The Juris Doctor (JD) degree is your ultimate goal as a law student. In your pursuit of a JD, you can choose from one of our two concentrations and earn a second graduate degree through one of our dual-degree programs.
In 2016, the college revised its first-year (1L) curriculum, which now focuses on practical training, legal writing, and career planning. Experience-focused opportunities are available through courses in civil procedure and torts and a lab course in transactional lawyering. Plus, the college’s introductory criminal law and legal process courses connect and reinforce theoretical concepts in a more active, writing-focused experience. In addition, a course in lawyering and professionalism provides students with basic training in essential attorney skills while introducing the values of the legal profession. The new curriculum also gives all students hands-on experience with both litigation and transactional lawyering in the first year, providing them with an early opportunity to consider either of those fields as a career path.
If you’re interested in earning your JD in less than three years, you have a few options to consider at UT Law. These options will allow you to graduate by the fall of your third year—one semester earlier than usual. Two sample accelerated curricula are below.
The College of Law offers several dual-degree programs, which enable students to obtain two advanced degrees in less time than it would normally take to earn both degrees separately. Whether you’re seeking an advanced dual-degree in business (JD-MBA), philosophy (JD-MA), public health (JD-MPH), or public policy and administration (JD-MPPA), our partnerships with the Haslam College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences are designed to accommodate your interests, broaden your perspectives, give you highly-marketable skills and experience, and save you time and money.
This program allows flexibility for students who cannot commit to full-time study. While the traditional course load for first-year law students is between 14 and 16 hours of class credit per semester over three years, the flexible schedule option allows students to take a reduced load of 10 credit hours their first semester, and 11 hours during their second.
Students admitted to the flexible schedule JD will take no more than 11 credit hours per semester and may take up to five years to finish their JD studies.
Flexible schedule JD students may also enroll in the college’s dual degree programs including the JD-MBA in business, the JD-MA in philosophy, the JD-MPH in public health, or the JD-MPPA in public policy and administration.
UT 3+3 is an accelerated dual-degree program offered by the College of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences, which saves students an entire year of tuition and related costs, without sacrificing quality of education. In the program, students complete three years of approved undergraduate coursework in the College of Arts and Sciences. Following their third year, participating students admitted to the College of Law become full-time, first-year law students. The first year of law study will count toward a student’s law degree and also toward the completion of his or her bachelor’s degree. Two additional years of law study follow, after which a student earns a juris doctor degree.
In addition to earning a Juris Doctor (JD), students have the opportunity to complete two graduate certificates – the Graduate Certificate in Contractual and Legal Affairs in Engineering and Construction or the Health Policy Graduate Certificate – offered in conjunction with the College of Engineering and the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences.
The Master of Laws (LLM) in United States business law is an advanced law degree for practicing lawyers with a Juris Doctor (JD) or its foreign equivalent (for example, a Bachelor of Law degree). UT Law’s LLM program brings non-US lawyers together for a one-year program that will enhance their ability to practice in a global marketplace by providing specialized knowledge in United States business law.