Juris Doctor

Full-time students

In the full-time day program, Loyola offers two curricula leading to the juris doctor degree:

  • Civil law for Louisiana students
  • Common law for those students who will practice in other states

The requirement for the degree of juris doctor is 90 credit hours of work earned in the College of Law over a period of at least three academic years.

The curriculum for full-time students covers a period of six semesters of resident study. Full-time students will not be permitted to schedule more than 16 hours of law work in any semester without special permission from the associate dean of academic affairs of the College of Law. ABA Accreditation Standard 304(e) prohibits students from enrolling in more than 20 percent of the credits needed for graduation in one semester. Full-time first-year students must schedule 16 hours in the first semester and 15 hours in the second semester. The normal time frame for completion of the juris doctor degree is three academic years. Students are forewarned that this is a minimum time frame and the program may not be completed by acceleration in two and one half years.

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Part-time students

The part-time evening program offers one curricula track: civil law.
The part-time day program offers a common law or a civil law track.

The curriculum for part-time students usually covers a period of four academic years.

Part-time students may register for more than 12 hours by signing the ABA pledge or with the permission of the Petitions Committee. All first-year part-time students are required to schedule 12 hours in the first semester and 11 in the second semester. Lawyering III must be completed and scheduled during the second year. Anyone who begins in the part-time program must stay with that program in the first year.


  • Employment: All students should be aware of the ABA Accreditation Standard 304(f) regarding employment limits on students enrolled in more than 12 credit hours which provides, “A student may not engage in employment for more than 20 hours per week in any semester in which the student is enrolled in more than 12 class hours.”
  • Attendance: In addition, ABA Accreditation Standard 304(d) requires “regular and punctual class attendance.”
  • Five-Year Rule: Students must complete their requirements in five calendar years. For example, if you begin your program in the fall of 2009, you must complete your program before the start of the fall of 2014.
  • Enrollment in Other Courses Within the University: Students registered in the College of Law will not be permitted to register for courses in any other college of the university without the special permission from the associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Law. Permission will be granted only to upper class students in special instances. Except for those students enrolled in the joint degree programs, no one will be permitted to take more than three hours of work in another school while enrolled in the College of Law; unless visiting with permission of the associate dean of academic affairs.
  • Enrollment at Other Law Schools: The associate dean of academic affairs may grant permission to take courses elsewhere when compelling reasons are demonstrated. Rarely will permission be granted to take a required course at another law school.
  • Summer School: A limited number of courses are offered each summer in an eight-week session.
  • Writing Requirement: As a requirement of graduation, each student must register for and submit a piece of legal writing in which the student exhibits the ability to perform legal analysis.
  • Perspective Course: Students are required to take at least one class that gives a philosophical or historical perspective on law.
  • Law and Poverty: Students may satisfy the Law and Poverty requirement by fulfilling any one of the following options: take the Law and Poverty course (LAW L781); take the Law and Poverty Seminar (LAW L782); take Street Law (LAW L833); Environmental Justice Seminar (LAW L834); take Human Rights Advocacy Project (LAW L924); represent low income people in the Clinical Seminar (LAW L897); or perform 50 hours or volunteer pro bono legal services to the poor in one academic year in a setting approved in advance by the coordinator of the pro bono program.
  • Skills Curriculum: Each student is required to earn eight skills credits to be certified for graduation by the skills curriculum office.

Areas of Specialization

Loyola College of Law has two major areas of specialization: International Law and Public Interest Law

International Law

The international program is supported by five features:

Public Interest Law

Loyola's commitment to public interest activities and scholarship is best exemplified by the Gillis W. Long Poverty Law Center, established in 1985. The Center is a major community service component of the Loyola College of Law that enables Loyola University to expand its legal education and public service activities both within and beyond the boundaries of the greater metropolitan New Orleans area. The Center supports the primary public interest activities which are the Loyola Law Clinic, Summer Internship programs with the Louisiana Legal Services Corporations, a distinguished speaker series which brings in nationally recognized professionals working within the field of public interest and poverty law, the loan forgiveness program for Loyola graduates who provide civil legal services to the poor, and the Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, a scholarly student publication dedicated to poverty law issues. In addition students may obtain a certificate in Social Justice.

Combined Degree Programs

Applicants for the combined degree programs must apply separately to the College of Law and the partnering school, either Loyola University's College of Business or the University of New Orleans College of Urban and Public Affairs.

To obtain the combined degrees, each program is reduced by nine semester hours as each accepts, as part of its requirements, nine semester hours from the other program. If you have questions, please contact the College of Law's Admissions Office at (504) 861-5575.

Certificate Programs

The College of Law offers certificates in several niche areas of study. Certificates are awarded to students who have completed all requirements for graduation with additional course work in the following areas.

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