Our reimagined J.D. program merges theory, doctrine, and experiential learning to produce practice-ready lawyers. Our 1L curriculum introduces both lawyering skills and extra-legal competencies. Then, your upper-level “The Lawyer As…” curriculum begins to shape your career with a concentrated focus on specific areas of legal practice. Courses are taught by a full-time faculty with extensive practice experience, along with sitting judges and practicing attorneys.
Dickinson Law awards both the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. Our J.D. program merges theory, doctrine, and experiential learning to produce profession-ready lawyers.
Prospective students may apply to Dickinson Law’s J.D. program through the Law School’s regular decision process or the binding early decision process. The regular decision application opens on September 1 and closes on June 30, and the early decision application opens on September 1 and closes on December 1. Students who apply through the Law School’s early decision process will be notified of a decision by December 30 and, if admitted, these students agree to:
- withdraw any pending applications to other law schools;
- not initiate any new applications to other law schools; and
- enroll at Dickinson Law in the Fall semester.
Dickinson Law is a paperless office and applicants must apply electronically through LSAC. Dickinson Law’s admissions team reviews completed applications only and renders decisions on an ongoing basis. Although the Admissions Committee attempts to notify candidates whose files are incomplete, it is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to ensure timely submission of a complete application.
Learn more about the admissions requirements for the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, including how to apply and the admissions timeline.
- Earn at least 88 credits, including all first-year required courses. The maximum number of credits permitted per semester is 17.
- Full-time students must be in residence for at least six semesters. To be in residence, the full time student must enroll in at least 12 credits, at full tuition, and not work more than 20 hours per week during the semester. Credits earned through the Semester-in-Washington, D.C., Program, the Semester-in-Harrisburg Program, the Semester-in-New York City Program, and the International Justice Internship Program and authorized Dickinson Law semester-long study abroad programs may be used to fulfill this requirement. Credits earned during the summer months may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
- A first-year student who receives an F in Problem Solving II may not enroll in Problem Solving III and must repeat Problem Solving II in the following academic year. A second-year student who receives an F in Problem Solving III loses credit for Problem Solving II, irrespective of his or her grade in that course, and must repeat Problem Solving II and III in the following academic years.
- Complete with a grade of at least C one course designated as a Seminar course.
- Complete with a grade of at least C the course in Professional Responsibility.
- Complete with a grade of at least C, or a grade of Pass in Pass/Fail courses, 12 credits in experiential learning from the upper level curriculum. The student must earn at least six of the required 12 credits by practicing law in an in-house legal clinic, an internship, or a semester-in-practice. The student may earn remaining experiential learning credits by enrolling in courses designated as experiential learning simulation courses.
Contingent J.D. Requirements
- Students who rank in the bottom quarter of their law school class after the second semester of law school and who earned a grade below C in any first year course must take and pass at least six substantive doctrinal bar courses in order to graduate. (A "bar course" is a course listed in LionPATH with the prefix "BAR.")
Each student is responsible for fulfilling the above graduation requirements. Students should track their academic record and progress using their assigned faculty adviser, the academic dean, the office of the Law School registrar, and other administrative personnel.
J.D. Required Courses
Our first-year curriculum includes not only a set of courses that establishes the core doctrinal, theoretical, and policy foundations of law, but also a series of unique courses that are designed--from the very first day of law school--to fulfill our mission of producing profession-ready lawyers.
Fall 1L Required Courses
- Civil Procedure (4 credits)
- Criminal Law (3 credits)
- Legal Argument and Factual Persuasion (3 credits)
- Problem Solving I: The Lawyer and Client (2 credits)
- Torts (4 credits)
Spring 1L Required Courses
- Constitutional Law (3 credits)
- Contracts (4 credits)
- Practicing Law in a Global World: Contexts and Competencies (2 credits)
- Problem Solving II: The Lawyer as Writer (3 credits)
- Property (4 credits)
Upper-Level Required Courses
- Problem Solving III: The Lawyer as Persuader (2 credits)
- Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
- One writing course designated as a seminar (SEMNR in LionPATH)
Experiential Learning Requirement
The capstone of our educational mission to ready you for the workplace is the upper-level experiential learning requirement. To graduate from Dickinson Law, students must earn 12 credits in experiential learning courses, six credits of which must be earned by practicing law in an in-house legal clinic, an internship, or a semester-in-practice.