 933) provide three of the six credits needed to fulfill the “experiential learning” requirement before graduation. The other 3 credits can come through a legal clinic, externship or another approved course with practical elements like negotiation, trial advocacy, etc.

Upper-level Writing Requirement

Each student must demonstrate competence by producing a paper or two related papers under the supervision of a professor. To meet the upper-level writing requirement, the paper must reflect substantial legal research and reflect critical analysis. See our Academic Policy Manual for more information (section III-A-3).

Public Service Program

Lawyers are in a strong position to effect positive institutional and social change. As such, we expect and encourage all law students to explore a variety of ways their interests, skills and talents can best serve the public‎‎. As a requirement for graduation, all J.D. students must complete 50 hours of public service during law school. The Public Service Program

Legal clinic students take oath

Joint Degrees & Concentrations

J.d. + mba: master of business administration, j.d. + m.s.w.: master of social work, j.d. + m.a.: master of arts in catholic studies, j.d. + ll.m. or concentration: org. ethics & compliance.

The J.D./MBA program, offered in partnership with the St. Thomas Opus College of Business, builds students’ business acumen and understanding of the legal framework in which organizations operate.

The J.D./M.S.W. program provides students with both a social and legal perspective to meet the social work and legal challenges in many areas of professional practice.

The J.D./MA program fosters the intellectual, spiritual and personal growth of students and diversifies their career opportunities.

The J.D./LL.M. dual-degree program equips students with the skills to become stewards of corporate behavior and help organizations navigate industry and government regulations. For those who want more depth and a note on their transcript and resume, we have a concentration in compliance.

Mentor poses with mentee

A Mentor for Every Law Student

Our award-winning Mentor Externship Program pairs you, each year of law school, with a lawyer or judge working in your area of interest who will help you gain work experience, develop relationships and navigate the legal field.

A National Leader in Practical Training

St. Thomas Law’s practical training opportunities allow students to learn through experiences, build their resumes and develop professional relationships. The school was ranked second in the nation for practical training in 2024 by The National Jurist.

Clinic discussion during class

Legal Clinics

Legal clinics offer law students the opportunity to tackle legal issues and work with clients while working alongside faculty experts.

Law Student Extern At Thomson Reuters

Off-campus legal externships provide hands-on professional experience and accelerate a student’s substantive understanding of the law.

The Bar Exam

St. Thomas Law is committed to a 100% bar exam pass rate for all its graduates. Before graduation, the Office of Academic Achievement supports students in the classroom and as they prepare for the bar. After graduation, our Office of Career and Professional Development assists students through the one-year J.D. Compass program, which will pair you with a strategist who will support you as you prepare to take the bar exam and work with you one-on-one to help you secure full-time, long-term employment.

  • Learn how we support students

Featured Faculty

The University of St. Thomas School of Law is committed to being a leader in academic scholarship that expands society’s knowledge about the law and sheds light on complex legal problems. In 2021, out of 200 law schools nationwide, St. Thomas Law’s world-class faculty ranked #23 for scholarly impact.

Julie Oseid headshot

Julie Oseid

Hank Shea headshot

Carl Warren

Mark Osler headshot

Professor Osler's work advocates for sentencing and clemency policies rooted in principles of human dignity. He is a former federal prosecutor, author of the casebook Contemporary Criminal Law and leads the law school’s Commutations Clinic.

Robert Kahn headshot

Robert Kahn

Professor Kahn is the author of "Holocaust Denial and the Law: A Comparative Study." His subsequent research has focused on hate speech directed at Muslims (including the Danish Cartoons), defamation of religions, cross-burning and memory laws.

Teresa Stanton Collett headshot

Teresa Stanton Collett

Professor Collett is a well-known advocate for the protection of human life and the family. She specializes in the subjects of marriage, religion and bioethics in her research.

Tom Berg headshot

Professor Berg teaches constitutional law, religious liberty and intellectual property. He also leads the religious liberty appellate clinic, where he supervises students in writing and filing briefs in major religious liberty cases for the Supreme Court and lower courts.

