Juris Doctor

Full-Time JD Program 

This program is designed for those students who are able to devote substantially all of their time to the study of law. Classes generally are taken during the day, but students may choose to enroll in evening elective courses during their second and third years, if space is available. The first year curriculum is entirely prescribed. The second year curriculum consists of core electives and general electives. Students must take at least four of the core electives as described below  (see Academic Regulations, section I.B. and I.C, Requirements for Graduation). In addition, prior to graduation, a student must take the course in Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility, satisfy the Professional Skills Requirement (for students matriculating before Fall 2016) or the Experiential Learning Requirement (for students matriculating Fall 2016 or later), and satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement.

Summer Session

One seven-week session is offered each summer. Summer courses are taught in the late afternoon or evening and are open to all students. Under some circumstances, a full-time or part-time student may accelerate graduation by attending summer sessions.

Bridge to Practice Program

The Bridge to Practice program at Quinnipiac Law is a three-part, three-year series of not-for-credit courses — two of them mandatory for full-time students — intended to contextualize the rest of the students’ legal education, highlighting particularly the ways in which lawyers work with clients to clarify and achieve client goals. The goal is to help students begin the transition to law practice while in school.

1L Gateway to Practice

All full-time, first-year students are required to participate in this mandatory two-day workshop in law and lawyering, which is offered during the first two days of the second semester in January. For part-time students, the program is optional but recommended. Students are assigned to “law firms” as junior associates and work with practitioners who serve as partners, conducting a variety of tasks in simulated cases for mock clients. Over 60 lawyers from the state and the region volunteer to work with students.

The program is intended to provide several benefits:

  • Foundation: First-year students learn the basics of law and legal analysis. This program shows students how lawyers use doctrine and basic legal skills in helping clients in the everyday practice of law.
  • Balance: Students supplement their classroom experience with activities ordinarily not part of the first-year curriculum, including deriving facts from a client interview, brainstorming strategies with law firm colleagues, explaining options to clients, and engaging clients in decision-making.
  • Context: The program integrates transactional lawyering and litigation, and helps students to better understand the relationship between legal theory and practice.
  • Group work and collaboration: Students work in teams to strategize and solve problems.
  • Immediate preparation: The program helps students prepare for summer employment and gives them a start in developing networking skills.

2L Business Concepts Bootcamp

All full-time, second-year students are required to participate in a day-and-a-half program to kick off the fall semester in August. Part-time, second-year students are encouraged but not required to attend the program. They will be required to watch related video material and attend a Saturday Business Concepts Bootcamp in September.

The goal of the program is to expose students to basic financial and business concepts, many of which will arise in upper-level courses, both within the core curriculum and in other elective courses. The program should be helpful not only to students who intend to practice business law, but also to those who will practice in a host of other specialties, such as litigation or family law. The program includes both panel presentations and interactive, hands-on workshops. Students select two practice area workshops in which a lawyer specializing in the field will discuss the types of clients served in the practice, the types of problems presented, and the skills and substantive legal expertise needed to work in the area. The practitioner leads the students in solving a typical client problem using the business and financial concepts the students learned in earlier sessions of the Bootcamp.

The program is intended to provide several benefits: 

  • Provide business context for doctrinal principles in upper-level courses.
  • Address employers' concerns that the lack of business and financial literacy represents a major gap in new lawyers’ knowledge.
  • Demonstrate that an understanding of business concepts is critical in all areas of practice: private, government, public interest, and nonprofit.
  • Help students to better understand public policy debates.

3L & 4L: Business of Law Workshop

The Business of Law workshop is an optional, one-day program offered on a Saturday in the spring semester to all students preparing to graduate. While the 1L and 2L segments of the Bridge to Practice trilogy have focused on the business of clients as the context for lawyers’ work, this workshop emphasizes the business aspects of the lawyer’s own work. Although students have learned the law, they also need to understand the business and organizational aspects of legal practice to be ready for work. Legal employers of all types — private firms, in-house counsel, government, and public interest — have to deal with the economics of serving clients. Panels of practitioners and recent graduates explain the business aspects of the practice of law whether in private practice, government or public interest. Topics include: the economics of practice, timekeeping, billing, marketing, project management, innovation and work-life balance. Students also choose workshops with practitioners related to the practice environment they hope to join upon graduation: small firm and solo, large firm and government/public interest.

Full-Time Juris Doctor Program of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterCredits
LAWS 101 Civil Procedure I 3
LAWS 103 Contracts I 3
LAWS 107 Torts 4
LAWS 111 Legal Skills I 2
LAWS 113 Criminal Law 3
 Credits15
Spring Semester
LAWS 102 Civil Procedure II 2
LAWS 104 Contracts II 3
LAWS 105 Property 4
LAWS 110 Constitutional Law 4
LAWS 112 Legal Skills II 2
 Credits15
Second Year
Fall Semester
Core Elective 1 4
Core Elective 1 3
General Electives 7
 Credits14
Spring Semester
Core Elective 1 4
Core Elective 1 3
Experiential Course 2 2
General Electives 5
 Credits14
Third Year
Fall Semester
LAWS 321 Lawyers' Professional Responsibility 3
Experiential Course 2 2
Core Elective 1 4
General Electives 5
 Credits14
Spring Semester
Core Elective 1 3
Experiential Course 2 2
General Electives 9
 Credits14
 Total Credits86

Concentrations

There are eight optional concentrations offered within the juris doctor degree program.