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, property, and civil 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 29 credits are:

  • 1L Lab (P/F)
  • Civil Procedure I and II (6)
  • Contracts I and II (6)
  • Criminal Law (3)
  • Lawyering Process I and II (6)
  • Property (4)
  • Torts (4)

In addition to the required “first-year” courses, students in the part-time division must take Criminal Procedure (3), Business Organizations (3), and Constitutional Law I (2) in their first two years of study.

For example, a student enrolling in Fall 2024 would have the following schedule for the first two years:

Year One

Fall 2024

  • 1L Lab (P/F)
  • Contracts I (3)
  • Lawyering Process I (3)
  • Torts (4)

Spring 2025

  • Contracts II (3)
  • Criminal Law (3)
  • Lawyering Process II (3)
Year Two

Fall 2025

  • Civil Procedure I (2)
  • Criminal Procedure (3)
  • Property (4)
  • Elective (2)

Spring 2026

  • Business Organizations (3)
  • Civil Procedure II (4)
  • Constitutional Law I (2)
  • Elective (2)

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 3 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)
  • Professional Responsibility (2)

The School of Law also draws upon the legal expertise of its full-time faculty members and other experienced attorneys in the Washington area to offer electives such as:

  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Entertainment Law
  • Family Law
  • Federal Courts
  • Gender & Sexual Orientation Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Mass Communications Law
  • Negotiations
  • Race and the Law
  • Remedies
  • Taxation I
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Uniform Commercial Code I
  • Wills and Estates

Upper-level part-time students will normally take 21-24 credits in the third and fourth years, including summer courses following the second and/or third year.

For example, a student enrolling in Fall 2024 might have the following schedule for the third and fourth years:

Year Three

Summer 2026

  • Elective (3)

Fall 2026

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

Spring 2027

  • Professional Responsibility (2)
  • Electives (9)
Year Four

Summer 2027

  • Elective (2)

Fall 2027

  • Clinic (10)

Spring 2028

  • Legal and Bar Success Foundations (3)
  • Electives (6)

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.