Juris Doctor Program

studentwithlaptopUCLA School of Law offers students a rigorous and engaging J.D. program. From the innovative design of our first-year curriculum, to the demanding capstone courses of the advanced curriculum, UCLA Law offers students a dynamic start to their professional life.

At UCLA Law, students begin with a remarkable first-year learning experience, which promotes optimal learning and development of their professional identities from the start. In the upper-level curriculum, students select from extensive advanced course offerings, clinics and specializations to further their individual interests and goals.

Degree Requirements

The candidate for the degree of Juris Doctor must have pursued resident (full-time) law school study for at least six semesters, and have satisfactorily completed the following:

First-Year Courses

The first year of the J.D. program provides the foundation for the J.D. education.  Students begin with an introduction to the study and analysis of law, followed by a strong first-year curriculum, including Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts and Lawyering Skills.

Two innovative courses unique to UCLA School of Law round out our first year curriculum. The first course, Lawyer-Client Relationship, introduces students to the attorney-client relationship through the skill of interviewing and provides students with an understanding of the professional and ethical obligations that are integral to the relationship between and a lawyer and a client. Students also have the opportunity to obtain live client interviewing experiential through pro bono placements. The second course, Modes of Legal Inquiry, are small seminars designed to expose students to some analytical, empirical, theoretical or normative perspective on law.

Upper-Level Requirements

In order to receive the J.D. degree, students must complete a total of 87 semester units of coursework, including a course on Professional Responsibility and a substantial analytic writing requirement. Starting with the entering class of fall 2016, students must also complete six units of experiential coursework.


Students must maintain minimum course load requirements each semester, and the maximum amount of elapsed time permitted between enrollment in the law school and graduation is five years.