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JD Degree Requirements

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Academic Advisor: James Lambert

Students enrolled in the JD program must earn 87 law credits to graduate. Those 87 credits must be comprised of the following:

  • The eight prescribed first-year courses:
  • Ethics Requirement:  A two-credit course in ethics and professional responsibility.  Courses that satisfy the Ethics requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "JD - ethics."
  • Substantial Research and Writing Project Requirement:  One faculty-supervised research paper for a minimum of two credits.  This may be fulfilled by way of a seminar or an independent study.  The SRWP paper must be a solo project; group projects may not be used to fulfill the requirement.  The student's engagement in a substantial research and writing project must be registered with the Registrar's Office no later than the end of the drop/add period of the student's fifth semester.  Courses that satisfy the SRWP requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "JD - substantial research and writing project."
  • Experiential Learning Requirement:  a minimum six credits in simulation courses, clinics and/or externships.  Courses that satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "experiential learning." 
  • Regularly-Scheduled Courses:  A minimum 64 of the 87 credits must be earned in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.
    • Regularly-scheduled law school courses include
      • Law School courses and seminars, including courses cross-listed at the Law School but originating in another school or department at the University.
      • Law School clinics
      • Regularly-scheduled courses completed at another ABA-accredited law school, including through the inter-institutional agreement with UNC and NCCU and transfer credits for students who completed the first year at another law school or who visited away at another law school.
      • Credits from an approved study abroad program.
    • Regularly-scheduled law school courses do NOT include
      • Independent study
      • Non-law courses
      • Externships
      • Research tutorials
      • Ad hoc seminars

All students are responsible for monitoring their compliance with the graduation requirements.

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The Registrar’s Office publishes a list on the Registration Portal of classes available at Fuqua, along with links and resources for other Duke courses and offerings at nearby law schools UNC and NCCU.