Skip to Main Content

Academic Standards and Related Procedures - J.D.


A. First Year Courses

Courses offered in the first year curriculum including:

  • Law 108A/B – Legal Research and Writing (5 units)
  • Law 100 - Contracts (4 units)
  • Law 120 - Criminal Law (4 units)
  • Law 130 - Property (4 units)
  • Law 140 - Torts (4 units)
  • Law 145 - Civil Procedure (4 units)
  • Law 148 - Constitutional Law (4 units)
  • Law 101 - Introduction to Legal Analysis (1 unit)
  • Amended: Law 155 – Introduction to the Lawyer/Client Relationship (Class of 2019, 2020, 2021 only)
  • Law 165 - Modes of Legal Inquiry (1 unit).

Starting with the Class of 2025:

  • Law 108A/B - Legal Research and Writing (5 units)
  • Law 100 - Contracts (4 units)
  • Law 140 - Torts (4 units)
  • Law 145 - Civil Procedure (4 units)
  • Law 148 - Constitutional Law (4 units)
  • Law 101 - Introduction to Legal Analysis (1 unit)

During the Spring Semester, two electives, totaling no fewer than 5 and no more than 8 units of credit. The courses below will be offered among the first-year spring electives (and must be successfully completed before graduating to earn the J.D.):

  • Law 309 - Criminal Law (4 units)
  • Law 311 - Property (4 units)

B. Total Units and Final Cumulative GPA

A total of 87 semester units of coursework, at least 64 of which must, under American Bar Association requirements, be earned in regularly scheduled law class sessions (this excludes Law 340, 341, 345, 346, courses outside the law school, and externships) and at least a cumulative 2.3 grade-point average for all law school coursework.

C. Full-Time/Residency Status

Must maintain minimum course load requirement of twelve (12) units each term for at least six semesters;

D. Professional Responsibility

A course of instruction of at least two units of credit in professional responsibility that includes substantial instruction in “the history, goals, structures, values, and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members,” as set forth in ABA Standard 303(a)(1).  This requirement may be fulfilled by: (1) any course numbered Law 312; or (2) any course certified by the instructor and approved by the Curriculum Committee as complying with ABA Standard 303(a)(1);

E. Upper Division/Substantial Analytic Writing

During the second or third year of law school, a faculty-supervised Substantial Analytic Writing (SAW) project.  This experience of sustained and intensive work on a specific project is a core element of a student’s legal education.  The content and format of the writing project may vary within a wide range.  For example, a student may choose to examine a specific proposal for law reform, drawing on empirical research or materials from a field other than law.  Alternatively, a student may choose to draw on his/her experiential course experience to analyze a specific legal problem.  Whatever the format, one of the central objectives of the project should assist students in developing superior writing skills.  Students may satisfy the SAW requirement by completing a faculty-supervised writing project undertaken for a minimum of two units that is certified by the supervising faculty member as a rigorous writing experience.  The writing project must be graded and may not be completed on a pass/fail basis.  In general, the SAW requirement may be satisfied by a Law 340 or Law 341 independent research paper, a seminar paper, or a paper for other advanced courses.  With the approval of the supervising faculty member, other writing exercises may qualify as the necessary rigorous writing experience;

F. Experiential Courses

(Required for students entering law school in the fall of 2016 and thereafter) - One or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six units.  An “experiential course” is:  a clinic, simulation course or other course that may include a combination of live client and simulation instruction, or an externship or field placement.  A clinic is a course in which students work on actual client matters or serve as a third party neutral and are supervised by a faculty member. A simulation course uses simulated exercises that provide students with the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client, or engaging in other lawyering tasks. An externship is an academic year field placement course in which you receive credit for serving as a law clerk under the direct and close supervision of a judge, licensed attorney, or other pre-approved supervisor in a government agency, public interest/non-profit organization or, in some cases, with in-house legal counsel of a corporation. For more information on specific qualifying courses, see the Clinical & Experiential Programs webpage.

G. Separate and Distinct Graduation Requirements

Students may not use a course to satisfy more than one graduation requirement.  For example, a course that includes a writing experience used to satisfy the writing requirement of Academic Standard I.E. cannot be counted as one of the experiential courses required in Academic Standard I.F.

H. Attendance and Outside Employment

Regular and punctual class attendance is required.  (See rule III(D).)  Consistent with that policy, a student may not be employed more than twenty hours a week during the semester.

I. Five-Year Rule

The maximum amount of elapsed time permitted between enrollment in law school and graduation shall be five years.

J. Remote Attendance for In-Person Courses

For in-person courses:

  1. A student’s remote attendance via livestream or access to a video recording of a class meeting or meetings shall be permitted

    1. if approved by the UCLA Center for Accessible Accommodation (CAE); or

    1. for such time as the student may need to isolate off campus for a “COVID- related reason,” defined as having

      1. Tested positive for COVID-19;

      1. Experienced the onset of COVID-19 symptoms; or

      1. Experienced a close exposure to someone who was COVID-19 positive at the time of the exposure.

  1. In all other cases, the law school’s expectation is that students will attend class in person, even when it is not convenient for them to do so. If the course instructor chooses, the instructor has discretion to grant exceptions and provide access to live streams or class recordings to students for reasons such as an illness other than COVID-19, personal obligations, or a family emergency. But the student’s requests to attend class remotely via livestream or access to video recordings should not cumulatively exceed 16% of a course’s class meetings.

  1. Any student’s request to attend more than 16% cumulatively of the course’s class meetings remotely via livestream or access to video recordings requires approval from the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs after consultation with the instructor. The Assistant Dean may grant this approval only in exceptional circumstances. In any event, the student may not be approved to attend more than 33% of the course’s total class meetings remotely via livestream or access to video recordings.