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JD Enrollment Process

URL: https://libguides.law.ucla.edu/jdenrollmentprocess

First Year Courses

The first year class is divided into eight sections of equal size. First year section assignments and schedules will be made in early August and the law school Records Office processes enrollment for the 1L class. Students who have scheduling constraints such as child care responsibilities, should notify the Dean of Students in July so they may be assigned to the section that best accommodates their individual needs. Please note that we cannot make changes to section assignments.

Advanced Courses

With the exception of application and experiential courses, the enrollment process for advanced students is conducted in two phases: first pass and second pass.
The enrollment times have been divided into four groups, A through D, Group A being the earliest enrollment time period and Group D being the latest enrollment time period. Students are randomly assigned to each one of the four groups during the four semesters which comprise their second and third years of law school.

The number of units for which a student may enroll on each pass is limited. Students may enroll in a maximum of 8 units during the first pass and a total maximum of 16 units during the second pass (LLM students are capped at 14 units during the second pass). Joint degree students do not have a 16-unit limit so that they may enroll into courses offered by both departments. Access MyUCLA during your enrollment appointment times (available in your enrollment email or on MyUCLA). Note that you share your Appointment Beginning Time with about 200 other law students. You may access MyUCLA as often as you like starting at your appointment time all the way through to the end of the Pass. Students who wish to enroll in an application course or experiential course, should follow the links on the Course Enrollment page.

 

A. January Term

The J-Term was created to offer a wide choice of short, specialized courses that offer the opportunity to delve deeply into skills training or explore doctrinal subject matter at a depth that one cannot do in the regular semester format.  Students register for J-Term and the Spring Semester at the same time, thus your “pass” for Spring Semester will also count as your “pass” for J-Term.   For all functional purposes, the J-Term is treated as part of the Spring Semester; it is a mini-term within the Spring Semester.

The courses you take in the January Term “count” against your registration minimum for the Spring Semester.  Thus, if you decided to register for a two-credit J-Term course, you could take 10 credits in the remainder of Spring Semester and meet the minimum full-time credit load of 12 units.  At the other end of the rules regarding permissible course loads, if you take a two-credit J-Term course, you can still take up to 16 credits in the rest of Spring Semester (17 credits if you obtain the permission of the Dean of Students).  The bottom line is that whatever you take for J-Term will count against your minimum credit loads, and not the maxmium. 

The J-Term is optional; you do not have to take a course or a minimum number of credits during the J-Term.

B. Wait List Information

WAIT LISTS WILL BE ELIMINATED AUTOMATICALLY BY THE SYSTEM AT 5:00 P.M. ON THE DATE LISTED IN YOUR ENROLLMENT EMAIL.

If you are placed on a wait list, you will be moved automatically into the class if students ahead of you drop out of the course or if the enrollment capacity is increased by the school. MyUCLA will not let you know that you have moved off the wait list, so it is your responsibility to check your wait list status, which can be done via MyUCLA. You must drop yourself from any wait list if you no longer wish to be enrolled in the class. You will receive a grade of “F” for failure to drop yourself from courses you are not attending.

C. Late Schedule Changes

Generally, students may not add a class after the fifth day of instruction. Under present practice, the Dean of Students may permit a student to add a course through the fourth week of classes, provided the student presents a reasonable explanation for not having met the deadline and the instructor of the course gives his/her permission. After the fourth week, students must petition the Standards Committee for a late schedule change; the petition will only be granted if the student can demonstrate “unusual circumstances.”

Unless an earlier date is specified by the professor, a non-clinical/experiential course may be dropped through the end of instruction, the day before a take-home final is distributed (if prior to the last day of instruction), or before submission of any required interim course work that comprises a portion of the final term grade. However, you may never drop below the 12 units required to obtain residency status. General University deadlines apply to dropping non-law courses. Late schedule changes must be processed at the Records Office.

D. Time Conflicts

he American Bar Association requires 700 minutes of instruction for each unit of coursework. As a result, students may only enroll in courses with overlapping class times if the 700 minutes per unit rule is satisfied for each of the classes.  As a practical matter, even very small overlaps end up being impermissible. If a student can demonstrate compliance with the ABA requirement, the overlap will be permitted.

E. Course Load Requirements and Limits

Every second and third year J.D. student is required to undertake a minimum of twelve (12) units per semester and may not, without the prior approval of the Dean of Students, take more than sixteen (16) units per semester. To take 17 units in a semester, you must submit to the Records Office a “Petition to Enroll in 17 Units” explaining the reasons for your request to take the excess unit. If approved by the Dean of Students, the Records Office will enroll you into the course that will bring your enrollment to 17 units.
 
LLM students are required to undertake a minimum of eight (8) units per semester, and may not, without the prior approval of the Director of Graduate studies, take more than fourteen (14) units per semester. ​
 
Students in the SJD program must be in residence for two semesters and take a minimum of ten (10) units of graded coursework each semester.

F. Course Prerequisites and Co-Requisites

Courses that have prerequisites or co-requisites will list the required class on the schedule and on the course’s Class Detail screen on MyUCLA. In the case of a prerequisite, MyUCLA checks to make sure you’ve taken the required class before it allows you to enroll. If you have completed a prerequisite class at another law school, please contact the Records Office in advance of the enrollment pass. The Records Office will verify that you have satisfied the prerequisite and then enroll you in the class provided there is still space in the course at the time of your enrollment appointment.