Julie Jonas headshot

Julie Jonas

Julie Jonas' scholarship focuses on wrongful convictions. She also works on policy issues and she has been instrumental in the passing of several Minnesota wrongful conviction laws.

  • All Law Faculty

School of Law students volunteering.

Become Part of the Community

Public Service

We recognize that lawyers are in a strong position to effect positive institutional and social change. As such, we expect and encourage all law students to explore a variety of ways their interests, skills and talents can best serve the public‎‎. As a requirement for graduation, all St. Thomas J.D. students complete 50 hours of public service during law school.

  • More about Public Service

Students study abroad pose at cathedral

Law in an International Context

St. Thomas law students have studied around the world, including Pázmány Péter Catholic University, our partner school in Budapest, Hungary. If you decide you want to stay abroad during law school, our faculty and staff will help you apply to an ABA-approved program.

  • More about Study Abroad

View of classroom full of students from the back of classroom with Richard Primus teaching.

Explore Michigan Law’s JD Program

The Michigan Law experience is characterized by intellectual excellence and rigor, analytic and theoretical, that comes from our world-renowned faculty—top scholars and practitioners in their fields.

The Michigan Law curriculum includes both doctrinal and experiential teaching, so you’ll learn how to analyze complex legal issues with a holistic perspective and to apply theory in a real-world setting.

The 1L Experience

Law school—particularly the first year—has a reputation for being difficult. And yet Michigan Law students and alumni, known to rave about their time in school, frequently focus on their 1L year as a key element of their positive experience. 

This is neither a coincidence nor evidence of the Admissions Office tampering with the Ann Arbor water supply. It is, however, indicative of Michigan Law’s approach to the law school experience, including the intentional design of its curriculum.

As a 1L at Michigan, you will explore legal doctrines with world-class scholars and practitioners. You will have the opportunity and flexibility to pursue your own academic interests. And you will develop your writing, advocacy, and analytical skills in a comprehensive legal practice program.

The first year at Michigan will provide you with the foundation and skills to thrive both in law school and beyond, all while laying the groundwork for close and lasting connections with your classmates and professors—an immersive introduction into the legal profession that sets the tone for students’ academic and professional careers.

Core 1L Doctrinal Courses

2l and 3l coursework.

After the first year, students design their education to best fit their individual needs. 

As a second- and third-year law student, you will have your pick from a vast selection of courses both inside and outside the Law Quad, with only a few (easily satisfied) requirements:

International and Regulatory Coursework

Before graduating, students must take a class to fulfill distribution requirements in international and comparative law and in statutory and regulatory law.

International and Comparative Law      Administrative Law    

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Each student must take a course addressing legal ethics and professional responsibility.

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility    

Writing Skills

All students must complete a course (apart from Legal Practice) with a substantial writing component.

Legal Writing and Research    

Experiential Learning

You will need to participate in Michigan Law’s offerings for experiential education. This can be satisfied through clinical work, practice simulations, or externships. 

Experiential Learning  

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J.D. Admissions

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  • Events Calendar
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  • FIU Law Path (Pre-law Program)

Welcome to J.D. Admissions

FIU Law was established to provide students with a rigorous legal education designed to meet the needs of an ever-changing world.

To apply for admission you must provide the following documents before the application deadline. Applications for admission will not be processed more than one year in advance of the date for which entrance is sought.

Click here to view our Fall entering class profile.

Summer 2024 Open House

The law school admission council (lsac), fiu law: law school 101 info session, fiu law's event schedule, in-person tour, virtual tour (google maps), ready to apply, application information, application procedure.

https://onestop.fiu.edu/student-records-myfiu/personal-records/declare-residency/ Read the following instructions carefully before completing the application. To apply for admission you must provide the following documents before the application deadline. Applications for admission will not be processed more than one year in advance of the date for which entrance is sought.

  • Application for Admission –  A completed Application for Admission must be accompanied by a $20.00 nonrefundable application fee. The application must be completed in full and signed. Completed applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning mid September/early October. The deadline for submission of a completed application is June 30. Applications received or completed after this date will be considered as class space permits.

