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Academic Policies

I. ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

E. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

JURIS DOCTOR (J.D.) DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: Candidates for the J.D. degree must satisfy the following to earn their degrees. NOTE: In accordance with American Bar Association standards, the course of study for the J.D. degree must be completed no later than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at Virginia or another law school from which the student transferred, except in extraordinary circumstances.

1) REQUIRED COURSES In addition to the basic first-year required courses (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, Property and Torts), J.D. degree candidates must successfully complete a professional ethics course and

a) pass at least one professional skills course, if entering the law school as a first-year student prior to Fall 2016, or

b) pass at least one professional skills course, if entering the law school as a transfer student prior to Fall 2017; or

c) obtain at least six (6) credits from one or more professional skills courses if entering as a first-year student in Fall 2016 or later; or

d) obtain at least six (6) credits from one or more professional skills courses if entering as a transfer student in Fall 2017 or later. 

2) ACADEMIC RECORD During each academic year of enrollment all degree candidates must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 and accumulate fewer than three exclusion points (see section I.I).

3) CREDITS J.D. degree candidates must successfully earn a minimum of 86 semester credits. Typically, students complete 30-32 credits during the first year and 54-56 credits during the second and third years. At least 64 of the 86 credits must be in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.  Additional information about the courses that satisfy this requirement may be obtained from the Student Records Office. See section I.P for the Law School's credit hour policy.

4) RESIDENCY J.D. degree candidates must complete six semesters in residence, except in the case of transfer students who receive credit for semesters completed at other law schools and enter with advanced standing. A semester in residence is one in which a student enrolls in a minimum of 12 credits towards the degree and receives grades of D or better for at least nine of those 12 credits.

5) WRITING REQUIREMENT In accordance with American Bar Association standards, all J.D. degree candidates must satisfy the Law School’s upper-level writing requirement by completing at least one substantial research paper during their law school careers (see section I.M).

6) CONDUCT All degree candidates must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Law School's academic and non-academic student conduct requirements (see section VII).

MASTER OF LAWS (LL.M.) DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: Candidates for the LL.M. degree must satisfy the following to earn their degrees. NOTE: LL.M. degree candidates intending to sit the New York bar exam, must satisfy separate New York bar course requirements (consult the Graduate Studies Office for details).

1) ACADEMIC RECORD During each academic year of enrollment all degree candidates must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 and accumulate fewer than three exclusion points (see section I.I).

2) CREDITS LL.M. degree candidates must successfully earn a minimum of 24 semester credits. The School of Law does not accept transfer credits from outside institutions for candidates in the LL.M. degree program. See section I.P for the Law School's credit hour policy.

3) RESIDENCY LL.M. degree candidates must complete two semesters in residence. A semester in residence is one in which a student enrolls in a minimum of 12 credits towards the degree and receives grades of D or better for at least nine of those 12 credits.

4) WRITING REQUIREMENT LL.M.degree candidates must satisfy the Law School’s upper-level writing requirement by completing at least one substantial research paper (see section I.M).

5) CONDUCT All degree candidates must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Law School's academic and non-academic student conduct requirements (see section VII).

DOCTOR OF JURIDICAL SCIENCE (S.J.D.) DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: Candidates for the S.J.D. degree must satisfy the following to earn their degrees. NOTE: In accordance with Law School policy, the course of study for the S.J.D. degree must be completed within five years of admittance to candidacy.

1) PROVISIONAL YEAR: A candidate in the S.J.D. program who does not already hold an LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law must complete two semesters in residence and in full-time status consisting of a program of study as may be prescribed and approved by the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. In order to continue as an S.J.D. degree candidate beyond the Provisional Year, a candidate must, at the end of the provisional year, (i) meet all the degree requirements described in these Academic Policies for the LL.M. degree, and (ii) obtain the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee that they have demonstrated honors ability in their program of study and capacity to make an original and substantial contribution to the legal literature.

2) CREDITS S.J.D. degree candidates must successfully earn a minimum of 30 semester credits. The School of Law does not accept transfer credits from outside institutions for candidates in the S.J.D. degree program. See section I.P for the Law School's credit hour policy.

3) ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS S.J.D. degree candidates must complete a dissertation approved by the Graduate Committee and successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination.

4) CONDUCT All degree candidates must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Law School's academic and non-academic student conduct requirements (see section VII).

Index

Academic Policies (continued)