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The Juris Doctor (JD) degree is the first professional law degree in the United States.  With a few exceptions, candidates for the JD already hold a baccalaureate degree at the point at which they begin JD studies.   


The Juris Doctor degree program at Tulane is a three-year program offered only on a full-time basis. Students normally register for 15 credit hours per semester. A student must take at least 10 credit hours to qualify as a full-time student, and may take as many as 17.

 Because students need 88 hours to graduate, of which 29 are normally taken in the first year (31 prior to fall 2007), they must average almost 15 hours over each of the remaining four semesters to graduate in the required six full-time, non-summer, in-residence semesters.  Some students go to summer school immediately after their first year because the extra hours enable them to carry a lighter load in later years, when job hunting and extracurricular activities may consume considerable time and energy.  Students may take up to 12 credits in summer-school programs, of which a maximum of six can be earned in a non-Tulane program.   

J.D. Degree Requirements 

To receive the Juris Doctor degree, students must:

  • spend six full-time semesters in academic residence
  • complete 88 semester hours of law school with at least a 2.0 or C average
  • complete and pass all of the required, first-year courses
  • complete and pass the 3-credit Legal Profession course
  • successfully complete the upper-class writing requirement and the professional skills requirement
  • fulfill the 50-hour pro bono requirement
  • satisfy all financial obligations to the Law School and the University
  • be recommended for the degree by the faculty

The Tulane Law School Student Handbook contains more detailed information about the academic regulations of the School.

Students who transfer to Tulane with advanced standing from another law school receive a maximum of 29 hours of transfer credit and must, therefore, complete a minimum of 58 of the 88 hours required for the degree in Tulane Law School courses.  Students admitted with advanced standing must be in residence as full-time students at Tulane for at least four fall and/spring semesters.

Students who are enrolled in joint degree programs with another division of Tulane University must be primarily enrolled at the Law School for a minimum of five full-time semesters and complete a minimum of 79 credit hours in law courses.

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Academic Programs Contact:
Office of Academic Services
Weinmann Hall, Suite 204
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
tel 504.865.5935
fax 504.862.8373

Admission Contact:
Office of Admission
Weinmann Hall, Suite 203
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
tel 504.865.5930
fax 504.865.6710

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