No results found, please try again. Reset selections.
As a lawyer, you will face a unique set of challenges every day, from negotiating complex agreements to successfully arguing motions in court. That’s why DePaul University College of Law offers you theoretical instruction as well as creative approaches to professional skills training. Whether in the classroom or in the field, DePaul’s comprehensive curriculum prepares you to succeed.
As a DePaul student, you can earn academic credit by working with real clients on real cases in every type of legal environment. Through our experiential education programs, you will gain valuable first-hand experience and insight working side-by-side with distinguished faculty members and practicing attorneys.
In addition to the core Juris Doctor curriculum, you also can choose from a variety of joint degrees, graduate programs and certificate options in a number of specializations.
|Program Requirements||Semester Hours|
|Total hours required||86|
Students will be able to:
- Solve legal problems by applying foundational knowledge of civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property law, and torts.
- Solve legal problems by applying foundational knowledge of the rules regulating the legal profession.
- Identify and apply relevant legal authority.
- Communicate clearly in speech and writing.
- Demonstrate the fundamental professional lawyering skills for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession
Law School Full-Time Day and Evening Program Options
The College of Law has both a full-time day and an evening program option. At the end of their first year, students may change from the evening program to full-time day or vice versa by filing a program change request form with the Office of Student Affairs. The form is available on the College of Law website under Registration. Students may only change their status once while they are enrolled in law school.
Students are advised that a program change may affect their financial aid. For financial aid information, they should see a financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid on the 9th floor of the DePaul Center.
Note that, after JD Day students complete their first-year required courses and after JD Evening students complete their first three semesters of required courses, students may take day or evening courses, regardless of the student's program.
Credit Hour Requirements
Graduation with a JD requires that the student complete 86 credit hours. Under the College of Law's semester system, one credit hour is granted for 50 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instructional time per week, multiplied by 15, and at least 120 minutes of additional out-of-class student work each week, or an equivalent amount of work for other courses and activities, multiplied by 15. The standard course extends over a fourteen-week semester, followed by a final examination period. Courses or other credit-bearing activities that occur over a different time period must incorporate the same total amount of instructional time and additional assigned work per credit hour as a standard course. At a minimum, students must complete 42.5 hours for 1 unit of credit; 85 hours for 2 units of credit; 127.5 hours for 3 units of credit; and 170 hours for 4 units of credit.
Credit is earned if a student receives an A through a D, or PA grade.
Time to Degree Limitation
JD Day students are expected to complete the degree in three years. JD Evening students are expected to complete the degree in four years. The maximum time to complete the JD program, if a student takes an approved leave of absence, is five years. Students who are unable to complete the degree within this time frame are required to confer with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Law. Pursuant to the American Bar Association Standards of Accreditation, all JD students must complete their degree no later than 84 months after commencing law study.
Maximum and Minimum Credit Hours
First-year JD Day students take 14-15 credit hours per semester. First-year JD Evening students take 9-10 credit hours per semester.
Upper level JD Day students may register for a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester. After their third semester, JD Evening students may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester.
JD Day students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester except that JD Day graduating seniors in their final semester need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate. JD Evening students must register for a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester except that graduating seniors need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate.
No Credit for Course Work Taken Prior to Matriculation in the JD Program
The American Bar Association Standards provide that credit for a JD degree shall only be given for course work taken after the student has matriculated in a law school. A law school may not grant credit toward the JD degree for work taken in a pre-admission program.
