Juris Doctor Degree Requirements

Graduation Requirements

In order to be eligible for graduation, all candidates for the degree of Juris Doctor must meet the following requirements:

  1. completion of a course of study for the J.D. degree no earlier than 24 months and, except in extraordinary circumstances, no later than 84 months after commencing law study at Baylor or a law school from which Baylor has accepted transfer credit [ABA Standard 311(b)];
  2. completion of 126 quarter hours of credit;
  3. an overall cumulative grade point average of two grade points for each quarter hour of credit received for all courses;
  4. completion of 21 seminar hours of professional development programming (information below);
  5. a student may not use more than 12 hours of pass/fail credit to satisfy the 126 hours required to graduate;
  6. a student must make reasonable progress toward satisfying the requirements for graduation, but may not, under any circumstances, take more than 17 hours of credit in any given quarter;
  7. satisfactory completion of all courses designated as core required courses; and
  8. at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average in the core required courses.

Core Required Courses

LAW 9521Business Organizations 15
LAW 9405Civil Procedure4
LAW 9301Constitutional Law: Individual Liberties3
LAW 9401Constitutional Law: Structure, Power & Legislation4
LAW 9407Contracts 14
LAW 9408Contracts 24
LAW 9303Criminal Law3
LAW 9356Criminal Procedure3
LAW 9101Legal Analysis, Research and Communication 1: Introduction to Legal Writing, Part 12
LAW 9103Legal Analysis, Research & Communication 2: Introduction to Legal Writing, Part 21
LAW 9203Legal Analysis, Research & Writing 3: Persuasive Communications2
LAW 9104Legal Analysis, Research & Communication 4: Transactional Drafting1
LAW 9105Legal Analysis, Research & Communication 5: Litigation Drafting1
LAW 9411Property 14
LAW 9312Property 23
LAW 9326Remedies3
LAW 9207Taxation & Accounting Principles for Lawyers2
LAW 9413Torts 14
LAW 9314Torts 23
LAW 9504Trusts and Estates5
LAW 9527Practice Court 1: Pretrial Practice & Procedure5
LAW 9520Practice Court 2: Trial Evidence, Procedure & Practice5
LAW 9528Practice Court 3: Trial & Post-Trial Practice, Procedure & Evidence5
LAW 9229Professional Responsiblity2
Elective hours may vary if a student is required to complete the academic enhancement requirement (see below) or elects to pursue a professional track or special distinction.
Total Hours126

Additional Required Courses (academic enhancement)

All students are encouraged to take the elective courses listed below to prepare for the bar exam and the practice of law.  Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.4 or lower after all first year courses are completed and graded are required to take Law 9135, Extended Bar Preparation Skills plus a total of 14 hours of the other courses listed below. These courses are not included when calculating the cumulative grade point average in the core required courses for purposes of determining eligibility for graduation.

LAW 9135Extended Bar Preparation Skills (Required)1
LAW 9235Administration of Estates2
LAW 9350Advanced Criminal Procedure3
LAW 9342Commercial Law: Secured Transactions3
LAW 9383Conflict of Laws3
LAW 9360Constitutional Law: Freedom of Speech3
LAW 9370Family Law3
LAW 9308Sales Transactions: Domestic & International Law3

To remain in good standing, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher and the student must graduate within seven years after matriculation. A student withdrawn for more than one year may not return without approval of the Faculty Academic Standards Committee. In no event will a student withdrawn for more than two years be allowed to continue legal studies. Such a student must seek readmission as an entering student.

Professional Development Requirement

Employers want graduates who are knowledgeable about the professional and business practicalities of practicing law. While in Law School, you will be required to attend 21 seminar hours of professional development programming on such topics as client relations, law firm economics and financial management, legal billing and time management, legal marketing and networking, professional organizations and leadership opportunities, navigation through common ethical issues, job search strategies, and professional writing. Our goal is to produce professionals who are truly "practice ready" and prepared to succeed.

Students who matriculated Fall 2022 and after earn 6 hours of credit during the first quarter of study through the mandatory Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession course. Students are not expected to attend any professional development sessions during the third quarter in the midst of moot court exercises, or during Practice Court quarters in the third year. Although students are welcome to attend as many seminar and workshops as they choose, no more than 5 hours of credit may be earned in one quarter, so it is important not to delay attendance. Although most offerings will not be mandatory, students must attend those which are mandatory. There is also a category of Introductory-level offerings (essentially "Day-in-the-Life" seminars) for which a maximum of 3 seminar hours may be credited, although students are free to attend as many of these offerings as desired.

Most seminars will be scheduled either during the afternoons, with occasional evening seminars. More popular seminars will be offered on a repeat basis more than once per year, in order to provide multiple opportunities for attendance. In order to track the requirement, the student will swipe their Baylor ID card through a card reader at the end of each seminar. Students will also be asked to turn in an evaluation form at that time to help the Law School evaluate the quality of each seminar speaker.

Additional information about the program, including the programming schedule, is available on the Professional Development webpage.

Professional Tracks & Special Distinctions

Baylor Law School offers fifteen Professional Tracks of Study. These tracks will provide students with the opportunity to focus their studies based on interest and career goals.

Students are not required to complete a professional track or special distinction, but are encouraged to do so. 

Baylor Law School offers seven Special Distinctions.  Pursuing and completing a special distinction will provide the student with the opportunity to focus their studies based on interest and career goals. 

Special Distinctions will be noted on the transcript after completion and will be recognized at commencement.