How to apply:

  • Visit  LSAC.org  and create an account.
  • Follow the links to retrieve our application from the list of all ABA accredited law schools.
  • Supplemental documents may be attached to your LSAC application. If you need to submit additional electronic documentation after submitting your application, you may do so by e-mailing them to  [email protected]
  • For questions or problems with your account please contact LSAC via e-mail at  [email protected]  or call 215.968.1001.

Admissions Test Scores (LSAT) –  Applicants can choose to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and register with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). FIU Law will not accept LSAT scores earned prior to June 2020. Students must sit for the LSAT no later than June to be considered for admission in August of the same year.

Admissions Test Scores (GRE):  Applicants sitting for the GRE, should select Florida International University College of Law as a recipient of the GRE results using the  ETS school code: 4431 . To register for the GRE, visit  their website here. Determine if you qualify for the  GRE Fee Reduction Program . If you have any questions about utilizing a fee waiver, please contact GRE Institutional Services at  [email protected]  or 1-609-771-7092.

If you have already taken a GRE General Test, make sure there is a reportable GRE General Test score in your ETS account and  order an Additional Score Report be sent to us.  When registering, you may have already designated our College of Law as a recipient and a score report may automatically be sent to us. Students must sit for the GRE no later than June to be considered for admission in August of the same year. NOTE: The Admissions Committee will consider your highest GRE score, but will see all your reportable scores  (Including the GRE and LSAT) .

Optional Test Score (JD Next) :Applicants are encouraged to supplement their LSAT or GRE score with their JD-Next course completion. FIU Law will consider successful completion of the JD-Next course as part of the law school’s holistic decision-making process. If you plan to include the JD-Next scores as a part of your application, please email us at [email protected] to hold your application until the scores are received. You can learn more about JD-Next here: https://www.aspenpublishing.com/programs/jd-next

  • Official Transcripts –  Official transcript from each undergraduate, graduate and professional school you attended must be sent directly to LSAC. All candidates must have been awarded a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year institution prior to enrollment at FIU Law. Prior to matriculation, admitted students must request that their undergraduate, graduate and professional schools submit a final official transcript to FIU Law’s Director of Admissions and to LSAC.
  • Academic Honors, Extracurricular Activities and Work Experience –  Applicants have the option of submitting a resume/curriculum vitae. Your resume/curriculum vitae should include examples of professional, academic, civic and extracurricular accomplishments (e.g. employment history, honors and awards, community service, extracurricular activities, foreign language proficiencies, military service, etc.).
  • Recommendations –  Applicants must submit one letter of recommendation, and may submit an additional letter if they desire. For current college students or recent graduates the letter must be an academic recommendation. Letters of recommendation should attest to the applicant’s character and preparedness for law school. FIU Law prefers that all letters of recommendation be submitted through LSAC.
  • Personal Statement –  The Admissions Committee requires a personal statement. In no more than three typed, double-spaced pages, please discuss your reasons for pursuing a legal education and your goals or future plans upon graduation. You may discuss any obstacles that you have overcome (for example, English is not your native language, discrimination, economic or family hardship, severe medical condition, etc.).
  • Interviews –  Interviews are not required for admission consideration and will not be factored into the Admissions Committee’s final decision regarding your application. However, FIU Law encourages you to visit our community. Individual appointments and group informational sessions are scheduled throughout the year. To schedule a visit, please complete the campus visit reservation  form .
  • Transfer Students –  Students attending an ABA accredited law school may apply for transfer to FIU Law if they are in good standing at their current institutions and their academic rank (if applicable) is in the upper-third of their first-year class. Transfer credit will not be awarded for correspondence courses or for work not done in residence at an ABA accredited law school.
  • International Candidates –  Foreign transcripts must be submitted to the Credential Assembly Service of the Law School Admission Council for transcript authentication and evaluation.

Candidates for whom English is not their first language must take the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL). Information on the TOEFL may be found at  www.ets.org/toefl .Scores must be sent directly to the FIU College of law Office of Admissions. Candidates who receive a 156 LSAT score or better may request a waiver of the TOEFL examination from the Office of Admissions.

Note: No transfer credit will be granted for previously completed coursework.

