Oct 28, 2020
Requirements for the J.D. Degree
To be eligible for the award of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, a student must:
- Successfully complete at least three academic years of fulltime study or at least four academic years of part-time study;
- Successfully complete all required courses;
- Successfully complete at least 90 semester credit hours of course work, 60 credits of which must have been completed at this law school;
- Satisfy all writing requirements;
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.00 for all courses taken; and,
- Be approved by the College of Law faculty.
The maximum period for a full-time law student to complete requirements for a J.D. degree is five years.
The maximum period for a part-time law student to complete requirements for a J.D. degree is six years.
First Year Required Courses
First year students are required to take the following courses in the sequence set forth below. Full-time students must enroll in day sections of required courses.
- Civil Procedure I (3)
- Contracts II (3)
- Introduction to Analytical Skills I (0)
- Legal Methods I (3)
- Property I (3)
- Tort I (3)
- Civil Procedure II (3)
- Contracts II (3)
- Introduction to Analytical Skills II (0)
- Legal Methods II (2)
- Property II (2)
- Torts II (2)
- Constitutional Law I (3)
Upper-Level required Courses
- Business Organizations (4)
- Constitutional Law II (3)
- Criminal Law (3)
- Evidence (4)
- Mission-Related Course (3)
- Professional Responsibility (2)
Courses designated as mission-related will be taught in a manner that includes thematic coverage of issues central to the College of Law’s mission, including, as appropriate, themes related to slavery and enslavement, colonization, segregation/apartheid, globalization/neo-colonization, and freedom movements (civil rights, human rights, women’s rights).
The College of Law has designated the following courses as mission-related.
- Race and the Law
- Public International Law
Sequencing of Upper-Level Required Courses
Second Year, Fall Semester
Students must take the following courses in the fall semester of the second year of study:
- Constitutional Law II
- Professional Responsibility
Second Year, Fall Semester or Spring Semester
Second Year or Third Year
- Business Organizations
- Mission-Related Course
Full-time students must enroll in day sections of Business Organizations, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Law, Evidence and Professional Responsibility. Full-time students may enroll in day or evening sections of Mission-Related Courses.
The College of Law offers a wide variety of elective courses. Full-time students may take day or evening elective courses.
Highly Recommended Core Electives in Bar Examination Subject Areas
The faculty strongly encourages students to take the courses listed below, which cover subjects tested on the Florida Bar Examination. Highlighting these courses reflects the view that a student will benefit from taking these courses, no matter what area of practice he or she chooses.
- Criminal Procedure: Arrest and Investigation (3)
- Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial (3)
- Criminal Procedure Survey (3)
- Estates and Trusts (3)
- Family Law (3)
- Florida Bar Law and Skills (4)
- Florida Constitutional Law (2)
- Florida Practice (2)
- Multistate Bar Law and Skills (4)
- Juvenile Law (2)
- Payment Systems (covers Article 3 of the UCC) (3)
- Remedies (3)
- Secured Transactions (covers Article 9 of the UCC) (3)
- Sales (2)
Both full-time and part-time students must complete the upper level and professional skills requirements described below:
Upper-Level Writing Requirement (All Students)
In addition to completing Legal Methods I and Legal Methods II, students must also satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.
Students may complete the Upper-Level Writing Requirement paper as a part of a seminar or through an approved two-credit independent research project. Independent research projects must be supervised by a member of the full-time faculty who is not a member of the faculty in the Legal Methods Program or the Academic Success and Bar Preparation Program. Adjunct faculty members are not eligible to supervise independent research projects.
In order to satisfy the requirement, the research paper must be a minimum of twenty-five (25) pages in length including footnotes; earn a grade of B- or above; and the paper must meet all of the standards listed below, as certified by the faculty supervisor of the paper:
- Significant analytical paper;
- Reflects substantial legal research;
- Contains original thought;
- Displays proper writing style; and
- Uses correct citation form.
Under no circumstance may a student satisfy the Upper Level Writing Requirement without satisfactorily completing Legal Methods I and II.
Substantial Professional Skills Requirement (All Students)
All students are required to obtain substantial instruction in professional skills. A student may satisfy this skills requirement by participating in and satisfactorily completing either one of several available clinical offerings or by successfully completing two of the courses designated as professional skills courses or certified as a professional skills course by the Dean or the Dean’s designee. For more information regarding clinical offering, see “Clinical Programs.” The list of courses designated as professional skills courses is below.
- Contract Drafting
- Domestic Violence Workshop
- Interviewing, Counseling And Negotiation
- Law Office Management
- Mediation Theory And Practice
- Pretrial Practice Workshop
- Trial Practice