May 30, 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. Part-time students must enroll in evening sections of required courses.
- Civil Procedure I (3)
- Contracts I (3)
- Introduction to Analytical Skills I (0)
- Legal Methods I (3)
- Civil Procedure II (3)
- Contracts II (3)
- Introduction to Analytical Skills II (0)
- Legal Methods II (2)
Total Credits: 8
(Students may not enroll in elective courses in the second semester of the first year.)
- Criminal Law (3)
- Professional Responsibility (2)
Total Credits: 5
(Students may enroll in elective courses during the summer term of the first year.)
Second Year Evening Program Required Courses
Student must take the following courses in the sequence set forth below. Part-time students must enroll in evening sections of required courses.
- Constitutional Law I (3)
- Torts I (3)
- Property I (3)
- Constitutional Law II (3)
- Torts II (2)
- Property II (2)
Total Credits: 7
(Second year students in the part-time program have limited options for elective courses because they have not completed the foundational courses. Accordingly, second year part-time students who enroll in the required seven (7) credits only during the spring semester will be considered to be in compliance with the College of Law’s minimum course load rules.)
Students who entered the College of Law in Fall 2010 or later must complete the upper-level required courses listed below.
- Business Organizations (4)
- Evidence (4)
- Mission-Related Course (3)
Courses designated as mission-related will be taught in a manner that includes thematic coverage of items central to the College of Law 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
The sequencing of Upper-Level courses is set forth below.
Sequencing of Upper-Level Courses
No Later Than Third Year, Fall Semester
No Later Than Third Year, Fall Semester
No Later Than Expected Semester of Graduation
- Business Organizations
- Mission-Related Course
Part-time students must enroll in evening sections of Business Organizations and Evidence. Part-time students may enroll in day or evening sections of Mission-Related Courses.
The College of Law offers a wide variety of elective courses. Part-time students may take day or evening elective courses.
Highly Recommended Core Electives in Bar Examination Subject Matter Areas
The faculty strongly encourages students to take the courses listed below, which cover subject matter 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)
- Juvenile Law (2)
- Multistate Bar Law and Skills (4)
- 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