Graduation Requirements: J.D. Degree

Students are required to earn 88 credits to graduate with the J.D. These include:

1. At least one Ethics/Professional Responsibility course, numbered LAW 400-499

2. Skills Requirement

 See Skills Requirement for Students in Entering Classes BEFORE 2015-2016

Students in Entering Classes BEFORE 2015-2016 are required to complete 1 Skills Requirement (minimum of 2 credits). Please consult the course description booklet for the most up to date information on courses designated as skills courses.

 See Skills Requirement for Students in Entering Class IN 2015-2016 and THEREAFTER

Students in Entering Classes IN 2015-2016 and THEREAFTER are required to complete 6 Skills Requirements. Please consult the course description booklet for the most up to date information on courses designated as skills courses.

3. At least two substantial writing courses.

Substantial writing courses are courses that provide a rigorous writing experience in a legal context in conformity with ABA Standard 303.  “Factors to be considered in evaluating the rigor of a writing experience include the number and nature of writing projects assigned to students, the form and extent of individualized assessment of a student’s written products, and the number of drafts that a student must produce for any writing experience.” (ABA Interpretation 303-2).

There are a number of ways to meet the substantial writing course requirement, including through enrolling in designated courses and through faculty supervised independent writing credit. For a list of designated courses for each semester please check course descriptions in CourseLink

Students wishing to enroll in law review writing or independent research for writing credit must submit a completed application form to the Registrar’s Office in the semester in which they plan to commence the independent writing project. Please note that special add/drop deadlines apply for independent writing.  Three-credit independent writing projects must be approved by the Vice Dean.  Upon completion of the independent writing project, the faculty member must submit the final grade to the registrar along with a signed copy of the Supervised Writing Completion form and a copy of the student paper.  Access all forms here

One-credit courses do not satisfy the writing requirement. Courses about research and writing techniques do not satisfy the writing requirement.

There are two important limitations that apply:

No course may satisfy more than one of the three distribution requirements;
Only nine externship credits may be counted towards the minimum 88 credits required for graduation.

Select courses and clinics may satisfy either the skills or the writing requirement and the student will need to select which requirement is satisfied at the beginning of the semester. Click here for more details.

Skills or Writing Requirements – Miami Law Clinics

Year-Long Clinics (Fall: Writing, Spring: Skills) Each semester counts for one requirement

Children and Youth Law Clinic
Health Rights Clinic
Immigration Clinic

Semester-Long or Summer Clinics (Skills or Writing) Students can elect which requirement the course will count for Skills or Writing.

Children and Youth Law (Skills by default)
Human Rights (Skills by default)
Investor Rights (Skills by default)

Semester-Long Clinics (Skills Only)

Bankruptcy Assistance
Tenants’ Rights

For More Information

See Course Planning Sheet for Students in Entering Classes 2015-2016 and THEREAFTER

See Course Planning Sheet for Students in Fall 2020 Entering Class

For further details on degree requirements, please read the Student Handbook