Students enrolled in the part-time evening division of the Juris Doctor program receive the same quality of theoretical and practical legal education as the full-time student body. They enjoy a curriculum which includes hands-on training in the School of Law’s Legal Clinics and Externship Program. Part-time students benefit from UDC Law’s outstanding and experienced attorney-professors and scholars. Required courses and clinics are taught by full-time faculty members.

The First & Second Year: Foundational Knowledge and Skills

Student at courtFor part-time students, the first two years combine traditional classroom course work with practical training in basic lawyering skills. Students study the basic substantive areas of torts, contracts, criminal law, and civil and criminal procedure. These courses, combined with the required substantive law courses in the third and fourth year, provide the basic foundation of principles, doctrines, concepts, cases, and rules needed for a successful career in law.

In addition, during the first year, students are required to take Lawyering Process I and II, a series of intensive practice skills courses that focus on legal reasoning, including case analysis, case synthesis, and statutory analysis; legal research and problem solving; and the fundamentals of a basic tool in the practice of law: legal writing. In the Lawyering Process courses, students learn how to help link knowledge of the law with skills needed to apply that knowledge effectively. They also learn about the legal system and the role of lawyers within it.

The required “first-year” curriculum of the part-time division will take two years for each student to complete. For new students, the “first-year” courses totaling 30 credits are:

  • 1L Lab (P/F)
  • Civil Procedure I and II (6)
  • Contracts I and II (6)
  • Criminal Law (3)
  • Criminal Procedure (3)
  • Lawyering Process I and II (5)
  • Legal Research (1)
  • Professional Responsibility (2)
  • Torts (4)

In addition to the required “first-year” courses, students in the part-time division must take Property I and II (6) and Constitutional Law I (4) in their first two years of study.

For example, a student enrolling in Fall 2022 would have the following schedule for the first two years:

Year One

Fall 2022

  • 1L Lab (P/F)
  • Civil Procedure I (3)
  • Contracts I (3)
  • Lawyering Process I (3)

Spring 2023

  • Civil Procedure II (3)
  • Contracts II (3)
  • Lawyering Process II (2)
  • Legal Research (1)
  • Professional Responsibility (2)
Year Two

Fall 2023

  • Criminal Law (3)
  • Property I (3)
  • Torts (4)

Spring 2024

  • Constitutional Law I (4)
  • Criminal Procedure (3)
  • Property II (3)

The Third and Fourth Years: Clinical Practice and Specialization

In the third and fourth years of the part-time program, each student has multiple opportunities to combine classroom learning in more advanced and specialized areas with the actual practice of law under the supervision of faculty members. Students have the freedom to select various combinations of elective courses, to choose a clinical experience, and to elect to participate in an externship.

By following the model schedule (which appears in the Student Handbook) and taking 8 to 10 credits of summer courses, part-time students will be able to graduate in a total of 4 years.

Required courses in the third and fourth years, if not already taken, are:

  • Clinic (10)
  • Constitutional Law II (4)
  • Evidence (4)
  • Legal and Bar Success Foundations (3)
  • Moot Court (2)

Plus at least three “core” courses in subjects typically tested on most state bar examinations:

  • Administrative Law
  • Business Organizations I
  • Business Organizations II
  • Commercial Law (UCC)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Family Law
  • Federal Courts
  • Federal Tax
  • Remedies
  • Wills and Estates

The School of Law also draws upon legal expertise in the Washington area by offering elective courses such as:

  • Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Entertainment Law
  • Gender & Sexual Orientation Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Mass Communications Law
  • Negotiations
  • Race and the Law
  • Trial Advocacy

Upper-level part-time students will normally take 24-25 credits in the third year, including summer courses following the fourth semester. They will normally take 25-26 credits in the fourth year, including summer courses following the sixth semester.

For example, a student enrolling in Fall 2022 might have the following schedule for the third and fourth years:

Year Three

Summer 2024

  • Cores &/or Electives (4)

Fall 2024

  • Constitutional Law II (4)
  • Evidence (4)
  • Moot Court (2)

Spring 2025

  • Cores and Electives (10-11)
Year Four

Summer 2025

  • Cores &/or Electives (5)

Fall 2025

  • Clinic (10)

Spring 2026

  • Legal and Bar Success Foundations (3)
  • Cores and Electives (7-8)

Like full-time students, part-time students will be required to participate in clinic. As students advance through the Clinical Program, they acquire and refine skills in trial advocacy, client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, legal research and drafting. More broadly and more fundamentally, they develop their capacities as lawyers in the major competency areas of oral communication, written communication, legal analysis, problem solving, practice management, and professional responsibility.

The School of Law currently offers nine clinics:

Typically, two or three clinics are offered in the evening on a rotation. Because the clinics differ in the type of legal work typically performed, e.g. some focus on legal research and drafting while others require regular court or agency appearances, some clinics will be better able than others to accommodate the schedules of part-time students who work full-time during the day.

Descriptions of all the courses mentioned above are available in the Course Catalog.