​JD Program

USD School of Law shapes its JD curriculum to meet the diverse career goals and intellectual interests of its students within the traditional educational preparation for the practice of law.

Students who wish to emphasize or specialize in a particular area of law can choose electives from a broad range of courses. The law school also offers clinical and internship programs to give law students who have completed their first year an opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining practical experience.

Three years of full-time study or four years of evening study are generally required to complete the JD degree. Upon recommendation of the dean and the faculty, the JD degree is conferred upon law students who have successfully completed all academic, graduation and residency requirements.

Full-Time Program

This program is designed for students who are prepared to devote their entire time to the study of law. The School of Law strongly discourages first-year law students from engaging in any employment during the first year of law school. Full-time upper-division law students are strongly discouraged from engaging in employment for more than 20 hours per week. This program generally requires three full academic years in residence. In general, classes are scheduled Monday through Friday.

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Part-Time Program

This program is designed primarily for law students who are employed and cannot attend day classes. Four years of evening study are generally required to complete the degree. In general, classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday evenings beginning at 5:30 p.m. Additional classes may be scheduled as needed. After completing the first year of the part-time program, students may take day classes or request to transfer to full-time status.

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Summer Program

A seven-week summer program for continuing students is offered on-campus. The summer session is open to students of USD and other law schools. Completing summer sessions gives students the option of a lighter class load during a subsequent semester.

Implementation Plan for ABA Revised Standards 303(b) and 303(c)

USD School of Law prepared an Implementation Plan for ABA Revised Standards 303(b) and 303(c). This plan is the product of discussions on the revised ABA standards and broad efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion within the University of San Diego School of Law. The School of Law’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force engaged in extensive stakeholder consultation with faculty, administrators, students, and alumni, and developed recommendations that incorporated revised standards 303(b) and (c). Additional consultation with faculty and administrators identified what the School of Law is already doing to support professional identity formation and to incorporate instruction on racism, bias, and cross-cultural competency into the program of legal education, as well as how to deepen offerings in these areas.