The J.D. Curriculum

Temple Law School offers both a day and evening division and students may choose from a variety of course offerings. In addition to the requirements outlined below, all students must earn 88 credits (87 for students who enrolled prior to August 1, 2011) to graduate.

Full-Time Program

Full-time students attend the Day Division. The program requires three full academic years to complete, and acceleration is not permitted. Classes and activites extend throughout the entire day, Monday through Friday.

Due to the rigorous nature of the study of law, and because of ABA requirements, first-year full-time day students are prohibited from working while enrolled in classes. Students who anticipate needing to work during the first year of law school may want to consider one of the part-time options. After the first year, full-time students may work a limited number of hours each week.

Part-Time Program

The part-time programs are designed for students with time restrictions due to employment or family responsibilities. Most part-time students attend the Evening Division, with classes held Monday through Thursday evenings. The law school, which began as an evening program, is committed to making the experience for evening students comporable to that enjoyed by day students. All full-time faculty regularly teach in the evening and enjoy the rewards of teaching the exceptional students who are attracted to the evening division. Admissions, curriculum, examination, and all other standards are the same for both divisions.

Students with physical disabilities that limit their studying and those with evening family responsibilites or evening jobs may enroll part-time in the Day Division. Students who wish to be part-time day division students must demonstrate that neither the full-time program nor the part-time evening division program is a reasonable educational alternative for them. Part-time study requires four academic years to complete.

Upper-Level Electives

All upper-level courses are electives with one important exception. All students must successfully complete a course in Professional Responsibility prior to graduation. This requirement reflects Temple's commitment to the development of lawyers with high ethical standards.

First Year Curriculum

Day division courses are scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. You can expect to have classes every day, although you may not have classes for a full day every day of the week. Evening division classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

The first-year curriculum is designed to provide students with an understanding of the relationship between law and society, an introduction to legal and procedural concepts, and a commitment to ethical conduct and professional responsibility.

First-year students explore these concepts through the study of the legal systems that govern the enforcement of agreements (Contracts), the ownership of resources (Property), and the protection afforded to people and their property from interference by others (Torts). In Civil Procedure I, first-year students are introduced to the allocation of judicial authority among state and federal courts and to the procedures they employ in civil litigation. Students investigate the relationship of people to government and the concept of federalism in Constitutional Law. Criminal Law I completes the introduction to the American Legal System.

Legal Research and Writing

Instruction in modern law schools is founded on the notion of teaching each student to think like a lawyer. The Legal Research and Writing Program teaches the basics of writing and speaking like a lawyer. The first-year research and writing program at Temple is a two semester course of study and is one of the most intensive and advanced in the country. Students learn basic legal research techniques and the fundamentals of legal writing.

To further develop essential writing skills, the law school requires that all students take two upper-level writing courses, one involving a major research paper and the other, a series of short pieces. Students fulfill this requirement by taking writing seminars, doing guided research under faculty supervision, or working for academic credit on one of the student-edited scholarly journals or moot court honor societies.

For more information on Temple's nationally ranked Legal Research and Writing Program, please visit the program website.

First-Year Scheduling Options

The first-year core curriculum is mandatory. Full-time first-year students take all ten of the first-year required courses.

Part-time students may attend in either the day or evening divison and delay Criminal Law I and Constitutional Law until their second year. Although summer study is not required, most students who select the part-time sequence in the first year find it necessary to attend summer classes at some time in order to complete the required 88 credits (87 for students who enrolled prior to August 1, 2011) by the end of the fourth year.

First Year Courses - Day Division

Fall Semester - First Year Day Division
Course Credit/s
Contracts 4 credits
Torts 4 credits
Criminal Law I 3 credits
Legal Research and Writing I 3 credits
Litigation Basics 1 credit
Intro to Transactional Skills 1 credit
Total 16 credits
Spring Semester - First Year Day Division
Course Credit/s
Property 4 credits
Civil Procedure I 3 credits
Constitutional Law 4 credits
Legal Research and Writing II 2 credits
Elective course 3 credits
Total 16 credits

First Year Courses - Evening Division

Fall Semester - First Year Evening Division
Course Credit/s
Contracts I 4 credits
Torts 4 credits
Legal Reasearch and Writing I 3 credits
Litigation Basics 1 credit
Total 12 credits
Spring Semester - First Year Evening Division
Course Credit/s
Property 4 credits
Civil Procedure I 3 credits
Intro to Transactional Skills 1 credit
Legal Research and Writing II 2 credits
Total 10 credits
Fall Semester - Second Year Evening Division
Course Credit/s
Constitutional Law 4 credits
Criminal Law 3 credits
Electives 2-4 credits
Total 9-11 credits

Summer Study

Students who wish to lighten their fall and spring course load can take advantage of an eight-week summer evening term at the main campus in Philadelphia, or a six-week summer term abroad.