Courses & J.D. Requirements
The 87 semester hours necessary for graduation must include the successful completion of the following courses and requirements:
- Sixty-four credits from courses that require attendance in regularly schedules classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction; such course will be explicitly identified as "Classroom Courses" by the faculty.
- Six credits from experiential courses, which include simulation courses, clinics, and clinical placements; such courses will be explicitly identified as "Experiential Courses" by the faculty.
- The courses listed below as "Required First-Year Courses".
- The courses listed below as "Required Upper-Level Courses".
- A "Lawyering Skills IV" course.
- The "Upper-Level Writing Requirement" set forth below.
The following courses totaling 31 semester hours are required.
The following upper-level course is required.
One of the following upper-level courses is required:
During either the second or third year of law school (i.e., following successful completion of 31 semester hours), a student must satisfactorily complete a substantial paper that makes an original contribution to legal scholarship. Satisfaction of the requirement will require in-depth research and rigorous analysis of a specific area of law and must evidence a sophisticated knowledge of the law, including knowledge of larger issues of the impact of law on various parts of society and the future directions the law may take.
A paper meeting the requirement will generally be at least 25 pages in length. This requirement may be fulfilled by a 2-3 credit hour independent study research paper meeting these goals or a paper prepared for a seminar course designated as approved for this requirement.
The notation "Meets upper-level writing requirement" appears after the description of some of these courses. In addition, they will be designated with the label ULWR in BannerWeb. Other courses will occasionally be structured in a format so as to meet the requirement. The list of courses offered, published each year by the law school, indicates all the courses offered that year through which this requirement can be satisfied.
Note: A course in professional responsibility and the elective course Evidence must be satisfactorily completed by the end of the second year if the student wishes to qualify to appear in a Virginia court as a third-year student under the Third-Year Practice Rule. Students may obtain a Third-year Practice certificate after they have completed 56 credits, plus courses in Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility. This certificate allows a student to appear in some courts under the supervision of a licensed attorney.