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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 requirement;
  • satisfied the professional skills requirement; 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 who begin law school in Summer 2014 or after 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, Commercial Law: Payment Systems, Contracts II/ UCC Sales, Commercial Law: Secured Transactions, and Trusts & Estates
  • Evidence
  • Professional Responsibility

Students who entered law school before Summer 2014 must have completed satisfactorily the following:

  • All first-year courses listed in the School of Law Courses section
  • Commercial Law: Secured Transactions or Commercial Law: Payment Systems
  • 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.

Writing Requirement

Each student must satisfy the upper-level writing requirement by

  • the successful completion of 2 hours of independent research;
  • the successful completion of a 2- or 3-hour course that involves close faculty supervision of writing, as certified by the faculty member; or
  • publication of a student note or comment in the Law Review or Journal, or completion of a paper publishable in the Law Review or Journal, as certified by the editor-in-chief and by the faculty adviser.

Professional Skills Requirement

Each student who began his or her J.D. degree during or after the Summer 2008 term must satisfy the professional skills requirement by successfully completing one of the following courses:

  • Any law school-sponsored clinic or externship;
  • National/International Moot Court Competitions;
  • International Law Moot Court Competitions;
  • A course that, within the determination of the law school, includes substantial instruction in professional skills.*  

To satisfy the professional skills requirement, the student must obtain a grade of C or better in graded courses and a grade of CR in courses graded Credit-No Credit.

*Enrollment materials each semester will contain a list of courses that satisfy the professional skills requirement.  Although this list may vary, courses that currently satisfy the requirement include:

  • Advanced Legal Ethics
  • Advanced Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Business Planning Seminar
  • Contract Drafting
  • Criminal Practice in Kansas
  • Deposition Skills Workshop
  • Estate Planning: Practice
  • Expert Witness Skills Workshop (if 2 credits)
  • Federal Tax Procedure
  • Introduction to Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works
  • Law and the Arts
  • Pretrial Advocacy
  • Practice in Kansas
  • Trial Advocacy

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.

Course descriptions

Academic Calendar
Nov 26
Thanksgiving Recess Begins - no classes
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Dec 01
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Dec 03
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Questions?

Melanie Wilson
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law
785-864-0359
mdwilson@ku.edu

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

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