Juris Doctor (JD) Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Students must satisfactorily complete the following:

  • First Year Courses
  • One Ethics Course
  • Upper-Level Research and Writing Requirement (seminar)
  • Applied Lawyering / Professional Skills Course OR effective with the entering Class of 2016, 6 units of Experiential Credits in designated courses
  • Six Semesters of Full-Time Residency
  • At least 86 Credit Hours (67 in LCUs) * 
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 3.00 **   

*The ABA requires that 67 credits be earned in “regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school”, or LCUs (Law Classroom Units):  https://law.wustl.edu/academics/documents/docx/67credithoursofregularlyscheduledupdate03242015.pdf   Students who graduate with exactly the required 86 credits must not take more than 19 outside-the-classroom (non-LCU) credits.

**Based on all courses taken, whether or not credit is earned. 

First-Year Courses

First-year students take three doctrinal courses a semester, plus Legal Practice and Legal Research Methodologies. Each semester, first-year students will have one doctrinal course in a small section of approximately 45 students. Legal Practice and Legal Research Methodologies are also taught in small groups and in workshop-style classes by teachers who provide individualized feedback on each student's research and writing projects. The Negotiation class runs over Intersession (the week before the Spring Semester starts).  It may also be offered as a weekend course immediately before Fall classes begin.

Upper-level Courses

Upper-level students fulfill the remaining 56 credit hours by tailoring their studies to fit their individual interests. Students may take a variety of courses to meet the upper-class writing requirement, ethics requirement, and applied lawyering / professional skills   experiential units requirements. Faculty members and administrators provide guidance about course selection. 

NOTE:  Effective with the JD class entering Fall 2016 who will graduate in Spring 2019, there is a 6-unit maximum on the number of 1 unit IWCs (Intensive Weekend Courses) and 1 unit Intersession courses any JD may count toward their total Law units.  The 1 unit Negotiation course is a first-year course requirement and is not included in this 6 unit limit.

For a list of current course offerings that fulfill various requirements, consult the university Course Listings at:  https://courses.wustl.edu/Semester/Listing.aspx

For Applied Lawyering / Professional Skills Courses (ALPS) -  experiential credit, seminar or Ethics courses, search under Law course Attributes.

REMINDER: In addition to diploma requirements, there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar. Applicants are encouraged, prior to matriculation, to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) where they intend to practice.