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.
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 (63 for students who matriculated in or before 2012) 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. (A list of courses with a Law School course number that do NOT meet the requirement is available here.)
- 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 I (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, Legislation and Regulation, or Perspectives on Law)
- The required upper division courses (3 credits each) are:
- Professional Responsibility (Law 6600 through Summer 2016); Professional Responsibility - General (Law 6661); Professional Responsibility - Business (Law 6662); Professional Responsibility - Civil Trial Lawyer (Law 6663); Professional Responsibility - Criminal Law Ethics (Law 6664); and Professional Responsibility - Government (Law 6665).
- Legislation and Regulation (Law 6018/6078) (effective for students graduating in 2019)
- One of the following courses in constitutional law focusing on civil rights and/or civil liberties: Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights & Liberties Survey (Law 6082); Constitutional Law II: Fourteenth Amendment (Law 6081); Criminal Procedure (Law 6085 or Law 6218); First Amendment: Speech (Law 6083); First Amendment: Speech & Religion (Law 6083 or Law 6241).
- Satisfactorily complete legal writing requirements through:
- a journal or moot court in the second year; and
- an approved course involving intensive legal writing or a written research project in the second or third year. A list of approved courses is here.
- Starting with the class graduating in May 2018, each student must satisfactorily complete six credits in approved experiential learning courses (the first year Law in Practice course counts toward this requirement). A list of approved courses is here.