Law School Full-Time and Part-Time Options

The College of Law has both a full-time and a part-time option.  At the end of their first year, students may change from part-time to full-time or vice versa by filing a program change request form with the Office of Student Affairs. The form is available on the law school website: www.law.depaul.edu under Registration. Students may only change their status once while they are enrolled in law school.

Students are advised that a program change may affect their financial aid. For financial aid information, they should see a financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid on the 9th floor of the DePaul Center.

Note that, after full-time students complete their first-year required courses and after part-time students complete their first four semesters of required courses, students may take any course, regardless of the student's part-time or full-time status.

Credit Hour Requirements

Juris Doctor (JD) students must complete 86 credit hours in order to graduate from the College of Law.  Full-time students are expected to complete the requirements for the JD degree in three years.  Part-time students are expected to complete the JD degree in four years. The maximum time to complete the JD program, if a student takes a leave of absence, is five years.  

Maximum Credit Hours 

First-year full-time students take 14 or more credit hours per semester. First-year part-time students take 10 or more credit hours per semester. 

Upper level full-time students may register for a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester. After their third semester, part-time students may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester.

Minimum Credit Hours

Full-time students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester except that full-time graduating seniors in their final semester need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate.  Part-time students must register for a minimum of nine credit hours per semester except that graduating seniors need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate.

No Credit for Course Work Taken Prior to Matriculation in the JD Program

The American Bar Association standards provide that no credit may be given toward the JD degree for credits earned before a student matriculates in a JD program.

Required Courses

The following courses must be completed in order to earn the JD degree:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Process
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Analysis, Research and Communication (LARC) I, II, and III
  • Legal Profession
  • Property
  • Torts
  • One professional skills course
  • One advanced writing course

Professional skills courses that fulfill the graduation requirement include:

  • Advanced Mediation
  • Appellate Technique
  • Arbitration
  • Arbitration of Commercial Disputes
  • Business Planning
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Emergency Relief & Equitable Remedies
  • International Moot Court
  • Legal Clinic (any)
  • Litigation Lab
  • Litigation Strategy (any)
  • Mediation
  • Moot Court
  • Negotiations
  • Trial Advocacy I
  • Trial Advocacy II 

Advanced writing courses that fulfill the graduation requirement include:

  • Any Senior Seminar
  • Any Legal Drafting course
  • Death Penalty Defense Practicum
  • Independent Study
  • Law and Climate Change

All first-year students are assigned to specific sections and classes for the entire academic year and must complete their courses as assigned. Part-time students who change to full-time after one year must take their remaining required courses as assigned by the College of Law.