Curriculum & Requirements
Note: The following is a summary of the Academic Rules. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Rules and for ensuring that they comply with all graduation requirements. Students should regularly review their academic progress and enrollment details via MyU, their transcript, and GPAS.
J.D. Degree Requirements
To receive the J.D. degree, each student must:
- Satisfactorily complete 88 credits of Law School work
- Note: All courses with a “LAW” course number at or above the 6000 level count toward the 88-credit minimum, as do all approved transfer credits and all approved off-campus study credits. Some graduate-level courses in other units of the University of Minnesota also count, subject to limits in Academic Rule 3.3.
- At least 64 credits of the 88 credits must be completed in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions at the Law School, at an ABA-accredited law school from which transfer credit is granted, or in approved foreign study courses. Review the list of courses with a Law School course number that do NOT meet the requirement
- Have six semesters of residence as a law student
- Note: a student must be registered for 12 or more credits for the semester to count toward residency.
- Satisfactorily complete required courses:
- The required first year courses and number of credits are: Civil Procedure I (4), Constitutional Law: Federalism and Separation of Powers (3), Contracts (4), Criminal Law (3), Legal Research and Writing (4), Law in Practice (3), Property (4), Torts (4), and an elective (3) (either Civil Procedure II, Essentials of Business for Lawyers, International Law, or Legislation and Regulation)
- The required upper division courses (3 credits each) are:
- One of the following courses in Professional Responsibility: Professional Responsibility; Professional Responsibility - General (Law 6661); Professional Responsibility - Business (Law 6662); Professional Responsibility - Civil Trial Lawyer (Law 6663); Professional Responsibility - Criminal Law Ethics (Law 6664); Professional Responsibility - Government (Law 6665) and Professional Responsibility - Legal Malpractice (Law 6667).
- Legislation and Regulation (Law 6018/6078)
- One of the following courses in constitutional law focusing on civil rights and/or civil liberties: Constitutional Law: Fourteenth Amendment (Law 6081); First Amendment (Law 6083); Equal Protection and Civil Rights Acts (Law 6084); Criminal Procedure: Investigation (Law 6085).
- Satisfactorily complete legal writing requirements through:
- a journal or moot court in the second year; and
- in the second or third year, an approved experience or course as stated in Academic Rule 5.4.
Current courses for Upper Division Writing credit under Rule 5.4(a)(i)
- Each student must satisfactorily complete six credits in approved experiential learning courses (the first year Law in Practice course counts toward this requirement). Download a list of approved experiential learning courses.