Core Required Courses
|LAW 101||APPLIED LEGAL SKILLS||1|
|LAW 112||LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION I||2|
|LAW 115||LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION III||3|
|LAW 119||LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS II||3|
|LAW 120||CIVIL PROCEDURE||4|
|LAW 130||PREPARING TO PRACTICE I||0|
|LAW 131||PREPARING TO PRACTICE II||0|
|LAW 140||CONSTITUTIONAL LAW||4|
|LAW 170||TORT LAW||4|
|LAW 481||LEGAL PROFESSION||3|
|LAW 506||CRIMINAL LAW||3|
Experiential Education Requirement
Students must complete at least six credit hours of experiential education courses from the list of approved courses below. Most, but not all, courses are offered for three credit hours. JD students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2016 can choose to take only one professional skills course in lieu of the Experiential Education Requirement (see the Catalog Archive for applicable courses).
|Select at least six credit hours of the following:||6|
|DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PRACTICUM|
|TRANSNATIONAL CIVIL LITIGATION DRAFTING|
|INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW PRACTICUM|
|ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW PRACTICUM|
|ANATOMY OF A DEAL: FROM INCEPTION TO CLOSING|
|TRIAL ADVOCACY II|
|PROSECUTING & DEFENDING CRIMINAL CASES|
|LEGAL CLINIC SUMMER|
|BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS AND DOCUMENTATION|
|LITIGATION STRATEGY: PRE-TRIAL, CIVIL|
|LEGAL CLINIC I|
|TRIAL ADVOCACY I|
|LEGAL CLINIC II|
|NATIONAL TRIAL TEAM|
|ADVANCED MEDIATION: AS MEDIATOR|
|ADVANCED LEGAL RESEARCH|
|FIELD CLINIC SEMINAR|
|FIELD CLINIC PRACTICE|
|PRACTICAL LEGAL RESEARCH|
|THE PRACTICE OF HEALTH CARE LAW|
Advanced Writing Requirement
|Select one of the following:|
|SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR|
|CHILDREN'S HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW|
|WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW|
|TAX RESEARCH AND WRITING|
|LEGAL CLINIC I (Advanced Criminal Appeals)|
|LEGAL CLINIC II (Advanced Criminal Appeals)|
|FOREIGN EXCHANGE: MADRID, SPAIN (Master's Thesis)|
Elective courses are open to all students who meet the prerequisites for the course in question. For information on specializations, see the section on Certificates.
Credit Hour Limitations
Non-Classroom Credit Hours: 12-Credit Limit
With the exception of students enrolled in the Third Year in Practice (3YP) program, a JD student may earn a maximum of 12 credit hours for non-classroom (indirect instruction) courses. Courses that count toward the 12-credit non-classroom limit include the following:
|Limit of 12 credit hours of the following:||12|
|LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS TEACHING ASSISTANTS|
|JOURNAL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE|
|JOURNAL OF WOMEN GENDER & THE LAW|
|JOURNAL OF SPORTS LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS|
|GENERAL TEACHING ASSISTANT|
|BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAW JOURNAL|
|JOURNAL OF ART TECHNOLOGY & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY EDITORIAL BOARD|
|JOURNAL OF HEALTH CARE LAW EDITORIAL BOARD|
|NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION|
|INTERNATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION|
|FIELD CLINIC PRACTICE|
|INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT|
|ADVANCED INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT|
Distance Education Credit Limit
American Bar Association rules specify that JD students may earn a maximum of 28 credit hours toward the JD degree for distance education courses. The College of Law offers both fully online and hybrid courses. A hybrid course is a course in which some, but not all, of the instructional time is online. All fully-online courses, and some hybrid courses, qualify under the ABA rule as distance education courses.
Third Year in Practice (3YP) Program
The Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) provides qualifying students with a unique third-year experience engaging in the actual and simulated practice of law. Students admitted to the 3YP program are required to complete 24 credit hours of experiential courses, including an Intensive Field Placement of 5-9 credit hours and the Third Year in Practice Seminar. In addition, students will be able to choose from an array of professional skills, practicum, legal drafting and clinic courses to create a fully immersive third year in practice.
