Academic Requirements

  1. The following first-year courses are required for graduation:
    • Civil Procedure
    • Contracts
    • Criminal Law
    • Property
    • Torts
    • Introduction to Legal Research and Writing
    • Introduction to Advocacy
    • Legislation and Regulation
    • Structures of the Constitution
  2. Each student must take the Professional Responsibility course during the second or third year.
  3. Each student must prepare, during his or her second or third year, a substantial paper of satisfactory quality that is at least 30 pages long.
  4. Each student who begins study at the Law School in fall semester 2007 and before fall semester 2015 must fulfill the Professional Skills Requirement by completing one of the following:
    • At least two credit hours of externship credit; or
    • At least one of the second-year or third-year courses designated as a “Professional Skills Course” in the Law School course materials

    Students who begin study at the Law School in fall semester 2015 or thereafter must fulfill the Professional Skills Requirement by completing at least six hours of:

    • Externship credit, and/or
    • Courses designated as “Professional Skills Courses” in the Law School course materials

    The Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum will designate in the course materials the courses that qualify as Professional Skills Courses in accordance with ABA standards.

  5. The number of credits required for graduation is 90.
  6. The course of study for the J.D. degree may be completed no earlier than five fall or winter semesters and no later than 60 months after a student has commenced law study at an ABA approved law school.
  7. A graduation interview must be held with the Law School Registrar four months prior to graduation.


The Law School is fully accredited by the American Bar Association*, and its graduates may take the bar examinations in states of their choice. The Law School is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and has a chapter of the Order of the Coif.

Admission to the Bar

A few states request that persons who intend to apply for admission to the bar of that state register with their state committee of bar examiners around the time they enter law school. For those states, many students elect to pay a late fee rather than register before they have determined which state bar they will take after completing law school. Students should obtain information about the state bar where they intend to practice law to allow appropriate compliance.

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.

Academic Standards

The grading at the Law School works according to the scale on the right. Grades are usually based on a single final examination, except in seminars and in problem-solving or clinical courses. Law School examinations ordinarily consist of general questions based on hypothetical situations. The quality of a student’s response is determined not only by evidence of the student’s mastery of the subject matter but also by his or her ability to recognize and assign priority to relevant issues, to deal with complex facts and separate the relevant from the irrelevant, to analyze the basis for his or her conclusions, and to express ideas in a clear and orderly fashion. Consideration in grading may also be given to attendance, class participation, and other written work. Academic dishonesty is grounds for suspension or expulsion.

Students who fail to maintain a grade point average of 2.7 at the end of the second, fourth, and sixth semesters at the Law School may be terminated from the school. A petition for reinstatement following termination will be considered only upon a strong showing of probable future success in law school work.

*American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar
321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60654