  • J.D. for Foreign Lawyers: J.D. with Advanced Standing ( JDAS ) –  FIU Law offers the possibility of advanced standing for students who already hold a first degree in law from a country outside the United States. The J.D. with advanced standing program permits students to obtain credit for legal studies they have done elsewhere in the world. Students may receive up to 30 hours of credit towards the J.D. for prior legal studies in another country.Students may also receive credit towards the J.D. for coursework done while completing a graduate degree in law, such as an LL.M. here in the United States at an ABA accredited law school. The total amount of credit towards the J.D. is assessed on an individual basis.
  • Residency Classification – This form (available here ) must be completed in full if you claim Florida residency for tuition purposes. If you have any questions about the form or its contents please contact the Office of Admissions at 305.348.8006. Please NOTE : residency status will be updated ONLY if the applicant is admitted.

Committee Decision Making Process

A prospective student’s academic record (undergrad GPA and LSAT score) weighs heavily in the evaluative process. In addition to these academic markers, the Admissions Committee also considers other factors, including leadership ability, commitment to public service, command of global issues, work history, military service, and any history of criminality or academic misconduct. Evidence of obstacles that an applicant may have overcome (English is not the applicant’s native language, discrimination, economic or family hardship, severe medical condition) are also considered. The Admissions Committee encourages each applicant to answer all questions candidly and with specificity.

Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

At FIU Law, every effort is made to admit students of high moral character. FIU Law reserves the right to question an applicant concerning the applicant’s prior record and conduct, insofar as it may be relevant to the character of the applicant.

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

You are  strongly encouraged  to fully disclose – to both FIU Law and to the state bar for which you are applying – any incident(s) which may have a bearing on your eligibility for admission into the College of Law or a state bar respectively. The failure to disclose any incident that may reasonably be deemed to reflect on an applicant’s character and fitness to practice law may be viewed by both the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and FIU Law as a serious omission. Such omissions may be treated as a lack of candor on the part of the applicant, and may result in your application being rejected by FIU Law, or exclusions from the Florida Bar and other state bars.

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InsideGolf

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Last call for the ultimate Pinehurst trip

Is golf catching on in Russia? Jack Nicklaus’s designers have certainly been busy there

Josh Sens

Golf is played in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, but until fairly recently, Russia wasn’t one of them.

Its introduction to the game came just 30 years ago with the opening of the country’s first course, Moscow City Golf Club, a nine-hole layout on the fringes of the capital.

At the time, Russia was still part of the Soviet Union. But while the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, gave his blessing to the project, the real driving force was the Swedish golf star, Sven “Tumba” Johansson, who announced his plans to build the course while floating on a boat down the Moscow River, whacking golf balls into the water under the bemused watch of party apparatchiks.

As if that weren’t entertainment enough, there was the club’s groundbreaking ceremony, in late 1987, where the motley assortment of celebrities in attendance (Mike Tyson, Sean Connery and Pele, among them) solidified golf’s status in the country as a little more than a curiosity.

That was then, this is now.

In the world’s ninth most populous country there are more than a dozen 18-hole courses, a handful of nine-hole layouts and myriad projects in the works.

The most recent to be completed is Raevo Golf and Country Club, outside Moscow, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design that opened earlier this month.

Nicklaus Signature courses are relative rarities that come at a cost and carry prestige, but Raevo is not the first in the Moscow area. It’s the third, giving the city and its surrounds a greater concentration of Nicklaus Signature courses than any major capital in the world.

jd coursework

This depth charge of Russian golf course development has been propelled in large part by economic shifts that have generated great reservoirs of private wealth. But the boom has also happened in the face of an inconvenient fact: Russia is not an easy place to grow the game.

Aside from having next to nothing in the way of golf tradition, the country enjoys little in the way of a golf season. Winters are long. Summers are short. Turf can have a tough time taking root. If you’re itching to play on a Moscow getaway, you should aim between mid-May and mid-October.

Throw in rocky, clay-based soil — far from the friendliest for course construction — and you understand why Russian sporting culture features more slap-shots on ice than chip shots around the green.

Yet golf progresses.