Required Courses for 3YP Students
|LAW 960||3YP SEMINAR||2|
|LAW 961||INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT||5-9|
Optional Courses for 3YP Students
|ADVANCED INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT|
|ADVANCED INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT TUTORIAL|
- Arts and Museum Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Business Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Criminal Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Family Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- General Intellectual Property Certificate, Law (JD)
- Health Care Compliance Certificate, Law (JD)
- Health Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Information Technology, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- International and Comparative Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Patent Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Public Interest Law Certificate, Law (JD)
- Tax Law Certificate, Law (JD)
Joint Degree Requirements
The College of Law offers the following joint degree programs:
- JD/MBA (with Kellstadt Graduate School of Business)
- JD/MS in Public Service Management (with the College of Liberal Arts & Social Science's School of Public Service)
- JD/MA in International Studies (with the College of Liberal Arts & Social Science)
- JD/MS in Computer Science Technology (with the College of Computing and Digital Media)
A joint degree program allows a student to complete two graduate degrees concurrently in less time than it takes to finish each program individually. As a specified number of credit hours apply toward both degrees, students also pay less in overall tuition by combining programs.
Before beginning a joint degree program, both full-time and part-time law students must complete the required first-year curriculum and achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in those courses. Full-time students earn 29 credits the first year, while part-time students must earn at least 29 credits within the first three semesters of the law program.
Traditional JD students must complete 86 credit hours to graduate from the College of Law. However, under a joint degree program, a student earns the JD degree after completing a minimum of 76 credit hours. The College of Law applies up to 10 credits toward the JD degree for work completed in the other graduate degree program. Credit hours are eligible to be applied only after completion of the required first year JD curriculum described above. A joint degree student may not receive credit for courses that create a redundancy in coursework.
For additional requirements, please visit the pages for the corresponding degrees.
Students seeking a joint degree with a college outside of the College of Law must independently apply and be admitted to the other graduate degree program. Full-time law students typically apply to the other graduate program in the summer prior to their second year of law school. Part-time law students typically apply to the other graduate degree program in the spring semester of their second year.
After admission to the other graduate program, joint degree applicants should submit a copy of the acceptance letter and law school transcript to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the College of Law. The transcript and acceptance letter should be accompanied by a cover letter from the student requesting that the student's classification be changed from Juris Doctor candidate to candidate for the appropriate joint degree. The letter should include the student's full name, student identification number, mailing address, email address and phone number. The joint degree candidate should also schedule a meeting with the appropriate adviser in the other college to which the student has been admitted to discuss the curriculum.
Combined Credits and Expenses
Full-time joint degree students generally complete the program in four years. Part-time applicants generally complete the joint degree program in five years. A student may accelerate the program by taking classes in the summer or by taking more courses during the academic year. By doing so, a student may complete both programs one-half year earlier.
Once enrolled in a joint degree program, students no longer pay the College of Law package tuition; instead, students pay by the credit hour for law classes and classes taken in the other program.
Joint degree students must meet the grading standards of the College of Law and the respective graduate degree program in order to remain in good standing. Grades are recorded on the transcript under the college in which the courses are taken, and the combined degree is recorded after graduation. Students who are dismissed from either program may be able to continue studies in the other program. Students must satisfy the normal program requirements of the other school to receive the degree; no double counting of credits is permitted after a dismissal from one college.
Leaves of Absence/Withdrawal
Students must receive permission from both colleges to take a leave of absence from the joint degree program or to withdraw from the joint degree program. A leave of absence is granted for a maximum of one year. If a student does not enroll in classes after one year, he or she will be permanently withdrawn from both programs and only may re-enroll by applying to the admission offices of both colleges as a new student.
To receive the joint degree, a student must graduate from both schools on the same date, in the same semester/quarter and in the same year. Double counting of credits occurs only after concurrently completion of both programs.
For a December graduation, all requirements must be completed at the end of the fall semester and fall quarter. For a spring graduation, all non-law requirements must be completed at the end of the spring quarter and all law requirements at the end of the spring semester. A student will not be eligible to graduate, cannot be certified for admission to the Bar, and cannot sit for the bar examination until all degree requirements are met.