G. Limited Third-Year Priority

Third year students have priority for enrollment into selected courses as indicated in the Schedule of Classes. During the first enrollment pass, only third year students may enroll in these courses. If there are any remaining spaces after the first enrollment pass, second year students then may enroll in these courses.

H. Law 340, 341 and 345 - Independent Study Courses

An upper division student may enroll in and receive credit for up to a total of seven (7) Law 340/341 independent research units, or for a total of two (2) Law 345 independent project units and five (5) Law 340/341 units. In Law 340 (for a semester) or Law 341 (for a full academic year), students undertake legal research under the supervision of a faculty member resulting in an original scholarly paper analyzing a particular area of law. In Law 345, students undertake original research, usually involving empirical or field study, and produce a paper analyzing their findings. Students seeking to undertake a Law 340/341 or 345 course must receive the prior written approval of the sponsoring faculty member, including approval of the proposed topic. Consultation and supervision between the student and the sponsoring faculty member shall continue throughout the term(s) of enrollment. Work may begin during the summer, if the professor agrees to this in advance, so long as a substantial portion of the work is undertaken during the term(s) in which credit is awarded. All 340/341 units shall be graded for a letter grade, not on a P/U/NC basis. The supervising faculty member shall determine whether Law 345 shall be graded for a letter grade or on a P/U/NC basis.

Unless otherwise stated by the professor, individual research papers and projects are due on the last day of the examination period. Students enroll in Law 340, 341 or Law 345 courses by filing a signed 340, 341/345 petition and a detailed description of the research project with the Records Office. Law 340, 341, 345 petitions are due by the end of the first week of classes. The Records Office will enroll you in your Law 340, 341 or Law 345; it cannot be done through MyUCLA.

I. Outside Course Credit

Candidates for the Juris Doctor degree (excluding joint degree students) are permitted to take, during regular law school session only, two courses in UCLA departments other than the Law School for a maximum of six (6) semester units of Law School credit. (A four unit quarter course converts to 3 semester units). A course so taken must be supplementary to a particular Law School course undertaken and prior approval of the Assistant Dean for Students must be obtained. Such outside courses must be graded on an A, B, C, D, or F basis. A grade of B– or better in the outside course and satisfactory completion of the law course are required in order to receive units and proportional residency credit toward the Juris Doctor degree. The outside course with the earned letter grade will appear on the transcript. In addition, when the course is applied for Law School credit, the grade of B– or better is recorded on the academic record as a “Pass” and no grade points are calculated into the GPA.

In those cases where the student receives an outside course grade below the grade of B-, and assuming that the related Law School course has been or will be satisfactorily completed, the following rules shall apply in determining the nature and amount, if any, of unit and residency credit that will be awarded to the outside course as well as the effect the grade will have for retention and other purposes:

In all outside courses, a grade of D or F will be treated by the Law School as the grade of F.
A grade of C in an upper division undergraduate course will be treated by the Law School as the grade of D.
A grade of C in a graduate course or in a lower division undergraduate course will be treated by the Law School as the grade of F for unit credit, retention, and any cumulative grading purposes (e.g., Coif), but will be treated as a credit grade for residency purposes.

For purposes of residence credit, units earned outside the Law School during the Fall quarter apply to the Law School residency requirement for the Fall semester in the same calendar year. Units earned outside the Law School for either the Winter or Spring quarters apply to the Law School residency requirement for the Spring semester in the same calendar year.
 

J. Pass/Unsatisfactory/ No Credit Grading Option

Students may elect to take no more than one course during their second and third years on a P/U/NC basis. Courses that are offered only on a P/U/NC basis (i.e., some clinical courses) do not count toward this option. The P/U/NC option is elected after the grade for the course has been assigned. For courses taken in the Fall semester, students shall have until the last Friday in January of the Spring semester immediately following to notify the law school Records Office of their decision to use the P/U/NC option.  Notification shall be accomplished by filling out the Retroactive Pass/No Pass Form available at the law school Records Office or downloaded from the law school website; it cannot be done verbally or through MyUCLA. A retroactive P/U/NC may never be exercised for Law 340 (Independent Research) units, but it may be exercised for Law 345 (Independent Project) units. If a professor prospectively requires that Law 345 credit be taken on a P/U/NC basis, it shall not count as exercise of the student’s one-time retroactive P/U/NC option. If a grade, for some reason, is not available as of the deadline for election of the option, affected students should consult the Dean of Students who may, in her discretion, extend the deadline until all grades for such students have been turned in. Students may not obtain a transcript for the semester until they have made a decision concerning their P/U/NC option. The decision, once made, is irrevocable.

K. Joint Degree Student Information

Students enrolled in Law School joint degree programs are considered to be law students in all matters relating to registration (payment of fees) and enrollment. Registration material and pertinent information about enrollment should therefore be obtained from the Law School Records Office. Law School registration dates govern, even when students intend to enroll solely in the other department.

Meeting the unit, course, and residence requirements for the various joint degree programs can be tricky. The Dean of Students is available for academic counseling/multi-year schedule planning and generally meets with all joint-degree students each term to help keep them on track.