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Degree Requirements

The degree Juris Doctor (J.D.) is conferred on candidates who have:

  • completed a minimum of 90 credit hours;
  • achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 (C) during the semester in which they complete 90 credit hours;
  • taken and completed all required courses;
  • satisfied the “in residence” requirement;
  • satisfied the writing-intensive course requirements;
  • satisfied the experiential course requirements; and
  • completed all requirements within five years of initial enrollment (see Withdrawal and Readmission Following Withdrawal).

Credit-hour Requirement

Each student must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours. Course work in areas other than law is subject to the limitation described under Course Work Outside the School of Law.

Grade-point Average Requirement

During the semester in which the student attains 90 credit hours, he or she must have achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 (C) in all law school work. Grades for courses taken in areas other than law are not computed in the School of Law cumulative grade-point average.

Required Courses

To qualify for the J.D. degree, students must complete satisfactorily the following:

  • All first-year courses listed in the School of Law Courses section
  • Three courses from among Business Associations I or Business Organizations, Conflict of Laws, Criminal Procedure, Family Law, Jurisdiction, Contracts II/ UCC Sales, Commercial Law: Secured Transactions, and Trusts & Estates
  • Evidence
  • Professional Responsibility

Professional Responsibility must be completed by the time the student finishes 60 hours of law school credit. Upper-level required courses should be taken in the second year of law school. Waiting to take these courses until the third year may cause class conflicts between these required courses and courses traditionally taken by third-year law students.

In Residence Requirement

The 90 credit hours required for the J.D. degree must be earned during a course of study in residence at the School of Law extending over a period of not less than 24 months.

Upper-Level Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

Each student must satisfy the Professional Writing-Intensive course requirement by successfully completing at least two professional writing courses that require students to submit a written work product directed to the lawyer’s professional role. Such writing includes, but is not limited to, document drafting, written advocacy, correspondence, memoranda, judicial and quasi-judicial opinions, legislation, regulations, and policy analysis.

All written work must be of at least C quality to satisfy the Professional Writing-Intensive requirement.

Each student must satisfy the third required writing course by either taking a third professional writing-intensive course, or by meeting the Scholarly Writing-Intensive course requirement by successfully completing a course that satisfies the Scholarly requirement.

Professional Writing-Intensive Courses

  • Business Organizations
  • Chinese Law
  • Complex Litigation
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Topics:
  • Contract Drafting
  • Criminal Practice in Kansas
  • Deals
  • Environmental Law 
  • Estate Planning: Practice
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Federal Criminal Prosecution
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Higher Education and the Law
  • International Business Law Drafting
  • International Commerce and Investment
  • International Law and Literature
  • Jurisdiction (3 credits version is approved, and 4 credit version is not approved)
  • Kansas Supreme Court Research Practicum
  • LGBTQ Seminar
  • Legislative Process
  • Media Law Project
  • Patent Practice
  • Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies
  • Public Policy Practicum
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Representing Asylum Seekers
  • Representing Non Profit Organizations
  • Special Topics: Appellate Advocacy
  • Transactional LawMeet
  • ​Writing for Law Practice

All written work must be of at least C quality to satisfy the Professional Writing-Intensive requirement.

Scholarly Writing-Intensive Courses

  • Advanced International Trade Law
  • Banking Law
  • Capital Punishment
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Topics:
  • Elections and Campaign Finance
  • Environmental Law Seminar: Climate Change Law and Policy
  • Food and Drug Law
  • Global Challenges in Law, Agriculture, Development, and Ecology (with 1 hr. Independent Research)
  • Independent Research (2 credits)
  • Jurisprudence
  • Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy (2 semesters)
  • Law Review (2 semesters)
  • Native American Natural Resources
  • Sex Crimes
  • Sovereignty, Self-Determination and Indigenous Nations
  • Special Topics: Feminist Jurisprudence
  • Special Topics: First Amendment
  • Special Topics: Mass Incarceration

All written work must be of at least C quality to satisfy the Scholarly Writing-Intensive requirement.

Experiential Course Requirements

Students must satisfy the experiential course requirement by successfully completing courses from the following list that total at least 6 credit hours.

Experiential Courses

Clinics
  • Legal Aid Clinic
  • Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies
  • Tribal Judicial Support Clinic
Field Placements
  • Criminal Prosecution Field Placement Program
  • Elder Law Field Placement Program
  • Field Placement Program
  • Judicial Field Placement Program
Simulations
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Ware)
  • Advanced Litigation
  • Business Planning Seminar
  • Collective Bargaining and Dispute Resolution
  • Comprehensive Civil Mediation
  • Comprehensive Family Mediation
  • Contract Drafting
  • Criminal Practice in Kansas
  • Deals
  • Deposition Skills Workshop
  • Expert Witness Skills Workshop
  • First Amendment Advocacy
  • Kansas Supreme Court Research Practicum
  • Patent Practice
  • Pretrial Advocacy
  • Public Policy Practicum
  • Representing Asylum Seekers
  • Transactional LawMeet
  • Trial Advocacy

To satisfy the experiential course requirements, the student must obtain a grade of C or better in graded courses and a grade of CR in courses graded Credit-No Credit.

The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one of the requirements. 

A course that extends two semesters or two summer sessions may count as two separate courses if the work in each semester or summer session meets the requirements for a writing-intensive or an experiential course. 

Course Work Outside the School of Law

A student who is not enrolled in a joint degree program may take up to 6 hours of graduate-level courses outside the School of Law for credit toward a law degree, provided an associate dean approves the course work in advance as relevant to the student's education as a lawyer. A student seeking credit toward a law degree for more than 6 hours of courses outside the School of Law must petition the academic committee for approval. In such instances, the entire group of courses from outside the School of Law must be relevant to the student's education as a lawyer. Grades for courses taken in areas other than law are not computed in the School of Law cumulative grade-point average.

A student in good standing may, with the advance approval of an associate dean, take law courses at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association. If the student successfully completes such courses, not more than 30 hours of the credit will be transferred and will be counted toward the 90 credit hours required for the J.D. Time spent at another institution will count as study in residence for the purpose of the “in residence” requirement, but grades in courses taken at the other institution will not be computed in the KU law school cumulative grade-point average.

A student at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association may apply for admission with advanced standing. If admitted, such a student may transfer not more than 30 credit hours of law course work completed successfully at the other law school toward the 90 credit hours required for the J.D. degree. Grades for course work completed at the other law school are not computed in the KU law school cumulative grade-point average.

For purposes of the two preceding paragraphs, a grade of C (or equivalent) or better is necessary in each course for which transfer credit is sought. In no event may a student count more than 30 credit hours earned at other law schools toward the 90 hours required for J.D. degree.


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Questions?

Elizabeth Kronk Warner
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law
785-864-1139
elizabeth.kronk@ku.edu

Vicki Palmer
Registrar
785-864-9211
vpalmer@ku.edu

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