Juris Doctor Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to help students master the knowledge, skills, and ethics needed for bar examinations, law practice, and further graduate study. Every student must complete 90 credit hours, including 66 credit hours of required substantive and skills-based courses, plus 24 credit hours of elective courses in one of several concentrations of study. The curriculum also requires actual practice experience before graduating.
Choose the right schedule: Daytime, Afternoon, Evening, or Weekends. Take from 2 to 5 years to complete your degree. Part-time or full-time, you'll be taught by the same full-time faculty and have to meet the same graduation requirements.
Cooley offers a broad array of graduate legal education programs. Students may earn an LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property Law, Tax Law, Corporate Law and Finance, Insurance Law, U.S. Legal Studies for Foreign Attorneys, or in a Self-directed Program.
Cooley has developed dual degree programs with several institutions of higher education, giving students the opportunity to earn the Juris Doctor degree and Master’s degrees in Business Administration, Public Administration, and Social Work. These programs allow students to apply credits earned in one degree program to the completion of a second degree program, which in the end saves time and money.
Students have the opportunity to enrich their legal education by studying in various locations around the world. Cooley offers programs in Australia and New Zealand, and a summer session in Toronto. In addition, Cooley has participated in programs operated by other law schools in many diverse locations such as Oxford, Cambridge, London and more.
Students have the option of focusing their third year curriculum in a specific area of study, or concentration. Concentrations are designed to familiarize a student with the problems that might be encountered in a certain field of practice.
Students focus in the following areas of study:
- Administrative Law (Public Law)
- Business Transactions
- Canadian Law Practice
- Constitutional Law/Civil Rights (Public Law)
- Environmental Law (Public Law)
- General Practice/Solo & Small Firm
- Intellectual Property
- International Law
- Self Directed
Students may elect not to enter into a concentration, or may decide to switch concentrations. Students who complete all the requirements of a concentration will be issued a certificate at graduation, indicating that they have earned a certificate in the chosen field. Students may earn more than one certificate of concentration.
In addition, students can build their own concentration or choose to be undeclared. Each concentration includes a skills course and a clinic or externship.