All degree candidates must meet the graduation requirements set forth in the Faculty Regulations. Briefly, these requirements are as follows:
Students who enter the Law School after August 1, 2011, must complete 88 credits including the following mandated courses in the first or second year depending on the program: Civil Procedure I, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law I, Legal Research and Writing (2 semesters in sequence), Torts, Property, Litigation Basics, Introduction to Transactional Skills and (for Full-Time students only) a Menu Course. Students who entered the Law School before August 1, 2011 are required to complete 87 credits. (Beginning in Fall 2010, Business Basics is no long part of the mandated curriculum.)
Students are required to fulfill an Upper Level Writing Requirement by completing coursework focusing on Serial Writing and coursework focusing on Research Writing. Students must pass these courses with a grade of “C” or better to meet the requirements. Students can meet this requirement as follows: (1) obtaining a “C” or better in a 2 or 3 credit Guided Research or Writing Seminar, and/or (2) regarding the Research component, completing a substantial work of professional quality that meets the writing requirements of one of the three law journals, the Moot Court Honor Society, or the Jessup Moot Court Honor Society with the approval by the appropriate faculty advisor.
Students must meet this requirement by successful completion of a Professional Responsibility course. In the event that a student receives less than a “C” when he or she initially takes a Professional Responsibility course, then he or she must take a Professional Responsibility course again and successfully complete it. The student will also need to take additional credits above the number of credits normally required for graduation, and must consult the Office of Student Services for further information.
All students who matriculated prior to the fall semester 2016 must successfully complete a course designated as a Professional Skills course. All students who matriculated in or after the fall semester 2016 must successfully complete one or more Experiential Courses totaling at least six credit hours.
Students may take such Experiential/Professional Skills courses, indicated below, at any time provided they have completed the mandated First Year Curriculum and any other pre-requisite courses as applicable. For this purpose, successful completion means a grade of “C” or better in a graded course, and “S” or better in an ungraded course.
Courses that would satisfy the Experiential/Professional Skills requirement are: courses designated as Clinical Courses (both Internal Clinics and External Clinics), Externships, Practicums, and Simulation Courses. Simulation Courses include the following:
- Advanced Trial Advocacy – Civil
- Advanced Trial Advocacy – Criminal
- Advanced Trial Advocacy – Speechmaking
- Advanced Trial and Litigation Strategy (Writing)*
- Advising the Multinational Company on Global Legal Issues
- Advocacy in Transactional Lawyering
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Appellate Advocacy
- Appellate Advocacy (Writing)*
- Criminal Procedure II (Writing)*
- Drafting & Analyzing Fundamental Estate Planning Documents (Writing)*
- Drafting & Negotiating Real Estate Documents
- East/West Negotiation (TUJ course)
- Estate Planning I (Writing)*
- International Contract Drafting (TUJ course)
- Interviewing, Negotiating & Counseling
- Introduction to Trial Advocacy
- Legal, Professional & Business Aspects of Law Practice
- Mediation Advocacy
- Orphans Court Pleading and Trial Practice (Writing)*
- Negotiating and Documenting Corporate Transactions
- Negotiating and Drafting Tax Provisions in Corporate
- Acquisitions Agreements (Writing)*
- Pennsylvania Divorce Law and Practice
- Role of In-House Counsel
- Transactional Practice I and II**
- Transactional Skills Workshop
- Trial Advocacy I
- Trial Advocacy II
- Trial Team – Evidence & Strategy*
- U.S. Business Planning for International Transactions
*Writing courses taken to fulfill the Experiential/Professional Skills requirement cannot also fulfill the Upper Level Writing Requirement.
**Special note regarding Transactional Practice I and II, which are part of a year-long program:
- Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2016 may count Transactional Practice I and II in fulfillment of the Professional Skills requirement and in fulfillment of the Serial Writing requirement.
- Students who matriculated in or after Fall 2016 may count Transactional Practice I and II in fulfillment of 4 credits of Experiential courses.
All students must successfully complete all courses in the mandated First Year Curriculum required for their program. Unless otherwise provided, successful completion means attaining a grade of “D” or better in a graded course, and “S-” or better in an ungraded course. Students who fail to successfully complete a course in the mandated year curriculum must retake the course at the next possible opportunity, as ascertained by the Associate Dean for Students.
All students must take Legal Research & Writing II (LRW II) in the Spring following Legal Research & Writing I (LRW I). However, a student who receives a grade of F or FA in LRW I may not take LRW II in sequence but, instead, must take both courses the following year. A student who receives a grade of F or FA in LRW II must retake both LRW I and II the following year if that student had received a grade below C in LRW I, or only LRW II the following year if that student had received a grade of C or better in LRW I.
Students have the option to retake a course they have failed. Whenever a student retakes a course, both grades will appear on the student’s transcript and will be factored into the student’s cumulative grade point average, but no academic credit will be awarded for the first time the student took the course.
A student who received a grade below “C” in Evidence, but who wishes to register for a clinical course for which a grade of “C” or better in Evidence is required, may demonstrate competence in Evidence by taking a second, regularly scheduled Evidence examination. The grade achieved on this second Evidence examination will not appear on the student’s transcript or be counted in the calculation of the student’s cumulative grade point average, but will be used solely to determine eligibility for clinical courses. Students should consult the Associate Dean for Students.
Attain a 2.00 cumulative grade point average.
Satisfy the semesters-in-residence requirement by taking six full-time or eight part-time semesters. (Students who transfer between programs must consult with the Associate Dean to make sure this requirement is met.) Part-Time students should see Semesters-In-Residence below with respect to Accelerated Graduation.
Complete all graduation requirements within six years. Those taking an authorized leave of absence for active military duty may exceed six years.
Students anticipating graduation at the conclusion of the current semester must complete a graduation application using Self-Service Banner. Each semester, the Office of Academic Records will notify graduating students of the deadline for submitting the application. A graduation fee will be assessed and billed to all students during the semester of their graduation and it must be paid prior to the graduation date.
The Law School’s graduation ceremony is held in May. January and prospective July graduates of the same year are welcome to participate.