Over the past decade-plus, Dirk Bouts, a design associate with Nicklaus Design, has made about 80 trips to Russia, spending long stretches on the ground consulting on course renovations and overseeing new construction. During Bouts’s early visits, the majority of golfers he crossed paths with were expats. In more recent years, that demographic breakdown has turned on its head.

“The first time I went, golf’s presence was pretty much non-existent,” Bouts says. “But you see it taking root. It’s becoming more democratic. You have people making a decent visit. Now, it seems like every time I go back, there are more Russians out on the course.”

Just as picking up the game involves a learning curve, so does building courses in a fledgling golf market. The first Nicklaus Signature course in Russia was Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club, which opened in 2008 outside Moscow after a drawn-out five years of construction — a process prolonged by inexperienced Russian contractors working challenging terrain with outmoded equipment.

jd coursework

By 2014, though, when it came time to cut the ribbon on Skolkovo, the second Nicklaus Signature design outside the capital, the work crews were more seasoned, the equipment upgraded and the entire process streamlined. The job took four years. It’s since gotten more efficient. The start-to-finish work on Raevo was a comparatively scant three years.

The resulting course is a sylvan beauty that spills through a woodsy landscape, west of the capital, with natural creeks and lakes as ornamentation, and gentle hills and valleys that lend plenty of movement. Stretched to the tips, the course plays 7,245 yards, plenty of heft to handle tournaments. The turf is creeping bentgrass, and the sand-capping and extensive drainage beneath it is designed to stretch the golf season to its fullest.

“Instead of mid-May to mid-October,” Bouts says, “we’re hoping for something more like mid-April to end of October.”

This month marked a soft opening for Raevo, as the clubhouse is not yet completed. When the grand opening takes place, celebrities will no doubt be in attendance, Nicklaus among them.

Don’t expect Mike Tyson.

Golf in Russia has gotten serious.

patrons walk in front of the scoreboard during the 2024 masters

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COMMENTS

  1. J.D. Program

    The First Year Harvard Law School's first-year curriculum provides students with a solid intellectual foundation on which to build their legal education, covering core principles and concepts, theory, and skills of legal practice and providing a thorough grounding in fundamental legal reasoning and analysis. First-year students take courses in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts ...

  2. J.D. Program and Curriculum

    Connect with your future. By the time you graduate, you will have the tools and experience you need to successfully practice law in today's fast-paced, globalized society. First Year Foundation Curriculum. 2L and 3L Curriculum. In your first year of law school (1L), you will build a strong foundation in legal concepts, reasoning, and analysis.

  3. Juris Doctor < Northwestern University

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  4. What Is a Juris Doctor (JD) Degree?

    A Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a professional degree required to practice law. A Juris Doctor (JD) degree is the professional degree necessary to become a lawyer. A JD degree is a terminal degree —or the highest level of degree you can achieve in a given discipline. In order to begin a Juris Doctor program, you will need to have first earned ...

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  7. Juris Doctor

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  8. JD Degree

    JD degrees are offered by ABA-approved law schools, by schools that are not ABA-approved, and by many law schools in Canada and other countries around the world. Find a law school. In the U.S., admission to a JD program requires a bachelor's degree. The admission requirements differ in other countries. Additionally, every school has its own ...

  9. The Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) Degree

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  10. What Is a J.D. Degree?

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  12. Full-Time JD Program Overview

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    The JD program at Purdue Global Law School is a 92 credit hour program, structured along three 16-week terms per year. Students on the standard pace are expected to graduate in 12 terms (4 years), assuming an average of 7 to 8 credit hours per term. Per Guideline 6.5 (A) of the Accredited Law School Rules Guidelines, the JD can be completed no ...

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    First Year. Full-time J.D. students complete their first course, Moral Reasoning for Lawyers: Foundations I, during orientation. During the fall semester, students take four courses, including Lawyering Skills I, the first two classes of our nationally recognized legal research, analysis and writing program. First year students take six courses ...

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    Note: No transfer credit will be granted for previously completed coursework. J.D. for Foreign Lawyers: J.D. with Advanced Standing - FIU Law offers the possibility of advanced standing for students who already hold a first degree in law from a country outside the United States. The J.D. with advanced standing program permits students to ...

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