Students must satisfactorily complete the following graduation requirements for the JD degree:

First-Year Courses

One Ethics Course

Upper-Level Research and Writing Requirement (seminar)

6 units of Experiential Credits in designated courses

Students starting the JD program in Fall 2023 or later must complete designated coursework that provides at least five class hours of instruction related to bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism (BCCCR courses).*** Students can satisfy this requirement by completing up to three BCCCR 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 J.D. degree may be completed no earlier than 24 months and, except in extraordinary circumstances, no later than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at the Law School or a law school from which transfer credit has been accepted

*The ABA requires that 67 credits be earned in “regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school”, or LCUs (Law Classroom Units). Students who graduate with exactly the required 86 credits must not take more than 19 outside-the-classroom (non-LCU) credits. WashULaw follows ABA Standard 310 in determining credit hours, and each credit hour consists of at least 42.5 hours of in-class and out-of-class work. The 42.5 hours equals the equivalent of 50 minutes of in-class instruction per week and 120 minutes of out-of-class preparation time per week for 15 weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. Time spent preparing for and taking a final exam is included in the 42.5 hours. WashULaw schedules classes so that each credit requires a minimum of 750 minutes of in-class instruction (12.5 hours), which may include time spent taking a final examination. Courses are structured to require at least an additional 30 hours of additional work, and time spent studying for a required final exam may count toward out-of-class time. For other credit earning courses and activities, including simulation, field placement, clinical, co-curricular such as moot court, trial team, journals, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, the Law School requires at least 42.5 hours of work.

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

***To satisfy ABA Standard 303(c), students starting the JD program in Fall 2023 or later must attend designated programming during first-year orientation that relates to bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism (BCCCR).  Students who do not attend this programming must attend an alternative BCCCR event that will take place during the fall semester of the first year.  After the first year and prior to graduation, students must also complete designated coursework that provides at least five class hours of instruction on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism (BCCCR courses).  Students can satisfy this requirement by completing up to three BCCCR courses.

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.

Civil Procedure (4 credits)

Constitutional Law I (4 credits)

Contracts (4 credits)

Criminal Law (4 credits)

Property (4 credits)

Torts (4 credits)

Legal Practice I: Objective Analysis and Reasoning (2 credits)

Legal Practice II: Advocacy (2 credits)

Legal Research Methodologies (1 credit for year; posted to spring semester)

Negotiation (1 credit)

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. To search for Applied Lawyering/Professional Skills Courses (ALPS), experiential credit, seminar courses or ethics courses, please change “School” to Law and select the appropriate “Attributes” (you must scroll down to see the Law School courses).

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. 

Professional Licensure and Bar Examinations (J.D.)

Per U.S. Federal Regulations, Washington University School of Law (WashULaw) provides the following disclosure related to the educational requirements for professional licensure and certification.

Because WashULaw is an ABA-accredited law school, a J.D. degree from WashULaw meets the educational requirements for eligibility to sit for the bar examination, which is required for professional licensure as an attorney, in the following states and jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

This disclosure does not guarantee that any particular state licensure or certification entity will approve or deny your application. Furthermore, this disclosure does not account for changes in state laws or regulations that occur after matriculation to the J.D. program that may impact your application. Enrolled students and prospective students are strongly encouraged to review all licensure and certification requirements imposed by their state(s) of choice.  Links to each jurisdiction’s bar authority is provided below.

Additionally, the National Council of Bar Examiners’ Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements provides details and contact information for state bar authorities.