The degree Juris Doctor (J.D.) is conferred on candidates who have
- completed a minimum of 90 credit hours;
- achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 (C);
- taken and completed all required courses;
- satisfied the writing requirement;
- satisfied the professional skills course requirement; and
- completed all requirements within five years of initial enrollment.
Each student must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours (please see “Advising Form” for individual minimum and maximum credits-by-semester requirements). Course work in areas other than law is subject to the limitation described under Course Work Outside the School of Law.
Grade-point Average Requirement
During the semester in which the student attains 90 credit hours, he or she must have achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 (C) in all law school work. Grades for courses taken in areas other than law are not computed in the School of Law cumulative grade-point average.
To qualify for the J.D. degree, a student must have completed satisfactorily the following:
- All first-year courses
- Constitutional Law
- Professional Responsibility
- At least one course certified as an Upper Level Writing course
- At least 3 credits in certified skills courses
- At least 68 credits of C or above (see C Rule for details)
It is recommended that upper-level required courses be taken in the second year of law school. Waiting to take these courses until the third year will cause class conflicts between these required courses and courses traditionally taken by third-year law students.
Each student must satisfy the upper-level writing requirement by the successful completion of at least one 2- or 3-hour certified Upper Level Writing.
Professional Skills Requirement
Each student must satisfy the professional skills requirement by successfully completing at least one of the certified skills courses. Enrollment materials each semester will contain a list of courses that satisfy the professional skills requirement. Although this list may vary, courses that currently satisfy the requirement include:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Workplace
- Business Planning
- Conflict Resolution
- Domestic Relations Drafting
- Interviewing and Counseling Clients
- Mediation in Practice
- Medical Malpractice Litigation Skills
- Solo Practice Planning
- Trial Advocacy
- Legal Clinic: Civil
- Legal Clinic: Federal Practice
- Legal Clinic: Immigration
- Legal Clinic: Transactional
Course Work Outside the School of Law
A student who is not enrolled in a joint degree program may take up to 6 hours of 4000-level undergraduate courses or 5000-level or above graduate courses outside the School of Law for credit toward a law degree, provided the associate dean approves the course work in advance as relevant to the student’s education as a lawyer. Courses must be taken on the UA Fayetteville campus and this opportunity will not be approved for on-line or distance education courses. A student seeking credit toward a law degree should see the assistant dean for information and forms. Grades for courses taken in areas other than law are not computed in the School of Law cumulative grade-point average.
A student in good standing may, with the advance approval of the associate dean, take law courses at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association. If the student successfully completes such courses, not more than 30 hours of the credit will be transferred and will be counted toward the 90 credit hours required for the J.D.
A student at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association may apply for admission with advanced standing. If admitted, such a student may transfer not more than 30 credit hours of law course work completed successfully at the other law school toward the 90 credit hours required for the J.D. degree. Grades for course work completed at the other law school are not computed in the University of Arkansas School of Law cumulative grade-point average.
In no event may a student count more than 30 credit hours earned at other law schools toward the 90 hours required for J.D. degree.
Student Employment Policy
In accordance with Law School accreditation standards set forth by the American Bar Association, “a law student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled in more than twelve class hours.” As a student, it is your responsibility to adhere to this requirement. In addition, it is strongly recommended that no first year student engage in any outside employment during the first year of law school.”
Student Attendance Policy
The faculty of the law school believe, and Standard 304(d) of the American Bar Association Standards for Approval of Law Schools recognizes, that “regular and punctual attendance” for every class is an essential part of the law school experience and is necessary to satisfy residence credit and credit hour requirements. Failure to regularly attend class is likely to have a negative impact on your ability to learn the required material, do well on examinations, pass the bar examination, and practice law. As a student, it is your responsibility to adhere to these standards.